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08/25/2004 09:56:56 AM · #1
Help needed please! I am the official photographer for my organization (by default) and I have been given a budget of up to $1500 to buy a camera and any supplemental bits and pieces! I am required to take photos of visiting VIPs as they arrive, in meetings and shaking hands with the CEO. I also take photos of visiting groups. I am a point and shoot photographer, and the most important criterion is that the camera can be used on an automatic setting, or on settings that can be set in advance as I have to be ready to take the "money shots" as they happen. The camera needs to be particularly good for indoor photography and portrait shots. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what would be the most suitable?
08/25/2004 10:02:03 AM · #2
Canon to the Rescue!

$800 on the Rebel (w/ or w/o kit)
($75? Price check) 50mm f/1.8
A shoe handle flash...

Then anything else you see fit!
08/25/2004 11:00:52 AM · #3
Nikon D70 with kit lense, auto setting. ?
08/25/2004 12:18:57 PM · #4
I think that with the budget you have, if you want something that'll do everything automatically, I'd say go with the Olympus C-8080.

I haven't personally shot with it but from all the reviews I've read, it's a quick booting and quick focusing camera that procuces quality pictures which seems to be right up your alley.
I've held one and it's a big and stable camera which is something that not many non-SLR cams brag about.

You might want to look into that one...
08/25/2004 12:23:03 PM · #5
Your gonna need somethinig with a decent flash for sure. Something better than an onboard flash.

I would recommend the Canon 300D with kit lens for $899
and a 420EX flash for i think around $200
and a decent sized memory card like 512mb or 1gig $100-$200
08/25/2004 07:14:31 PM · #6
nanoo,

Seriously consider one of the prosumer models. Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony......they all have a 6-8mp camera with 6-10x zoom lenses. The glass is excellant and photos are 1st rate. For point and shoot photography, they are the cream of the crop.
08/25/2004 07:23:48 PM · #7
Originally posted by Flash:

nanoo,

Seriously consider one of the prosumer models. Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony......they all have a 6-8mp camera with 6-10x zoom lenses. The glass is excellant and photos are 1st rate. For point and shoot photography, they are the cream of the crop.

I have to agree. The only caveat being that indoor, flash photography with those cameras will be a challenge without an external flash. The solution: add a cheap external flash to the prosumer camera's hotshoe...like a G5 with a 420ex.
08/26/2004 08:48:42 AM · #8
i actually think the prosumer cams are a great way to start. i'm not a big fan of 999 for an 8mp point&shoot, but they're still good cams. other great cameras out there that i'd recommend: The fuji S7000. fantastic camera. does lots of auto-everything, has full manual controls, and also does video. probably one of the best prosumers out there, in my opinion.
08/26/2004 08:55:53 AM · #9
Just an observation that one thing to consider is the final output of your images. Theres no point in the latest 8M pixel camera if you are just doing web based output. It's just a waste of pixels to dump them when you resize for screen. Use the money you save by getting a lower megapixel camera on something like a good tripod perhaps!!!!!!!! But if you need those A3 prints don't penny pinch on those pixels.
08/26/2004 08:59:31 AM · #10
How big will you need to print, what kinds of conditions will you be shooting in, and how much creative control will you need on the camera?
How comfortable are you with apature/shutter speed? Will a large camera lend to a professional "feel" at the event, or is smaller and less obtrusive the way to go?
08/26/2004 09:00:04 AM · #11
i agree whole-heartedly. more pixels on a sensor the same size just results in noisier images. even at an interpolated 6mp, the fuji s602 can print 20x30 and look great. the new s7000 with a more advanced sensor is even better.
08/31/2004 06:53:36 AM · #12
Thanks for all your suggestions. More info ....

blemt, in reply to your questions: I print the best of the photos that I take, and need to keep an official album. Size, either A5 or A4. Usually they are taken in a rather dark room, and with little advance warning. I would like to be able to take really detailed shots of people, but with a nicely blurred background, but don't have the time to set the camera for this. Not comfortable yet with setting aperture or shutter speeds, but would be happy to learn on an idiot-proof camera. Would prefer a larger camera as it looks more professional. But the bottom line is a camera that is easy for a digital idiot like me to understand!
08/31/2004 07:07:47 AM · #13
If you haven't bought your camera already, go for a DSLR. A DSLR will give you vastly superior noiseless shots (which you want in poor lighting) along with better background blur because of sensor size.

You might like the Nikon D70, since you've got a Nikon already. Otherwise, the 300D is a great camera and probably very good for your needs. I'd go with Smokeeditor's purchase suggestion.
08/31/2004 07:19:28 AM · #14
I would tend to agree with Paul's comments, as an owner of a "prosumer"
camera I am now finding out its limitations and when I am ready will get a dslr.
One question to the dslr owners, is the noise difference between the D70 and the 300D a good enough reason to skip the D70 in favour of the 300D ?
08/31/2004 07:25:00 AM · #15
Originally posted by peecee:

One question to the dslr owners, is the noise difference between the D70 and the 300D a good enough reason to skip the D70 in favour of the 300D ?

One advantage of the 300D is its ability to shoot on ISO 100, which if you're outside on a bright day is better than using the D70's minimum ISO 200. There was a thread about 300D vs. D70 noise a while ago:

The one with 'buttery smooth'
08/31/2004 08:00:51 AM · #16
Good link Paul, thanks.
I had more or less decided on the D70, but who knows the price will probably sway me when I am ready, they are both excellent cameras and as I will be just starting out with DSLRs, lenses shouldn't be a problem with either of them.
Thanks again, hope this helps the original poster too,
Paul.
08/31/2004 08:03:59 AM · #17
Originally posted by peecee:

I would tend to agree with Paul's comments, as an owner of a "prosumer"
camera I am now finding out its limitations and when I am ready will get a dslr.
One question to the dslr owners, is the noise difference between the D70 and the 300D a good enough reason to skip the D70 in favour of the 300D ?


