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Considering a new Sony.....advice?


pemlechat

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Dave,

Thanks so much for the information. I am not in the least leaning towards professional. I get lazy and switch to Auto way too often. I do hope to change that habit, but it dies hard.

I will definately check out the Sony. Thanks for the help.

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Well, I ordered my Panasonic Lumix FZ-18. I am not sure what combination of memory cards I should buy. It sounds like most people want the very large capacity ones, but I thought it might be nice to have smaller ones to keep groups of photos separate.....and I don't know what brand or speed (quality?) to get. How many? I think I might like to have one for playing with the video function, but otherwise mostly travel and family pictures. Any suggestions? I plan to practice with the camera and take it on a med cruise in September for 2 weeks. Thanks!! :D

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Well, I ordered my Panasonic Lumix FZ-18. I am not sure what combination of memory cards I should buy. It sounds like most people want the very large capacity ones, but I thought it might be nice to have smaller ones to keep groups of photos separate.....and I don't know what brand or speed (quality?) to get. How many? I think I might like to have one for playing with the video function, but otherwise mostly travel and family pictures. Any suggestions? I plan to practice with the camera and take it on a med cruise in September for 2 weeks. Thanks!! :D

 

Congrats on making a choice! The hard part's over!

 

On my SD800 that I use for a 24x7 camera, I keep a 4GB Sandisk Ultra II SDHC in it most of the time since I use it for video capture on occasion. When I travel, I take a couple of extra 2GB Ultra II SD ($35 for two at Costco!) and a 2 GB Extreme III SD. Note that I shoot mostly with the DSLR on trips and have never used more than one of the spares, even with bits of video. They are cheap, so figure out how much you may need and double it! :D

 

Another note. I travel with either an Epson P-2000 storage/viewer or a laptop to do backups and review the day's pictures, but I never clear the cards until I get home and load them on the main system. That's why the large volume of cards.

 

Dave

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Congratulations on the Rebel Xsi. I have been reading and watching this one for the past couple of months now. Still trying to decide if it is the way for me to go. Have you had a chance to try it out yet? What do you think of it? Recommend?

 

Hi criscruise...

I actually have not had a chance yet. Hubby picked it up in NH (we're in PA) and he came home Sunday afternoon. With having to charge the battery first, I knew I would not have time. I just do not have time to get started on something like that during the week -- long commute & I get home very late. I need a time where I can sit down for many hours and just immerse myself. I spent the weekend figuring out which filters to get, buying those, the battery grip, spare battery...and still a list of things I want/need...most specifically, the 70-300 lens. When I finally do spend the time, I will let you know.

 

You mentioned about places like Best Buy & Costco. I have to say that NOBODY is selling the XSi for less than list price ($799.99 body-only, or $899.99 kit). The only way to get a discount, that I am aware of, is to use a AAA 8% discount at Circuit City, or the 10% discount at Best Buy (via a link I found posted in several places...I'll post it for you, good till end of May). I would never use Best Buy to ask Q's...but to save 10% knowing exactly what I want, sure! We got the kit for $809.99 and no tax (hubby happened to be going to NH -- otherwise we'd have waited for a DE store to have it, also no tax & nearby for us). Here is the Best Buy coupon:

 

http://consumerist.com/assets/resources/2008/04/Coupon.php

 

-- Renée

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Well, I ordered my Panasonic Lumix FZ-18. I am not sure what combination of memory cards I should buy. It sounds like most people want the very large capacity ones, but I thought it might be nice to have smaller ones to keep groups of photos separate.....and I don't know what brand or speed (quality?) to get. How many? I think I might like to have one for playing with the video function, but otherwise mostly travel and family pictures. Any suggestions? I plan to practice with the camera and take it on a med cruise in September for 2 weeks. Thanks!! :D

 

I agree with Dave on mostly using Sandisk 2GB Ultra II -- that is what 95% of my cards are. I just picked up 3 Sandisk 4B Extreme III, here is a post I put on another thread:

 

For anyone who might be interested in Extreme III, Extreme IV, or Extreme Ducati cards, you might wish to check this out:

 

http://66.223.110.241/rebates/SandiskQ2VisaRebateExp062908.pdf

 

Check the list of retailers (Page 2) to be sure the one you purchase from is participating. Deal is for purchases from April 6 to June 29. Rebate values (details on Page 1) are based on # of cards (of same type) purchased and are in the form of a prepaid Visa card (accepted pretty much everywhere).

 

Example: I bought 3 of the Extreme III 4GB cards from Beach Camera (received them in 3 days!). Paid $44 each (price has since gone up a few bucks), free shipping, no tax. Total $132. Rebate $110. Net cost = $22, or $7.33 per card! :D

 

Happy Shopping!

