Bob's new camera - finally.

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Bob Buchanan

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
3,038
Location
Philadelphia, PA
While at QZ '06 earlier this year, I was fortunate that Al Wax and Ron Maribito allowed me to test drive their DSLR cameras. Al has a Nikon D70s, and Ron has Canon Digital Rebel. The good news was that those were the two SLR's that I had narrowed my decision to prior to QZ. The bad news was that it became a really tough decision. Moving to a replaceable lens DSLR involves then the purchase of detachable lens. So if one updates the body in the future, they should not/do not want to have to update lens.

"Six months later" -- this decisive soul finally made a decision. Am now the owner of a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT. The initial lens I chose was a Tamron AF 18-200mm F3.5-6.3. That lens is the equivalent of a 35mm 28-300mm, so it gives me a nice range of wide angle to telephoto. Would have loved to have a 1.4 or 2.8 -- but now we're talking big bucks that I don't have. Also, had to delay IS for some time in the future. Not really needed in most of the stuff I do anyway.

I don't think I have ever vacillated so much on a decision. They are very close in features, with just a few items that would make one lean back and forth from one to the other - so this meant there would be trade-offs. If I got the feature I wanted on one, I would give up that feature on the other. For example, the Nikon is a 6 mega pixel whereas the Canon is 8 -- however, the Nikon has a 1/8000 shutter speed whereas the Canon's fastest is 1/4000.

My final decision was based on input from a number of pro's that I quizzed. Unless a pro has a kit full of Nikon lens already, most seem to be going to Canon. Canon has moved ahead in this technology and Nikon is in a catch up mode. The Rebel XT now has the same technology that their top of the line pro cameras have. There is talk of the soon to be released Nikon D80 -- but I'm sure I couldn't afford it.  ;)

Here's the dpreview of one of the 1st XT's. It has the standard lens sold with the camera -- plus since then a number of small things have changed. E.g., the 350D logo is now a red and white XT Rebel logo. Also, the firmware has experienced upgrades since this evaluation.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos350d/

Thank you Al and Ron.
 
Bob,

Congrat's on the new camera! You're not a procrastinator, you're a man of discerning taste! Having been a Nikon person most of my adult life, my decision may have been different from yours, but not mecessarily a better one. You chose what pleased you and satisfied your needs. I am puzzled by one thing, however. You mention the difference in highest shutter speeds, but for the life of me, I can't think why anyone would need as fast as 1/8000th second or 1/4000th for that matter unless you're shooting some really fast subject in a lot of light. The maximum shutter sync speed for the Canon is 1/200th second and 1/500th second for the Nikon. That right there limits your use of a speedlight. What am I missing here?
 
>> Congrat's on the new camera! You're not a procrastinator, you're a man of discerning taste! Having been a Nikon person most of my adult life, my decision may have been different from yours, but not mecessarily a better one.
====
Thanks, Karl -- I appreciate that. I hear you about being a Nikon person. When I originally started this quest, the choice was a no brainer. Then Maribito started bending my ear. I have a Nikon FE2 that I have had for many years would put it up against most any other 35. However, that was film, this is digital. As one gets deeper into a study of the two, Canon seems to emerge as the front runner in that arena. It's funny, Karl, I really wanted a Nikon -- but finally decided, I wanted the best image producing camera more.

>> I am puzzled by one thing, however. You mention the difference in highest shutter speeds, but for the life of me, I can't think why anyone would need as fast as 1/8000th second or 1/4000th for that matter unless you're shooting some really fast subject in a lot of light. The maximum shutter sync speed for the Canon is 1/200th second and 1/500th second for the Nikon. That right there limits your use of a speedlight. What am I missing here?
====
You bring up several of the many features that drove me crazy on this. Each one had me going back and forth, over and over. I "really" feared finally making this decision only to find some feature I had overlooked after the purchase. In fact, paranoia was beginning to set in.? :eek: I know film cameras pretty well -- but have not looked in depth at rapidly changing DSLR technologies enough to uncover those little jewels that turn out to be biggy jewels.

The shutter speed thing did not concern me that much. The difference in 4 and 8,000 is only one stop. Altho, in addition to "stop action", that extra shutter stop could be critical if the aperture is open all the way for a minimum DOF need. 6 vs. 8 mega pixel wasn't that much of a factor as I like to think I crop in the viewfinder vs. the darkroom.

The sync thing was not a biggy with me either. For years, the flash sync on 35's was 1/60. I recall when I got my FE2, one of the main advertised features was the 1/125 sync. !/60 had always been the suggested limit to hand held - and that was upped to 1/125 with the FE2. Big kudos at the time for Nikon.

