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Must replace aging F2s with a digital


Well-Known Member
<font color="ff0000">I would love to get a professional quality digital camera to replace my aging Nikon F2 cameras. However, I have yet to find one that meets my needs:

1. Accepts all older Nikon SLR lenses (I have 10 manual focus Nikon lenses from 18mm to 1000mm that I would like to continue to use)

<font color="000000">IIRC, current bodies will do so, but with considerable negative impact upon contemporary features.

<font color="ff0000">2. Does not change the focal length of the lens.

<font color="000000">Lovely idea, but Nikon appears to be committed to an APS sized sensor from here on in. If so, the 1.5x magnification factor is permanent - at least for the coming years. This means that you either buy lenses designed for these sensors - a good idea - or put up with the magnification factor.

It is a good idea, since film lenses are not optimum for use with CCD sensors. Nikon and Olympus have already begun a series of lenses optimized for digital use.

The alternative is the Kodak 14n which uses a full sized sensor, but appears to be a camera under continuous construction.

<font color="ff0000">3. Offers resolution equal to film (probably at least 12 mega pixels)

<font color="000000">The 11MP Canon 1Ds in tests of its prints against prints made from professional drum scans of 6x7 ISO100 chromes, was clearly superior.

These were "blind" tests where the viewer had no idea which print was which. Same subject from the same position in each case. This has been replicated by a number of testers.
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My 5MP shots compare very favorably with 35mm.

Going 12MP or above at this time, is only justified if you are in the commercial marketplace, and commonly print 20"x30" and above - or you are a very wealthy enthusiast.}

<font color="ff0000">4. Derives its power from standard-sized AA batteries (I would hate being stuck with an obsolete camera that relies on obsolete batteries)

<font color="000000">I agree with you on that. I have an auxiliary battery pack that uses six AA NiMH or any other AA cell. It also improves the balance and handling of the camera markedly.

<font color="ff0000">5. Has SLR type body

<font color="000000">I find the swing and swivel LCD vastly superior. I have an extensive Nikon 35mm system lying dormant until I sell it. A Bronica ETR system as well. I NEVER want to shoot with an SLR again if I don't have to. Of course, if you are doing nature or some sports, there may be an advantage.

<font color="ff0000">6. Body cost $600 or less (about the same price as a brand new Nikon FM-3A body)

<font color="000000">Wouldn't we all!!!

The Kodak 14n street price is around $3,900 and the Canon 1Ds is around $8,000 for body alone. Nothing else even approaches 12MP.

<font color="ff0000">7. Uses memory cards to store images instead of relying only on built-in memory

<font color="000000">Standard for most of the last decade except on entry level point-and-shoots.

<font color="ff0000">8. Uses a 35mm format image sensor (or even better a 36x36mm format instead of the 24x36mm format)

<font color="000000">The above mentioned cameras are the only two in a 35mm sized chassis that have a full sized sensor. To go larger, requires a medium format body with digital back like the new Hasselblad H1. It delivers 16MP, and has a 1.5x magnification factor relative to the film backs.

It produces image files from 48MB to 128MB. Processing the images therefore demands powerful CPUs and huge amounts of RAM. The same is true of the 14n and 1Ds, though file sizes are proportionatly smaller.

<font color="ff0000">9. Has a “What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get†viewfinder

<font color="000000">SLRs still use the century-old optical viewfinder, that has seen no improvement for nearly a half-century with the introduction of the pentaprism. The mirror and shutter block the sensor, so you only have "What you see is what you got".

Only pro-sumer cameras such as mine actually show the image as processed by the camera PRIOR to exposure. I find this vastly superior and it shows in my pictures.

While I would be willing to use an SLR for commercial work, I will never again use one for personal work. For me, the optical viewing system of an SLR is the deal-breaker.

<font color="ff0000">10. Has the ability to store images in the JPEG format

<font color="000000">With the exception of the Sigma, this is standard across the industry. My camera gives me three levels of JPEG compression, TIFF and RAW.

<font color="ff0000">11. Has a hot shoe and/or PC flash connection for standard flash units.

<font color="000000">The hot shoe is pretty much standard as well. My camera has a built in flash which works fine for fill-flash and a hot shoe that will handle most recent units. However, for greatest integration of features one gets the most for the money with dedicated units.

<font color="ff0000">12. No delay when shutter is pressed

Nikon D2H is faster than any film camera. My CP5000 can be optimized for minimal delay, and I have shot high-power rocket launches and sports with it, having no problems nailing the peak of action.

<font color="ff0000">13. Ability to shoot at least 2.5 images per second

<font color="000000">My CP5000 has a choice of 1.5 or 3 shots per second. The above mentioned D2H has 8 shots per second, with a buffer large enough to handle 40 full resolution shots - more shots than on a roll of 35mm.

<font color="ff0000"> Your ideas, suggestions, and comments are welcomed.

<font color="000000">With your price point you have totally unrealistic expectations. However, you are also underestimating the quality of digital images. Yes, it is good to have as many pixels as possible. However, an 8x10 portrait print off a 1024 x 768 pixel image hangs on her wall, and is treasured. The quality is remarkable considering how low the resolution was.