KFR: Digital SLR Cameras

Discussion in 'Photography / Video' started by Evan Burck, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,288
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,497 / 2
    I've been becoming increasingly interested in getting myself a good camera to be taking out on my outings. I have a cheap Samsung snapshot type camera that's getting me by for now, but it can't pull off 99% of the shots I want to take with it, so I just plain haven't been taking many pictures whatsoever, or I just end up deleting most of them.

    I'm somewhat familiar with the Canon digital rebel line, but want to see what else is out there to compare. Honestly, I don't need the best camera out there. Right now I'm leaning towards the lower end digital rebel, the 6.3MP one. I don't have a desire to spend more than $450 or so, and I'm willing to go used to do that.

    It'd be used for taking shots of fishes, scenery on outings, and just any cool river shots or any other opportunities that come up that need to be captured. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :beer2:

    I was able to pull of this so-so shot this morning, would've been much sweeter with a real camera though:

    [IMG]
  2. Blake Member

    Posts: 111
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I just picked up a Nikon D40X at Costco. It was $849 and came with two lenses. It is amazing.
    You can also get the D40 which is a 6MP compared to the D40x's 10MP for around $500 new with a lens.

    Good luck on finding a camera, one word of warning. If you get a camera (new or used) on ebay be very careful and read the fine print. A lot of the cameras on there don't come with manufacturer warranties and are a little sketch.

    Blake
  3. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,288
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,497 / 2
    yeah i'm leanin towards lower MP cameras. I just don't see myself using anything over 6 realistically. i usually use like... 3MP and it does just fine
  4. Dave Hartman is tired of trout

    Posts: 591
    Whitefish, MT
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    Ev,
    while digital SLRs are very nice to have, they can be incredibly difficult to use on river, particularly when photographing fish in a timely manner. Unless you are going to use the "auto" mode, or you are a very experienced photographer who can think of lighting, aperture, etc. without having to think, you're going to end up having that fish waiting around too long before you're set. Going with "auto" mode is the way to go, and you don't need a true digital SLR to do that.
    Check out the pseudo digital SLRs like the Fujifilm Finepix S5200 (I have this one, going to step it up soon) and the Sony Cybershot DSC-H7. Both are under $350.
    These cameras are half the price, weight, and size of a true digital SLR, so they are easier to carry in a small pack.
    Hope this helps.
  5. mozart Chris

    Posts: 355
    Ferndale, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  6. Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    Posts: 1,188
    Federal Way, WA
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    Panasonic Lumix - I have 2, a pocket and a full size - and I have zero complaints. I have the ones with the 10x optical (not digital) zoom, and they are great. They are not miniature, but the smaller one does fit in a shirt pocket nicely. Smaller one was $350, larger was around $900
  7. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,144
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,411 / 0
    I wouldn't spend too many bucks on a camera that you are using around water. All of my cameras liked to take a swim every once in a while.. One worked after going swimming and one didn't. Or get one that is water proof.

    Jim
  8. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,519
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +301 / 0
    I have the Canon s5is.

    It rocks. I cannnot say enough good things about this camera.
  9. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,880
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +430 / 2
    ***Note: I have been a professional photographer for over a decade now, I have bought more camera gear in that decade then most of you will in a lifetime, and I run a very large photography education website. I guess what I am saying is that my advice is worth listening to on this subject.***

    The pseudo digital cameras (most photographers call them "prosumer" cameras) are handy for their small size, low weight, and overall versitility. But they are slower to start and operate than a digital SLR. I have a Canon g6 that I have traveled with when I didn't feel like bringing my dSLR kit. But to be honest, I always end up wishing that I had my bigger camera.

    The way to go is to buy a couple generations back dSLR. Used prices on digital cameras drop pretty quickly once there are one or two newer versions out there. Megapixels are over-rated when talking about dSLR's. Sure, they are great to have. But I was selling double page spreads to national magazines with 6mp cameras a few years back.

    Used digitals to look for (sticking with Canon since they have made cheaper dSLR's for longer than nikon):

    -The original Canon digital Rebel. I had one as a backup camera for a while and while the handling wasn't as nice as my "pro" cameras, the images were great. The Rebel XT is also a great camera if you can find one used. Missing a few of the current XTi's features, but has a smaller size than the original rebel.

    -Canon 10/20D. These are nice handling cameras having the "dual dial" system that Canon's pro cameras have and images are great. The used value of the 20D is $500 or so (I only know that because I'm getting rid of one in the near future). The 10D should be even cheaper as it was a generation back.

    -Canon D30/60. These are getting a bit long in the tooth now. But they are still a very nice camera and the image results will still blow away anything from most every prosumer camera out there. Should be cheap if you can find one in good shape.
  10. Chris Puma hates waking up early

    Posts: 965
    stumptown
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    i bought my g/f the rebel xti. she loves it. it takes good pictures. i'd say don't live above your means. if you are going to get a professional camera you are going to want to get a professional lense to go with it.
  11. 509 New Member

    Posts: 497
    WENATCHEE, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I bought a Pentax 110D DSLR camera for right at $400 new. That includedd\ a $50 rebate.

    It is 6.1 megapixels. Takes great pictures and runs on AA batteries. It also accepts all the pentax lenses made.

    I will probably buy a Full Frame camera in the next year, but will keep the Pentax for outdoor photography. At $400 it is much better than a point and shoot. Also lenses are fairly cheap....downright inexpensive if you have a source of old pentax lenses.

