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Oh WHat to choose? Digital..35mm

hello hello

i am looking to buy a digital camera .. i’m pretty sure Canon has the best technology .. right? I don’t want to spend masses…. below$1500 with lens.. i have been looking at the 20D at B and H.. 8.2 megaPix
any suggestions?
I’ve got a few jobs in Europe, leaving in a week.. don’t wanna buy one there!
worried to make a bad rush choice

pressed in NY


by [a former member] at 2005-06-12 18:52:01 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) NY , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Sveva, just sent you a PM with a few reviews of the Nikon D70, which is also in your price range.

by Wayne E. Yang | 12 Jun 2005 19:06 | Kaohsiung, Taiwan | | Report spam→
My 20D is a workhorse. I do not really use it for anything other than media/commercial jobs, but I use it all the time and it has never missed a beat. I have easily put 10,000 frames on it. I have also heard some decent things about the Nikon d70.

by [former member] | 12 Jun 2005 19:06 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
You might want to check this out http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-6468-7844

Interesting story on Alex Majoli and shooting with point & shoots. There are a lot of good points made.


by Nayan Sthankiya | 12 Jun 2005 19:06 | Seoul, Korea (South) | | Report spam→
The battle of Nikon vs. Canon proceeds apace. Here are some previous threads on the subject:


there are some others lying around in LS cyberspace. I too am looking around for a camera in this range, but as I have alot of Nikon glass I am leaning toward buying another Nikon. If you are not wed to Nikon, however, it might be a good idea to go with Canon, as their bodies seem to be pretty well built (though Scott Eels and some other LSers were having trouble, but as Michael says his is a workhorse), and they are developing (or have developed?) full frame viewing, while Nikon even with the new D2X doesnt seem to be going in that direction. The D70 body is a bit flimsy too, but lots of people I know like it. My previous experience with the body/lens packages that Nikon promotes is that the lenses are not usually their best, so you have to spring for the good quality lens: the 17 to 55 is over a thousand and the 12 to 24 is a bit less.

by Jon Anderson | 12 Jun 2005 20:06 | Astoria Queens, United States | | Report spam→
Plus this comparison by Ken Rockwell:

by Wayne E. Yang | 12 Jun 2005 20:06 | Kaohsiung, Taiwan | | Report spam→
Forgot to add, the article on Majoli is definitely worth reading and depending on your needs you may in fact decide to go this route. It is certainly an attractive option for many reasons. I havent myself tried any of these Olympus cameras, but I shoot alot of film on the Contax T3 for many of the same reasons, and the idea of having the equivalent in digital is increasingly appealing to me. But I am not talking about commercial work here. Plus if they are not too expensive, you can buy a bunch of them and carry them with you, so if one fails you are not stuck the way that Scott was recently with his Canon.

by Jon Anderson | 12 Jun 2005 20:06 | Astoria Queens, United States | | Report spam→
Great article, Nayan. Thanks for posting it.

by Wayne E. Yang | 12 Jun 2005 20:06 | Kaohsiung, Taiwan | | Report spam→
I’m looking to a 5050 in the next couple of weeks for an assignment. The 1.8 lens and 5 MP sensor really have me intrigued.

by Nayan Sthankiya | 12 Jun 2005 22:06 | Seoul, Korea (South) | | Report spam→

20D or D70 are both good cameras. If you are shooting film with Canon and already have canon lenses why change?

I personally like (or got used to) Nikon and have a D100.

David Burnett uses two 20Ds cameras . One with a 50mm f/1.4 ($295)
The other with a EF 17-35mm f/2.8 (around $700).

Olympus point and shoot cameras are not that cheap. I paid $600 for the c-5060. Nice little camera .Pictures are as good as D100’s .But The buttons are little, the auto focus ( only option) its slow and some settings reset when you turn it off.

