Portrait of your camera(s)

Discussion in 'Photo Themes' started by Jeremy Z, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This was my main camera for the last three years, before I bought the Pentax last week. I wanted the option of full manual control, a sharp lens, with a long zoom, and a hot shoe for a proper flash.

    I couldn't have chosen better. Image stabilization wast just hitting the market at the time, which is about the only improvement I could ask for. Oh, and a proper wide angle. The Achilles heel of these ultrazoom cameras is that the zoom usually starts at 35-38mm equivalent. For any true wide angle appliation, that just doesn't work. When I was trying to photograph a 500 year old church and couldn't back up any further, I was kicking myself for not buying the 28mm adapter. If you buy one of these ultrazooms, or if you know someone who will, I strongly suggest buying the wide angle adapter that screws into the filter threads. Also, it doesn't focus worth a darn in low light at anything but wide angle. (f/2.8) It doesn't have a focus-assist beam, and it really should. The solution for this is to buy an Olympus dedicated flash with an IR focus-assist beam built in.

    I thought about selling it on ebay to help pay for another lens for the Pentax, but I don't think it is worth it. I paid something like $400 for it a few years ago, and now, it is worth maybe $150. Forget that. It is worth more to me! I'll keep it as a backup for now. It has enough resolution to make sharp 8x10s.

    The latest ultrazooms by Panasonic look like the class leaders these days. Long zoom, Leica lens, "Mega" Optical Image stabilization, and a hot shoe on the high end models. They still don't start at 28mm for the zoom though. Does anyone know whose flash dedication those Panasonic ultrazooms use?


    The lens is sharper than any other point and shoot camera I've worked with. I think the zoom equivalent is 38-350 mm. 98% of the photos posted here to date are from this camera. This has been a great camera, and it whetted my appetite for something more in digital. Its shortcomings made me take the leap into SLRs and were also responsible for making me find this site.

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  2. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So finally, after about 4 years in digital photography and 10 years on 35mm, I took the plunge and bought a digital SLR.

    I really like this beauty. I agonized for a week or two over all the different digital SLRs out there before deciding on this one. I had 3 EOS lenses and an EOS flash, but still went with this one. Why?
    • Anti shake mechanism is integral to the body, so I don't need to spend an extra $200 for it in each lens I want it in. I know the lens-based systems work better, but this will work on ANY lens. It is nice that Pentax included it in a camera in this price range. The anti shake mechanism in this body is coupled to the focal length, so if I mount a longer lens, it works harder.
    • It has a top panel LCD, so I will not be draining the batteries so quickly with the backlit one on the rear. Canon & Nikon have done away with this nice feature on their latest entry-level cameras.
    • It takes AA batteries. This is a mixed blessing. On one hand, it saved Pentax some money, and helped them offset the cost of the anti shake mechanism. They didn't have to pay for the lithium ion battery & charger. On alkaline AAs, this will only go for about 50-70 shots. Pretty bad. But on NiMH AAs, it will go 5X longer. I already have a bunch of these on hand from the Olympus. The NiMH don't have the shelf life of LiIo batteries, so I will have to remember to recharge them from time to time, even if I don't use them. For backup, I can use either alkalines (yuk) or one of two types of lithiums. Lithium AAs or the expensive, but higher capacity CR-V3 lithiums. (which go about 700 shots)
    • The kit lens is the best in its class. Metal lens mount, smooth zoom, smooth and damped manual focusing, and very good optical performance. I tried this compared to the Canon & Nikon kit lenses, and it is miles better. It doesn't feel like a toy from Hasbro. I'm going to buy the 50-200 kit lens soon, along with a Pentax flash.
    • Integral to the on/off switch is a DoF preview, which can be programmed to either stop down the lens or to take a quick shot, which isn't stored to memory and display it on the LCD. The first mode is good for showing depth of field, the second is good for seeing if the white balance & composition look good.
    Anyway, here she is. If you are looking to buy a digital SLR and are willing to think outside of the Canon/Nikon box, it is worth considering.

