Help me choose my first dslr

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Padu, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. Padu

    Padu Guest

    "Christina Robertson"
    Thanks for the hint Christina. Yes, I have no complains about my maxxum
    7000. I've used and abused it hardly. I used to be a skydive photographer,
    and this camera has at least 1500 jumps, lots of them through clouds and
    even some rain. I hope that the A100 could show at least some of that
    durability, if I choose to go that route.

    Concerning the 7D replacement, looking at sony's website, I guess so. They
    are selling the "alpha family of cameras", while there's still one camera in
    that family...


    Padu, Aug 15, 2006
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  2. Padu

    SkipM Guest
    The only flaw in that thinking is that ISO 1600 film pushed to 3200 (one
    stop) was far more grainy than a Canon 20D at 3200, in fact, ISO1600 film
    was more grainy than the 20D at 3200. So people are more willing to go the
    extra stop in film speed than they were with film. I'd never shoot with
    film faster than 400 unless I absolutely saw no way around it, including
    shooting at another time. Now, shooting at 800 or 1600 is not a big deal.
    SkipM, Aug 15, 2006
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  3. Padu

    Craig M Guest

    Well I have used some B&W film that was 3200 iso or asa back then, for low
    level night shooting, I dont recall how it came out back then, but I want to
    think it was alright, it was for night photography without flash back then,
    I have not had a chance to use the D50 in low light and set the iso to max
    to see, but I am sure I will, and I think that 1600 is plenty, the pentax I
    was looking at can go to 3200 but I think the Nikon is a better body and
    lens system, this from reading and asking arround here and there, and seeing
    so many out there, so far I love my D50, I have so missed slr cameras, the
    D50 has brought it back to me.
    Craig M, Aug 16, 2006
  4. Padu

    Guest Guest

    Ooops... Canon Rebel XT.
    Guest, Aug 16, 2006
  5. Padu

    Guest Guest

    Guest, Aug 16, 2006
  6. Padu

    cjcampbell Guest

    The Sony should be good. Also the Nikon D80. The Canon 20D. All fine
    cameras. I don't think you would be unhappy with any of them.
    cjcampbell, Aug 16, 2006
  7. Padu

    Guest Guest

    Another thing you might want to consider is what cameras/lenses your
    friends have. This way you can lend/borrow them... I have 2 co-workers
    that own Canon cameras and have a few lenses...
    Guest, Aug 16, 2006
  8. Padu

    Matt Guest

    Matt, Aug 16, 2006
  9. Padu

    Sheldon Guest

    I would second that. The reason I got my D70 was the fact that I already
    had a lot of Nikon lenses to fit. Even though I've upgraded those lenses
    since then, I was able to use my older lenses and have a lot of fun with the
    new camera without spending a lot of money on lenses.

    That said, since you put the D70 on your list, that particular camera could
    be a real bargain right now with the release of the D80. All the cameras on
    your list are "capable" of taking great photos. The rest is up to you.
    Sheldon, Aug 17, 2006
  10. Padu

    AaronW Guest

    Canon 350D

    Canon 50/1.8
    Canon 85/1.8

    Canon 28-135/3.5-5.6 IS
    Canon 70-300/4-5.6 IS

    Canon 17-55/2.8 IS
    Canon 70-200/2.8 IS

    Canon 1.4x
    Canon 2x

    Canon 135/2
    Canon 300/2.8 IS
    AaronW, Aug 19, 2006
  11. Padu

    no_name Guest

    If you can use your old Maxxum lenses Sony A100. If you can't, Pentax


    These are my views. If you've got a problem with it, you can blame it on
    me, but this is what I think. I am not the official spokes-person for
    any Government, Commercial or Educational institution.

    no_name, Aug 20, 2006
  12. You _do_ understand that there is a difference between film and
    digital? And that it changes things like cost per image and the
    type and strength of noise/grain?

