Recomendation for my new camera

Started Oct 28, 2003 | Discussions
Ping279 Senior Member • Posts: 1,729
Recomendation for my new camera

I'm interested in getting a new camera, but not quite yet. I'll probably end up getting one in maybe 3 - 5 monthes. My question is, what camera should I get? I have the 4500 now and for those of you who don't know me, I'm 17 and am really interested in going into photography as a profession. For the people who dont' know me or my work, if you take a look at my gallery it might give you a better idea as where I'm at in the photography world. So, any input would greatly help my decision. I'm kinda interested in getting a dslr but I'm not so crazy over the price. I'm thinking about spending somewhere around $750 - $900

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Backdoctor
Backdoctor Forum Pro • Posts: 13,932
Ping, if you plan to get serious then

I would imagine that DSLR would be the way to go. With the right glass it would allow you to do any type of photography without some of the limitations of the prosumer cameras we love so much.

Just my 2Cents.

P.S. by then, there should be more choices in the nikon family as well to muddy up your choices.

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Ed Prust Regular Member • Posts: 339
Re: Recomendation for my new camera

Hai Ping

I realy believe you should look into the 5700. Especialy with new models lurking in the future, prices should come down (secondhand/refurbished perhaps). It's a great camera to bridge the gap between a easier cam and a DSLR. I'm looking to get an DSLR in the future too but I feel I can (or need to) learn a lot from this camera yet, before taking the plunge.

Then again I will wait to see the D100 succesor before commiting (whenever it comes).

And if you do want to wait for an DSLR the 5700 will keep you busy in the meanwhile.

(keep 'm in the short grass)
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Todd Art Veteran Member • Posts: 5,276
I'd rather see you get a 5700

than a "dumbed-down" dslr like the 300D. But I'm not sure the 5700 is going to be a HUGE improvement over the 4500 except for the zoom. If you can afford a D100 or better, sell a few golf clubs and go for it. If not, the 5700 will be into the 600-700 dollar price range by December, if it's not already. I paid $819 for mine after rebate, and I'm satisfied. It hasn't been perfect, but I haven't been either.

If you want to go pro, you need to buy pro toys. The 5700 will help you learn, but won't help you get a job. You'll be better off buying something that'll get you through college and then some.

I tend to see cameras as being on a 2-3 year cycle. I believe that each new camera should be a BIG improvement over the past one. I bought my Nikon 800 (2 MP, 2x zoom) in March 2000 for $500. I waited till June 2003 to pay $819 for my 5700 (5 MP, 8x zoom). In another 2 years or so I'll probably go with a dslr, provided I can justify the expense.

Ed Prust wrote:

Hai Ping
I realy believe you should look into the 5700. Especialy with new
models lurking in the future, prices should come down
(secondhand/refurbished perhaps). It's a great camera to bridge the
gap between a easier cam and a DSLR. I'm looking to get an DSLR in
the future too but I feel I can (or need to) learn a lot from this
camera yet, before taking the plunge.
Then again I will wait to see the D100 succesor before commiting
(whenever it comes).
And if you do want to wait for an DSLR the 5700 will keep you busy
in the meanwhile.

(keep 'm in the short grass)
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EarlH Senior Member • Posts: 1,339
5000 or 5700 or 717 or 828
Sotare Regular Member • Posts: 264
If you have time to wait, ...

then wait for the D75 and it will be like the 300D from Canon. I bought with 17 a cam for about 3000,-- and it was to get this money, but I regret nothing and a D75 incl. nice 2 Lenses will cost 1500,-- and you're open for everything.

or the successor of 5700 maybe

Uncle Frank
Uncle Frank Forum Pro • Posts: 21,511
Re: digicam

Ping279 wrote:

I'm interested in getting a new camera, but not quite yet. I'll
probably end up getting one in maybe 3 - 5 monthes. My question
is, what camera should I get?

There will be many new models by then, Ping, so I wouldn't worry about deciding now. Looking through your gallery, you haven't shown an interest in areas that would profit from a dslr's fast focusing characteristics, but a 28mm wide end would probably be in order, based on your talent for scapes.

As far as preparing for a pro career, gaining skill in lighting, composition and editing will be of far more importance than buying the latest and greatest gun. And the convenience of having a take-anywhere rig would allow you to shoot more frequently. I think a digicam would serve you better than a dslr.