When I moved to medium format, one of my Mamiya's was an RB67. Those cameras had the shutter in the lens itself and were not restricted in sync speed as where focal plane shutters. W/the leaf shutter right next to the aperture, the RB could sync at any speed. That was my most amazing (and heavy? :mad:) camera.

The importance of higher sync speed would be a function of how the flash is used. When shooting in my studio, I had a 5 head Norman flash system. So ambient light was not involved.? If the shutter was open for 1/60th of a second, it had no bearing on the exposure. Flash speed is "much" faster than any shutter speed on the camera -- and stopped any movement even when hand held.

I also did and hope to do more environmental portraits. Now sync speed becomes more important because I am balancing flash with ambient light. For about 5 years, the 1/60th max sync on my Mamiya 645 worked OK for me. I would spot meter for the ambient -- then dial in the necessary flash fill. However, Karl, it is true that if the ambient is really bright, and I want minimum DOF, a faster sync would be nice -- and I thought about that. However, super bright is not a place to be shooting an environmental portrait in the first place so that would not be a concern. Or I could use a reflector for fill vs. a flash.

However, the reason the pros are going to canon is the image technology. They can afford the more advanced Canons that have all the features of the advanced Nikon's -- but Canon has, according to the pros I talked with, the better image technology. The first three lines you read in the review I posted, e.g.:

? - Eight mega pixel CMOS sensor (not same as EOS 20D, but in the newer 30D)
? - Second generation CMOS (same generation as rest of current range)
? - DIGIC II image processor (better image quality, faster processing, less power consumption)


This is deeper into the guts of the camera than I care to go -- so the words of the pros here finally pushed me in the direction of the Rebel XT.

Thanks for jumping in, Karl. Look forward to showing you this puppy at QZ.
 
Bob:

I was very close to choosing the Rebel XT myself, having previously been brought up on a Pentax SLR film camera.  It was a hard choice for me to forego the whole SLR concept.  I see these Rebel XTs wherever I go, whether it be in almost any camera store, or people shooting in the field.  The Rebel is a beautiful camera and I congratulate you on your acquisition.  Please waste no time in uploading pictures for us to marvel over!  :D
 
Hi Bob,

Congratulations on your new camera. I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I enjoy mine. :) I only have the 6mpx Rebel and still get pretty good resolution. Someday I might like the new Canon 12mpx body but it's way out of my price range right now! :)
 
Bob

So you finally did it.  I am glad for you.  You deserve a pro camera and I, for one, know that you know how to use all those features.

JerryF from Fredericton, New Brunswick
 
Congratulations Bob.  I'm sure you will enjoy the new toy.  Like you I also had several Nikons, a Mamiyai, and a Bronica.  Even had a Cannon for a short while before I got my first Nikon.  While your choice of the Cannon surprised me I'm sure you have done your homework.  Looking forward to see some photos of your posted here.

 
Bob,

I applaud your crop-in-camera philosophy. Many people may use the "I've got x-number of megapixels, so cropping isn't important" way of thinking, when they fail to realize that when the final cropping, etc. is done in P.S. or other software, they may have wasted a goodly portion of the available resolution that the camera is capable of capturing.

Image quality, as you mentioned, is a top priority item and, aside from lens quality, the rendering engine is probably the second most important function of the camera. Unfortunatley, many camera reviewers don't spend enough time or provide enough side-by-side comparisons for their readers to truly see the difference this can make. I always prefer the extreme close-ups of postage stamps where you can clearly see the moire and other artifacts. Sometimes the differences are astonishing and while you may not always be able to pick out that level of detail in the un-magnified photo, there's always that "certain feeling" that one picture is better than the other!

Have fun learning all about the new bells and whistles :D
 
Congrats on the new camera Bob!

Interesting to find this post here this morning, as I too have been shopping for a DSLR.  My decision has been down to Canon and Nikon for a while now.  I still use Pentax for my 35 but they are old school (K1000 and a Super Program) with my bags of lenses and the like not working well with any bodies so this makes a big jump for me.  Reviews seem to go both ways even if you can sort out which ones are just "Ford and Chevy" issues.

What finalized my decision was attending the wedding of my best friends daughter two weeks ago.  With the plethora of cameras at the reception I had the opportunity to do some shooting and view the results.  The following is my opinion derived from this opportunity and narrowed down to only two cameras the Canon Rebel XT and the D70 (s) Nikon.

