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Digital 35mm SLRs? 386

Posted by Cliff
from the please-your-inner-shutterbug dept.
pipingguy asks: "Canon has released the first(?) 'low-priced' digital 35mm SLR with interchangeable lenses with the Digital Rebel. I've owned a few digital and non-digital cameras over the years (and am by no means a photography expert), and most annoying was the lack of manual zoom and focus, not to mention the barely-noticeable millisecond delay between button click and shutter closure. Can any owners of this and other digitals provide some opinions on how this new model compares to the more expensive digital 35mm's and typical $300 SLRs? Is it time to buy?"
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Digital 35mm SLRs?

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  • Good deal! (Score:4, Informative)

    by njord (548740) on Friday October 24, 2003 @08:42PM (#7306020)
    This camera looks like a good deal - it's just the Canon D10 with a plastic body and some firmware downgrades. Suppose it's possible to hack the firmware back up to the D10? Also, first post!
    • Re:Good deal! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by T5 (308759)
      Not exactly. The 18-55m lens that comes as part of the camera kit (can get just the body, though) fits only this camera. EF lenses fit it, however. The mount is just slightly different (EF-S, I think it's called). See this extensive review [dpreview.com] of this camera. I've seen it demonstrated and played with it a bit at a local camera store. I own a Canon A2, and I'm a bit unsettled with how light the Digital Rebel/EOS 300 feels, especially with that little 18-55mm lens. After taking a few shots with it, howeve
      • I'm sure I'd appreciate the lightness after lugging my EOS-1N (with the high-speed winder, no less) around for a while. To have both would be cool, but I'm a little disappointed to learn that the EF-S lenses won't fit EF mounts. If I have to have this lens with the digital body I'd at least like to be able to use it as a wide-angle lens for my film body too. Sod it, I'm going to wait till I can afford a 10D.
  • Digital 35 mm? (Score:2, Informative)

    by marmol (219016)
    I guess it means a digital camera that has the same size and uses the same lenses as the Rebel line of cameras?

    Nikon has one of those, D100 which uses the whole line fo AF lenses, it's kind of expensive though!
    • Re:Digital 35 mm? (Score:3, Informative)

      by jimbolaya (526861)
      Both the film and digital Rebel lines use standard Canon EF lenses. The Digital Rebel (aka 300D) also uses EF-S lenses, which are lenses designed for the smaller (relative to a full 35mm frame) CMOS sensor.

      Just as the D100 uses any Nikon AF lens, the Canon digital SLRs (1D, 1Ds, 10D, 300D, D30, D60) will use any Canon EF lens.

    • Re:Digital 35 mm? (Score:4, Informative)

      by dbirchall (191839) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:07PM (#7306158) Journal
      Yeah, that's a pretty odd term. "Digital SLR" is better, since the sensor usually does not measure 35mm. The exceptions to that are Canon's 11-megapixel EOS-1Ds which costs about $8,000, and Kodak's 14-megapixel model which costs about $5,000 (but had a lot of problems and delays and generally gets worse reviews than the Canon).
  • Digital Photogs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Davak (526912) on Friday October 24, 2003 @08:44PM (#7306035) Homepage
    My uncle was a die hard film person... but always enjoyed playing with digital... just never in his studio.

    However, in the last 12 months he has converted his entire studio over to digital. His work still looks great... even blown out huge.

    Anybody other pro/semi-pros out there made the switch?

    Does everybody agree that digital is as good as film now?

    Davak
    • Re:Digital Photogs (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:08PM (#7306162)
      Pro photo covers a lot of fields, each with very different versions of deadlines and acceptable final work.

      In some cases digital is exponentially better - paparazzi work comes to mind, so does newspaper sports photography (think about fields where lots of photos are taken with quick turnaround needed - a sports photographer shooting the night game has maybe 1/2 hour after the game to develop 20+ rolls of film and pick the right 2-3 shots, digital helps a lot there).

      In other cases digital, even the highend, $12000+ digital backs for hassie's and large formats, doesn't yet match the quality of 120 or 8x10 film. (while your eye might not see the difference, someone who is experienced will)

      Also, digital usually doesn't handle the extremes too well - a 30 minute digital exposure on digital cameras doesn't compare to a 30 minute film exposure. Last i checked the latitude of film was still much better than digital too (the range from white to black that the camera can capture).

      To say digital is really really good these days would be accurate, and i'm actually waiting for my digital rebel to arrive (it was exactly what i was waiting for, price/performance wise). But there are things digital still can't do, and places where film is still cheaper (a decent 4x5 and film for it is purchasable by me, but a digital back for that camera means i don't eat for a decade).

      • Re:Digital Photogs (Score:5, Informative)

        by Phronesis (175966) on Saturday October 25, 2003 @01:46PM (#7309024)
        I'm with you on everything but latitude. You really start to see the difference between digital and film on anything longer than about 10 seconds if you look carefully. I can take decent shots up to maybe 1 minute, but forget 5 minutes, much less 30. No star trails from digicams.

        Latitude is not so bad for digital. In principle a CCD digitized to 12 bits, as most cameras do, is capable of 12 zones. B&W film gets about 8-9 depending on the emulsion. Color print film is somewhat worse and slide film has almost no latitude (Velvia is about the worst on this, but its color saturation is so beautiful that sometimes it's worth all the hassle of lighting to get those colors!). When you actually go to print the image, you can't get better than 8 zones of latitude from any paper I know, so you have to dodge and burn if you're going to fit a 9-zone negative onto paper without losing shadows or highlights.

        Of course you never really get 12 bits of latitude from a CCD, but it's pretty typical in my tests to get at least 8 zones, which means that your output device (printer, CRT, LCD) will be the limiting factor. This is much as it is in the darkroom, where you have a hard time finding printing paper that will match the range you get on your negatives.

        What's really differnent about digital imaging from film is that the CCD's transfer function stays pretty linear all the way down to black. Towards the white end, it also stays quite linear until it gets very close to saturation. This is a lot different from the sigmoid film curves we've all known and loved since Ansel Adams published "The Negative." This means you have to think out your high- and low-ends more carefully.

        About your 4x5, one big difference between view cameras and 35mm is that almost nobody shoots thousands of frames per year with a view camera. The whole point of the camera is to spend half an hour setting up your shot and getting it right in one or two exposures. With 35mm you pay for the digital sensor in a year or less with the savings on film and processing. With the 4x5 you'd be waiting a long time to pay back the film costs. Even more with an 8x10.
    • Re:Digital Photogs (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      In terms of image quality, it's on a par with 35mm. You can argue about lines per mm resolution, Moire effects, and digital artifacts if you like. But the resolution of the high-end digital cameras now is good enough that they need truly high-quality optics, just as lenses limit performance of film cameras.

      Medium format film still has an image quality advantage, but the cost is high (however, the price of high end digital = entry level Ha$$elblad). Wal Mart doesn't sell or process 120 size film, you have t

    • Re:Digital Photogs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by djmcmath (99313) on Saturday October 25, 2003 @01:47AM (#7306904)
      For a full discussion on this topic, try a photo.net search for the "film vs digital debate." It keeps popping up, and the photographers are a lot more adequately suited to argue it than us geeks.

