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Author Topic: Camera Buying  (Read 25266 times)

Lotus Eater

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2009, 05:13:51 AM »
I love my Canon 40D. It came with 18-200mm lens - really versatile all round lens.  Since then I succumbed to lens lust and bought a 200-500mm, a 100mm macro, and a 10-22mm for super wide angles.  Plus a good remote control and external flash.  2 small 'table' tripods - one with flexi legs to balance on uneven surfaces, and one 'normal' tripod.

I just need a camera wallah to carry it all!

Bought it in China - check where your warranty is when you buy - most times it is only in the country of purchase.  So if you are going to be here more than 12 months, it's better to buy here.  Otherwise at home.

joe

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2009, 03:28:36 PM »
My brother has the 40D, very nice camera! He didn't like how small 400D was, so went for that.

Lotus Eater

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2009, 06:36:45 PM »
He DIDN'T like - so bought???

Leon Purvis

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2009, 11:17:04 PM »
I'm a long-time Canon camera user. I loved their old SLR lenses and most of their bodies(my first was an FTbN). For studio work I use a Cambo 4x5 with Schneider lenses. In 2004, I realized that it was really foolish to shoot a small product job on 4x5 film. For LESS than the price of 4x5 film + processing + mileage to and from the lab PLUS polaroid proofs,PLUS the time it took to scan them for transmission to the art director, I could buy a 10D and a macro lens for an upcoming job. I never regretted the decision.

HOWEVER, I am now in the market for something with greater megapixel capacity, largely because the publishing industry is quickly shifting toward the larger files. While I believe that for DSLRs, Canon makes the most rugged units on the market, and are the most intuitive to use, I can't recommend them as a starter DSLR system YET. I am seriously considering switching to Minolta/Sony. The alpha 700 series body starts at 12 megapixels, and the alpha 900 series starts at 24 megapixels. Sigma makes some excellent lenses for almost all cameras now, and for the serious glass user, Zeiss (think Hasselblad and Rollei) has rereleased the Planar design for users seeking a special "presence"  in their images for their Minolta/Konica/Sony users.

Cut to the chase: One should hold off on investing in a DSLR SYSTEM until one knows where the market is heading. Canon's 40D is great; its D400 and XTIs are wonderful cameras. Olympus makes great cameras too. There's also Nikon. Unless you're willing to go through the camera makers'gyrations, I'd settle for a good high-megapixel  point-and-shoot camera for now.
I count my blessings when I consider the plight of the boneless chicken.

Leon Purvis

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2009, 11:34:12 PM »
He DIDN'T like - so bought???

The 400D's ergonomics are lacking. The 40D's ergos are much better plus the chassis is, (I believe), metal, while the 400D is pretty cramped  and made of plastic.
I count my blessings when I consider the plight of the boneless chicken.

El Macho

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #35 on: September 17, 2009, 01:47:05 AM »
are DSLR's more or less expensive in China than abroad? I'd really like to purchase one (entry-level...nothing too fancy, just a camera and a lens), but won't do it if it'll be much more expensive than at home.

And, on that point, anyone want to recommend camera shops in Beijing? (Ideally in Haidian...zhongguancun is right around the corner, but there are so many shops there I prefer to buy on recommendation.)

Lotus Eater

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #36 on: September 17, 2009, 01:52:13 AM »
They are pretty much the same price, although of course, here you can bargain a little.  I would recommend that if you were going to be in China for more than the warranty period, you buy it here.  If you will return home before the expiry, buy it there.  Warranty is for country of purchase.

El Macho

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2009, 08:31:19 AM »
For the next year I'm not going to be in any one place for too long...I'm here in Beijing through January, then in Scotland from February through August. I can't believe Canon/Nikon/Pentax don't offer worldwide warranties. That's silly!

The Local Dialect

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #38 on: September 17, 2009, 03:24:38 PM »
I got a secondhand DSLR in Beijing for what I think was a pretty good price, about 2000RMB for a Canon 400D. I hadn't used a DSLR before (but had a great Nikon N70 back in college that was, sadly, stolen) so I sort of wanted a starter camera and didn't want to drop a massive wad of cash on my first one. I paid just about 2000RMB for a kit with the body and a basic lens (well and the battery, memory card, charger, all that as well).

I bought it at a secondhand electronics market at Maizidian, near Chaoyang Park. The goods sold there are authorized as being authentic merchandise, no fakes. There are about 3-4 big Camera shops in the compound with everything from entry level to high end equipment. I'd give it a look if you're into saving some money, from what I can tell I paid less than I would have buying off of eBay.

El Macho

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2009, 03:37:47 AM »
Thanks! I'll give a look over that way when I'm ready to buy.

TaoBao has some promising leads, too...but I'd have a Chinese friend help me investigate before buying anything.

Right now I'm leaning towards a Nikon d40. Lotus, what do you shoot with?