1) Feel in my hand...Nikon (felt like an extension of my arm)
2) Layout, once again Nikon, but by a slimmer margin
3) Flash photography (Extremely dark room, only dj lights) Nikon w/600 .  There were several Rebels there, using onboard and external flashes, but not sure of make.  They seemed to have more trouble getting settings.
4) Picture quality..both do a great job!  I am afraid this in many cases comes down to personal preference much like my preference for cooler film and my buddy liking Kodak.  I do not think I could make the decision in this catagory.

from previous research
5) Accessory and attachment availability-Rebel XT(It seems you can get cameras, lenses and accessories a lot more places than you can Nikon, and at some deeply discounted prices.  We even carry some canon and I have wholesale access to accessories and bodies up through the 5D)
6) Lower price (at average retails) Rebel XT.  This may be partially due to the distribution noted above.
7) Observation only... but there appear to be a lot more Rebel XTs in the hands of "Serious Amateur" photographers than Nikons.

That all being said, and having never owned either make before, I am going with D70s Nikon and backordering the Nikkor 18-200 VR lens.  I will most likely purchase a kit in order to have the lenses to shoot with until the Nikkor becomes available, then maybe ebay them or something.  If asked to sit and explain exactly why I have made that choice, I honestly don't know if I could...The Nikon just "Feels" comfortable to me. 

Your post has got my juices flowing and I can't wait to get to get a DSLR in my hands and put this Fuji 5000 permanantly in the Camper!

Have a great week all!
Griff

 
>> Congrats on the new camera Bob!
>> Interesting to find this post here this morning, as I too have been shopping for a DSLR.? My decision has been down to Canon and Nikon for a while now.
====
Thanks, Griff -- am having a hard time staying away from the new XT. I find new stuff every time I open the manual (once I found the one written in English).? :)? Most looking for a DSLR in this range will find themselves between the Nikon and the Canon. Wish we had known to communicate sooner so we could compare notes.

>> 1) Feel in my hand...Nikon (felt like an extension of my arm)
====
Had mixed emotion on that. I liked the feel of the Nikon, but weight is a factor w/me. I shoot with external flash on a bracket over the camera. I also attach a Quantum battery pack for the flash on the bracket plus another quantum under the camera. I have smaller hands and like the feel of the XT from that standpoint as well.

>> 2) Layout, once again Nikon, but by a slimmer margin.
====
Good that you got to handle both as I did. The one biggy I noticed in QZ was the location of the Pictrure Specs LCD readout. I would be doing a lot of tripod work and like it adjusted so the VF is at eye level. If shooting with the Nikon, one cannot see the LCD (it's on top of the camera) whereas on the XT, it's at eye level just under the VF. I watched Ron Maribito doing sunsets on a pod quickly making adjustsments as the light changed and that impressed me. Also, XT readout is back lit via a button to it's right. Nice.

>> 3) Flash photography (Extremely dark room, only dj lights) Nikon w/600 .? There were several Rebels there, using onboard and external flashes, but not sure of make.? They seemed to have more trouble getting settings.
====
If using an SB600, they were not prepared to do a wedding reception.? :( At least the SB800 or one of the pro systems such as Sunpak or Quantum. Another feature that I liked was the 580EX external for the XT allows flash sync throughout the range of shutter speeds. So if doing fill in bright sun, I could sync all the way to 1/4000. For most of what I do, the GN of either of the built-in flashes renders them pretty much useless.

>> 4) Picture quality..both do a great job!? I am afraid this in many cases comes down to personal preference much like my preference for cooler film and my buddy liking Kodak.? I do not think I could make the decision in this catagory.
====
That was a major concern of mine. From my post, you can see that was the basis of my final decsion. The pros I quizzed indicated that the Canon technology "now" in the Rebel -- and those above it such as the D30 (not the D20) is better. I visited a studio that had several shooting areas. Each was equipped with a series of umbrellas and boxes for various lighting. And, each was equipped with a Canon D30 with a flash transmitter on the hot shoe.

I shot mostly Kodak ASA100 pro 120 and 220 film. Most pros doing "people" stuff recommended that for the best flesh tones. I never shot at an ASA greater than 100 because I wanted as little grain as possible. My slide stuff was always at 64. So that was another little jewel I discovered. The Nikon does not have an ISO 100 -- it starts at 200.

>> 5) Accessory and attachment availability-Rebel XT(It seems you can get cameras, lenses and accessories a lot more places than you can Nikon, and at some deeply discounted prices.? We even carry some canon and I have wholesale access to accessories and bodies up through the 5D)
====
One can sure get eaten up in accessories costs. I didn't do as much research there as I probably should have.

