dSLR: something big about to happen?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by srf4real, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #1
    Six months ago I was looking into stepping up to the dSLR cameras from my 5mp p+s Kodak, did alot of research, compared prices, specs, etc... ended up buying a high end pro-sumer model p+s (Panasonic lumix fz50) and saved around $400 on what a comparable entry level system dSLR was going for. I'm very happy with my choice, don't get me wrong, but after six months I am feeling like I'm really ready to get into the advantages of dSLR and have acquired enough skills to use one reasonably well.

    So, I'm price shopping and comparing specs again, reading reviews, I really like the Nikon D40x due to the compact body, large sensor, low noise, and availability of a zillion excellent lenses, plus I already have mega gigabytes of SD memory so I chose Nikon over Canon.:eek:

    Looking at prices, I can get an entry level D40x with good kit lens for about thirty bucks more than I paid six months ago for my fuzzy 50! These models were several hundred dollars more expensive and even the cheapest dSLRs were more costly by a couple hundred.

    To the point, I am noticing many very nice cameras come well equipped with one or two lens kits for $700 to $1000, all of which are probably more camera than I will learn how to use for a long time!

    :confused: Why so low? Does anyone forsee some kind of new technology, a great new feature that is a must have, about to be revealed! Why are dSLRs getting so cheap? I hope I don't give in to my impulsive nature and buy a D40x two months before the big names announce a noise free 12 MP sensor, a camera that sees in the dark at 6400 ISO, shoots ten fps and weighs 1.4 lbs. :rolleyes:
     
  2. job macrumors 68040

    job

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    #2
    You'll be fine.

    As most people will tell you, the photographer makes the most out of the equipment. A seasoned pro can get excellent pictures out of a crappy P&S and a doofus can get horrible pictures out of a rig $10k+

    If you like the D40x for all the reasons you mentioned, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't get it. Also, I'd say a large part of a good picture rests with the lens that you're using, so dSLR bodies play even less of a role.

    Have you considered the D40? It's about $200-$250 cheaper and comes with the exact same kit lens. You could put the extra money towards a better lens...
     
  3. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Because they make them limited in what they do. Figure the D40x doesn't have a focusing screw like the higher up models. Nothing new in the consumer end DSLR. Only thing that was just announced was the new Kodak sensor that does a lot better in low light. There will mostlikely never be a noise free camera. There will be some that might be close but itll be just like film always a grain/noise. As for the 6400 ISO there are cameras that can see in the dark, maybe not pitch black but can do pretty well in really low light. But you won't find them, in any consumer based camera with 10 fps and 12 MP images. Its gonna be a long time of technology before we ever see something even close to this.
     
  4. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #4
    You should probably also point out that this Kodak sensor was not announced in a camera - it's likely quite a few years away in terms of actually being available in a consumer product.
     
  5. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #5
    The prices are lowering because the technology reached a certain critical mass that all new technology eventually does. CD players initially cost $1000. Now they cost about $15.

    I predict that there will be no truly significant advancements in DSLR technology in the next 5 years. The rate of advancement in the difference between, say, DSLRs available now and DSLRs available 6 years ago will not be achieved within the next 20 years.
     
  6. TheBonk macrumors 6502

    TheBonk

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    #6
    10fps and 6400 ISO does exist, in the Canon EOS-1D Mark III, but that's a pro model, no where near consumer.

    The reason that dSLRs like the D40x are so cheap is because they are aimed at the point and shoot consumers who are looking to upgrade. They also lack in alot of features that the higher end SLRs have.

    I would recommend the D40 or D50. Besides the megapixels, the D40 and the D40x are almost the same thing. The D40 and the D50 are both 6 MP which should be more than enough unless you're planning on making big prints.
     
  7. srf4real thread starter macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #7
    I appreciate all the quick replys.:)
    This is comforting to know, as I want to get dSLR this year, hopefully. I'm not the type to get upset over missing a little upgrade by early purchase, but I'd hate to miss the big one. Speaking of which, I dream of having skills and equipment good enough to shoot and market poster-sized personal surf photos, maybe to supplement my own surfboard fund.:p
     
  8. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

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    #8
    I'm not too sure about the D40x. If you want that camera, I think you'd be better off getting the D40 and spending the left over money on a better lens. The D40 to D40x price increase isn't really worth it for mainly 4 more megapixels.
     
  9. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #9
    the prices come down because nikon, canon, sony and olympus have very good models in the $1000 price range. there is fierce competition for market share going on. i don't think the prize drops are because a technical revolution is on the horizon.
     
  10. redrabbit macrumors 6502

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    #10
    touchscreen dSLRs soon! I know it, i just know it!
     
  11. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    #11
    i second job's recommendation about the D40 for less. i'm looking at these cameras right now and the guy at the store plain out told me the biggest diff b/c the 40 and the 40x is the latter has 10 mbs instead of 6. unless you are doing massively sized reprints, the 40 will do the trick. take the savings and put it towards a new lense.

    the lower prices are simply supply and demand i figure. i see more people buying dslrs than p&s' these days.
     
  12. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #12
    i would not go with the 6 MP model but instead get the 10 MP version. it's not about bragging rights. but more Megapixels allow you later on to crop your pictures by 60% and you still have 6 MP resolution. this way you can save pics that would be lost otherwise.

    often when you take pics from animals or kids you don't have time to compose the image. it's good to have more space to crop away.
     
  13. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #13
    Here's what you need to ask yourself to not get into analysis paralysis:

    Will the camera I'm choosing let me get the pictures I want to take for the next few years?

    That's it.

    If the answer is yes, then don't miss shots sitting on the fence and don't worry about theoretical features for theoretical cameras.