      That said, I am a photographer, so let me summarize the debate briefly. Aside from the silliness ("Digital isn't photography!" "Film is obsolete!!") from both sides, the central issue is the quality of the final product. Clearly, for many applications, digital makes significantly more sense. Obviously any web-based service, as well as virtually all major publications, and a great many quick-turn-around studio applications make good use of digital.

      Film, on the other hand, still holds tenuously to the market of photographers who enjoy photography for the sake of photography. While digital is unarguably easier, and at the high end shares similar quality with average 35mm films, it has several major weaknesses. First, in color applications, saturation and dynamic range are typically still wrong. Great strides have been made, however, so most normal people can't tell the difference anymore.

      The great bastion of film-based photography, Black and White, is still incomparably better than the digital equivalent. Nothing compares to a print made from the 4x5" negative made using a Korean War Era press camera. The rich, full tonality and smooth gradation are impossible to match digitally. The complete lack of grain is also quite notable -- no matter how good the camera, short of printing on a dye sublimation printer, there will always be some semblance of digital remaining in the prints. However, with the massive 4x5" negs, grain totally disappears, leaving an ultra-smooth, incredibly rich photograph.

      So the bottom line -- digital is gaining more and more advantages over film every day. Film still has the financial advantage, and still holds B&W, especially in the medium and large formats.
    • Re:Digital Photogs (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zemran (3101)
      I have been into photography for a couple of decades and cannot see digital camera replacing film. There are too many facets to photography for digital to meet them all. I do see digital making greater inroads than it does now and that is a good thing.

      I have two cameras. A 35mm and an APS. The APS is for what I call snaps and I will replace that with a digital camera in the near future. The current snap camera I have is a Canon Ixus because I can have it my pocket most of the time and when I see some
    • Re:Digital Photogs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Genda (560240) <mariet.got@net> on Saturday October 25, 2003 @06:17AM (#7307504) Journal
      So first thing. I have over 50,000 transparencies in my collection (mostly scenics of the western United States from the Rockies west, and from Mexico to mid Canada.) I love film, and it's going to be superior in many ways to digital for some time yet to come. With drum scanners you can sanely go to about 10,000 pixels per inch converting film to digital (and I don't care what kind of film you're scanning, at that rez you can see the grain.) Of course, if you're taking about original art being a 8 x 10 inch sheet, you're looking at 80,000 by 100,000 pixels or 8 gigapixels... needless to say, digital has some distance to go before it can sanely reach those kind of resolutions.

      This is a meaningful point of contention. I have a 4 x 5 inch transparency of the Athabasca glacier in the Canadian Rockies. If you look at the image though a 10x loop, you can find a bus in the parking lot below the access to the glacier. If you look through a microscope at about 100x you can make out by color that the bus has Alberta license plates. At about 500x you can read the license plate. Film really is that good.

      That said... digital is going to win over the long hall.

      1. The new Foveon chip (found in the Sigma SD-9), produces moire free images with huge color fidelity and shocking clarity (the original gallery images had black and whites blown up on prints 8 feet high without grain or digital artifacts... you could see the threads in clothes, and the fine detail on the pores and small hairs in the skin of the models.)

      2. There is currently a digital camera on the market that has two imaging chips, one for high light levels and one for low, The chips both record the image weighted to their specific sensitivity, so that the images have the same or even better exposure latitude than film.

      3. There are now 8 x 10 digital backs in use (a famous photograher did a series on the National Parks using one a couple years back and his name escapes me...) The resolution and quality of those images was, is, and will be mind numbing.

      The quality is improving, and not slowly... the cost is falling, and quickly... the freedom of producing an image, telling if you got the shot instantly (and reshooting if you missed it... this is especially important to large and medium format photographers), archiving them in a place that takes virtually no space, organizing and filing them quickly and easily, not having to process anything (film or print paper), and being able to show them and send them instantly to family or business partners... all these things make digital mighty attractive.

      Add being able to use the same camera to do still and video shooting. Add digital image processing. Add being able to burn, dodge, color correct, contrast balance, and correct for printing characteristics in computer... and digital just takes it for even the most religious film shooter. Don't get me wrong... I wouldn't trade my Cibachrome prints for all the tea in China... I just believe we are looking at a technology with such operational and economic advantages in the long hall, that film's day are prolly numbered for everybody, but the fine art photographer.

      I'll still shoot film for fun or for something remarkable that demands the greater depth, but soon, digital is going to be my bread and butter.

      Genda Bendte
  • by jimbolaya (526861) on Friday October 24, 2003 @08:44PM (#7306036) Homepage
    An excellent site for information and reviews is dpreview.com [slashdot.org]. You'll find reviews of the Digital Rebel and comparisons to it's "older brother," the 10D. You'll also find reviews of other DSLR and point-and-shoot SLRs. Definitely worth a look.

    P.S. I own the predecessor to the 10D, the D60, and it is an excellent camera. I highly recommend a DSLR, but be prepared...photograph is an expensive hobby!

    • "photograph is an expensive hobby!"

      So expensive, one can't afford the y

    • Steve's Digicams [steves-digicams.com] always has great reviews.
    • Thats the nice thing about digital. If you can get a digital camera that behaves just like a film SLR, you can shoot hundreds of photos for no cost, other than your inital hardware and electricity, etc. to run the computer.

      Tricky thing is getting a decent digital at a sensible price relative to a $200 investment at a pawn shop and tons of black and white processing.
    • by PCM2 (4486) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:04PM (#7306146) Homepage
      be prepared...photograph is an expensive hobby!

      Well, that's the ultimate question the poster is asking, isn't it?

      Historically, traditional photography has been a "rich kid's pastime," too. Just ask anybody who goes to art school for illustration what they think of the photo majors.

      The question is whether we've got to the point where, in terms of TCO, you will come up even whether you use a traditional camera or a digital one.

      Sure, digital cameras are expensive. But they have advantages:

      • No film costs. Sure, you might have to buy CompactFlash, but those are completely re-usable.
      • No darkroom costs
      • Making hard copies of digital photographs can be expensive, but if you don't actually need hard copies (say, you're shooting for print publication), then you've got no costs there, either
      • Digital cameras are more versatile than traditional cameras. You don't need to change film to change light or speed settings, for instance. This might mean you really only need one camera, while a serious traditional photographer might feel the need to buy and keep several
      Bear in mind that I'm not much of a photographer at all, so I'm sort of pulling this list out of my ass. But I've been wondering, lately, whether a nice camera like a digital SLR might allow me to take better pictures, which might in turn inspire me to take more pictures. I really don't think I want to fool around with all the darkrooms, developing, etc... I'm much more comfortable with Photoshop. So digital is definitely the way to go, for me.

      But is an expensive digital camera really worth it yet?

      • by rgmoore (133276) * <glandauer@charter.net> on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:13PM (#7306183) Homepage
        But I've been wondering, lately, whether a nice camera like a digital SLR might allow me to take better pictures, which might in turn inspire me to take more pictures.

