View Full Version : Digital Camera
10-23-2003, 08:59 AM
I want to buy a digital camera for my husband for his birthday or Christmas (haven't decided which...they're close together anyway). Any suggestions? He'll use it mainly for emailing pictures of our son, but he also builds model ships and will need something that will show fine details of his ships clearly. Thanks in advance!
10-23-2003, 09:05 AM
Optical not digital zoom.
10-23-2003, 10:15 AM
I love my Olympus 750uz. It has a nice "super macro" mode that your hubby can use to show very fine details up close. Also has 10x optical zoomage. The 740uz is almost identical, but with 3MP resolution instead of the 750's 4MP.
10-23-2003, 10:22 AM
10-23-2003, 01:06 PM
I've been researching this subject quite a lot recently.
First, note there are some really good online resources, especially www.DCResource.com and www.DPReview.com. Others include CNET, mentioned above, and Steve's Digicams.
Consumer Reports November issue just had a review of digital cameras, but it appears dated - the cameras are all about a year old. Still, they give some good advice - e.g. visit a camera store and try it out first.
The best choice is a function of your budget and your preferences. In the $400 range (my budget) for somebody who mostly wants point-and-shoot but with some ability to grow into (i.e. fool around with) manual settings, all the sites seem to point to the same top choice however - the Canon A80.
10-23-2003, 03:41 PM
Biggest disappointment with my digital camera is with action shooting. On my old SLR 35 mm camera, when you pushed the button, it took a picture. On the digital, when you push the button, it takes the picture a moment later. If I push the button as my daughter leaves the diving board, I get a picture of her feet sticking out of the water!
Mine is ancient by modern standards (a 2 mega pixel Kodak DC ??00) but it is my understanding that the problem persists. If you want to take sports or action shots, ask specifically about the delay. If you go to a store to check them out, take a friend. Have the friend walk slowly past a fixed object, say a display case, and snap a picture as they pass a fixed point. Look at the picture to see how far they moved before the picture was actually taken.
In case you didn't hear glenn when he said it, digital zoom is useless. You want optical.
10-23-2003, 07:58 PM
Thanks for all of the input. I've narrowed it down to the Canon A80 or the Canon S400. I'm leaning toward the S400. However, there seems to be an issue with it not having manual controls. Do I care? Will it make a difference to an amateur photographer?
10-23-2003, 09:06 PM
Assume for a moment that it had manual controls for everything.
Would you know what to do with them, or would you set them all to "automatic" and go out and take pictures? My bet is that you need very little manual control over the camera, and won't use whatever control you are given. But that's just me. YMMV.
10-24-2003, 01:43 PM
Many digitals require you to push the button half-way to focus, then all the way to take the picture. Once it's focused, taking the picture is normally very quick. If you try to take the picture without focusing, it takes a moment to focus and the picture is delayed.
You should be able to take fine action shots by pre-focusing and then taking the picture at the right time. You do have to anticipate where the action is going to occur.
10-26-2003, 10:49 PM
I just bought a Canon S50 about 2 weeks ago and I love it. Couldn't justify the costs to go with the Digital Rebel. Thought about the Canon G5, but the S50 does basically the same things in a smaller form camera.
Regarding usnig a digital camera for action shots, assuming you have a rough idea when you are going to want an action photo, on most cameras you can depress the button half way to get the autofocus and whatnot set then the rest of the way for the actual shot. At that point, it is basically the same speed as a traditional SLR. A little more hassle, but it gets the job done.
Another feature that some cameras have (I've yet to try this out) is continuous mode where it will shoot off several frames as fast as it can.
Look for standard batteries. You can get good rechargable ones and run it cheap, but in a pinch you can get new disposable batteries whereever you happen to be. And down the road, rechargables fail. If you have a proprietary battery, you may need to get a new camera from battery failure, even if everything else about it is great. Not an issue with standard AA or AAA batteries.
