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Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera

DonMeixner 13 Sep 04 - 07:28 PM
Joe Offer 13 Sep 04 - 07:55 PM
Barbara Shaw 13 Sep 04 - 08:27 PM
Bev and Jerry 13 Sep 04 - 08:30 PM
Jeri 13 Sep 04 - 08:51 PM
Joe Offer 13 Sep 04 - 09:16 PM
Francy 13 Sep 04 - 09:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Sep 04 - 09:34 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 13 Sep 04 - 09:47 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Sep 04 - 09:48 PM
Jeri 13 Sep 04 - 09:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Sep 04 - 09:57 PM
Jeri 13 Sep 04 - 10:10 PM
Bill D 13 Sep 04 - 10:16 PM
harpgirl 13 Sep 04 - 10:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Sep 04 - 11:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Sep 04 - 12:14 AM
DonMeixner 14 Sep 04 - 12:15 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Sep 04 - 12:51 AM
DonMeixner 14 Sep 04 - 12:54 AM
The Villan 14 Sep 04 - 01:13 AM
Joe Offer 14 Sep 04 - 01:44 AM
The Villan 14 Sep 04 - 03:03 AM
DMcG 14 Sep 04 - 04:06 AM
DMcG 14 Sep 04 - 04:26 AM
The Villan 14 Sep 04 - 05:02 AM
DonMeixner 14 Sep 04 - 01:04 PM
The Villan 14 Sep 04 - 01:25 PM
Grab 14 Sep 04 - 01:29 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 15 Sep 04 - 05:24 PM
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The Villan 16 Sep 04 - 01:45 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Sep 04 - 10:43 AM
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Subject: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: DonMeixner
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 07:28 PM

Any reccomendations. 4.0 mega pixels or more and macro ability are the main needs. I need to shoot my jewelry

Don


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 07:55 PM

Hi, Don - I have a Canon Power Shot A70. I've very pleased with its 3.2 megapixels. The current model is A75, and it runs about $250. You need to buy a memory card right off - figure a card will hold about 1 photo per megabyte. I'd buy 256 or 512 MB.

I take wildflower photos, and the macro (closeup) mode works quite well for me. The monitor is too small, and I can't see it in daylight anyhow, so I just leave it turned off and save my batteries.

I sure am glad there's a USB port on the front of my computer.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 08:27 PM

I have a Nikon Coolpix 4300, which has 4.0 megapixels, macro up to 1.6 inches (according to the manual - I haven't used it), 3x zoom plus digital zoom and many other features. It cost about $400 at Wal-Mart and I love it. I used a Nikon FE for many years and stuck with the Nikon name, and don't regret it. Those pictures I took of Vicky & Tim's wedding were done with this camera, including the photos of your rings!

What I don't like about it is common (apparently) to all digital cameras. When you trip the shutter, there's a longer delay than with an SLR before it actually snaps the pictures, so sometimes the subject has moved or the scene is changed. When you turn the thing on, it takes a few seconds for it to start up, put the lens in place, etc. so you can't be as spontaneous as with an SLR, unless you leave it on. In which case it automatically turns itself quiescent to save the battery. But I'm so glad I finally got a digital camera and I'm very happy with the Nikon 4300.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 08:30 PM

We have a Canon A70 too and we love it. Remember, whatever camera you buy, you'll spend about $150 more than the price by the time you buy a memory card, two sets of batteries and a charger.

Here are some blickies to help you:

choose

short course

CNET Reviews

PC Magazine

comparometer

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 08:51 PM

I have a Gateway 5.2 which was also $400-something bucks, and it came with a free printer. You have to remember to send the rebate thingies in, or it comes out to a $500-something camera-printer combo. They sell 4.0 MegaP's too. I've been very happy with the camera and with their service, and one item was here in 3 days, another in 5 (because of a snowstorm). (I also own a Gateway computer that will be 8 years old next month, and still works fine except for the fact it's really old and outdated.) Just went to check their camera web page, and it doesn't look like they're selling their own cameras anymore. You can check their prices on other cameras, though.

I'm not a genious when it comes to cameras, but it seems almost like 'macro' isn't all that necessary these days. You could take a photo of a few items at a time, then digitally zoom and crop each one individually. The fun and forgiving nature of digital photography is in the incredible amount of diddling you can do after you take the picture.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 09:16 PM

Hi, Jeri - on my camera, the "macro" setting is for closeups - distances under 18 inches. Without it, I don't get good focus. It does a wonderful job on wildflowers.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Francy
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 09:29 PM

I went a step further in my Canon selection and picked the Canon G5...5 megapixels and a wonderful macro mode....the G5 has the ability to select ASA settings from 50 on up ..complete Aperpture priority and shutter priority. It is a step above in price, but well worth it....I have cameras that i use from 35mm to 4X5 and I rate this as one of the best compact digitals I've seen....Frank of Toledo


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 09:34 PM

Joe's camera is good- but not for Macro use on small objects.
A close-up lens, 250D, plus 52mm lens adapter is needed for Canon Powershots and a more expensive lens plus adapter for the G-series. It is better to get a camera with Macro built in or the ability to take interchangable lenses.

A lot depends on the magnification and size of print needed. If you are taking jewelry pictures for your photo record or album, EBay or newspaper adv., 3.2 mp with macro is enough, but not for the glossies and not if you want to enlarge small details.

I take very small marine shells (2-6 mm) at high mag, using a bellows on a stand. I am thinking of retiring my film camera for a digital that takes interchangable lenses (and bellows of course). At the moment, another Canon, a Rebel SLR, 6.3 mp, can be had for $790 (body), about the cheapest of this type and still good quality. Just a little while ago, a camera of this type was a couple of thousand.

