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Author Topic: advise 8 megapixel camera for landscape & nature  (Read 9822 times)
Krazy_Horse
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« on: June 08, 2004, 02:28:32 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']
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Krazy_Horse,

Can you tell me something about your experiences with the sony f828, and specifically regarding the purple fringing.

Is it really a big issue or did you encounter it just in a few cases ?

The Sony is in my opinion a very good camera. My reasons for the purchase of this camera was the lens and the sensor. I love Zeiss (possibly the best lens company) and Sony makes the sensor used in many of the other competitors cameras. The purple fringing I have seen in my photos, only a few out of about 3000 shots, Not really a big issue. In the average picture, only a few pixels affected.
To me a bigger issue, and maybe the main issue between Digicam and Digital SLR is shutter lag. Appearantly the DSLR is just like a film camera with no shutter lag, while the Digicam has a fraction of a second lag. Requiring anticipation to catch action at its peak.
The Sony has a 28 - 200 MM manual zoom which covers most situations. Also has Macro function for closeup. All in all a good camera if you don't have a Nikon or Canon with an investment in lenses.[/font]
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2004, 09:43:44 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']The 300D is a "half-frame" sensor camera and when you use a standard "full-frame" lens area outside the center of the image circle is cropped out.  Because of this lenses function as if they were longer than they would on a full-frame camera.

I believe the 300D has a 1.5 'crop factor', a 200 mm lens is going to function like a 300 mm lens.  To get a 28-200 coverage you would need a 19-133 mm lens.  I don't think you're going to find one.

The best bet to cover your range would be to buy the 300D kit and use the kit lens to cover the lower end and add a Canon 28-135 IS for the upper end.  This would give you image stabilization for the upper end but not the wide angle work.

If you're in the US the kit can be purchased for about $810.  The 28-135 IS for about $400.  (Check Price Grabber for good prices, read the merchant ratings carefully.)[/font]
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2004, 04:01:00 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I do that whenever I can, but more often than not I'm struggling to get enough dynamic range out of the camera and don't have the luxury. It's nice to be able to expose to the right, but it's a worse problem to blow out the highlights to pure white (which you can't fix later). I find I'm often underexposing the landscape slightly in order to avoid blowing out the sky, and then using Curves in PS to get all the parts of the picture back where I want them brightness-wise.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']That's bad logic. High dynamic range situations are where "exposing to the right" is the most critical, because not doing so means you are using less of the available dynamic range if the sensor and capturing less of the scene. What you must do is establish the relationship between the camera histogram and the RAW data. The histogram is based on the camera's JPEG conversion of the RAW data, which typically throws away 1-2 stops of the sensor's range. THis means that the point at which clipping occurs in the converted JPEG is NOT the same as the point at which the RAW data clips. With my 1Ds and 1D-MkII, there is just under a stop between the RAW and the JPEG clip points, but on my 10D, they are practically identical. Set up a test scene with white and an assortment of saturated colors, and shoot it in 1/3 stop exposure increments starting 1 stop below the point at which the image data touches the right edge of the histogram, and go up 2 stops from there. Shoot RAW & JPEG. Compare the exposure settings of the first clipped RAW to the first clipped JPEG. Knowing the interval between those exposure settings is extremely important when trying to decide what exposure setting to use to capture every last pissible bit of dynamic range.

With shooting RAW with my Canon 1 bodies, I know that I can jam the histogram right up against the right edge, and as long as I have only a few pixels of blinking highlights, I have nothing to worry about when processing the RAW. I know exactly how far I can push exposure without clipping, and I customarily do so. And I very rarely blow highlights. The key is to be able to look at the histogram and know EXACTLY how far you can push the exposure before you blow anything important. Knowing that will make your images less noisy and much easier to post-process.[/font]
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2004, 11:37:35 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']As I don't always know what "exposing to the right" or "ACR" means, these things make it more difficult for me.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']Exposing to the right:
Exposing in such a way that the image data in the camera's histogram comes close to, but does not quite touch the right edge of the histogram display.

ACR:
Adobe Camera RAW, the RAW image converter built in to Adobe Photoshop CS.[/font]
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stef
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2004, 10:44:11 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Hey,

I'm an amateur and looking to get into the field of photography. I don't know much (yet) about photography but I have a good eye for pretty pictures. I also have a lot of experience in graphics in general.

