SLR or Rangefinder
I find myself in the rare and fortunate position of a small cash windfall and would like to buy a really nice camera. I've narrowed it down to these 2 machines. The Konica Hexar AF and the Nikonf4s. I realize these are two different types of camera so here is what I will be shooting. Family social gatherings, like parties, camping trips amusement parks and fairs. Travel phorography, candid shots just walking around town. I may also want to snap off a few quick shots of birds and chipmunks and the bird feeder or any wildlife that may wander through the backyard. While I've been shooting a while I am still an amature and do not plan on earning any money from photography,but may enter a contest or two. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.
If you really want to do any bird/wildlife photography, go SLR. Longer lenses, quick AF.
For the family-type stuff, the Hexar (especially the one with the stealth mode) might be smaller and lighter.
Either camera will meet your needs. However, for travel photography and candid shots while walking around town, the smaller and lighter weight Konica is better. Not only is the Nikon F4 a bigger and heavier camera, it is not at all inconspicuous.
For birds, chipmunks, and other animal wildlife, the Nikon F4 with a 300mm or longer telephoto lens is the better choice.
The Hexar AF, not RF ?
If you're looking at the AF, then it is a perfect compliment to the F4.
My good pal, and fellow Apug-er, has some info on both at his site:
The Hexar might be the very camera to grab when you have 5 minutes to pack for that surprise round-the-world trip. It is just superb.
The F4 is a very, very good AF camera and a wonderful Manual focus camera.
Great stuff: good luck.
I'd go with an SLR for nature shots, ... as you will probably want to use longer lenses (>135mm).
I'd also buy a fixed lens rangefinder for the low light shooting. Nothing to expensive. There are some excellent cameras that can be found for $50 and less.
If you want to shoot wildlife and birds, an SLR and big glass is almost a must, my two main lenses for this type of work are AF 300 f/2.8 and 600mm f/4, birds, depending on species are difficult at best, for other work, I keep a small rangefinder in the car with me, that still has a moderate zoom on it, which seems to work out quite well.
I like the versitility of the SLR but the cost of the glass might be brutal on my budget. Can you take a photo made with the Hexar on a film like Kodak Porta or Fuji NPH and blow it up to see smaller details?
Both Protra and NPH are pretty fine grained films and do pretty well up to 16x20, I use NPH for my wedding work and quite often go to 16x20 with no problems, but of course I am dealing with frame filling images of people, so they are designed to be viewed from a certain distance, if shooting birds, you might be pushing the envelope to get some of the smaller birds large enough to see clearly, but you would have to do some experimentation to see what works for you.
Since you're shooting 35mm RF now, SLR and tele will expand your field.
Thanks to all for the great input. I will probably go with the Hexar AF just for the simplicity of not having to worry about which lens to use and because it is so quiet. I do know when my next opportunity comes along a F4 or F5 will be in my future. Thanks again for the advice.