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Considering a new Sony.....advice?


pemlechat

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Thanks for showing the photos Dave. It sounds like I definitely will want the polarizing filter, but would I still have a need for the UV one?

 

Renee, the card reader sounds like the way to go. Thanks. Is there a difference in their transmission speed?

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Thanks for showing the photos Dave. It sounds like I definitely will want the polarizing filter, but would I still have a need for the UV one?

 

The UV filter reduces haze and the overall blue cast in long-distance shots of valleys or mountains. It does nothing at all indoors or for most other situations. What it does do is keep dust, water and other potentially damaging things off of the front element of your lens. UV filters are sometimes referred to as protective lenses for this reason.

 

Renee, the card reader sounds like the way to go. Thanks. Is there a difference in their transmission speed?

 

USB 2.0 card readers are night and day faster than USB 1.0 readers. Nowadays, you’d have to really search the bargain basement of your local 99¢ store to find a USB 1.0 reader. Check that it says USB-High Speed on the reader, but chances are that will be all that you’ll find.

hispeed_usb.gif

 

Dave

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Renee, the card reader sounds like the way to go. Thanks. Is there a difference in their transmission speed?

 

Honestly, I hadn't thought about it. My computer is 2 yrs old, and my card reader is the generic Sandisk 5-in-1 Image Mate (they also have 12-in-1, but I didn't need that). I think it moves really fast. Then again, my idea of fast might not be what others' ideas would be -- I still have dial up, so I have low expectations! ;)

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

 

Hi criscruise (neighbor!)...

 

Just thought I'd drop a quick note to update you. I finally had a chance to play with my XSi yesterday & I really love it!!! I was busy online (again!) buying more "goodies" -- 70-300 lens, flash, and (unrelated) binoculars for the Alaska trip for my Mom to use -- she can't be bothered with a camera, but I asked if she'd use binoculars if I bought them. Got the highly recommended Nikon Monarch ATB 8x42 (water/fog proof). I've been eyeing them for months, and got an even better price than what I found initially -- $239, no tax, free ship (Adorama, but via Amazon). All this online electronics spending triggered a fraud alert with the credit card...hahaha :eek: We typically don't spend a lot, so I guess it set off bells & whistles! Happened only once before, 4 yrs ago when hubby spent almost $8K online on home theater equipment (ouch)!

 

Anyway, I found the XSi super easy to get started with basics -- I am the type to resist looking at the manual until I play a bit on my own! After I got that out of my system, I started delving into the manual. As can be expected, with the first DSLR (prior film SLR, but still things to learn) it's going to take some reading & playing to get acclimated. The challenge will be on May 17th at my 2 nieces' dance recital, where flash photography is prohibited. I'll have the 70-300 lens by then, so I am hoping I'll learn enough in that short time to get some decent shots of them on stage! :D

 

-- Renée

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Hi there! Well, my camera came the other day........I feel a bit overwhelmed with what I have to learn! :eek: Anyway, I was wondering about getting screen protectors and if anyone can recommend a nice camera bag that wouldn't be too big. I think a padded strap would be nice......Do you think I need some kind of rain cover just in case of bad weather while touring? I have been considering the filters that Dave mentioned. If I were to just get one for now, which would be the better choice? UV or the polarizing one? Thanks! :)

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Hi there! Well, my camera came the other day........I feel a bit overwhelmed with what I have to learn! :eek: Anyway, I was wondering about getting screen protectors and if anyone can recommend a nice camera bag that wouldn't be too big. I think a padded strap would be nice......Do you think I need some kind of rain cover just in case of bad weather while touring? I have been considering the filters that Dave mentioned. If I were to just get one for now, which would be the better choice? UV or the polarizing one? Thanks! :)

 

I would definitely get the polarizer if I had to choose. I think you would get more use out of that, or at least I would. Just my 2 cents.