You likely don't need this much and a good 4mp with macro runs about $500.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 09:47 PM

Very simple info. I have a Fuji.   Anything from 3 Pixels DOWN is fine---the higher pixels are only for printing copies.   For a computer and e mail---1 or 2 pixels are fine. 3 is perfect for 5x7 prints---after that you need more.

I have discovered, sadly, that there is lag time. This means that these cameras are just fine for stills and close-ups. Forget action. What you get comes out crystal clear---but it is not what you saw---that happened a second or so before the camera recorded the image.   For that you need the equivalent of a 35 MM SLR in digital format---Canon has one---EOS---body starts at about 900.00. the nice thing is that it uses the lenses of the film version. So if you have that you at least have lenses. Any other brand--to my knowledge---you need the whole deal and are talking 1500.00 min.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 09:48 PM

Note- the 3.2, 4, 5 etc. mp works, regardless of the brand name on the camera, are made by a few companies with the facilities. Thus Fuji and Leica, etc., share the same digital components on some models as do many others.
The important thing is that it does what you want. A good dealer will demonstrate the camera and show you the results that are possible for your specific needs. He may charge more, but he will insure that you get what you need.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 09:52 PM

Joe, I do know what macro is. When I first got a camera (analog) with macro, I went nuts taking pictures of dragonflies, flowers, and anything small that held still long enough.

What I meant was that I can stand a meter away from someone, take their picture, and at 100%, you can count their nose hairs. You get more ambient light in from farther away, so your F-stop and shutter speed can be higher. (Which doesn't matter if you're not using ambient lighting and you+camera or the object being photographed isn't moving. Don's jewelry usually doesn't move too fast...at least not on its own.

I'm lazy though.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 09:57 PM

Don said he wanted to shoot jewelery, which doesn't jump around. Thus time lag doesn't matter. The number of pixels DOES matter if you require a detailed print for sales glossies or fair-sized enlargements.
He hasn't said what his needs are in detail.
I take it he doesn't want to go through the darkroom, hence the need for digital rather than film.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 10:10 PM

Finking on Don: here's his website.

If he's using a tripod, the time lag may not matter. Pushing the button can blur things at slow shutter speeds. A timer is a handy thing to have.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 10:16 PM

best reviews on the WWW are at http://www.steves-digicams.com/


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: harpgirl
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 10:58 PM

Not being a techie, I took this approach...

I bought a Vivitar ViviCam3705, (3.3 megapixels) on sale at Target for 99bucks to use as a learner. They all seem to work in essentially the same way...It has enough memory with 18 shots not to have to invest in a memory card. There's a lot to learn about using them so I thought buying an expensive one was dumb...I don't feel concupscient about them the way some people do!

I took a lovely shot of my friend's flower arrangement, which she does while singing harmony with my other girlfriends and various other visiting musicians...

I haven't yet mastered sending the photo with email...Gosh I'm lagging behind the rest of Mt. Olympus!........but always ahead of ole' shriveled buckeyes...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 11:55 PM

Thanks, Jeri, now I know more about what he wants to do.

Some of his images are unsharp. Glare may be reduced by putting lens paper over the two (or three) electronic flashes yoked together. Depth of focus is important to get an overall clear image with rings and bracelets when photographed out of flat, even with a macro lens. I still have to use a long exposure at a small aperture to get the depth I need. Here is where digital seems to make things easier.

Digital seems to have advantages at first look. Longer exposures, with less light, require a stand or tripod (reversible if the latter). I use a stand and bellows so I can micro-focus easily, and adjust the flash distances (a better illusion of depth if they are unequal). I think it might be easier with digital, but I haven't set up for it yet, still using an optical system.
A cable release reduces shake, timer usually unnecessary.

Five mp (perhaps four) with macro is sufficient for the sharpness necessary in your images. Some other qualities, such as the optical lens, not just the digital magic, enters in here, but don't worry about make if you stick to the seven or so top brands- the features you want and ease and convenience of operation are more important.
And work with a good dealer to make sure you satisfy your needs!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 12:14 AM

Make sure the camera has provision for adding electronic flash other than the one built on the camera- that one will only insure that the image lacks depth and suffers from parallax problems.
One of my cameras has an electronic remote (smaller than the one on your keyring for locking car doors). It was $40, and gets away from the timer.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: DonMeixner
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 12:15 AM

Thanks everyone. I knew this was the place to go.

Jeri, thanks for the link to my site. That kind of finking is just fine with me.

Q, Yup, some are blurry. The difference between 7 inches from the object and 7 and 1/8" from the object. Also that was done with two cameras. My daughter 3.2 Canon and a Sony from my office. For web work either of these are fine. I want to make up 8 x 10s or larger for display at craft shows. Thats why I want the higher MPs and the macro capabilities. Otherwise I'm still shooting my Minolta SR-1 and a Mercury Univex 1/2 Frame.

Don


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 12:51 AM

Call me a Luddite, but I still prefer film for most all of my photography. I work in a research library with a large Special Collection division, and paper and film is still more reliable to keep than digital images. In my opinion, at least. I use a Canon A-1 at home, and at work I use an old Olympus and a newer Nikon.

For my Canon I have a variety of lenses, and a tripod that I can set up as a copy stand, and flash that can be bounced around to avoid glare. And most importantly, when I take my film in for processing, I take it to a good camera shop where they also burn me a CD for $5 more over the developing and printing. This isn't your corner pharmacy CD with the little 300dpi jpg for making a 4x6 print, this is a CD with a 5 meg TIFF of each shot. This works for prints, for print enlargements to a point, and gives you tons of information when selecting it for web use. (Every so often I have to sit down with friends with new cameras and show them how to save the images then make a smaller version to send with email. Someone mentioned that above. If you will send me a PM I can help you figure out what programs are on your system and how you can use them to edit your photos).

