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Old 05-02-2005, 07:44 AM   #1
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Which digital camera do you use?

Just got my first digital camera. I might have been the last forum member to get one...
We plan to use it to document our travels in Spirit. I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out the features..
It is a Nikon D-70.
What cameras do you all use? How do you decide which "photo" program to keep your photos?

Abe
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:58 AM   #2
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Oooooooo Nikon, Good choice!
I have a Macica CD, I use a program called Vueprint to view and resize my pictures. It is a simple point and click program with a ton of features. Good luck in what you choose! Looking forward to you pics!
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:58 AM   #3
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Nothing like going digital with one of the best cameras on the market! I shoot with a D70 as does Rich Luhr. There may be other folks out there who do the same.

I don't know what you have for memory, but it's worthwhile to get a big memory card. I have a Gig and it's pretty nice--unless I shoot Raw format. I also have a 70-300 mm lens (second hand old one) and polarizing filters. Eventually, I hope to get one of those cool flashes, but finances are going to the trailer right now.

The manual is pretty cryptic, you may want to get an after-market manual. I've had my camera since Xmas and I am still figuring out some of the features. It's a good thing to figure out how to control white balance--that can make a huge difference on how the pix end up looking.

The Nikon downloading software gives a pretty minimal photoediting features. It has a file management feature that while it works, it's quirky (if you save the picture in another program, it stops displaying.

Personally, I use an older version of Photoshop for editing. Right now I have all my pictures on my harddrive and use Picasa (free from Google) for file management. Eventually, we are thinking of putting a dedicated photodrive into our desktop and networking to it.

The cool thing is that the camera allows you to push the envelope and try new things. If you go to my blog, you can see some long exposure pics I took at the Cherry Blossom Rally (trailer shot in the dark and the campfire).

Mary
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:09 AM   #4
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Mary,
Glad to hear that you also thought then manual was Criptic.... No amount of coffee made me understand the features as of yet...
I have to thank my wife, she knew I/we were looking at digital cameras. She called a good friend of ours and he recommended the D 70. I have always used Nikon cameras( F-3 w/ winder) But the digitals just kept getting better. She also got me the 512 memory card and a second battery.
I loved your photos from the Cherry Blossom rallie! We hope to be there in person next year, In fact some of your members were at the "Break out " rallie at "Trailer Buff" Was that you??
Hope to meet you in person down the road!!

Abe
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:19 AM   #5
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No, I don't know about that rally--who sponsored it? Well, anyways, our trailer is officially out of commission, at least for a while. Oh, yes, you are in Richmond--whereabouts? Rick's mother is in Midlothian.

Have you tried your old lenses on the Nikon? It's pretty cool, even the old manual ones. I have an old manual telephoto that I've used on my camera with good results, even if I had to "SWAG" the settings.

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Old 05-02-2005, 09:16 AM   #6
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Post I'm jealous!

Abe ...

Congrats on the new Nikon. That camera has been near the top of my "Lust List."

Nikon has announced the new D70s ... but there will be a firmware upgrade for your D70.

Here's a link with more info: http://www.dpreview.com/news/0504/05...70firmware.asp
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Old 05-02-2005, 09:37 AM   #7
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Porky,

I had no idea my wife has such good taste.. She was worried that the D-70s would come out as soon as she got me the D-70. With the download information that you told me about it looks like I can just down load the update form Nikon and have almost all the features of the D-70s. Like I really need more features...

