Cameras forum

Question

Need a new Camera

by skeptic-tf / November 8, 2012 6:26 PM PST

Need advice on new camera. Been out of the serious photog scene for too long, and the array of equipment is mind boggling. Here is what I need.
1. Want to take pics to submit to rf stock photo sites, they require from 3-6 mega-pixel minimum. Is anything above that overkill? Is 12MP in a full frame sharper than 12mp in a smaller sensor model.
2. Do a lot of stuff outdoors. How serious is wet or cold weather on cheaper, less well sealed cameras?
3. The only camera I have now is a 4 mp Canon PS A-80. It takes great pics that look pretty nice blown up full screen on my 19 inch monitor. How much sharper are the mid range DSLR's?? I want to do close up work, what is the best set up now-a-days? I used to have a bellows and a dedicated lens with the old Nikon f2 years ago, are todays close up lenses all that is needed???
Obviously I'd love to buy the best available pro camera out there, but that is a lot of money. But I hate the Idea of spenting a thousand bucks and not being happy with what I've got. Looking a some older models, like the canon 20D, only 8 MP but semi-pro according to reviews. Woud I be sorry with "only" 8 MP???? Any advice will be welcomed.
kj

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All Answers

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Answer
New Camera
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / November 9, 2012 4:06 AM PST
In reply to: Need a new Camera

The Canon A80 list price was $400 at the time of its release.
It was top of the line for non DSLR cameras.
Image quality is excellent but can be improved a bit by using software sharpener.
The A80 has all of needed manual controls plus an articulate LCD display.
It also has an optical viewfinder.
Which means you cannot easily find a camera to replace it.

The shortcomings of the A80 (and all non DSLR cameras at that time) is poor low light ability, limited ISO settings and generally limited video ability.

I have a Canon 20D DSLR camera and have not yet found the need of more than 8 MP.
But it lacks 2 things I would like. It has no video and does not have a simple method of cleaning the sensor.
Most newer DSLR have a vibration feature that will shake dust off the sensor. Dust can get on the sensor when you change lenses in a dusty environment.

You are not likely to find any DSLR that will displease you. They all have all of the necessary photographic features plus many features that are not really necessary (gimicks).

DSLR's with full size (35mm) sensors are more desirable but their cost puts them in the pro status.
Most people use the half size sensor DSLRs which is more than adequate and provides very good low light ability.

If you are looking for for a dust/water sealed DSLR you should take a look at the Pentax brand.
Canon and Nikon are the most popular brands. They have the largest selection of lenses.
But never ask which is better because that will start an uproar for sure.

Close-up lenses will have the word "macro" in the specifications.
They can have a ratio of 1:1 which means a postage stamp can completely fill the image.
If you want a lens that multiplies the image, there are very few available.
Most people get into the bellow and tube extenders for that purpose.
Then you can count the hairs on a grasshopper.

..

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new camera
by skeptic-tf / November 9, 2012 12:08 PM PST
In reply to: New Camera

Thanx for the response. I did a lot of research before buying the A-80 ( 4MP). The sensor went bad on it (from moisture?) and I had it fixed because I couldn't find a point and shoot that had the same features or took as nice of photos. That is why the concern for a well sealed camera. I like that in the Pentax, but not sure If the quality is up to snuff. I have only ever owned Nikons and Canons. I understand that some of the more costly DSLR's are sealed better. So tell me more about your experience with the 20D. Is the lack of sensor cleaning that big a deal? I don't care about video, I have a video camera. Anything else you don't like about the 20D? I have found a couple 20D's for sale, and one 30D.

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Digital Cameras
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / November 9, 2012 11:30 PM PST
In reply to: new camera

The problem you experienced with the A80 sensor was something that many people experienced, me included.
The problem was the sensor itself, the sensor was made by Sony and that batch of sensors were not sealed properly. Sony was paying Canon (and others) to repair those cameras because of the defective sensor.

A properly sealer sensor would not have failed even under high humidity conditions.
So if that is the only reason you are looking at sealed cameras, you can forget about it..

I have been using the Canon 20D for many years and have not replaced it because I am satisfied with the results. I too, have a camcorder so the lack of video is not a big deal with me. The cleaning of the sensor can be a big problem if you change lenses often. To get it cleaned properly, you have to send it off to a professional.
You are not supposed to touch the sensor with anything except air. A brush is a no no. The sensor can easily be damaged. To clean the sensor yourself you have to lock the mirror and use an air bulb to blow air inside the camera in an effort to remove dust on the sensor. But that can stir up more dust.

Since I went to an Omega lens (17mm-70mm) I find that I seldom have any reason to change the lens.
I have found that a big zoom lens is seldom (if ever) needed unless you are doing wildlife shooting. And a big zoom lens requires a tripod for best results.