I do have a couple of little digital cameras. My first was a little point and shoot camera meant for email. I've gotten a lot of use out of it, considering it's like peeking through a keyhole. No flash. Cost $20. The one I bought recently, also for web work and email, but in truth I can take very large photos with this that are almost print quality, cost $70 at Fry's. 2.1 megapixel, zoom ability (I haven't figured out how to use that yet). This has a flash. It has room for a memory card, and I've seen them over at Fry's and they're not too expensive.

The one thing that has slowed down my learning about this new camera is that the directions are an awkward translation from Chinese to Engrish. I haven't made head nor tails of some of the information in the manual. You do get what you pay for!

Good luck Don, in finding something that will work for you. The jewelry on the page linked above is beautiful.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: DonMeixner
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 12:54 AM

Thanks SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: The Villan
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 01:13 AM

For those people not conversant with digital cameras and are looking at this thread and wondering what the hell they are talking about, this bit of courseware that I created may help. Obviously new technology moves quick, so some of this info may be slightly out of date but serves the purpose of illustrating the things that you need to think about when purchasing a digi camera.


Selecting A Camera — Points to consider
Cost
Mega Pixels
Batteries & mains power
Optical & Digital Zoom
Compatibility
Media Cards
Size, weight & appearance
View Screen
Printer
Cost
Movies — sound?

You can now purchase Digital Cameras from as little as £30 for your basic snap & go. On the other hand, you could purchase a top of the range camera and have little or no change out of £2500. The choice is yours.


Mega Pixels

These vary from approximately 0.1 million to approximately 6.1 million.

The term mega pixel refers to the area (width by height) of an image, with one mega pixel equal to one million pixels. For example a camera that takes images with 1280 x 1024 pixels has a little over 1,300,000 pixels and is called a~l.3 mega pixel camera.

Mega pixels        Picture size
1                          5"x7"
2                          8"xlO"
3                          A4andup

The more pixels, the greater your flexibility in terms of large-size printing, and also in terms of your ability to crop (cut out part of the picture) an image and still have enough pixels to use it in any way you like.

On the other hand, more pixels in the images means larger file sizes, which means you will need more storage for your images, both in the medium the camera uses, and on your hard drive.

The average person doesn't need a camera with more than two to four mega pixels. The hassle of storing and working with larger image files might actually be frustrating for some users as this may slow down your PC. Don't allow yourself to get sucked into the mega pixel craze!


Optical & Digital Zoom

If zoom is important to you, make sure you are looking at optical zoom. Digital cameras usually have both optical and digital zoom.

Optical zoom is what non-digital cameras with zoom lenses have; it is the physical capability of the lens to get a closer view of a subject.

Digital zoom is more of a simulation of real zoom, and is generally not worthwhile; it just uses a form of interpolation to enlarge the central portion of a view. You can perform the same function with your image editing software, probably with better results, but neither digital zoom nor software can create detail where it didn't exist in the first place, while optical zoom acquires full detail when it closes in on the subject.

The moral is to ignore the digital zoom specifications of the camera, and only look at the optical zoom number, which will typically range from 3x to 1 Ox. For most people, 3x zoom is a good amount.

Media Cards

Smart Media
Smart Media cards are also known as solid-state floppy discs cards (SSFDC). Smart Media cards are very small, roughly the size of a matchbook and very thin (45.0 x 37.0 x 0.76mm). They are also very light, weighing in at 2 grams. Smart Media cards come in two voltages, 3.3V and 5V. The 3V cards have a notch on the right side; the 5V cards have the notch on left side.

Compact Flash
Compact Flash cards come in two sizes, type I and type II, the type II cards are larger and can contain the IBM micro drive, which holds 340MB. Compact Flash type I cards are also small (43.0 x 36.0 x
3.3mm) roughly the same size as Smart Media cards only 4 times as thick. Compact Flash cards will operate at both 3.3V and 5V unlike Smart Media cards. Currently Compact Flash cards can be manufactured in larger sizes than the Smart Media cards; in fact you can now buy 1GB cards.

Memory Sticks
Memory Sticks are Sony's answer to solid state memory.
Sony has incorporated Memory Sticks into many of its new products, including digital cameras, MP3, Walkman's, and other multimedia peripherals that Sony develops.

Floppy Disks
The standard is a 31/2 inch, 1.44MB floppy disk that fits in a nonnal disk drive on a PC. The Sony Mavica digital cameras use floppy disks instead of other memory devices. The trade off for using this cheap alternative is the write time to the disk (definitely slower than solid state storage devices), and the storage capacity. Newer cameras' picture sizes may be well above 500Kb, so that means that you will only be able to fit 2 pictures per disk. That means a lot of disk swapping.

xD — Picture Cards
These are the new standards for Fuji & Olympus digital cameras. It is the smallest memory card measuring 20 x 25 x 1.8 mm. It has been designed to eventually replace Smart Media cards. (Cameras which currently take Smart Media cards will not be able to take xD cards.) Potentially they could have over 2GB storage capacity.

Below shows comparisons between the different cards and their approximate prices.

Capacity CompactFlash
16MB        -
32MB        £10
64MB        £15
128MB        £25
256MB        £51

Capacity SmartMedia
16MB        £6
32MB        £7
64MB        £13
128MB        £25
256MB        -

Capacity Memory Sticks
16MB        
32MB
64MB    £26
128MB        £49
256MB        

Capacity xl) Picture Cards
16MB        £20
32MB        £24
64MB        £18
128MB        £38
256MB        £85

Remember prices will have changed and will probably have reduced in price. Shop around.


View Screen

Do you need a built-in LCD screen, this feature allows you to view recently taken pictures. When you delete unwanted or badly taken pictures, it frees up space on your memory card.

Movies — sound?

Do you want your Digital Camera to be able to take movies, if so do you want sound, if you do, you may want to look at purchasing a Digital Camcorder. What you need to remember is that a Digital Camera is designed primarily to take pictures and a Digital Camcorder is designed primarily to take movies. What do you want?


