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Cameras/ Photography
I agree Bri about a cell phone camera being a best option for some of us.

When I first began my travels and realized that my hubby wouldn't be traveling with me.  I realized that I'd be missing the experience of seeing and appreciating natural wonders with him.  That was and continues to be a big reason I take pictures and blog my travels.

As smart phone cameras have gotten better, I've tried to get the best I can afford when I'm ready to upgrade every couple of years.  I just upgraded to a 8 MP w/flash on a Samsung Galaxy S II.

Now, when I see something that catches my interest or is beautiful or an amazing natural form, one of my first reactions is to think about how or if I could capture it on my phone's camera, the lighting and possible composition.  It's an interesting observation about myself and how I've come to experience the sharing of nature.

Every once in a while I think about getting a "real" camera.  But I suspect that, given my perfectionist tendencies, having a sophisticated camera would change my focus toward taking a great photograph vs. sharing a wonderful experience.

Just some picture taking ponderings ...

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Look into DIGISCOPING. Basically taking pictures through a spotting
scope. Many in the bird photography field are doing this to get amazing quality long distance photos.
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By the way, this reminds me of a saying in photography circles: "What is the best camera you can have?"  Answer: The camera you have with you!

So for me personally, the "best" camera for me much of the time is my cell phone camera.  Why? Cuz it's the one in my pocket every waking moment of the day!  Haha! 

Cell phone camera techology is amazing nowadays.  My new Samsung Note 2 smartphone can shoot high quality resolution at 8MP with built-in flash.  Plus on certain high end smartphones, including the one I have, the phone can rapid fire at 6 frames per second!  It's like a machine gun!  Couple this with the fact that high end smart phones can also shoot video at 1080 high-def resolution and it's no wonder many or most people simply shoot with their camera phone!  My last 2 Android phones (Motorola Razr Maxx, and HTC Thunderbolt) could also shoot high res images. 

The real clincher for many people is that you can use your cell phone to quickly upload a picture to any number of mediums such as Facebook, Flickr, email and text mesage attachments, etc.  I'm also using a huge 64GB Sandisk Ultra micro-SD card inside my cell phone to hold all the many pictures and videos, and various other stuff.

I can still remember several years ago, prior to the first iPhone debut, when I was using 3 generations of Palm Treo smartphones that only had 0.03MP of camera resolution.  That's 0.03 as in 1/3rd of 1MP !!  The resolution quality was soooooooo low as to be a joke!  Video quality was equally comical !!  Wow, camera quality has really come a long way in cell phones!  I can't wait for 13+ MP for future smartphones!

That is why my "real" camera gear lives in my closet much of the time.  That gear only comes out when "real" work needs to be done, such as paid gigs for photography events where I need the absolute best at my disposal.

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Another thing I would like to add is that many, many people go out...drop a load of money on a DSLR, lenses and other gadgets yet take crappy pictures because they don't know how to use their equipment. Then you have people that actually take the time to learn their camera's functions, even $100 cameras, and still get good photos.
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LucidPhotographer Wrote:Another thing I would like to add is that many, many people go out...drop a load of money on a DSLR, lenses and other gadgets yet take crappy pictures because they don't know how to use their equipment. Then you have people that actually take the time to learn their camera's functions, even $100 cameras, and still get good photos.

I can agree with that, I used to use a fairly inexpensive Konica Minolta camera with fairly decent results. Now I have a Nikon D700 with a 16-28mm Tokina and 28-300mm Nikkor lenses, still learning the ins and outs of all the functions. Some of the higher end pro quality DSLRs can get pretty complicated with all the features they offer, however if anyone is serious about photography it would be well worth the time and investment in the long run to get a better DSLR over a P&S. My hope is to eventually turn my passion for photography into a small business since it would be a way to make an income if even meager while living on the road.