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Jarrell Conley
Jarrell Conley Forum Pro • Posts: 15,442
Ping, I can't even decide what I

want to do..

It really is a hard call for anyone to make because everybodys situation is different, financially and otherwise. You're about to start college I believe? A dslr body and lenses (assuming you don't have them already) are going to set you back a pretty penny. But... you see... that's the problem. We don't know! $2,500 to $3,000 may not be that much to you. I also do model railroading and I've seen guys plop down $1,500 for a locomotive. Not the whole train.. just the locomotive. I wish! What I'm getting at here is that much money for a single item is well within their means and budget.

I tend to agree with Uncle Frank also. Learning lighting and compostion and all the other stuff is more valuable than any single camera. I know I'd wait and see what Nikons answer to the Sony 828 is going to be.

Well, that wasn't much help I know. Like I said, I can't even make up my own mind what to buy, but I'm getting better at it..
Jarrell

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rapick
rapick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,332
Re: I can't but totally agree ...

... with the wise words by Frank and Jarrell.

Ping279 wrote:

I'm interested in getting a new camera,

Why?

I have the 4500 now and for those of
you who don't know me, I'm 17 and am really interested in going
into photography as a profession.

Yes, but remember, it is the photographer, not the tool. And '4500 is a very capable camera. So, the right moment to think about changing will be when you get consistent "pro-level" photos from it.

I'm kinda interested in getting a dslr but ...

More, why: I see your interests are for Macro and Landscape, and everybody here will tell you the old (?) '4500 is better than any dsrl for macros! For landscapes, just add a WC-63, and get the same performance of a dsrl + expensive (1,000 $ or so) extra-wide zoom lens!

I'm thinking about spending somewhere around $750 - $900

No camera in that price range justifying the change, at present. So keep up shooting those nice pics of yours.
Ciao.
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Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 5,933
Re: Recomendation for my new camera

Ping279,

Glad to know you have set your career path early. Here is my experience.

I started photography at 12 with a Rollei TwinReflex (i.e., a camera with TWO lenses, one for viewing and the other for shooting) and used it for many years. Of course, compared with today's any camera, that Rollei is a stone age one. However, I learned a lot from using such a primitive camera. I must set aperture, shutter speed, adjusting for different film speed, and so on. With these skills I became a part-time pro for a long time. So, what is the point? My point is that the camera itself is less important initially. It is a tool for you to learn and to capture your vision. As long as it works fine under most conditions and provides every possible manual control, it is a good one. I always prefer to have a primitive one because I can think, visualize, and reiterate. Thus, even when every one moved to F4, I still used my old trusted F3 and F2AS. When you got some early real assignments, you will start to accumulate more experience and earn some money, and then you will know which systems and lenses will be good for you and your career. The period in which I learned the most is when I must shoot Kadakchome 25 or 64. I must make sure every exposure is right to the point and the composition is good enough to the publisher to use. In this way, I learned to choose lenses, films, aperture/shutter speed, etc so that each slide is nearly what I want, because postprocessing is nearly minimal.

Now get back to your camera selection. I may be an old fashioned person because I learned the whole thing in the old way. I personally would suggest shooting slides for a while. You could buy a used SLR body and a couple of reasonable lenses. This would still keep the cost down below $900. Because shooting slides are so strict with only a little tolerance, I am sure you will learn more fast. Then, when you have accumulated sufficient skills, you might want to go up for DSLR. Of course, you will pay some $$$ for slides and processing. On the other hand, if you make up you mind to ensure every frame is a keeper, you will be very careful and shooting process will be slower, which implies less frames and higher successful rate. In fact, you could use your 4500 as a Polaroid for taking some preshots to compare with your slides. That will easily train your eyes to see things in a more accurate way.

BTW, I am not sure if the 4500 or any similar Coolpix would the best for macro work. My pro-life spent more than 30% in shooting macro, which forced me to use various equipment (e.g., micro lenses, bellows, extension tubes, and teleconverters). One thing for sure is that a SLR or DSLR with a micro lens beats every Coolpix camera in every aspect except for convenience.

