Budget camera with color histogram, exposure bracketing?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by dshack, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. dshack

    dshack TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking for a first DSLR. As far as I can tell, a color histogram and exposure bracketing are the only really critical features I need to look at. People make beautiful, professional-looking photos with entry level cameras, and for anything under a 20x30, megapixels aren't a big deal. It seems, though, like HDR would be pretty hard without exposure bracketing, and the color histogram seems invaluable for properly exposing pictures.

    My choices:
    -D40. No exposure bracketing.
    -D50,D70. One-color histogram.
    -Canon Xti or 20D. These seem like good prospects. I like the 'feel' of nikons more, and these are both a little pricier than a d40/50/70, but I think they have both features I want.
    -Other brands: suggestions? I had heard that pentax, sony, olympus etc. had nice feature sets, but much shoddier metering and general image quality than the nikons and canons. However, I haven't taken any of them out shooting outside a camera store.

    Any help appreciated.
     
  2. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    What about the D80?
     
  3. jimiismydaddy

    jimiismydaddy TPF Noob!

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    It helps if we know the price range you are looking at.
     
  4. dshack

    dshack TPF Noob!

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    Less than $750, ideally.
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm curious to know why exposure bracketing is a critical feature. It doesn't even have to be a feature. It can be a technique that is used with any camera. My version of exposure bracketing is looking at the LCD screen to see if I like the exposure. If I don't, I adjust and shoot again. How does exposure bracketing get any better than that?

    You can probably tell that in a 1/2 century of photography I've never used an exposure bracketing feature on a camera. In fact I stopped bracketing exposures 20 years ago. Hardly critical.

    Histograms are interesting but don't necessarily tell you anything useful about exposure. Different subjects under the same lighting with the same exposure will have different histograms.
     
  6. coastietech

    coastietech TPF Noob!

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    Like another poster said the cheapest Nikon that has those features is the D80. List price for a D80 without a lens is about $990 from B&H.
     
  7. dshack

    dshack TPF Noob!

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    So you don't find an rgb histogram particularly necessary? I guess I just figure that, without a live-view LCD, and with a screen way too small to pick out very minute detail, it would be good to know if your channels clip.

    I suppose I've seen plenty of excellent pictures from a D70, though, and that just has a one-channel histogram. Might just roll with it for the excellent meter, the DOF preview button, and the autobracketing.
     
  8. coastietech

    coastietech TPF Noob!

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    I had a D50 and I have messed with a D70 at the store. I can tell you that if you can squeeze it the D80 is a better camera. The D70 is a good camera, but it is being discontinued due to the D80. I like the D80 because it has a lot more buttons. This makes it easier to change more settings without having to go into the menu. The D70 has the same button structure that the the D50 has except for the addition of the second thumb wheel for aperture. This means that many buttons are shared for functions or that you have to search around the menu to change some settings. The D80 makes it so that you don't have to go into the menu unless you want to change some obscure setting. Plus I like the fact that it is 10Mp since it gives me more room to crop pictures. This is just my .02
     

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