10-29-2003, 02:37 PM
Just got the brand new Olympus model, to replace our other Olympus -- sorry don't recall the model #. It's in the $400-450 range before you start to accesorize. Does good work on macro zooming, there are optical vs digital zoom settings, super-high quality photos with the option of taking less size intensive ones. (most cameras will do that stuff, but this one is pretty easy to use)
Uses a LiON battery (caps wrong? Lithium Ion, I think). Rechargable and I'd almost prefer it used AAs, but the charge lasts a real long time and the batteries aren't specific to cameras so it could be replaced later - I bought a spare, for when we lose the charge and don't want to stop taking photos.
I'm not sure there's a real big difference between any of them, as long as you get the memory, pixel, and zoom features that meet your own particular needs. But I do like the Olympus models.
10-30-2003, 01:34 PM
Many digitals require you to push the button half-way to focus, then all the way to take the picture. Once it's focused, taking the picture is normally very quick.
Not for all models. Some camera's - especially but not exclusively the cheaper ones - have quite significant "shutter lag" even with prefocusing. That was one of the main things I wanted to avoid when I picked a camera. It's sometimes posted in reviews, but try-before-you-buy is the best way to find out if a given camera lags long enough to bother you.
See this article (http://www.dpreview.com/learn/Glossary/Camera_System/Lag_Time_01.htm) from dpreview for more.
However your camera works, prefocusing is a Good Thing if you want to catch just the right moment.
On batteries: My Oly 750uz (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Olympus/oly_c750uz.asp) uses either 4 AAs or 2 funky batteries that look like AAs stuck together side-by-each (as we say here in RI). I use rechargable AAs, but it's nice to be able to throw a pack of cheap regular AAs in the case as backup, and to know that, should I be on vacation and my rechargables fail, it will be easy to find replacements to keep me going until I get home.
11-07-2003, 03:39 PM
Thanks for all of the input. I intended to get the Canon S400, but ended up getting a Kodak DX6490. It has a more powerful flash and better zoom capability (10X optical) than the S400, which are good for my husband's model ship building. It also has manual as well as automatic controls. The only downside is that it's not "pocket-sized"...it is small but you can't just drop it in your pocket. The price was slightly higher than the S400 at Circuit City ($500 vs. $450), but I was able to get it on Amazon.com for about $460.
The day after I bought it, I saw the S400 in Forbes magazine as one of their 9 best gadgets. Oh well. Hubby seems to be happy with the Kodak.
06-02-2004, 06:16 PM
I have another question about digital cameras. Several cameras on the market have a built-in image stabilizer. This is a nice feature, yet it's expensive and I am wondering if it's worth the money.
I know that stabilizer is useful at high zoom settings and also indoors when shutter speed is slow. Basically, you can shoot without a tripod and have no blurred images.
I am trying to decide between Canon S50 and Canon S1 IS. They are about the same price but S1 IS has an image stabilizer and a considerably lower resolution of 3.2 megapixels. I can't decide if I want to trade off a higher resolution of S50 for and image stabilizer in S1 IS.
Do you guys have an opinion on usefulness of an image stabilizer in a digital camera? Is blurring a big problem indoors?
Pseudolus, I saw your bug pictures and they look very sharp! You mentioned that you're using Olympus C-750uz. How significant is blurring from hand shaking on Olympus? Do you use tripod with zoom?
Thanks for any input!
06-02-2004, 08:34 PM
A great add on, well worth the money. My wife jumps around a lot and I'm shaking with excitement as I'm taking the pictures, so it helps. The digital camera's also great because you don't have to take the pics to Walmart to get developed. Though you can if you want to see the look on the clerk's face when you pick them up.
06-02-2004, 08:35 PM
Who let sparky out?
06-03-2004, 10:16 AM
Yngwie (if that is your real name) -
I've never used a stabilized lens or camera, but I do covet them. One of the great things about a digital camera is that you can adjust the "film speed" for each image. In bright light, I have no problem holding the camera steady enough for a sharp picture at an ISO of 50 or 100. In dim light I sometimes have to crank that up to 400. The trade-off is that there's more digital noise in the image, actually quite similar to the graininess seen in higher-speed films. I rarely use tripods for my bug work, since the time between spotting the bug and the bug flying/hopping/crawling away is only a few seconds.
