Camera Recommendations compact or dSLR?

I'm planning to take the plunge and buy a good digital camera for general
use (including railway photography).
I had just about decided on the Canon Powershot G7 as the next best thing to
a dSLR. Now, one of the regulars on this group has suggested going for the
Nikon D40 dSLR.
I know very little about cameras beyond the basics - I know what shutter
roughly how shutter speeds, f stops and light levels relate to oneanother,
but wouldn't know how to put that into practice - yet.
So, in your opinion(s), should I stay go with the G7 compact or take the
plunge with the D40 dSLR?
Thanks in advance...
Adrian
Reply to
AdrianB
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I dont think one or the other will have a big advantage in the results so it's down to size portability and whether you will nedd a change of Lens. I used to carry a bag with one or two bodies std wide and one or two telephotos plus other bits Some years back I got a Minolta 7hi with a built in 28 to 200 so Its just one item (nearly) to carry around.
Reply to
Trev
Is the Minolta 7hi an SLR?
I'd settled on the G7 for pocketability, but with some flexibility, but I'm considering doing a photography course so perhaps the dSLR would be better.
Adrian
Reply to
AdrianB
The message from "4SUB" contains these words:
Seconded. I've been using a Minolta 5D for about a year, and I'm more than happy with the results.
Some photos from the 5D(much compressed) are in the "Local Traffic" section of
formatting link
Reply to
David Jackson
The 7hi was maybe the first of what are now called Bridge and like Minolta is No more. Smaller then a DSLR but Bigger then the G7. My first digital was a Casio 3000 and some letters. It was on the market before the canon G1 but had the same canon made lens same chip and very similar shape. Now that would fit in my pocket even though its not exactly small.
Reply to
Trev
"David Jackson" wrote in message > Seconded. I've been using a Minolta 5D for about a year, and I'm more
5-nil to the dSLR camp then...
Thanks for your recommendation.
I now have... Nikon D40 Minolta 5D Canon EOS 400 and Minolta 7hi
...to look at. I'm more confused than ever!
Adrian
Reply to
AdrianB
"AdrianB" wrote
I might suggest that you look for a used Canon EOS D30. These sold in excess of GBP2000.00 when new (but have been superceded by several different models) and you ought to be able to find a low-use example for less than you'd pay for an EOS 400 and you'll be getting a MUCH better camera with a superb sensor. If you avoid cheap zoom lenses, you should still get absolutely superb images with this despite it only being a 3 mega-pixel jobbie.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
No you dont as the Minolta business was sold to Sony. But the Sony Alpha 100 is worth a look. Its very much the decendent of the 5D.
Reply to
Trev
Ask yourself what you want to do with the pictures. If you want to look at them on a monitor or your TV, then you don't need an SLR. If you want to make prints up to 8x10, then you don't need an SLR. Today's compact digitals are wonderful machines, and are capable of many things you will have little if any use for.
My advice is to look for: a) about 6-8 megapixel - you don't need any more. In fact, 4MP is enough for album-sized prints (up to 5x7), and will yield acceptable 8x10 prints. b) optical zoom of 4 to 1 or better. c) use of plain vanilla AA or AAA batteries. d) a large folding viewscreen. e) as many automated shooting modes as possible, with complete manual setting capability.
The Canon Powershots all meet these criteria, except for the folding screen, for which you will pay extra (and IMO worth it - I wish I had it on my camera.)
I faced the same choice last autumn prior to a trip to the UK. I thought, Great, this is an excuse to get a digital SLR. I hefted the SLRs in the camera shop (Nikon, Canon, and Olympus), and decided that the extra weight wasn't worth it. I bought a second compact (point'n'shoot) digital instead. Now we have two Canon Powershots, and like them very much. They can do just about everything an SLR can do. The newer one wants to shoot at the fastest ISO setting, which can cause problems, and because it has a larger lens, it doesn't do close-up (macro) shots as well. (Smaller lenses have smaller actual apertures, which means they have better depth of field.) But otherwise it can do more than I have need for.
Unsolicited advice A: buy two or more 2GB memory cards for your camera, and set it to take pictures at the highest _optical_ resolution it is capable of. Many cameras offer a higher resolution that is achieved by digital trickery. The resulting images are not as sharp as they should be.