 

I am also looking for a bag for my latest addition & all of the extra "stuff". The bag I have for my SD850 IS and Epson P-3000, plus their "stuff", is a Lowepro bag that I got in Circuit City. It was cheap enough that I didn't do any comparison shopping, and I really liked the bag for what I needed to store. It is compact and built well. I don't have the model info with me, but whatever brand you go with, I would check bags out in a store where you can see exactly how all your gear will fit...with maybe a bit of extra space if you are planning to get anything additional later. I'm planning to bring my camera, lenses, flash, and P-3000 when I shop for my new bag, and make sure I'll have room for cords, cards, batteries, filters, etc.

 

Enjoy your new camera! :D

-- Renée

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Renee, what lenses came with your XSI ? I have been looking at the same camera here and the camera plus 2 kit lenses 18 -55 IS and 55 - 250 IS is $1150 plus 14% taxes. I am currently using a Cannon S3IS and am fairly unhappy with the photos in low light. I got the camera a year ago after using a 35mm Cannon SLR for many years with fairly good photos. Did you look at the XTi at all? I can purchase that with the an EF 18-55mm lens and an EF 75-300mm F4.0 - 5.6 II USM lensr about $200.00 less.

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Renee, what lenses came with your XSI ? I have been looking at the same camera here and the camera plus 2 kit lenses 18 -55 IS and 55 - 250 IS is $1150 plus 14% taxes. I am currently using a Cannon S3IS and am fairly unhappy with the photos in low light. I got the camera a year ago after using a 35mm Cannon SLR for many years with fairly good photos. Did you look at the XTi at all? I can purchase that with the an EF 18-55mm lens and an EF 75-300mm F4.0 - 5.6 II USM lensr about $200.00 less.

 

Hi, B&B -- There is only 1 kit lens in the US version, apparently (that is all I have seen). It is the EF-S 18-55 IS. I purchased separately (waiting for it to arrive) the EF 70-300 IS USM ($549, no tax, free shipping) -- not the lens you mention, which I would suggest you compare against this one because of the substantially better reviews.

 

14% taxes is huge! I was lucky to have a 10% discount and no sales tax (hubby happened to be going to New Hampshire, and a store close to where he went had just gotten the XSi). Paid $809.99.

 

I can sympathize with your pain regarding low light. I had looked at the S5 IS a few months ago, and there were still too many sacrifices -- I am used to film SLR, so it is hard to accept things like shutter lag!

 

I did not consider the XTi, as I was waiting for the updates with the XSi. If you don't mind not having those, the XTi might be a good option for you. Here is a features comparison of the XSi vs. XTi:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=canon_eos450d%2Ccanon_eos400d&show=all

 

And here (from the full preview) is a section on "what's new":

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canoneos450d/page3.asp

 

Take a look and see if the updates matter to you for the cost differential.

 

Hope that helps a bit :)

-- Renée

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Hi there! Well, my camera came the other day........I feel a bit overwhelmed with what I have to learn! :eek: Anyway, I was wondering about getting screen protectors and if anyone can recommend a nice camera bag that wouldn't be too big. I think a padded strap would be nice......Do you think I need some kind of rain cover just in case of bad weather while touring? I have been considering the filters that Dave mentioned. If I were to just get one for now, which would be the better choice? UV or the polarizing one? Thanks! :)

 

Agree with Renée...if you have to choose one, go with the polarizer.

 

As for bags, I got a LowePro Slingshot 200AW for shore excursions and was very pleased with it's design. It's a single-strap backpack that can be swiveled around to your front and accessed easily without taking it off. When it's in front it acts like a little platform to support activities like filter and lens changes. When in the carry position, it is comfortable and even comes with a pull-out rain cover!

 

Well under $100 too!

 

Dave

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I would get the UV filter if you only had to get just one. Maybe I'm just clumsy and accident prone, but I feel like I need a UV filter to protect my expensive lens. It stays on the lens all the time unless I'm in a situation where the polarizer would be useful (water, snow, sky, etc). But there are plenty of situations where a polarizer is not extremely useful (most indoor or night shots, very overcast or shady locations). In these situations, the polarizer just robs you of light (probably 2 stops). A polarizer is sometimes very useful, but I am always clumsy and I want my lens to be protected. The UV is generally much cheaper than a polarizer - you may be able to afford both.