Batteries & mains power

What kind of batteries are required for your camera? Are they normal alkaline batteries or rechargeable? How long will a fully charged battery last before needing to be recharged? How do you recharge the battery (internal or external)? Can you purchase additional batteries? What cost if replacements are required?


Compatibility

Is the camera both PC and Mac compatible? Will it work on my computer? Which operating systems has the Digital Camera been design for? Is my PC up to it?


Size, weight & appearance

Do you require a camera that fits snugly in your hand or pocket? Does it look nice, is it too heavy or too light, etc...

Printer

Another consideration is your printer: If you want photographic-quality prints, you will need a photo quality printer. A laser printer or an inkjet printer that is not specifically designed as a photo printer will print decent looking pictures. But if you require photo quality prints, you will need a photo quality printer. Shopping for a photo printer is a separate issue, and if this is something you will need, you should consider this purchase along with the camera or as something you will need to buy in the near future. Choosing a photo printer is easier than choosing a digital camera, but you should still research this purchase as thoroughly as your camera purchase.



Taking Photographs
Digital Cameras tend to be 'auto' everything unless you wish to spend an absurd amount of money. Therefore to take a photograph, just point and shoot!


Macro Setting

While you can use a digital camera at the standard settings you can often see much more detail by using the macro setting on the camera. A macro setting changes the focus of the camera so it can focus on very close objects. You can use the macro setting to improve your ability to see small details, similar to using a magnifying glass. Don't forget to change away from the macro setting when you are finished (if the camera doesn't do it automatically). If the camera is set at macro and you are trying to take a normal picture then the focus will be set wrong and the image will be out of focus.

Obviously this setting needs to be used when you are taking close ups of objects, if not and photographs taken will appear blurred. Most macro setting fall in the approximate range of 10— 80 centimeters (3½ - 32 inches).



Normal
Digital Zoom

Remember from earlier - digital zoom is a simulation of real (optical) zoom, and is generally not worthwhile; it just uses a form of interpolation to enlarge the central portion of a view. You can perform the same function with your image editing software, probably with better resu1ts.


Note that the higher the digital zoom goes up, the fuzzier the photograph is. This is due to 'interpolation'. Interpolation is a method used in software to increase the resolution of an image map. The software adds pixels to an image based on the value of surrounding pixels, thereby increasing its resolution. Since the physical number of pixels that captured the image is always constant, resizing the image by interpolation has a serious impact on the quality of the image itself.



Using Photographs

Adding Photos to Email

One of the big advantages of having a Digital Camera is that your pictures are generally stored on the hard drive of your machine. This makes it so much easier when you wish to use the pictures, i.e. emailing or inserting them into documents.

1.        Open your Email program e.g. Microsoft Outlook.
2.        Create a NEW message.
3.        Type in the email address of the person you are sending the message to.
4.        Type a subject in the subject line.
5.        Type your message to the body of the email
6. Click the attachment button on the toolbar OR from the INSERT Menu, choose FILE.
7. The Insert File window appears. Navigate to the place where the photo you want to attach is located.
8.        Select the photo you want to insert (single click on it). Click the INSERT button.
9.        The attachment appears in your message. Send the message as usual.

You can send as many photos as you wish in one email, but what you must remember is:
•        Some people may pay for their internet connection and the larger your email, the longer it will take for them to download.
•        Some email accounts have size limits e.g. Hotmail has a 2MB limit, and may not be able to receive a large email.
*       Make sure your pictures are in JPEG format and not for example a bitmap file (very large file)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 01:44 AM

Has anyone tried using a digital camera as a portable scanner? Can you OCR from a photo taken with a digital camera? I have a tabletop tripod. Maybe that and my camera would do a good job on music in the library?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: The Villan
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 03:03 AM

Joe
I just tried the following as a test.

I drew some music notes on a piece of paper and then took a photo of it.

Saved it to the PC.

Opened the picture and then saved as a TIf file.

I then opened Textbridge, which is the software that I use for scanning.

Opened the picture from the hard disk

I then marked the areas I wanted and then recognised. I then saved as a word file.

The word doc opened up with the musical notes as objects, which can then be moved all over the document.

Basically I am pretty sure you can do what you say only in a different way. I will probably go and try some other ways.

Intereresting concept.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: DMcG
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 04:06 AM

The problem with using a camera for OCR is resolution. Even a high resolution camera will only have something like 2700 pixels for its maximum length. Compare this with a typical scanner offering perhaps 600 pixels per inch, and then consider think about a 10inch piece of paper. The camera has something like half the resolution of the scanner. I have used a camera for 'manual OCR' though. I have copied music down in ABC from collections and then taken a photo of the score. When I get home I work from the ABC but if anything seems wrong I can look at the image to cross check.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: DMcG
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 04:26 AM

I should say I have tried using various music OCR programs (in particular SharpEye and Omer) but its usually faster and less effort to convert things into ABC by hand, especially if the scores are fairly simple. Things that digital photographs have particular problems with for OCR purposes are distinguishing dotted notes from picture noise and making sure the staves run horizontally rather than a few degrees off.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: The Villan
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 05:02 AM

Just had a look at this article, not so much the product, more the info I think backing up your comments DMcG

http://kellysmusic.mb.ca/photoscore.asp


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: DonMeixner
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 01:04 PM

Thanks Villian,

That was way beyond what I had hoped for. Thanks for the time you spent on this.

Don


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: The Villan
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 01:25 PM

Nice to be able to help someone

Hope you get the right camera :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Grab
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 01:29 PM

Don, I've got a Canon A80 (now being replaced by the A85).   Difference between the A70/75 and A80/85 is a swivelling viewing screen and not very much money. You might think that's not worth paying extra money for, but it's very useful if you want to set up a group photo, or take a picture of something you can't see (eg. holding the camera up in the air at a concert to get a shot of the band over people's heads).