-- Renée

 

Be cautious where you buy memory cards...definitely do not buy on eBay or other "iffy" online retailers. There are many threads out there about only purchasing from reputable, authorized dealers. Saving a few bucks but losing all your photos on a corrupted card is like throwing good $ down the toilet. I'd rather stock up during good sales at local stores or use trusted online sources such as Beach, Adorama, BuyDig...

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Another note. I travel with either an Epson P-2000 storage/viewer or a laptop to do backups and review the day's pictures, but I never clear the cards until I get home and load them on the main system. That's why the large volume of cards.

 

Dave

 

Another plug for the Epson! I have the P-3000 (40GB like Dave's, just a newer version of his P-2000) and it is AWESOME! I noticed the other day on BuyDig (where I got mine) that there is a $50 rebate until end of June.

 

http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=EPP3000

 

Beach has same: http://www.beachcamera.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=EPP3000

 

-- Renée

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What's the difference between the SanDisk original, Ultra II and Extreme III? Should I avoid the original and choose the Extreme over the Ultra II if the price is right?? I know, I'm such a newbie.......thanks guys! ;)

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What's the difference between the SanDisk original, Ultra II and Extreme III? Should I avoid the original and choose the Extreme over the Ultra II if the price is right?? I know, I'm such a newbie.......thanks guys! ;)

 

It is the speed of writing to the card and also the speed of copying from the card to your backup storage. Dave can certainly explain it better than I can. I would say that the Ultra II is plenty for your purposes (the camera itself can be the limiting factor). I would not have purchased the Extreme III except for the fact that I got them dirt cheap. Where can you get ANY 4GB card for $7.33/card? Pretty much nowhere. And the 4GB are nice for video, which is a memory hog. I typically get my 2GB Ultra II for around $17-$19/card -- so it was a no-brainer to get double the memory and faster speed (even if the camera limits, you are no worse off) for less than half the price. Otherwise, I would pretty much stick with Ultra II.

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Hi criscruise...

I actually have not had a chance yet. Hubby picked it up in NH (we're in PA) and he came home Sunday afternoon. With having to charge the battery first, I knew I would not have time. I just do not have time to get started on something like that during the week -- long commute & I get home very late. I need a time where I can sit down for many hours and just immerse myself. I spent the weekend figuring out which filters to get, buying those, the battery grip, spare battery...and still a list of things I want/need...most specifically, the 70-300 lens. When I finally do spend the time, I will let you know.

 

You mentioned about places like Best Buy & Costco. I have to say that NOBODY is selling the XSi for less than list price ($799.99 body-only, or $899.99 kit). The only way to get a discount, that I am aware of, is to use a AAA 8% discount at Circuit City, or the 10% discount at Best Buy (via a link I found posted in several places...I'll post it for you, good till end of May). I would never use Best Buy to ask Q's...but to save 10% knowing exactly what I want, sure! We got the kit for $809.99 and no tax (hubby happened to be going to NH -- otherwise we'd have waited for a DE store to have it, also no tax & nearby for us). Here is the Best Buy coupon:

 

http://consumerist.com/assets/resources/2008/04/Coupon.php

 

-- Renée

jrw-Thanks for the info. I agree. I only use Best Buy, Circuit City, Costco after the research and questions are done. The best thing about Costco-you can't beat their guarantee. Everyone else is 2 weeks with a 15% restocking fee. Costco is 90 days money back, no restocking, no questions. We've used them before for other purchases and they are great. I like to know I can try it out. If I am completely unhappy, or made a wrong choice, I can return it. Dilemma now is I leave for cruise in a week. I was hoping they would get it in and I could try it out, learn the ins a outs a bit before traveling. Don't think that's going to happen.

Thanks for the coupon link. I think Circuit City has one now as well.

I am also in Pa. Was considering try Delaware Costco with no sales tax but that will have to wait.

I look forward to hearing what you think of your new Xsi. I'll keep an eye out. Have fun.

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Thanks for the coupon link. I think Circuit City has one now as well.

I am also in Pa. Was considering try Delaware Costco with no sales tax but that will have to wait.