    I believe you can get the Pentax 100D with anti-shake built into the camera for $400.

    Having a camera with AA batteries makes life much simpler in the field. I don't even bother with a charger. The AA alkalines last for a couple of months with moderate use. I wish that Nikon and Canon with use AA 's in their high end cameras.
  12. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,026
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,014 / 0
    iagree Words to live by.

    Let's take this simple test:

    What's a megapixel?

    How will having more of them make your pictures better?

    Most professionals I work with have a hard time answering the first question. But almost all agree that megapixels have no relationship whatsoever to picture quality.

    Megapixels are simply a measure of the number of the sensor elements on a digital camera's chip, nothing more.

    I have an old Nikon D100 DSLR that has a 6 megapixel sensor. At its highest resolution setting, its images measure about 10" by 6-2/3" @ 300ppi (litho print resolution), or a whopping 41.8" by 27.8" @ 72ppi (web resolution).

    If I'm shooting an image that's only going to be seen by people visiting a web site, I sure don't need one that's 3-1/2 feet wide by 2-1/3 feet tall. At print resolution, images I've shot have been blown up to fit on the sides of trucks.

    With that kind of image size capability, why exactly do I need a 10 or 12 megapixel camera?

    So if a multi-megapixel camera won't automatically let me take better pictures, what will?

    In no particular order:

    1. Light quality, amount, angle, color, and contrast.
    2. Lens quality, sharpness, and contrast.
    3. Optical zoom (good) vs. digital zoom (bad).
    4. Image composition, overall design balance, depth of field, and focus.

    If you can't use these concepts to evaluate potential pictures to avoid taking clunkers, the most expensive digicam in the world isn't going to help you.

    Instead, you'd be better advised to think about the money you're wasting on a multi-megapixel digicam and how it could be better spent on fishing gear.

    K
  13. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,540
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,540 / 0
    Great advice from Kent, Josh and Dave. If I had listen to them before I purchased my D40x I would have saved a bunch of money by likely purchasing a point and shot digital camera which most on the market today have enough options and image control to take professional quality images. But, once I had the D40x I needed to know how to use it and have since embarked on a wonderful time of learning how to use the camera and taking and manipulating digital images. A fascinating and never ending learning experience so far. If you are just looking for something that will take good images of fish and scenery then many of the point and shoot models available will fill the bill. On the other hand if you are interested in learning more about digital imagery then look at some of the “prosumer” DSLRs offered by Canon or Nikon. Or follow Josh’s advice and look for a used DSLR. I know I am having a blast shooting and learning digital imagery with my D40x. Only problem I see is this could become a hobby that could easily surpass the amount of money I have spent on fly fishing.
  14. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,026
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,014 / 0
    Absolutely!

    Adobe PhotoShop CS3 Extended = $1,000<

    CPU with fast chip, 4GB RAM+, big-ass hard drive, and dedicated graphics card = $2,000<

    High fidelity monitor and calibration software/hardware = $1,500<

    Epson Stylus Photo R800 6 ink printer = $650< (Ink cartridges = $15 each)

    Ability to manipulate your own images for fun and profit = Priceless.

    K
  15. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,880
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +430 / 2
    Yeah, the one nice thing about photography gear prices is that they will make your flyfishing purchases not seem nearly so bad in comparison.
  16. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,540
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,540 / 0
    18 foot river sled = $15,000.00
    4 wheel drive tow vehicle = $35,000.00
    12 foot lake boat & motor = $1000.00
    Pontoon boat = $900.00
    12 or more spey rods @ $300-800.00 each
    12 or more reels @ $150-800.00 each
    Another 12 or more single handed rods and reels $150.00 and up each
    Waders = $400.00
    2 pair boots (studded & non-studded) @ $100.00 ea.
    Rain coat = $300.00
    misc. = $500.00 to $1000.00
    Fly tying = another $2000.00 to $3000.00

    I got a lot of camera equipment to buy.:p
  17. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,288
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,497 / 2
    haha, i don't plan on getting THAT into it. It's more something to complement my outdoor activities, and to get better shots of the things i see/do out in them. i've seen a lot of amazing scenery and stuff that i was completely unable to capture with a point and shoot.

    thanks for the advice guys!
  18. BFK Member

    Posts: 332
    North Sound, Wash.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Kerry-- You forgot the $30,000 saltwater boat..you still have a ways to go.
  19. Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

    Posts: 852
    Bellingham/Puyallup, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I own the Canon 350D (that's the Rebel XT, 8mp). I personally wouldn't buy the original Rebel (the 300D). It's much slower, more bulky, and a bit harder to use. Keep in mind that the kit lens that comes with these cameras sucks too and while it does take pictures, if you want to do it efficiently you will need another lens....or two or three. It's kind of like owning different fly rods in a sense. So plan on quite a few hundred dollars more (if not over a thousand) on better lenses.

    On that note. I own some nice camera equipment and love to take pictures (I hope to do it for a living sometime). But I hardly ever take it fishing with me. It's too big and bulky and worth too much money to risk dipping it in the water. I find myself usually leaving it in the trunk of my car.
  20. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,072
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +533 / 0
    I've got the FujiFinePix A800 and it is great for quick fishing shots. What I like best is it focuses very quickly (better than most others I checked out-my Son has a Nikon Coolpix which is junk!) , is 8.3 megapixel, and get mine for $149! If you drop it in the water, it's not too big of loss... Try this for an investment before you spend the big bucks!