Macro and auto-focus is very good. I've got some nice pictures of bees, grasshoppers and flowers with it. As with most modern cameras, you're better sticking with autofocus than using manual focus - it's pin-sharp on the Canon (although there is a manual mode if you want to use it). One problem though is the time it takes to focus - Barbara's right about this, although it applies equally to film autofocus cameras.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 05:24 PM

Just to add my .02, I bought a Kodack DX4530, 5Megapixel camera back about May. It's been a great unit to play with. I am not a major photographer, but with the 3X optical zoom, I get to do pretty well what I want with it. It does have a closeup mode and a self-timer. You can change the exposure (both exposure compensation or just set a LONG exposure). It uses a SD memory card, and using a 256Meg card, I have stored up to 300 pictures. The DX4530 also has a "movie" mode which is handy for some of those things like a baby's first steps. Saves in JPG and Quicktime formats. It cost 370Cdn$. You can get accessory lenses to get even closer or farther pictures.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 05:28 PM

Avoid the xD memory- they run almost twice the cost of the others.

Mostly I use film, and have the pictures developed straight to CD. I have way too much invested in Canon lenses to change over...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: harpgirl
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 05:59 PM

thanks, Villian! very helpful...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 01:45 AM

You are most welcome harpgirl :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 10:43 AM

Hey, Bruce, something we agree on! It was bound to happen. . . :)

The resolution and speed and versatility of film and lenses, of shutters going WHEN YOU PUSH THE BUTTON and not a few seconds later, are still the best, and considering developing and not printing, just going to CD and a index print, you can process a lot of film with the bucks you'll spend on the high-end digital cameras.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: mooman
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 11:49 AM

I have a Pentax 3.2 megapixel (can't remember the model number as I'm at work) which I got at a big discount at a duty-free shop. I'ts been an excellent camera so far with good x3 optical zoom (+ digital zoom) and excellent accompanying software which positively yanks the photos from the camera onto my Mac and albums them prior to my doing any work on them.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 03:33 PM

I was at the camera shop this morning--they charge $10 to process the roll and send it straight to CD and index print. A lot of people do it that way.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Cluin
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 03:48 PM

One quick tip: if you're not using a tripod, hold the camera up to your eye and use the viewfinder. I've found a lot of peoples pictures often look blurry when they use the viewscreen. It seems to increase the tendency to shake the camera a little bit when the shutter clicks and you really notice the blurriness after the picture is downloaded and up on your monitor screen. You might not see how blurry it is on that little camera screen, but you will later and will kick yourself then for a lousy shot you probably can't replace.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 05:55 PM

I've been using a Nikon D100SLR digital camera for shooting art work and building projects. I like to see what I'm shooting and I like to use the manual focus option on this camera so I don't have to fight with whatever the camera decides to focus on. This 6 MP camera ran around a $1000 a couple of years ago but is probably available at a cheaper price now, and there may be even better deals available. I like the fact that I can load the compact flash cards directly into the flashcard drive on my computer. I probably have much more resolution capacity than I need for my work but it could come in handy if you are focusing on small jewelery items.

Looks like you're getting plenty of good advice.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 06:30 PM

I still find one big advantage in film. At a week long festival I can easily take two or three times as many pictures as the battery on my digital camera can cope with.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 07:16 PM

I use a Fuji S7000. Simple 6.3 or 12.6 (interpolated) three types of memory card (compact II or Compact disc or fuji's own. Macro (8cms) or supermacro (1cm) (this is pretty damn close and shadow from the lens is the problem). You can take a piccy of a crocus stamen. Built in flash and all the usual refinements. Dead easy to use and cost me around 375 UK pounds on an internet deal from dixons would you believe.

Only complaint is that at 12.6 Meg pix the interpolation is agressive and if you print above 40 X 30 inches you can sometimes notice the digital interference.(yeah...who prints that big? Well the camera has a zoom funtion that allows massive zoom. Imagine a picture of a ring and then zoom in just to see one gemstone. This is where the huge print area comes in to play. You dont actually print the 40 X 30 but just a fraction of it on 8 X 10. Everything about the camera screams professional and I would buy it again.

Spot the Dog (who is usually a Nikon dog but tried Fuji for a change)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: GUEST,Guest - Davidfromsydney
Date: 16 Sep 04 - 07:22 PM

Try this site

http://www.dpreview.com/

It's one of the best I've found. It will let you compare cameras within a given price range, or you can specify the features that you want and it will come up with a list for you. Brilliant.

Happy snapping

David


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: GUEST,b caste
Date: 01 Oct 04 - 09:10 PM

hey. canon sureshot 75 is our lens be friends. it's idiotproof. fran exported your website to this computer. tonight i fired netscape and outlook express and signed on to mozilla. it lost your website in the spray of electrons,so send it to me please. i'm blown away by your craft. I'd like to buy one ofyour bracelets for fran for xmas. your dad would be busting his buttons over what you're doing. wow oh wow. bill


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 01 Oct 04 - 09:32 PM

Count me amongst the "Luddites"--I'm still using a Canon EOS2000 SLR. In fact, just bought myself a wide-angle lens just before leaving for my honeymoon in Italy.

One thing that I would **require** if I went digital is something that can take decent pictures inside. A lot of my friends in the filk community have digital cameras and I see a lot of the pictures they take at cons (basically, concert performances in hotel ballrooms) come out blurry or dark. While I get sharp, decent pictures with 400 speed film and the Canon's built-in flash. So if there's a camera out there that could match (or come close to) that quality shooting indoors, I'd consider it.

Meanwhile, the digital SLR's **are** tempting. Maybe when the price comes down a bit more.

