digital camera...

krossfyter

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jan 13, 2002
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secret city
My girlfriend and I are in the market for a digital camera. I want to know which one would serve our graphic design needs better and also be a good deal if possible. We are willing to spend 200 to 300 on it. She is trying to get rid of her Nikon - FM-10 SLR Camera (not digital) which is in perfect condition so if you all know where we can sell it or who may want to buy it used for a bargain price please let me know.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
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Natick, MA
You are not going to get a digital camera even close to a film camera's quality for the $200-$300 range.

My best recommendation is to get an Epson Perfection 2450 Photo scanner. I is both USB and FireWire, 2400x4800 dpi, scans BOTH reflective and transparencies up to 4x9 (including 35mm negatives and slides). Retail store cost is $399. I actually own one and I can attest to it's scanning quality. Since you are needing it for graphic design needs, more resolution is better. The unit can scan at above 11.5 Mega Pixel (per inch, not over the entire image). Combine that with it being multi-function, I firmly believe that the scanner would be a better option, especially since you don't have a lot to spend on a digital camera. To get something decent, you will need to spend above $500-$600. Even then, you won't really get something that will be able to replace a film camera. You will also be limited by the size of your storage media. With a film camera, you can shoot tons of pictures, limited only by how much film you pick up, and the camera's battery life.
 

krossfyter

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jan 13, 2002
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secret city
Originally posted by MacAztec
Try sony and kodak. They make cameras in the range of 2-3 MP and in your price area...
Yeah we were looking at those two brands and the fuji and canon ones. Some of them seem to be under 300. I just dont know which is really good for what we do. Like the mega pixels or whatever. Im not versed in any way on cameras so I could use some basic help. I dont want to buy a digital camera for a certain price and get it and the resolution sux and find out that for 50 or 100 dollars more i could have good resolution....understanding that digital camera resolutions are not as good as manual cameras still.
 

krossfyter

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jan 13, 2002
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secret city
Originally posted by AlphaTech
You are not going to get a digital camera even close to a film camera's quality for the $200-$300 range.

My best recommendation is to get an Epson Perfection 2450 Photo scanner. I is both USB and FireWire, 2400x4800 dpi, scans BOTH reflective and transparencies up to 4x9 (including 35mm negatives and slides). Retail store cost is $399. I actually own one and I can attest to it's scanning quality. Since you are needing it for graphic design needs, more resolution is better. The unit can scan at above 11.5 Mega Pixel (per inch, not over the entire image). Combine that with it being multi-function, I firmly believe that the scanner would be a better option, especially since you don't have a lot to spend on a digital camera. To get something decent, you will need to spend above $500-$600. Even then, you won't really get something that will be able to replace a film camera. You will also be limited by the size of your storage media. With a film camera, you can shoot tons of pictures, limited only by how much film you pick up, and the camera's battery life.

Okay...I totally understand that.
The problem we have with film cameras is the develping cost and time. We want it instantly ..etc.etc.

But yeah your response puts a lot of wieght in our decision.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
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Natick, MA
Not only will the mega pixels not be the equivalent of film camera's but the camera speeds will also not be as good. A decent film camera can take pictures very fast, and you can change lenses to get a multitude of zoom and effect lenses.

For printing an image of up to 4x6, you want at least a 2.2 MP camera, if you hope to enlarge a section of the original up to that, or larger, then get at least a 3.34 or 4 MP camera. If you want to use the images at 8x10 or larger, then you need even more resolution. That is assuming that you will use these for both home and professional printers (offset presses). I have seen images shot on a 3.3 MP camera with minimal enlargement, and the largest you really can get away with is 8x10. Even though the camera companies claim that you can print them larger, the image degrades quiet a bit. You also need to make sure the camera isn't going to give an discoloration, and can handle different light conditions. Those were both issues that plagued digital cameras in the past.

I still firmly believe that the film camera/scanner combo will yield much better results, and if you already have a camera, cost you less to get very high quality images into your computer for use. I have scanned some negatives with the Epson printer, and even scanning at less then max. resolution, it produces excellent images. Besides the fact that you can scan with a photoshop plug in, which makes things very easy. Epson has also released an application to allow you to scan directly withing OS X (don't need PhotoShop to do it).
 

MacAztec

macrumors 68040
Oct 28, 2001
3,023
1
San Luis Obispo, CA
This might help...

This may help you kross...

I have a Sony TRV-30 Mini DV Camcorder. Built in is a 1.4MP still shot camera, with a Sony Memory stick thingy. Now, I took this baby to Rome, and the picutres were outstanding. I use them as my desktop background too!

If you want, I could send you a picture or two so you could see the quality. Just email me at jcarian@mac.com

But a 2.5MP would be so much better!
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Originally posted by krossfyter



Okay...I totally understand that.
The problem we have with film cameras is the develping cost and time. We want it instantly ..etc.etc.

