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Author Topic: An everyday camera  (Read 4816 times)

marcmccalmont

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An everyday camera
« on: December 10, 2006, 03:42:34 pm »

I could use your help and thoughts to choose the best every day camera for my use.

I travel for a living and shoot a lot from an airplane. I have a 5d and find toting 2 lenses is too much weight and volume to take with me all the time so I end up missing shots because my camera is not with me. I would like a smaller camera with a single lens solution. Stabilization is a must. Too many blured shots from the airplane.

Priorities in order from most to least
1.   image quality
2.   28 to 200mm 35mm equivalent range minimum and 24 to 300mm ideal
3.   stabilization and low light capability
4.   DXO optics lens compatibility/RAW support
5.   familiar controls and layout
6.   size/weight
7.   cost

So from my research so far I come up with:
My 5d with my 24-105 is (works great but not enough reach, 2x converter too inconvinient in the cockpit)
My 5d with my Tokina 24-200 (no stabilization so... many blurry shots from the airplane, no DXO lens support)
Canon EOS 30d w/sigma 18-200 OS
Nikon D80 w/ 17-200 VR
Pentax K10d with Tamron or Sigma 18-200
Panasonic DMC FZ50
Canon G7

The bottom line is any shot is better than no shot at all, This trip I did not have my 5D with me and during descent missed a nice shot of  a snow covered Mt Fuji with the sun setting from about 10,000

Most of my prints are A3+ on an iPF5000

Thanks for your input.
Marc
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jimhuber

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An everyday camera
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2006, 09:43:24 pm »

From your list I think your best choice is the Nikon D80 with 18-200 VR for a small, light, very convenient (single lens) solution.

Have you considered a Rebel XTi? It's a lot smaller and lighter than the 5D and 30D bodies. The 17-85 IS lens covers 28-135 equivalent, which is most shots. Add a 70-300 DO for telephoto up to 480mm equivalent, and if you need to go really wide the 10-22 is a very good ultra-wide zoom equivalent to 16-35. All three of these lenses are very close to the same physical size, making fitting into small bags very convenient no matter which lens is mounted. My kit was a Rebel XT with these three lenses until I upgraded to a 5D with 17-40L, 24-105L, and kept the 70-300DO.
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marcmccalmont

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An everyday camera
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2006, 10:07:45 pm »

Quote
From your list I think your best choice is the Nikon D80 with 18-200 VR for a small, light, very convenient (single lens) solution.

Have you considered a Rebel XTi?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=89795\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm thinking the Nikon D80 w/18-200vr is the best overall solution, I'll just have to get used to the layout of another camera. A year later I can set almost anything on the 5D quickly and in the dark so the 30d is attractive on that issue. If only Canon made a 17-200 IS! The rebel would be ok but the 30d has the same layout as the 5d so I would favor the 30d for that reason. several reasons for a single lens solution
1. Overall size
2. Dust in the cockpit, this year I have noticed that every lens change in the cockpit resulted in lots of dust in the image, not sure why but 8000 ft cabin altitude, less than 10% relative humidity (to prevent airframe corrosion) and visible dust floating in the air (they say it is mostly dead skin, not sure I buy that one) I've always been careful to turn the camera off during lens changes although I understand the power to the sensor is removed when the lens contacts are moved during removal.
3. speed, many shots from the air are wide angle to capture the fealing of the "landscape" the next frame is zooming down deep to get the details of the sunset or mountain etc. can't do it with the 24-105  not enough reach and not enough time to change to a 70-300 do.
Thanks
Marc
« Last Edit: December 10, 2006, 10:41:51 pm by marcmccalmont »
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BernardLanguillier

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An everyday camera
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2006, 12:21:16 am »

Quote
I'm thinking the Nikon D80 w/18-200vr is the best overall solution, I'll just have to get used to the layout of another camera. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=89799\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Marc,

I use that combo as a travel kit and really like it, but does it make sense to manage cameras from 2 brands in parallel?

