Need advice on a camera

I am in the market for a new 35 mm camera, between $250-$300. Any advice?

I see SLRs for that much at my local Costco. I don’t know much about them, but it’s tempting. My wife had an expensive SLR when we met, and my pictures always seemed to come out looking great, even though I had all the manual stuff set to auto. Seeing exactly what you’re going to get through the viewfinder is incredibly helpful.

www.bhphotovideo.com has EOS Rebel 2000 camara kits in that price range. The kits include the camera body and one zoom lens (28-80 or 28-90) plus some other accesories. The vendor has always been reliable and has good prices. Many of the shops you see in the back of photo mags have very bad reputations so becareful if you go elsewhere.

A good alternative is www.ritzcamera.com

-DavidCPA

I will give a vote for the Rebel 2000 as well. Have had mine for a few years and am very, very happy with the camera. We have five different cameras and when we need the “serious” camera for slides or the highest quality pic, we always use the rebel and have always been happy.

Chet

Another vote for the Rebel. I’ve really gotten into digital photography, but I still keep the 35 MM handy. Also, I purchase pretty much all of my video and photo equipment from B&H Photovideo and have for years. They have good prices, no surprises, very reliable, and they really know their stuff. The only times I’ve ever had a problem they made it right quickly, and one of the times was clearly my mistake, but that was less important to them than me getting what I needed.

I was a huge SLR fan… Took me forever to go from my Canon AE-1 to one of those nefangled cameras with fully-automatic mode. (I had the original AE-1, which offered only shutter priority.)

But once I got a digital camera with a good lens (10x zoom with image stabilization), I just never had any desire to use the SLR. It sat in my closet for a year until I decided to eBay it, complete with the sweet 300mm lens. Inconsistent developing quality, prints of crappy shots, cost of developing, and so on outweighed the slight increase in flexibility and quality I’d get from the SLR.

And frankly, even though I had a couple of photojournalism classes and I’ve been using SLRs for 20 years, I can just take better shots with a good digital. I must just think digitally nowadays. :-)

Not that this answers your question. But personally, I find buying an SLR today akin to buying a turntable. Unless you’re doing stuff like zooming in on 1/10 of a negative, a good 3MP camera with manual options gives you similar quality and flexibility as an SLR.

I have found, find a place that knows how to develop film and never go anywhere else. We go to one small Dodd store. They often give us free film if too many of the shots on a roll didn’t come out (even though it is our fault, playing around with settings.). We pay more, but in the long run save money and hassle of having to go back and ask for reprints.

I like my digital camera as well, i have a small canon that can fit in my pocket and take about 200 pics to one pic I keep. For that they are great, but digital cameras suck in low light conditions and never seem to capture the subtle colors of a sunset etc. Digital camers are also more durable (off topic but this photo shoot is amazing - do not click this link if you are in a good mood (click here)

Chet

Yeah Chet, I read about that guy in one of the photo mags earlier this year. Tragic stuff.

Denny is right Reeko. One of the toughest parts of photography is getting your pictures developed right every time. My wife had film developed at almost every developing vendor in Central Arkansas and never found anyone who could produce prints to her satisfaction. She went digital in August 2001 with the Canon D30 and adjusts her pictures in Photoshop to get everything like she wants. She burns the images to CD and we take it to the best shop in the area with these instructions:

No corrections!!! No color or density corrections of any kind!!!

Even with those explict instructions, they still try to tinker with her pictures :evil:

-DavidCPA

This is why God invented the Canon S9000 printer. :-)

This is why God invented the Canon S9000 printer. :-)[/quote]

I haven’t looked up the S9000’s capabilities but would it be economical to print out 275 8x10s on this printer :wink: We have an HP Deskjet 970Cse for one off print jobs, but my wife usually has bulk print jobs that would be too expensive to print at home.

-DavidCPA

This is why God invented the Canon S9000 printer. :-)[/quote]

Hey Denny - I’ve got the Epson 780, which I think you also had - is the Canon S9000 a significant improvement?

And I agree with Denny on the digital habit - I’ve found the digital darkroom to be really addictive. I started with Paint Shop Pro, which is all I probably really needed, but eventually purchased Photoshop. Now I’m looking to buy a couple of studio lights for portraits. ;) And my wife cringes every time Canon comes out with a new “G” model (HONEY! The G3 has some NICE improvements that I NEED!)

David, that’s some serious quantities! I can understand why you use the print shop.

Well, the 780’s photo quality is top-notch, so it’s hard to improve on. The main advantages of the S9000 are:

  1. It’ll print 13x19
  2. It’s way faster – full-color prints come out about 4x as fast
  3. Individual color ink cartridges, which is cheaper in the long run
  4. It doesn’t clog like Epsons do.

It was the final entry in the list that made me decide to get the S9000. Dell mispriced them at $300 w/coupons back when they were still going for $450-499 new. About 2,000 dpreview.com readers and I took advantage of their mistake. :-) I was frustrated with my 780 because it had started clogging. I’d heard a lot about Epson clogs in the past, but that was my third Epson color inkjet (after the original Stylus Color and the Stylus Photo 700) and the first to actually have the problem. I ordered the S9000 because I was really sick of having to replace half-full, clogged black cartridges. It took me four tries to print my taxes last year.

My theory is that the Epson clogs happen when the air gets too dry. It was mainly a problem in winter here, and my sister, who I gave the printer to, hasn’t had clogging problems in Portland. And the air never gets that dry in Japan, where they’re designed…

And my wife cringes every time Canon comes out with a new “G” model (HONEY! The G3 has some NICE improvements that I NEED!)

I’m lucky there. After the Pro90 IS, nobody has released another high-zoom, image-stabilized camera. Canon abandoned the line because the Pro90 wasn’t selling at $1,200 because people say “2.6 megapixel” and ignored the amazing 10X IS lens… And I didn’t buy mine till they dropped to $500, so they were right about people not being willing to pay what they really cost. But I’m very happy with it, and going back down to a 4X or 6X zoom doesn’t tempt me. I have a 1.7X Olympus teleconverter for it, too. Now I just need time to actually get out and shoot some stuff!

While we’re hijacking the topic to talk digital and printing, let me put in the good word for Qimage Pro. You can download a trial version at Qimage Ultimate - The Ultimate in Batch Photo Printing Software … It does an amazing job of printing large prints. I’ve done a couple of 8x10s of images that had been cropped quite a bit and the interpolation really hides any pixelation.

Thanks for all the help. I’ll go with the Canon Rebel 2000. I want digital, but Mrs. Reeko won’t give. And thanks for the advice about film developing. I never thought there was that much of a difference between places.

Also,

  1. Any advice on film brands?

And,

  1. Does it really matter if you get it on Kodak paper? (I’ve always wondered about this)

Thanks heaps.

Film: Stick with Kodak and Fuji. Do a little research to get acquainted with what type of film you need. - 800 speed for photos with low light or action, 100 speed for photos with less action and brighter light, etc.

Photo paper: Kodak and Fuji are again safe choices, but there are other good papers out there. If you find a shop that will develop and print your pictures well, most probably the photo paper will be good.

-DavidCPA