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: open mike
Date: 01 Oct 04 - 11:55 PM

before i got my digital camera i used Seattle Film Works or Photoworks
at www.photoworks.com and they transferred to disc. and e-mailed me the images and offer a place where yo can share your images wi5th others on your portion of their web site. When i got a camera (d9igital) it was
under duress...i wanted to send pix of damage to my vehicle to a knowledgeable mechanic. i got a Sony which stores images directly on a "floppy" (not-so-floppy) disc. They make them now that put pix on a c.d.
then yo do not have to transfer suing USB port, cords, plugs, wires, etc.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 01:49 AM

I missed most of the discussion on this thread while I was at WVA, but for what it's worth:

New digital cameras seem to come on the market about as fast as new versions of spyware. If the "survey" you've used is more than a few weeks old, you could miss a good one. The latest "possibly trustable source" I've seen is:

Choose Your Camera
By Daniel Grotta and Sally Wiener Grotta
PC Magazine, October 5, 2004

While you may not agree with all the generalities quoted, PC Magazine is a somewhat more "techy" resource than many others of similar ilk, and does report test methods as well as "results."

The cited use, for photographing jewelry(?), has always been considered a technical challenge, back to the earliest days of film photography. Metal and ceramics just don't seem to want to be photographed. Many years ago, Kodak published some good small booklets on specialty photography, including an excellent one on "Macro Photography," but the last time I checked this series appeared to be out of print. One of the recommendations I think I recall (and am too lazy to confirm from the book) was that flash should almost never be relied on for such work. A good setup table, with adequate controllable lighting, longer exposures at lower light intensities, and relatively long-focal-length lenses were, in the old days, the way to go for tiny – especially glossy – stuff.

True Macro lenses were the thing for pics of stuff like postage stamps and coins, but generally offered no real advantage for things like flowers and small critters. The true macro lens was designed to focus a flat plane onto the flat film, and most subjects aren't flat. Today, especially for "snapshot" and most digital cameras, macro generally means just how close you can get to the subject, but the closer you get the less depth of field you have, so often a longer view – and thowing away the "extra" picture edges – works better. With current high MP cameras, you can throw out most of the picture and still have good resolution on what you keep if it's a small object.

That "more pixels is better" is true to some extent, but most professional image people consider 72 dpi on the paper to be good enough for most work, with something like 150 dpi all that is required for "high quality" prints. Very few consumer grade printers, despite ad hype, can benefit from sending much higher resolutions to them.

The "raw" .jpg images from my 2 MP camera should print good images at their default 22 x 16 inches (72 dpi) and I can attest that they look good at the 13 x 19 "Super B" maximum my printer handles (at about 92 dpi on the paper). Resized without resampling (i.e. putting the existing pixels closer together without changing the number of them) to 150 dpi, image quality is very good on 8 x 10 inch prints.

Unless you really need to print "billboard size" images, the chief advantage of having a higher pixel count in your camera is that you can get the 150 dpi needed for a good print by cropping from a larger image and thereby avoid the need to focus in close to get good images of small objects. A 5 x7 print (big enough for real size for most jewelry?) at 150 dpi is about 0.75 MP, so focusing on a 13 x 18 inch area would give you a 5 MP "camera image" that would probably come out of the camera as a 72 dpi x 27 x 37 inch image, Resized without resampling back to "real size," would get you to the 150 dpi you need for very good print quality, and any smaller image cropped from the picture would have the same resolution. By using the longer focus and throwing away part of the image, you'll get vastly better depth of field than if you try to focus in close and use normal "macro" focusing.

By all means, get a 4 or 5 MP camera if you can. That's about the "state of the art" currently. If you really need to do critical (and closeup) work, interchangeable lenses are a real help, and the few (almost) affordable digicams that accept interchangeables give you much better control over (effective) aperture and (effective) exposure time than the simpler ones. Note that aperture and shutter speed don't have the same meanings - or effect - with most digitals as for film cameras, and the old tricks you may have used may not work the same.

Almost as important as the camera, and maybe more important for critical image quality, is a good program for processing your images. There are several good ones, but I'd recommend avoiding most of the "simplified/home photo" kind. I've been totally sold on Photo Shop Elements since I began using it nearly 3 years ago. Then I "got the book" and learned it could do things I hadn't imagined - and became even more convinced. List price for Photo Shop Elements 2.0 is about $70 (US), but you can probably get it cheaper online, and for a long while they had a $30 rebate offer that might still be available, or might come back if you shop around.

If you decide to use PSE2, "the book" is Photoshop Elements for digital photographers by Scott Kelly, New Riders, © 2004, ISBN 0-73571399-2-8, ($29.99 US/$45.99 Can/£23.50 Net UK on the cover). If I'd had it the first year I used PSE2 intensively, I'd have had an easy thousand hours of my life to waste on other things - and better pictures to show for my efforts.

Brief comments on some other items mentioned by others above:

1. Most snapshot cameras, digital or film, have pretty wimpy builtin flash. If this is a concern, you'll want to look for a camera that allows attaching and synching an external flash, or get a "photo-trigger" for a remote (flashes the remote by sensing the light from the builtin - hard to find, but useful). The bad crowd shots from digitals is usually the result of inadequate flash (and you can usually save them with PSE2).

2. Most OCR software works better at lower resolution scan settings. My scanner (Epson 1200) chooses 75 dpi if I tell it the scan is for OCR. Much higher resolutions usually give more conversion errors on the text, rather than fewer.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: DonMeixner
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 10:08 PM

Thanks all for the advice on digital cameras. Especially the heads up regards to true macro versus close-up photography. This has been a big help.

Thanks for the kind words Bill. Some nights in the shop I swear I feel Dad's hand on my shoulder or I'm sure he's making coffee in the kitchen. It's been 10 years.

the site is www.theflyincolumn.com/erie/

Don


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Bert
Date: 02 Oct 04 - 11:15 PM

I recently bought a Minolta Dimage for $200.
4 Megapixel
4X optical zoom
macro setting.
all settings can be manual or automatic.