Lotus Eater

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2009, 04:08:42 AM »
Canon EOS 40D - kit lens was a Tamron 18-200mm, but since then I've added a few more lens (including the new Tamron 18-270mm with the Tamron version of image stabilisation).  Check which kit lens will come with it.  

I love my camera.  Not too heavy, but with good quality and functionality.  I also have a little one - an IXUS 980 which I take with me to work, shopping etc.  Can't be without a camera!!

There should be a warning attached to camera buying and photography - it becomes addictive very quickly!!  Lens lust hits very fast!  ahahahahah

keinnon

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2009, 08:51:17 AM »
I noticed a post here about megapixels and publishing photos. The more megapixels the better is a bit of a myth. The main reason being that the CCD on many cameras is roughly the same size so what's happening is that they're cramming more sensors into the same size space resulting in (frequently) poorer sensors. I use my old Nikon D70 still and if I need to enlarge images for publication I use the Image Size function in PhotoShop and use the Bicubic Smoother for enlarging. Usually I increase the size in 10% increments, mainly because that's what I've been doing for years. There's other software out there specifically made for digital enlargements but the results I've seen (both real life and in reading articles on the web) verify that PS bicubic smoothing does a fine job. A good test is to compare  a section of your enlarged image with the same section of the original - I find it hard to tell the difference.
The biggest factor in making a good quality image is your lens. Put your money into a good lens, and don't worry about the megapixels.
The love of truth lies at the root of much humor.
Robertson Davies

Lotus Eater

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2009, 09:38:57 AM »
I agree with keinnon - unless you plan on blowing your photos up to well over poster size megapixels don't mean a lot.  Shooting in RAW gives you more info than you would get in Jpeg and if you are into publishing photos, then it gives yuo more latitude to play with them as well.

Otherwise, most people get along very well with Jpeg, at highest resolution in their camera.  Much better to put the money into a good zoom lens for those shots where you can't get in close.

keinnon

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2009, 09:51:22 AM »
Very true Lotus Eater. A small addendum (wow I must've spelt it right!).... I like zoom lens, especially for traveling when you don't want to pack a bunch of lens... however, I must add, the trouble with zoom lens is that they have more glass and a basic principle of lens is the less glass the better (less distortion). So a set focal length is way to go if you want super clear images. That said I've currently got an 18-55mm on my camera as I'm into street photography and it allows me to get people in the picture without they're being aware they're in the frame. Kind of sneaky but sometimes I don't want a 'posed' look. I know some people are stickers for tradition and say you gotta use an old Leica, BW film etc etc but I find I'm getting good results and personally I'm not much for 'tradition' (gets in the way of progress). Blah blah blah .... end of rant  bibibibibi

BTW LE: I love seeing your photos here. I really want to get to the back country when time allows. I'm just starting to get a feel for SE Asia. The first few days I was simply overwhelmed by visual stimuli; so much stuff packed into such a small area. Makes Europe look positively spacious and North America like the wild frontier still.
The love of truth lies at the root of much humor.
Robertson Davies

Leon Purvis

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Re: Camera Buying
« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2010, 02:37:19 PM »
I noticed a post here about megapixels and publishing photos. The more megapixels the better is a bit of a myth. The main reason being that the CCD on many cameras is roughly the same size so what's happening is that they're cramming more sensors into the same size space resulting in (frequently) poorer sensors.

Not a myth in my experience. I was shooting on a 6mp until the industry standard for pro/prosumer cameras changed. Publications REQUESTED a minimum of 8 mp. I agree that the sensor size and density is mostly irrelevant for magazine publication , but photo editors and publishers want as much resolution as possible. (Yes, it's mostly voodoo on their part). MY EXPERIENCE** is that advertising designers (depending upon the end use, size of the final image) usually want a finished product. For an image that will appear in a low-paying local publication, I usually submit a finished product --- less sharpening. For images that are commissioned for regional, national, and the occasional international publication (and when I am working directly with the publisher) I may submit three versions: Finished .jpg, unfinished .jpg and the raw file, whether I am asked to or not. This allows the photoeditor/designer to take his pick. No matter how determined one may be to calibrate color to a standard, invariably, somebody complains that the colors are off.

At this point, I think that one who sells many images should shoot with a full-frame sensor rather than an APS-C sensor because (as you say) cramming more and more pixels onto a small sensor results in a noisier image. This can be overcome, but if one shoots stock, one usually doesn't have the luxury of putting his image through Noise Ninja and other such programs. A full-frame sensor image shot at 25 mp is a far cry from anything shot on an APS-C sensor , then output at 8"x10". 

Re: Postprocessing. For stock photography, the larger the file the better ( Assuming that you submit your file batches as .jpg files). The agencies that handle and have handled my images want NO PP whatsoever, not even sharpening. That's why your advice regarding lens quality is so pertinent. Generally, sharpening is the last thing that should be adjusted in an image file. Start off with a great image, then let the end user manipulate it to his heart's content.

** Your experience may differ.
I count my blessings when I consider the plight of the boneless chicken.