Digital Cameras

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Saem, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. Saem

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    I'm trying to learn more about digital cameras. Someone asked me to advise them about what to look for, so I'm trying to find information on how to evaluate them. I realise, there are differences in lenes, compression algorithms, media storage and so on. Just wondering if people could post good site to goto to get this sort of information.
     
  2. pascal

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    I bought a Nikon 2100 MP (good and cheap) and some 128MB compact flash.

    High quality 1600x1200 will take average 800KB per picture (with finest compression).

    For each CCD´s megapixel you will have a more or less credit card size photo quality (when printing). Then a postcard will need at least a 2 megapixel.
     
  3. Fruitfrenzy

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  4. Saem

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    Thanks. I went through at least one or two of those sites as I was researching, glad to know I'm on the right track.
     
  5. PC-Engine

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    If you plan on getting a 5 Megapixel or higher camera, make sure you get a fast write flash memory cards especially if you plan on taking pictures in RAW format.
     
  6. Basic

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    I've been looking aroud for a digicam myself. I have seen mentioning of "fast flash memory", but I never see that in any specs on various flash brands. Is there any difference between brands, or just between types (ie CompactFlash vs SmartMedia)? Where can I find such specs?

    Btw, the Canon IXUS 400 looks very tempting to me. (Also known as Canon PowerShot S400 Digital Elph.)
     
  7. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    There are different speed grades of CF cards. They are rated just like the speed of CD-ROMs (e.g. 30X means 30 x 150KB/s). But many CF cards have different speed for read and write. Furthermore, some DCs have its own limit of access speed. A 30X CFs won't reach its full potential if used on a 25X DC.
     
  8. epicstruggle

    epicstruggle Passenger on Serenity
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    i would say dpreview is the best site for digital cameras, they have the best reviews and their forums are populated by people who know their stuff. go there for any and all questions. :)

    later,
     
  9. PC-Engine

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    If anyone is in the market for a really good SLR type DC that has a lot of manual adjustments for the professional photographer on a budget, the Minolta DiMAGE 7i is an excellent choice. It's 5 MP and has a 16 element 13 group 7X optical Minolta GT zoom lense and can be had for around $700-$750. You can't find any other camera that comes close at that price.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Gollum

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    I recently bought myself the Digital IXUS II and I'm very happy with it. You can get cheaper 3,2MP cameras, but they just don't have the overall quality the IXUS offers. It's small, pretty, easy to use, has a long battery life and makes excellent pictures... :)
     
  11. Trawler

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    Agreed. I picked one of these babies up a few months back to take on my African adventure. I'm extremely happy with the 7i, the pics are superb.

    I also own an Ixus, which is great when you don't want to lug the big fella around.
     
  12. Basic

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    Thanks for the info pcchen. Now I at least know what to look for. But it's still hard to find it. The store I usualy buy computer stuff from don't give any specs, and even if I look at the manufacturers site it's hard:

    Memorex: nothing
    MMore: 0.3-1MB/s (ouch, 0.3MB/s sounds sloooow)
    Sandisk: nothing
    Verbatim: Only says 16.6 sec/picture and how fast it is compared to some others. No mentioning on what picture though. But I can't imagine any image size that would put that anywhere else than "horribly slow".

    But I noticed that dpreview had done some speed tests on different CompactFlash cards. (Too bad though that it didn't say much about the cards above.)


    Back to the cameras.
    I've got the feeling from the reviews i've read (and it seems to be confirmed to some extent here) that if you want a good and small digital camera, the only question is what IXUS model you should get. :)
     
  13. pascal

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  14. JF_Aidan_Pryde

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    I'm tempted to get a Sony F717 but I'm also hoping a new, improved model will arrive soon. If Moore's law is applied to CCDs (is that valid?) then we should have 7.x Megapixel sensor by Christmas. That with a firewire connector and memory stick pro would make me very happy. :)
     
  15. Himself

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    Some things to look for:

    Analog zoom is very nice.
    Media format, avoid older formats like compact flash, go with MMC / SD.
    1-2MP is going to be good for just about anything computer related, 3MP+ for print. 3MP seems to be the sweet spot for price/performance.
    Higher resolutions need more memory, internal memory tends to be slower than the memory on the card.
    USB connection is desirable.
    Battery consumption.
    Ease of use, some cameras are just a pain.
     
  16. RussSchultz

    RussSchultz Professional Malcontent
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    I don't believe that compact flash is something to avoid. Its well established in the camera field.

    its not so well established in the MP3 field, mostly because of its form factor, but on the flip side, you'll have trouble finding 1GB SD cards until flash manufacturers start making 256MB per die. (Most are just now moving production to 128 MB per die.)
     
  17. McElvis

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    I've just bought the IXUS 400, and so far I'm very pleased with the overall quality.

    It takes very good pictures, it's 4MP which is good as I tend to print many pictures up to A4 size, it's also very small so fits into my pocket and it looks very nice which is a plus.

    It also has quite a few manual options, unlike some 'point-and-shoot' cameras. I got some superb action shots from the horse races today.

    If you want slightly more options than the IXUS 400, then go for the S45. It's the same camera, but with more manual control.
     
  18. PC-Engine

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  19. nyt

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    A few things that I discovered during the few years I owned various digital cams:
    -the advertised resolution (i.e 5MP) is _not_ the true resolution. Shooting at 2MP with a 5MP camera will produce a sharper image and you won't loose any details. dpreview.com does a pretty good analysis of true resolutions.
    -battery life is a very important thing to consider. AA vs proprietary solutions doesn't reallly matter as long as it lasts!
    -the high speed cards are useless in most actual affordable cams, as those don't write as fast as the card can support. Your only benefit will be when transferring the pics to your computer using an high speed usb2 reader, given that you think saving a few minutes is worth the extra $ :)

    Other things to look for:
    -noise at low and high ISOs, specially in blue skies.
    -responsiveness (power on, shooting/recording)
    -accessibility of useful funcs (changing white balance, iso..)
    -'speed' of the lens (ability to use a big aperture -small f number- when zooming)
    -chromatic aberrations a.k.a purple fringing, usually appearing in high contrast situations
    -distortion at wide angle/full zoom
    -electronic viewfinder vs optical; the first give you a lot of useful info and is more accurately representing what you'll be shooting. the later has an enormous speed advantage (EVFs are almost unusable for action shots).


    After my deprecated Olympus C2000Z (2MP, zoom 3x), my wife chose the Nikon CP5700 (5MP, EVF, zoom 8x + 1.5x tele converter): very powerful zoom and macro capabilities, but what a battery sucker.. and the powerpack is really expensive (given that it's just a piece of plastic).
    I went for the Canon G3, IMO the best all-round shooting camera (small, super long lasting battery, good quality, responsive). Not perfect, but getting closer :)

    G'd luck in finding your future digital camera!

    -nyt
     
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