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Aug 23, 2006
  13. And I think that ISO 1600 is plenty, unless you need more.

    Like shooting with f3.2, 1/80s, 200mm handheld (with IS) because
    you're indoors, it's darkish and you prefer not to use flash.
    Then you are glad that you have ISO3200, and wouldn't mind
    ISO 6400 or ISO 12800, if the noise is bearable.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Aug 23, 2006
  14. Padu

    Craig M Guest

    The best I understand it, is that as you increase ISO numbers, it will
    increase the sensitivity of the sensor, or CCD depends on what you want to
    call it, and as you go higher numbers, it can introduce more noise, just due
    to the nature of the ccd in the camera, where as film it's based on the
    chemicals and other propertys of the film itself, although I never fully
    understood how film speed varried I do know that it could be pushed to help
    in low light, I only did it once that I can recall, and have to tell the
    devloper that it was pushed, as far as DSLR goes, I am still learning, as my
    first SLR was a cannon AE-1 many years ago, and it still works also, but I
    had to go digital when a local photography teacher at a local high school
    showed me a Pentax ist, after looking at a few, trying them out, I went with
    the Nikon, and so far it's a great camera, cant wait till I can get the zoom
    lens for it.
    Craig M, Aug 23, 2006
  15. Padu

    cjcampbell Guest

    Why, sure, if you like bad pictures with dark shadows. Then who cares
    about the noise?

    Rule #1 in photography: If the light is bad, don't take the picture.

    and rule #2 is like unto it: If you took the picture anyway, don't show
    it to anybody.

    Every photo I have ever seen where somebody insisted that he needed
    more than ISO 400 was, in a word, terrible. Okay, there are some
    exceptions with grainy ISO 1000 black and white film -- they are only
    half terrible.
    cjcampbell, Aug 23, 2006
  16. Padu

    Craig M Guest

    I have used ISO 800 film and it came out great, so there are exceptions to
    every rule there, and I am still in learning mode with my DSLR, having fun
    as well, wife may be getting tired of my surprise snaps of her some times,
    catching her comming down the hall, but its a way to try out different
    setting, ISO, shutter speed, F-stops, flash or no flash...ect..
    Craig M, Aug 23, 2006
  17. Padu

    VK Guest

    VK, Aug 23, 2006
  18. Either you haven't seen many pictures, or you just have a very unusual
    sense of what makes a good picture. It is subjective after all, so
    that's OK. But you should realize that many people actually *enjoy*
    pictures, say, of musicians in concert - something I shoot regularly
    that pretty can't be done as successfully with ISO 400 as with 800 or
    1600, even with fast lenses. Tripods and IS won't keep the subject

    Marc Sabatella

    Music, art, & educational materials
    Featuring "A Jazz Improvisation Primer"
    Marc Sabatella, Aug 23, 2006
  19. Padu

    cjcampbell Guest

    You are probably right. I can't stand pictures of musicians in concert
    -- it is exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of when I wrote what
    I did.

    Well, art is in the eye of the beholder.
    cjcampbell, Aug 24, 2006
  20. Actually, close, but only close.

    Basically, your sensor counts photons in each sensor cell by
    converting[1] them to electrons. Each cell, at the end of
    exposure, will then pass the collected electrons[2] and each
    charge amount will then be multiplied by a factor before run
    through the A/D converter (which spits out the numbers for
    the RAW format). If you record in JPEG, further work on the
    digital data is done, obviously.

    Changing the ISO setting will only change the multiplier
    setting (which may well be 0.05 (i.e. "divide by 20") or 30
    (i.e. multiply by 30)).

    The sensitivity of the sensor _as such_ is unchanged, it'll
    still collect 500 photons at ISO 100 as on ISO 128.000, given
    the same brightness, aperture and exposure time. However,
    whether that represents a very dark or a very bright part of
    the image is determined by the ISO setting.