Finally, I would suggest to spend more time to think about lighting and learn about color tone (if you like color). Without light, there is no photo. Natural light can force you to think like what Adams did many years ago. On the other hand, artificial light can be controlled by you and provide you more opportunities to do experiments. I would suggest to start with hot-lights rather than flash because hot-lights are continuous. They are also cheaper. For example, a JTL web light costs only about $150 with stand, small softbox and a 250W halogen lamp. The only problem is that its intensity is weak; however, you can easily use your 4500 to do experiment.

Ok, it is my $0.02. Hope the above could provide you with some merit.

Wish you to have a successful career.

CK
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OP Ping279 Senior Member • Posts: 1,729
Thanks to all, I think i've decied to....

wait and see what nikon will put out after sony's 828, as someone mentioned. I was kind of already planning on doing that but wasn't really sure. If the camera that nikon will come out with isn't what I want or is way too much money I think i'll end up getting a used or cheapend 5700. I've seen some of the work from the 5700 and it sure does look great.

I got some mixed feelings about DSLR's in here..... some people told me that they weren't as good as the coolpix's for macros while others said that they well surpassed them with a close up lens added on. I don't think I'll be getting a dslr for a while. I'm a junior now so I still have a couple years till I would be getting very serious.

Some of you said that the 4500 is a great camera, which it is, and that your not sure why i'm wanting to get a new one. Well, I'm really just looking for an overall better camera, something that is a little sharper, has a little better focus and more MP's. That's why I think the 5700 best fits my needs.

Someone also said that I should think about getting the sony 828. It looks like a great camera and all but, not to bash sony, but i really don't like sony's digi cams. My friend as a 717 and I've used it a few times and I really don't like it that much. I just didn't click with it.

So thanks for all the help, I'll be sure to let everyone know before I do any purchasing. I don't think it will be for at least another 4 monthes though! Thanx everyone!

: - )
: - )
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: - )

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David Chin Forum Pro • Posts: 11,670
The 1-year itch ...

Nothing much to add to the other useful comments. Just wanna share what I'm going through now. I won't be going into photography as a career (too late for that now! :)), but, on my Thailand trip, one area where I felt the CP4500 did less than OK was in wide-angles. With a WC-E24 converter lens, the pics were not that great. Really got me thinking of maybe getting the 5400 as a replacement. But I'm sure the feeling will go away in a few days - I just gotta make sure I don't take sweeping landscapes & architecture pics in the meantime.

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Uncle Frank
Uncle Frank Forum Pro • Posts: 21,511
Re: While you're waiting...

Ping279 wrote:

Some of you said that the 4500 is a great camera, which it is, and
that your not sure why i'm wanting to get a new one. Well, I'm
really just looking for an overall better camera, something that is
a little sharper, has a little better focus and more MP's.

Speaking of sharper and better, check out the cp4500 pics David got on his honeymoon to Thailand:

http://www.pbase.com/dlcmh/thailand_honeymoon_2003

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Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 5,933
Re: Thanks to all, I think i've decied to....

Ping279 wrote:

I got some mixed feelings about DSLR's in here..... some people
told me that they weren't as good as the coolpix's for macros while
others said that they well surpassed them with a close up lens
added on.

Just wish to clear some doubt. Indeed, SLR/DSLR macro is much better than the 4500 in every aspect except possibly for convenience. The major reason is that SLR/DSLR systems are much more versatile and the brand-named macro/micro lenses are much sharper than every consumer level digital camera lens. I answered a few questions regarding macro lens setup on Steve's site which might be helpful:
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15584

If the 5700 has a better optical quality at its longest end of its focal length (i.e., 280mm), the 5700 may be more versatile than the 4500. This is due to the fact that its longer focal length can use many SLR type accessories. While one may say that the 4500 has a zoom for macro, SLR/DSLR systems also have excellent zoom macro lenses (e.g., Nikon's 70-180 is THE example). In terms of magnification of a single lens, no one can beat Canon's MP-E65mm f2.6 macro lens that can deliver directly 5X magnification without any accessory. See here http://www.usa.canon.com/html/eflenses/lineup/macro/index.html As you can see, a really really important factor for 4500 is convenience rather than its macro quality. Of course, I am not saying the 4500 macro is not good; what I meant is that compared with a good quality SLR macro lens a SLR/DSLR has an edge.

