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Leigh wrote:
><a bunch of stuff>

...so I'm going to make only a few comments.

>Digicams ("point n'shoots) <snip> ... cannot shoot at higher
>film speeds without "noise" (digital grain) appearing because they have
>smaller CCD/CMOS light sensors.

Expect larger sensors over the course of the next year or so in both
digicams and DSLRs. Manufacturers have been working on improving the
sensors in medium format digitals (these are generally pro units where the
digital back alone can cost over $10K) in size, sensitivity, and
manufacturing yields, so the price has been dropping. The technology is
filtering down to the pro-sumer and general user level cameras.

>It will effortlessly create vibrant, noise free, spectacular photos right
>out of the camera
>with virtually no post-processing whatsoever, right up to 13x19 or even
>larger.

Unless you want to crop the image and still have a display size of 11x14 or
whatever. The limitations of 8MP become pretty apparent which is why pros
tend to use significantly higher resolution camera systems. 12MP is typical
entry level pro, with 16MP more common. [In this case pro meaning
landscape, advertising, formal portraiture, special events, sports and the
like as opposed to, say, a photo-journalist covering battles in Iraq.
Lightweight, simplicity, and ruggedness far outweigh resolution for the
latter.]


>A few weeks ago, some guy posted some "purported" Nikon D70 SLR photos on
>the Nikon
>forum in dpreview to many oohs and aahs before he revealed they were shot
>with the 8080.  Yes - this camera is that good.

Beware of what you see on a computer screen, a very low resolution output
medium. The 72dpi or 96dpi of a screen is far below even a cheaply produced
newspaper at 300dpi.

>If you go the DSLR route on the other hand, you will be spending not so much
>for the new bodies initially, but far, far more money buying the whole DSLR
>system once you factor in all the necessary accessory lenses, which are much
>pricier than the high quality wide angle and tele converter lenses I bought
>for the 8080.

The trade-off is that converter lenses reduce the "speed" (ie: increase the
minimum f-stop) of the lens system.

>My Oly is also built like tank - solid magnesium construction versus
>plastic for the Canon.  So
>much so it makes the Canon feel like a toy.

True of the Cannon EOS 10D. The new 20D uses a magnesium-alloy external
body and a stainless-steel internal chassis.

>... but the polarizer's effects cannot be duplicated in PhotoShop.

There are some third party plug-in filters for PS that now come pretty
close. See:
http://www.creativepro.com/story/review/14307-1.html
True, they're not fully "there" yet - while the Nik Color Efex Pro filter
can adjust the contrast and color of the sky the way a circular polarizer
can, it is unable to remove glare from reflective surfaces like water.

-marc

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