But yeah your response puts a lot of wieght in our decision.
One hour photo places will give you good negatives and prints to use for reference. Scan the negatives, not the prints.

I develop my own black and white negatives, since I never get good results from labs. I have tried several from large labs to independant photo stores, none can give the results I demand for black and white negatives/prints.
 

menoinjun

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2001
567
0
Originally posted by AlphaTech
You are not going to get a digital camera even close to a film camera's quality for the $200-$300 range.
That's not exactly true. You can find some great deals on three megapixel digital cameras, and they will be the same as a 35mm shot at sizes up to 8.5' x 11' so long as you have a nice printer. At CompUSA we occasionally have deals on good cameras for $299 (3mp), and you can find cheaper one elsewhere on the web. I have scrutinized shots from a variety of cameras, and even though digital cameras have to have pixels, and film cameras are optical, for all intensive purposes you will not see a difference at up to letter size. (provided you bought a decent quality camera, not a SiPix)

-Pete

P.S. The Sony DSC-75 is an excellent camera with a 3.3 megapixel resolution and a CARL ZEISS lens for only $499. You can probably find it cheaper on the web. It's completely manual AND automatic, which raises the price a bit. If you just need a point and shoot, you can get a decent 3mp digital camera for $299.
 

vitruvius

macrumors regular
Feb 26, 2002
246
0
Caracas, Venezuela
what kind of art youre planning to produce?

what kind of final art youre planning to produce?
is not the same to get a camera to produce designs for a web page that for a magazine or for giant billboards:)
 

MacAztec

macrumors 68040
Oct 28, 2001
3,023
1
San Luis Obispo, CA
ALPHA!

THE MAN SAID HE WANTS EM RIGHT AWAY. HE DOESN'T WANT TO HAVE TO WAIT! NOW YOU'LL SHUT THE HELL UP BEFORE I BUST OPEN A CASE...OR ELSE!


Hehehe, just trying to have some fun. Anyways kross, Sony makes some nice cameras IMO.
 

menoinjun

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2001
567
0
Originally posted by AlphaTech
For printing an image of up to 4x6, you want at least a 2.2 MP camera, if you hope to enlarge a section of the original up to that, or larger, then get at least a 3.34 or 4 MP camera. If you want to use the images at 8x10 or larger, then you need even more resolution. That is assuming that you will use these for both home and professional printers (offset presses). I have seen images shot on a 3.3 MP camera with minimal enlargement, and the largest you really can get away with is 8x10.
Again, not always true. So long as you have a nice lens, and an actual 3mp camera (not all are what they claim) 3mp will be basically perfect at letter size. Yes, the scanner will be a whole lot better, and I do like the Epson Perfection 2450, but for cameras, you can do very well with 3mp for professional work.

-Pete

i used to do professional work with a 1/2 megapixel sony mavica. The prints weren't big though, which is the main stipulation as to what MP you need.

For screen or web, even a 1mp camera will do fine.
For print up to 4 x 6. 2.0 MP
For print up to 8 x 11 3.0 mp and a nice lens
larger...more MP!!
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Re: ALPHA!

Originally posted by MacAztec
THE MAN SAID HE WANTS EM RIGHT AWAY. HE DOESN'T WANT TO HAVE TO WAIT! NOW YOU'LL SHUT THE HELL UP BEFORE I BUST OPEN A CASE...OR ELSE!


Hehehe, just trying to have some fun. Anyways kross, Sony makes some nice cameras IMO.
eat my shorts... :D...

Personally, I have yet to see a digital camera that can produce images of the quality that I demand, and shoot them fast enough. With a film camera, you can shoot all day long with different ISO/ISA films, in a multitude of light conditions and have all the images at the maximum resolution. With a digital camera, you will need to get either many storage media's or bring something along to download the images. IF you have a laptop, then you solve that issue, but if not, then the price of that camera just went way up.

Go ahead and pull out that case, I will just tap a few kegs :D and pull the sniper quad back from leave :p
 

MacAztec

macrumors 68040
Oct 28, 2001
3,023
1
San Luis Obispo, CA
Hehehe....

Alpha...I have a German Mauser still in its wooden case, with the meter on the top to set the distance for the target, and the nice spiral grooved barrel, all ready to be used :D

As for snipers, I have bullet resistant glass :D
 

menoinjun

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2001
567
0
Alpha-

You are dead right about the speed of digital camera. They are notoriously slow. BUT! Some have burst modes which allow you 3 shots right after each other for action scenes. Other than that, you have to allow for saving to the mem card...that's life though. Personally I don't have a digital camera yet, but when I do I'm buying a sony.

-Pete
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Re: Hehehe....