Unsolicited advice B: use the money you save towards buying a good. multi-tank printer. I have a Canon Pixma, but Epson also makes very good printers. Avoid printers that use black plus a tricolour cartridge. If you will do a lot of plain old b/w text printing, buy a b/w laser printer too - higher upfront cost for two printers, but much cheaper in the long run. (A b/w page printed with an inkjet printer will cost 5 to 20 times as much as the same page printed with a laser.)
Reply to
Wolf
And get your memory cards from a certain seller on line. 2gb Extreme III card £16.99 and have a spare camera battery as well.
Reply to
4SUB
The message from "Trev" contains these words:
Except that it's 10megapixel instead of 6. No.1 son has just ordered one. body only, for under £400... My reason for going down the Minolta road was that I already had a Minolta 35mm SLR and the lenses would fit the 5D. I'm told that they would also fit the Sony, so I needn't have been in quite such a hurry to buy.
Reply to
David Jackson
10 megapixels might sound excessive, but take a picture with that, and after you've cropped it you've still got enough definition for a clear picture.
I used to have a Minolta SLR (film) , and with the mid-range zoom it came with, the image in the viewfinder was smaller than the resulting picture. I'd zoom to get people out of the picture of an engine, and when the photos came back they were on the edge.
Which isn't what you get an SLR for.
Reply to
Christopher A.Lee
Upon the miasma of midnight, a darkling spirit identified as Christopher A. Lee gently breathed:
Except that in years to come, the pictures with people in will be far more interesting than the ones without - but I see your point about the camera.
Reply to
Pyromancer
If you avoid cheap zoom lenses, you should still get
If the OP wants to print his images, 3 mega-pixels is really pushed at A4 size. The OP also hasn't said what his budget is - D-SLR gets expensive once one starts wanting long lenses.
A camera I'd suggest is the new 10 mega-pixel Pentax D-SLR. It is backwards compatable with all Pentax fit lenses (though obviously can't turn a manual focus lens into an autofocus one!), and there are plenty of Pentax-fit lenses on Ebay. It has image stabilisation built into the camera so it works with every lens you put on it, whereas Nikon build it into the lenses. And because (like most D-SLR cameras) the sensor is smaller than a 35mm frame, you multiple the focal length of a lens by 1.6 (I think - maybe it's 1.5) to get the 35mm equivalent, so a 200mm lens on a 35mm camera provides the same view on the D-SLR as a 320mm lens. Very handy - though obviously not so handy if you do photography that needs short focal lengths!
If the OP wants lots of long shots, he should also consider getting a tripod and possibly a cable release - image stabilisation works, but only to a point.
And, whatever he gets, I'd strongly recommend going to a shop and handling the camera before parting with his cash. I was all set to get a G7 until I found the viewfinder didn't work for me. I have also held some D-SLRs and found they are often too large for my small hands. I brought a Fuji S5600 thinking the electronic viewfinder was OK, and found it's horrible plus the camera does something horrible with over-sharpening when saving JPG files.
A good place to look for information is:
formatting link

Also the Open University are running a digital photography course, currently in it's first presentation (T189 I think) which the OP might find useful.
Reply to
Cats
Am Fri, 11 May 2007 18:21:31 UTC, schrieb "AdrianB" auf uk.railway :
To add one more degree, there are the Olympus E series with the TwoThirds bayonet, which is also available from other manufacturers. This is a lens system designed for the (normally) smaller digital chips, while all the other systems are evolutions from lens systems designed for analog film (24x36 mm, or size 135).
You might want to visit "Digital Photography Review" at for a look on all these confusing possibilities...
Yours, L.W.

Reply to
L ü ko Willms
Thanks for all your suggestions. It looks like a Nikon D40x or a Canon EOS 400 look favourite. I'll try to have a look at those this weekend.
Adrian
Reply to
AdrianB
Surely not a problem with digital - just crop the people off with more accuracy than any viewfinder - or even clone a bit out. Not even a serious problem with slides with just a bit of masking.
Guy Gorton
Reply to
Guy Gorton

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