>> 6) Lower price (at average retails) Rebel XT.? This may be partially due to the distribution noted above.
====
Yes, that turned out to be a nice part of my decision -- however, it would not have been a deciding factor. They were close enough for it not to be a factor unless everything else was equal.

7) Observation only... but there appear to be a lot more Rebel XTs in the hands of "Serious Amateur" photographers than Nikons.
====
Canon is producing 130,000 XT's per month.? :eek:

For every feature I liked that I mention here, I could probably come up with one for the Nikon as well -- so again, it came down to chats with the pros and pro dealers that I came in contact with.

>> That all being said, and having never owned either make before, I am going with D70s Nikon and backordering the Nikkor 18-200 VR lens.? I will most likely purchase a kit in order to have the lenses to shoot with until the Nikkor becomes available, then maybe ebay them or something.? If asked to sit and explain exactly why I have made that choice, I honestly don't know if I could...The Nikon just "Feels" comfortable to me.?
====
You like a 18-200 as well. Great! I may get a 1.4 Normal to go along with this one, but for now, it will do most of what I want.

Good luck with your new DSLR, Griff. Glad you jumped in. Please stay in touch and let us know how it goes -- PLUS, post some pictures
 
Smoky said:
Bob:

I was very close to choosing the Rebel XT myself, having previously been brought up on a Pentax SLR film camera.? It was a hard choice for me to forego the whole SLR concept.? I see these Rebel XTs wherever I go, whether it be in almost any camera store, or people shooting in the field.? The Rebel is a beautiful camera and I congratulate you on your acquisition.? Please waste no time in uploading pictures for us to marvel over!? ?:D

Thanks, Smoky. Obviously, you are enjoying and shooting well with your FZ30. Wish I was traveling now as you are to have new stuff to work with each day. For now, will be doing a "lot" of test shots so variety of scenes is not that important. Now that I have a new used RV and new camera, I can find no money left over for gas.  :(
 
Karl said:
I applaud your crop-in-camera philosophy.

I always prefer the extreme close-ups of postage stamps where you can clearly see the moire and other artifacts. Sometimes the differences are astonishing and while you may not always be able to pick out that level of detail in the un-magnified photo, there's always that "certain feeling" that one picture is better than the other!

Thanks, Karl. My 1st medium format camera was a Mamiya square format reflex. I hated the idea of "having" to crop every shot unless I wanted a square picture. Not many want square pictures.? The good news was that you could be sloppy in the VF, but as you point out, resolution went into the waste basket along with both sides of the film.

Was torn between Sigma and Tamron lenses -- and was told that it is according to the lens. Some are better on one, others the the other. Wish I had the time to do more indepth tests as you describe.
 
Jim Dick said:
Congratulations on your new camera. I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I enjoy mine. :) I only have the 6mpx Rebel and still get pretty good resolution. Someday I might like the new Canon 12mpx body but it's way out of my price range right now! :)

Thank you, Jim. Yes, I know you have a rebel and that was part of my influence to go with Canon. You and Ron M. sure turn out some fine stuff. Now, what we really should have is this 16mpxl Canon DSLR:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos1dsmkii/

Street price of "body only" is 7-$8,000. Lenses have the same coverage as a 35mm camera lens.
 
JerArdra said:
Bob

So you finally did it.? I am glad for you.? You deserve a pro camera and I, for one, know that you know how to use all those features.

JerryF from Fredericton, New Brunswick

Thank you, my friend. I appreciate your comments here. Am anxious to see you and Ardra to talk photography and do buffets. The first half of my Las Vegas page was done with my Olympus 2500 DSLR. Am looking forward to the second half now with the XT.

Hope all continues to go well on your travels.
 
Ron said:
Congratulations Bob.? I'm sure you will enjoy the new toy.? Like you I also had several Nikons, a Mamiyai, and a Bronica.? Even had a Cannon for a short while before I got my first Nikon.? While your choice of the Cannon surprised me I'm sure you have done your homework.? Looking forward to see some photos of your posted here.

Thank you, Ron. Didn't know you once had a Mamiya. Which model did you have? Also, am betting you bought a lot of your stuff overseas??? Can recall that could represent quite a savings in some locations. And didn't you have a Nikon digital before your FZ30?

