Old 06-16-2004, 12:35 AM   #1
Bob Pickering
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Default Looking at Digital SLR

Greetings ladies and gents

I am looking at researching digital SLR's

My questions are this..

1. What brand out there will offer a quick point and shoot like my current 35 MM camera? I have heard that Canon Digital Rebel and D10 are better than Nikon's versions.

2. How much will this set me back (will I need to take on a 2nd job?)

3. Any experiances plus or minus?

I have come to the conclusion that digital is passing film as a superior mode. We shoot a Nikon FE 10 fild and a Canon Powershot G5 (digital) but the problem is that the Canon must lock onto a shot before I can trip the shutter.

Any input appreciated!

Bob and Janice
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Old 06-16-2004, 03:05 AM   #2
Chris Starnes
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From everything I hear, the current Canon DSLRs on the market are getting better reviews from their users than are the Nikon cameras.

There are several photographers here on RP who shoot with either the 10D or its younger brother, the 300D (aka Digital Rebel).

Do a web-search for Digital Rebel and you should come up with all sorts of information on them.

Chris Starnes
Co-Editor, RailPictures.net
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Old 06-16-2004, 03:44 AM   #3
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This is a pretty good site; it has professional reviews as well as owner feedback:

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Old 06-17-2004, 03:27 AM   #4
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Personally, I love my Nikon D100. No, it isn't the best in the world for long exposures, but to be honest, no digital camera really is. It does well enough as long as you keep the exposure times below 30 seconds or so and turn the noise reduction on. A little work in Photoshop does the rest. For anything really critical, I still keep a conventional film camera loaded with slide film for longer exposures. Or just in case I get the hankering to shoot some black and white.

The supposed "underexposure" issues that exist with the D100 can be cured by loading a custom tone curve into the camera. Like slide film, digital cameras can blow out the highlights easily so Nikon designed a little deliberate underexposure into the final image to keep this from happening. Just load a custom curve (there are dozens available from folks that are far more knowledgable about this stuff than I) make some test shots, and just use the one that suits you best.

The new D70 is definately a winner as well...it blows many pro cameras away in terms of metering and flash sync speed, two things that most certainly affect the quality of your shots and the versatiliy of the camera. If I hadn't already purchased the D100, I'd probably would have gone with the D70 instead.

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Old 06-19-2004, 03:13 AM   #5
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Default Looking at Digital SLR

I recently purchased the Nikon D70, after doing some intense research. One review that helped me make up my mind was http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d70.htm Best of luck.
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:01 AM   #6
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Default Second the Nikon D70 Recommendation

I bought the Nikon D70 about a month ago and I am completely enthralled with it! I bought mine with the 18-70 lens as a kit and that's a sweet lens!
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:22 AM   #7
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Bob, I have the 10D and will be buying a 20D as well.
But, I am shooting more slide film than I have since
acquiring the 10D, because slides are still the medium
of choice for rail magazines. So, if I want to be published
or even make a poster-size enlargement, I have to shoot

You may also want to read Ken Rockwell's analysis
of the film vs. digital debate:


By the way, you may spend $1,500.00 for a 20D back
but you will spend three times that to obtain the
quality lenses you need for the camera.

Do you need to get a second job?
No. Tell Janice to.

Dave Kerr
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:39 AM   #8
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Default The Nikon D70

I have a snow removal job at an alpine resort just south of the Ski Equator in the New Mexican Andes. The season runs generally from April to October, with the heaviest snowfall in May, June, and July. 'Round about now, spring weather comes to the mountain, and I gotta remove the hard pack so the landscapers can get an early start on the moguls. It's all part of National Forest Regulations, that's all I know.

The other day I was shoveling just uphill from the lodge under the high speed quad lift, and something truly unbelievable happened! I found a Nikon D70! It was buried in a drift, protected inside one of those rugged, outdoorsman-type camera cases!

I figured maybe some photography magazine editor on one of those big camera corporation junkets must have dropped it off the chairlift sometime earlier in the season, and then decided it would be too difficult to retrieve. Now the snow was melting, and there it was, cradled safely in my hands! It seemed too good to be true!

It looked to be one of those advance models, you know, with all the accessories. It had several lenses, a battery pack, and a 1 GB memory card! Did I feel lucky, and how! I gotta say, that D70 looked sleek and impressive on the dashboard of my Snowcat! What a find! I couldn't wait to try it out!

I took the D70 down to the mainline on my very next day off. I guess I got some pretty good shots. Really there wasn't much action to speak of, but I did see one of those NdeM Alco PA's headed for a rebuild in Elmira. And, as luck would have it, one of those Swedish prototype AC/DC DD-36-24-36-XXX locomotives on loan to US Railroads from Scandinavia showed up, and with a radioactive hazmat load in tow! That Swedish loco sure was a fine sight! Glossy, high-temperature female coupler on the front side... Super-elevated sand domes...

I also got a really neat shot of John Deere rebuild Moosehead & Mechanicville RS-3 #705 on Craque Head Trestle with a string of retired fallen flag cabooses destined for that Indian railfan's place up in Manitoba. And there were the usual Amtrak Genesis-lead passenger trains, TOFC hot shots, a souped-up Ford LTD, and a circus train or two.

Before calling it a day, I checked out that big bridge at Kangamangus Canyon. Doncha know, SP #4449 showed up almost right away, and it was pulling a NASA (National Association of Alcohol Sellers) private varnish special! And, unbelievably, the Florida Fun Train consist was passing beneath the bridge on the Chasm Creek Line behind Operation Lifesaver diesels from five different railroads at the same time! What a sight! It was the shot of a lifetime! Man, I wish I remembered to take off the D70's lens cap! But, you know, I was real excited and what not.

But things never panned out too well for the D70. Even though I missed my shot of #4449 pasisng over the Fun Train, would you believe that not one of any of the other photos I submitted from that day was accepted by Railpictures.net! The next morning at work I tossed that dumb D70 back in the snowdrifts, where it belongs! Maybe Sasquatch can make good use of the thing. I'd like to offer some suggestions as to what the 'D' in D70 stands for, but being respectful of the proprietors I'll bite my tongue. I did keep the memory card, though.

Now I'm back to using my good ole' Minolta S-414. I got two photos accepted almost right away!


(BTW, I made up that story )
(Also, the ‘NASA’ joke is not mine. It comes from an episode of the TV show The Simpsons)
Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:28 PM   #9
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I have been shooting with a Nikon D1 for about 4 years, but just got a D70 as a second camera. Because of the increase in pixels, and general advance in technology, I now use the D70 for almost all train shots. The D1 is now only used for flash shots, or as a second camera (the D70 will not work in TTL mode with the flash for the D1, and I'm not gonna spend another $400 for a second flash )

I was considering the S2 over the D100, but went for the D70 when it came out. Love it. The rap on the digital rebel is that it takes about three seconds for the camera to turn on, not good with moving trains, many is the time I have forgotten to turn on the camera, but a fast flick of the switch, and the Nikons are ready to roll.
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