Im very pleased with it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Lady Hillary
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 12:03 AM

EBarnacle here. I've been using a Polaroid 3030, 3.2 MP all Summer long. Paid $79.95 for it at Office Max on sale. Have used it for presentations and business. My only complaint with it is that it does not have optical zoom. At maximum enlargement on my computer screen, it gets grainy and loses focus. For my purposes, though, it fills the bill.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 01:06 AM

EBarnacle -

Most of the "snapshot" type digital cameras default to save something approximating an image for web posting or for printing snapshot size prints. Many of these cameras allow a "save high resolution" mode that might give you better results. The difference is mainly how much compression is used to convert the pixels to the .jpg version that gets saved. If your camera allows it, you probably can get much better resolution straight out of the camera.

In normal mode, my 2 MP Fuji saves about a 48 KB image, but in "high resolution" mode it saves about 700 KB per image. The 700 KB images convert to .bmp or PSE2's native .psd at about 5 MB, and can be enlarged a whole lot for most images.

Needless to say, if you save the "hi-res" versions you can't stuff as many of them into a memory card, but I haven't found that to be a problem. If you don't dump the cards fairly frequently it gets impossible to keep track of all the pictures.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: brioc
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 11:15 AM

Dearest Villan!!
you are just the buddy I needed. Thanks for all the info. We still use a wonderful hand / automatic minolta camera. It is great, but I have thought about getting a digital too. They are so cheap these days. What put me off is not having a clue about all the jargon!
Good on ye!
brioc


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 12:23 PM

Brioc
You are very welcome. Glad it was of some help to you. :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 06:35 PM

IF You are already using Canon lenses

It makes good dollars and sense to follow with the digital Canon EOS.

It was an expensive transition when I first moved from Petax screw to the bayonet.

Most of a photographer's investment is in the lens.

In the 2-1/4 days there was the story told a Yasheka using press photographer who simply removed his film and tossed the camera into the fire while his Leica using comrade looked on aghast.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 06:36 PM

Sorry - forgot to post my recommendation - if you already have the lenses.




http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=139&modelid=10598


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: The Villan
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 01:12 AM

Here is the link Guest suggested

http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=139&modelid=10598


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Bert
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 04:48 PM

Well my Minolta Dimage s414 just went on the blink.

The flash mode stopped working.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: number 6
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 04:50 PM

Time to get a new one.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Bert
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 04:51 PM

Yes, but which one?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 04:57 PM

This one...or one of these

My wife has the previous model and won't quit praising it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Bert
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 05:19 PM

Thanks Bill.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 06:34 PM

Two points to consider - after you have considered the optics etc.

Check what type of memory card the camera takes. My wife bought a Fuji which was expensive. It is a good camera and takes excellent pictures. It had a 4MP resolution when most cameras had 3MP or less. It takes multimedia memory cards and these are getting difficult to get hold of and are more expensive than other types when you track them down. The largest I have found is 128MB and they are about 4x the price of a 128 Meg SD card.

Most cameras seem to have standardised on SD cards so I would go for a camera that uses these. They are also common on PDAs and my Edirol recorder also uses SD cards so I can use one type of card for all these applications. The price of SD cards has dropped markedly recently, especially if you buy on line. I don't know how shops (in UK) get away with the prices they charge when you can pay so much less online. (even with postage)

The other thing to look at is the batteries. NiMH 'AA' batteries do not last any time at all, at least that's what I found with my first digital camera. Maybe the new cameras are less power hungry, I don't know, but I have found that the flat Li-ion batteries last much longer before needing charging. Certainly neither myself nor my wife needed to charge up our camera batteries when we went to our daughter's wedding recently. Also my daughter took her new camera on holiday recently and managed to last her whole holiday without recharging. Admittedly she only went for four days, but she took a fair number of pictures in that time.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 06:35 PM

I really like my Nikon CoolPix (5.1 megapixel, zoom lens, etc.). They go much higher now in the megapixels, but this works for me and is small for carrying around.

How large a camera are you looking for? What features?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: JohnB
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 06:49 PM

Not sure if the originator (Don Meixner I think) ever bought the camera or not. I missed this thread first time around.
My two cents worth, if you know phtography a bit, look at the options you get, are they all Hi-Techy Gizmo settings or can you control it like a camera. That was my final clincher when I bought (my wife's)
Nikon 4500, it was made by a camera company with camera functions.
The Sony whatever it was with the Zeiss lens had a bunch of techie stuff not particularly phtographic.
I had previously seen the results of both cameras through work experiences, both had realy good macro capability.
If the reason for the camera is jewellery photography and you have a scanner, try a direct scan of the item on a flatbed scanner the detail can be amazing.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: number 6
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 07:36 PM

Looks like you looking for 'point and shoot'.. I'd buy Canon ... for quality sake, and believe me with digi cameras this is paramount ... and as tootler mentioned the memory card for the current models are standard and cheap ...there are a few models for Canons out there at varying (reasonable) prices, it's up for you to choose size, features and megapixels that you want.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Bassic
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 07:50 PM

I agree with Bill, Panasonic Lumix is very good. Has Panasonic for the electronics and Leica for the optics. Hard to beat in my opinion for the money.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Ferrara
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 08:12 PM

There isn't a "best" digital camera. My son bought a tiny Nikon with 3x zoom for about $100 and it meets his needs very well. It all depends on what you want to do.

I adore my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5, but it has some shortcomings. Maybe if I talk about the features that work for me and those that don't, it will be useful to other people in deciding what is important to them. Hope this isn't too much detail.

First, here are the reasons I bought it, and some things that make it a great camera for my purposes.

* It has 12X optic zoom, plus another 8x or so of excellent digital zoom. The great magnification let me take a clear photo, late in the afternoon, of a hummingbird who just finished driking nectar; you can see that her tongue is still being withdrawn into her bill. (!)

