Wide-angle cameras?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Buschmaster, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #1
    My mom needs a wide-angle camera for her work, anyone have any suggestions? She would probably want a point and shoot, but unless she got a cheaper older SLR and a wide angle lens those would be out of the question.

    Thanks!
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #2
    Are you saying that your mom wants a point and shoot unless she gets an older camera? I'm confused. BUT what is your mom photographing? Most point and shoots go wide enough for general photography and even ok for real estate people trying to take snap shots of their listings.
     
  3. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #3
    Nikon Coolpix 8400 is a pretty wide-angle "bridge" camera. At the time it was released this was a big selling point that Nikon emphasized. I don't know if they are still available on dealers' shelves or if they've been discontinued.
     
  4. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #4
    The Panasonic Lumic DMC-FX01 is looking great for her. Thoughts?

    She is in real estate... She currently has a point and shoot and finds she often wants a wider angle. So, yeah, that's why the wide angle.
     
  5. cube macrumors G4

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    #5
    Check out the review on the Kodak P880 in dpreview.com to see if you can accept its drawbacks (like higher ISO quality). It goes to 24mm.

    The Coolpix 8400 also goes to 24mm, but it doesn't have much reach at the long end.

    The Kodak V705 has two lenses, one of which is 23mm, but it seems the quality
    seems leaves something to be desired (too much compression). It's also too automatic. But it is very small, so maybe it would be the preferred choice.

    Then there are some cameras which go to 28mm.

    I was suspecting something like real estate. I guess the V705 would be the right choice then (although some realtor at amazon.com does not like the quality of the pics). 23mm and very compact. Just google 'V705 real estate'.
    Ah, yes. You can stitch 3-pic panoramas in-camera
    But also noise starting at ISO 200. Maybe usable only up to 400. This could be a problem for indoor shots.

    The Panasonics have trouble with higher ISO.

    If size is not a problem, maybe look at the Fujifilm S6000fd. It goes only to 28mm, but Fuji's sensors are very good for low light.

    It's only $318 at Beach Camera and buydig.
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #6
    Has she looked into wide angle add-on lenses. If her current camera is a Canon, Olympus, Sony or maybe some others they may make an accessory lens that multiplies the built-in lens' focal length by 0.6

    If you buy the camera maker's brand of accessory lens the quality is quite good. Prices run about $80. Don't bother with any of the cheap third party add-on lenses. however Century Optics makes some high quality wide angle add-ons that have become "standard issue" with skateboard videogrphers. These sell for $100 and up.

    Here is one example
    http://www.adorama.com/ICAWCDC52.html
     
  7. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #7
    Her current camera needs to be replaced anyway... So she'd like a new one either way.
     
  8. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #8
    Ignore the Panasonic wide angle offerings, the Panasonics are noise generators. Also they have quite a lot of barrel dostortion at wide angle, compared to the competition.

    4 wide angle cameras you should consider:

    Canon SD800 IS. SMALL, metal, very good image quality for its size, and IS too. Goes down to 28mm (35mm equivalent).

    Canon Powershot S80. Compact metal, beautiful finish, very good image quality, goes down to 28mm too.

    Fuji S6000fd. DSLR style body, good image quality with good noise performance at higher ISO settings (when there isnt enough light but you do not want to use flash). goes down to 28mm.

    Kodak P880. DSLR style body. Good image quality, goes down to 24mm! Barrel distortion is not really an issue. A bit slow in operation.

    And a 5th if price is not really an issue: Sony R1. Bigger and heavier than the Fuji and Kodak, very good image quality, even better noise performance than the Fuji, and also goes down to 24mm.

    There you have it, 4 (5) wide angle cameras of different form factor, that give above average image quality. There is bound to be a camera among these that your mother will be able to enjoy!
     
  9. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #9
    Actually, how about looking at the new Nikon D40, with its tiny new 18-55mm lens? Although not pocket-sized, this is a very small DSLR and it is meant for those who want a P&S with DSLR features. It will not work with some of Nikon's older lenses but it will work with the 12-24mm lens and the 10.5mm lens if she wants to go wider than the 18mm.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #10
    I think this is the person the D40 was designed for. The non-photographer with special needs that a P&S can't handle. The 10.5mm lens is wide enough to make a four foot square closet look huge. Although the 12-24 would be more useful. She's in real estate right? Sell one property and the camera is paid for 50 times over. Why the low budget the camera is a tax write off.

    Have her buy the D40, 12-24 and a strobe. The little one that is made to go with the d40. You don't want to use the built-in strobe because you can't aim it to bounce.

    The typical real estate interior photos are horrible. If she could learn to make good images she's have something over the competition. Having sharp, well exposed and lit 8 x10 glossies to hand out would make people remember the property and her. Remember ever potential buyer or even "looker" is also a potential client. So she is marketing not only the property but her services. The ability to make a property look good in a photo is something she can do that others maybe can't.

