What to buy - page 2 - DSLR Hack development - CHDK Forum

What to buy

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Offline brainwash

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Re: What to buy
« Reply #10 on: 15 / August / 2008, 19:32:47 »
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If you have the money then I suggest you take a look at D300, the new kid in town. D3 is prohibitively expensive but has the best signal-to-noise ratio. Then again, if photography is only a hobby to you the cost of a mid- high-end DSLR might not justify.
I'd rather suggest an S5IS or even older model (if you can find one in perfect shape) then invest the rest of the money in trips :) As you can see the price of good cameras is continuously coming down and two years down the road you might have a camera similar to D300 for the price of 450D and even CHDK (or similar) support, if all goes well.
If you do have the money however and they burn your pocket then by all means get a DSLR :) Just keep a few pennies for a SH P&S, for that elusive thunderstorm shots.

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Offline lukg

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Re: What to buy
« Reply #11 on: 17 / August / 2008, 08:44:42 »
If you have the money then I suggest you take a look at D300, the new kid in town. D3 is prohibitively expensive but has the best signal-to-noise ratio. Then again, if photography is only a hobby to you the cost of a mid- high-end DSLR might not justify.
I'd rather suggest an S5IS or even older model (if you can find one in perfect shape) then invest the rest of the money in trips :) As you can see the price of good cameras is continuously coming down and two years down the road you might have a camera similar to D300 for the price of 450D and even CHDK (or similar) support, if all goes well.
If you do have the money however and they burn your pocket then by all means get a DSLR :) Just keep a few pennies for a SH P&S, for that elusive thunderstorm shots.

Are you referring to me?
If so, sorry, I forgot to mention..I already have an S5is, great camera, but looking for a bigger sensor.
Nikon D300 is far from my photography budget! :)

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Offline brainwash

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Re: What to buy
« Reply #12 on: 18 / August / 2008, 06:04:58 »
Oh, ok, I get it now.
Well, if you have S5IS there is no point in settling with a low-end DSLR since you will end up investing in gear later even more.
The way I see it, D300 with 18-200 VR II is about 2000 USD, 450D with 18-55 IS is about 750 USD, each worthwhile. I guess it all boils down to money :)

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Offline brainwash

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Re: What to buy
« Reply #13 on: 20 / August / 2008, 06:30:07 »
Oh, so I see you bought the 450d after all :) I wish you nothing but good light and good eye :)

L.E. Forgot to mention fresh batteries and cards :D
« Last Edit: 20 / August / 2008, 07:13:41 by brainwash »


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Offline lukg

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Re: What to buy
« Reply #14 on: 20 / August / 2008, 07:34:42 »
Thanks!!! :D

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Offline brainwash

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Re: What to buy
« Reply #15 on: 25 / August / 2008, 16:51:07 »
Ok, I have to say something for the future users reading this thread.

I just read the feature list for 450D and I think I might be getting one in a not-so-distant future. The only problem with Canon is that it lacks a decent super-zoom objective - like 18-200 VR for Nikon. Switching objectives for framing that perfect shot is a real turn-off for me. Essentialy to suplement my S2 (or an S5 for that matter) you have to carry an 18-55 AND a 55-200, both IS. Switching lenses means more dirt (even with that vibration thing), lost opportunities and a chance to ruin the camera (sand getting trapped into threads).
(VR==IS)

Nikon D40 is ok but old-generation - you can have a new (?) one with 18-55 kit for the price of an S5. D40x is better if you can afford one.

Canon 1000D is VERY ok, you get DSLR quality with a decent kit for about 100-200$ more than the S5. You still need an IS objective.

Sony Alpha A200 is almost ok, some ergonomics are debatable and you must get used to shooting RAW all the time since in-camera noise reduction is aggressive. Also you must need to know that lens mounts are incompatible with other manufacturers so you must stick with the lens kit they give you (18-70 + 75-300). Fortunately it has in-body optical stabilization so that's a few $$-$$$ to spare for each lens. Unless you're getting an unbeatable deal I would look at something else. As a plus it supports CF cards instead of the stupid (expensive) memory stick ones.

Two days ago I've played with the D300 with a Nikkor 18-200 VRII lens. My god, this is a CHDK user dream - you get to play with every conceivable setting a camera could have. For example it has customizable intervalometer, +-9EV bracketing, live view, d-lightning, huge LCD, highlight analysis, lens focus fine-tuning, 12- or 14- bit option for RAW files, HDMI, ... Some of these settings are also available on 450D.
Focus is FAST (like on most DSLRs) exposure is ok - though I found myself needing to dial back 2/3EV to get sharp shots even with active VR. Apart from that the VR system works great, up to 5 stops over handheld - I was able to get a clean picture from a bouncing vehicle at telephoto end.
Price is high (~1500$ for body), though I suspect it will lower by 300$ over the course of one year.

350D body is on par with S5IS (350-400$) as we're speaking. For starters you could buy a cheap Sigma lens.