        The thing that really makes you want to take more pictures is not so much the quality as the cost of seeing the results. With a film camera, I was always worried about the cost of film and developing, and that made me think before taking a picture. The result was that I never brought my camera with me to take casual photos, and when I did bring it I hardly took any pictures anyway. With a digital it's really easy to take tons of pictures because I know that processing them is as easy (and cheap) as downloading them to my computer. That means that my thought process has moved from "should I take this picture" to "why shouldn't I take this picture". The result is that I take a lot more pictures, and some of them actually turn out well.

        • This mirrors my thoughts this weekend, which had turned to photography anyway after I managed to wreck the lens assembly on my P&S Olympus. :(

          My granddaughter is fascinated with my camera, and likes to take pictures. Most of what she takes is, well, what you would expect from a six-yar-old. However, if I get her a digital camera (even a cheap one) she can learn how to shoot pictures and at least hit what she's aiming for, and we'll have both the instant gratification of her getting to see her work righ
      • What I was thinking of (but failed to actually state) when I said photography is an expensive hobby are the lenses (for SLR cameras). In time, you'll find it easy to spend more money on lenses than you did on the original body. And that's true of digital or film, since the lenses are the same.

        If you've got a Canon or a Nikon (etc.) film SLR, you've got a head start, since you'll already have at least one lens you could use on a like-branded DSLR.

      • I had a Nikon Coolpix 990 which I barely used and then got a Canon EOS D30 and took 7000 pictures with it in under a year.

        The difference was that I really love the look and feel of the digital SLR as opposed to the consumer electronics style point and shoot. I've read almost all the answers to this question, and so far none of them have really considered the superior tactile feel of seeing directly through the lens, having manual focus and zoom rings, and having a precise view of focus and image framing,
  • by h4x0r-3l337 (219532) on Friday October 24, 2003 @08:45PM (#7306046)
    ... instead of the people who would really know [dpreview.com].
    • by penguin7of9 (697383) on Saturday October 25, 2003 @03:45AM (#7307182)
      "Professional" reviewers of photographic equipment are almost always far too positive. Among other things, they usually depend on getting free loaners to review, and if they trashed a camera in a review, they might not get more free loaners in the future. Some of the digital cameras I have had have been real duds, yet they all received reasonably good reviews.

      And then you have the analog traditionalist nuts, the photographic equivalent of the people who claim that vinyl and tubes are higher quality than CDs. You can have a 48Mpixel camera and they'll still claim that some random 35mm film beats it.

      And what does it matter anyway? Digital is just different from analog. If you have the money, give it a try and see whether you like it. If you don't have the money, don't even get started.
  • by gambit3 (463693)
    I'll answer it the same way that I answer two common questions:

    1. What car should I buy?

    2. What computer should I get?

    My answers:

    1. What are you going to use it for?

    2. How much are you planning to spend?

    Without knowing the answers to those two questions, then the original poster's question can't be correctly answered. If you're looking for professional, poster-sized prints, then your answer is going to be different than if you're just looking for something to take snapshots during vacations. Ditto i
  • Many of the consumer cameras are coming along with manual everything now. I've just bought a Canon A70 (an A80 is out now too) which, while just a consumer cam, has manual exposure, ISO emulation, Aperture, 3x optical zoom, 2048x1536 pix (3.2mp), and a bunch of other manual settings. Slowly, as with everything, the pro type features are coming down into the consumer lines. an SLR still has its advantages, but it's certainly worth looking at some of the cameras that are out today at 1/3rd their price.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The big advantage of a digital SLR over a point-and-shoot like the A70 is in the chip. A 10D at ISO 800 looks about as clean as my S40 at ASA 100.

      This is a HUGE difference - every photographer (including the type who buy 35mm disposables) will see this difference, while hardly anyone will see a difference between 3 megapixels and 6 megapixels.
    • Actually Canon has been doing this for a while. The A series has always had a pretty decent spread of manual "advanced" controls when one considers that they are, after all, compact point-n-shoots. There's nothing new about the A70. Not that I'm kocking it. We bought 3 of them (so far) in my workplace and we love them. I actually recommend the A70 to almost everyone who asks which digital camera they should buy. It's just too good a deal. Great image quality, easy-as-pie but still with full manual
    • by bogie (31020)
      The Canon A60 and A70 are great cameras and take excellant photos. Although I keep mine mostly in Auto mode its nice to be able to play around with the manual settings and see how well you can do. Afterall its digital if you blow it just delete it. :)

      If Anyone is looking for a highly rated, affordable, and easy to use 2-3MP camera get a Powershot A60 or A70. In the 2-3MP range these are some of the best consumer ones out there.

      btw don't take my word for it, feel free to check out all the digital review si
  • www.dpreview.com has very good reviews. Lots of in-depth information, and glossaries to explain the terminologies for newbies who want to learn photogeekery.
  • by stripes (3681) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:01PM (#7306128) Homepage Journal

    The image quality of prety much all the digital SLRs is very nice. Including the Digital Rebel. The focus time and shutter lag compaired ot the non SLR digitals is also very good (I have the now very old Canon D30, and while it has more shutter lag then the current digital SLRs it is low enough to get pictures of flying birds, or jumping dogs which I found really hard to do with compact digital cameras).

    The digital rebel however suffers from being inteonally cheapened. It still takes great pictures, but if you had intended to use the camera in "manual mode" where you control both the shutter time and the apeature you'll find Canon decided to only put one dial on the camera. You have to switch between the two controls with a small button (there is also no way to assign auto focus to a button other then the shutter button). That's a royal pain if you ever get to a situation where you are smarter then the camera's light meter (and you'll run into them, digital cameras have less exposure latatude then print film, think of them more like slide film).

    It also has cuppled the exposure mode and auto focus mode with the shooting mode. They took about 4 things that their other cameras let you set independantly and merged them into one thing and gave you maybe 12 choices, so a bunch of the combinations are not possiable.

    Basically if your film SLR is a rebel you won't feel constrained by the digital rebal. If your film camera is an Elan you will be frustrated. If your digital camera is the point and click kind, then you will either be delighted or confused. Or both.

    P.S. remember the camera is only the start of the spending :-) Lenses are very important. In fact the Digital Rebel's imager is better then most lenses. If you buy the DR and slap a $400 75-300mm USM-IS f/5.6 lens on it you won't get pictures nearly as sharp as the 300L f/4 lens...unfortuantly that lens costs quite a bit more then the camera. I strongly recomend at least one fast fixed focal length lens, the 50mm f/1.8 is in expsnave (under $100 used I think). It will show you how sharp your pictures can be, and more importantly it will let you get some natrual light shots where most zooms can't.

  • My first question is: why do you need a SLR camera? If you are just looking for a digital camera, that can do good macro shots, take a look at Sony's Cyber Shot DSC-F717 . The macro shots with this camera are very good. However I personally think the camera is little flaky (could be just me). I also have a Canon PowerShot S50. It is a very good all purpose digital camra. Here are shots from a Canon S50 Panoramic [xml-dev.com] and regular [xml-dev.com]

    bottom line: dont buy a digital SLR, unless you really need a SLR.
    • Re:why SLR (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aussersterne (212916) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:29PM (#7306249) Homepage
      bottom line: dont buy a digital SLR, unless you really need a SLR.