CK
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rapick
rapick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,332
Re: Dear CK, since it was me to tell Ping ...

... that no dsrl would equal the macro capability of his '4500, now it is my turn to duly clarify.

FIRST: no doubt you are right: a good DSRL equipped with a micro or macro (?) special lens will surclass macro capability of CP-4500 (or any other Coolpix) in terms of absolute sharpnes and maximum magnification.

SECOND: ... but there are instances where convenience can prevail over performance. Would you prefer the CP or a DSRL for shooting handheld a bee "landing" on a flower? You don't need that huge magnification, in this case - you just need as much DOF as possible while keeping high shutter speed. So you have to to the smallest possible aperture with the SRL lens (then possibly suffering from diffraction), then go to extra high ISO (OK, not a problem with a HIGH END dsrl). I still think you will get a better pic from the DSRL ... but what about the ease of framing you get from the '4500 swivel body?

THIRD: I had a look to prices: NIKON 70-180 is $ 999, 95 - CANON MP-E65mm f2.8 is $1,430 - add $ 2,500 for a mid-level DSRL body - Oh, let's add a Canon EOS Zoom Lens EF 16-35 f2.8L USM at $ 2,420 for nice landscapes.

LAST: My suggestion was directed to Ping - Would you encourage a 17 years old friend to spend $ 7,500 for his hobby?

Ching-Kuang Shene wrote:

Ping279 wrote:

I got some mixed feelings about DSLR's in here..... some people
told me that they weren't as good as the coolpix's for macros while
others said that they well surpassed them with a close up lens
added on.

Just wish to clear some doubt. Indeed, SLR/DSLR macro is much
better than the 4500 in every aspect except possibly for
convenience. The major reason is that SLR/DSLR systems are much
more versatile and the brand-named macro/micro lenses are much
sharper than every consumer level digital camera lens. I answered
a few questions regarding macro lens setup on Steve's site which
might be helpful:
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15584

If the 5700 has a better optical quality at its longest end of its
focal length (i.e., 280mm), the 5700 may be more versatile than the
4500. This is due to the fact that its longer focal length can use
many SLR type accessories. While one may say that the 4500 has a
zoom for macro, SLR/DSLR systems also have excellent zoom macro
lenses (e.g., Nikon's 70-180 is THE example). In terms of
magnification of a single lens, no one can beat Canon's MP-E65mm
f2.6 macro lens that can deliver directly 5X magnification without
any accessory. See here
http://www.usa.canon.com/html/eflenses/lineup/macro/index.html As
you can see, a really really important factor for 4500 is
convenience rather than its macro quality. Of course, I am not
saying the 4500 macro is not good; what I meant is that compared
with a good quality SLR macro lens a SLR/DSLR has an edge.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500 User Guide

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Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 5,933
Re: Dear CK, since it was me to tell Ping ...

Rapick,

SECOND: ... but there are instances where convenience can prevail
over performance. Would you prefer the CP or a DSRL for shooting
handheld a bee "landing" on a flower? You don't need that huge
magnification, in this case - you just need as much DOF as possible
while keeping high shutter speed. So you have to to the smallest
possible aperture with the SRL lens (then possibly suffering from
diffraction), then go to extra high ISO (OK, not a problem with a
HIGH END dsrl). I still think you will get a better pic from the
DSRL ... but what about the ease of framing you get from the '4500
swivel body?

IMO, using a SLR/DSLR macro/micro lens is much faster and accurate. A Sigma 50mm F2.8 micro can do 1:1 for less than $250.00 and a 105mm F2.8 for $359. DOF-wise, F16 and even F22 is not a big problem in sunny days in order to yield good DOF and blur the background. (Hmmm, we perhaps emphasize too much about DOF and forget blurring the background.) And, don't mention the AF speed. In fact, I just did such a test for a column on digital cameras that I wrote for PC Magazine-Chinese Edition, the AFD 60mm is the best choice of the crop of lenses and cameras I have (i.e., 60mm, Tamron 90mm, Nikon 200mm, 4500 and 5700). The shooting condition was not perfect because it was in late afternoon. The 60mm got more good shots than any other lenses, while the 4500 hunt a lot and failed to focus either due to slow AF or fast moving bees. In this respect, the 5700 seems a little better. The $250 Sigma may not be as sharp as the Nikon AFD 60mm F2.9; however, it is rated very highly against the Nikon 60mm.

