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Thread: Doubt about dSLR

  1. #1

    Default Doubt about dSLR

    I'm very tempted to enter the world of dSLRs given the increasing options of 'consumer' dSLRs tdy. However, i still cannot make up my mind on the following issues:

    1) Using viewfinder to frame pics. I'm used to using LCD to frame pictures. Whats better about viewfinder? Won't it be troublesome when objects are in difficult positions... like if taking macro shots on insects on the ground then u are forced to lie down Also will it be problematic for ppl wearing glasses?

    2) I've some older film slr lens. I heard that they can fit dSLRs with the same mount but must multiply focal length. In that case, does that mean that a 50mm nikon older lens will become 50 x 1.6 = 80mm on a new d50 for example?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    Some answers for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsosl1e8
    I'm very tempted to enter the world of dSLRs given the increasing options of 'consumer' dSLRs tdy. However, i still cannot make up my mind on the following issues:

    1) Using viewfinder to frame pics. I'm used to using LCD to frame pictures. Whats better about viewfinder? Won't it be troublesome when objects are in difficult positions... like if taking macro shots on insects on the ground then u are forced to lie down Also will it be problematic for ppl wearing glasses?
    i. LCD is the only alternative to optical viewfinder currently and it drains power easily.
    ii. The viewfinder provides 'WYSIWYG' through the mirror. (Some consumer cam viewfinders are offset)
    iii. There is alsways the angled viewfinder add on if you need to take pictures at awkward poisitions.
    iv. There's always the diopter adjustment for the viewfinder for ppl wearing specs.

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsosl1e8
    2) I've some older film slr lens. I heard that they can fit dSLRs with the same mount but must multiply focal length. In that case, does that mean that a 50mm nikon older lens will become 50 x 1.6 = 80mm on a new d50 for example?
    v. Yes. If the crop factor is 1.6 then the end focal length becomes 80mm. Unless you invest in 6k for a Canon 5D or 10+++ for a 1DsMKII which are full frame DSLRs
    Last edited by Hoky; 23rd October 2005 at 11:23 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsosl1e8
    I'm very tempted to enter the world of dSLRs given the increasing options of 'consumer' dSLRs tdy. However, i still cannot make up my mind on the following issues:

    1) Using viewfinder to frame pics. I'm used to using LCD to frame pictures. Whats better about viewfinder? Won't it be troublesome when objects are in difficult positions... like if taking macro shots on insects on the ground then u are forced to lie down Also will it be problematic for ppl wearing glasses?

    2) I've some older film slr lens. I heard that they can fit dSLRs with the same mount but must multiply focal length. In that case, does that mean that a 50mm nikon older lens will become 50 x 1.6 = 80mm on a new d50 for example?
    1) That's the meaning of SLR (Single Lens Reflex). You must compose through viewfinder, and not through LCD. If you are from SLR, jump to dSLR is very tempting. For me, I rather compose through viewfinder than LCD. Yah..., we must sacrifice some inconvinience using LCD to compose for low or difficult angle. But that's the chalenge in photography.
    2) In Nikon DX sensor size, the multiply factor is 1.5 (Canon is 1.6). The lens' focal length remains the same, but the angle of view is divided by 1.5. Some make it easy by saying 50mm lens become 75mm (35mm equivalent) in Nikon dSLR (D50).

    Regards,
    Arto.
    Last edited by Artosoft; 24th October 2005 at 10:23 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    Its single lens reflex, not single lens reflection.

    1) Advantages of the viewfinder over the live preview you get in LCDs is that you don't need battery, theres no lag time. And the difference between the viewfinder on your dSLR and the ones you find on your compact is that its more accurate since its "through the lens".

    You can always get angle viewfinders if you're into macro photography.

    2) The focal length is the same, its just that the angle of view is cropped.

    http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/enjoydslr/

  5. #5

    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    Comparing between the viewfinders of SLRs and compact cameras, the ones of SLRs are more accurate as mentioned by some others here.

