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I call myself an amateur photographer in that I enjoy using a good quality SLR and seeing what I can do with it. I bought an Olympus OM-2n in 1982 and have several good Olympus lenses. Of course Olympus is out of the SLR business now.

I am at the point where I will need to spend some fairly serious money to repair, clean, refurbish light seals, etc to continue using it and I am reluctant to do so. Is it time to jump on the digital bandwagon? Up to very recently I have not been impressed with the resolution of digital cameras as compared to quality 35mm. That is of course rapidly changing with 5 and 6 mega-pixal cameras on the market.

Canon recently caught my eye with their new EOS D60, a 6.3 mega-pixel SLR. Now I think we are getting somewhere! But digital cameras are still expensive compared to 35mm. But where 35mm technology is very mature and stable, digital is like a computer improving as we speak! I do not want to buy a camera and have it made obsolete in a few months due to the latest version. Nikon in on the verge of releasing the D100, a 6.1 mega-pixel SLR.

Does my concern make sense. The old joke with computers is to buy one and do not look at them again for a long time and certainly do not check the price the next week! If you buy a good 35mm SLR you do not need to be concerned that the technology will be superceeded in a few short months. But I see that as a reality in the digital world.:confused: :confused:
 

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.02

Like you I was an SLR guy with my Canon EOS1 and a plethora of lens and acc. I got into the digital world and have made some very good comparisons between the two. But, the past couple years digital photography has really gotten me by storm and have resisted to go back.
I bought a Canon G1 a over a year ago and with 3.34 Megapixels at the highest resolution, I get astounding photo quality. I even had a picture blown up to 18x24 (matted) and the quality just blows me.
I have researched and hit the forums on http://www.megapixel.net/html/issueindex.html quite a bit and cannot really imagine why I would need a 5, 6 10 megapixel camera - ie. Nikon's 5 megapixel $4800 right now or in the next year or so, especially if it is amateur photography
 

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JUMP!

Hey, a question I know something about - don't know beans about cars. Your concerns are not misplaced in that camera technology changes faster than lobster prices but that merry-go-round is not going to stop so the question is when do you jump in. The answer is - when a camera will meet your needs now and for the foreseeable future. Example - I have a Nikon D1 and I love it, love it, love it. It reawakened a love of photography in me like I haven't felt in 20 years. Click on the link in my signature if you want to see how much fun I've had with a D1 AND MDX (doesn't get much better).
Does that mean that the D1 is the latest greatest - NOPE - the D1x has come out and the D100 is on it's way with lots more resolution. That's OK - the D1 is still useful to me in that its 3 megapixel resolution is more than adequate for almost everything I do - and plan to do in the future. Most of the time I end up dropping resolution anyway to put pictures on the web and such. On the other hand I plan to be near the front of the line to get a D100 but I'll still keep and use the D1.
If it were me and I was getting ready to start out - I'd wait for the D100 - it should be a heck of a great camera for $2K. If you have Canon lenses - their cameras are great too - I've just been a Nikon man since I got my first Nikkormat back over thirty years ago.
The BEST source for information and a website I visit EVERY morning over coffee is Digital Camera Reviews
Meep Meep
 

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Photo notes

I used to take literally hundreds of rolls of film a year, with a collection of Canons ranging from A-1, F-1, F-3 to EOS. I scaled way back...
(playing more with DV lately, new daughter..)

Recently my sister REALLY REALLY wanted to get a digital camera.

Having done some things with CCDs and astophotography, I know that "megapixels" are only a part of the story. It is VITALLY important how the DSP (digital signal processors) manipulate the data.

Here's a good article that explains some of trade offs that happen (any reviews a pretty nice camera) http://www.mobilecomputing.com/showarchives.cgi?170

I suspect that we are several steps away from magazines reporting the techincal differences that differentiate one manufacturer's decisions from another. All CCDs must devote some of the the pixels to "non-imagine capture", such as stabilization. I can imagine that soon manufacturers will equip high-end cameras with much more sophisticated user controls so that one can choose the bit-depth, processing options & image correction.