      I think in part you're right.

      You need an SLR camera if you want to:

      1) Shoot in dimly lit conditions (i.e. f/1.2 ISO 1600) without a flash and use the results for anything serious.

      2) Be able to get a nice, shallow depth of field (i.e. blurred background) with good bokeh (pleasing "blur") for portraits or graphic shots.

      3) Shoot wildlife or other "field" shots involving long telephotos or extreme lighting or weather conditions with any kind of sincerity or usability.

      4) Shoot action of any kind that might need the likes of continuous tracking focus, zero shutter lag, and the ability to fire off shots in sequence just as fast as you can hit the shutter.

      You do not need an SLR camera to:

      5) Shoot the kids' birthday parties.

      6) Take pictures of your pets.

      7) Take vacation snapshots.

      BUT... with that said... If you know how to properly use an SLR camera, know something about photography, and you have quality lenses, your results in the case of #5, #6 or #7 will be much better with an SLR than with a point-and-shoot.

      Do be aware of the quality lenses caveat, however. Far too many amateur SLR users, film and digital, see the camera body as the "real" investment. They drop $1000 on a camera body and then go to their local camera store and buy a plastic 24-300mm zoom for $80.00 and wonder why the pictures look like they were taken through a dirty window in a rainstorm.

      So I suppose corollary to your "don't buy an SLR unless you need one" post is "and don't buy an SLR unless you can afford lenses that will do it justice because a camera body can only capture what the lens shows it."

      If you can't afford to spend significantly more on your lenses than you did on your SLR body (whether film or digital), you will definitely get better photos with a Sony digicam.
  • I love DSLR (Score:2, Redundant)

    As the proud owner of a Fuji S2-Pro [dpreview.com], I can say I love the DSLR concept. When I got my first SLR almost 10 years ago, I lamented the lack of a digital SLR and since then had been searching around for a good D-SLR. Last year, they finally came within reach, but I had to save up for awhile to be able to afford the $2000+ pricetag. I can honestly say that i went from taking 60 photos per month with my old 35mm SLR to taking 100+ per week, all without any processing costs. The most important things to consid
  • Jumping out of film (Score:5, Interesting)

    by java-pundit (718935) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:03PM (#7306140)
    I was a die-hard film photographer, with the full suite of Nikon stuff and B&W darkroom. Until last summer. I swapped it all for a Canon 10D and have no regrets. I can print tack-sharp 11x14 prints that bowl people over, and I find I take a lot more photos then I ever did with film due to the convenience. Being able to put almost 400 jpeg images on a 1GB CF card really change your habits for travel photography. 6 Megapixels seems to be the sweet spot for ditching film

    The advantage to one of the digital SLRs versus pro-sumer models is no shutter lag. My 10D is very quiet and takes the picture when I press the button, not several ms later like my Olympus 3040 used to do.

  • by StewedSquirrel (574170) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:04PM (#7306145)
    As the proud owner of a Fuji S2-Pro [dpreview.com], I can say I love the DSLR concept. When I got my first SLR almost 10 years ago, I lamented the lack of a digital SLR and since then had been searching around for a good D-SLR. Last year, they finally came within reach, but I had to save up for awhile to be able to afford the $2000+ pricetag.

    I can honestly say that i went from taking 60 photos per month with my old 35mm SLR to taking 100+ per week, all without any processing costs.

    The most important things to consider are:
    1) battery life - Your photo shooting is usually limited by the battery life of your camera unless you shoot in super-high resolution or RAW modes.
    2) memory size - Buy as big a memory card as youcan afford. Size does matter. I LOVE to take advantage of the RAW shooting modes, but the photos are dozens of MB each.
    3) memory speed - when shooting bigger files, you will notice the speed of your writable media. You can fill up the buffer of modern DSLR cameras fairly quickly in rapid-shoot mode (unless you have a Nikon D2 with the 40-shot buffer).

    But overall, I prefer Nikon lenses (Nikkor is really nice), but Cannon is quite nice too. And for the price you can't beat this new DSLR.

    Stewey
  • Digital Rebel vs 10D (Score:5, Informative)

    by meta-monkey (321000) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:05PM (#7306147) Journal
    First, I'll preface by saying I'm a professional photographer. My wife and I shoot weddings & portraits, and a magazine photo here or there. We use the Canon 10D, which goes for $1500. It's got a 6.3 megapixel sensor, and we have no problem blowing up a large-fine JPEG image to 20x30 or even higher.

    The digital rebel has the same sensor as the 10D, and the same digic processor, and you can find them for $800 or so. A LOT of the features are the same. The white balance settings, the shutter speed options, flash compatibility, metering modes, 7 AF points, etc. The main differences are in the buffer, and the construction. The rebel can only do about 2.5fps and a maximum burst of 4 shots, instead of the 3fps for 9 shots the 10d can manage. Having handled the rebel at the local camera store recently, I can also testify that the body does not feel NEARLY as durable as the 10D. The 10D has a magnesium alloy body that feels solid, and seems like it could take some punishment. I think the rebel was more plasticy. Eh.

    Still, if you're an amateur photographer who wants an SLR I have to say the rebel is the way to go. It's got almost all the features of the 10D, but for a lot less money. Digital will completely change the way you shoot, too...I never ever ever want to go back to film.

    Oh, and some other companies have cheap SLRs out there...Fuji has a cheap DSLR, and I think Olympus or Sigma or somebody does, too, but I've never been impressed with any of their products, or their lenses (Sigma lenses are horribly soft) and I only shoot Canon, so I can't really comment on those.
    • I was seriously considering the 10D for astrophotography in part because of the ability to have the mirror lock up 2 second prior to exposure when using the timer. So I wonder whether that feature is one of the things that the dumbed down 300D/digital rebel has lost?
      • Huh...really? I didn't know the 10D had such a feature. I assume that's so that the mechanical motion over the mirror doesn't shake the camera? If that is the purpose, are you sure it has that much of an impact, even on a tripod?

        I checked around on my 10D and I couldn't find any such feature...not even in the custom functions. Where did you find this documented?

    • Very similar, but not the same. As per Canon, the die is smaller (though the sensor size is the same) and another technological process is used.
    • Lacks spot metering (Score:3, Informative)

      by SuperKendall (25149) *
      From the reading I did on DPReview, I believe the Rebel lacks spot metering - so the metering capabilites are not the same. Actually most of the differences come in the form of software limitations that are seemingly meant to make you buy the 10D.
  • http://steves-digicams.com/cameras_digpro.html [steves-digicams.com]

    This is a great camera website. Click on the name of an SLR camera in the list to get a review, specs, sample images, etc... This website also has other reviews of other types of X megapixel digicams as well.