 

OMG I just noticed you are not far from us! We are closer to Philly/Bucks county border. Small world. My sister lives in Hilltown. I was just up your way on Saturday, her kids skate at Hatfield Ice on County Line Road!!! :D

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Thanks for the helpful info. I should have also asked about batteries....I plan to get an extra for backup, but am wondering if it is best to pay more for the brand or OK to buy cheaper? Also, I saw a 3 lens filter kit on amazon for about $20. Would this be a nice accessory to help with colors? Any input would be great! Thanks again!;)

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Thanks for the helpful info. I should have also asked about batteries....I plan to get an extra for backup, but am wondering if it is best to pay more for the brand or OK to buy cheaper? Also, I saw a 3 lens filter kit on amazon for about $20. Would this be a nice accessory to help with colors? Any input would be great! Thanks again!;)

 

I am going to defer to Dave here. I have only bought 2 extra batteries, one for the P&S and one for the DSLR. I bought brand both times, but got at a discount online (same trusted retailers I mentioned earlier). I know I recall Dave posting about where he gets batteries, I just don't recall the details so I'll let him respond.

 

I would not get a filter kit. Dave (again) is a great source of info on what types & brands of filters are appropriate and reasonably priced. I don't know enough to give recommendations -- heck, I had to ask Dave the other day to help me pick MY filters (UV and circular polarizer, but wasn't sure which specific ones)! The 3 filters for $20 is likely not going to be quality. You don't want to splurge on high-end filters, but you also don't want cheap junk. Dave will steer you to some good choices. He even steered me to better pricing (after I asked him to verify that I found what he was recommending)!

 

-- Renée

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Thanks for the helpful info. I should have also asked about batteries....I plan to get an extra for backup, but am wondering if it is best to pay more for the brand or OK to buy cheaper? Also, I saw a 3 lens filter kit on amazon for about $20. Would this be a nice accessory to help with colors? Any input would be great! Thanks again!;)

 

I guess Renée has me down as the designated shopper...:D

 

My Lenmar replacement battery for the SD800 has performed identically to the original for a year now ($11 vs. $39). I alternate the two, so they have has equal use. I am a big fan of Lenmar. Not always the cheapest, but great quality.

 

The Lenmar replacement for yours is:http://www.amazon.com/Lenmar-Lithium-ion-Camcorder-Equivelent-Panasonic/dp/B000CP4ML6/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1209571165&sr=1-9

 

As for how many...? That depends on how much you shoot. I would spend a day shooting at some event and see what the life of the battery is like. Keep in mind that using the flash and viewing pictures on the LCD has a significant effect on battery life. Figure how many you'll need for a day and get one more than that. having one too many hurts a lot less than having one too few.

 

It looks like your camera takes a 46mm filter (check your manual before you buy). Whether you want to attach a UV filter all of the time for protection is your choice. Be sure to check the view at the widest angle since superzooms will sometimes vignette (darken the corners of the frame because the filter mount is visible) at the widest setting unless you get filters with very thin filter mounts. A polarizer is a must for scenics involving water or foliage. That said, I shoot less that 25% of outdoor shots with a polarizer. It isn't always needed but when it is, it can really make a picture pop! All of the other filters in kits are usually added to the kit for sales purposes. Auto white balance has made most color-balancing filters (like the 81a included in most 3-filter kits) superfluous. A neutral-density filter can be helpful if you are trying to get a waterfall or other flowing water to appear all cottony, but that is a tripod only trick.

 

3 filters for $20 will give you, well, 3 circles of glass. A good UV filter would be a Hoya SMC. The multi-coating reduces flare and reflections in bright light and night scenes with points of bright light.

http://www.adorama.com/HY46UVM.html?searchinfo=hoya%20smc%2046mm%20UV&item_no=3

 

My personal favorite in polarizers is Hoya's Moose Warming Polarizer. It does wonders for foliage and earth tones in a scenic. Not cheap, but worth it in my opinion.

http://www.amazon.com/Hoya-Moose-Circular-Polarizer-Filter/dp/B0000AI1E1/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=photo&qid=1209572835&sr=1-9

 

Renée was right in her explanation of card speeds. A faster card will generally only make a difference in capture speed in a high-end DSLR, but some superzooms will drop frames in movie mode with standard (cheap) speed cards. I would recommend the Ultra II Sandisk or maybe the Extreme IIs if you can get a deal like Renée did. FYI, the Extreme IIIs download speed to the computer is very fast! They won't speed up your camera in any way, though. AVOID EBAY!

 

Dave

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I guess Renée has me down as the designated shopper...:D

 

Dave -- Only because, time after time, you have proven that you are THE BEST!!! :D I don't have nearly the knowledge (or ability to remember in such detail) that you have. I would be happy if I someday know 25% of what you know about photography!

 

pemlechat -- Another note on the circular polarizer -- if you want to shoot through glass (like when I'm in Alaska and on a train -- unless I can get outside on the deck -- actually, up there I'd use it shooting through glass or not), the CPL will help tremendously in reducing the glare/reflections.