    The reason for the ISO setting is that the A/D converters
    only have a limited number of bits (from 10 for compact
    cameras to 14 or even 16 for some expensive backends).
    Additionally the electron count == charge is linear (twice
    as bright == double count) and absolute.

    But our eye is comparative (dark vs light, not absolute values)
    and, being able both to see over huge absolute ranges (LV 16+
    (white/reflective in full sun) to LV -5 (half moon lit objects s
    at night)) and high contrast scenes (like direkt sun and objects
    in the shadow at the same time).

    What you do then is dampen (or boost) all charges, so that
    (hopefully) th converter will get near, but *never* over 100%
    at the largest charges and (hopefully) still enough bits engaged
    for nice gradual changes for the darkest parts. As you cannot
    simply convert the charge and then set the optimum gain value
    (i.e. multiplier) --- that would simply use up the charge in
    first place --- you have to use a preset gain value, which is
    represented by the ISO setting.

    Or, alternatively, you go get a D/A converter that does 17 or
    18 bits with acceptable noise even at 80.000 as well as on 80
    or less electrons, forget all about ISO and simply multiply
    digital numnbers just right after the fact. (Unfortunately,
    no such beast seems to exist for digital cameras, especially
    not for non-billionaire buyers.)

    [1] Not all photons get converted: not only is no real-world
    sensor and no photon-electron converter perfect, but there
    are also unreceptive areas on the sensor. Microlenses,
    while not without some potential problems themselves, can
    help ofset these areas, though.

    [2] Possibly passing the charge through a gain multiplier for that
    specific cell (CMOS) or row or column of cells (maybe CMOS,
    certainly CCD) , to make all cells similar enough in their
    light response.

    Not all sensors ave Charge Coupled Devices. Canon's newer
    DSLRs use Active Pixel Sensors of Complementary Metal Oxide
    Semiconductors --- a completely different beast. (CCDs are passive
    and move charges to a possibly single read-out circuit, AP-Sensors
    have an amplifier circuit for each pixel, just as one example.)
    Aeh, no. The noise is already there.

    For example you don't always get the identical number of photons
    due to the chaotic and random nature of the universe; just like
    rolling dice: if you roll a D6 1000 times you'll get a sum near
    3500, but if you once ... it could be 1, it could be 6. So even
    neighbouring pixels may get different intensities; and the less
    photons, the worse (even though absolute differences are less).

    Additionally, the electronics also introduce noise, however,
    that is not bound so much to the charge size, but more often to
    the temperature.

    But with ah high ISO setting --- remember you amplify not only
    the (weak) signal, but the noise as well, and the signal-to-noise
    ratio is worse --- and a multiplication cannot improve the ratio.

    But if you don't up the gain, you'll get very dark images.
    (and no, 'pushing' after the A/D conversion doesn't buy you
    anything, to the contrary: the converter also adds noise, and
    that hurts weak signals much worse than amplified ones.)
    You can push and pull chemical film, basically you can
    develop longer and shorter. The trade-off is worse
    performance. But since shadows and highlights act
    differently to pushing and pulling (the shadows mostly don't
    care, I understand), you would expose for the shadows (the
    darkest parts to havet structure in them) and then later on
    develop your specific image so that the highlights are just
    as bright as you want them.

    That way you could force a low- or high-contrast scene to have
    the contrast the film allows, and neither more or less. (Of
    course, this doesn't work for too much pulling or pushing.)

    With digital equipment, you shouldn't try that: highlights
    burn out unrecoverably *on exposure*.

    You could try to expose so that the highlights were still
    controlled and later push the darker parts of the image to show
    texture. (of course, you are limited by what your converter can
    do for you, and by noise, again, and, especially when dealing
    with JPEG as source materiak, you can quickly destroy graduated
    changes into abrupt ones.) Or you could try the 'contrast'
    setting on your camera and see if that helps.

    There is only one zoom lens for Nikon cameras? Are you sure?

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Aug 24, 2006
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