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Old 01-27-2011, 10:33 AM   #21
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Re: Digital SLR camera advice

I have the Nikon D90 with the 18-200mm lens, which I recommend over the 18-105mm. I have had it for two years. I rarely use the LCD when shooting and my biggest complaint is that there is no more split prism to aid in manual focusing. If I am shooting with the tripod, I am using the aperture priority and if I am shooting hand-held I use the shutter priority. If I am not particular about exposure, then I use the program mode and once in a while I use full auto. I generally use the bracketing feature so for every shot i have the exposure the camera thinks is right, one slightly underexposed and one slightly overexposed. I shoot in RAW format and I really like the software that Nikon includes with the camera for capturing and viewing/editing photos.

If you plan to take photos while doing anything active, check out http://www.cottoncarrier.com. I use it when hiking and appreciate not having the camera swing out from my neck every time I bend over. It also saves strain on my neck. My tripod has an Arca-Swiss style quick release and I purchased the adapter that lets me go right from the carrier to the tripod. It's pretty cool.

The biggest trade-off for me has been the weight and bulk of the SLR vs. point-and-shoot. I started with the camera and one lens. Then I added a macro lens. Then I added a 10-24mm ultra-wide angle lens. Now I just bought a shoe-mounted flash. Next I'll be looking into backpacks for carting this mess around. The difference in the quality of my photos makes it worthwhile, but it is something to consider if you are not wanting to carry around a ton of equipment. As an SMB owner though, you know what it is like to be "all about the equipment."

Steve in L.A.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:10 PM   #22
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Re: Digital SLR camera advice

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Originally Posted by SteveInLA
my biggest complaint is that there is no more split prism to aid in manual focusing
Agreed. These guys make split prisms focusing screens for lots of bodies. I haven't gotten one because the install seems somewhat technical but I should probably go for it.
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:45 AM   #23
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Re: Digital SLR camera advice

My wonderful wife, the Expedition Photographer, has used a variety of Canon SLRs from the Canon D10 through the D50. They are all pretty good, as I am sure their Nikon counterparts are as well.

For something better than a point and shoot but less than a DSLR, take a look at the Canon SX20, which has a nice built in zoom but no interchangeable lenses.

Speaking of lenses, don't get too obsessed about the minutia of the Canon vs Nikon latest DSLRs, but think of what type of photography you like to do most; Close up flower shots or people, landscapes, wildlife. And then research the type of lenses you will need. Good glass is as important or more important than what camera body you eventually settle on.

For more great info, take a look at Steve's Digicams here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:16 PM   #24
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Re: Digital SLR camera advice

You mentioned that you have a film SLR. If you don't have experience with digital SLRs, be aware that the sensor size on the cameras available with your airline miles is smaller than 35 mm film. There are digital SLRs available with a sensor the same size as 35 mm film but they are not on your list. The smaller sensors cannot capture as wide an image as can film or the larger sensors. The 18 mm kit lenses will give a field of view approximately equal to a 30 mm len on a 35 mm film camera. I found the limited field of view very frustrating when I had a Canon rebel. Then I got the Canon 5D and the problem was solved. If you mostly take pictures of family and snapshots then the smaller sensor will be just fine. If you like to do landscape photography think twice before getting the small sensor camera.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:22 PM   #25
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Re: Digital SLR camera advice

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Originally Posted by RB30
You mentioned that you have a film SLR. If you don't have experience with digital SLRs, be aware that the sensor size on the cameras available with your airline miles is smaller than 35 mm film. There are digital SLRs available with a sensor the same size as 35 mm film but they are not on your list. The smaller sensors cannot capture as wide an image as can film or the larger sensors. The 18 mm kit lenses will give a field of view approximately equal to a 30 mm len on a 35 mm film camera. I found the limited field of view very frustrating when I had a Canon rebel. Then I got the Canon 5D and the problem was solved. If you mostly take pictures of family and snapshots then the smaller sensor will be just fine. If you like to do landscape photography think twice before getting the small sensor camera.
Appreciate the info, but even if something like the 5D were available through my program, I see it lists for nearly twice the price of the 60D. Not gonna happen anytime soon.


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Old 02-07-2011, 10:31 PM   #26
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Re: Digital SLR camera advice

Herb, what is your primary use for the camera?
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:05 PM   #27
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Re: Digital SLR camera advice

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Herb, what is your primary use for the camera?
Amateur stuff. Family pics, pics of my son in Taekwondo, landscape shots, vacations...all from an "enthusiast" who's never taken a photo class in his life. I'd classify my photo skills as a marginally-moderately talented hobbyist, and no real aspirations beyond that. My two real passions are my Bronco and brewing my own beer, but I do enjoy taking pictures.


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Old 02-07-2011, 11:22 PM   #28
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Re: Digital SLR camera advice

Either of those cameras will serve you well for your use. I shoot Canon 60+ hours a week and my crew shoot Nikon. Unless you a making huge prints like I do you will not be able to tell the difference between the brands. Each brand has a slight advantage with certain lens but the basic camera/lens kit for either is very good.

If you specialized in something then there are benefits for each brand.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:15 PM   #29
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Re: Digital SLR camera advice

I've got a Canon 7D and I love it. I like the user interface of the Canon's more than the others. My only complaint is I don't get to use it enough. I need to make it a point to get out more to use it.
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