Also want to point out, if seriously shopping for a DSLR do your research...prior to owning the Nikon D700 I had a Canon 40D, I changed systems because most of my photography is done outdoors from hiking trails, sometimes in less than ideal weather conditions. I constantly had a problem with dust and condensation on my camera's sensor and in my Canon lens especially when out in humid or damp areas like around waterfalls, not to mention lens creep was a huge issue as well. Nikon has a much more sturdier feel, superior weather sealing, and more solid construction to their camera bodies and Nikkor lenses. So far the Nikon has been more weather and dust resistant than the Canon I owned, this can be very important when shooting landscape and nature shots outdoors.
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It's easy to forget that some of the finest photos of the 20th Century were taken through fixed-focus Brownie Hawkeyes, big twin-lens reflex Minoltas, large negative press cameras, all in BW. 
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I'm just happy I was able to quit my addiction to constantly buying new and upgraded camera equipment.  There was a point in time years ago where I would just drop thousands and thousands on every new cool lens and bodies.  Since I had steady paid gigs at the time, I was able to rationalize all my purchase addictions, and was also able to write off much of this on my taxes.  But alas, my steady paid gigs dropped off to nearly zero with the advent of digital photography whereby everybody with a digital camera and computer instantly became a "professional".  I'm still using my Nikon D2x pro body along with a Nikon 28-70 f2.8 pro zoom lens as my primary lens.  Years ago I had many f2.8 fast zoom lenses and a bunch of fast primes too, but these were all sold off.  If I won the lottery today, I'd be tempted to buy the latest Nikon D4 pro body with a full sensor frame for shooting low light stuff at fast ISO levels with little noise/grain.  I'm also intrigued by today's technology that incorporates high-res video shooting into the DSLR bodies, I didn't have that feature years ago.  I have a friend who is a recently retired officer, and he's now gotten interested in photography.  It's funny to see how my retired friend has quickly developed an addiction for expensive upgrades.  He wasn't satisified with his Nikon D4 pro body and accessories, and also recently purchased a fully digital Hasselblad medium format camera including a Hassy digital zoom lens to go with it!  The price of the digital Hassy body and lens could easily buy a used high end RoadTrek van!  I'm sure glad I no longer have that spending addiction disease for buying new camera gear, it really racked up a lot of bills in the past!  Moral of the story on all this?  Take it easy, and spend slowly as the need arises.  With my 25+ years of photography skills, I can probably take a better picture of something with a $500 camera versus a newbie with a $5,000+ camera.  Actually, part of the fun is the journey, not the destination.  There came a time in the past when I was so busy shooting paid gigs every week that I was nearly burned out, and the fun of photography was nearly gone.  It got to the point that photography became just another paycheck for me, and was less of an art form and passion that it once was.  That was a shame actually.  Anyway, I still take pictures nowadays for simple enjoyment mostly.  I can still appreciate a picture that is well shot both artistically and technically, whether or not Photoshop was used.  Photoshop in itself requires a lot of skill in order to make a picture look enhanced and improved, but not fake.  When I was busy shooting photo gigs in the past, I spent literally dozens and dozens of hours per week behind the computer having to edit out bad frames, renumbering frames and organizing folders and backups, plus retouching images so that women look 10 years younger and 10 pounds lighter!  Women always liked the final results from my own experience, haha!  I was going blind staring at a computer monitor manipulating thousands of images every week.  I don't miss that!  Anyway, please excuse my ramblings of a former life.
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I am still using film cameras, I just bought a canon AE 1 Program 35mm SLR used for $200 with 50mm and 35-75mm zoom.

The camera that I really love to shoot with is a Mamiyaflex  twin lens reflex, it is about 40 years old and still works I plan on using this camera as long as it keeps on going. Digital cameras in medium format cost way too much $$$.

I have looked at the digital cameras there are so many that it is hard to chose one! But I have finally come to the conclusion that a hi end point and shoot is the way to go. These offer automatic and manual exposure control and have built in zoom lens so you don't have to spend a few thousand $ on lenses. I have considered the Nikon P7700 and for lot of zoom Nikon P520 Both of these cameras are about $450 much cheaper than a DSLR and the lenses that you would have to buy to get all that zoom power!

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Will the old Canon lenses fit on the new digital bodies? The Nikon digitals accept the oldest Nikon lenses, although the automatic functions don't always work. I too the 50mm lens off an old Nikon EM and it function fine on the D200 in manual mode. So when I moved to DSLR I didn't have to replace lenses.
"It's always darkest just before lightning scares the crap out of you."
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Quote:Will the old Canon lenses fit on the new digital bodies?

I'm new to canon however I don't think they do it my depend on the type of lens it is. All I know at this point I have to find canon fd lenses to fit the canon AE 1.

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