Best Basic Digital For Street Work?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by MojoStreet, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. MojoStreet

    MojoStreet TPF Noob!

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    I currently have a Contax G2 which I use fairly often for street photography and, often, some portrait work on the street. I have used some digital before with an older Olympus which bit the dirt (pavement?) when my son was involved in a bike accident while he had the camera on him.

    But I digress. What I'm looking for is a good, basic and hopefully inexpensive digital to carry around with me, sometimes to augment the Contax and sometimes just to shoot digital. Obviously, I'd like one that has a wider angle lens, has a minimum amount of time in taking the picture I see in front of me (sometimes fleeting), can produce good 8 x 10's or, occasionally, 11 x 14's should that happen. I've used a range finder for so long that the camera doesn't have to mimic the look of an SLR.

    Money is the problem. I'm looking at something I could pick up for under 300 or under 500, so any suggestions in those street not list price ranges is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much!

    MojoStreet
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Unfortunately, there are only two digital cameras on the market that will be somewhat similar to your Contax G2 rangefinder... Leica M8 and Epson R-D1. Unfortunately for a lot of us...both are expensive.

    Others that I would recommend looking into as a companion for that wonderful Contax:

    Canon Powershot G9
    Nikon P5100
    Ricoh Caplio GX100

    All the above cameras are well received within the rangefinder community. The G9 would be my favorite of the bunch and I've convinced several of my friends to purchase it as an alternate to traditional SLR. So far, I have heard good things about the camera. www.dpreview.com has indepth reviews for all three.
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In that budget, there are also a few choices in the DSLR arena. Two issues I see you facing if you choose this route:

    * Carrying the Contax G2 AND DSLR with lenses and accessories. This will NOT be a packable system that the typical rangefinder shooter is used to
    * Mental switch between a rangefinder and DSLR will probably take some getting used to.

    WIth that said, a used Rebel XT or used Pentax K100D (or earlier) should squeeze into that budget.. just barely.
     
  4. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    If you don't mind lithium batteries, take a look at the Nikon p5100, one of the few P&S's with a hot shoe.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The three listed have a hotshoes. In fact Canon's G series from the G1 to the G9 have all had hotshoes with full compatibility with their line of flashes. Matter of fact, even the lower end Canon S series has hot shoes as well....

    The P5100 is the most compact of the bunch and nikon has an available compact small flash that is perfect for that camera size. THe little flash even has a tilt head for bounce.. neato! However, the P5100 does NOT do RAW which was a major show stopper. My test photos also showed the Canon a little ahead in high ISO performance.

    The Canon G9 has the hotshoe, RAW, and practically every feature found in their Rebel line. However, the G9 is also the largest of the bunch and Canon doesn't have a flash that is small enough to fit comfortably to the G9. My friend uses a 550EX with the G9 and it works GREAT but the flash is larger than the camera itself.

    The Ricoh is a well received camera in the Leica community for its optics and usability. Many use this a backup digital to their M rangefinder. The biggest plus over the other two is the Ricoh's rather wide angle lens.
     
  6. myopia

    myopia TPF Noob!

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    Ricoh GR-D was made for you. I bought one "like new" for $300. Search for the specs.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There's also a Ricoh GR-D II with improved sensor. Two reasons why I recommended the GX100 over the GR-D:
    1) Zoom (it is basically the zoom version of the GRs)
    2) the GX100 is capable of a slightly wider focal length.
     

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