Old 09-02-2007, 02:21 PM   #1
KB3Man
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Default need a little help..

Only if you don't mind helping a person


Hello, My name is Nick M. My father and I are big into Rail Fanning. We live in MD, and about 1 1/2 away from Cumberland. We do go to Magnolia Cut-Off alot since its close and about 15+ trains on a good day. So take in efffect the heat and the sun during the day. Also horsecurve is about 1hr 15mins away.

I'm trying to get into the whole photography part of Rail Fanning, Right now I'm using a Canon Powershot (??) with 2MP <-- that is low, that RP wont accept.

I really like taking photos due to the fact that just watching trains is fun, but I want to have the photo to keep the memory. Also to share.

Ok ok.. On to my question, I'm looking for a new camera for a average camera person, im no n00b and no pro. I saw the Canon Digital Rebel, but it WAY too high in $$$ and I don't think I reached that skill level. I'm currently looking at these cameras.

----------------

Canon Powershot A630
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Canon...oductDetail.do

Nikon CoolPix S200
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Nikon...oductDetail.do

------------------

I like the Canon one, due to this guy on here as the A540, and he takes nice shots, with good Image Quality.
--> thats his profile
http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=18550



So, thanks guys if you could help me find a good camera that has some GOOD or PREFECT image quality below the say... $300 price range.

P.S. Im the kinda guy who loves the clear and prefect quality in a train photo, my 2MP just cant do that.. Thats why I cry when I look at photos on here

Also, I do use PhotoShop alot, and I've mastered it down, so I can do a little cropping and touch up.

Thanks
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Old 09-02-2007, 04:36 PM   #2
Carl Becker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB3Man
I like the Canon one, due to this guy on here as the A540, and he takes nice shots, with good Image Quality.
--> thats his profile
http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=18550
Thanks for the compliment.

I would recommend the Canon based on my personal experience. Image quality has been good for me and I'm at 6 mp. My dad uses the A520 (now out of production) at 4 mp and his image quality has been good (most of the time).

http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=11188

I would definitely take a look at the camera's on Canon's page tagged "New!" since the price of these powershots seems to drop rather quick. If you jump right in and buy an A630 right now, you will probably feel ripped off later when you can buy a better one for a better price. I did fall victim to this since I could have gotten the A550 or 60 brand new for less than what the A540 was when I got it, but I'm not disappointed with what this camera has given me. It was worth it to get it when I did.

Here's a link to the page of Canon cameras:

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...categoryid=113

~Carl Becker

Last edited by Carl Becker; 09-02-2007 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:29 PM   #3
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You are quite welcome sir, you have some good photos.

I'm currently looking right now at the ones listed as "NEW!" on the Canons website, and looking at the prices from sites online.

I do likes these new ones, but there around $300 plus, and can't really get that price atm. But i think I will stick with the A630. the SD850 is nice, with the 8MP. But not with the extra $100 price tag..

Does anyone here own the A630? if so, please respond with a review and some images you have taken with it.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:36 PM   #4
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Not in your list, but I can't find anything bad to say about my Canon Power Shot S3IS, runs around 320-360 bucks new.

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Old 09-03-2007, 12:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Becker
I would definitely take a look at the camera's on Canon's page tagged "New!" since the price of these powershots seems to drop rather quick. If you jump right in and buy an A630 right now, you will probably feel ripped off later when you can buy a better one for a better price.
Sorry, but let me pipe in here with a hearty "this is absurd!"

First you will ALWAYS, ALWAYS be able to buy a better one later for a better price down the road. We are in a time period now when prices are falling and cameras are getting better. So you can't avoid this fate. You just can't. As for buying new vs. a generation old, well, the previous generation was pretty good. It's not like the "New!" camera are head and shoulders above the previous generation stuff. I think that, especially for someone economizing, previous generation stuff is an excellent value! I'm not familiar with the sub-$300 point and shoot market, but please keep in mind.

As a matter of fact, some or even many would argue that camera manufacturers are not making better cameras in terms of image quality, and in particular that they keep jamming in more and more megapixels in when after a point that is no longer the most important dimension. Many times I have read a review on a location like dpreview.com (which keeps all of its reviews online, going back years, so easy to read up about the older stuff) where they compare to the previous generation and say something was lost when megapixels were increased. Be suspicious of any 10mp point and shoot camera, for example - they are pushing the limits of what can be done at that size, all because the market stresses the simple to measure megapixel dimension over other dimension just as important to image quality.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB3Man
I do likes these new ones, but there around $300 plus, and can't really get that price atm. But i think I will stick with the A630. the SD850 is nice, with the 8MP. But not with the extra $100 price tag..
I do not intent to trash the A630, I'm sure it's fine, and for that matter I started out with a Canon A80 (similar in form to an A630, 4mp, I haven't looked but it would not surprise me to see that it was a long-ago predecessor) and have a number of shots on RP using that camera before I went DSLR, but $100 for Image Stabilization is most certainly worth it. I understand that you may not be able to get one, but don't minimize the usefulness of that technology for non-tripod shooting.

Toward that end, at least give a strong consideration to the A570IS. I haven't used the camera and haven't read the reviews, but if there is IS available in your price range, take a good look at it. The A710IS is out of your range. I haven't looked to see what differentiates the two and why the A570 is so much cheaper.

