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Cheapest Digital Camera with Manual settings?
Old 01-10-2005, 09:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi all, with all the debate about DSLR's etc, it has made me wonder whether I should get one for "just messing around in the studio". I don't need it for commercial work, so as long as the image looks good on a computer screen, I'll be happy - I'm sure my mannequin I use for the lighing tests won't care. When I get something I like, I'll shoot it with a real model and a real camera [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

At the moment I use a Mamiya RB67 system with almost all the lenses and backs etc Mamiya ever made and I have 3 Minolta cameras, and enough lenses, flashes, cables etc to satify my needs for the forseable future. I am quite happy shooting film, and whilst the Minolta DSLR looks good, the "system" would set me back around $3000 AUD, and at this moment in time, that is not worth it - I would rather buy a better scanner for scanning the MF slides.

I am looking for a cheap, but reasonably nice camera that can be put onto full manual everything so I can use it in the studio for experimenting with lighting etc. I need something with either a hotshoe or PC sync for the strobes (either should work with my Chinese radio trigger).

What choice do I have in regards a "point and shoot" ( as only the Minolta DSLR would work with my exisiting lenses).

My "needs" list is as follows.

Must have:
Full manual control
Hotshoe or PC-sync to connect to flash trigger.
Cheap as possible (say less than $300-400AUD for everything)

Nice to have:

Cheap memory cards
No special batteries ( I have plenty of AA rechargables)

Luxuries
Long Optical Zoom
Fast frame rate
More Megapixels
Higher ISO
Work with other Minolta stuff like remotes and flashes

Anyone have some sugestions what to look at - Only one I have seen is the Minolta Z1 on DPreview, but not sure if it has full manual control.

Thanks

Iain





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Re: Cheapest Digital Camera with Manual settings?
Old 01-10-2005, 10:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA, excuse me, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
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Re: Cheapest Digital Camera with Manual settings?
Old 01-10-2005, 11:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I thought this was called a Polaroid!
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Re: Cheapest Digital Camera with Manual settings?
Old 01-11-2005, 12:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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David, got a polaroid back for the Mamiya, and I use it for the real shoots. I'm looking for something that has close to zero running costs when messing around. Polaroid film which costs $30/per 10 shots here, and if I'm playing around with the effects of different lighting, I can easilly go through 30-60 shots on a weekend, so I've been using 35mm slide film, but I would like to get some "instant" results.
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Re: Cheapest Digital Camera with Manual settings?
Old 01-11-2005, 02:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That would be the Canon PowerShot A85 or A95. You get full manual controls over everything, even 3 different metering options which not even the Digital Rebel features. I have the A75 and its really great but the 85 (4 MP) and 95 (5 MP) are even better and image quality on all is excellent. I would put up the extra $60 and get the A95 for $350, you gte more MPs plus and flip out and rotating LCD. You can find very detailed reviews here:

A85

A95

If you are too lazy to read all that info, here is the conclusion of the review.

Offering a complete range of auto and manual exposure controls, the Canon PowerShot A95 is perfect for novice users and experienced amateurs alike. The full automatic controls keep things simple for novices, while offering the opportunity to gradually step up to more control. Plus, the range of preset exposure modes ensures that less-experienced photographers will get good pictures in difficult shooting situations. The 5.0-megapixel CCD captures high quality images, quite suitable for printing as large as 11x17-inches, or 8x10 with heavy cropping while maintaining very good detail. The compact design should fit well into a larger coat pocket or purse, and the lens design protects it when closed, while keeping the camera body smooth and low-profile. In addition to the range of exposure controls, a menu of creative effects makes the Canon A95 fun too. Like the A70 before it, the A95 is marketed and priced as an "entry level" camera, but its features and capabilities extend far beyond that category. If you're looking for an inexpensive camera that you can grow with (and that shoots excellent photos as well), the Canon A95 could be the camera for you.

The PowerShot A95 is one of the few digital cameras that just seem to get everything right, with very few weaknesses. In virtually all respects (color, resolution, image noise), its images are good to excellent, and its range of features and capabilities is hard to beat for the price. Its 5-megapixel CCD and good-quality lens deliver sharp images with good color and little distortion. At the same time, it manages to make just the right tradeoff between image noise and sharpness, delivering plenty of the latter, with very little of the former. (A difficult balance for any camera, and one that many models get wrong.) Its combination of automatic and manual features make it very approachable for novices, but interesting for experienced users, the net result being a camera that will satisfy a broad range of interests and provide a good path for novice users to expand their photographic horizons as their experience grows. Other features like its excellent battery life and nifty tilt/swivel LCD are added bonuses. Bottom line, if you're looking for a great "all around" digicam for either individual or family, the Canon PowerShot A95 deserves serious consideration.
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Re: Cheapest Digital Camera with Manual settings?
Old 01-11-2005, 03:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Doesn't look like the powershots have a pc or hotshoe, so all of those are out. I would suggest trying to fond a used Sony 717. I shot some in studio with it before I upgraded and it works fine with a hotshoe adapter.

Chris
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Re: Cheapest Digital Camera with Manual settings?
Old 01-11-2005, 08:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have to agree...for $300 to $400 and anything even close to what you need you can get.... get nuffin
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Re: Cheapest Digital Camera with Manual settings?
Old 01-11-2005, 10:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Some quick thoughts without breaking the bank are the Fuji S7000

*Hot Shoe*

KODAK EasyShare DX7590 *PC Socket, on a personal note, worked well when I had a DC4800 back in the day with PC*


And for other hot shoes cameras of note, check if you can find a Sony Cybershot 717, they were decent (sold out discontinued here) and also some Konica Minolta's have "Minolta Hot Shoe's" which pretty much means your diving into minolta accessories.

Some food for thought

Glorified Unique Photo Counterboy


*When I played digital point and shoots (Kodak 4800)*
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Re: Cheapest Digital Camera with Manual settings?
Old 01-11-2005, 11:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have been researching and reading reviews on cameras for awhile now since I wanted a new one. The Fuji S7000 gets terrible reviews for its image quality and high noise levels and that Kodak only has limited manual controls. If you absolutley need a Hotshoe, you need to go with one of these "prosumer" cameras and you will pay more like $400-$500. The 2 best cameras in this market according to professional and user reviews is the Minolta A1 which you can pick up between $500-$600 and the Olympus Camedia C-5060 Wide which is between $400-$500, both have more manual controls than you will ever need and get very good reviews. The Minolta has an "anti-shake" feature which gets rave reviews for making sure you never get blurry pics in low light ever again. Not to mention its incredible 7x zoom lens which gives you a 28-200mm range. Here is a link to each.


Minolta A1

Olympus 5060
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Re: Cheapest Digital Camera with Manual settings?
Old 01-11-2005, 12:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've got an old Canon G3 that has manual control and a hot shoe. It'll even shoot in RAW format. It's a good little camera, but the viewfinder sucks (the lens blocks part of the view). The "G" series might still be worth considering though.
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