If you can hold off, I think we should see a stabilization of technology around 6M pixel still cameras, followed by the "high-end" controls working their way across all manufactures, and finally a more stable price point -- comparable to what "high speed" (1/4000 ++) shutter 35mm camera experienced a decade ago...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cost are going way down

Canon EOS D60 slr (6.3 mega-pixels) - $2199 Official
Nikon D100 slr (6.1 mega-pixels) ~ $2100 Unofficial
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Discussion Starter #7
Seeking Advice

As I stated earlier I was an Olympus buff with several very nice lenses. But they are no longer in the SLR business.:(

Since I will have to start over I guess I get to pick my company. Minolta apparently is not going to go the SLR route with digital. That leaves Nikon or Canon as the most obvious choices. I am seriously considering the Nikon D100 or the Canon D60.

The Canons are hitting the streets now and the Nikons in May/June.
 

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Good qustion....

and I look forward to the responses. I am also a SLR guy. My first decent camera was a Pentax ME Super that is 20+ years old and is still around and working great. Except for auto shutter speed it is all manual. Before a trip to Belize in 99 (where they tested the MDX) I bought a Nikon N70 which is fully automatic and takes great pictures. You can run it manually but as age has taken away brain cells the automatic mode works for me. I am only now getting on the digital bandwagon. Actually these Internet forums forced me into it. Instant gratification actually is pretty neat. Recently I took 50 some pictures at my daughters volleyball tournament with my Sony DCR-TRV730 Digital8 Handycam using the digital picture to memory stick feature. Then I downloaded them and printed them out. The whole process (though not as easy as dropping a roll of 35mm off at Rite-Aid) isn’t bad and the quality is fairly good. But this is not the high-end digital equipment you are discussing but it gets the job done. I agree the technology will continually change and I’m still not sure about the concept of printing a picture with an ink jet printer.:confused:
 

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Like many of you I was an SLR buff for decades. I still have a well performing Canon A-1 (vintage 1982) with assorted lens, winder, and flash.
Six months ago I bought the non-SLR Sony DSC-85 digital, with 4.1 mp.
The results have been beyond my expectations. I have not devoted a whole lot of time to processing, except for sizing and some rather generic enhancements.
I do not have a printer that will approach the best standards esp. for large prints.
However, I have been using Sony's Imagestation who subcontracts to Ofoto and have received 8X10 prints that have been consistenty fine, in both color and resolution. And the cost is very low. I hope to take some good pictures as I drive my new X back from the 'desert' to San Jose, and post them. I am very open to comments and suggestions. It's this very board and my new interest
in the MDX that has kept me from pursuing my photographic interest more, well delayed it, anyway.
 

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BTW if you are really interested in the ultimate digital photography, wait a while.
6 mexapixel maybe the best today, but the latest technology will surpass the present technology by having each pixel with it's own integrated color processsing rather than a large color filter that acts on the entire sensor area.
Recent tests show it to rival the best of conventional film photograhpy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: newer type sensors

Check out the soon to be released Sigma SD9 digital slr with the new FOVEON X3 image sensor. Search for that camera on the web sites I mentioned earlier.
 

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msu.......

I also am a amateur photo buff - with an 8 yr old minolta 700si that I still use after "upgrading from an older Canon AE-1 & Oympus (that someone stole!) I also own a cool little Yashica APS camera & a Kodak 3900 digital (3.1 mp).

I suggest you buy a relatively inexpensive digital camera - like the Kodak 3900 - to get a feel for how to use the digital camera before you jump into a $2k+ purchase. It's only $349, has great picture quality & like several others have posted - 3 megapixels is plenty for most applications. I also end up reducing the size of the pics mainly due to file size when emailing or posting to websites.

