Please advise on camera so i don't waste money

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by marine610610, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. marine610610 macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2007
    I have had a MBP for about a year, and found myself messing with as many settings on my wife's Cybershot as i could. I have Aperture and CS3, which i still suck at using, but have really started to enjoy photography.

    Here is the thing. I fly as part of an aircrew on military aircraft out of Hawaii. I was looking at possibly getting a Nikon D80, but i have no idea what lense i should have for shooting from an airplane. I would also be using this camera to take pictures on hikes around the island, and birthday duty with the kids.
    Are lenses that specific that i could not find one that could accomplish all of this well? Also, is the D80 a bit too much camera for someone who just likes to tinker with settings, lighting etc ?
  2. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    It might be worth look at a camera like the Canon Powershot G9 instead. You can tinker with it just as much as a SLR, only thing you can't do is change the lens.

    It's smaller and therefore won't be in your way as much as a SLR would.
  3. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2008
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    I like the idea of the G9, and there are converters for additional zoom, and wide angle. I also like the ISO dial..........

    But I would like to know what you intend to shoot. Do you shoot high altitude landscapes, other aircraft in flight, or life on a plane? A D80 would be nice, in the sence that it has some point and shoot features.
  4. marine610610 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2007

    I will check out that canon. I want to make sure it has room to grow at the same time not overwhelming.

    I intend to shoot from the plane to different things on the ground. We fly a lot of search and rescue, shooting downed aircraft and sinking boats woudl be among the more dramatic photos. When you fly a lot you see some amazing sunrises, sunsets, views of things on the ground that most people never see.
  5. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    I think a G9 would be a great compromise. Its small enough to use and treat like a point and shoot (put in pocket, toss to a friend etc) but has excellent image quality for a small sensor camera and accommodates a plethora of accessories.
  6. Hello.there macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2007
    He's in the military, so you probably shouldn't ask.

  7. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    If you want a compact camera I'd recommend the Panasonic TZ4/5 or Canon S5 (I own both). The S5 has a faster lens (the smaller f number on the lens tells you how far the lens can open a f2.8-3.5 will allow you to have a faster shutter speed than a f3.3-4.9). BUT if you're in a plan shooting distance you really would want a good manual focus, so look for a camera with a manual focus ring, like any DLSR. Another option is to look a the Fuji S100 which looks like DSLR but has the range of a superzoom (w/o having to carry extra lens). Fuji is currently (and has been for a coule) the only non DSLR that does well over 400ISO (the G9 is OK, but the Fuji is cleaner -- and has a faster zoom). Check out for tons of opinions.
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The SLR will produce much better quality images. What maters is the lens and those screw on things are not very good. The quality is quite poor. The SLR will also cleaner images with less digital noise. But the thing that annoys me most with all P&S cameras is shutter lag. You just can't capture anything but posed shots and landscapes because of that lag time between when you press the button and when the shutter releases. The SLR will react instantly

    Which lens to get with the D80? The 18-70mm will do 80% of what you need. Maybe even 100%. It's a bargain price. Used it for a few thousand shoots and then look at your work and see what's missing. Buy a lens that would get those missing shots.

    With SLRs the lens is the thing. Most everyone eventually has much more $$ in lenses than bodies. The lenses then to last decades, through several body upgrades.
  9. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    I too would get an SLR, I can't imagine a compact will be up to the job, especially if you need to crank up the ISO to minimise evident shake. Even the D40 would be fine. You might need more reach than the 18-70 provides, I am unsure. The 18-135 and 18-200mm lenses might be worth a look.
  10. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2008
    I'm not sure how much you will want to spend on a camera.. But seeing the kinds of things you'll be taking pictures of, I would suggest a DSLR instead of a p&s or bridge camera - mostly because you will want to capture lots of detail in your shots and you will want the higher ISO capabilities of a DSLR.

    On the canon side, the 450D offers alot of features (including 12mp) for a relatively "cheap" price.. I'm not quite sure what kind of lenses there are available though.

    On the Nikon side, the D60 is a very capable camera and if you couple it with the 16-85mm VR ($600) or the 18-200mm VR ($700), then I'm sure you will satisfy all of your photographic needs.

    The reason I would suggest a D60 instead of a D80 is because the D80 is soon to be replaced by the future D90, a camera which will most possibly sport the amazing CMOS sensor used in the D300.

    If you can stand to wait, I'd say do it.. Although you will have to pay a higher price for it.

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