The best digital camera of the past?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
jcharding
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Minolta 7D.
In reply to BobT, 9 months ago

Sadly for Minolta, a year too late.  Had it been earlier then they quite possibly would have really given Canon and Nikon a serious run.  Outstanding ergonomics, and at that time Minolta's stable of lenses was only a hair behind Canon and Nikon (Minolta offered essentially the full spread - all the way out to a 600/4).  It also was the either the first, or among the first, to have stabilization built into the body.

I don't use mine anymore, although I occasionally see one in the wild and I still proudly and prominently display photos from it on my office wall.

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Lightpath48
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Re: A best digital camera of the past?
In reply to BobT, 9 months ago

Buying, playing with, and selling digital cameras on eBay has been a hobby of mine since 1999.  Maybe the most memorable of them for me was a Nikon D70s with the 18-70 kit zoom.  It was simple enough to learn, well-built for my needs, it made very nice 6 MP images that served well for my 8.5 X 11" print needs.  After the D70s I never found more than a marginal improvement in my photography because of any equipment that I bought.  I've self-imposed a moratorium on buying cameras for now.  Were I to venture back in, I might look for a very clean D90 and another 18-70.

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Ron Poelman
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I think it's just the nature of the Zeiss,
In reply to rurikw, 9 months ago

you can't cover that much range and not have trade-offs at wide angle.
I am very happy with my landscapes from it,
but when you are aiming at the horizon, extra pixels are always welcome.
It's not bad at that range, in fact it's excellent, but the short range
rendering is simply stellar. Try F6.3 or similar and RAW for the long stuff.

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Pontoneer
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Re: I think it's just the nature of the Zeiss,
In reply to Ron Poelman, 9 months ago

Of the past ?

Pentax *istD

I have two which still see use from time to time .
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Hank3152
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What an odd thread..........
In reply to Kodachrome200, 9 months ago

Kodachrome200 wrote:

with digital gear being so technology dependent there is very little to look back on nostalgically. Fact is my D800 and GR are better in every way than my older cameras. and I really cant envision a situation where that wouldnt be true.

I couldn't agree more, ......my 1DmkIV is a major improvement over my Rebel XTi....much of the same reasoning can be said for cars. Today's autos are safer, more comfortable, better handling and more efficient.

I can't think of any camera I've had in the past as being better than today's models......or I'd have kept my Rebel, haha

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Timj351
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Re: What an odd thread..........
In reply to Hank3152, 9 months ago

I still have my Rebel XTi but I haven't used it in a while because I am really enjoying my superzoom and compact cameras. I still think the XTi is a wonderful camera that takes very nice images for my needs. The funny thing is that, even though it is digital, it now feels like an "old school" camera to me since it is without video, live view and other software features like face detection and gps. My lenses for it aren't even image stabilized either. I enjoy the simplicity of it and plan to hang on to it for quite a while longer.

My favorite camera of the past that got the most use was the Sony F707, already mentioned in this thread. I am still impressed with many of the images from it and they hold up just as well to current cameras at sizes under 8.5x11. I always felt it was a particular camera that you really needed to handle and use to fully appreciate it. I would really enjoy seeing a modern version of this camera design. I still have my F707 and it still works perfectly.

-Tim

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rurikw
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Re: I think it's just the nature of the Zeiss,
In reply to Ron Poelman, 9 months ago

Nice to find someone using the same oddball camera so happy to share experiences. I always thought lenses perform best toward infinity unless macro. And that infinity means anything beyond 5m unless extreme tele. Evidently wrong. Maybe lenses have different optimum distances. And complicated ones like a 5x zoom probably have different optimum distances at different focal lengths. I have empirical evidence that f16 is the sharpest aperture at 24mme. Yet my default aperture is f9. Why? Because I have been brainwashed to believe there is diffraction at f16? Maybe the slightest trace of softening in the very centre if I use my imagination but by far the best overall resolution. Lenses behave strangely but not nearly as strangely as humans. I am also generally happy with the output. Proof: haven't got another camera yet though would like something wider at times (though my bank account has a say in this as well).

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chooflaki
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Re: The best digital camera of the past?
In reply to BobT, 9 months ago

The Fuji S3 and S5 Pro's without a doubt. Nikon F80 and D200 based DSLR's with the unique Super CCD sensor. DR is right up with the current best. Works backwards though, expose for the shadows and reign in the highlights. Colours and skin tones that are perfect and not surpassed by modern cameras. Only usable to ISO 400 and not for high resolution or sports shooting but deliver fantastic portraits. I still use my examples and will never sell mine.

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Clueless Wanderer
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Re: The best digital camera of the past?
In reply to BobT, 9 months ago

BobT wrote:

Looking back over the relatively short life of digital photography (and digital gear), what do YOU feel has been one of the best cameras to ever hit the market? Nothing current, please. I think it should be a camera that you feel that you could use today (and maybe you still do). And of course, why do you feel it was (is) a very decent photo tool?