    Loomis
  • by mcicel (465762) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:08PM (#7306164)
    Digital Rebel is 22.7 mm SLR. Canon 1Ds is 35 mm SLR. But 1Ds is not 'low-priced'. It costs $7,999.
    • ...and I think this is an important distinction to make because the difference in image sensor area of anything less than true 35mm changes the effective focal length of the 35mm-size lenses you use. For example you want to use a 28mm lens for wide-angle shots but the Canon Digital Rebel has an effective focal length conversion factor of 1.6, so a 28mm lens is effectively a 28mm x 1.6 = 44mm lens, so not as much wide angle as would a true 35mm image sensor. This issue alone is what has been keeping me on th
  • by Kraegar (565221) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:08PM (#7306166)
    I just bought a Digital Rebel a week ago. Got it as a birthday gift for my wife, who's a semi-pro photographer (In her own mind, anyway).

    Her sister owns a Canon Rebel 35mm camera, and my wife has been a die-hard film person. In the last week, she hasn't touched our 35mm camera.

    The digital rebel can use all the lenses, filters, tripod, flash, etc from her 35mm, takes amazing pictures, and is SLR. (she wouldn't touch a non-slr camera)

    The auto-focus is great, the shutter speed is better then any other digital camera we've played with (and very adjustable). Manual focusing gives her all the control she'd normally have.

    It snaps shots a little slow, about 4 in the first two seconds, then one a second after that, but for a digital at 6.3mp that's not too shabby.

    In my opinion, this is *THE* digital camera to buy right now... and at the rate I'm going at, I'll need to buy a second one since my wife won't let me have time with ours.

    You can find a decent review of it here. [imaging-resource.com]

    • Oh, couple things I shoulda mentioned... the lens that comes with it is decent, but you will probably quickly want at least one more if you're much of a photographer at all.

      Buy a big compact flash card. 256mb or 512mb (I got the 512). It sucks to run out of space mid-shoot.

      We also picked up an HP photo printer that accepts CF, can print the pictures directly after reviewing them on an LCD screen. Makes it all very convenient, and I don't have to worry about drivers, etc for the printer.

  • Check out photo.net (Score:3, Informative)

    by neutrino (11215) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:12PM (#7306177)

    For all the information you could ever want to know about how the new 300D/Digital Rebel compares to the other DSLRs that are out there just go check out photo.net [photo.net]. There is a full review [photo.net] of the body, plus lots of discussion [photo.net] about it in the forums.

    Your second question, about whether or not to switch to digital, is not a question that we can answer for you, especially with the amount of information that you gave us. Both film and digital have their respective advantages. Both will continue to exist for quite some time. For a well thought out examination of film and digital photography, see Ken Rockwell's article [kenrockwell.com] on the subject.

    What most people don't realize is that digital and film have been working together quite well for some time now and that the digital revolution has already made a huge impact in the printing phase. Lightjet [cymbolic.com] and Chromira [zbe.com] machines enable the highest quality prints and Fuji Frontier [fujifilm.com] machines create good quality prints quickly. The quality of these prints is not just the resolution, but the color reproduction and tonality as well.

    What it all comes down to, though, is not the equipment. You have to be in the right place when the light happens. Mastering light is far more important than having a certain kind of camera.

    --josh
  • by nick_davison (217681) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:14PM (#7306184)
    Digital cameras are still relatively expensive, compared to their film counterparts:
    Basic compact ~ $300 vs. $50
    Basic SLR ~ $1000 vs. $300

    What you gain though, especially once you leave the basic end of the market alone, is a fast, self-guided education in photography.

    I bought the Sony DSC-V1 (a $600 higer-end compact). By that point, you're getting in to a camera which can just point and shoot but also lets you manually adjust apperature and shutter settings, add on flash units, etc. And the thing is, if you have any kind of an interest in photography, you will start playing with those settings.

    I'd borrowed a film SLR from relatives in the past. I blew through about a dozen rolls of film and had next to no idea what I ended up with.

    With digital, I blow through about fifty shots in a half an hour, reviewing each one as I go and, with the LCD review screen, learning a little bit more about how to improve the next shot. Then I end up ditching the thirty or so that didn't work and repeating. By the end of a session, I know I've got shots which really captured the depth of field I was after, that framed the subject well, that had the balance of light across the scene that I wanted, and so on. I've also probably stumbled on a couple of shots I didn't even expect.

    Most importantly though, I've learned to take risks that I would never have done with film. While my wife drove tonight, I was shooting the sunset almost as fast as I could get shots off. I would never have even tried it with film - what kind of idiot would use an unstabilised setup in a moving vehicle on San Diego's bumpy freeways? With digital, it didn't matter. Worst case, I wasted a bit of time, blanked the memory stick and recharged the battery. As it happened, I got the most incredible sunset image I've taken yet.

    You can get the same education with film, from an instructor. No doubt an instructor can teach you many things you'd never have learned by yourself. But a simple question for the slashdot readership: Who taught you the software you use professionally? I'm guessing the typical slashdot-type much prefers tinkering with things and finding out for themselves and that's where digital offers itself much more freely than film.

    It's more expensive to start. Once you start adding camera accessories and good photoprinters, it gets expensive fast and it works out about the same to print (save you only print the perfect shots, you can review on the computer or LCD). What it does though is give you much more freedom to explore with faster feedback. To me, that's been worth every penny and it's worth the several thousand I'm budgeting for in several months time as the freedom and education of cheaper digital has convinced me I want to try more and more still.
  • Why cant they make a digital SLR for $300 like they can for film SLR ? (standard changable lenses is the goal in my book) My bet is patents on stupid things. There are real inovations in digital cameras, but I have a good one (Cannon A40 2MP) for $300. Why cant they just do the same in the SLR form. Has to be stupid patents.
  • Something that I have done with webcams on a couple of occasions is modifying them to support telephoto SLR lenses, which then allows it to be screwed into the mount on a telescope for webcam astronomy.

    Basically you replace the film plane for the lens with the CCD sensor.

    The same applies for a normal non SLR camera. You have to *sacrifice* the digital lens and either get a mount from an old manual body, or get a sacrifice the manual body.

    I haven't done it, but with 3-4 Megapixel cameras the norm, it sho
    • What I'd love to see is a package about the size of a 35mm film container. It would have a 'strap' you thread into the film area of your normal camera, and with a sensor to cover the frame. The 'can' would have a MMC slot, or at worst, a few hundred Mb of flash and a USB jack. The sensor would be activated by light or easily rigged to sense the button push (perhaps wired to the flash-trigger circuit)
  • In case anyone was wondering how cheap is cheap, this site [dpreview.com] lists it at $899. Thats still to expensive for me.
  • by Androgyne001 (718937) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:22PM (#7306216)
    Now that the Digital Rebel is on slashdot, surely firmware hacks are on their way. Heck, it's only a matter of time before someone is running a linux server on it. But seriously...something that has not been mentioned is the included lens. The digital rebel comes with a specially designed 18-55mm zoom lens. The kit with this lens is $999. DSLR 101: in most digital slrs, the image sensor is a little smaller than a 35mm negative. So when you use a lens built for a 35mm camera, the focal length is effectively multiplied by 1.6, as the edges of the frame fall outside of the sensor and get cropped. So the included 18-55mm lens is equivalent to your typical 28-90mm zoom lens that comes with film rebels. It is also specially designed for the rebel and won't work on the 10D. A lot of people may point out that the 10D is better and only few hundred dollars more, but people should remember that the cheapest canon lens that is equivalent to the 18-55 is the 17-40L...at $799. So Digital rebel kit = $999, 10D "kit" = approx. $2299. That's not a small price gap. Of course, if you never shoot wide angle, it doesn't effect you.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:23PM (#7306218) Homepage
    Surely the image array isn't 24x36mm?
    Click, click... no, it's 22.7x15 mm. Roughly comparable a half-frame 35 mm camera.