If you want better reviews ( and “owners opinions”) go to:



Good luck and let us know your decision

by Alex Reshuan | 12 Jun 2005 23:06 (ed. Jun 12 2005) | Miami, United States | | Report spam→
Ok, Since I first read this thread, I decided to do some research with the result that I was up all night reading reviews of these cameras until my eyes blurred. The cameras that look especially nice to me are the ones, unfortunately, that are out of the price range in question here. I am thinking in particular of the Epson RD 1. Way too expensive, but really really nice. A close runner up is the Leica Digilux2. Wow. Very fast, small and light. But it has several disadvantages, chief of which is a built in noise reduction program that turns your imagery shot at 400 ISO into mush. The reviewer pointed out that you can get around this by shooting at 100 ISO and underexpose by two stops, then brighten up the image in photoshop, and this method yields really beautiful sharp files. However, a similar attempt to work from 400 ISO in order to yield 800 ISO files doesnt work at all, so you are really screwed if you like, as I do, to shoot in low light. And as he points out, the lens is fantastic but not backed up by enough pixels to realize the potential resolution. Leica will be coming out with their first M digital camera in 2006, but that is sure to be expensive and hinky. A couple more years and we will have the perfect digital. In the meantime, it is not such a bad idea to look into the Olympus cameras. The C 8080, according to the review, is actually pretty fast, doesnt suffer from shutter lag, particularly if you prep the camera properly, and costs only about 500 bucks. The C7070 costs only 389 at B and H. you can see the review of the C8080 here: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusc8080wz/

by Jon Anderson | 13 Jun 2005 01:06 (ed. Jun 13 2005) | Astoria Queens, United States | | Report spam→
Jon, when I was shopping for “the” digital camera I had a look at the digilux2. There was one major deal breaker, the electronic viewfinder. It totally sucked. When you put the camera up to your eye, you are not seeing the scene naturally, you are actually seeing a black and white video reproduction. I found it horrible, and no matter how great/sharp/perfect everything else was, the viewfinder just killed it. I was not aware of the noise reduction issue, but that too sounds like deal breaker. Too much work around for something that pricey.

I have not seen the RD 1, but it sure does look nice in pictures.

I have had really good results shooting at 800-1600 asa with the 20d. At 1600 things get a little chunky, but it still works especially if you are converting to B&W.

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 05:06 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Oh yes, that was one of the other big problems with the digilux2, the viewfinder, I just didnt mention it because I was so unhappy about the problems with the built in noise reduction program, which cannot be turned off or customized. So there is another reason not to buy it, but I call it a “runner up” only because in concept — small, light, ergonomic, with manual controls — it is very close to the digital camera I would design for myself if I could design one. There have been some threads about the Epson on LS, so anyone interested can look into it further, but that camera is a bit pricey, even for all its assets. Btw, another advantage of buying the Olympus is the lens, which is apparently very well made, and the resulting files are supposed to be quite remarkable. I just dont want to buy a whole bunch of new glass along with a new SLR body if I can get by for a while with something like the C8080 until my dream digital is created, or a camera like the D2X comes down in price.

by Jon Anderson | 13 Jun 2005 07:06 | Astoria Queens, United States | | Report spam→
too bad about that Digilux2, so close, but yet soooo far away from perfection…

Camera companies should let us beta test all of their new equipment before officially releasing it to the public.

Heellllo, Leica/Canon/Nikon/Olympus, are you listening?

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 07:06 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
I’ve tested nikon d-70, Canon d-10 / d-20 and Olympus E-1. I don’t like how the nikon manages the colour (it’s a personal appreciation). All the canon seems to be very good choices, but I chose finally olympus: very strong body, great lenses and cheaper than d-20. Now, I would take a look on olympus E-300 (8.0 megapixels, smaller size).

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 08:06 | Madrid, Spain | | Report spam→
I am with you Michael: maybe LS can become a kind of beta testing ground for these companies. It is a good idea if you think about it, becuz there are so many of us doing so many different things, the cameras would really be put to the test. Of course, the companies like to use famous types who can rave about their cameras and thus help to sell them (like David Allan Harvey and the Epson), but LS as a kind of general group name could very well serve that purpose one day!

Further testing today has led me to believe that while the Olympus cameras are strong contenders, the D70 for me is beginning to lead the field: the color is pegged to rendering skin tones well and looks good enough to me (Carlos, care to elaborate on your distaste for the D70 color rendition?), the files are very very clean and sharp, and the camera is the fastest in its class. Plus it improves in several ways on the D100. The Olympus gives you sharp files but they are a bit too noisy for my taste. And I just remembered that I have several nikon wide fixed lenses that will allow me to shoot fast and light without investing in more glass. uepa!

by Jon Anderson | 13 Jun 2005 10:06 (ed. Jun 13 2005) | Astoria Queens, United States | | Report spam→
Jon, just curious, you are basing these opinions on tests you are making or did you mean reading, as you refered to in one of your posts?