* It's VERY small and light weight for its capacity. I take it lots more places than our old digicam.

* It has a very fast recovery from the power save and a very fast "shutter" response time for a camera in its price range. I get the picture I was aiming at, not one taken 1/4 second later when the smile or the bird has gone away.

* It provides a choice of programmed, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, or several simplified/idiot-proof exposure and focusing modes. I haven't really looked at the idiot-proof modes. The shutter priority really improved clarity with bird pics because the little critters move so darned fast. I thought my pics were out of focus but it was motion that was blurring them.

* It shows excellent on-screen review of your pics, with a good zoom that lets you see any part of the picture up to 8 or 16x.

* I got a full GB on my SanDisk memory card, which is lovely. I took about 500 pics of the hummingbirds, at about 1.5 MB each, and still had plenty of room.

* Good image stabilizer, good repeat function -- for example the repeat mode let me get a whole sequence of pics of two hummingbirds having a confrontation.

There are lots of other goodies that I am discovering but also there are things I don't care for.

FIRST, there's no purely manual focus. I can hit a button and say, FOCUS here, but the autofocus can still screw it up if I'm shooting through a window. I think you have to have some clear verticals or horizontals in the subject before it can focus, but that may be standard. If you mostly want flash pictures, or will be taking pics of people, this may not matter at all.

SECOND, it is very grainy at ISO/ASA 400, i.e. in low light. That isn't a big problem for me because I'm just trying to get source materials for my woodburned art. But if you are looking for high quality prints it may not work for you.

THIRD, this may just be a result of my photographing birds and other wildlife, which tend to come around in twilight, but very few of my photos are as sharp and crisp as I would like them to be. I have seen Nikon photos in similar lighting that seem to me to have much better contrast and sharpness. I admit though that I've gotten nice results on the rare occasions when I'm NOT shooting through a window and AM shooting in full sun.

FOURTH, it does NOT have a good macro capability IMO. At the wide angle lens setting I can get up to a foot away, I believe. There is also a "macro zoom" at 12X such that I can shoot from 3 to 6 feet away from the subject. I can live with it but if you're shooting close-ups of small stuff try a different camera. I have heard Olympus recommended for macro functions.

Well I have been itching to show off my photos so I'm thinking maybe I can put up a few samples. They would have to be full sized, though, to show the clarity or lack of it.

I bought my camera in December and it was already on clearance. It is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5. I don't know how the newer ones compare.

JohnB, maybe you could be more specific about which features are useful and which are "techie stuff"?

Rita F


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: GUEST,interested guest
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 08:30 PM

Thanks Ferrara, that was very helpful.

Does anyone have an opinion on the Canon Rebel XT for bird closeups?
Or did I miss it in the thread?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: number 6
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 09:42 PM

There would be no problem whatsoever with this camera ... but the lense is what counts, in this case a zoom (75-300). I don't know if your interested in the Canon XT because you have Canon (film) SLR and hope to use your existing lenses with the XT. If not, then I suggest you don't by the cheaper plastic zooms but drop considerable extra $$ for glass.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: number 6
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 09:55 PM

Looking to buy a digital camera and what answer to provide to the asking party depends an a lot of factors ... an simple answer can't given... many factors are involved ... how much one is willing to spend, what kind of pictures, what is expected in the results ... if one just wants to take digital pictures for the sake of a picture, then a point and shoot is all that is required, if one is specific on what they want to take, specific results required, of what dimension, what depth, then a DSLR is required ... and then many lenses might be required .... regardless, look for quality, spend a little xtra for it ... digital cameras are electronic and a certain durability is required to protect them from the usual knocking about and the elements.

Go to a professional photo store, you will get a lot of answers in what you are looking for.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 11:39 PM

That's a good list, Rita. I find that though my little Nikon has a lot of great features, it is slow and I miss a lot of shots where there is movement or rapid succession that the film camera would have with the push of a button. I can fake the ISO features and trick it to focus where I want, though it has an excellent auto-focus and if you get the white balance figured out you can go a long way toward getting the photos you want without a lot of tricks. White balance is the digital equivalent of having the right film (or filter) for the type of light, for it to look normal.

But for size, and for just plain getting MORE photos because I'm willing to carry this with me, it can't be beaten. I love it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 08:05 AM

I got a Canon A610 a few months ago and am very happy with it. I'd recommend getting a camera with a view finder as not using the screen prolongs the battery life considerably. 5 mega pixels seems more than enough to me so any more is a luxury. The SD card does seem to be becoming ubiquitous and I can get a 1 gig card for less than £18 from 7dayshop. Digital zoom can be useful but optical zoom is much better. Low light shooting at ASA 400 is grainy but at least you can take a picture.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 10:13 AM

SD cards are standard in most cameras, with the exception of Olympus and Fuji. They use the xD card, similar in size and function, but not all card readers have a slot for them, so something to consider when shopping. However, card readers are funny things and an array of cards may slip into any one of the slots, so pull out your information and check it out before passing on Olympus. I bought a 3.1 megapixel used camera for a friend recently after shopping around eBay for a while. He needs it for basic web stuff, so more megapixels would be overkill, but with three, if he has to use the photos for print he can.

The xD cards are priced more or less along the range of the name-brand SD cards. I don't know if they'll ever be as cheap as the least expensive SD cards, but all in all, memory is pretty inexpensive these days.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera
From: Grab
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 12:15 PM

I'd second the ASA thing. My Canon only goes down to ASA400 too, which isn't enough for night photography. It's good for daytime stuff though. And my one (the old A80) has a ring attachment to bolt on extra filters and lenses too, which is nice. One of these days I'll get some filters and a decent tele lens, but I can only afford one luxury at once, and I keep lusting after instruments... ;-)

Graham.


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