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The South Bay Photography Meetup Group Message Board › Name a GOOD digital SLR & "why?"

Name a GOOD digital SLR & "why?"

A former member
Post #: 3
My stepfather is looking into buying a digital camera. He will be taking pictures @ my wedding next April. We discussed the advantages of SLR/film vs Digital. My concern about digital is the "shutter" delay. Every digital camera I have used basically sux as far as action shots are concerned. Peoples' expressions, animals' actions, etc are long gone by the time the camera has captured the picture.

Does anyone have any favorites as far as "fast" digital cameras are concerned?

T. ->
user 2410284
San Jose, CA
Post #: 3
Good Question! (and Congrads on the upcoming wedding!)

Hmm.. I think we started to even talk about this last Saturday at one point.. (it's been a long day today however)

I tend to keep my Rebel 'fired up' in hand by keeping one finger on the shutter button. Something with a pure manual setting might help nix some of the intial lag as well once you have your general light readings? Or take a CF card with you to a store and take some test shots?

I do like the rapid fire option on my rebel (series of 4), however, you are talking about the 'intial' firing time. I'm curious if DPReview may have some interesting comparision data.
Group Organizer
San Jose, CA
Post #: 6
Couple of thoughts; Congrads on the up coming wedding. It is too important to goof up. I would recomend a pro photographer if possible in addition to friends and relatives. Second, if you step dad is use to SLRs There are good SLRs out there from both Canon and Nikon (and probably others besides) that have no noticable shutter lag, and only the barest of autofocus lag (well under a second ~.2). The Canon 20D shoots 6 frames if you want action shots, and is easily configured into a point and shoot mode (as is I believe the Nikon).

Why digital- The start of the religious wars--
For me, I switched to digital for several reasons
a) I found that the fast turn around time on pics (LCD viewer & my own printing) has let to a much faster improvement in my pics
b) I can take a LOT of pics and it costs me almost nothing. Lots of pics lets me try things without having to ration film
c) It only costs disk storage space (plus printing if I want a print)

I would second Dawn's comment about checking DPReviewsmile
A former member
Post #: 4
i had the fortune to borrow a NIKON D2x from my workplace and these are the best digital SLR'z on the market if you ask me!­

this camera has a fully programmable shutter speed function and can take up to something like 8fps. and it is designed to operate in the exact same way as the 35mm SLR'z so if you know your way around a 35 then its a snap.
the "digital lag" you speak of is all about the processors if you ask me. every day these little guys across the board are getting smaller and faster and its only a crows fly until we see them getting faster even on the cheaper consumer models. great example is my palm treo 650 camera phone with a 312 mhz pentium, almost doubled over the 600 model that had a 144 TI. unfortunately for now we gotta pay to play tho. the camera we had at work was gold to the grills and i heard something around $10,000 for the setup we were using.

heres a little cut and paste action for you:
Unparalleled Speed

Professionals need their cameras to be as fast as they are. Therefore, similar to the blazing fast D2H, the D2X adopts a holistic approach to speed. The camera is ready to shoot the instant it is turned on and has an almost imperceptible 37ms shutter lag time, an astounding achievement at this resolution level. Using a new high-speed 4-channel output method, and improved speed of transferring image data from the image sensor to a memory card, the D2X is capable of shooting 5 frames per second at full 12.4 megapixel resolution for up to 21 JPEGs or 15 NEFs. The camera’s unique High Speed Cropped Image mode allows photographers to achieve an even higher continuous shooting rate of 8 frames per second by using a dual area sensor that records only 6.8 million pixels in the center of the sensor. While photographers are satisfied with 5 frames per second for most applications, this new mode gives them the duality of having the option to shoot at faster framing rates for specific situations, within one camera body.

its gonna be a white wedding 4 sure!biggrin
super grant
A former member
Post #: 4
The canon rebel is ~100ms, the 20D is ~65ms. Some people make a big deal out of shutter lag, but my experience is that anything around 100ms or less is good enough for everything except for sports. So in short, all the DSLR's are "good" by that metric. Lenses are another matter.

You might also ask this question in the wedding photography forum on

A former member
Post #: 5
Just a technical note - the only reasons for the shutter lag are to (1) flip up the mirror and (2) flush the imaging chip of ambient light it may have picked up since the last picture.

A former member
Post #: 1
Hi Tammy,

I strongly agree with the previous suggestion that you hire a pro photographer to insure you get the best possible shots of a once-in-a-lifetime event. It's not something to be done "on the cheap". Too many folks are very disappointed after they enlist family members to take wedding photos, relying only upon them.