    That means that no lens is going to have the same coverage on this camera as it does on a 35 mm camera.

    Canon says "Focal length conversion factor: Equivalent to approx. 1.6x indicated focal length compared to 35mm format." Your 50 mm. lens will act like an 80 mm; your 35 mm like a 56... and if you like to use a 28 mm on your film camera, you'll have to shell out for an 18mm to use on this one.

    It works in your favor for telephoto lenses, though.

    It also means that for the equivalent angle of coverage, this camera will have a greater depth of field. Nice for some things. Not so nice for others, e.g. portraits.
    • -- 'cept thanks. I would've never thought to think about that.
    • by djtack (545324) on Friday October 24, 2003 @10:39PM (#7306533)
      Yeah, I think the 1.6x focal length multiplier pretty much makes it a non-starter. Almost all of the DSLRs have this problem, except for the super high end (Kodak DCS 14n, (14 megapixels, christ!), Contax, and Canon 1D).

      Overall, the notion of trying to make digital cameras use the 35mm lenses isn't such a great idea. Either you have to use an image sensor that's too small, and as a result have the focal length multiplier. This makes it much harder to have wide angle lenses, plus the camera body is filled with stray light - not good.
      Or, you try really hard to make a huge, full-frame image sensor, at great expense, and in the end it doesn't work as well. Sensors work best if the light hits at a high angle of incidence, and with a big sensor the angle is too low at the edges.

      Personally, I really like Olympus's "four thirds" system, which is a new "standard" for DSLR lenses based on a 4/3" image sensor. I don't know that this system is gaining much popularity, though. But it's a great system - all the benefits of interchangable lenses, but it's lighter and smaller than 35mm cameras, and you don't have to make all the compromises attendant in trying to kludge the old lens systems onto a digital camera.

      Anyway, that's what I'm waiting for - an affordable, standardized, interchangable lens system made for digital photography. In the meantime, I can afford to buy a lot of film for my old Olympus OM-2 with the $7000 I'm not spending on a DSLR. ;)
  • I have owned the Canon D30, D60, and now own the 10D. These are all great cameras and make it possible to do things that you would never be able to do with a traditional 35mm... such as routinely taking 300 photos and saving the best 10. No matter what anyone says, the best way to improve your photography is to take more pictures.

    I would recommend skipping the D60 if possible, it was kind of a premature upgrade after the D30. The 10D is the true successor to the D30. My wishlist at this point is the sa
  • by PhracturedBlue (224393) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:30PM (#7306257)
    I'm also in the market for a good digital camera. I've owned a canon S100 since it was first released, and it is a really great little camera.

    I was nearly ready to buy the Canon 300D, but I don't have any Canon lenses (what lenses I do have are for an Olympus OM-2). After talking to friends, I decided that for what I need, a 'pro-sumer' would probably be a better fit. The Minolta A1 is probably the best availiable at the moment, but I plan to hold out and see how the Panasonic FZ-10 turns out (released in Japan today, US mid November). It'll be a 35-420mm 35mm equivalent, with a F2.8 Leica lens all the way through the range. Also has image stabilization, which should allow shooting at maximum zoom without a tripod. It is only a 4MP camera, but with a MSRP of $599, it is very tmepting.

    With the 300D, I'd need to carry 2-3 lenses (need a range of 18mm-300mm for the Canon to get the equivalent range), and to get them at F2.8 with image-stabilization, that's easily $2k in lenses (and probably quite a bit more). For the money, the 300D is probably the best DSLR on the market, but the question is whether it is what you want.

    I'll wait till the reviews come out for the FZ10 before I decide, but for the price, this is probably a better camera for me.

    Info on the FZ10 (what is availiable so far at least) can be found here [dpreview.com]

    There's not one camera for everyone, but you should think about what you need it for, decide what you are willing to spend, and decide how much paraphanelia you are willing to lug around before choosing to part with your $$$ (It probably helps if you have a load of Canon lenses already though).

  • by toupsie (88295) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:39PM (#7306297) Homepage
    The Digital Rebel is the same as the Canon EOS 10D minus a bunch of features. The pictures are amazing from the Canon Prosumer DSLRs, but you will go nuts buying lenses! That's where Canon makes its big money. Decent lenses cost > $500. It takes about three to get a good range of 15-300mm for shooting. One catch, since the sensor on the Rebel/10D is smaller than 35mm, you have to multiply the lens by 1.6. So my Sigma 15-30mm is actually a 24-48mm which means I lose some of the wide angle of the lens but I make it up with my telephoto lens, a Canon 70-300mm USM IS, it gets a boost to 112-480mm. Just for fun I slap on a Tamron 2x Pro Teleconverter to get a very slow 960mm super telephoto -- great for shooting the moon with manual focus (AF can't handle that extreme). If you are on a budget, the Canon 50mm 1.8 prime is a steal at $65.

    I wish I could blow $7,500 because the Canon EOS 1Ds makes me drool everytime I hold one at the camera shop. It has a full 35mm sensor and firewire. Oh, so pro! The Digital Rebel is really nice but the $500 more for the 10D is worth it. Think of it costing an extra good lens.

    • I have sent in my Canon EOS 10D for a sensor cleaning after 5 months owning it. It had some dust that would show up on > f/11 shots -- not much. I sent in the camera FedEx to one of their service centers and got it back in one week. They did a great job cleaning it -- like it was when it was brand new maybe even better. Best part, it didn't cost a dime, just my cost to ship it. They sent it back on their dime, no questions asked.

      After dealing with other companies and horrible customer service, I was ne

  • As others have said, there are surely sites better than Slashdot from which to obtain good information. But I won't let that stop me.

    Caveat: I've not used the Canon, I'm basing my opinions on reviews only, so E&OE. If you're new to SLR photography, this Canon is a nice place to start if you use it with the EF-S lens. If you're adding this digital SLR to your existing Canon kit, then you may find it difficult to cope with the 1.6x field of view crop: the sensor is smaller than a 35mm frame, so you need a

  • I got the D300 for my wife. She took photography in school and has always wanted a dark room, but that's not an option in an apartment. We love it. This is my first SLR I've really used. We're getting great pictures with the kit lens and I'm already looking to expand.

    For $999 (w/ lens) it's a great deal. It has an excellent CMOS sensor and is easy enough for even me to use. While $1K isn't "cheap", it's very inexpensive for what you get. For us the cost upgrade to the D10 (body only) just wasn't wor
  • While I love digital cameras, there are a few major pitfalls that you need to be aware of if you plan on ditching the versatility afforded to you by an SLR camera.

    Bulb photography (holding the shutter open for a long-exposure shot, very useful at night) is very hard to find. Even if you do find a digital camera with long-exposure support, the amount of time a non-cooled CCD can continue to accumulate light before the picture turns into randomized mush is limited.