    The D40, 12-24, a strobe, some photo books and a tripod and do it now before the end of 2006 and claim it all on the tax form
     
  11. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #11
    Weird suggestion... the camera is the absolute bottom in DSLR land, and you do know how very expensive that AF-S 12-24 Nikkor is, don't you? Over $1000!

    It would make more sense to advice the equaly small Canon 400D/XTi, with 10mp, great image quality, and with the possibility of much cheaper wide angle zooms like the Tokina 12-24 f4... which accidently all in all performs better than that Nikon, and also is less less than half the price of that Nikon.

    No... this does not sound to me like a case where one suggests a DSLR. My list of 4(5) cameras makes more sense.
     
  12. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #12
    I don't consider my suggestion "weird" at all. Obviously ChrisA doesn't either. As he comments, the D40 is ideal for this type of purchaser -- someone who doesn't really want to plunge pellmell into photography and buying many lenses, etc., but who really wants quality images for her business. Yes, the D40 is at the bottom of the pyramid of DSLRs -- and for a reason. Nikon knows what they're doing when they're targeting a particular audience, and this is exactly one situation in which this camera could serve very well. The images coming from the D40 and any of the lenses mentioned will far outshine anything from a P&S due to the better and larger sensor. The width of the 18-55mm and the 12-24mm lenses will fit the bill very nicely for shooting interiors of homes and buildings.

    Yes, I am well aware of the price of that 12-24mm lens, as I've got one sitting right here in my camera bag, along with the 10.5mm and a bunch of other lenses....

    As mentioned, this woman could write off the whole thing as business expenses, so costs might not be as much of an issue for her as for someone else.
     
  13. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #13
    Then as I said... the Canon 400D/XTi makes more sense still. As compact, 10mp with very good quality, and when you consider the price and quality of that 12-24 Nikkor... better and cheaper alternatives in the Tokina 12-24 f4 and the Canon 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM. More complete, better resolution.

    Still... considering the OP mentioned the Panasonic FX01... this does NOT sound like a customer for a DSLR. Point and shoot.... not DSLR land.
     
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #14
    IMHO, like other Nikons, the new D40 feels nice in the hand and is not cheap looking or plasticky like the various Digital Rebels.
     
  15. cube macrumors G4

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    #15
    The Sigma 10-20 is HSM so it should be OK for the D40.

    But if she's not going to use a tripod it would probably be better the K100D.
     
  16. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #16
    Yes, you are right... that Sigma should work fine. It is a bit of a bother that Nikon has decided to make a clean cut now between motor systems... Now i have to learn again which have internal motors and which don't.

    That is the nicest thing about that Canon changed mounts and motor systems with the introduction of the EOS system. No confusion, like now with Nikon and Pentax.

    A D40 with Sigma 10-20mm or a D50 with Tokina 12-24mm or Canon 350D with Tokina 12-24 will be hard to beat in price in DSLR land.

    But i do like the idea of a Canon SD800 IS or S80... compact... very good image quality in good light... hard to beat for when you always need to take your camera with you.
     
  17. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

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    #17
    This might be too far out of her comfort zone, but...

    I had just read somewhere recently that someone has some software stitching software that uses the input of a movie file.

    It seems that the basic idea is that you pan the area in movie mode and this piece of software extracts still frames and stitches them together to make a bigger (now still) scene.

    Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the software. Anyone hear of this?


    -hh
     
  18. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #18
    Hmm i do not know... but video cameras have a low resolution, so the resulting wide stitched photo would have a low resolution too.

    Btw... the two above mentioned Canon compacts have a panorama mode too, that assists you in making a photo sequence taht you then can stitch together on your Mac, a very nice feature (some other manufacturers have something similar, like some Nikon models I think).
     
  19. cube macrumors G4

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    #19
    Well, for the D40 you would have the extra cost of the kit lens, as the body is not sold separately. The D40 kit is $600.

    You can get the K100D body only for $435 after rebate.
     
  20. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #20
    Thank you.:eek:
     
  21. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #21
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond40/

    "Highly Recommended"

    Excerpt from the review:
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Overall conclusion

    The D40 is perhaps one of Nikon's most important digital SLRs. It's certainly their smallest and lightest, their most affordable and ships with a fairly decent kit lens too. But noteworthy is the fact that it's their first digital SLR not to provide Auto Focus to their large range of lenses which do not have built-in AF motors. This was a move which in the grand scheme of things was not unexpected and although disappointing to some is unlikely to be of too much consequence for the average D40 buyer (those with more specific lens requirements are expected to go for the D80).

    One thing which stood out for us when we reviewed the D80 was its responsive performance, the feeling of instant connection between the photographer and the camera. So imagine I was very happy to find that the emphasis on responsiveness has been carried through to the more affordable D40. Indeed apart from a very slightly slower viewfinder blackout and probably slower auto-focus (although not measured) the D40 doesn't really feel any slower in use and for some functions is actually faster thanks to smaller files.

