For macro shots with layouts, a compact camera is an excellent choice.
Their macro mode and much bigger depth-of-field (due to the small sensors)
is excellent for 1:87 shots.
I am using a 4 Mpixels Canon A85. I chose this model because it had:
- good macro (and manual focus) capability
- full manual control (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance -
everything is controllable)
- uses Compact Flash cards, so I can share cards with typical dSLRs (In
fact, I had already a 1 GB Compact Flash card before I got the camera)
- runs on AA batteries, so you can get alkaline batteries if your
Four Megapixels are enough for a half-page print, and I use this camera for
documenting the various modules I build, besides various railfan photos.
Forget trying to shoot model details with a dSLR without a dedicated macro
lens (= 400+ USD extra at the very least).
A compact camera is cheaper than a macro lens (my Canon A85 came at 155
Euros with charger, batteries and a pouch), and more suited to 'trackside'
pictures for 1:87 scale.
There are two main reasons for delay: auto-focus and shutter/image storage
If you want really fast autofocus in dim light conditions, I would suggest
at least a zoom lens with f/2.8 maximum aperture (smaller number = more
Canon has very fast auto-focus in most of their dSLR cameras, thanks to
their USM (Ultrasonic Motor) lenses, with the motors inside the lens.
Nikon has the 'silent wave' AF-S motors, and other companies are following
with SSM (Sony-Minolta's and Pentax's term).
The typical kit lenses included with most dSLRs are slow in focusing,
compared to more pricey/faster lenses.
I would suggest you try a mid-range dSLR with a good lens.
Ergonomics play a major role in these matters.
Mine favorites in the midrange dSLR category are the Canon 40D and the Nikon
D80, and probably the Sony a700 is pretty good too. Olympus E510 has a good
reputation too, along with Pentax K10.
Only the Nikon, though, is lower than 1000 USD, leaving enough change for
getting a kit lens (the 18-70 is considered a very nice lens), plus memory
Hope this helps,
A question. Knowing Minolta is owned by Sony and is effectively dead I
have lens that fit a SRT101 and XG-M camera body/s. I have some very
expensive lens that fit these bodies including a MD VFC 24mm. Is there
anyway to adapt these lens to modern digital camera's?
The MD VFC was purchased especially for MRR pictures and I think cost
about $500 at the time.
: A question. Knowing Minolta is owned by Sony and is effectively dead I
Minolta (Konica-Minolta) is NOT owned by Sony. When K-M made
the decision to bail, the camera technology was transferred to
Sony. Konica-Minolta continues to exist, and has focused on copiers
Dead? Sony has released two digital SLRs based on the Minolta
technology, the Alpha 100 (aka "alpha") and the Alpha 700 (aka
a700). These cameras are fully compatible with Minolta 'A' mount
lenses (note that some early unlicensed third party lenses will
not work) and Sony has been working on some new lenses for the
: have lens that fit a SRT101 and XG-M camera body/s. I have some very
: expensive lens that fit these bodies including a MD VFC 24mm. Is there
: anyway to adapt these lens to modern digital camera's?
There are Minolta MC/MD to A mount adaptors available.
There will be some tradeoffs, but I can not tell you what they
will be, as I sold all of my MD equipment to move to the 8000i
when it was released.
Soligar made one, but it would be best to do some research
to find out what is/is not available, and what limitations may
exist. The VFC may offer some challenges, if it changes the
rear element position.
"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
Did some Googling and saw a couple of places where the A100 body was under
$400. What did surprise me was the battery for the camera was $140. Is
this normal for modern digital cameras of the A100 type?
These Lithium-ion batteries are pretty pricey, agreed - but this goes with
the dSLR game (a few, like the Pentax K100, if I remember correctly, work
with rechargeable AA batteries).
Normally, you get one such power pack inside the package, and one charge
typically is enough for 600-800 shots (depending on flash, shot duration,
chimping on the back LCD, etc.). And these batteries recharge rather
quickly (around 2-3 hours, typically).
But remember, when you buy a dSLR, you at the same time 'marry' a whole
system (lenses, flashes, etc.). So, it would be a good idea to think ahead,
not only on focus speed items, but probable upgrades with bigger/faster
lenses etc. (and their cost - for example, the professional 'L' lenses by
Canon often are real cheaper in price, compared to similar Nikon and
Minolta lenses, more than balancing the somewhat pricier camera body)
Hope this helps,
IOW, consider cost of ownership, not only cost of acquisition.
Personally, I don't want any camera that uses a proprietary,
non-standard battery format. I've had enough of that with the Nikon film
camera I own, thank you very much. NB that Li-Ion batteries are
available in AA and AAA formats. A camera that uses AA or AAA batteries
can be powered by disposables if necessary.
Anecdote: my sister-in-law and her husband bought a cheap point'n'shoot
camera at WallyMart recently. It has a little Lego-=brick type battery,
which gave out. They could not get another one - not even at WallyMart....
Apparently this battery problem goes with the territory in cell phones.
My daughter tells me one of the main reasons you get a new phone when the
contract is up is the battery in the old one is shot.
With the A100's battery being over 1/3 the cost of the body it would
make sense to get new bodies every 2 or 3 years. Either the same (which
will have dropped a bunch in price) or the latest design which, in 3 years
electronically, is very different.
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