    Low-light photography in general is very ha
  • If you have a lot invested in Canon Lenses the digital rebel is the way to go if you just want to get started. Between my father and I we've had about 20 digital cameras (mostly highend "prosumer" cameras.) and the digital canon definately has the most bang for the buck. Ifyou just want to learn, the basics and get a feel for manual photography, I suggest scouring ebay for an olympus e10, it has all the controls, and takes great pictures. The drawback is it does not have an interchangable lens. Though f
  • 5 years ago I bought an N70 body and two Nikon D and ED lenses. The results on film were spectacular. The money spent on the lenses was obvious compared to the camera I had before THAT (Canon A-1 and a Tamron crap lens.)

    2 years ago I bought a Nikon Coolpix 775 (2mp camera) after running a good 200-250 rolls of film in three years, I dropped to 2 rolls in a year, and one roll last year. The 775 doesn't have the resolution or speed of the film setup, but the benefits suclike instant feedback and instant whit
  • digital film? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KReilly (660988) on Friday October 24, 2003 @10:15PM (#7306442)
    Honestly, I am waiting for a company to release a digital film unit that would fit in the old SLRSs. This way they would not have to spend a large amount of money on a camera that will need to be upgraded in less than 5 years. They could simply upgrade the digital film unit, and keep the old body and lenses. Thats the great thing about 35mm, I will not have to buy a new one every few years. Hell, I started out on my parents that was over 20 years old.

    Plus, people who are mildly interested in cameras develop a liking for a particular camera, and having to switch to a new one is an akward progression.

  • Non-full frame sensor pretty much requires very sharp lenses. So you either need to buy lots of fixed-focal lenghth ones or you need a few Canon EF "L" series zooms. I own two very good "L" zooms, EF 24-70mm f/2.8 ($1125) and EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS (image stablilized, $1400 used but mint). I'm also planning to add ultra-wideangle zoom to this (from $700 to $1300 depending on my next year's financial situation). As you can see, the price of the body isn't the main expense here.
  • most of my shooting has been art, though i have always been interested in resolution, or at the opposite end a lack of it. digital is great for many things and i would now consider it an equal to film in many ways. btw, i have worked in digital pre photoshop 1.0... so, ;P

    but, i am looking for another camera system, and will either go with the leica 8 or 9, or another hasselblad. both take digital backs! save your pennies! the eos may be a great body, and they do have nice lenses, but if you have ever shot
  • by ZenShadow (101870) * on Friday October 24, 2003 @10:43PM (#7306546) Homepage
    I've had a Canon 10D for a few months now. The camera is absolutely superb -- I even have a 36" x 48" print of one of the shots I've taken with it hanging on my wall, and it impresses people when I tell them it was shot digitally.

    That being said, I've found one major drawback: sensor dust. On one trip, I shot an image at F/22 that had a lot of blue sky in it. When I got home, I discovered little black specks and what could only be a hair showing up in the image. Cleaned the lenses and the mirror, took another sky shot, same problem.

    It turns out that the dust and dirt is on the sensor. I haven't had it cleaned yet (I hate to part with it for that long, and unless I'm shooting at high F stop settings it doesn't show up much), but rumor has it that doing it yourself is a big no-no, so I'm unwiling to try it. Plan to have this camera cleaned every few months if your'e in to serious photography.

    In other words, you'll end up with higher maintenance in return for your phenomenal photos.

    Personally, I'm happy with it -- but if you're picky and don't like having it cleaned a lot, you're in for a disappointment unless you're *really* *really* careful not to get dust in it.

    --ZS
  • by tklancer (6643) on Friday October 24, 2003 @11:01PM (#7306602) Homepage
    First off, some better sites to go to for photo-related stuff: photo.net [photo.net] and dpreview.com [dpreview.com].

    Now: Should you buy a digital SLR? That depends, I think, on how much you will shoot and what you will shoot. The two biggest advantages of a DSLR over a film SLR are immediacy and cost. The disadvantages are a focal length multiplier (in the case of the Canon EOS-300D/10D) and a high initial cost.

    As with all digicams, you can see your results instantly, allowing you to check the shot and retry it if needed (and possible). One note though: a DSLR is a true SLR (single-lens reflex) so unlike a regular digicam you can't shoot using the LCD -- you'll have to use the viewfinder just like the rest of us. It's better for framing a shot anyway, trust me.

    The focal length multiplier (1.6x in the Canon case) comes in handy if you're shooting through a 200mm lens -- it becomes equivalent to a 320mm lens. It's a bitch if you want to shoot wide-angle, though, as a 28mm lens becomes a 45mm equivalent.

    The initial cost of a DSLR is high -- you've got a much higher cost to buy the body, and you've got to buy a memory card. However, the more you shoot, the more cost-efficient it becomes. Excepting the cost of lenses, which is the same for both film and digital SLRs, the cost after buying is 0. Film development isn't cheap, particularly not if you shoot thousands of shots a year.

    So, if you're seriously interested in photography, it's worth it. If you're just shooting the occasional vacation or family event, it's not worth it. My D30 and 10D (had to buy it after I broke the D30 on vacation, but I wanted it anyway :) have served me well over the last 2 1/2 years, and I haven't looked back.

    One final caveat: many people upgrade their photography hardware and expect things to magically become better. Pros do not have access to magical make-photos-good-now equipment that us mere mortals lack (though perhaps there's a Photoshop filter I'm missing?). To take photos like Ansel Adams or Galen Rowell takes talent, practice, and loads of patience. Good equipment can help make the task easier, but there is no magic pill.

  • Nikkor (Score:4, Interesting)

    by babbage (61057) <cdevers@nosPaM.cis.usouthal.edu> on Friday October 24, 2003 @11:04PM (#7306609) Homepage Journal

    I've been using a pair of Nikon SLR cameras since I took a photography class in college and got to use my parent's circa 1970 Nikkormat cameras. The "new" one was built at a point when auto-shutter speed was a novelty, but you still had to set the aperture yourself; the other one is fully manual. Learning photography on equipment like this really made me come to enjoy the balance among shutter speed, focal length, etc, and even if I'm just poking around I'd rather work with something like than any modern point & shoot.

    On the other hand, I've got a little digital camera now, and the convenience of it does have a lot of appeal. I took this camera to take pictures of a Man or Astroman concert a few years ago, and it was very educational to be able to "shoot from the hip", get instant feedback on what was & wasn't working (hint: at a rock concert, there's plenty of light, so don't bother with the flash, and have fun with any camera shake you end up with). The picture quality might not be as great as film, but the flexibility is a gift in itself.

    That has led me to start looking around for a new pair of SLRs, one film, one digital. Ideally, I'd like to be able to have the same set of lenses that could be mounted on both a film & a digital camera body, and since I've been happy with Nikon, I'd like to get their gear. But damn it's expensive -- the "low end" D100 [dpreview.com] lists from $1400 to 1700 [com.com], and the high end ones -- which in some areas seem to have lower specs than the D100 -- can be more than double that price. Yow!

