Considering an SLR

My little digital point and shoot is giving out and I am considering an SLR for my next camera. My wife had one about 10 years ago. We never used any of the manual settings, but it took the best pictures. I would like to get quality shots like those again. My biggest complaint about point and shoot cameras (or, the Kodac P&S that I now own) is that you don’t have much control over framing the image or focus. I can’t say how many times I have carefully positioned the camera only to find the picture is blurry or slightly off to one side or another. If I took that kind of time with the old SLR, my shots always came out great. I also realize that if I’m going to take pictures of my kids sports activities, I’m going to need a better lens so they don’t look like little specs in a sea of landscape. Another reason I am considering SLR is because with the advent of digital cameras, I think I could get a good deal on a 35mm film SLR. Aent’ all the film cameras much cheaper these days?

We haven’t really had a good camera discussion for almost a year, so I thought I would put it out there. If you’ve got a recommendation on a good camera, I’d like to know about that, too.

I’ve got an N70 body and Simga 28-70 lens. Want it cheap?

I’ve been using a Minolta D7Hi for digital stuff, but swapped that for a Nikon D70 digital SLR. It’s really, really cool. I initially looked at the Pentax *itsD, but I bought two (!) that were defective and had to return them. So I went with the D70, which has been a gem so far.

I’ve got a D70 and a Minolta Xt as a pocket camera, and my wife has converted to a Pentax Optio 4Si. I don’t think we’ll ever go back to film.


You can get excellent framing and focus controls with most point-and-shoot cameras:

  1. Press the shutter button halfway to focus on the subject behind the crosshair
  2. Keeping the button partially depressed, reframe your subject
  3. Depress the shutter button fully to take the photo

This little button-pressing jig is very important if you are taking a photo of two people, for example, because your crosshairs are more than likely going to be centered on the space between their heads and the camera will focus on the background instead of the people.

There are two reasons why I’m trying to dissuade you from purchasing an SLR:

  1. You’re more likely to carry a point and shoot camera with you at all times, while you might leave the SLR behind due to weight and bulk. Good photos come from being there. If you’re there, you ought to have a camera with you.

  2. While the prices for camera bodies may have come down, the prices for lenses have not. A 70-200/2.8 zoom still costs $1000, and a 50/1.8 still costs about $80. A camera body is nothing more than a light-proof box. You still have to spend good money to purchase quality glass.

If you’re going to buy an SLR, then I recommend that you still carry a point-and-shoot with you. A point-and-shoot like the Olympus Stylus Epic with a decent 35/2.8 lens will cost you $80 – about 1/3rd less than the equivalent SLR lens. Heck. Buy it instead of a wide-angle SLR lens. If ithe Stylus Epic doesn’t perform to your satisfaction, I’ll buy it back from you. I’m always giving these away as gifts.

Camera gear is almost always best bought on-line from B&H Photo or from Adorama.

There are times, though, when only that glass will work. One thing I wanted to do was shoot indoor sports, and the Dimage 7Hi just wasn’t getting the job done. I’ll probably get a freakishly expensive, fast telephoto to do what I want.

There are, of course, other gotchas with digital SLRs that don’t exist with film SLRs. Change lenses often? Then be prepared to take your camera to an authorized service center every year or 18 months and have the sensor cleaned.

The AF trick you mention is something I use frequently. It’s even handy in a lot of the still life stuff I do for product shoots.

Ohhhh, I will pm you for details.

A film SLR?

To take pictures of your Victrola and Dusenberg? ;-)

I was wondering the same thing. Why the heck would you want a film SLR Tim ? :wink:

I thought film would be less expensive. I did a little checking last night and you can still pay an arm and a leg for a good lens.

I am an amature. I just want good pictures. So you guys would not recommend film?

There’s nothing wrong with film but it is far less convenient than digital and not as forgiving if you are an amateur photographer. You can buy digital SLR cameras but they are a bit pricey compared to the typical “prosumer” digital camera.

I wanted alot of the control you get with an SLR, but I’m pretty much a beginner. I settled on the Fuji S7000 because it has alot of control, you can add wide angle and telephoto lenses, and its about half as much as a pure digital SLR. I’ve only had it a couple of weeks, but I love it so far.

I just got a new Canon Powershot SD110. When you press the button down halfway it puts a couple green boxes on the screen telling you where its going to focus.


The camera itself will certainly be less expensive. However, the costs of film and development will start to add-up . . . where, with a digital, those are non-existent (except if you spring for a high-capacity memory card).

I was in the same boat a few months ago . . . I finally opted for a Canon Digital Rebel, which I couldn’t be happier with.

As far as film goes, like Sean says, there’s nothing wrong with it. I would just rather not worry about how much I’m using, how many shots are left, do I need to buy more, etc. I’m also fairly proficient with Photoshop, so I can do any corrections myself to the images, rather than trust that the guy (or machine) at the local lab or Target will do it right.

There’s more initial investment in a digital SLR than film, but you’ll eventually make it back up in developing fees (since you tend to print everything on a roll of film, but with digital you print just the keepers).

You can also get “prosumer” cameras without removable lenses, but with all the manual settings you could ever desire.

Even a good mid-range camera with manual settings, a good lens, and lots of shooting modes can do wonders. My Panasonic DMC-FZ10 has a 12X optical zoom and full manual control, and I can easily shoot pics as good as anything I ever shot with my old Canon or Olympus film SLRs.

I have a Minolta SLR Dynaxx 4 with autofocus and autozoom, as well as manual zoom and focus… I couldn’t sell it on eBay… It is 28mm-80mm focal length.

here are the specs

PM me an offer if you are interested…