    Nikon have also obviously worked to ensure that no corners were cut in image processing, after all when you make a digital SLR you are also effectively designing the 'film' that will be permanently locked into it (we have seen very few firmware updates which actually improve image quality; this mostly because the 'heavy processing' has to be done in hardware, not software). Image quality was probably the best of any current six megapixel digital SLR and good enough to question any advantage touted by an eight megapixel.

    So the D40 has some shortcomings, over and above it's lack of an internal AF motor there were a few annoyances; I didn't like the fact that when I shot RAW+JPEG I was only getting Basic quality JPEG's, I didn't like that there wasn't a dedicated ISO or WB button (already) on the camera (you can program the Fn button but I would have thought it more logical to use the four-way controller on the rear from day one) and as with most recent digital SLRs automatic white balance was something you should really only use in natural light. Other things which will be of less importance to D40 owners are the lack of bracketing, depth-of-field preview and fixed exposure steps.

    In everyday use the D40 is just what it set out to be, a very capable, compact, lightweight and easy to use camera which makes a perfect first step for anyone wanting to get into digital SLR photography. It provides enough control and a large enough range of manual settings to enable you to experiment and learn but also helps you to take great pictures in the process. It's one of those cameras you can just pick up and start shooting without fuss, that you can hand to a friend who's never used an SLR and know they'll be able to do the same. All of this and a pretty decent kit lens for $600, I'd say it's a bit of a bargain.
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Yeah, but then you have to add a lens, right? So where's the bargain?
     
  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #22
    You're right. She doesn't need a DSLR in this case. I think a Kodak will suit her needs just fine. However, I do think ChrisA is right by saying a DSLR would give her an advantage in photographic quality.

    THat said, I think that suggesting a 350D or D50 would be smarter than a D40. That way, if she wants a wide angle, she can get a Tokina 12-24 or Sigma 10-20 mm rather than springing for the Nikon AFS 12-24 mm, which has a crazy ass price tag. :eek:
     
  23. carfac macrumors 65816

    carfac

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    #23
    The Nikon 12-24 is one of the best lenses I have ever used- it is incredible. For interiors, it will blow any P&S camera away, no barrel distortion, etc.

    There ARE knock offs that are a bit more affordable- Konika and such. Not an option for me, but for some, it is. There are 3 knock offs right now, one of them is not too bad- search around on google... You could probably get one of those and the body for 1K.



    But the P&SW and the D409 are two different worlds. There is a BIG difference in 24mm of the P&S and 12mm that the Nikon could do. If she just need pictures, and doesn't really care, get the P&S... if she wants things to really look good, get the Nikon.
     
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #24
    Well people can hardly tell the difference between the Tokina and Nikon 12-24 mm wideangle lenses, even if you compare performance in somewhat controlled situations and tested them side by side using the same scenes. The new Sigma 10-20 mm is supposed to be as good or better than these two. If you don't compare their performance side-by-side, and simultaneously, I doubt you'd be able to tell a difference. Even the Sigma 12-24 mm (designed for 35 mm film cameras, unlike Sigma's 10-20 mm), produces great results, and it's supposed to be the "worst" of the bunch. Many pros use that one as well.

    For someone who's not a photographer and may not even be able to tell a good photograph from a GREAT photograph, I think a wide-angle P&S from Kodak is a great idea. If she wants better, a D50 + Tokina or Sigma is better. A Nikon D40 + Nikon 12-24 mm is an option, but a much more expensive option. Any improvement in image quality will more likely stem from the improved sensor rather than the lens, which won't make a difference.

    Actually, I'd be more willing to suggest the Nikon 10.5 mm fisheye, which Clix Pix owns, rather than the Nikon 12-24 mm, which Clix Pix also owns, because a Tokina 12-24 mm would be cheaper and makes more sense for a non-photographer, while the 10.5 mm f/2.8 fisheye isn't matched by anything else available for Nikon.
     
  25. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #25
    I have the feeling that the woman who is the potential user of whatever camera she winds up buying will be more concerned about being able to quickly and with a minimum of effort produce really nice real estate photos showcasing the homes she is offering more than she would be concerned about making great high-quality fine-art prints.....

    And, yes, a DSLR and a decent wide-angle lens is going to give her or any other real estate agent the edge over someone using a P&S camera due to the sensor, greater control over the image and the flexibility of being able to swap out lenses. The D40 seems to be ideally suited to the person moving up from a P&S who wants a little more control and more flexibility without necessarily committing themselves to photography as a serious (expensive) hobby.

    Owning both Nikon's 12-24mm lens and the fun 10.5 fisheye, I would lean towards recommending the 12-24mm lens for this reason: the 10.5 fisheye makes great and nifty images but they are, by dint of being fisheye, distorted, and therefore have to be "defished" if one wants to show an image with proper perspective. In her situation, this would require one or two more steps which she might not be willing to take, both in terms of time and expertise. The defishing also would require the purchase of additional software -- Nikon Capture NX -- which she might not be too happy about doing, too.

    Whatever, certainly there are options out there and it will be interesting to see what her choice is!
     

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