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Frets
06-13-2005, 09:38 PM
Assume I have money I've walked into your store and want to purchase a camera, a printer and don't know which graphics editor I should get.

Give me your best pitch.

alty29
06-13-2005, 10:20 PM
before I quit Circuit City, everytime someone came into Dig. Camera's I would always let them browse, figure out which one they looked interested in, pitch them that camera, but point out all of it's shortcomings, and then I would say, "But, if you want a real camera, that will take quality pictures, and basically out class any other camera in the store, you want to take a look at the digital rebel." it worked quite a few times, I was doing like 3 rebels a week that way.

PAlexC
06-14-2005, 12:58 AM
I really cannot laud Picasa (http://www.picasa.com) enough for not just organization, but correcting photos if you're a total noob or just fixing up some snapshots.

asheep_uk
06-14-2005, 07:38 AM
If you don't own Photoshop, then Photoshop Elements is very good for photo editing. Although it doesn't come with all the major advanced features that Photoshop has, it comes with enough to really make your photos look something special.
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelmac/main.html

Since iPhoto 5 came out, however, I've used Elements less and less, as you can now adjust quite a few bits and pieces in iPhoto.
http://www.apple.com/ilife/iphoto/edit.html

admedia
06-14-2005, 09:39 AM
It would be hard to pitch something to you without knowing what you plan on using it for and how much you want to spend. There are some relatively inexpensive all-in-one box solutions for the average joe who wants to print snapshots at home with camera and printer included. Cannon offers one as well as Kodak.

I like printers that have card slots and will print directly from the card and let you make selections of what you want to print. This eleminates the hassel of using the computer every time you want to print. The Epson R-300 does a great job. For under $150 you can make an index print of your card contents, tell it what photos you want, how many, etc... and make excellent quality borderless prints. It also prints directly to printable cds as an added bonus.

For the professional who wants manual (SLR) control. I use a Nikon D70. It is an excellent Digital SLR (http://photography.about.com/library/glossary/bldef_slr.htm?terms=SLR) that is super fast and takes great pictures. I use a Sigma 24-135mm lense on it that affords a nice range of focal lengths. One thing to keep in mind when choosing a lense or a digital SLR camera is most digital SLRs will magnify the focal length by a factor of x1.5. So although my lense says it's 24-135mm it actually captures at 36mm - 202.5mm. So go wide when making a DSLR lense selection. I also use Nikon capture software for critical studio or location shots that can give me immediate results as I am shooting on my 15" notebook screen. I know cannon makes excellent DSLRs as well, I just have no experience with cannon DSLRs.

With any digital camera purchase make sure you buy a big memory card (256mb ++). The ones included with the camera don't hold enough pictures to make your digital camera enjoyable.

If you are just getting started and want total control and to learn SLR photography I recommend getting an inexpensive or used manual non-digital 35mm SLR camera and lense.

drinkdaredwine
06-14-2005, 12:29 PM
Well it depends on the application/requirement really...

Will you be shooting landscapes/seascapes (wide angle), portraits (30-50MM), weddings (combination), flowers (macro), your dog...

Do you need something small/readily available or will you carry a DSLR around?

What size prints do you want to print? Determines camera resolution required.
http://www.vividlight.com/articles/3116.htm

Software: Do you want/expect to manipulate photos? To what extent?
I'm a Photoshop believer and really don't work in anything else. But then again, I didn't have to purchase outright either. Not too familliar with Elements but all the forums say it is the best buy for the money.

With that said, I purchased the Nikon D70, a bunch of CF cards (memory), a number of lenses to accomodate all subjects and don't mind carrying it around because I can switch lenses and it has all the features that my film camera has and more!!

I import these into Photoshop CS2 and tweak as necessary then send off to the lab for printing because I like the archival quality of the prints vs. desktop printers. If you can afford a good quality printer, and want/need to print at home, get it. Otherwise, the lab is my preference.

There is a great feature on the Nikon site that helps decide what gear you need for what you'd like to do... thinks it's mostly DSLR equipment/lenses but it is a guideline: http://www.slrlearningcenter.com/home.html.

With that said... buy the largest MP camera you can afford. DPreview has great reviews. Be sure you have a computer that will handle the super large files (lots of memory and processor) if you will be manipulating them.

Hope that helps!! If you'd like more info on any of the above, let me know.

Thanks!!!

PAlexC
06-14-2005, 06:22 PM
Doesn't the D70 use a proprietary raw format?

As far as software to capture off of the camera, screw it.

Nothing comes in handy more than a 12-in-1 card reader. Once you start using various formats for your PSP, PDA, multiple cameras, etc. it's invaluable. Especially when people have photos they want you to fix up.

admedia
06-14-2005, 06:28 PM
I have a 4 port card reader built into my laptop (well it's swappable with a floppy or 2nd battery)... and I use it all the time for my cards as well as clients and friends.

Adobe CS opens my D70 RAW files just fine. But with all cameras I have read it is recomended to use the camera's bundled software to open a RAW file because they are all proprietary to some degree.

Frets
06-14-2005, 11:40 PM
Here's my pitch.
If you are interested in a pocket camera Try the Casio EX-2750. Though not the high profile DSLR it is a 7.2 megapixel camera with a 3x range. Here is an excellent review
http://www.mikeindustries.com/blog/archive/2005/06/casio-ex-z750 Link credit wow=factor (http://wow-factor.com) Full review http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/casioz750/ This little camera is ideal when you don't want to lug around a larger one yet like higher output and control beyond mere point and shoot.

For those who prefer the handling of traditional slr camera's and interchangeable slr
lenses I suggest Fujifilm S3 Pro (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilms3pro/) Read admedia's notes on interchangeable lenses above

Although this panasonic only has 5 mega pixels I'm extremely impressed with the versatility and the price range. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz20/

Printers.....
Rarely do my images take the form of print these days so I can't comment.

Software:
Adobe PS- No comment
Jasc Paint Shop Pro- I really hated using this especially when moving layers up and down.
Ulead Photo Impact- This has been my graphics tool of choice for a few years now.
Novices will enjoy the wizards for fixing images. The particles effects that come standard are fair.

Plug-Ins
I know many here don't like plugins and I respect that they have cultivated techniques
which yield more professional control over elements. However, The one plugin I can't live without is Optic Verves Virtual Photographer. http://www.optikvervelabs.com/

icculus22
06-20-2005, 02:40 PM
KM Maxxum 7D
Photoshop

drinkdaredwine
06-22-2005, 11:00 AM
KM Maxxum 7D
Photoshop

How do you like the 7D? I was going to recommend it to a friend (a Minolta fan). Thanks!

icculus22
06-22-2005, 12:40 PM
Love it.

Built in anti-shake is a lot more useful than I thought it would be (mmm handheld 1/4 second exposures at 150mm).

The LCD is huge and vibrant although I keep losing the plastic cover (I'm on my third one and i've had the cmera for 2 months)

The fact that it has dials and knobs for all the settings makes it so much easier to make adjustments compared to the Nikon or Canon who are both fairly menu driven.

Lots of cool intuitive features that I'm discovering on a daily basis.

If you're friend already has Minolta lenses then it's a no-brainer :)

drinkdaredwine
06-23-2005, 05:24 PM
Yeah, that's why I was steering him that way. Thanks a bunch for the feedback!!