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from prosumer to DSLR


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ktchow1 Registered since 15th Mar 2004
Mon 15-Mar-04 12:17 PM

I m now a new user of DSLR, upgraded from prosumer sony 707 to nikon D70. However I find some difficulties in using DSLR, as if I need to learn photography from the beginning again. The main difficulties are : (1) focusing (2) exposure and (3) focal length. Thank you very much for your reading. My skill needed to be improved and I sincerely ask for your help. Thank you for your patience and generosity to help.

(1) Focusing
Although most D70 users appreciate the fast and accurate focusing in D70, I found that it is poorer than prosumer like 707. I guess this may be because of my poor skills in handling DSLR. My 707 can focus accurately even under dim condition, it can focus on low contrast object and object that hides inside complex environment, like these :

However when i m using "auto focus single shot" mode in D70, the camera cannot focus on a plain white wall, it cannot focus the plain blue sky (my sony can easily detect "infinity"). I need to find high contrast object in one of the five focusing regions. Focusing fails when my composition do not contain high contrast objects in these regions. Furthermore, the right and left focusing region require strong contrast horizontal edge, a vertical edge cannot help. While the top and bottom focusing region require a vertical edge. What happen if there are only horizontal edges in the top region of my composition ? Do I rely on too much on the ease of focusing in prosumer DC ? If Yes, what should i do to improve my focusing skills in D70 and other SLR ?

(2) Exposure
My old sony 707 can achieve a large aperture F2.0 at 38mm and F2.4 at 190mm !! Although most people say that the aperture in prosumer DC isnt comparable to the aperture in DSLR in terms of "narrow depth of field", i find that the exposure of DC is similar to that in DSLR when using the same shutter speed and aperture (under the same ISO). The lens that goes with D70 is 18mm - 70mm f3.5 - f.4.5, which has an aperture far smaller than my sony 707, which means the shutter speed will be slower in D70 than in 707, when the largest aperture is used for both camera. Under dim condition like cloudy evening, indoor with enough lighting, i can shoot with hand held using my 707 (at f2.0), which is impossible for my D70. Does it mean that tripod is necessary in cloudy days for D70 ? One of the reason that i like my 707 is that i can perform "available light photography", i can shoot even under dim condition without using tripod, this is very convenient. However for my D70, tripod is needed even in cloudy daytime.

(3) Focal length
Some people may suggested that a large aperture lens with fixed focal length can help. Yes, i bought a 50mm f1.4, and i can only afford that. However i need to buy more and more until my D70 can cover "F2.0 at 38mm and F2.4 at 190mm" which is achieved by my sony 707 without changing lens. When I can focus on objects 2cm away from the camera using D70, i need extension tube or other macro lens. In my 707, i can do that by pressing a "macro" button !!! Is the lens in 707 too powerful ? Or ...... do I rely on toy-liked 707 too much ?

I have been using D70 for 1 week. It is excellent in low noise image (comparing with 707, because of the large and better CCD) at the expense of not-easy-to-use, higher cost, relatively difficult focusing and longer exposure (unless you spend more to buy large aperture lens). As most people like to upgrade to DSLR, I have such a strange feeling. I guess there should be something wrong in my concept about photograghy, and perhaps i havent yet understood the advantages of DSLR. Would anyone tell me what should i do to improve ?

thank you very much.