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Old 05-02-2005, 12:33 PM   #15
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I agree - being able to manipulate images is really important. My favorite piece of software for handling images is called Photo Impact and at $90.00 for the full version of the software, it's a good deal. It's user friendly and powerful. I also have and use Photoshop but Photo Impact does almost the same job way cheaper!

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Old 05-02-2005, 12:42 PM   #16
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While Photoshop is a great tool, I think it is critical that folks first master their cameras (which I am still doing). I really love the things that you can do with Photoshop CS (I've played on a friends machine with RAW editing, and you are right, it is verrry cool ). However, it is still important to know what the camera is doing and to shoot the best pictures possible. It is a whole lot less time consuming to have the photo look good up front than to have to post-process edit them.

Janet--RAW is a new photo format that allows manipulation of practically every element of a picture. For instance, if a photo is over exposed, you are pretty much stuck with the white areas, no matter how much you play with the levels in most programs. With newer versions of Photoshop Pro, you can actually go into those white areas and lower the light levels. This opens up a whole new level of manipulation that isn't available with consumer programs (like Ullead and Photoshop Elements) or older versions of Photoshop Pro. Wes is on target about this.

Personally, I consider myself pretty crummy at Photoshop manipulations, but I have published regardless--and I feel I have a lot of work to get better.

Wes, see you are local, too...we seem to be attracting the Virginians here!


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Old 05-02-2005, 12:59 PM   #17
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Yes, I'm in Kingstown at this very moment.

I agree completely that people need to learn how to fully use their cameras. What I was trying to say is that a lot of people do well with digital for a time, then run smack into a wall when their expensive equipment can't generate the results they expect. In my case, the problem came in trying to get an inkjet print to look like the image on my computer screen. I already understood exposure and composition from my film experience, but that dirty little secret of PC imaging, Microsoft's weird indifference to color management, prevented me from getting what I wanted. After a lot of fussing, I came to understand that it was a color management problem, only to realize then that I needed some expensive software in addition to the expensive hardware I already had.

Same thing with film really, if you think about it.

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Old 05-02-2005, 02:27 PM   #18
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Post Nikon D70 Rocks!

I upgraded to a D70 last November and am very happy. No, I'm not a professional... I know just enough about photography to make me dangerous, but I have to say the D70 is awesome!

The color, clarity and contrast that this unit delivers are simply astounding. In fact, my brother had just purchased a $600 Canon point and shoot and was taking outdoor photos in max resolution (some 5.x megapixels). I, too, was taking pix of the same subjects with my D70 -- but with a resolution of 3.3 megapixels to save memory. That evening I e-mailed him some of my photos, and they were so much better than the ones he got from his point-and-shoot -- even at a lower resolution; that he promptly returned his camera and bought a D70.

Low-light shots are great, too. Even in candlelight, using handheld longer exposures, I get outstanding results. No point and shoot I ever saw could do the same. (Probably because of the physical size of the apetures).

Like Airstreams, Nikons are addictive. I've already purchased an 80-400 mm Nikkor ED zoom lens with vibration reduction -- it's awesome! The shots I'm able to get make the investment worthwhile. I'm eyeing Nikon's new 12-24 wide zoom next, but just don't have the extra money laying around yet.

For all you Nikon'ers, check out -- it's an awesome Web site nearly dedicated to all things Nikon. Great commentary, great reviews, great tips... this Thom Hogan is incredibly brilliant.
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Old 05-02-2005, 02:46 PM   #19
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Hi Mary - I really like the Digilux 2. I wanted a digital camera that was easy to use, have outstanding optics, but would be able to shoot RAW. The controls are very easy to understand, either in auto or manual. The camera handles well and since there is no mirror as with the DSLRs I can take some very slow hand held exposures with very little detectable blur. I do shoot at iso 100 exclusively for noise issues, then everything gets tweaked in Photoshop CS.

I've been slow to get on the digital wagon because I've got a full darkroom at home as well as an 8x10 & 4x5 view cameras. It kinda gives me heartburn when I think of the hours I spent making print after print, when now I can manipulate it all at my computer. I guess the instant (or much faster) gratification of digital is catching up with me, though I still like the familiarity of film. One thing I haven't been able to do with digital that I thoroughly enjoy with film is timed exposures at night where the exposures can sometimes be over an hour - at least for now.
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Old 05-02-2005, 03:12 PM   #20
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I'm Jealous TOO!

The Nikon D70 is but a dream that my darling husband might see this thread and say "you know she really does deserve a really really really nice present from me!

Never into professional photography but a very enthusiastic amatuer - my trusty Nikon FE SLR (non digital) had been my companion until August 2003 when the shutter mechanism started to stick -it happened before and cost a lot to repair - and now it would be even more.

