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Re: [Killietalk] digital camera recommendations
I'm sure you are right, and any careful user will have little problem in
relatively clean surroundings. They just need to be aware. The bulk of
*my* photography is in windy, dusty desert areas, where I have to clean
the lens (actually, UV filter or polarizer) at least every day, and
sometimes much more often.
Tips like just pointing your camera downward while changing lenses
probably help, too.
I use auxiliary lenses, 1, 2, and 4X portrait or 1.5X telephoto to
extend the 5X zoom range of my Sony, and to get good macro, free of the
color fringing of so many well-known consumer digitals. All are easy to
Cameras, not just digital, are highly individual beasties. Some folks
love P&S ease, while others (like me, and probably you) want a lot more
control and performance. That makes anything but feature suggestions
pretty difficult when questions like Matt's arise. Our needs and wants
all differ. Susan loves her Nikon 4500, whereas I hate the Nikon glass
in *all* their consumer cameras. Too slow and still showing lots of
lateral chromatic color fringing and barrel distortion. Not maybe as bad
as the 990, but still impossible if you want Tony's goal of well-defined
scales and fin rays. [See:
Shutter lag is not trivial, and is ridiculously long on many consumer
digitals. I got to my 4th digital before I had one with a
decently-ergonomic half-press to set final focus and exposure and
sufficiently little lag on the final press that I stopped getting pics
of fish tails only. :-)
I used to shoot mostly medium format -- 2 1/4 square in Bronica, Rollei,
etc. or 4X5 in my Speed Graphic. 35mm was a fun toy for easy field use,
but pretty worthless for serious, publication-quality technical
photography, IMHO. [I let my son take my OM2 off to high school, and
never saw it again. Didn't miss it for a long time. Then I wondered
where it went. :-)]
I cannot afford the 10D, but would probably have one if I could. It
performs almost as well as the smaller MF cameras, and better than
film-based 35mm cameras in all areas but lenses (where it obviously is
equal). True MF performance is probably available from the Canon EOS 1Ds
(about $9000) or the Kodak 14n (about $4000), but even those have issues
(particularly the Kodak), and lenses are hard to find that will begin to
match those full-frame sensors.
Things to look for in a digital fish camera:
Control of shutter delay. Good half-press to preset, or really, really
Larger individual sensor-cell size for lower noise. [Higher MegaPixels
usually means worse noise from smaller cells. Nikon 5700 is an
exception, with *lower* noise than the 4500. They are getting better all
Larger sensor and faster lenses. [At least f2.8 or better from a good
design. I favor Zeiss.] Lenses create the image, and lights give it
brightness. The sensor can only record what is presented to it, so needs
to be tailored to the system and final use.
Useful remote release to stop camera shake and keep photographer well
out of sight of the fish.
External flash sync. Hot shoe or PC connector is essential, IMO.
Good (metal) tripod mount. Should not block battery or memory access.
External power supply or very good battery life. [Proprietary batteries,
like Sony Info-Lithium are better than NiMH, IMHO.]
Another point to remember, if you want steady. A light tripod may work
OK with a big, heavy camera, but a tiny pocket camera usually needs a
big heavy tripod to get the same stability! Seems backwards, but it's true.
Joe Weber wrote:
Wright, that drawback is not as great as reported by the photo mags and
film photographers. I've had a 10D for several months and use it
extensively indoors and out. Great camera, but you just have to be a
bit careful. I never change lenses outdoors even on a perfectly calm
day. I can get most of what I want outdoors without a lens change by
using a zoom such as a Tameron 28-300mm(roughly a 50-480mm in 35mm
terms) or a Canon 70-210mm IS. Indoors I use a number of the EOS prime
lenses and have had no problem with dirt so far. My shot count is
somewhere in the 3000s, although I have no idea how often I've changed
the lens. There's a lot to like about the camera, but it isn't perfect.
Wright Huntley wrote:
Either are great if you can put up with the problem of needing a clean
room to change lenses. The interchangeable-lens SLR concept still has a
huge problem in the digital world. Unlike film, where each picture is on
a new sensor, the ccd attracts dust like mad (electrostatic problem) and
can only be cleaned with great skill or a long, slow, expensive trip to
the factory. :-(
Wright Huntley -- 760 872-3995 -- Rt. 001 Box K36, Bishop CA 93514
"If people are basically evil, the last thing you'd want is a big
government staffed by those evil folks exercising control over you."
-- David Bergland
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