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Author Topic: from SLR to Dslr, what are all these terms  (Read 2369 times)
Prismpic
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« on: February 05, 2006, 11:19:10 PM »
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Okay guys! I'm getting ready to jump into the DIGITAL world of SLRs. I've been looking at a couple and would like to get some things cleared.
First, the DSLrs I've looked at have a fstop range of 3.5-5.6.  Is that it? Will I be that limited in apertures? I am hoping it depends on the lens.
Second, wht is a CPU lens? Also what is a SD/MMC media card vs a Compact Flash. Does it matter what format it saves pics in, i.e. EXIF/DCF/DPOF vs JPG or RAW. Which is better? Are all these digital cameras compatible to computers, meaning will I need to go out and purchase a special software to be able to view my photos on my laptop, I'm hoping my Windows XP is compatible too...oh boy...this is mind boggling. I would appreciate your input. thanks
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2006, 12:18:31 AM »
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No.  No.  I've never heard of a CPU lens.  SD is newer and smaller and more expensive than CF.  Nice to have RAW and Jpeg.  RAW.  They should come with appropriate software tho you might want to buy more.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2006, 12:37:49 AM »
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First, the DSLrs I've looked at have a fstop range of 3.5-5.6. Is that it?
No, that is the largest aperture rating for that lens. f/3.5 is its max at the wide end and f/5.6 is the max at the longest focal length.

Most lenses for 35mm format have a smallest aperture of either f/22 or f/32.

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Second, wht is a CPU lens?
couldn't tell you. I've never heard of that one. Where did you read that?

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Also what is a SD/MMC media card vs a Compact Flash
SD and MMC are two different flash card types. MMC is newer, less supported and more expensive than SD. SD is typically used in smaller cameras do to its size while Compact Flash (CF) is the most common, has the largest capacities and is the most cost-effective.

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Does it matter what format it saves pics in, i.e. EXIF/DCF/DPOF vs JPG or RAW. Which is better?
EXIF is not an image format. It is a standard for storing camera data in an image.
Raw is raw data from the cameras sensor and yields the best and most flexible results. There are many different flavors of raw (DCF is a raw format as is CR2, CRW, DNG, NEF, etc.)
Jpeg is a lossy format but is the most convenient and space-saving. That comes at the cost of image quality compared to RAW.
My article on image formats goes into more detail.

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Are all these digital cameras compatible to computers, meaning will I need to go out and purchase a special software to be able to view my photos on my laptop, I'm hoping my Windows XP is compatible too...oh boy
That all depends. All cameras can be connected to a computer (drivers need to be installed) and the jpeg format can be read on any platform. Raw data needs special software which comes with the camera even though that included software is typically junk. It'll get your feet wet though. There are free options such as RawShooter Essentials (dslr cameras only last I checked) otherwise you will want to buy something once or if you start using raw frequently.

If you want to edit your images (adjust contrast, fix blemishes, etc) you will need some editing software. Many cameras come with Photoshop Elements otherwise the GIMP is a free but clumsy option.
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francofit
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2006, 08:53:00 AM »
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...Second, what is a CPU lens? ...[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I think you have found "CPU lens" related to Nikon cameras.
If that's the case, Thom Hogan site is one of the many and best for the Nikon system:  <[a href=\"http://www.bythom.com/lensacronyms.htm] here [/url]> reads
"...The first autofocus lenses appeared in 1986. These have a "CPU" built into the lens, but this really is just a fancy way of saying it has an electronic transfer of basic lens information to the camera..."
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Franco
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2006, 11:00:17 AM »
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GUYS!  Thanks for all your input! What I find out here will definitely influence my decision. I appreciate your feedback, and am exicted about this near purchase!! I’ll let you know the outcome, in the meantime…

At this time I’ve got two mechanisms in mind: Nikon d50 and Canon RebelXT. The pocketbook is at lowlevel, and these seem like a good option. Although I incline to like the Nikon hand grip and love its lenses, the Canon does seems less complicated. What’s your take?

I only wish the lenses that come with these bodies would have a broader range of apertures. Regardless of which I purchase I will probably have to purchase another lens. What would you say is ballpark of a Canon Lenses vs. Nikkon?

Also, I understand the format concept. So in regards to RAW, is it easier to work with than JPG (that I understand looses quality)

In reference to the storage, SD/MMC media card vs a Compact Flash, if the SD/MMC is more pricey does it last longer??

Does anyone here own or ever used any one of these bodies?
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2006, 12:10:46 PM »
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Since this is your first venture into DSLRs. I'd say go with the system that has the lenses you like since the lens is the most important element of a system.

The handling of the camera is important too. Neither of those two cameras are any more complicated than the other. they are just laid out differently. Go to a camera shop and hold each in you hand and see which you are most comfortable with.

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I only wish the lenses that come with these bodies would have a broader range of apertures. Regardless of which I purchase I will probably have to purchase another lens. What would you say is ballpark of a Canon Lenses vs. Nikkon?
The lenses that come with the cameras are some of the cheapest you'll find. Both Canon and Nikon are in strong competition and so the lenses between them will be similar in terms of focal lengths available and aperture ratings.

The aperture ratings of the kit lens (f/3.5-5.6) is fairly standard for a consumer lens. If you want faster lenses (wider apertures) they are available up to f/1.2 but you'll have to pony up some cash for them.

If you shoot in low-light allot, the minimum aperture is a concern, however if you primarily shoot landscapes you'll be at f/9 and smaller all the time and so the max aperture is less of a concern.

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Also, I understand the format concept. So in regards to RAW, is it easier to work with than JPG (that I understand looses quality)
Raw requires more work in post but less when shooting and jpeg requires more work when shooting and less in post.

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In reference to the storage, SD/MMC media card vs a Compact Flash, if the SD/MMC is more pricey does it last longer??
No. The price is due to sales volume and manufacturing costs. SD, MMC (again, two different formats) and CF are all children of the same technology - Flash memory. The difference is the format.
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BJL
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2006, 10:53:39 AM »
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francofit (and Thom Hogan) have more or less got it: almost all modern lenses contain little microprocessor chips ("CPU's"), to handle various electronic communications between lens and body. In particular they provide the chips in the camera with information needed to handle automation of focus and exposure control.

By the way, Olympus has taken this "computerization of lenses" to new extremes, with the chips in the lenses also providing information about distortions and light fall-off towards the corner of the frame, so that the camera or post-processing software can correct for these.


And I utterly agree with 61dynamic; it is great idea to work out the sort of lenses and lens performance that you want (now and in the forseeable future), and choose a system that serves those needs.

SLR Lenses will probably stay with you longer than a digital SLR body, given the rapid rate of performance improvements and price reductions on digital SLR bodies.
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