So like so many others we joined the ranks of the cheapy digitals like the low end Kodaks - that give great colour and easy user friendly software for both PC and MAC!!!!

Almost an astounding 9000 pictures later she has her plusses - but as a form avid amatuer photographer I long for the D70 - but trailers just seem to get in the way of that single most important purchase

If those out there are into pictures - I would strongly recommend you learn a good photo manipulation program like Photoshop. With digital cameras the opportunity to take some pretty awsome pictures is great - but then after playing with the picture in low grade software applications or not setting the resolution correctly to start - leaves you with garbage!!!

Learn the basics of RESOLUTION first understand it and play with it - in the digital world that is the most important feature in both the camera and the photo software - poor composition, lighting, colouring etc can all be corrected - but if the resolution is too low you will have nothing to work with. This goes for the quick shooters like the DX Kodak and the like series cameras for the not so pro out there.

Those who use the LCD screen to take a picture try using the view finder and really get behind the photo - it is so funny to see people water skiing behind their cameras....

Just my little bit of imput.
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Old 05-02-2005, 03:38 PM   #21
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We bought a $60 3 Megapixel Digital camera from Wally World. It has the cable, software

and 1.5" LCD screen w/ 16mb memory. With low resolution is does videos.

Technology is great!
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Old 05-02-2005, 03:45 PM   #22
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Canon 20D

I am now shooting with a Canon 20D with a couple of zooms (including the 75-300 DO IS USM) and a couple gigs of cards.

Really happy with the setup. Highly recommended.

For the pocket, I use a Minolta Dimage Xt. Love it too.

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Old 05-02-2005, 04:31 PM   #23
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D100 with way too many lenses. Shoot RAW. PS7 tunes 'em.

Works for me.

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Old 05-02-2005, 05:40 PM   #24
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Hmmm. Juel, I must be your sister spirit. All of this camera discussion is above me, but I WANT TO KNOW! I guess what this is telling me is that one of the first studies I may do in my nearing retirement (only 18 more school days!!!) is digital photography. We have a Canon: Power Shot Pro90 IS, whatever all that means. I cannot do more than turn it on, point and shoot, and replay to see what I took. Not much, judging by what you all are discussing. And I have yet to attach a photo to a post! I think I'll look for a photography course at MU or other nearby college as a starting point. Anyone else have ideas to offer for a digital illiterate? Oh, the manual. . .well, I tried. And failed!
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Old 05-02-2005, 06:13 PM   #25
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I also use the Nikon D100....but, I didn't think it was possible to have too many lenses! After shooting film for the past 35 years, with a Nikon camera that you had to focus and use your meters to set the aperature and shutter speed, this has been like learning a whole new skill! And, the Airstream gives me the excuse to get out and shoot photos as if there is no tomorrow....the thing I just LOVE about limits on the number of pics you take!
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Old 05-02-2005, 06:30 PM   #26
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I have been shooting with a Minolta SLR for the past 30 years. I love the control it offers and the ease of shooting. I started off with a Sony Mavica the graduated to a Sony S-85 4.1 mega pixel. It is hard to shoot outdoors in bright light, I have no idea what f-stop I am using or shutter speed. Don't know how to adjust for a backlit subject or how to spot meter. Does the Nikon D-70 look and handle like a 35mm SLR? I have seriously thought about the Leica just because the controls look like a camera that I am familiar with. Things like remote shutter release, elasped time shots seemed to have been completely overlooked in most of the point and shoot cameras even the more expensive ones. I am really looking for an SLR that feels like a 35 mm and has the controls in a logical place. I don't like having to go to menu the making 5 more choices before I can take a picture.
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Old 05-02-2005, 06:35 PM   #27
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We have two digital cameras an old Olympus D300 and a Fuji finepix S3100.
Both suite our collective needs Janet uses the D300 because it is easy and fast but only 3.1 Mpixel. I shoot the S3100 it will do 6 Mpixel.
If you are looking I would like to pass on the following.

1.) Optics, get the best you can.
2.) Optical zoom is the only important zoom to me. Digital zoom does not save to our memory cards. What good is it?
3.) Batteries, are my pet peave; special batteries that are expensive or rechargeable are a waste of time and money when your'e in Wagontire, Oregon and your'e juice is gone.
Find a camera that uses standard AA batteries.
They seem to always be available, even in foriegn countries.
If you want longer life batteries they make Li batteries in the AA format.
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Old 05-02-2005, 06:45 PM   #28
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I also own the Sony S-85.....and, I just wanted more from my camera, like the ability to shoot close-ups of what I see through the viewfinder. And, even though I have small hands, I like the feel of a larger, 35mm-size camera. Take a look at the Nikons (D100, D70, and the new D50) and the Canon line....I am sure you will find something you like! Then, you can loan out the S-85 like I do!


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