    However, if comparing between viewfinders of SLRs and LCDs of compact cameras, viewfinders of consumer/prosumer SLRs are typically not 100% in coverage whereas LCDs of compact cameras (both consumer and prosumer) are typically 100% in coverage.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by tmh
    Comparing between the viewfinders of SLRs and compact cameras, the ones of SLRs are more accurate as mentioned by some others here.

    However, if comparing between viewfinders of SLRs and LCDs of compact cameras, viewfinders of consumer/prosumer SLRs are typically not 100% in coverage whereas LCDs of compact cameras (both consumer and prosumer) are typically 100% in coverage.
    I'm confused...
    What do you mean that the LCDs of compact cameras are 100% in coverage.

    The DSLRs uses the LCD for playback (which is displaying the entire captured picture) and menu display. What's about it not in 100% coverage?

    Care to enlighten?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    When you view your viewfinder, the image you see there is different from the image you capture. The viewfinder does not have 100% coverage. The 350D only has a 95% frame coverage, the 5D has 96% and the 1Ds Mark II 100%.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    I mean during framing of pictures, not playback.

    And I mean 2 cases:

    i) viewfinder of SLRs vs viewfinder of compact camera
    ii) viewfinder of SLR vs LCD of compact camera.

    The LCDs of DSLRs never come into play at all during framing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoky
    I'm confused...
    What do you mean that the LCDs of compact cameras are 100% in coverage.

    The DSLRs uses the LCD for playback (which is displaying the entire captured picture) and menu display. What's about it not in 100% coverage?

    Care to enlighten?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsosl1e8
    1) Using viewfinder to frame pics. I'm used to using LCD to frame pictures. Whats better about viewfinder? Won't it be troublesome when objects are in difficult positions... like if taking macro shots on insects on the ground then u are forced to lie down Also will it be problematic for ppl wearing glasses?
    An SLR viewfinder is more accurate than a cheap inverted Galilean telescope-type viewfinder of compact cameras, but less accurate than the live preview on the LCD of a typical digicam. The advantages of SLR viewfinders are image clarity (no pixels) and immediate response (most digicam's "live" preview flickers & lags behind what's actually happening). SLR viewfinders can also have some advantages for manual focusing, but this has been largely negated in cheap DSLRs by the miniscule size of the viewfinder image and the removal of optical focusing aids that were standard in the pre-autofocus days.

    Compact digicams have a lot in their favor for macros - not only that you can see the viewfinder mroe easily, but they (and their lenses) are also smaller and therefore less likely to block the light that is supposed to illuminate the scene. (With a typical SLR, you may not even be able to get close enough to your object, e.g. for taking "street level views" of architecture models). They typically also cause less vibrations (less mechanical action), and the relatively larger depth of field (assuming a compact cameras sensor is smaller than the DSLR's sensor) can also greatly help. For many technical micro/macro applications (e.g. mounting a camera on a microscope), there's no doubt which to prefer.

    The main advantage of a DSLR may not be related to the viewfinder. Compact digicams have largely evolved from the computer-add on gimmick side of things, meaning that their usability for taking photos is frequently horrible (navigating through menus to change basic settings, if they allow to change settings at all), and their performance is often only so-so. Most DSLRs have evolved from traditional film SLR systems, carrying over more practical user interfaces (dedicated knobs/buttons for basic functions). And, of course, with a typical DSLR, you can change the lens, while you cannot with a typical compact digital camera.

    There is no technical/fundamental reason for the differences mentioned in the last paragraph. This is just how the market reality is. If electronic viewfinders improve and some secondary issues with the shutter are addressed, they may obsolete DSLRs at some point in the future.