Actually, just looked around, the SD800IS is under $300 at Amazon! Take a good look at this one; I've not used it but have considered it as a point and shoot backup to my DSLR.

Lots of choices; do your research. Dpreview.com is a great resource.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:08 AM   #7
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BTW, KB3, I am just east of you, I fan the CSX Metropolitan sub mostly. I've done everything east of Magnolia, plus Paw Paw (so haven't been to Concrete Wall) but quite a number of years ago. Some of my early A80 pix (~2004) are from Hancock, a yard I like a lot but visit all too infrequently. Tower and CPL bridge are coming down, get your shots now!

J
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:14 AM   #8
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Default Buy the DSLR

My advice would be to try to buy a used Canon Digital Rebel on eBay. There are currently a number of these cameras for sale with prices seeming to average around $320. With some patience you should be able to find a decent camera at a decent price. The original Digital Rebel is a little slow compared to cameras offered today, but it has a solid reputation as a reliable performer. I seriously doubt that it would be any worse than Point & Shoot cameras offered today. I shot with one of these cameras for a year until I was able to upgrade to something a little faster. I still have it and use it for snapshots taken around the house.

http://search.ebay.com/Canon-EOS-Dig...-6-3-Megapixel

The reason I suggest you go for a DSLR is that it allows you to start buying lenses. Photos are made by lenses. Sooner or later you will want to upgrade your camera. If you have a Point & Shoot, you throw everything out. With a DSLR, you keep the lenses, thus maximizing your investment. My strategy was to start with the cheapest DSLR I could afford and the most expensive lenses. I had to save a very long time to purchase those lenses. I've gone through several cameras, but I still have my lenses and I expect to be using them for quite some time. There's more information about what I shoot with in my Photographer Profile.

These were shot with my Digital Rebel:

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 191765
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 189271
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 112969
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 190083
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 107448
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 198789
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 193656
Photograph © John Ryan


Other photographers that use or have used a Digital Rebel include Wade H. Massie, Rob Eull, Ken Carr, Brad
Morocco
, Justin Hardecopf, Aaron B. Hockley, and Kevin Vahey.

You can judge image quality from these samples. Good luck with your purchase.

Last edited by John Ryan; 09-03-2007 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:35 AM   #9
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I'll echo John and give a push for the dSLR. A new XT at B&H is $479.95 (body only; I have a Kit Lens I can sell on the cheap), and a new Pentax K100D is going for $399.95. Again, these are new, so you know you'll be getting quality with a sleep-good-at-night manufacturer's warranty to fall back on.

When I started in this hobby, I was looking at a higher-end (at the time) Nikon CoolPix 5700, but a friend of mine in the hobby made the case for a dSLR. Based on what I wanted to do in the hobby and on down the line, it made more sense to pay a little more for the better flexibility. The investment is ultimately with the lenses, but that's what gives you the flexibility 5, 10, 15 years from now...
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:01 AM   #10
KB3Man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan
My advice would be to try to buy a used Canon Digital Rebel on eBay. There are currently a number of these cameras for sale with prices seeming to average around $320. With some patience you should be able to find a decent camera at a decent price. The original Digital Rebel is a little slow compared to cameras offered today, but it has a solid reputation as a reliable performer. I seriously doubt that it would be any worse than Point & Shoot cameras offered today. I shot with one of these cameras for a year until I was able to upgrade to something a little faster. I still have it and use it for snapshots taken around the house.

http://search.ebay.com/Canon-EOS-Dig...-6-3-Megapixel

The reason I suggest you go for a DSLR is that it allows you to start buying lenses. Photos are made by lenses. Sooner or later you will want to upgrade your camera. If you have a Point & Shoot, you throw everything out. With a DSLR, you keep the lenses, thus maximizing your investment. My strategy was to start with the cheapest DSLR I could afford and the most expensive lenses. I had to save a very long time to purchase those lenses. I've gone through several cameras, but I still have my lenses and I expect to be using them for quite some time. There's more information about what I shoot with in my Photographer Profile.

These were shot with my Digital Rebel:

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 191765
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 189271
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 112969
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 190083
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 107448
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 198789
Photograph © John Ryan

Image © John Ryan
PhotoID: 193656
Photograph © John Ryan


Other photographers that use or have used a Digital Rebel include Wade H. Massie, Rob Eull, Ken Carr, Brad
Morocco
, Justin Hardecopf, Aaron B. Hockley, and Kevin Vahey.

You can judge image quality from these samples. Good luck with your purchase.
Im going to look on eBay right now, you make a great point on going to a dSLR instead of a point and shoot. So you can get lenses to make your shot even better and better down the road.


Thanks I'll get back to ya soon
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:16 AM   #11
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Somehow I'm still able to get really good pictures with my original Digital Rebel, the 300D. Hell, I even use the kit lens every now and then. The 300D doesn't know it's not a 30D; it just takes the pictures. The guy behind the camera still has to know a little bit about what he's doing.

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©
(kit lens)


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Old 09-03-2007, 05:51 AM   #12
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Thats some nice photos, i'm looking on eBay still... Man, whats a good starter lens?
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB3Man
Thats some nice photos, i'm looking on eBay still... Man, whats a good starter lens?
The Canon 18-55mm zoom that comes with the camera kit is a good starter lens. The quality is not the sames as a $1500 lens, but it gets the job done. If you've got more cash to spend, Canon's 17-85mm zoom is pretty good.
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