When you say Olympus gives you sharp image, you mean jpegs, correct— and is the sharpness due to lens or are you talking about the tweaking of the jpeg that each camera does?

Also when you say noisy, what ISO are you talking about? Noisy at what ISO? 100, 200, 400. 800?

I have put 60,000 images through my 10D in a year and a half, so I feel confident to talk abot the 10D/20D and the Canon lenses, and RAW vs. jpeg, Photshop CS, etc.

As for LS becoming a beta testing area for the companies……are you serious?

Is LS going to be an agency, a blog, and now beta-testers for the companies?
I appreciate your enthusism but at some point this becomes a bit naive and almost comical….

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 10:06 | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→
Ha!! Well I am certainly comical, sometimes naive, and always spilling ideas, however lunatic — because you never know, some of these take root and grow. Right now I am just sleep deprived from reading too many reviews and sitting up all night photoshopping images. But seriously, I didnt specify because I wanted to keep things general, and I am really just thinking out loud. Personal testing of some of these cameras is limited to testing their feel, their speed, their construction, ergonomics, and how they fit in with the kind of shooting I do. I am moderately familiar with the Canons and the Nikons, but I havent seen any of the Olympus cameras yet, and I want to try one out. I liked what Majoli had to say about his use of these cameras, and his means of dealing with their shortcomings seems quite workable. That got me thinking about SLRs in general and whether, depending on one’s needs, one has to go all out, or just get something to tide you over until all this constant innovation and upgrading begins to pay off, and cheaper, better, lighter, smaller cameras, along the lines of my Leicas, are made available to those of us who dont want or cant spend alot of money on new equipment.

The real nitty gritty look at the noise, resolution, color, etc comes from close reading of all the reviews I could find on the net, particularly those that appear on this site: http://www.dpreview.com/

There are others, but those reviews are pretty thorough. I dont have time or the expertise or access to all the cameras to do all this minute investigation myself of issues like resolution, moiré and other distortions, etc etc. These guys are paid to do that, and that allows me in turn to focus on the things that matter to me. If you read carefully you can make a pretty informed decision, though of course real knowledge comes only with long term use, as in your case with the Canons.

As for noise, I am talking mostly at 400 and up, but even at 100 ISO there are differences and the so called “prosumer” cameras seem to come up a bit short. Me, I shoot in low light all the time, really really low light, so I need a camera that can give me good performance under these conditions. The good SLRs do that, but I would love to have something that looks and feels like the Leica or Epson, but is not so expensive, and doesnt suffer from the problems that the Digilux in particularly suffers from. Someday it will come.

I guess my point is that I havent had the same need to convert entirely to digital as have many other photographers, and I feel real comfortable with my methods and equipment. So I am looking for ways to adapt without going broke or doing anything hasty. I have always adapted in this manner to the perpetual changes in the photo industry, and my patience almost always has paid off. We live in a world of consumerism where there is alot of pressure to get the newest thing, but I resist that. If it aint broke dont fix it is my motto. But then, I still wear windup watches.

As for LS being a potential ground for beta testing, FYI that is already in the making. But I didnt know anyone had suggested that LS should become an agency (or did I suggest that myself in one of my late night ravings?!!!)

by Jon Anderson | 13 Jun 2005 11:06 | Astoria Queens, United States | | Report spam→
Jon, I used once a d-70 during a trip to Bangkok. I liked most its small size and the sharpness of the images, but I found the color rendition ‘too digital’ compared with canon. With the Olympus, working with an asa not higher than 200, I can obtain very sharp images with fine color. The image has enough quality for making big prints through interpolation. But this is only my personal experience (and I’m not a nikon or canon user, so I don’t have any problem about changing to Olympus). In any case, apart from my small contax g-2 and holga, I’m never sure with cameras, specially with digital ones. I like the quality of the images and the strong body of the Olympus, but I miss a smaller body (like d70 o canon d20) just with a 24 mm.

Ah, I’m with you and Michael: LS would be a great place for testing. Different backgrounds, different experiences, free opinions.