If the 30D has the cleaning feature, I suggest you get that instead of the 20D.
Any second hand 20D is likely to have a dirty sensor when you buy it.
So you should get the seller to guarantee the sensor is clean.

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New Camera
by skeptic-tf / November 10, 2012 2:00 AM PST
In reply to: Digital Cameras

Hi, Thanx again. I just want to make sure, with doing a lot of outdoor work, and some times when it is raining, I don't cause damage to an expensive camera. We were recently on a fall tour of New England, which included a stop at the ever misty Niagra falls, and it rained half the time. I got some great shots ( always loved overcast days for color saturation) , but the camera got water on it a few times, not much cause I tried to keep it protected.
Am also now reading up on the 30-60D's, though the latter are more expensive. Thinking now a 40 or 60 might be it, in a factory refurbished model. The 40 would give me 10MP and it is still basically the 20D with improvements at an affordable price. I understand that often they are just store returns that are repacked and nothing wrong at all in the 1st place. Save money there and I can afford other eqpmnt, ie a really good lens. And that leads to the next area. It seems to me Canon makes less expensive lenses and higher quality lenses that cost more. How does one tell which is which, and are the costlys worth the extra dough? And what is the best all round format? I definately want a zoom. Never had a zoom with the old Nikon F2 film camera. After using the A80, I think its the only way to go for general shooting. There were times in VT where I couldn't get any closer to a Lighthouse or other building and a decent zoom in was needed. I did a search for Omega lenses and could find none. Is that a Canon or Sigma brand? Thinking 2 lenses, a 17mm-70mm type as you suggest (is that a macro), and a stronger zoom one, upto 200-300. Want a decent quality in glass though. I Shoot with a tripod as much as possible.
kj

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40D
by skeptic-tf / November 10, 2012 2:28 AM PST
In reply to: New Camera

I really am liking the 40D at this point. Not so sure about a refurbished model. These have been out of production for some time, and maybe the few refurbishes left have real problems. Can anyone shed light on this issue? Refurbished or not? I will do a forum search on this subject now.

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Lenses
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / November 10, 2012 6:02 AM PST
In reply to: New Camera

I got my Greek letter mixed up.
I do have the Sigma lens.
It is not a macro lens but is a close focus lens.

Many refurbished cameras are actually new Cameras.
When newer cameras are introduced, some companies can return the unsold cameras to Canon and they test them and have to sell them as refurbished because they can not sell them as new.
But some can be returns that are repaired and sold as refurbished.
A refurbished camera may have a shorter guarantee time, like 90 days.

Canon makes some lenses that are very high quality, but they are very expensive.
Some lenses are more expensive because they are brighter lensesl.
The F-stop rating will be similar to f/2.8- 4.5 as opposed to the cheaper f/4.0-5.4
The first f-number is for when the lens is not zoomed and the second is for a lens zoomed all the way.
When you zoom the lens it looses light.
If you see a zoom lens with a F-Stop rating that is just rated f/2.8 and no second number, that means the lens does not loose light when zoomed. It will be expensive but is a very desirable lens for low light photography.

You can check the reviews of lenses to see all about them.
Here is a good place to see lens reviews:
http://photozone.de/

You mentioned that you never had a zoom for your Nikon F2.
I carried a Canon AE1 film camera for 10 years before I got a 200mm zoom lens.
The standard 50mm lens did just fine. You zoom by using your feet.
If you want to get a closer shot you move closed to the subject. Simple.

Some people buy a new camera when they come out and then sell the older camera, Since Canon updates its cameras every year there are always good older cameras available.
You might check with a local Camera Store, they take older cameras on trade and you might find a winner there. They usually stand behind their second hand cameras.

..

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New camera
by skeptic-tf / November 10, 2012 10:08 AM PST
In reply to: Lenses

Been reading a lot on the lenses and am starting to get a handle on them. I never wanted a zoom back in the day, always knew they weren't as sharp. Used to belong to a club, shot in B&W a lot, had club competitions, self darkroomed prints at 11X14 & 16X20, even worked the zone system for a short while (tuff with a 35mm). Had the 50mm, 100mm nikons, and a tamaron200mm. One of my favorites was a cheap bellows with a quality bellows lens, which had a really flat glass. When pulled in close it made the nicest portait lens, incredibly sharp out to the edges. I am finding refurb 40D around $ 550 with kit lens. Just a matter of deciding to spend the money. Retired now, with lots of time but not enough money,lol. Thanx for the help.
kj

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Canon Loyalty Program
by PistonCupChampion / November 10, 2012 10:48 AM PST
In reply to: New camera
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