Ps my wife and I love your web site. Your site was part of our desire to go digital....
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:16 AM   #8
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I use a Leica Digilux 2 that comes with a 28-90 zoom and Photoshop for most everyday stuff but I still prefer the feel of film. I can get everybit as good an image using my old Leica M6 and scanning it with my Konica 5400 film scanner, then tweaking with Photoshop.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:08 AM   #9
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My favorite browsers and organizers are ACDSee and Photoshop Elements 3. ACDSee is less expensive and lets you open all image files and enlarge and is my favorite. Elements 3 cost a bit more but gives you many advanced editing features and control. Either will open raw files but in the Elements organizer you will have to import them into the program rather than viewing your hard drive's contents. I use both regularly and send to PhotoshopCS for advanced editing, though Elements has A LOT of power and function and would be up to any task. If you want a free program good for slideshows, viewing, converting and resizing check out IrfanView. http://www.irfanview.com/
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:25 AM   #10
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I think it is safe to say that I don't understand at least 3/4 or anything said so far on the thread. I got the part about not understanding the owner's manual, from then on you may as well have been speaking a foreign language. I really am an educated woman; however, these photo programs are well beyond me. I got the Cannon camera, I really like it and I take great pictures. Most are too big to put on the forum, although balrgn was able to talk me through resizing a few of them. I can't imagine me with a Nikon. I'm sure a better camera is just more complicated. AND Consumer Reports recommended the Cannon. Good luck to you camera literate airstreamers.
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:03 PM   #11
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You may want to take a look at the Pentax ist DS with the 16-45mm ( about 24-70-mm in 35mm format) It's an excellent camera from someone who prefered Nikon and Leica for years.I majored in photograpy at The Maryland Institue of Art here in Baltimore many years ago and have shot with a lot of different cameras. That said you can't go wrong with Nikon, Canon, Leica or Pentax, the are all making great digital cameras.The Pentax is the smallest of the lot with a great feel in your hands and picture quality equal to the the Nikon or Cannon. IMHO
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vajeep
Just got my first digital camera. I might have been the last forum member to get one...
We plan to use it to document our travels in Spirit. I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out the features..
It is a Nikon D-70.
What cameras do you all use? How do you decide which "photo" program to keep your photos?

Abe
Nikon is a good choice.
L have been using digital cameras since 1996. I love them! The first ones kinda sucked but someone had to buy them.
I use a USB-connected card reader that takes the CF and the SD memory cards.
I just transfer the pictures from the memory cards to the PC using Windows Explorer. If need to touch them up or whatever, I use Adobe Photoshop 7.0. If they require only resizing and cropping I will open them with MS-Paint.
I have had quite an array of digital cameras but the Kodaks are what I have had the best luck with. I do like them all and everyone on the forum will have their favorite brand. I just happen to like my Kodaks.
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:26 PM   #13
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This will be an unpopular opinion, but I would suggest that photographers making the transition from film to digital seriously evaluate their entire software workflow, in addition to just considering the camera. If you ever spent the time to learn how to handle film developing, you'll want the ability to fully control your digital processing as well. For people like that, real color management is essential, and the later version of Photoshop are far ahead of everyone else there. The latest RAW conversion built into Photoshop CS drastically simplifies processing critical files as well. And the tools that they are including in the new version for noise reduction, high dynamic range processing, and lens correction are really spectacular. The cost is breathtaking of course, but the education discount is huge.

I also recommend a tool called Downloader Pro for those who have to keep track of moving a lot of files from a camera or memory card to a computer.

On the other hand, if you just want to use a small digital camera for taking ordinary snapshots, you can get away with a lot of much less expensive packages, from Elements to Paint Shop Pro, etc. It just depends how much you care about getting prints to look exactly the way you want them to. Control freaks: You know who you are...

Wes
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:29 PM   #14
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Juel,

The digital cameras folks are discussing here are digital single lens reflex cameras (except, perhaps the Macica CD, which I am not familiar with). These are cameras that are closer to professional quality (indeed, I know two pros who shoots with a Nikon D70) than the kinds of cameras profiled in Consumer Reports.

There are a couple of ways these cameras are different...

-When you look into the camera, you look through the shooting lens, not a second view finder lens. This means you position images more accurately in the frame

-These cameras allow the user full control over the camera settings. That allows folks to alter the mood and feel of the image

-You can change out lenses, allowing the use of anything from wide angle to super telephoto lenses

These cameras offer a variety of other features that make them even more flexible for high quality photography. However, all of these features make it more complicated to master.

Maybe one of the Canon cameras (and I presume it wasn't the Digital Rebel, which is another high quality DSLR) was chosen by Consumer Reports as best for serving its audience. Just like mass market cars, Consumer Reports is probably a good guide to the common point and shoots cameras. However, Popular Photography (which serves an audience with more demanding requirements) chose the Nikon D70 as its camera of the year in 2004. Certainly, the D70 and the Digital Rebel are popular quality DSL cameras. They are kind of like Mercedes Benzes of cameras--the Leica is like getting a Jaguar, and I suppose the professional grade cameras are like custom cars. Say, Paul--how do you like that camera?

It's all a matter of what kind of camera you want, the size of your wallet and the time you are willing to spend to master it.

Mary
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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 http://www.ulead.com/pi/runme.htm 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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Wes,

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!

Mary
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:59 PM   #17
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Mary,

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.

Wes
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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 www.bythom.com -- 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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