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As for bags, I got a LowePro Slingshot 200AW for shore excursions and was very pleased with it's design. It's a single-strap backpack that can be swiveled around to your front and accessed easily without taking it off. When it's in front it acts like a little platform to support activities like filter and lens changes. When in the carry position, it is comfortable and even comes with a pull-out rain cover!

 

Well under $100 too!

 

Dave

 

Dave -- Thanks for the tip on the bag. I am losing my mind trying to narrow it down (online) to what I even want to go check out in stores, and generally hate backpacks...mostly because of the inconvenience. However, reading your post gives me renewed hope that I might be able to tolerate one! Those features are nice -- access, "platform", and the rain cover (which, BTW, I LOVED having on my small LowePro for our Canada/New England cruise). And the price...once again, you are pointing out one of my favorite things in life -- a bargain!!! ;)

 

-- Renée

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Thanks! Now, about those screen protectors.........are they a good idea? Any negatives to using them? :)

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KKKI0M

 

I ordered a package of these for my Blackberry, but ended up putting one on my little Canon SD800 and the 3" LCD on my Sony DSLR (under the plastic shield) as well.

 

They are easy to cut to size and easy to apply. They are made of an extremely tough plastic that is crystal clear. The package states that they will remove without residue when it's time to replace them, but i haven't tested that theory out yet. I was happy with them and the price was reasonable.

 

Dave

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Thanks Dave! One more question :D .......do you think I will need the lens hood much? Is it unnecessary if I use the polarizing filter? or UV one? Just wondering if I could leave that out of my bag.....

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Dave -- Thanks for the tip on the bag. I am losing my mind trying to narrow it down (online) to what I even want to go check out in stores, and generally hate backpacks...mostly because of the inconvenience. However, reading your post gives me renewed hope that I might be able to tolerate one! Those features are nice -- access, "platform", and the rain cover (which, BTW, I LOVED having on my small LowePro for our Canada/New England cruise). And the price...once again, you are pointing out one of my favorite things in life -- a bargain!!! ;)

 

-- Renée

 

I also have a Tamrac Adventure 7 that I keep my camera in at home, but when I'm going somewhere that requires lens changes and such I move the stuff I'll need over to the LowePro. It really is well-designed.

 

(Rant warning!)

 

I too love a bargain, but I don't get carried away! I've been reading some posts in the photography forums with people wailing and gnashing their teeth because a spare Sony battery for their DSLR costs $50 (the new batteries have circuitry that provide info for a very accurate power meter built into the new cameras) and there aren't any "cheap" ones available yet. To me, a warranted, quality $50 battery for a $1400 camera that won't fry delicate circuitry is a bargain! These are the same folks that buy $25 4GB Sandisk cards on Fleabay and complain that Sandisk cards are junk because they aren't as fast as they are rated and the last 6 they bought failed. (I'll bet they keep touching the frying pan in their kitchen to see if it's still hot!:D)

 

I've known for a long time that this isn't an inexpensive hobby and I only buy equipment that I can justify (or, at least, rationalize!) Every time I feel guilty about how much I spent on a lens or a flash, I look at all the wonderful memories stored on my computer and the guilt subsides. If the guilt is really bad (one of the rationalized items) I go visit a custom car show and see what an expensive hobby really looks like!

 

Sorry about the rant, but as much as I love a bargain, I refuse to be cheap!

 

Shop well, buy carefully and HAVE FUN!

 

Happy shooting!

 

Dave

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Thanks Dave! One more question :D .......do you think I will need the lens hood much? Is it unnecessary if I use the polarizing filter? or UV one? Just wondering if I could leave that out of my bag.....

 

The lens hood serves a dual purpose. It keeps stray light from hitting the lens at an angle and causing flare and it, rather than the front element or filter, will be the first thing to hit the hard, nasty thing when your camera is swinging around you neck. Since most original lens hoods can be attached to the lens backwards, they don't take up much extra room in the bag and are useful enough to take along.