    Competition and commoditizing components affect the pricing, don't sweat it it's good for consumers that prices are dropping.
     
  14. cube macrumors G5

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    #14
    The Olympus E-510 is ahead of the curve in terms of features.
     
  15. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #15
    Such as?
     
  16. job macrumors 68040

    job

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    #16
    He might be talking about the only effective dust-removal system on the market, but other than that, I'm not exactly sure what he's talking about.

    The E-510 is also priced closer to the D80 anyways, so I'm not so sure why the Olympus even enters the discussion.:confused:
     
  17. cube macrumors G5

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    #17
    dust-removal + in-body stabilization + live preview
     
  18. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #18
    Some problems with this logic:
    - Smaller photosites (higher MP sensors) make it easier to blur photos due to sloppy/informal technique
    - If the underlaying technology is of the same generation, smaller photosites mean higher noise than larger photosites (newer technology, though, generally means better noise reduction tech inside the camera - for instance the 6MP D50 has better noise characteristics than the 6MP D70)
    - With the kit lens I'd be very surprised if, even with good technique, you're getting 10MP of resolution.
    - You have less leeway with aperture, since diffraction blurring hits earlier.

    Basically unless the picture truly has 10MP worth of detail as captured, the crop argument is a straw man. Having a picture with a higher number of pixels is not the same having more detail, unless the sensor truly was the limiting factor.

    The one circumstance where you have a really good argument in support of getting the higher-density sensor is if you tend to take a lot of photos using a wide aperture, e.g. portraits. High light levels mean there's less of a penalty to having smaller photosites, and if you have good glass and good technique (use a tripod and remote release) you actually do get more detail. So if this is the type of photo you like to take, then definitely lean towards the higher-density sensor.
     
  19. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #19

    i agree with everything you say. only points to add is that image stabilization helps you using those 10MP. and i said animals and kids. in both cases I though of your usual outdoor sunny party conditions. there you have enough light and small aperture to use the 10MP as well. the price difference between D40 and D40x is only ~$150. not enough to buy anything like pro lenses. i would spend it on the D40x body.

    incidently there is a great review at dpreview.com for the D40x. a must read!

    comarison of pixel resolutions:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond40x/page26.asp
     
  20. simie macrumors 6502a

    simie

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    #20
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d300.htm

    FORECAST

    The D300 is expected in November 2007.

    The D200 is still new and on back order. It will be a year or so until Nikon replaces it.

    I'll take a wild guess at:

    SPECIFICATIONS

    ISO range 50 - 3,200. 12.8 MP.

    Battery is the same Li-Ion as the D200 as are most of the body mechanics.

    Speed is 5.5 FPS.

    Nikon listened to me and added an electronic shutter for 1/500 flash sync.

    Possibly an integral vertical grip.

    As I said, the above paragraphs are pure fiction.

    Nikon usually releases everything in Finland, France or countries that begin with the letter F first to respect the F mount and F series heritage.
     
  21. srf4real thread starter macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #21
    Yeah, been drooling at that site.:D I am talking about taking photos of sunny parties, :p
    where subject will be in center focus and tracked in center of image through series shooting... so I could crop out a good portion, re-compositioning for better appearance.
    For example, this photo at the boardwalk of a surfer 100 yards out (5 mp Kodak 10x zoom, sport mode, heavy post-p) :eek: and getting a usable large poster size print of the actual subject with fair detail. I know I'll need a high quality 200 mm or 300 mm zoom lens but I think the chances of saving more shots lies in the extra megapixels. It's been the case with my Lumix fz 50 with a 10 mp sensor... but noise is really a drawback of the Panasonic. Excellent p+s. but I hate fudging good shots because of my camera's limitations!

    Thanks again for all your input. All I need now is my wife's permission!;)
     
  22. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #22
    Been there, done that. Good luck! It helps if she has an expensive hobby (my wife's hobby is sewing, and she's spent far more on sewing machines, sergers, and the like than I ever have on photography). :p
     
  23. job macrumors 68040

    job

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    #23
    If it were me, I'd get the SB-400 flash for $120 and stick with the D40. ;)
     
  24. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #24
    Wrong. The D40 can use only one half a zillion lenses.

    The D40 lacks an in-body focus motor and therefore can only use the Nikon lenses that happen to contain their own in-lens motors. None of the AF or AF-D type lenses can be automatically focused with a D40. You will need to buy only AF-S type Nikon lenses. To bad because the lenses I like best are not AF-S. The 50mm and 85mm and the good used 80-200mm f/2.8 zooms are not AF-S.

    So look at Nikon's lens line up and see if you can live with the reduced set of lenses offered.

    Personally I would not even consider buying a Nikon body that could not use the three lenses listed above. But then if all you need is the 18-55 kit lens you will never notice the lack of in-body focus motor. If you post here and ask what lens to buy as your second lens. I bet you get 100 people all saying to get the 50mm lens and a few saying to get the 85 or 35 but neaither of these will work well with the D40.
     
  25. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #25
    This is all correct. But the Kodak idea was not really new. What they did was take the color filter off about 1/2 the pixels. So the "old" camera has red, green and blue sensors the "new" camera was red, green,blue and white. I guess this is a new idea. The first chips just had "white" only and were very sensitive to light. This is now a technical inovation, just an enginerrig trade off were this decide to give up some color fidelity for more low light performance.

    Cameras have "grain" or "noise" due to the laws of physics and technology can't get around this. It can minimize the effect but noise is due to the fact that light comes in packets called photons. Each photon acts independent of the others and the number of them that fall on a given pixel is just by random chance. So even if two pixels are looking at the same blue sky one just might have an few photon land on it than the other pixel.
     

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