Best Digital Camera Under $5K?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Jeff/fotog, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Jeff/fotog

    Jeff/fotog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    East Coast
    I am s-l-o-w-l-y getting into digital photography after messing around with some Sony cameras, which incidentally, don't seem to be that bad (6-8Mp), but now getting more serious.

    In analogue, I shot medium and large format and want to have the ability to do severe cropping and lots of manipulation, so I want to have lots of data to work with.

    Think of this move as 'out of the darkroom' and 'onto the computer.' Analogue provides such a nice, smooth scale of tonality that doesn't seem to be present in what I am working with.

    Looking for recommendations and ideas about a new camera.

    Thanks in advance.

    www.jefferyraymond.com
     
  2. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    6
    What sonies are you working with right now? Small sensor point and shoots?

    You can get a 5D or 1D mkII for good quality, but you may find that the "smooth scale of tonality" which you are looking for would still be absent there. But, it will be much better than that of SONY I beleive, simply because of the large sensor.

    So you MIGHT want to try a lower end DSLR first, just to see how it handles the tonality and manipulation in Photoshop. The actual output is extremely similar from say 300D and 5D at low ISO, so you can experiment with it. You won't be able to crop as much of course.

    I think current digital cameras have a long way to go in terms of dynamic range... right now digital to film, is like slide film to BW emulsions.

    So, other than the possibility of you "not liking digital at all" because of the lacking dynamic range, you'd be better served with 5D IMO

    Doc
     
  3. Mumfandc

    Mumfandc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New York City, Chelsea
    Well then just stick with analog. Or get a digital back, if your medium format allows for it.

    I don't think it's worth blowing $5,000 on the "best" digital camera that probably wouldn't even meet the standards of your analog pictures anyway.
     
  4. jadin

    jadin The Mad Hatter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,740
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Down the Rabbit Hole.
    It sounds like you have the cash to buy the best you can find. I realize the canon / nikon is pretty much personal preference rather than an actual superiority. That said, I LOVE my Nikon D1X, it's everything I want in a camera. Today, though, there is the D2X, which I like everything I've read about it, but I can't afford to upgrade just yet. So I really can't comment on it.

    One of the best things about the D1X, D2X is the weight. It's a heavy camera, and feels solid. It feels like if I dropped it, it would dent the floor before damaging the camera.

    One thing I've found is that megapixel's are highly over-rated. Having six poor-quality megapixels are not going to be better than three megapixels that are high quality.

    Basically the best advice I can give is what I would buy if I could afford it (D2X). But outside of that it's almost completely personal preference. I recommend going to a site that has photograph examples, and comparing those, rather than just specs. When I bought my camera I based my choice on how the camera rendered yellow to red 'warm colors'. It was the deciding factor in the end. And something I never would've found without comparing actual photos.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you are comparing the results of DSLRs to medium and large format film you're going to be disappointed for at least a few more years. For me it has replaced almost all 35mm color film, and some 35mm BW.

    Rather than spend $5k right now, you might want to look into the sub $2k DSLRs; I think you get more bang for your buck in that range. Unless you know you need a feature only offered in the more expensive models. Buy some nice lenses that you think will work with future models.

    One thing that surprised me when I bought a Canon 20D, and began shooting with it a lot was how much I quickly spent a bunch more money on accessories. I wanted a faster lens than the kit lenses, so I went with a Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 (which is still expensive at half the price of fast Canon zooms). I bought 3 other inexpensive lenses: 50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8, and a Sigma 55-200 f/4? Canon's better flashes cost as much as another lens. Filters and hoods for the lenses. Extra batteries. Plenty of memory. Camera bag. Cable release. And so on... I spent more on the other stuff than I did the camera body. Then after the first month I filled my hard drive. The bigger files were boggin down my computer in Adobe PS. I had to buy a new computer with extra storage space. Getting into digital photography was a lot more expensive than I had estimated.
     
  6. Jeff/fotog

    Jeff/fotog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    East Coast
    Ooops, I should have told you what I am working with at the moment. I have two Sony's, a discontinued DSC-S85 rangefinder and a DSC-F828 SLR. The good thing about the S85 is that it has a B/W mode in the camera. I've shot about 6000 images with the little bugger and it is a handy kind of M-3 idea. I had expected something more from the 828, but it doesn't produce much better of an image and a lot bigger and more cumbersome.

    Thanks for your continuing input. Hey, maybe I'm a) too early to expect a great camera or b) nuts to have sold most of my analogue stuff?

    www.jefferyraymond.com
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Messages:
    9,523
    Likes Received:
    344
    Location:
    North New Jersey, United States of America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    perhaps a high end negative scanner for your film cameras is an option?
     
  8. Jeff/fotog

    Jeff/fotog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    East Coast
    Actually I do have a great scanner. Hmmm. Without a darkroom I'm pretty much out of the making the negative part of the business, but you bring up a good idea; if I can find some way to stick with negatives and use the scanner instead of going completely digital...huh. Maybe I would be better of getting a decent medium format system and have a blend of the two technologies.

    Now you've got me really thinking. Thanks everyone! Hey, this forum works!

    www.jefferyraymond.com
     
  9. Mike Jordan

    Mike Jordan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    It depends on what kind of shooting you plan on doing. If you are doing scenics, landscapes, portaits, the occasional sporting event or other activities that you will be using a tripod or don't have to worry about needing high speed autofocus and fast frames per second, the 20D is a good camera and will probably do you for a long time. If on the other hand, you are going to be doing a lot of sports, with fast action and need a camera that can auto focus fast and shoots a lot of frames per second, then the 1DMKII is the better choice.

    I started to upgrade from a 10D to the 20D but I really needed faster autofocus and faster frames per second because I do a lot of high speed and fast action events. I also do a lot of scenic and indoor stuff, but the need for a camera that can keep up with my subjects was more important, so I spend the extra money and got the 1DMKII. I already had my "L" glass from the time I was shooting with the 10D, so at least I didn't have to buy a bunch more at the time. I do have a couple more lenses on my list though. So whatever you buy, keep in mind that you need at least one or two excellent lenses to go with it. A lot of people talk about 3rd party, but it's hard to beat the good Canon "L" glass for consistant and over all quality and consistancy.

    So the first thing you need to do is define what you are going to be using the camera for. And keep in mind that yes, you can buy cheaper now, but digital cameras do not hold their value very long. Not like film cameras did. So if you buy cheap now and decide to upgrade in a couple of years, don't think that you can recoop a lot of your investment by selling the camera.


    Mike
     
  10. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    6
    I just looked at your website - with the kind of shooting you do, just get an XT with a kit lens and forget about it.

    Why do u even think of plunging 5K on a camera body, if you have it - spend it on glass. It holds the vaule better (good glass that is)
     
  11. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Messages:
    4,807
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    at work...
    Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning it seems. How about refraining from this type of comment. Just think back to kindergarden when they said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, shut your lip!"
     
  12. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    6
    Shut my lip? Can you demonstrate? ;)

    BTT: By "the kind of shooting" I mean lanscapes, portraiture and abstract work. Neither of them require high resolution or advanced AI servo of the more expensive camera bodies. In fact, landscapes benefit from smaller sensors.

    Good day!
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

best digital slr under $5k

,

best slr under $5k

,

under 5k