    2) I've some older film slr lens. I heard that they can fit dSLRs with the same mount but must multiply focal length. In that case, does that mean that a 50mm nikon older lens will become 50 x 1.6 = 80mm on a new d50 for example?
    No. You can read this in many places, but it is utter nonsense. DSLRs with smaller sensors effectively crop the image (compared to the traditional film format), so the field of view is indeed that of a lens with longer focal length. BUT, this is not equivalent to using a longer focal length lens on a "full frame" SLR. For example the depth of field of a 50mm lens on a DSLR with a 1.6 crop factor will be different from an 80mm lens on a "full frame" camera.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsosl1e8
    2) I've some older film slr lens. I heard that they can fit dSLRs with the same mount but must multiply focal length. In that case, does that mean that a 50mm nikon older lens will become 50 x 1.6 = 80mm on a new d50 for example?
    No, focal length cannot be changed apart from teleconverters which changes the focal length.

    For DSLRs the FLM only changes the field of view. A 50mm is still 50mm, but in the viewfinder you see 75mm field of view.

    Btw, Nikon DSLRs are 1.5X FLM. 1.6X FLM is the Canon EOS DSLRs.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoky
    ... Unless you invest in 6k for a Canon 5D or 10+++ for a 1DsMKII which are full frame DSLRs
    Invest? There is no returns for a camera purchase, and as a matter of fact, DSLR or any other electronic goods depreciate REALLY fast. I will call this an EXPENDITURE for leisure and pleasure instead. And if you are into the photography business, whether full time or part time, then the camera is a tool, which is a business asset, much like a company van. There is no investment in buying a camera, especially a digital camera. You will get lots of good photos to help with your memories, but you would have spent money for fun, just like watching a movie, and nobody calls a movie ticket an investment.

    Sorry Hoky, this is not directed at you, just that I have come to realise that "investing in a camera" is not a right term to use.

    And I really do love my cameras, from 40-year old TLR, to 15-year old SLR, to 3-year old DSLR. They have all since depreciated.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    thx for the many comments.
    One more thing i noticed is that dSLRs have superior dynamic range. I was wondering how to measure dynamic range and how much better are dSLRs in this case...

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    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by ahsosl1e8
    I was wondering how to measure dynamic range and how much better are dSLRs in this case...
    Dynamic range is the ratio of the largest exposure (full scale) that can be recorded and the lowest exposure that results in a signal at the noise level. Assuming that the sensors and A/D converters are linear (which is probably not 100% true, but close), one could analyze the noise level of an unprocessed (raw) image and from this calculate the dynamic range.

    A method that makes no assumptions on linearity is to subject the sensor to a range of "calibrated" exposures. One could detach the lens and aim the camera at a uniform surface (to achieve uniform exposure across the sensor). The dynamic range would be the ratio of exposure times for "full scale" and "at the noise level" sensor responses.

    I once did some quick&dirty tests on an entry-level dSLR. Its dynamic range clocked in somewhere around 26 dB, or 8.5 "f-stops". I haven't tested other cameras. Dynamic range information is listed on a lot of web sites, but I'd caution to trust them blindly. Some renowned photography portals list obviously wrong numbers. Also note that the dynamic range of the sensor and the dynamic range of the camera-processed image may be different.

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    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    Sadly... the DR still loses to film

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    I have quite a few film cameras.

    i have to admit the future is digital.
    i like film a lot actually
    but it will give way to digital
    there is a great virtue in "no waiting" before you see your pics
    you save a lot of money from not having to process and print
    colour lab owners are crying as few people process film and print now

    you have to personally experience the frustration when a processing lab spoils one of your rolls of film and then insists it is not their fault

    with digital you save the stuff at home onto DVD

    film cameras have a weight and "feel" that is special.
    digital cameras tend to be plastic wrapped around an expensive sensor.
    and it is super scary how fast the digital thing loses value

    the other big factor is that you can have photoshop or any software and have fun to post process digishots
    no need to have a messy expensive smelly darkroom for film

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Doubt about dSLR

    but isn't replacing or repairing digital image censors time consuming & a hassle?

    technologically more complicated & complex D-cams oso seem 2 constantly need firmware upgrade... or m i wrong? (correct me, but dun shoot can? )

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