 

my 2¢...

 

Dave

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I also have a Tamrac Adventure 7 that I keep my camera in at home, but when I'm going somewhere that requires lens changes and such I move the stuff I'll need over to the LowePro. It really is well-designed.

 

(Rant warning!)

 

I too love a bargain, but I don't get carried away! I've been reading some posts in the photography forums with people wailing and gnashing their teeth because a spare Sony battery for their DSLR costs $50 (the new batteries have circuitry that provide info for a very accurate power meter built into the new cameras) and there aren't any "cheap" ones available yet. To me, a warranted, quality $50 battery for a $1400 camera that won't fry delicate circuitry is a bargain! These are the same folks that buy $25 4GB Sandisk cards on Fleabay and complain that Sandisk cards are junk because they aren't as fast as they are rated and the last 6 they bought failed. (I'll bet they keep touching the frying pan in their kitchen to see if it's still hot!:D)

 

I've known for a long time that this isn't an inexpensive hobby and I only buy equipment that I can justify (or, at least, rationalize!) Every time I feel guilty about how much I spent on a lens or a flash, I look at all the wonderful memories stored on my computer and the guilt subsides. If the guilt is really bad (one of the rationalized items) I go visit a custom car show and see what an expensive hobby really looks like!

 

Sorry about the rant, but as much as I love a bargain, I refuse to be cheap!

 

Shop well, buy carefully and HAVE FUN!

 

Happy shooting!

 

Dave

 

I agree! A true bargain is only so when the item is of value. Otherwise, it is a complete waste of hard-earned cash. There is a big difference in true bargain hunting vs. being cheap. Like you, I have no qualms with paying whatever it is for quality -- illogical to risk damaging your really good stuff by cheaping out, or losing all the memories by buying crap cards for the sake of saving a couple bucks. That is just stupid. One has to be cautious and know what they are getting and from whom to know the deal is truly a bargain.

 

I hear ya on the "comparative" expensive hobbies! Boating is another -- most people are better off renting a boat when they'd use it, rather than purchase & use infrequently yet have all the expenses (and massive depreciation) that go with! But, to each his own...;)

 

Thanks again for the bag info!

-- Renée

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Thanks Renee for the links! A couple more questions if you don't mind. Did you do any research on the Canon 55 - 250mm IS lens ? The kits sold here come with just the 18 - 55mm lens or can also be purchased with both that and the 55 - 250 lens. When comparing the XTi vs the XSi I see that the XSi uses SD memory cards so that's a bonus for me as my S3IS uses the same. What about the battery?? Did you purchase a battery grip for your new XSi? Thanks again this site is great! :D

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Thanks Renee for the links! A couple more questions if you don't mind. Did you do any research on the Canon 55 - 250mm IS lens ? The kits sold here come with just the 18 - 55mm lens or can also be purchased with both that and the 55 - 250 lens. When comparing the XTi vs the XSi I see that the XSi uses SD memory cards so that's a bonus for me as my S3IS uses the same. What about the battery?? Did you purchase a battery grip for your new XSi? Thanks again this site is great! :D

 

Hi B&B, you are very welcome! I did briefly consider the EF-S 55-250 IS lens, but the EF 70-300 IS USM easily won out. I don't even know the price of the 55-250 (for my own comparison & also to help you determine if it's worth getting in the kit), but it didn't really matter (for me) because the EF-S lenses are not compatible with higher-end bodies (I may upgrade someday & want to bring lenses along -- the EF-S 18-55 kit lens is not a big deal to "lose" later). Also, the "USM" (ultrasonic motor for auto-focus) is a plus on the 70-300 (not to mention the 300mm -- the extra reach will be nice in Alaska). The 55-250 is a new lens, so I'm not sure how many reviews are out there, but the 70-300 gets excellent reviews. If price is a real factor, I would suggest doing a search & checking out what others are saying...or, if you don't need it right away, just get the 18-55 kit & save up for the 70-300 later. Best price on the 70-300 lens was $549.00 (no tax, free ship) through Beach.