    I've been told that Nikon compatible kit is sold under a variety of labels, including Fuji [dpreview.com], but I don't know enough about the compatibles to have made any decisions yet -- and from what I've seen, they're just as expensive as Nikon anyway. Does it make sense to go with someone like Fuji, or is the quality any better with "genuine" Nikon? (I'm a few decades behind on this stuff....)

    I think the thing that scares me off so far is the durability, not just in terms of how rugged or useful the equipment will be in the future, but in the value. For example, the Nikon D1 [dpreview.com], from 1999, could do roughly 2.6 megapixels, as does the current D1H [dpreview.com] -- but that's barely a third of what the D100 can do, and the price is double the D100. Why that is isn't entirely clear to me, but it is clear that 2.6 mpix isn't a particularly big number anymore, where 5 mpix or 6 mpix point & shoot cameras are available for just a few hundred bucks.

    ++++

    So there's the thing, in a nutshell: should it be assumed that the long term valuation of digital cameras, including digital SLRs, will have a trend like computers, in that you can always get a lot more capability for a lot less money than was available a year before? Or will these digital SLRs retain their value & utility better, the way the 30 year old traditional SLRs I'm using are still useful instruments today? I'm ready to get some of this new equipment, but the depreciation seems like it's going to be so steep that it still seems worth it to wait for at least a couple more years.

    ++++

    At this point my hunch is that whenever Nikon upgrades the D100, I'll end up getting either the replacement model, or I'll try to find a closeout or second hand D100 hoping for a decent discount on it.

    </rambling>

    • The D1x and D1h don't have the megapixels that the D100 has, but they have much better metering and autofocus modules, as well as better capabilities for burst photography.

      The D100 lets you shoot 4 frames and then you have to wait a minute for it to write the frames to the CF card.

      The D1x lets you shoot about 8 frames before the buffer fills, and the D1h lets you shoot something like 40 frames. This matters to some people. These two cameras also have a much better & faster autofocus module, which I do
  • Is it time to buy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by btempleton (149110) on Friday October 24, 2003 @11:32PM (#7306676) Homepage
    You ask is it time to buy? Nope. Time to buy was a year or two ago, not because the cameras then were as good as 35mm film (they weren't, though the 1Ds is and in many ways the 10D/D60/D300 are close). But because the digital experience would change the way you to photography.

    For a long time I advocated "shoot on film, but shoot like crazy because you will have to shoot a lot of film to match what you will pay in depreciation on your digital." That stopped being true a while ago.

    Asking "Is it time to buy" is like asking, "Is it time to get a PC now?" Well, there are people buying their first PC today, and perhaps it is right for them as late adopters. But the truth is that even though today's PC is much better than yesterday's, and a digital camera will come out much better than the Rebel 300D in another 2 years, it is still time to buy, as it was time to buy 2 years ago.
  • by dgerman (78602) on Saturday October 25, 2003 @01:02AM (#7306781) Homepage
    Let me first state my "credentials". I am a "prosumer" photographer who has been taking photos in 35mm longer more than I can remember. I have a closet full of equipment, including 2 Canon film SLRs, one D60 and 8 EF lenses.
    Since Feb. of this year I have taken 8k photos [cs.uvic.ca] with my D60, compared to around 400 film photos. here are my observations:
    • With digital you experiment a lot. You try, and try and try. You will explore new types of photography than you might have never imaged. E.g, many years ago I bought a set of extension tubes, but never used them; with the D60 I have a played a lot with them [cs.uvic.ca]. I have also tried stitching [cs.uvic.ca] (large photo). Even geeks [cs.uvic.ca]. The lack of cost in taking a picture is a big factor in the ability to experiment.
    • On the other hand, the lack of price makes you sloppy. What Cartier-Bresson called "shotgun photography" and should be relabelled "machine gun photography", in which the photographer hopes that one, out of a trillion will make it. The decisive moment is no longer waited for. Instead, you do "sampling photography". Understanding this tendency will make you think a bit more about each one of the photos you take.
    • You can do digital photography with a film SLR. Get your pictures scanned instead of printed (by a good lab). I do it all the time and I really like the results. There is nicer contrast, and grain than in the digital ones (of course, you can always increase contrast with the gimp, but that is not the point).
    • There are two areas in which I prefer film. B&W and Night photography. For those technically inclined: I believe that the reciprocity failure characteristic of film makes it perfectly suited for night photography because you don't overburn the highlights while you are starting to record shadows. The same does not apply to digital. I will prefer one roll of 35 mm film [cs.uvic.ca] to a 256MB flash card. With respect to B&W [cs.uvic.ca], I think it is more of a problem of bit depth of displays than the actual technology. Again, I rather see a photo printed from film than from a file. But I have seen very good B&W printed from file (using a chemical process).

    NOw, with respect to your question.
    Unless you are a serious photographer, you will "waste" your money in a D60 instead of a 300D. The reasons are many:

    • You might not understand some of the features you're missing: mirror lockup, second courtain flash synchronization, for example, and will never use them
    • If you don't have a closet full of Canon EOS equipment, you are not gaining much compared to a fixed lens SLR, but you're paying more.
    • The D60 weighs more than the 300D.
    • The 300D only has one metering mode (I believe)
    • Many of the Auto focus functions are not custimizable (AF Assist strobe, which I hate in the D60 is always on in the 300D)

    But on the other hand, there is one reason why I would buy the 300D:

    • The new EOS mount, allowing for the "shorter" cheaper lenses, such as the 18-55mm (which is mislabelled because it should be more like 28-88).
    • The multiplier of the D60 makes it hard to take wideangle photos. I miss it a lot! But on the other hand I have superb closeups. So it is a tradeoff.

    Photographers will always tell you that the camera does not make the photographer. Also, that you should invest your money not in the camera, but in the glass. That is why the EOS SLRs do such a good job. Mount a 85 1.8 on either one of these babies and see for yourself!
    There is something funny about this. In the past, owning a Leica was a dream for many, because of its price. Now even a Leica looks cheap compared to some digital models. These days I am not affraid any mo

  • Digital versus Film (Score:3, Informative)

    by foxalopex (522681) on Saturday October 25, 2003 @05:17AM (#7307353)
    People tend to forget that a Film SLR doesn't depreciate as rapidly as a Digital and with good hardware like a high resolution negative drum scanner, you will get a picture quality that far exceeds a Digital. Technology is still far away for when digital surpasses film in sheer quality and resolution especially for the professional photographer. Digital's advantages however are that you can freely experiment taking photos without worrying about wasting film and developing provided you don't print most of your pictures (could get expensive printing). Still, a point hasta be made. Do you plan on being a "shutter bug" or no? I remember reading an article somewhere that if you don't plan on shooting in the thousands of pictures a year then your digital camera may not be worth it.
  • Firmware hack (Score:3, Informative)

    by jonhuang (598538) on Saturday October 25, 2003 @05:30AM (#7307392) Homepage
    One thing people might find interesting is that most of the advantages of the 10D over the 300D are artificial. Not to say they don't exist, but they don't have to. The firmware of the 300D has been deliberately crippled--you can't select autofocus modes manually (linked to current mode), ISO3200 disabled, etc.

    They have the same chipset and sensor after all..

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