I'm looking for a good 8 megapixel camera and wonder if somebody can assist me.

I'd like to use the camera mainly for nature and landscape photography but also want it to be a good camera for general purposes. I want a wide angle and a tele. The camera has to be quite responsive. I'll go for a compact camera because it has a greater depth of field.

I have my eye on a Sony F828 or a Canon Powershot Pro1.
I'm not really certain which to choose.

I'm always liked Canon in general yet the Sony F828 has a really nice feel to it. Only the Sony has considerable problems with purple fringing.

I'm really into classic pictures with the sun rising or going down in the sea. Yet, I don't have the experience to tell that in that situation I will experience a lot of purple fringing problems.  I also like "tree" pictures (where I know I will have problems with fringing).

I also liked the design of the Sony F828 where you can turn the body relative to the lens. Yet, I wonder whether you can use that feature while taking pictures outdoors (in the sun). Which is the better one : an LCD you can twist and turn (like the Canon) or a body you can turn. A which will suffer most from bad visiblity in the sun ?

Thx in advance.[/font]
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stef
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2004, 06:50:19 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Krazy_Horse,

Can you tell me something about your experiences with the sony f828, and specifically regarding the purple fringing.

Is it really a big issue or did you encounter it just in a few cases ?

Lisa, I'm considering what you said. I think you are right.
yet, I want one camera with which I can do almost everything. I'll never be like a real pro running around with a bag full of lenses. I still like to be able "to enjoy holidays in a normal fashion" without having to drag this along the whole day.

Also, there is some neat noise reduction software (e.g. neat image) out there.
I'm more concerned about purple fringing as it is more difficult to remove without altering the feel of your image.

But I'm still considering what you said...
 Huh[/font]
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cgordon
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2004, 05:17:03 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']i don't own any of the cameras that you are looking at, but i have been thinking about purchasing an 8mp digicam. there are a couple things that haven't been mentioned in this thread so far, that are important to me. whether they're important to you, only you will know!

the canon pro1 has an electronic zoom, versus the sony's f828 manual zoom ring. i much prefer a manual zoom for precise framing.

canon's battery has a life of 2 hrs 36 mins (the worst of the 8mp gang) on dpreview's test. sony's battery 5 hrs 28 mins (the best of the bunch). this matters to me since i am often photographing in remote places; global and backcountry travel, etc.

the pro1 can shoot continuosly in raw for about 4 frames at about a rate of a frame a second before freezing up, where as the sony can only take one shot in raw and then has to wait 10-15 seconds or so before it can shoot again (it has a tiny buffer). if you shoot in jpeg, both if these cameras would be suitable for high speed shooting. the canon has the edge if you shoot in raw (which i do).

to me, the minolta dimage a2 seems to suit my needs the best. manual zoom ring, decent battery life (second only to the sony), and can shoot continously in raw acceptably quick. it also has image stabilization.

i have a dslr, and when i first saw the 8mp cameras, i couldn't believe how small they are. much much smaller than any dslr. especially considering the range of zoom they have. just my 2 cents, hope it helps at all.

charlie.[/font]
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stef
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2004, 03:27:46 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Well, as it stands now - for me - both Canon Pro 1 and Sony 828 are out of the race. (the EOS-1D Mark II is out of my league).

I'm swifting between the minolta A2 and a DSLR camera.

Would any of you pro's know how much a Canon EOS 300D body with a 28-200 mm lens would cost (approximately)?

I can get the body seperately right ?   And I can fit a 28-200 mm lens right ?

Thanks for the advice guys
 :laugh:[/font]
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marksct
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2004, 10:59:13 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Stef,

I would not get too caught up in one camera over another. Photography is about you, your subject and light.

The principles of photography are transparent to ALL areas and equipment in photography.

My recommendation would be to get a reasonable camera, and spend the rest on books to look at, read and study. Second, I would recommend a workshop or two. Not a class but a workshop where you do much more field work that is hands on.

Then, just go out and photograph and photography. Have fun with it and experiment. From a professional point of view I look at it as a practice that is alway honed and evolved. From a hobbyiest standpoint, I look at it as a release a time to relax and enjoy the world around me.