 

The SD cards in the XSi were part of my decision...not a deciding factor, but a nice benefit (I have many & no desire to start collecting CF). The battery for the XSi is new, so you'd have to get at least 1 spare. Yes, I did buy the battery grip, though I have not yet installed it. Maybe this weekend. I love being able to have 2 batteries on board, plus the grip seems to balance things out & make the camera easier to hold. I would recommend it. The best price I found when I ordered it 2 wks ago was $159.95 through Adorama (no tax, free ship).

 

You might also want to consider a flash -- not just the litte built-in flash. Something to think about. I got the Canon 430EX for $249 (no tax, free ship) from BuyDig. I considered the 580EX II, but did not feel it was necessary for my purposes (about $150 more & heavier)...although, this flash can be a master, whereas the 430EX can only be a slave. So, the one I got is limiting but I don't see myself needing the 580EX II anytime soon.

 

Happy Shopping :D

-- Renée

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dave

These two sentences stood out from all the other advice that is ever given when I see this question asked over and over again.They are what I would consider the most important things to think about BEFORE you even start looking for your ideal camera!

you shouldn't rule any of the major manufacturers out because of someone else's preference or bias.

So true! I have a little rivalry fun going with my older brother as he uses a Canon EOS 40D, but I on the other hand would not be without my Sony A700. We live in different states and purchased our cameras within days of each other, but we had, had many discussions weighing up pros & cons during his visit to my town the month before our eventual buys. We are both pleased with our respective purchases for different reasons, but that is what life is all about..Different strokes for different folks!

 

I just returned from looking for a Sony accessory at a local Best Buy and was told that if I ever wanted to take decent pictures, I'd better sell or throw away my Minolta/Sony crap and buy a Canon. This was from a "resident expert" who was unable to tell me what the letters in DSLR stood for or what the f/ numbers on a lens meant when asked.

 

Oh don't you just love the advice these so called "Experts"give. :(

I to was told Sony was "Far inferior to Canon or Nikkon" and "Just because Sony make good televisions, don't mean they make good cameras". Needless to say that store DID NOT get my business and after some more research I finally went on to purchase a "Far inferior" Sony that does what I want it to (well most times).:p

 

So

Forgive my rant......

You are forgiven!:D

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.. "Just because Sony make good televisions, don't mean they make good cameras"...

 

"Just because Canon makes good copiers...."

 

"Just because Nikon makes good binoculars and spotting scopes..."

 

:D

 

Yup, I got my A700 "just because"...just because it's a damn fine camera!

 

Happy shooting!

 

Dave

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"Just because Canon makes good copiers...."

 

"Just because Nikon makes good binoculars and spotting scopes..."

 

:D

 

Yup, I got my A700 "just because"...just because it's a damn fine camera!

 

Happy shooting!

 

Dave

 

 

A person should buy a camera based on it meeting their personal needs. The real need is hard often to separate from desire and ego. The more a person gets hung up on MegPixels, focus points/speed, noise, color, saturation, etc. etc. is to forget what it really takes to make a good photograph, they need to get out more and shoot!

 

The progress in technology, sensors and electronics and the incredible reduction in prices over the past four years makes arguing about the technical merits of a Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax, Sigma, Sony/Minolta, Panasonic, Kodak or some other bit player with a current < 2 year old model academic. All of these offerings even with non OEM glass will more often then not deliver a picture more then adequate for blow up to 8x10 or even 11x14 and pleasing to view. If you don’t capture that picture or it isn’t up to your quality expectation don’t look to the equipment it says more about the person behind the camera then any lens or camera body that was used to shoot it. This is like the athlete obsessing about the brand of shoe, clothes, bat, racquet they use somehow makes or breaks their performance. Even a 6 meg P&S from 2006 will yield fine 8x10, do I sound like Ken Rockwell?