Also, the family might want to participate in the wedding, not be tasked with taking pics. Certainly many will take snapshots, but that's a far cry from what a pro shooter will do.

It's *a lot* of work getting 75 or more top quality photos at a wedding, takes a lot of pre-planning, organization and preparation, plus a ton of pro-level gear like strobe lighting, light modifiers, high-power portable flashes, special filters and flash meters (not to mention double backups for everything, since weddings seem to be the one place a piece of camera equip. will inevitably fail).

And, a wedding is no place to be working with a new, unfamiliar camera.

Many modern digital cameras have solved the "shutter lag" problem. I've a few years experience with Canon digital, primarily. Certainly, their digital SLRs (Rebel, 10/20D, 1D/1Ds) are no concern in this respect. The G5/G6 compact digital all-in-one cameras also have no delays to speak of (plus the "shutter sound" on these can be turned down or off, if silence is important).

Alan Myers
John F.
San Jose, CA
Post #: 1
DSLRs basically have no shutter delay, or at least no more than a corresponding
film-based SLR. The annoying shutter delays on many point-and-shoot digitals
are caused by the auto-focus and auto-exposure calculations. A DSLR uses the
same circuitry as a similar film SLR from the same manufacturer, and responds
with no noticeable delay.

That being said; a wedding is no place to start learning a new camera - you
can't go back and re-shoot if the pictures don't turn out as well as you hope.
I'd add my voice to those suggesting you don't rely solely on your step-dad.

One last point; on most of the P&S cameras I've used you can work around
those irritating delays by half-pressing the shutter. That will cause the camera
to do all the exposure and focus calculations. Then, keeping the shutter half-
depressed, keep watching through the viewfinder until you want to take the
shot, whereupon pushing a little harder on the shutter button will capture the
moment you want, with no significant delay. Once you get used to this trick,
you can even roll off a burst of four or five shots in a couple of seconds by
keeping the shutter release half-depressed, and just easing it down a little
more for each exposure.
A former member
Post #: 4
A friend of mine recently asked me the same; his father wanted to get a digital camera.

Probably the main criterion is whether it needs to be a DSLR or rather a point-and-shoot model. The answer probably depends on personal experience, preferences, and intentions. Second, brand: is there already some gear (flashes, lenses, others..) to reuse? Third, price: if two models are technically comparable, is the price difference still justified? Fourth: extensibility: how much additional gear is available (lenses, etc.), and at what price? Next, goodies: is there a software package included which fits your needs? Does the camera use standard digital media (flash cards etc.) or do you need proprietary cards which are expensive or hard to get?

Usability, though, is (in my personal opinion) amongst the most important criteria: go to a large shop and "touch" the cameras you consider and feel which one you are most comfortable with. Some may be too heavy or too light, others may feel too clumsy or the controls may be too small for your hands, or not where you expect them. Do you have to move the camera away from your eye to handle the controls, e.g. in fully manual mode? Can you easily control aperture and exposure, or switch to manual focus, and back to fully automatic mode? If you plan rough field trips, do you have confidence that the camera will survive?

And then there's Digital Photography Review who provide tons of technical information about all the latest models, and publish detailed tests (for example regarding the shutter lag etc.).
A former member
Post #: 1
The only experience I have had with DSLRs is with the Canon Rebel XT smile and it has no shutter lag at all. The cost of the camera is not too steep and there are third party lenses available at tremendous savings (up to 90%) over Canon brand. These lenses probably will not focus as fast though. The battery lasts long, but I bought four knock-off batteries and a charger on eBay for less than the cost of one Canon brand battery. You will need a good flash (suggest 430EX with this camera) and probably some more lighting. This is an 8-megapixel that takes bursts at several frames per second (~3) for up to 8 photos. For a wedding shoot, you will also need a bunch of CompactFlash and extra AA batteries for the Speedlite 430EX. Perhaps you can try mine this weekend.

If you have the money, there are higher end Canons with even better performance.

Not a Nikon fan, I have had two NIkon's and both died within a week of purchase from software bugs where it overwrites its own bootrom. This lesson taught me not to buy a camera three days before a big vacation trip. One of these took over four months to get repaired. So, whatever you buy, buy it soon, get used to it and find any shortcomings or bugs early. (Nikon CP5000 and 3100)crying

My favorite wedding album is here

qbqbei wedding shoot in Hong Kongbiggrin

My sister-in-law had a wedding photoshoot here

wedding shoot in China

One more thing. One of my relatives had a friend amateur photographer take their wedding pictures. He used a film SLR and in the end, NONE of the pictures came out. My relative ended up asking for copies of any snapshots people had taken. I don't think there were many pictures and especially no good ones.
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