You can and will make some incredibly good and horrible photographs with the best cameras and the worst cameras. What you are looking for is a versatile tool that will help you expand on your creativity.

Each camera out there has its own charectristics, and you must learn their strengths and weaknesses. No one camera has it all. I still shoot manual on my Canon 8mp, as I do with my 10D, my Leica III, my horseman field camera, and my Mamiya RZ cameras.

Good luck.[/font]
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Great images continue to exist even if there where only Holgas.
Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2004, 12:03:51 PM »
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This is the only thing I deplore and what could keep me from buying it. So, I wonder whether the experienced photographer
that you are, could give me some pointers regarding how to deal with that in a professional way.

You flatter me!  I'm just a girl taking vacation photos who switched from negative film to digital capture a few months ago.  But I've been learning...

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The only thing though : the D70 seems to take pictures that are quite cold, poorly saturated and a tad underexposed.
I like the sample images for the eos 300d a lot better.

I'm afraid we're using our camera in different ways, it sounds like.  I shoot RAW plus JPG, and, for The Good Ones, convert from RAW using ACR, adjusting as optimal for each image (which takes less than a minute, typically).  The JPGs I use only for noncritical uses when I want a "90% there" quicky image without any work, but don't care too much exactly what it looks like.  If you don't want to use RAW, though, then I'm not sure what to tell you other than to play with the camera's settings like you've already done.

Yeah, I've noticed that the default settings give you slightly blue (cold) photos - easy to get rid of by adjusting the white balance a little in ACR, but that doesn't help if you don't use ACR.

It's funny - coming from negative film, I find the default saturation settings on the D70 look *quite* saturated to me!  It all depends what you're comparing too.  (I could also rant for awhile about the current fad for velvia-esque over-saturated photos, but I'll spare you  :O  )

Regarding your underexposure comment:  The appropriate exposure compensation also depends on what you're typically photographing.  I find that I'm often dialing in *negative* exposure compensation to avoiding blowing out highlights.  That's where RAW comes in really handy - when you're photographing dark forests with patches of bright sky (for example), you can't get a good exposure on the trees without blowing out the sky unless you intentionally underexpose and then adjust things in ACR to get both the shadows and highlights where you want them.  I simply wouldn't be able to shoot those images if I only used JPG.

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Also I don't think that will fix the problem when I'm shooting RAW.

I'm not sure I completely understand this comment.  If you're talking about the cold look, undersaturation, and exposure issues, you most definitely CAN fix them all using RAW and a decent RAW converter (like ACR or C1), for less than a minute an image.  You have a *lot* of leeway in all these adjustments (and more) in the converter.  However, if it's just a matter of not wanting to spend the time converting RAW files and instead getting images straight out of the camera (which I can understand, though it's not the path I've taken myself), then you might be happier with another camera that gives you JPGs you prefer.  If you only want JPG, then it sounds like you've already tried everything in-camera you can.

Sorry about the long rambling comments!  Hopefully you found something useful in here.    

Lisa[/font]
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2004, 04:37:18 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Jonathan -

Actually, what you describe is pretty much what I do, except that with practice I've developed a pretty good feel for how much I can appear to blow out the JPG highlights on the camera's screen and still not blow them out in RAW, rather than having done rigorous testing like you suggest.  I could have gone into more detail on that in my post, but decided it was long enough as it is  ::  and probably beyond what Stefan needs right now.  I agree, though, it's good advice.

Lisa[/font]
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2004, 10:57:11 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Stefan -

I recommend reading the many useful articles by M.R. on this site.  There's lots of great information here that will teach you how to take better photos and make them better still in post-processing, and then you'll understand most of the  terms like "expose to the right" that we've been using.  I certainly learned a lot here...

Lisa[/font]
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2004, 11:13:33 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']One more question one needs to ask is:  How large do you want to be able to print?  If you're intending to just post to the web or do small snapshot-style prints, the 8 mp digicams are fine.  However, if you want to be able to do larger prints (I do 12"x18", for example), then, especially in low-light situations like forests and sunrises/sunsets, you should also consider an entry-level digital SLR.  DSLRs use larger sensors than digicams, which means less digital noise in the final photo (which is more of a problem in low-light situations).  If you enlarge digicam photos, you'll see a lot more noise problems than if you enlarge a DSLR photo.  The entry-level ones (Nikon D70, Canon Digital Rebel) are in the same general price range as the 8 mp digicams; they're 6 mp, but, in my opinion, the noise problem is far more significant than the slight difference in number of pixels; I get fine 12x18 prints from my D70.