Originally posted by MacAztec
Alpha...I have a German Mauser still in its wooden case, with the meter on the top to set the distance for the target, and the nice spiral grooved barrel, all ready to be used :D

As for snipers, I have bullet resistant glass :D
For that glass, I have a 50 cal that will cut right through that :D

I was going to pick up a rifle this year, but then the new TiBook came out, and I had to get that first. Maybe in a few years I will be able to get the rifle, unless I want to do something to either the computer or the Harley.
 

krossfyter

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jan 13, 2002
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secret city
Yeah this the kind of advice I need. Thanks guys.

We do a lot of prints raging from around 4x6 and 8x11 and everwhere in between. Nothing billboard size though and ocassionaly I go tabloid size.
So im guessing we would need 3MP and or higher. Now which brand? Which brand do mac heads prefer?

Im considering just telling my girl to keep the film camera and I will just buy a digital camera that way we have the best of both worlds.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Originally posted by ptrauber
Alpha-

You are dead right about the speed of digital camera. They are notoriously slow. BUT! Some have burst modes which allow you 3 shots right after each other for action scenes. Other than that, you have to allow for saving to the mem card...that's life though. Personally I don't have a digital camera yet, but when I do I'm buying a sony.

-Pete
That's the thing, with my film camera (35mm, Minolta Maxxum XTSI) I can shoot more then three in a row in rappid succession. I could burn through an entire roll very, very fast, and I have on occasion. I have 28-80mm and a 75-300 zoom lenses for my camera. I will most likely be picking up a very fast lense in the 24-50mm range (non-zoom) soon.

If I was to get a digital camera, I would want one built on a slr body, that way I would be able to get the lenses that I want, to suite my needs. NOT use just what the camera maker feels most people will want to use. I like having more options, and having flexible hardware.
 

macstudent

macrumors 6502
Feb 12, 2002
434
0
Milwaukee, WI
I bought a canon g1 for $450 online over winterbreak. It is 3.3 megal pixel with all manual controls. you can even add an external flash. It is slow inbetween taking pictures though. But if you are using to take photographs of still lifes, it is quite nice.
 

menoinjun

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2001
567
0
well, those detachable lenses are nice and all, but I don't think that he needs a 300mm zoom or a 24mm fish eye lense. He can get a good camera, 3-4mp should do just fine, for around 3-500 dollars. I know that you are a very avid photographer, but what you are used to might not be what everyone else needs. Right?

btw...I'm jealous. I was going to get an EOS Rebel with a telephoto lense a while back but I never did.

-Pete
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,408
0
VA
Originally posted by AlphaTech

If I was to get a digital camera, I would want one built on a slr body, that way I would be able to get the lenses that I want, to suite my needs. NOT use just what the camera maker feels most people will want to use. I like having more options, and having flexible hardware.
Its unfortunate that the technology isn't quite there yet for the consumer. I looked into this and you can get an SLR like digital camera but you'd end up dropping over 10k for a good one. Fuji Film has a 2k-3k that uses Nikor lenses, but I heard that it had some issues.

I ended up buying a Kodak 4800 last year, I think its since been discontinued, but its great. Its a single lens with 3x zoom and 6x digital zoom (I don't use the digital zoom, and its best not to if you want sharp pictures). But what I really like about it is that I can shoot 'manually' if I want. I have control over the apeture and shutter speed, and depth of field. So with a little practice I've been able to take some pretty nice shots.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Re: digital still camera

Originally posted by resm
pictures are worth more then words (taken with my Fuji Fine Pix 4900zoom)
Digital cameras will produce nice results, if all you really need to do is post them to the web. I believe that krossfyter and his GF need it for "graphic design needs". That is why I am suggesting the scanner and not a digital camera. Being a former graphic designer (before I jumped into being a full bore tech) I know that film will still yield your best results. Digital will be fine for mock-up and preliminary designs, but when it comes time to go to press, you will want the resolution that (currently) only film can provide. That is, unless you are willing to drop thousands on a digital camera that will do that as well. If you are just tinkering around, and only intend to print out to an ink jet printer, then a 3.3+ MP camera might perform as you want.

Something else to consider, if you do go digital, and you accidently wipe the media that has a critical image on it, before you moved it to your computer, you're f*cked. With film, you always have the negative to fall back on, and you can mark up the print all you want' need before scanning in the negative.

Where digital cameras are fine for many people, people that need to produce press ready images, still go film (unless they can afford to dump thousands onto a digital camera). The scanner can also handle large format film/transparencies, which means if you have a friend/associate that has a medium to large format camera, you can scan in his negatives to use. You can't do that with a digital camera.
 

cleo

macrumors 65816
Jan 21, 2002
1,186
0
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
If it's the developing cost that bugs you about a film camera, I would suggest checking out Ofoto's film developing. They charge you a flat rate ($1.50?) to put all of your photos up on the web, and then you look at them and only have them print the ones you want. If you're taking 100's of photos only to use 10, this can be quite cost effective.

That having been said, I use a Canon Digital Elph for personal use, and the color and lighting is just superb. Only gets convincing prints up to 5x7, though.