By the way, that combo is currently not supported by DxO as of V4.1, although it should be in the coming weeks.

Regards,
Bernard

marcmccalmont

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An everyday camera
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2006, 12:57:18 am »

Quote
Marc,

I use that combo as a travel kit and really like it, but does it make sense to manage cameras from 2 brands in parallel?

By the way, that combo is currently not supported by DxO as of V4.1, although it should be in the coming weeks.

Regards,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=89817\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am concerned with 2 brands in parallel, flashes, batteries, lenses, user interface etc But I am trying to solve this dilemma with high image quality so until a stabilized canon 18-200 lens is available do I have a choice? Or a 30d with the new sigma 18-200 OS and hope it is high quality? and supported by DXO in the future? Not a simple solution. The best 2 lens camera for me is what I have a 5d with 24-105 and 70-200 the best "travel camera" is the D80 and 18-200 VR I wish life was simple. The highest priority is image quality though.
Marc
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Lisa Nikodym

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An everyday camera
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2006, 11:41:48 am »

Another vote for the D80 with 18-200 VR lens.  I use that lens with the D200 (the D80 wasn't out yet when I got the D200, and I would probably have gotten the D80 for weight reasons if it was), and the image quality is excellent.  It's about as good as you can get for a single-lens solution, and very portable.

Lisa
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mahleu

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An everyday camera
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2006, 04:00:37 pm »

Maybe look at less pro cameras such as the Lumix FZ7 or the Canon G7? All those have IS, a large zoom range and produce reasonable results. PLus, they're small and easy to carry around with you.
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Bill in WV

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An everyday camera
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2006, 09:39:11 am »

Have you considered a Super Zoom, the Canon S3 IS comes to mind. Roughly half the size of a DSLR, I have seen some amazing work done with that little beast. My wife has the S2 IS and I have been very impressed with some of her photos. Outstanding movies too, I've read.

The other suggestion I would throw out would be to add the Canon 28-135 IS to your battery of lenses. Cartier-Bresson seldom if ever worked out of that range and he seemed to do all right. I have that lens and it was my only lens for my D60 until earlier this year when I went a bit nuts with a new 30D. As long as you have the 5D, I'd look into that one. It's a very nice lens. Right now, I'm running the 17-85 IS on my 30D (the same range in 33mm equiv) and use it >90% of the time.

I also have the G7 and it is cool! Still a bit to learn to maximize it, but I think I'm falling in love.

Edit: I've gone back and reread the original message and offer this, the 70-300 IS, not the DO version, is also a mighty fine piece of equipment. Mine is very sharp, you can watch the IS kick in, and most importantly, not much larger than the other Canon lenses I've mentioned. Mine was $679 but I'll bet they could be had cheaper. The DO version is what, $500 more? I think this lens would be great from an airplane, just watch for scratched windows, but you probably do that anyway.

Actually, I think you need one of the 8mp 28-200's Michael reviewed some time ago, mine is the KM A2, unfortunately hard to duplicate today.

Bill in WV
« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 01:19:58 pm by Bill in WV »
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Lisa Nikodym

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An everyday camera
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2006, 01:10:23 pm »

Quote
The other suggestion I would throw out would be to add the Canon 28-135 IS to your battery of lenses.

I had that lens, and it had *very* poor sharpness in the corners.  There is apparently a lot of variation from one lens to the next for that one.   That was the lens that made me abandon my Canon film camera in disgust and start fresh with a Nikon digital.  My cheap Nikon 18-70mm DX lens and the newer 18-200 VR DX lens were both light-years better in sharpness than my old Canon 28-135.  If you go the 28-135 route, I would highly recommend going somewhere where you can try multiple samples of that lens and try to find a decent one.

Lisa
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marcmccalmont

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An everyday camera
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2006, 03:03:02 pm »

I would like to thank all of you for your comments and input I ended up purchasing a Nikon D80/18-200VR as it addressed my list of criteria best.
Merry Christmas
Marc
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