Looking for pivoting/swiveling/superflexible DSLR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by vaguely-clear, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. vaguely-clear macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I should preface this post by telling everyone that I am most definitely an amateur photographer. "Newbie" might be a better term, actually.

    So, right now I have a Nikon Coolpix 990 (Google image search). I love this camera for its ability to rotate into so many strange viewing angles. I am, however, beginning to reach its technical limits. Not surprising as the poor thing is approaching 8 years of age.

    I thought I was sold on upgrading to a D40 (I like Nikon a lot), but then I came across the Olympus E330 (Google image search). I see that it would allow me to achieve many (though not all) of the angles that my 990 does, and it would allow me to frame a shot with the LCD. I like this.

    So, I have two questions:

    1. Has anyone used the E330 and what are your thoughts?
    2. Are there any other DSLRs on the market that have the same sort of function in this price range? (I'm looking at spending about $500, give or take $100-$200). I can't seem to find any others, but I don't really know what to search for.
     
  2. mknawabi macrumors 6502

    mknawabi

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    #2
    There's no DSLR with a pivoting LCD. In fact, you shouldn't be using the LCD to compose your shots on a DSLR.
     
  3. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

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    #3
    ditto, the only closest thing you'll get is the sony alpha DSLR whose LCDs can tilt upward for viewing luxurys, but no live shots

    in fact, you shouldnt be composing shots via live view,

    if you want to have a powerful camera and shoot live view then i suggest getting the 'advanced PnS' cameras, they have powerful optics to take far and clean shots
     
  4. vaguely-clear thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I should have clarified. I realize that the viewfinder is hands down the best option for composing shots. I find exception, though, in situations where I cannot physically put my face behind the camera. Shooting from the ground up, for example (am I expected to do a head stand and use the camera upside-down?) or shooting over a crowd or wall.

    I would definitely use the viewfinder for a vast majority of shots. But in a situation in which I cannot, I would like to have a second option other than pointing the camera and shooting blind.

    Regarding the point and shoot... can you direct me to a PNS that has a respectable full-manual mode? I'd like to be able to set custom white balance and change iso, shutter speed, aperture, etc...
     
  5. cube macrumors G4

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  6. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #6
    You could always buy a Canon EOS 5D MkII, which has Live View and video recording, but the screen doesn't tilt and swivel. You'd have to see if there's a third party mirror or something you could attach to it.
     
  7. cube macrumors G4

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  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #8
    I agree 100% What you want is a right angle viewfinder attachment. It's basically a "bent tube" that attaches to the view finder. I bought one ages ago for an older film based body and with some adptors it will fit my DSLR. It is very hard to shoot ground level macros of plants without it

    http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-Right-Angle-Viewfinder-Rectangular/dp/B0002WT6RY

    You can buy older, used version of these for about $30 and then use a $5 Nikon adaptor to fet the new camera. (Older Nikons had a round viewfinder hole with internal threads, new cameras are square and take slip-on attachments.) Or buy a third party unit for a LOT less then the Nikon version.
     
  9. cube macrumors G4

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    #9
    I assumed he also wanted to shoot over crowds.

    For DSLRs, there is Zigview.
     
  10. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #10
  11. cube macrumors G4

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    #11
  12. LoneWolf121188 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    The Sony Alpha 300 and 350 have LCD screens that pivot vertically. Mine's come in handy a number of times.
     
  13. GuyNextDoor macrumors member

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    #13
    Funny you should say that; I've just started reading "Understanding Exposure" (an highly recommended primer) and there is actually a shot where the author laid on his back, tilted his head back and shot upside down (it was a ground-level shot looking up at some flowers, if I recall correctly). So don't be afraid to get creative to get the shot.
     
  14. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #14
    Right, the Panasonic G1 (see link I provided above) is essentially the successor to that camera. This is what dpreview says about it:

     
  15. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #15
    Oh yeah, good point.
     
  16. cube macrumors G4

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    #16
    The L10 is a DSLR, while the G1 is an EVIL and doesn't autofocus with the majority of 4/3 lenses, so it's not exactly a successor.
     
  17. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #17
    Go with the Fuji because of your budget but I'm surprised with some people having said there is no DSLR with an articulating screen when the Olympus E3 has one.
     
  18. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #18
    I could not disagree more.
    As the OP said in his reply, there are certain instances when you simply cannot get your face up to that viewfinder. I am reminded of the Sears Tower where there is a good 1.5 to 2' gap between you and the glass. In order to actually get a reflection-free shot you'd want to press your lens against the glass. With my F3, F4 and D70 I had never achieved composition real well. It was a mystery shot really and the D70 at least afford me the opportunity to see my mistake prior to walking away. With my D300 with live view (a camera that has live view and doesn't cost $5000 to whomever recommended that Canon above), I found it very nice to compose the shot without looking through the viewfinder.

    What I think should be said is that relying on the viewfinder to compose and check metering accuracy is going to cause problems in the future as the viewfinders won't really show the true exposure. The D300 viewfinder is very bright and many shots that looked properly expose via liv eview were in fact under exposed. You have to use your meter and most of all your histogram.

    vaguely-clear
    As for a camera that pivots, tilts, and swivels ... you're really going to just need a point and shoot then. As others have said these types of features don't really exist on many if any DSLRs.

    Someone recommended a viewfinder attachment, this is your very best bet if you shoot from the ground up a lot. Older film cameras had many of these accessories so reporters and the likes could shoot from the hip and what not.
     
  19. vaguely-clear thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    First off, you guys have been a huge help. Thanks a million to all.

    "Articulated!" That's the search term I was looking for.

    Mmmm... maybe. I will consider it further, but If I am going to spend $500 or more I think I would settle for a DSLR that lacks the articulated screen (like a D40).

    Both look like great options. Both a bit beyond my price range.

    That's a darn good idea! Maybe I'm a bit spoiled... my 990 is the first camera I've ever really used well. Maybe I should have learned the basics with a viewfinder instead of a screen. lol.

    Yeah, I don't particularly need it to pivot/tilt/swivel like the Coolpix 990. An "articulated" screen is what I was looking for, I just didn't know what to call it.

    So, it would appear that if I want a DSLR with an articulated screen within this price range, the Olympus E-330 is about my only option. And it would likely have to be used (Adorama has them once and awhile). That brings me back to my earlier question, does anyone have experience or opinions on this camera?
     
  20. cube macrumors G4

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  21. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #21
    You can easily find some other deals if you're willing to buy used.
     
  22. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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  23. cube macrumors G4

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    #23
    Show where you can get a used E-3 for around $200.

    But he doesn't need to go for the D40. A used E-330 costs about that price, too, even if it dowsn't swivel, only tilt up and down.
     
  24. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #24
    Show me where we were going to do such a thing in the first place?
     
  25. cube macrumors G4

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    #25
    He said he wanted to spend around $500. A used E-3 body alone costs twice that.
     

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