Speaking of lenses and somewhat contradictory to my last statement - do not buy cheap lenses! :) If you are looking for quality then invest 50-200$ more in a reputable brand. Look here:
The Best Canon EOS Lenses
before buying and read reviews. There's no use in getting a >8MB camera and be able to use only a quarter of that because of bad optics.

Now, if you look at various reviews and site you will get to see a trend - people and physics favor fixed focus lenses over zoom ones. To add to that insult, good optical-stabilized lenses have another 300$ or more on top. I will explain this later.

The trend of optical stabilization has only begun 'recently'. Over the course of years photographers didn't use them, they just used fast (f1.8, f2.0) lenses, sometimes coupled with a tripod and other times coupled with high iso.
Let's look at Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f2.8 XR Di-II LD Asph. IF Specifications and Review It has a fast f2.8 over its entire range, meaning it's two stops faster than S5IS (not really, different FL). But you get the picture.
Do not buy into the marketing people hype - more MP, higher ISO. It is only so much you could squeeze out of a tiny 1/2.5" sensor. See here: Panasonic DMC-FZ50 Review: 17. Compared to...: Digital Photography Review . Not to mention FZ50's sensor is 1.4 times larger than most super-zooms.

G7 and G9 are usable up to ISO 400 but for quality you wouldn't want to go above ISO 200. S5 (S3 and S2) have even smaller sensor so you must strive to shoot only at ISO 100 (~80). IXUS/Elph and A460 series have even smaller sensors so it's only the lowest ISO for sharp images.

What this means is that you don't really need IS with a good DSLR - 450D shoots nice up to ISO 1600, that's 3 f-stops higher than G-series, 4 f-stops higher than S-series and 5 stops higher than A4xx series. Canon P&S IS seems to handle 3 f-stops.

DSLRs have longer life so you might be getting more life out of a second-hand one than a new P&S. Canon has global warranty, if that's of any help, and they replace manufacturing defects - keep a look out for announcements and class suits (like the purple LCD one).

All above was written with the thought that you are thinking of buying a DSLR to replace your P&S. Hopefully there is something to learn from it and my advice is to skip looking at a higher-range P&S (like G-series) and jump straight to DSLR. Here are some prices to help support your decision.
Remember though that the best camera is the one you have with you all the time (phone camera?).
DSLR kits have more value then bodies only - you save about 100$ per each lens included plus 100 for body:

Canon G9 ~400$ bundle - discontinued
Canon G7 ~350$ - discont
Canon S5 ~300$
Canon S3 ~280$
Quality wide-angle adapter for S-series ~150$
Quality tele adapter for S-series ~90$
A460 ~100$
A720IS ~250$

450D body ~630$
400D + 18-55 ~620$
350D body ~400$
30D body ~800$
D80 body ~720$
D70 body ~450$
D60 body ~550$
...

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Offline lukg

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Re: What to buy
« Reply #16 on: 25 / August / 2008, 19:08:52 »
Usefull "memories" for future users :)
I'm very happy with my 450d, I can shoot and not worry about ISO 400 or even ISO 800 showed in the viewfinder. I can say that iso1600 in the 450d gives almost the same noise at iso200-400 in the S5 (still love this camera though). I'm going to buy a 55-250is so I can cover almost all my usefull focal range (28-400, almost as much as with my S5).
Obviously you have to switch lens, boring but inevitable with a DSLR.
But honestly, most of my picture doesn't need such high focal.
A 17-85 would the perfect daily lens for me.
« Last Edit: 25 / August / 2008, 19:20:45 by lukg »

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Offline brainwash

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Re: What to buy
« Reply #17 on: 26 / August / 2008, 03:09:16 »
By the way, Canon 50D is out and is almost on par with D300 (but not quite). It shoots 14bit by default, live view has 30fps (D300 seemed more like 15 fps with extremely slow AF contrast detection) and AF fine-tunning for each lens. It only has 9 focus points though (as opposed to 51) but in real life you rarely need more than that.

I agree, 17-85 is a useful lens to have, covering very wide angle down to near telephoto. However you have to watch out that these lenses have about F5.6 at 55mm so perhaps IS is needed.

The reason for my previous post was that if you don't absolutely need to have CHDK then you could buy a new 400D for the same money as G9. I don't know if there is even support now for G9. However lenses are where the quality is, it's useless to compromise there.


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Offline lukg

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Re: What to buy
« Reply #18 on: 27 / August / 2008, 07:40:25 »
Quote
The only problem with Canon is that it lacks a decent super-zoom objective - like 18-200 VR for Nikon.

You asked for it, and Canon grants your wishes.
Canon will release, in the same occasion of 50d, an EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS for 699$.

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Offline brainwash

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Re: What to buy
« Reply #19 on: 27 / August / 2008, 08:55:22 »
Yep, I just saw that right after finishing my post :)
I'm seriously considering moving to the DSLR-world now, I'm tired of shooting at ISO 50-100 only to get an acceptable shot. The only problem is that where I live the customs for these things is prohibitive. For example Canon G9 sells for ~$650 as opposed to ~$350. Basically I can get a SH kit for the price of a new one in the US :)

 

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