Help buying new camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by James L, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #1
    Hey all,

    It is time for a new camera. I have the opportunity to buy a used Nikon D70, with a basic 18-70 lens. It looks great, the price is awesome, etc. Moving up from an old 3.2 megapixel point and shoot to a nice SLR is very appealing.

    Having said that, I like to do my comparison shopping. I am not attached to the idea of a point and shoot, or an SLR.... I simply want a camera that meets my criteria.

    So, what am I looking for?:

    1) In an all in one point and click, a decent optical zoom. In an SLR body, a decent range of lenses.

    2) A quick start up time.

    3) A continuous shooting mode.

    4) Quick turn around time between shots (no 4 second delays as the camera writes to the card).

    5) Decent manual controls.

    6) At least 6 megapixels.

    7) I do a lot of outdoor photography, and enjoy nighttime photography a lot.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or experiences you guys can share.

    Cheers,

    James L
     
  2. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #2
    In startup time, manual controls, continuous shooting mode, fast write times, high resolution and quality high ISO pics (for night shots) nothing beats a dSLR with a good lens. On the downside, they are more expensive, bigger and heavier. You might want to take a look at some superzooms like the Canon S3 IS. Better yet, chek out DPreview for some of the most extensive reviews and comparisons I've seen.

    What do you like to ohotograph? Portraits, macro, landscapes, low-light? Defining this brings you one step closer to the camera you want (in the case of P&S) or the lenses you want (in the case of a dSLR)
     
  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #3
    The D70 will do all of that, though #1 isn't the strong point of any DSLR on the market-- you can keep in in program mode, but occasionally the metering mode you choose will affect the exposure enough that you'll need to adjust things. With night photography, you'll have to watch out for underexposure, as that will introduce horrible noise. With Nikons, you'll probably want to get a copy of some noise reduction software for when you don't nail it. Canon does more in-camera noise reduction, where Nikon leaves that to post processing past a certain point.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #4
    A D70 will be great for everything other than #1. If you want portability, you're looking at the wrong type of camera.
     
  5. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #5
    Exactly. DSLRs' strong point is definitely not portability. But they make up for it in a big way with all the other features they have. Still, I would recommend checking out some sites with camera reviews like dpreview or fredmiranda.com.
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #6
    FWIW, if you don't routinely crop heavily or print beyond 8x10, more than 6MP is overkill. It also shows lens flaws and technique weaknesses when you start going over 6MP, and smaller apertures start to have diffraction issues. Don't play the numbers game just to play the numbers game.
     
  7. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #7
    The D70 should serve you fine. The 18-70 mm lens has also suited my needs for the time being. I've had amazing picture quality and using it has been relatively easy - naturally, there's a learning curve, but not something that one with basic computer and photography skills can't conquer in a few weeks of heavy use. I'd suggest a book/guide too, just to help you get aquatinted with the plethora of features the D series has to offer.

    I'd suggest keeping a decent point and shoot around, since the D70 is a larger camera. It's not exactly light, and it's bulky if you're use to a compact point and shoot. That said, chances are, if you're taking the D70 out, you're going to be taking pictures...

    Otherwise, I have nothing negative to say about the Nikon D70 (D70s in my case)... It seems far more daunting when faced with all the decisions. Once you have the camera and have used it a bit, it definitely becomes less an ordeal.

    Good luck, and keep us updated!
     
  8. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #8
    warning; following advice is coming from a novice photographer

    I reckon the S3 IS would suit all of your requirements. It can be great for point-and-shoot, it has a few lenses available for it, 12x optical zoom, starts up quickly, i believe it has the continuous shooting mode, its pretty quick between shots, complete manual control option, and 6 MP resolution.
     
  9. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #9
    Excellent point, except for the night shots part. The highest ISOs on the S3 (and generally all prosumers) are no match for a DSLR. You might clean them up with noise ninja, but it's not that good.
     
  10. hodgjy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    #10
    D70

    The D70 is a fine camera. It's quite dated, but still capable of producing gorgeous pictures.

    One thing to consider when buying a used D70 is the infamous "blinking green light of death." This is a problem where the camera completely dies, and all that remains is a blinking light. Nikon fixed this problem for free to everyone who had it. Not sure if that program is still available. The newer D70s does not have this problem. Only the older D70.

    So, before you buy it, see if it ever got fixed. If not, see if the program is still available.
     

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