Yes, it was a tough decision because they are both "fine" DSLR's. One of the parts of my study was to go to some Nikon forums. DSLR users "are" a bit unhappy with Nikon and the fact that Canon is outselling them right now. They feel that they have been a bit betrayed. A lot of faith is riding on the new D80 that is supposed to hit the streets soon or NLT August. That one should make Nikon users happy -- and me a bit less happy.? :(

However, with computers and cameras, we can't spend too much time waiting for new models. If we do, we lose a lot time that we could be having fun with the current models.? :)
 
Bob:

    I have read this thread with great interest.  By the way, thanks for all the references to me and Jim.  You probably have more experience with a camera than I, but we do different things with them.  Ultimately, most of my shots are gut feel and not always real technical.  Afterall, it's what comes out at the end that is important.  Also nice is the fact that we have software today capable of salvaging a lot of bad image taking and make good image taking rewarding.

    Karl made a case for artifacts, which are very important, but once again, it is surprising how much you can clean up in your RAW converter, after doing something stupid.

    Obviously, the better technique, the less you have to do to the image.  PhotoShop is just another dark room and you have many more tools to work with. 

    Doug Jardine is a terrific photographer also and he believes the true result of a photographic image is how it prints and is seen by the viewer.  Great images can be destroyed without good printing.  Good prints must include equipment choices, inks, papers and computer screen calibration.

    Have fun with the new equipment.

 
Ron,
Doug Jardine is a terrific photographer also and he believes the true result of a photographic image is how it prints and is seen by the viewer.  Great images can be destroyed without good printing.  Good prints must include equipment choices, inks, papers and computer screen calibration.
I agree absolutely! My point was not about post-processing, but about capturing everything important that was available in the original scene. Without that, you may have to manipulate the image to add/subtract what isn't/is there, and that takes away fro the true fidelity of the shot. That said, I processed and printed all of my own film (except for Kodachrome), and burned/dodged/color shifted many of the prints so they looked good to my eye. In most cases it was just a little burn to bring out the shadow detail. One thing some people don't realize is that print papers - especially color papers - have a limited contrast range, and without some darkroom techniques (black magic ;)), you can lose some important highlight or shadow detail. With modern digital cameras and processing software, you have a whole new blackboard of 'processing' options at your disposal.
 
Bob Buchanan said:
Thank you, Ron. Didn't know you once had a Mamiya. Which model did you have? Also, am betting you bought a lot of your stuff overseas??? Can recall that could represent quite a savings in some locations. And didn't you have a Nikon digital before your FZ30?

Actually I had two Mamiya cameras in the past at TLR and a Mamiya Press.? While in Japan when I was in the service I had the opportunity to take a few photography courses.? I bought a Cannon 35 MM, then I bought a Nikon F1 had a collection of Nikor lenses with it including a large (and quite heavy) telephoto.? As I recall I actually traded the Cannon for one of the two Mamiya cameras.? I then bought a Bronica.? I used the Mamiya and Bronica when doing wedding pictures etc. In the 70/s I bought a Nikon F2? then in the 80/s while in Hong Kong I bought another Nikon. I still have the two 35 MM Nikons as well as the Nikon coolpix I was using before getting the FX30.? Really am impressed with the FZ30.? I think I still have a Yashikamat TLR too.

Yes, it was a tough decision because they are both "fine" DSLR's. One of the parts of my study was to go to some Nikon forums. DSLR users "are" a bit unhappy with Nikon and the fact that Canon is outselling them right now. They feel that they have been a bit betrayed. A lot of faith is riding on the new D80 that is supposed to hit the streets soon or NLT August. That one should make Nikon users happy -- and me a bit less happy.? :(

Picking a camera is very much a personal thing just like picking an RV.? It is really personal likes and dislikes.? A lot of trade offs and one has to decide what they are comfortable with.

However, with computers and cameras, we can't spend too much time waiting for new models. If we do, we lose a lot time that we could be having fun with the current models.? :)

How true.? No matter what you get today seems tomorrow they will come out with something that makes the most recent acquisition obsolete. :mad:
But as you pointed out one will miss out if they wait too long for the latest technology.
 
Bob Buchanan said:
Thank you, Jim. Yes, I know you have a rebel and that was part of my influence to go with Canon. You and Ron M. sure turn out some fine stuff. Now, what we really should have is this 16mpxl Canon DSLR:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos1dsmkii/

Street price of "body only" is 7-$8,000. Lenses have the same coverage as a 35mm camera lens.

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the kind comments. I would still like to see some of the stuff you have done. I'll bet it's great! I'll look into that camera right after I win the lotto!! ;D They say the 12mpx camera is the equivalent of the 35mm format. I'm no expert there but the cmos in that camera is the same size as the 35mm.

 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
131,916
Posts
1,387,430
Members
137,672
Latest member
Davestic
Back
Top Bottom