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Author Topic: Advice Please !  (Read 3343 times)
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« on: October 12, 2003, 04:12:25 PM »
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David,

Small and dim viewfinders are going to be a fact of life until full-frame digital becomes affordable. It's one of the dirty little secrets of the DSLR world.

Of the cameras that you mentioned I'd vote for the 10D. The small viewfinder is there, but image quality is first rate as is build quality and features.

Begin a Canon EF lens collection, and as your needs and wants evolve you'll be able to play the interchangable body games as well.

Michael
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2003, 04:57:43 AM »
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My main concern with the 10D is this: with this viewfinder, can I realistically focus manually, and is DOF preview actually usable ?

Clearly the 10D is a "safer" choice than the E-1, although the E-1 satisfies the non-conformist in me (and I actually think that, on paper, the E-series lenses look rather promising.)

It is a pity that manufacturers are simply taking 35mm designs and bolting on digital backs.  It seems quite cynical to me - they promise (and deliver) great output quality, but seriously diminish the camera as creative tool.  Olympus has at least tried a different approach, although their marketing is abysmal, and Pentax has as well, but only half-heartedly, and with the drawback of a prehistoric lens range.

Although I can certainly see the attraction and sense in investing in EF lenses, I can't help wondering if they'd be better served mounted on the front of a EOS-3 for the time being....
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2003, 06:58:56 PM »
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My main concern with the 10D is this: with this viewfinder, can I realistically focus manually, and is DOF preview actually usable ?
There seems to be a range of personal variation about viewfinder size (I prefer distinctly smaller VF images than many others, and will not try to force my tastes on anyone), so you might want to look at a discussion on the E-1 VF at DPReview:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums....6363738
[It currently ends with a reference to an essay at this site!]

Compared to the E-1, the 10D viewfinder image is slightly higher (3%) and distinctly wider (about 15%) due to the different aspect ratio, while the 300D's is the smallest overall: serious tunnel vision for some tastes.

MF on the E-1 is reportedly fine, but I have not seen any comments about DOF preview beyond that the feature exists. (Optimistically, if it were distinctly bad I think someone, like the usually frank reviewers at Chasseur D'Image, would have said so by now.)
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2003, 02:40:13 PM »
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Well I know that only I can really decide, but nevertheless I'd appreciate any advice going. Where I live it actually isn't very easy to go and try things out - we have no Pro shops and few amateur ones. So a bit of s/h experience can help!

Having recently returned from a 3 week trip including two major locations with over 700 35mm slides, and faced with the grim reality that a well-tuned scan on my Minolta MultiScan Pro takes between 30 & 45 minutes, I am finally facing facts...

I am in the unusual (?) situation of not have any "legacy" 35mm gear. All I have is Canon FD which is irrelevant to digital. So I can choose what I want. I'm also reasonably comfortable on the budget side, but I'm not a pro any never intend to make any revenue (never mind profit) from photography.

For me what really matters is to have a camera that allows me to make the most of any situation. I'm not scared of manuals and I'm no technophobe, but I want a camera to be intuitive. I'm also beginning to (finally) see that a good AF is handy to have when you need it, and to realise that a 1kg Canon T90 is heavier than it needs to be these days. One thing that is paramount to me is a good, clear viewfinder.

Unfortunately the Canon 1Ds is out of scope. Whatever I say about budget, this is a pro tool.

So as far as I can see I've got three options:

Canon 10d ... I once held one - that's the sum of my experience
Canon 300d ... I saw one last week. I was surprised by how robust it feels. But the viewfinder was horrible. So small...
Olympus E-1 ... for me the weak point is the resolution. From 35mm I can print up to Super A3. I don't want to lose this. Otherwise the body looks great and the lens range optimal.

I know I've left out Nikons. I know nothing about Nikons, although I did play around with a Fuji S2 and liked it. But I find Nikons fiddly and the lens range confusing and a bit expensive.

One thing I would really like to know - with a DSLR ("APS" size) sensor, what is, in general, the lowest DPI you can get away with printing at on inkjet ? When people quote things like "you can print easily up to A3", what DPI do they mean ?

Finally, an interesting (translated) thought from the Photim message board ... "it looks like the age of interchangeable bodies has taken over from the age of interchangeable lenses"
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2003, 06:32:27 PM »
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David,

   I am sure arguments can be made for all three (and the Pentax *-ist D) depending on your specific needs and budget, and this site  has an understandable Canon emphasis, so let me make a few points that might favour the E-1, subject to how it tests out.

The E-1 viewfinder image is a bit smaller than the 10D, but it is reportedly bright and with virtually 100% coverage, better coverage than any other camera in this price range. Think about that if "what you see in the viewfinder is what you get in the file" is important to you.

Lens cost can vary greatly between brands depending on your standards. With Canon you of course have lots of cheaper options from both Canon and third party makers, and at the other extreme you can have superlative constant f/2.8 zooms across the range and many other choices. But if your standards are somewhere in between and you are looking at something like the 17-40 f/4 for your standard lens, that is $800 and you quickly need a second lens (a 28-70?) to get even mild telephoto coverage. In comparison, the Olympus 14-54 f/2.8-3.5 is equivalent to about a 17-67 on the two Canon models, for $500.

(My hunch is that, with Pentax starting to make lenses adapted to the 16x24mm sensor [1.5x] of thier *-ist D, they will end up offering the lowest prices for a suite of decent "near professional" lenses suited to that sensor size, but they are a late starter.)

I have heard good comments (and no major dissent even in some usually contentious discussion forums) about the E-1 in respect of dynamic range and shadow handling; but you should look into the test photos yourself of course.

Resolution from all your options seems good at up to the size you are talking about; but that depnds on hw high your standards are. Soon enough you will be able to download samples from final production versions of all candidates, and do some test printing. (The Olympus forum at DPReview is one place that E-1 user samples are starting to appear.)
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2003, 06:26:12 PM »
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I know I've left out Nikons. I know nothing about Nikons, although I did play around with a Fuji S2 and liked it. But I find Nikons fiddly and the lens range confusing and a bit expensive.

One thing I would really like to know - with a DSLR ("APS" size) sensor, what is, in general, the lowest DPI you can get away with printing at on inkjet ? When people quote things like "you can print easily up to A3", what DPI do they mean ?
Nikons fiddly? Outrageous!!  

If you liked the S2, you'll love it with longer use. Personally, I think its the best of the 6mp cameras, and well worth another look. There is nothing to chose between the Canon and Nikon ranges. And the independent lenses fit both.

I am intrigued by the Olympus E1. Olympus have just announced a lens rollout program which will see various new 4/3 lenses launched over the next year or so, and those lenses will fit any other manufacturer's 4/3 system camera body, when released (and released they will be). The 4/3 system is looking better all the time.

Lowest dpi on an inkjet - 240dpi will give sharp results almost indistinguishable from the normally recommended 360dpi.

Quentin
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2003, 12:56:24 PM »
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David, I'm also on the lookout for a DSLR for a while now.

One camera you didn't mention is the 1D. It's biggest plus for you might be that it has a larger viewfinder (1.3x crop instead of 1.6x). It's sensor is 'only' 4.1 MP, but from the images I've seen, this camera is able to take great pictures.

Furthermore, the price of the 1D is coming down, and many people are expecting a successor. And for these reasons, secondhand prices will also come down.

I myself am serious considering a secondhand 1D. IMHO, one can get a very good deal on this camera when the secondhand prices start to drop.

OTOH, the successor of the 1D might be a very interesting camera too....

Good luck choosing!
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Lex van Oorspronk
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