THIRD: I had a look to prices: NIKON 70-180 is $ 999, 95 - CANON
MP-E65mm f2.8 is $1,430 - add $ 2,500 for a mid-level DSRL body -
Oh, let's add a Canon EOS Zoom Lens EF 16-35 f2.8L USM at $ 2,420
for nice landscapes.

The two lenses that I mentioned are for the best possible results. Most average people prefer a 50mm, 60mm or 105mm. I am note sure a beginner would need a $2,500 DSLR body and a $2,420 16-35 F2.8L.

LAST: My suggestion was directed to Ping - Would you encourage a 17
years old friend to spend $ 7,500 for his hobby?

My suggestion was about shooting slides first to learn the basics. Then, with a collection of a number of reasonable lenses, move up the ladder to a DSLR. It is not difficult to acquire a reasonable and yet very capable SLR system in

CK

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rapick
rapick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,332
Re: Dear CK, since it was me to tell Ping ...

Ching-Kuang Shene wrote:

Rapick,
...
My suggestion was about shooting slides first to learn the basics.
Then, with a collection of a number of reasonable lenses, move up
the ladder to a DSLR. It is not difficult to acquire a reasonable
and yet very capable SLR system in
very economic in the long run, shooting slides requires a very
disciplined and rigorous thinking process because the tolerance
level is very small. Moreover, a 4500 can be used as a backup and
for comparison. One does not need the best equipment to start.
After all, it is the eyes behind the camera and lens that
determines the artistic portion. The technical component, IMO,
needs rigorous training. In fact, I have a couple of students who
started his photography hobby or career in exactly the same way,
and this is also a quite common practice in a large number of
photography related schools and departments. When we are about to
learn something, IMO, convenience is secondary. The most crucial
factor is to get the most (artistic and technical) out of a set of
affordable tools that are capable enough to help learn everything.
...
CK

Well, CK, I have been shooting slides with a (full manual) SRL during 25 years! Therefore, I understand what you mean, and agree. However, IMHO, when a (talented) newbie already has a CP-4500, he/she has got a capable enough tool for developing his/her photographic skill. No real need, to this scope, for getting any more advanced digicam, or even a DSRL: any camera, nowdays, allow you to stay in Full-Auto mode and shoot casual pics without learning anything. The important is to have a Full-Manual mode available! And '4500 has.
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OP Ping279 Senior Member • Posts: 1,729
Re: While you're waiting...

Ya, I saw it... lot's of great pictures. I especially like the dragonfly, very colorful.

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OP Ping279 Senior Member • Posts: 1,729
Let's not get too heated now...

you guys both have good points. I think that both cameras are good for their own puposes. I agree that the 4500 is easier to use for macros because of it's small size and manuverability ( spelling? ) but the DSLR as would any DSLR, has much better quality.

To add another thing that I'm looking for in a new camera, I definitly want a camera that, without having to buy any extras, will focus as close as the 4500 will. I won't buy a camera that cannot take macros as close or as good as the 4500. To give an example of how " close " I want, here's a fly the size of a tip of a pencil lead:

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rapick
rapick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,332
Re: Heated? Not at all, ...

Nathan,

I learned so much from C.K. about digital photography and using Coolpixes, that I will never get heated with him!
To answer your new wish camera specification (AFAK):

  • No other digicam (non-DSRL) will allow you to go closer in macro ('5700 is not so good, according to U. Frank)

  • Using a DSRL, you would need in any case a specific Macro lens (cheap add-on glasses provide very poor results! - this is my own experience)

  • Still not so clear to me the reason why you would like to get a new camera in the near future. What is in the '4500 making you unhappy with it?

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Ping279 wrote:

you guys both have good points. I think that both cameras are good
for their own puposes. I agree that the 4500 is easier to use for
macros because of it's small size and manuverability ( spelling? )
but the DSLR as would any DSLR, has much better quality.

To add another thing that I'm looking for in a new camera, I
definitly want a camera that, without having to buy any extras,
will focus as close as the 4500 will. I won't buy a camera that
cannot take macros as close or as good as the 4500. To give an
example of how " close " I want, here's a fly the size of a tip of
a pencil lead:

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