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 11:06 (ed. Jun 13 2005) | Madrid, Spain | | Report spam→
Thank you everyone for this continuous dialogue… don’t stop!
It’s very informative, i’m spending hours on dpreview ..
Up to now i am leaning towards Canon rather than Nikon, as i have a couple of lenses already, but then i am also intreagued with the Olympus C-8080 and E-300.. I had heard that Olympus had very good lenses.. and these cameras are generally cheaper. So i’m gonna keep at this research and hopefully hear more personnal reviews from LSs.
learning loads. thank you thank you

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 11:06 | NY, United States | | Report spam→
Free opinions — and free stuff!!! Thanks Carlos for chiming in on the D70, because I am leaning toward it and want to hear as much as I can about it from fellow LSers before I make my move. As for color, I am used to shooting a variety of neg and slide, and so far none of the digital appeals to me, but I expect I can tweak the files to get waht I want. As for what you say about the Olympus, that is exactly in line with the reviews I am reading. I really want to try one of these out. Sveva, sorry to steal this thread, but now you have plenty of food for thought!!! Let us know what you choose and why and how it works out for you.

by Jon Anderson | 13 Jun 2005 11:06 | Astoria Queens, United States | | Report spam→
You can not go wrong with Canon……you are investing in their technology and its very good. There are problems with softness in some of the zooms that they sell but thats another issue.

If you would like to check my work at http://www.digitalrailroad.net/andylevin almost all the imagery there was taken with my 10D including this

image that can only be done on digital, which has a great sensitivity in low light, in color. For low light color digital is so far past slides or color neg its not even worth discussing. You can see examples of this in newspapers everyday.

The response on the 20D is supposedly better, but I would not buy a 10D as it has not great timing and has screwed me out of some shots.

As for editing, digital allows you the ability to have immediate 5×7s of every image, and slideshows on your computer, groupings in iview, etc. What I feel I sacrifice is the ability to make a darkroom print, and also some features regarding focus which are too lengthy to discuss here, but suffice it to say that certain types of images are simply not possible on todays digital due to the small chip……

Anyway, Jon, get some sleep. Rest assured there is no perfect camera yet. but there are perfect pictures to me made, that I am sure of, as some of the best were taken with crap cameras, bad processing anyway.

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 12:06 (ed. Jun 13 2005) | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→

Along the lines of Alex Majoli’s work, perhaps look into the Canon Powershot S70…7.1 megapixels with a 28mm-100mm zoom. I have one along with the 20D and 1DMarkII, all of which have their strengths in the right place. If you want to shoot at 800asa though and want instant shutter response on a budget – the 20D is what you should go with.
The S70 worked well last winter while ice climbing in below zero temps. Video too!

by Alden Pellett | 13 Jun 2005 13:06 | Vermont, United States | | Report spam→
BTW the above shot was at 400 ISO…..

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 13:06 | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→
Yeah that looks really nice. When I think of shooting in low light, of course, I am always thinking black and white, but I forget that digital color in low light renders incredible results. On the other hand, while I dont like slide for low light, I do like color neg. But this is just nitpicking. In the review of the various digital options I was mainly concerned with noise at 400, 800 and 1600 ISO, which on the prosumer models like the Olympus C8080 (and even their E300) seemed to get out of hand. Course, if it comes down to Nikon vs Canon for me, then I probably would go with Nikon just because I have the glass.

Making a darkroom print is another whole issue! I started out as a printer, so that is one thing I really think about, but I have seen good digital prints (not black and white but color) and now they have a machine that will take a digital black and white file and print to silver halide paper. Havent seen the results myself but that sounds interesting.

on it goes. back to photoshop. Sleep, not yet . . . . . .

by Jon Anderson | 13 Jun 2005 13:06 | Astoria Queens, United States | | Report spam→

Here is another, let me show off a bit….OK?

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 13:06 | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 13:06 | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 13:06 (ed. Jun 14 2005) | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→
These are all Canon 10D images, 20-35mm 2.8 Canon L lens, 400 ISO.

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 14:06 | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→

NYC Black Out 2003

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 14:06 (ed. Jun 14 2005) | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→
Love it! Yeah that is quality.

by Jon Anderson | 13 Jun 2005 14:06 | Astoria Queens, United States | | Report spam→

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 14:06 (ed. Jun 13 2005) | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→
For me the digital is a great tool……..but I think I will go back to tri-x for my next project if I can pull together the financing, just to change it up.

