Is a 300D for me?

saulmr

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Hi all,

I've been thinking about (finally) getting a decent digital camera. So far I've been mainly using a pentax K1000 and an Canon T2 for most of my shooting. I'm not planning to spend a lot, so I tought about getting a used 300D from ebay and reuse the lenses I already own.

Since I don't have a negative scanner, whenever I want to manipulate an image I order a 5x7 or 8x10 print and then scan at 600 DPI and work with it, then reprint it. I will rarely go above 8x10, probably the largest print will be an 11x14. So far the digital cameras I've been using have proven dissapointing on ISO 400 and natural or low light, wich is how I like to shoot. I find the images way too noisy for my taste. In that regard I find working with film much better on these conditions. Is it reasonable to expect similar results to film on a 300D, should I save more to get a better model or should I stick to film?

Thanks!
 

Big Mike

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Why not get your film shots burned to a CD when you get them processed? You don't even have to get the prints made...just develop and scan to CD. The images are probably not as clean and you would get from a good digital camera, but it's easier than getting an 8x10 made and scanning that.

The 300D will give you much less noise at ISO 800 than most small digital cameras at ISO 200. The newer DSLR cameras are even better.

You can also look into noise reduction programs like Neat Image or Noise Ninja.
 
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saulmr

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Definitvely a cheap option, I send 4 or 5 rolls to the lab and I get back a CD. Only problem is that I haven't found a facility that does hi-res negative scanning around here. All I get from the labs is 300DPI@4x6, wich is good to work with but not enough for larger prints (in my opinion).

There's not a lot of good photo labs around here, so my choices are limited.... bleh. Anybody knows a good lab in El Paso, TX?
 

LaFoto

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Compact digital cameras do higher ISOs but don't deal well with them.
I own a Canon Powershot A95, which is a very handy little digital camera, but even the 200 ISO pics are hopelessly grainy, not to mention the 400 ISO ones. So that seems to be a common "fault" in the little cameras.

You will find out that the 300D (I have the 350D now) will deal with such matters in a better way. And once you do digital photography ... why would you print your pics first, then re-scan them, then alter them, and then print them again? You have the digital "negative" (i.e. the original file right off the camera) there and ready for you to work with. (But never work with the original file and save that then, always only work with a duplicate of that to save THAT, so you will leave your "matrix" intact).

You will find that higher ISOs are less of a problem with the DSLRs ... and if you have grain, use NeatImage... I only ordered the first 400 of my edited America-pics as prints the other day (special offer of the drugstore chain of which there is one shop in my village, only 7 ct per print in 10x15 cm), and I am more than happy with the outcome.
 
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saulmr

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LaFoto said:
Once you do digital photography ... why would you print your pics first, then re-scan them, then alter them, and then print them again? You have the digital "negative"

Hahahaha... I know. The only argument I have for doing such a thing is that I'm a poor guy and couldn't affort a decent digital. I like seeing the prints because it gives me a tangible object to analyze and stock. I'll say that 95% of my photos end up on a box with the negatives to be never seen again, but the ones I like end up printed and hanged on my wall.

Going digital would definitvely give me an edge on improving my skills and making the most of each frame when I shoot film. If I ever can convince my wife, I'll have a darkroom in my future, but I like the flexibility of digital. You can shoot, and shoot and shoot and experiment and it doesn't cost you! :mrgreen:

Seems that I need to borrow a DSLR to see the amount of noise, but from what you tell me, it will be light years away from what I've seen so far on compacts, right?
 

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saulmr said:
Only problem is that I haven't found a facility that does hi-res negative scanning around here. All I get from the labs is 300DPI@4x6, wich is good to work with but not enough for larger prints (in my opinion).
Are you saying that the scans are only 1200x1800 pixels?
 
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saulmr

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I know! There's not much you can do with the images besides fiddling with them and printing in 5x7. I really tought about getting a decent film scanner, but it's going to cost as much as a used 300D, so I think it's a more sensible approach as I'll have more gear! It'll allow me to improve my shooting even more, and I can save film for the really good stuff.

6MP seems fairly decent for me... Can you pull a 11x14 print from it? I've been lucky enough to get people interested in some of my photographs and I'd like to start making money out of my hobby :mrgreen:
 

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When I was shooting a lot of film and having all my shots saved to CD for me...the files were 1840 x 1232. (from Blacks). I don't know if that is still standard but they do have a premium CD package with bigger files...but it's more expensive.

I was able to up-sample and print some 8x10 but the quality was not all that great.

*edit* Yes, you should be able to make 11x14 prints from 300D files.
 

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How tight is your budget? The 350D will get you 8 megapixels for not much more money, plus there are quite a few being sold used on Ebay since a lot of people are upgrading to a 20D, 5D etc. Another option is to use your Pentax lenses instead by getting one of the current Pentax DSLRs; some of them are very inexpensive.
 
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saulmr

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ohhh.... It's going to be a tight one, but it's an investment that can wait if I have to save more. The 300's are going fairly cheap these days, more than the 350.

I considered getting a Pentax DL some time ago, but when I read the review on dPreview it passed as a fair camera. Besides, most of my investment is on Canon lenses, I only got the 50mm my K1000 came with and I'm not sure how compatible it will be with a digital body. Has anyone tried these Pentax digital bodies?
 

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I use a 10D. I went digital when it finally looked like they had a camera that could handle a higher ISO without too much noise and I could afford. It was before the 300D, but I'm still glad I have that rather than the 300D, as the 10D was a direct replacement for my EOS5. I would imagine that the 300D would be pretty close to your T2. The 300D is based on the 10D, just with fewer features. If you were looking for something on a budget, I think you could be happy with it. 11x14 shouldn't be a problem, depending on what printing system you use. I print up to 12x18 on my Epson 1280.

Only you will know if it's going to be worth the money. A lot will depend on how much you shoot.
 
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markc said:
Only you will know if it's going to be worth the money. A lot will depend on how much you shoot.

hehehe... When I get a DSLR I'm going to shoot so much the first weeks that I'll probably become a sniper. :lol:

You are right, most of the time only you will know if it's worth the money, but getting lots of advise from people who's acutally used the products will help a lot. In the end, the best camera you own is the one you use the most.

I used more my K1000 than my T2 until I got the 1.8 50mm that gave the camera a running chance. LOL. People asked me how come I prefered an old manual camera instead of a modern auto-all one. I still like my K1000, taught me a lot and it's fun to use, but if I need a shure shot instead of just experimenting, out goes the T2. All that, seems that I'm going to be happy with the 300D when I get it!
 

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