 

I have visited BestBuy, Ritz, and some of the local pro-shops. The quality of recommendation and service very widely and not always the pro-shop being the most accurate or unbiased. Bias run everywhere and most so on the web, but I’ve never made a buying choice based on the ignorance and bias of the salesman at the counter. I’d never be that short sighted. Matter of fact all my camera purchases have come from Costco a place you don’t even have anyone to talk to there. Kinda of like never using a fullservice TA to book your cruise.

 

All that matters is how much you got to spend and what you must have. Most of us have eyes / egos that are bigger then our wallets or bank accounts.

 

You should buy the lens and camera that meet your budget and your need. Everything else is simply lust.

 

Psst, the path to the very best image these days on a quality DSLR is first and foremost the lens, a distant second is the camera. And here is “my” strong bias, is a company making TVs, video game consoles, and movies among other things really going to have its best engineers and management focused on lenses and cameras? It’s imaging business is nothing more then another business thrust and/or ego area that needs to deliver profits and growth. For others companies imaging is their bread and butter, reputation, legacy and only business. Don’t judge a company by the fancy full page spreads in magazines or fancy live view ads alone! In the end this is like debating luxury performance sedans and comparing a Lexus to a BMW, there is only one “ultimate driving machine” and in the camera world it’s the same, nothing to argue about :D :D

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... And here is “my” strong bias, is a company making TVs, video game consoles, and movies among other things really going to have its best engineers and management focused on lenses and cameras? It’s imaging business is nothing more then another business thrust and/or ego area that needs to deliver profits and growth. For others companies imaging is their bread and butter, reputation, legacy and only business. Don’t judge a company by the fancy full page spreads in magazines or fancy live view ads alone! In the end this is like debating luxury performance sedans and comparing a Lexus to a BMW, there is only one “ultimate driving machine” and in the camera world it’s the same, nothing to argue about :D :D

 

Since Sony has been making consumer digital cameras since there have been consumer digital cameras, collaborates with Zeiss on the design and manufacture of some of the finest optics for the 35mm format, produces sensors for nearly all the major brands (Canon P&S and superzoom included) and leads the industry in broadcast video cameras that companies such as Lucasfilm choose to use for shooting movies direct to digital, I can only assume you're talking about Samsung and Panasonic!:D

 

... For others companies imaging is their bread and butter, reputation, legacy and only business. Don’t judge a company by the fancy full page spreads in magazines or fancy live view ads alone! In the end this is like debating luxury performance sedans and comparing a Lexus to a BMW, there is only one “ultimate driving machine” and in the camera world it’s the same, nothing to argue about :D :D

 

Since Canon is a major producer of small industrial electric motors and cooling fans unrelated to imaging, I would assume that leaves Nikon as the camera world's only un-sullied ultimate driving machine....? I have to admit, the D3 argues the point rather well! But, wait...does Nikon's fancy full-page ad (and 20x30 fold-out poster) with a hard cornering motorcycle marginalize them? ;)

 

Again I state...I got my A700 because it's a damn fine camera! And again I stress that a buyer would be hard pressed to make a bad choice among the top six or seven manufacturers.

 

It's a good time to be a photographer!

 

Dave

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Nikon as the camera world's only un-sullied ultimate driving machine....? I have to admit, the D3 argues the point rather well! But, wait...does Nikon's fancy full-page ad (and 20x30 fold-out poster) with a hard cornering motorcycle marginalize them? ;)

 

Dave

 

 

Nikon is far from un-sullied :eek: they make 20-30 million dollar steppers with lenses that weigh more then a ton. Probably the most complext mechanical and optically mass produced machines on earth, oh yes so do canon. They are what make those cheap chips all possible!

 

I'm total biased in my what I lust for in cars, piano's and camera's :D

 

"There is price, but sometimes the best products demand a premium and ...... There's simply no better semi-professional digital SLR on the market."

 

But I totally agree there is no bad DSLR camera today. Like Piano's its the player that makes the great music, its the photographer that makes the great picture!

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