In a word, no. The average user is not going to be able to tell the difference. I know this because I have yet to have a customer in my store tell the difference between a 5x7 from the D70 and a 5x7 from the 300D consistantly. :) Yes 100 is nice, but 200 isn't problematic. Additionally, the lens on the dReb is not of the same quality as the kit lens on the D70, so you really should get a new lens for the dreb ASAP. That's adding to your initial cost.

Biggest benifit is the better sensor on the Rebel, and the Canon lens system. If you don't plan on shooting with L glass, this argument becomes moot. :) If you are locked into the Canon lens system, bypass the 300 and get a 10D on markdown. Better build, and odds are you will not outgrow the camera in 6 months. Several people on DPC have discovered that the 300d is just not enough camera for them over a year.


08/31/2004 08:18:23 AM · #18
Originally posted by blemt:

Several people on DPC have discovered that the 300d is just not enough camera for them over a year.

Really?

I guess my little sports shooting biz just isn't pro enough.. :)
08/31/2004 08:25:51 AM · #19
Originally posted by nannoo:

Thanks for all your suggestions. More info ....

blemt, in reply to your questions: I print the best of the photos that I take, and need to keep an official album. Size, either A5 or A4. Usually they are taken in a rather dark room, and with little advance warning. I would like to be able to take really detailed shots of people, but with a nicely blurred background, but don't have the time to set the camera for this. Not comfortable yet with setting aperture or shutter speeds, but would be happy to learn on an idiot-proof camera. Would prefer a larger camera as it looks more professional. But the bottom line is a camera that is easy for a digital idiot like me to understand!


Sony DCS 828. It's got a very high quality lens, okay onboard flash, nice build, and has an easy to use interface. As you progress as a photographer you can move to more manual modes. Looks big and professionalish too. :) It's an 8mp camera, but has the best noise performance out of the lot.

More critically, if you leave, someone else there has a reasonable shot of learning the basics on the camera. :) Most other prosumer bodies have very complex interfaces. The Sony doesn't.

Based on what you are saying, I'm not sure an SLR is the best camera for you. My suggestion is go in to a store and try out the 828, dRebel, and the D70. See which one has the best hand feel and is easiest to understand. With any camera you get, make sure to get a flash unit. Memory is going to add on about $140 US to the camera costs (get at least 512.)If you get the rebel, I strongly suggest getting the body only and then purchasing a seperate lens. D70 can go as is. Also look at getting a 70-300 lens for situations where you need to be at the back of the room.

On the Sony, memory and a flash will get you going.

Big thing is get into a store and try some bodies on. We can all tell you what camera is, "best" but it doesn't matter if you don't like the camera when you try it out.

Clara
08/31/2004 08:29:12 AM · #20
Originally posted by PaulMdx:

Originally posted by blemt:

Several people on DPC have discovered that the 300d is just not enough camera for them over a year.

Really?

I guess my little sports shooting biz just isn't pro enough.. :)


*grin* Paul, at any point did I ever say it wasn't pro enough? :) Nope. I just pointed out that several people have upgraded within 12 months of getting the camera.

Clara
08/31/2004 08:36:38 AM · #21
Originally posted by blemt:

Nope. I just pointed out that several people have upgraded within 12 months of getting the camera.

That doesn't mean the camera isn't 'enough' for them, it means they've got camera lust like the rest of us. :-)

If 20 people on DPC upgraded over the last year, that's >98% happy customers with the 300D.

Just having a quick browse of DPReview actually..

300D vs. 828 noise

The 828 is a horrifically noisy camera..
08/31/2004 08:39:29 AM · #22
Buy the Nikon D70, It´s a lot better than the 300D.
08/31/2004 08:49:25 AM · #23
Originally posted by PaulMdx:


The 828 is a horrifically noisy camera..


And I too can pixelbate with the best of them. I just don't feel the need to here. :)

Paul, keep in mind the level of the user. A SLR is by far the best overall tool. However, based on the user in questions own self description I don't see a SLR (either Nikon or Canon) as his best choice. As I suggested to him, he needs to get into a shop and try out bodies. The key advanatage the 828 has is a very, very easy to understand interface. If he can't understand the camera than everything else is moot. :)

The tool has got to fit the user, both on features, and comfort level. We can argue stats until the cows come home. It doesn't matter if the person who is going to use the camera doesn't understand the fundimentals.

Nanoo- get off the computer and hit a camera store at lunch. Try out some bodies, come back and check out Steve's Digicams and DPReview for more indepth comments. This time of year, you should be able to negotiate with the store you buy from for a 30 day return time. Then take your camera for a spin and see how it works for you. Just ignore Paul and I while we argue about pixels. ;)

Clara
08/31/2004 08:54:15 AM · #24
Originally posted by blemt:

As I suggested to him, he needs to get into a shop and try out bodies.

There's something we can both agree on! :-D

Coming from the background I do I make the assumption these things are easy to pick up. I take your point about usability for less experienced photog's.
08/31/2004 09:46:15 AM · #25
Best way to get experienced is to jump straight in IMO. so get yourself a nice D70.

You could get the 300D, but lets be honest - it looks cheaper and thus doesn't make you look as good ;) Now that may only be aesthetically, but if people see you holding a nice bulky 'black' camera they will automatically assume you know what your doing and have a 'serious' piece of kit.

This in turn will relax them and they will put their trust in you, and thus be more relaxed (enhancing your photos) and also be more patient with you (aiding your nerves and the photos)

Hehe
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