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 14:06 (ed. Jun 13 2005) | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→
Little detour here, has anybody tested the new Canon Rebel XT (350D)?
It seems like a great value since it borrows most of its technical features from the 20D, for about $450 less, which buys one a decent lens.

by Imke Lass | 13 Jun 2005 16:06 | Savannah, United States | | Report spam→
exactly, Andy, your photos are nice but as i am sure you are aware, they lack the romance and depth of Tri-X. You’re getting more shadow detail with digital but you’re losing what they call bokeh (out-of-focus attractiveness) and the grainy, edgy quality of film.

but look at me, stuck with a D70 and a D100 in baghdad. 8000+ frames in two and a half months, and only 20 rolls of B+W shot so far. D70 is MUCH better than D100, which was a big surprise to me because everyone said they were almost the same except the D70 is cheaper. Actually it is truly faster, less shutter lag, and has a larger buffer (9 photos instead of 6) so you can blast away. And, it’s white balance capabilities are, again, immensely superior to the D100.

canon was never an option for me, dozens of nikon film bodies and lenses. Using the Tokina 17mm f/3.5, the Nikon 20-35mm f/2.8 (better made, and smaller and lighter, than the 17-35 which replaced it), and the Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8. The Tokina is surprisingly good; what sucks is the slow aperture.

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 16:06 | Baghdad, Iraq | | Report spam→
Yeah bokeh!!!! Grain!!! Rich Blacks!!!! SOUL.

Alan everything you say about the D70 v. D100 confirms my suspicions, and since i have a bunch of nikon fixed lenses wide enough to work well despite the frame differential, it seems that the D70 and I are bound to be partners. I like that Nikon 20 to 35 too.

All is well I trust? 8000 frames is alot of work! Go man go.

by Jon Anderson | 13 Jun 2005 16:06 | Astoria Queens, United States | | Report spam→
I just got a c8080 and it is great. Sharp, not as much as Canon but good for the shot on the fly, much as many people carry a point and shoot or another little camera all the time.Shutter lag is not bad, which was my biggest worry. I have not used it for “work” and I must say as much as I like it, it does show you where your money goes with the higher end cameras, I also have a 1dmkII. Better color, but the olympus is good, faster obviously and at high iso’s it is no contest. Even 400 is a little grainy/noisy, but if you are converting to b&w it will look pretty good, you know, fake “grain”. If you need to shoot anyhting other than jpegs the write speed is a little frustrating to wait through, hence the use of 3 of them for war work, ie Majoli.
But really, it is a good camera, worth the money, as cheap as $450 on pricegrabber and $500 in the city. The Canon’s are excellent, better, but can be a bit much alot of the time if you do not need the low light capabilities and the speed.

by Jeremy M. Lange | 13 Jun 2005 17:06 | Sunnyside, Queens, United States | | Report spam→

Yeah you are right about that b.w boket (is that right)…….hopefully I will get back to tri-x soon, after I figure out how to pay the rent here.

In the mean time here is some more fun 10D stuff.

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 17:06 (ed. Jun 13 2005) | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→

Another 10D frame.

by [former member] | 13 Jun 2005 18:06 | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→
Has anyone tried the Nikon D50?



by Wayne E. Yang | 16 Jun 2005 01:06 (ed. Jun 16 2005) | Kaohsiung, Taiwan | | Report spam→
hello everyone

after reading all your info and loosing my mind on DPreview amongst other sites. .. there are two specifications that stand out… one is .. i have Canon lenses.. the other is the famous lack of noise at high ASA… this i find very alluring…
i think the Olympus would have been a pit stop before getting a higher end camera, even tho the expense is making me a little insomniac, it’s probably worth it in the long run.
So thank you everyone
now i know WHY i’m getting this camera and am not walking blind thru the valley of B and H.

peace and love to you all
can’t wait to play on a new toy!

by [former member] | 16 Jun 2005 08:06 | NY, United States | | Report spam→

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Wayne E. Yang, Writer/Photographer Wayne E. Yang
Kaoshiung , Taiwan
Nayan Sthankiya, Visual Journalist Nayan Sthankiya
Visual Journalist
Saskatoon , Canada
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Alex Reshuan, Photographer Alex Reshuan
Guayaquil , Ecuador
Alden Pellett, Photojournalist Alden Pellett
Vermont , United States
Imke Lass, Photographer Imke Lass
Hamburg , Germany
Jeremy M. Lange, Photographer Jeremy M. Lange
Durham, North Carolina , United States ( RDU )


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