 

-- Renée

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I forgot to ask--should I consider memory cards with a USB reader attached? I will probably need to purchase a card reader.........yet another decision.......:confused:

 

The card readers are cheap. I got a Sandisk 5-in-1 card reader for like $14.99 last year. I would do that instead of paying extra for every card to include the reader. JMHO.

 

My computer is at a built-in desk in my kitchen, and I have a hole in the far corner (hidden by screen) granite top for all the cables, going into a cabinet which houses the tower & power strip/surge protector. It is not easy getting to the back of the tower, so it is really convenient to not have to mess with that and just have the tiny card reader w/cable stashed -- permanent connection...well, semi-permanent...no electronics are ever truly permanent, right? :rolleyes:

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OMG I just noticed you are not far from us! We are closer to Philly/Bucks county border. Small world. My sister lives in Hilltown. I was just up your way on Saturday, her kids skate at Hatfield Ice on County Line Road!!! :D

That is too funny! DD goes to school in Philly. I am on the Bucks Co./Mont Co. line. Address is N. Wales, but really in Montgomeryville on the edge of Chalfont-Horsham-Lansdale. You know how PA is with all these little boroughs.

Move here from Wash. DC area several years ago.

So I'll say, "Hi ya neighbor!"

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That is too funny! DD goes to school in Philly. I am on the Bucks Co./Mont Co. line. Address is N. Wales, but really in Montgomeryville on the edge of Chalfont-Horsham-Lansdale. You know how PA is with all these little boroughs.

Move here from Wash. DC area several years ago.

So I'll say, "Hi ya neighbor!"

 

Hey neighbor! What school in Philly??? I went to Drexel Univ. and I work near the PHL airport.

You don't have to tell me about the weird addresses. My parents are in Southampton, yet have a Huntingdon Valley mailing addy. My sister has had 2 homes in Hilltown, last one had Hatfield addy, this one has Sellersville. Go figure -- esp considering HV and Hatfield are MontCo, and they both live in Bucks. It's weird.

 

Sorry guys...not wanting to hijack the thread...it's just a small world! :)

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Hey neighbor! What school in Philly??? I went to Drexel Univ. and I work near the PHL airport.

You don't have to tell me about the weird addresses. My parents are in Southampton, yet have a Huntingdon Valley mailing addy. My sister has had 2 homes in Hilltown, last one had Hatfield addy, this one has Sellersville. Go figure -- esp considering HV and Hatfield are MontCo, and they both live in Bucks. It's weird.

 

Sorry guys...not wanting to hijack the thread...it's just a small world! :)

She's at Calvary Christian Academy just over the county line. She's going to college in NY starting this June.

It is a small world.

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That's great! Does a filter help make the sky look really blue??? I would like that....:D

 

 

It does. The greatest effect is at 90° to the sun, but in all cases it will increase contrast between sky and clouds. In the photo below you will notice that at the middle of the photo, the sky is the bluest. It was taken with an extremely wide-angle lens and does a good job of illustrating the varying effect of a polarizer on the sky. You can tell by the shadows that the sun was almost directly to the right of where I was pointing the camera so the greatest darkening of the sky was predictably in the middle. (The dropoff on the right side of the dark sky wouldn't have been that drastic if the ship wasn't blowing so much smoke!:D )

medium.jpg

 

Another effect is the elimination of refelctions from the water:

medium.jpg

 

The glare reflection is gone and allows the clouds to be mirrored in the water.

 

The polarizer also removes the glare reflection form leaves allowing the color of the foliage to show through. I shoot on "normal" color and didn't adjust the color at all in this image. The Moose polarizer really did a great job bringing out the colors, despite the cloudy light. It actually looked better through the viewfinder than looking at it directly!

medium.jpg

 

Hope that helped.

 

Dave

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Talk about small...our corporate office in in Reading, PA!

 

Dave

 

Hey, that is only about an hour or so from here!

 

Do you ever go out the corporate office?? If so, let me know when you do...I owe you a few drinks (or even a nice dinner), for all the help you have been! Well, I don't drink, but John would have a few with you! :)

 

-- Renée

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Hey, that is only about an hour or so from here!

 

Do you ever go out the corporate office?? If so, let me know when you do...I owe you a few drinks (or even a nice dinner), for all the help you have been! Well, I don't drink, but John would have a few with you! :)

 

-- Renée

 

Very occasionally. We are a consulting company and are spread all over the country.

 

 

I like John already....:D

 

 

Dave

 

Dave

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