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  3. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My favorite is this table top Bogen ballhead tripod. When I'm going out specifically to shoot photos, I always try to force myself to carry the tripod. But carrying a full size tripod is a pain, lets face it. This little beauty stays in my bag at all times. I may not always have the perfect tripod, but I always have a good one handy. This was about $40.

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    Next, the full size tripod. The Bogens and other "serious" tripods are too heavy for my taste. Since this one has bracing underneath the head, it is just as stable. I don't have the flexibility of having the legs at different angles, but I can still telescope them independently for the rough terrain. Also, it was only $60 (they're $40 now) and has a detachable shoe head. I really love this, I had no idea how handy it is.

    Sorry the photos are blurry, but I didn't have the camera mounted on a tripod! :lol:

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    This last item is considered essential if your camera uses AAs. I have two cameras now that use AAs, so I finally bought a microprocessor-controlled battery charger. I got this at Wolf Camera for $25 including 4 2500 mAh NiMH AAs. Quite a deal. The cheaper chargers are timer-based. If you read the labels on the back, they charge NiMH for one length of time, and NiCds at another. The charge current is constant, and is sometimes not enough to fully charge a battery in 8 hours. This charger is microprocessor controlled, and will fully charge a 2400 mAh AA in 4 hours. It works with temperature sensors. Because of the nature of NiCd and NiMH AAs, they get warmer as they're nearing a complete charge. They don't mind being quite warm. So the batteries go into the compartment that traps the heat in. When they are warm enough, the charger knows they are fully charged and shuts down. Another neat thing is that the charger itself runs off of 12VDC, so it can be used wither with the included plug-in power supply, or with a cigarette lighter cord. I don't think I will use that much, but it is a nice touch.

    As an added bonus, my wife says it is "so cute". :wink:

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  4. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One neat thing about the Olympus that I mentioned previously is that it can take video, where an SLR can't. But the videos are HUGE, and not the best quality compared to a proper digital video.

    I was amazed at how cheap digital camcorders have gotten lately. This was only about $300-400. We pay more than that for one SLR lens. There are some things that are just better on video.

    A hidden benefit of this, at least to me was that it can take a (small) 1 MP still photo, optically stabilized, at 30X zoom levels. That is expensive with an SLR. It just so happens to take SD memory, just like the Pentax and Canon do. Since it is only about 1 MP or so, I just put the cheap 16 MB card that came with the Canon into this.

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  5. JonnyVPA

    JonnyVPA TPF Noob!

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    Not a body that I use very frequently... sometimes when im in the mood to shoot B&W and Colour Film with my Long exposures (i use a Nikon FE and the EM for exposures longer than 30sec's cuz they use cable release, these cameras are for LE's ONLY in my life)

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  6. ksmattfish

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

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    Group photo

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  7. EBphotography

    EBphotography TPF Junkie!

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    Wow Matt, quite a collection.
     
  8. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Hey Matt, there's someone here to talk to you about overcrowded living conditions.

    Nice collection, BTW. What's that one, second shelf down towards the right, looks like a mantle clock? Just to the right of the two flashes and in front of the TLR.
     
  9. JonnyVPA

    JonnyVPA TPF Noob!

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    Jesus ****!.... got enough camera's... how does one get that many ??? and how many of them do you use...??

    I'll be more than willing to take sieze some of them from your shelf

    Share the wealth... stop hogging all the camera's

    just messin
     
  10. ksmattfish

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

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    That's a Fotochrome. I was talking about it in a recent thread with MysteryScribe. There is a huge mirror behind the lens that projects the light down onto the film (some medium format size, roughly 6x8cm), which runs parallel to the ground. An interesting design, but I can see why it didn't take off.

    Check out the one next to that. It's a Viscawide STD, which is like a Widelux that uses 16mm film. And behind that is my Graph-Check sequence camera with eight lenses. It takes 8 frames in sequence (in a range of 1/10th of a sec, to 2 sec) on 4x5 film. Each frame is about the size of a 35mm frame.
     
  11. ksmattfish

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

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    There are about a 1/2 dozen that see fairly regular use. Another dozen or two that occasionally get used. Many of these are the cheap consumer cameras of their day, and probably at least half are either broken, or have some other issue that makes them more for looking at than using.
     
  12. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    BLIMEY! :D
     

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