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First Time Digital questions
Old 04-03-2009   #1
ray*j*gun
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Question First Time Digital questions

By now most members know that Ritz is closing many stores. There is a nice one near by that carries their full line.

I have never owned nor operated a digital camera of any kind but have seen some great results with some of the SLR's....given the chance to get a real bargain at the local Ritz store, is there any product that they might likely carry that would be a high quality camera kit?

I would use the camera for sports stuff mostly such as Ice Hockey games that my son plays in etc. I honestly know next to nothing about digital work so any advice would be appreciated!

Oh, and I own a Nikkormat, FM3a and a number of lenses for those cameras. So a camera that could accept those lenses would be great.
Thanks.
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Last edited by ray*j*gun : 04-03-2009 at 06:30. Reason: a PS
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Old 04-03-2009   #2
Warren T.
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Raymond, what's your budget? You also have to factor in a computer, software, and possibly a printer for editing, printing, and managing your digital pictures. It's also a time commitment to learn how to get the best from the digital format, and also computers (both with operating systems and photo editing software, if you're not already familiar with working on one).

More: if you already own Nikon lenses, then the logical choice would be to buy into the Nikon dslr line. Your budget and other requirements would help determine where in the Nikon lineup you should be looking into.

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you should probably ask this
Old 04-03-2009   #3
imajypsee
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you should probably ask this

on a site dedicated to digital use (NOT dpreview); I'd suggest fredmiranda.com. And, since you already own Nikon glass it would seem the most logical choice to buy a Nikon DSLR. Finally, why not go with a used Nikon DSLR? fredmiranda.com has a buy and sell forum. Prices at Ritz will probably not be the greatest even with going out of business discounts (if they even do that).

Mary in SW Florida, USA
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Old 04-03-2009   #4
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Thank you Warren and Mary.

I am pretty good with computers and currently scan my negs with an Epson V500. I don't have a high quality printer and would likely have prints made using a third party but I do have a basic printer and am familiar with Photshop Elements 4.

Its just that I have no knowledge of the camera's or lenses and would have to learn that end of things.

Mary I am going to try the website you suggested and I will let you know how it goes.

I guess my budget would be around $1000.

Thanks again!!
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Old 04-03-2009   #5
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Research carefully all the Nikon DSLR models as to compatibility with the manual focus non ai and ai lens with regard to being able to meter or not. If you are going to get auto focus glass note which models will work with older screw driven af lens as some will only af with the new afs types. It can get a little confusing. Also be aware that none have focusing screens designed to make mf easy although it is possible.

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Old 04-03-2009   #6
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If you have AI/AIS or newer lenses, get the D200 ($600 to $700) or D300 ($1,700).

The D200 is about 1 stop nosier than the D300 (D300 @ ISO 800 is about as noisy as D200 @ ISO 400, The D300 has a bit more dynamic range and of course more pixels. The D300 has faster, more robust auto focus. The D300 has a 100% view finder while the D200 has a 95% view finder. The D200 (and the D300) is a very robust weather sealed camera. Whether or not it's noise and AF performance is suitable for your needs can only be decided by you. I recommend you always shoot in RAW mode (Nikon calls these NEF files.) The D200 or D300 in full manual mode is surprisingly (and pleasantly) similar to your film cameras. Just pretend you are using slide film (do not over expose!). The R,G,B histogram display is also really helpful. You can learn how to expose to your preferences by studying these. Both bodies have spot metering, center weighted metering and matrix metering.

You can install a split screen focusing screen in either camera. This can be useful with AI/AIS lenses. I find the D300 is easy to focus manually using the focus capture indicator in the finder. Once you learn how to set the menu banks up, it is very easy to switch between AI/AIS lenses. The D300 has a custom focus calibration system to let you compensate for front or back focusing. This works well.

Since you seem to be comfortable using manual focusing now, the D200 would be a good way to start. If you think you will transition to AF lenses for sports photography, you may as well spend more and get the D300. Both cameras can shoot 3 fps (or faster), which will add a new dimension to your sports photography.

Enjoy!
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Old 04-03-2009   #7
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Thanks Bob & Willie......good advice....I think I will be picking up some D Mags and start to do a lot more reading and research. There is lots to learn here and I will take my time....

Thanks again.
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Old 04-03-2009   #8
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The camera I would suggest is the Olympus E-520. You can get it with the two lens kit for close to half the price of most of the Nikon line. Plus with an adapter you can use your Nikon lenses in manual and since Olympus has IS built into the body instead of the lens any lens you use will have image stabilization. Plus the image quality is outstanding.

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Old 04-05-2009   #9
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Thanks Michael, I have started to research all the top brands on Shutterbug and Olympus is a very attractive camera. What is the 4 3rds system....I keep seeing references to it but have no idea what it means.

Thanks!
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Old 04-05-2009   #10
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The Four Thirds standard is an alternative offered by Olympus, Panasonic, Leica and Sigma. Its sensor is slightly smaller than the APS-C one, and lenses tend to be a little smaller and lighter than those made for the 35mm frame.

[edit] While adapters of all kinds are available for 4/3 cameras, a stable of Nikkors is probably best served by a Nikon DSLR.
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