I'll start.... with the Canon 300D...the first "Digital Rebel". I enjoyed the fact that I really "knew" this camera better than any others since, and got what are still some of my best images with it.

The Nikon coolpix 8800 was my firsts venture into Digital (around 2004). I still have it and just recently dug it out and wiped all the mould off it, charged the battery, shot Raw, yes Raw ..about 30 seconds of disabled camera controls waiting for it to finish writing to the card later, I then did the same shot with a D700 and 24-70mm f2.8. The coolpix was at iso 50 the D700 at ISO200. Post processing them both in LR5 and I was blown away that they were on the same level of sharpness. Amazing!

Then when it came to the ISO noise, well.. er.. yeah. ISO 50 on the CP8800 was around 6400 on the D700 Man, they really put a great lens on that lil puppy.
As DSLR's go I would say the best Nikon's to hit the market have been the D70, D200, D700. Had no experience with a D800 except holding it in the shop. I found it too small for my large hands..

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Henry Falkner
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Thanks for the Question
In reply to BobT, 9 months ago

BobT wrote:

Henry,

For you Henry, we'll make an exception. Besides the suspense is killing us. What's the 4-week-old camera? SH-50?

Yes it is the SH-50. The mode dial only turns when you want it to, like on the SP-570UZ. The video start button is the only one above the 4-way rocker, which avoids hitting the display button by mistake (as I do on the SZ-30MR). There is a manual setting for ISO, shutter and aperture with a yellow +-2 EV indication if I am widely off the ball park. Best of all, it has 3-axis IS for stills and 5-axis IS for video. These make focussing and centring long shots much more reliable than on any of my previous cameras with 2-axis IS only. Etc, etc.

By the way, your last sentence above is perfectly true.

Thank you. The shots that keep people coming back to my Pbase gallery are those with Sandra, taken on an Olympus C-2500L which had one aperture for over-exposure and the other for under-exposure. I sold the camera to a friend of Sandra's, but she is still in my life. Today she did a pre-Christmas invitation which she pronounced the most successful ever.

Henry

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Carsten Pauer 2
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Re: The best digital camera of the past?
In reply to BobT, 9 months ago

Looking back over the relatively short life of digital photography (and digital gear), what do YOU feel has been one of the best cameras to ever hit the market?

The FinePix S2 Pro.

I think it should be a camera that you feel that you could use today (and maybe you still do).

Oh, then, it is my FinePix S2+S5 Pro.

And of course, why do you feel it was (is) a very decent photo tool?

Image Quality, that is one of my first Priority.
Before i has buy my first DSLR i was searching Months for a good DSLR with great IQ.

So i have viewed tons of Photos from the Reviews and more to choose the right DSLR for me.
I have Printed this highres Photos with my Ink-Printers and watch seem and compared them with others.

For this Time, the FinePix S2 Pro was my first choice, and it was a good choice for me.

Normally i never would use a DSLR, but the P&S Cameras was tooooooooo limited for me.
I think this Time was a very good chance for the Mirror-Less Cameras.

I'll start.... with the Canon 300D...the first "Digital Rebel". I enjoyed the fact that I really "knew" this camera better than any others since, and got what are still some of my best images with it.

Yes the Time i has seen the first Photo from a CMOS-Sensor from Canon was the Days as i have wanted a FinePix S2 Pro for the IQ.

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hjr13
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Re: The best digital camera of the past?
In reply to Carsten Pauer 2, 9 months ago

Maybe not the best, but the first camera I was happy with the results, was the Canon G3. I had 1 digital camera before, and it was more of a novelty item. The G3 produced results that could be printed and looked good.

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dave
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Re: The best digital camera of the past?
In reply to BobT, 9 months ago

The best was the Canon 5D original. I still use mine as much as my K5ii. It was the first FF professional caliber affordable DSLR. It still out performs most of the current crop of prosumer dslr's.

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tex
tex
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my best was the Oly E-3 /nt
In reply to BobT, 9 months ago
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Corkcampbell
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Epson 3000 - first serious digital camera, then came Minolta Dimage series.
In reply to BobT, 9 months ago

Used it to take photos of Ground Zero a couple of weeks after 9/11, when there were still fires, and huge lights were trained on the site. This at night, shot from the Empire State Building. Had a Canon EOS1 with fast lenses and film, but the new Epson (borrowed it from my company and read the manual on the plane) did quite well - those were the keepers. There was not enough light for the film SLR. The SLR did beautifully at close ups during the daytime, however. That's when I knew digital had arrived.

Bought the camera when I got back, and then upgraded to the first Minolta Dimage when it arrived. This was when dSLRs were still being developed.

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MediaArchivist
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Re: Sony F707/717
In reply to Chris R-UK, 9 months ago

The 717 was my first digital. Awesome camera, I took it from Albuquerque to New York to Kyiv. I never found it to be slow, but I did not have anything to compare it to. I got predictable after that, 717 -> R1 -> a77 -> a99

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MediaArchivist
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Mine still works great!
In reply to Ron Poelman, 9 months ago

It was the upgrade after my 717 died

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