Not another Camera rec. thread - ;)

Discussion in 'Photography' started by MarkHastings, May 2, 2004.

  1. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Screenwriter

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    Right now, my choice would be the Canon PowerShot A80.

    I cite the following reasons:

    1. The camera is reasonably sized--small enough to be pocketable, but still large enough for comfortable hand-holding.

    2. The camera has been much-lauded for its excellent picture quality with its four-megapixel sensor.

    3. The swing-out LCD panel--though small--is great for compositing the shot before you take the picture.

    4. It uses commonly-available Compact Flash Type I cards. Why Olympus decided to support their semi-proprietary xD card standard instead of the SD card standard is beyond me. [​IMG]

    5. It uses four standard NiMH AA rechargeable batteries, so if you need replacements you can buy them at many stores. This is NOT the case with many smaller digital cameras that uses proprietary rechargeable batteries.

    Canon just reduced the price of the PowerShot A80 lately and you might be able to get one somewhere in the US$355-US$375 range mail order.
     
  2. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Ray, I was all set to go out and get the Canon A80, but a lot of user reviews on CNET.com made me a bit cautious. They kept talking about it taking "soft" pictures. But I guess I should know better than to listen to 'user' reviews. The professional reviews give it good marks, which is probably where it counts.

    But I did like the flip out LCD screen (which can flip back for protection against scratches) and the fact that it's a 4Mp and under $400.
     
  3. Lars Larsen

    Lars Larsen Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you looked at the Konica-Minolta DiMAGE Z2?

    It's an awesome 4mp camera. It features 10x(!!!) optical zoom (38-380 mm equiv. 35mm analog film), and it records live video and sound at 640x480@30fps, with length of clip only limited by the size of the flash card.

    I'm also in the process of buying a new camera, and the above is definitly the leading candidate in my book so far!
     
  4. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    So I assume Nikon would also be a good choice (name wise)?

    The Nikon Coolpix 5700 seems like a contender as well. Although, that's getting into the $800 range.
     
  5. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Nikon is second on his list. I believe he said that Canon generally takes sharper pictures than Nikon.
     
  6. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I'm 95 percent sure I'll be replacing my A60 with the S1 since for me the 10X optical zoom with stablization is the biggest feature missing from my much loved A60 I presently use. If the S1 takes photo's as nicely as my A60 does now I know I'll be very impressed
     
  7. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    I have a Canon G5 and very much pleased with it. Posts about the "dreaded" CA is true yet it isn't that much of an issue for me. Would u blow up a picture every single time looking for purple fringing? And I mean u have to zoom in to see it most of the time.
    I have tired a Nikon 5700 for a few weeks and their "hidden" menu killed it for me. U couldn't make set-up decisions on the fly. They have fixed this with the new 8700 as well as in the 5400 putting a dial out.
    Seeing that these cameras r getting really low in price and higher in resolution, another upgrade will be in the works in a few months. I've held one of those Rebel digital SLRs and frankly, I think I've been spoiled by the smaller form factor as well as a mifty swivel LCD screen.
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    A co-worker had the A80 and I played with that. I now know the difference between digital and optical zoom. The A80 had a 3x optical and a 3x digital zoom and the digital zoom added a lot more distortion than I'd like. I guess end up with 3.2 mp is worth the 10x optical zoom.
     
  9. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Mark I pulled the trigger on the S1 this morning and it should be here by Thursday at the latest so I can let you know what I think later this week but basically I agree with Scott in that I'm going to use the 10X ability and the high quality video mode daily where as the "limits" of the 3.2MP won't be an issue since I never print 8 * 10 and even then its not like I couldn't grab my 35mm if I really wanted a large format image
     
  10. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    I've been following this thread trying to get some good suggestions as well. I was leaning toward the Canon S1 myself, but the Kodak DX6490 that Neil mentioned above sounds interesting as well. 10x optical zoom and 4.0MP for less price than the Canon. Anyone able to compare the differences between these 2 cameras?
     
  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I've owned two Kodak's and used several at work and IMO the lens quality isn't nearly as good as the Canon's or Nikon's...now that may or may not be the case with this model but its proprietary battery would be a major turn off for me and I'll take a nice 3.2 MP image that has lower compression over a highly compressed 4MP image that Kodak seems to like.
     
  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    This thread is giving me a headache. [​IMG]


    So many questions are practially impossible to answer. Just to address some of the things. Don't put all that much priority on the resolution. There are 3MP cameras which will blow away virtually any 6MP camera in just overall picture quality. There is so much more to image quality than just resolution and since companies know this, it is quite attractive for them to use high res chips which produce less than stellar images. Traditionally, the logic has been that the camera is less important than the photographer, and there is always truth to that, but with digital cameras, the technology is automatically more important than it used to be with films cameras. My experience is that with the small digital cameras, the main limiting factor is often the lens. Finally, brand consistency is probably lower than it ever has been with film cameras. Just because a manufacturer makes one very good camera doesn't mean all of their models are comparably good.
     
  13. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    John, I am leaning more toward the quality than MP numbers. As a digital camera virgin, I too was persuaded into thinking the more pixels, the better...this thread has been helpful to change my mind. I think I am sold on the Canon S1. Just waiting for some deals before I take the plunge. Plus, I'm waiting to see how Andrew feels about his.
     
  14. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I'm going to keep a running thread going here with my thoughts on the S1 as I continue to use it.
     
  15. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    What about an auto-everything 35mm film SLR? (Say, your basic zoom kit + a 50mm lens + a bounce/tilt TTL flash.)

    Advantages:

    1. Plenty of room to grow. You can start off using a SLR in full-automatic ("P") mode, and switch to progressively more-manual modes if/when desirable. You can also expand the system with lenses, filters, etc.

    2. Excellent picture quality.

    3. No red-eye or very little red-eye. (Bouncing flash off walls/ceilings helps enormously in this respect.)

    4. Some camera makers (Canon, Nikon) make lenses that fit both film and digital bodies. This means you can start with a film system and later switch to film + digital -- maybe after consumer digital SLRs have come down a bit.


    Disadvantages:

    1. You can't immediately review pictures.

    2. Every picture costs money for film and developing.

    3. Transferring pictures to a computer is costlier: you get to pay for photo CDs, or scan pictures in yourself.
     
  16. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Thomas, yes, the disadvantages you list are why I want digital. My main reason is for an immediate transfer to the internet. Film would be too costly and not time-effective.
     
  17. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Screenwriter

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    Thomas,

    While 35 mm SLR's can take superb pictures (especially if you can use a decent slide film), the problem is that processing does get pretty expensive, to say the least.

    With today's four-megapixel and above cameras, you can get excellent quality shots that can be printed on an 8.5 x 11 inch or A4 sized paper with excellent clarity, especially with today's high-quality inkjet or color laser printers. Also, with digital still cameras, you can get flash memory cards that store around 90-100 pictures at high resolution; the flash memory card contents can be downloaded to a computer for further processing and storage on another medium like CD-R/RW discs.
     
  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Andrew, is it true that there is no lens cap to the S1? I was looking at it at CC yesterday and was concerned about it. When I asked the clerk about it, he said "That's why you get a camera bag". [​IMG]

    Is this true? Can you buy a cap for it?
     
  19. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I was about to say something about CC clerks being idiots, but with some of the weird things the camera engineers do these days, it is always possible. I seriously doubt it, though. At the very least, it has a filter thread on the front of the lens and you should be able to get a cap for it somewhere.

    Though, I would expect it comes with a lens cap. It either was not put on display or if it was, it was stolen. I expect they just didn't put it on display.

    "That's what a camera bag is for." I love it. He should be selling used cars.
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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