I eventually want to buy a digital SLR for the advantages of SLRs & digital - but don't want to spend $2k for that pleasure.

Good luck in your search for the perfect digital SLR !!
 

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Also a former serious film photographer/developer/printer who's recently gone digital. I agree with RoadRunner that the dpreview's site is probably the best out there. You can find a lot of info on that site, including a preview of the Fovean sensor (which look's like a true leap in technology).

I got a G2 (my first digital), which is a good "pro-sumer" digital, I'm very, very happy with it. With a consumer - prosumer digital, adjustments have to be made in your shooting style, primarily due to the focus lag - but once you make the adjustment there's no looking back. All of my film equipment's gathering dust right now - digital's a lot of fun..... I may have to get a D100 just so my lenses won't go to waste!
 

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I have one thing to say


NIKON. I love their optics. My wife makes fun of me for collecting Nikons, the best thing,F mount. With the Nikon D100 coming I can still use all my lenses, ahh I love my Nikons. :)
 

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I jumped in feet first about 9 months ago.

Had (and still have) a Minolta XGA with lenses, etc., which I dearly loved. Purchased the Olympus C-3000 3.3 Megapixel. Not 'state of the art now', but was relatively new at the time. Mid-range in price (I spent $800 on it) compared to the others out there.

Absolutely love it. Does take some getting used to, and I don't have the ability to change lenses, add filters, etc. at this point, but I'm still having lots of fun with it. Zoom is incredible. And it comes with a remote control, which has allowed me to take some very interesting pictures. And, as nwaring has stated, the instant gratification factor is nice. Can have fun with the photos, too...editing, adding text, etc.

The camera I purchased comes with it's own software for loading and editing. Getting the pics to the PC from the camera is a no brainer. After loading the software, plug in the USB cable (included), turn the camera on and you're off to the races. I also have the ability to manually override the automated settings and switch to manual mode if I choose, which was one of my major concerns with the digital cameras I had looked at previously.

Have a Lexmark color printer that I recently used to print out some of my pics on Kodak Picture Paper. Quality is close to some of those taken with the Minolta previously.

Good luck in your search and with your decision. I researched for about 8 months before finally jumping in the pool, and still found it a difficult decision. It's tough to narrow them down, but whatever decision you make, I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
 

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Show Your Stuff in Gallery

Well it looks like we have a pretty enthusiastic bunch of digitalographers so I just started a new string in Gallery:I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours . You show us your favorite MDX glamour scenic shot taken with a digital camera. Lets see what you got!:D
Meep Meep
 

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Well we have an old Canon A1 and a bunch of lenses. All non autofocus of course.

Just bought the bullet and ordered a Canon D60. Looks like it may take over a month to get it as the backlog is pretty deep.

Does anybody have any sort of comparison for pixels vs asa. IE how many megapels would you need to equal 25 asa film.

Another interesting note is that it appears that at least in the Canon's case, the magnification is 145% of normal film for a given lense due to the fact that the sensor is smaller than the 35mm frame size.

Chris
 

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I read somewhere that 6 megapixels will give an approximation of a 35mm film's resolution. At what film speed this is based on, I'm not sure. Probably 100 ASA.
I recently purchased the 5 megapixel Nikon CoolPix 5000 and it looks fantastic. 8X10 enlargements look no different from ones using traditional film. Also, I never made enlargements from 35mm film that were any bigger than 16X20.
I will post some pictures when I return from Asia. Can't wait to add some shots to the wonderful "Ill show you mine..." forum!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: Focal lenght multiplier

I heard that the focal lenght of the lenses for the D60 must be muliplied by 1.5. This is a good news bad news thing.

The good news is that a 200mm telephoto lense becomes a 300 with NO loss of speed or distortion.

The bad news is that it makes super wide angle difficult; a 17mm lense is actually a 26. To address that problem Canon has just introduced a 16-35 zoom.
 
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