Lisa[/font]
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boku
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2004, 10:02:46 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Krazy_Horse,

Can you tell me something about your experiences with the sony f828, and specifically regarding the purple fringing.

Is it really a big issue or did you encounter it just in a few cases ?

Lisa, I'm considering what you said. I think you are right.
yet, I want one camera with which I can do almost everything. I'll never be like a real pro running around with a bag full of lenses. I still like to be able "to enjoy holidays in a normal fashion" without having to drag this along the whole day.

Also, there is some neat noise reduction software (e.g. neat image) out there.
I'm more concerned about purple fringing as it is more difficult to remove without altering the feel of your image.

But I'm still considering what you said...
 Huh[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']I have to agree with the recommendation for a dSLR. If you get a "kit" zoom lens, you will have the coverage you want without changing lenses.

BTW - I own both, a dSLR and an 8MP digicam.

Get a dSLR.[/font]
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Bob Kulon

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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2004, 01:05:27 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I have the Sony as well as the Minolta A2.  The Zeiss lens is OK, but I don't think its anything special.  I personally prefer the a2, mainly because of the the compact size, the anti shake system, as well as the auto switching between the LCD and EVF.  

The sony feels more solid, and is very comfortable to hold if you are used to holding 35mm SLR/DSLR cameras.  The zoom is much smoother, but both have manual zoom, which is far superior to the electrical zoom of the other 3 8mp digicams.

Of course if you want a real 8mp camera, we've just finished testing the Canon 1D Mark II ... what a fantastic camera.

Michaels reviews on the 5 8mp digicams are very good.[/font]
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Tony Sx
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2004, 05:05:46 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Hey,

I'm an amateur and looking to get into the field of photography. I don't know much (yet) about photography but I have a good eye for pretty pictures. I also have a lot of experience in graphics in general.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']I hope you haven't spoken to Mike Johnston about your intentions.....[/font]
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boku
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2004, 07:32:44 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']In the rarified air of pure speculation, what do you folks feel the odds are that Canon will upgrade the 10D with the 8meg sensor from the 1D Mark II in the next 6month or so (and at a greatly reduced price compared to the Mark II)? I've been thinking about the 10D for some time but don't really like the 1.6 crop-- but feel the 1.3 crop might work out OK for me. And - the 8meg sensor just might add a small bit to image quality over the 10D.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']When I have those thoughts, I get satisfaction by trolling the rumor mill at DPReview.com[/font]
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Bob Kulon

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Leej
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2004, 10:58:03 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']One can also follow Bob Atkins musings here: Bob Atkins Rumors[/font]
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stef
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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2004, 12:55:59 PM »
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Quote from: nniko,Aug. 12 2004,13:03
[font color=\'#000000\']
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Hopefully you found something useful in here.  

Lisa[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']Hey Lisa,

I certainly did find usefull stuff in there (as always).
You're really a bright girl.
I also liked you're cake-comment on the pretty pictures discussion some time ago. You nailed it there.

Well, the piece of crap i'm shooting with now (it doesn't even
focus correctly anymore) can't deal with RAW, so actually I've never had the chance to work with RAW.

So thanks about filling me in about the possible uses.
I'll certainly give it a try.
I guess ACR is Adobe Camera Raw ?

You also said something about under and overexposing in RAW. Something I read in an article on this site might interest you.
It suggested that you should always take care that the highlights in the histogram are always nicely filled (which might not be the case if you're underexposing).

The reason is not photographical in nature but technical.
That is : most of the file is used to encode the highlights.
Not using that portion of the file/histogram will result in bad usage of the digital encoding and will lead to loss of details.

If you overexpose to see to it that you in fact use that portion of the histogram you can fix it afterwards in a RAW converter. But in that way all the details are there.

Might be uselfull

Regards

Stefan[/font]
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2004, 08:52:35 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Doing the test isn't that difficult; switch to Av mode, RAW + JPEG, start at -1 exposure compensation, increase in 1/3 stop increments until the histogram shows about 2 stops overexposure.[/font]
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