Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What digital camera do you love?

I have been dreaming of getting a nicer camera for the past few months. Our camera is only a year and a half old, but I'm already growing tired of it. I have become increasingly dissappointed with the pictures that it takes. I find I need to tweak them quite a bit in a photo editing program to have them look normal. I also don't like how bulky the camera is for just being a digital point and shoot. I either want a nice compact camera or a DSLR. So, any suggestions? I drool over photos I see on Flickr and even though I technically know how to take a good picture, they just don't usually seem to turn very spectacularily.

Our current camera I had to purchase in a scramble because I dropped our old one in the Puget Sound two days before Iris's second birthday. Oops! I DO like it, I just want something better, I guess. Ours is a Canon Powershot A610, for the record. Again, it's good, but not great.

7 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm interested in seeing what you find! I have a little 'ol Nikon Coolpix because it was so darn affordable!

    Steph

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  2. DH recently bought this DLSR: http://tinyurl.com/343a8t

    The Nikon D200 is the same body that Mrs. Rockstar has.

    DH has been trying to get me agree for a lighter model for me: Nikon D40X

    He also really likes the Sony A100 and bought me one for our anniversary the Seattle Sony Outlet (the one in Marysville) but I didn't want it. Mostly because I really don't think I would use it and it uses Minolta lenses. We have these too but I figured if I had mine and he had his, I'd want him to carry the extra lenses.

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  3. There are some excellent compact cameras that will do some justice to what you see in real life.

    The Leica D-LUX 3 is a really great compact. Ultra-small, great menu system, nice features. However, like with any compact, the small sensor is going to introduce more noise that the camera doesn't easily filter out.

    Since you technically know how to take great pictures, you know that lenses are going to make all the difference. I do recommend the Nikon D40X if only because it has most of the features you would ever need is compatible with the Nikon F-mount, accepting lenses back through the 70's. Of course, if the lens. Of course, if your lenses are not Nikkor AF-S, the auto-focus won't work since the D40X has no internal motor (the reason it's so light). That's fine, since you can manually focus with old lenses or new ones that are not AF-S. The next camera up, the Nikon D80, would solve that problem for you.

    Of course, Canons are great and Sony owns Minolta's patents and technology, so you're effectively buying a Minolta body and Minolta lenses with souped up electronics in the Sony Alpha A100.

    Also, you can get a really great value in the Pentax K100D.

    No matter what you buy, if you do purchase a DSLR, I can't highly recommend a good quality wide-angle prime (non-zoom) lens. Zoom lenses today are much better than prime lenses of yesteryear. But the most accurate, crisp lenses, with a few notable exceptions, are today's prime lenses.

    Note that unless you buy a professional Nikon (D3) or Canon (1D Mark II or 1D Mark III), your lenses are going to function like they're more zoomed in. That's because the typical digital sensor is about 2/3 the size of 35mm film, and since lens focal length is calibrated for 35mm film, they are never as wide as they would be on the front of one of those cameras or a film camera. You see a 1.5x crop factor, meaning a 28mm lens looks like a 42mm lens.

    In any case, not enough can be said for a high quality 28mm f/2.8 and/or a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 lens in addition to the zoom(s) that might come with your camera body.

    The lower the aperture rating for the lens, the more wide open it can be, and the more light it can accept, giving two results: 1) you can shoot cleaner in darker environments if the aperture is set to a low enough f-stop. 2) Low f-stops/wide open apertures give that wonderful depth of field blur for things not in focus. Sometimes you want everything to be in focus including your subject (time for a high f-stop), but when taking pictures of your kids, blurring the rest out can be so visually appealing. My favorite mode is often to set the aperture (low f-stop for portraits or close ups) and let the camera handle everything else. It doesn't take much to figure out how to do that and it produces wonderful shots.

    For instance: Lucas at 55mm, f/4.8 (not even that low), 1/30 sec.

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  4. Wow, thanks you guys! That pic of Lucas is exactly like the kind of shots I want to be able to take.

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  5. we are getting a canon20d (thats a DSLR) for xmas. mainly because dh is a photo snob and he already has really good canon lenses. i think he settled on this one (i am clueless about them, but know i do want a DSLR for the business) because it was middle of the road when it came to quality v. price... good for both, not the most expensive, not the cheapest.

    blair :-)

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  6. I really like my camera, and it's pink. :)

    Sony Cybershot DSCW80 7.2MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom and Super Steady Shot

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  7. I have the Canon Rebel XTi. LOVE it. My beloved bought it for me when we were in Canada this summer. I thought it was an early birthday/Christmas present. Turns out it was a gift for putting up with the pains of pregnancy. What a man, hey? I am in DSLR love. I have some learning to do yet though.

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