The MP difference between your two choices is substantial. Check out this chart (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=getpage.jsp&A=getpage&Q=Product_Resources/resolution_chart.jsp). According to this (and B&H is quite trustworthy), a 3 MP image can be printed photo quality up to 5x7 size, while a 5 MP image is photo quality up to 8x10, and still "excellent" at 11x14. Even if you don't think you'll want prints this big, keep in mind that more MP means that you'll be able to crop and blow up smaller portions of your original image and still have something decent to hang on the wall.
Looking at the specs of your two options (here (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons50/page2.asp) and here (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/canons1is/), I see that they are really two very different cameras. The S50 has a relatively small 3x zoom range - 35mm to 105mm, similar to a lot of pocket film "zoom" cameras. The S1 IS has a very large 10x zoom - 38mm to 380mm, same as my Oly 750uz. I think what you should be asking yourself is "do I need that large of a zoom range?". If you'll be using the camera for sports, or nature, or other things where you'll often be working at the 300+ mm side of things, then the S1 could be right for you. If you'll be taking mostly family portraits or general scenics, then the big lens of the S1 won't matter to you much, and you'd be better off with the extra MP of the S50.
I don't think you'll often miss IS on the S50, since its rarely necessary in the zoom range that the S50 features. At the high end of the S1's range, though, the IS would be very nice to have. Make your decision on the lens.
06-03-2004, 11:19 AM
Here's another, very scary way to go:Hacking Canonís Digital Rebel to make it into an EOS 10D
Posted Jun 2, 2004, 10:42 AM ET by Peter Rojas Related entries: Digital Cameras
Apart from few small differences in the software and body, the Digital Rebel, Canonís entry-level digital SLR, and the EOS 10D, their professional digital SLR, are basically the same camera. Itís just that the EOS 10D costs five hundred bucks more. So are hacking the firmware on their Digital Rebels so that they can get access to all of the special features that are disabled on the camera that arenít on the EOS 10D. Which has got to annoy Canon.
06-03-2004, 11:33 AM
Saw that on slashdot. Seems that the low end hacked version may be even better than the high end version.
12-10-2004, 02:58 PM
Don't buy HP digital cameras. They go through batteries like Madonna goes through lovers.
12-10-2004, 04:11 PM
The Canon EOS-20D looks like the ultimate camera!! Perhaps soon enough I can have one... :wink:
12-11-2004, 11:32 AM
Whatever you do, don't get a $15 digital camera (my dad did that). The manufacturers of those pieces of junk use the lowest quality parts, low-quality software development, and take lousy motion pictures - all with no flashbulb. The best feature of that little piece of junk is the fact you can take a 10 second AVI "movie" at 320x240 before the whole thing runs out of memory.
The worst part of the camera is that it takes the photo in real-time - meaning it scans along the CCD array at whatever sluggish rate it chooses rather than getting all the data at once. So, all movement gets sheared, cropped, and blurred at the same time - making those 10 second movies entertaining only because they allow people to make fun of how junky the camera really is.
Now if you'll excuse me...I have some low budget, 10 second movies I've been wanting to make :D
12-12-2004, 04:50 PM
Does anyone own or can comment on a Nikkon? I am thinking about the Nikkon Coolpix 5200. I have read good things about Nikkons, however I didn't see them mentioned in the discussion above.
12-13-2004, 08:29 AM
I highly recommend the reviews at Digital Photography Review (http://www.dpreview.com/)
12-13-2004, 03:44 PM
I have a friend who loves the Nikon CoolPix line of cameras.
Be warned, they tend to be quite complex. It takes a LONG time (about 6 months) to learn how to use all the features!
05-14-2007, 07:07 PM
See this article (http://www.dpreview.com/learn/Glossary/Camera_System/Lag_Time_01.htm) from dpreview for more.
DPReview bought by Amazon.
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