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Tech: Looking to buy a digital camera

Grab 06 Sep 06 - 12:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Sep 06 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Dazbo 06 Sep 06 - 08:05 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Sep 06 - 11:39 PM
number 6 05 Sep 06 - 09:55 PM
number 6 05 Sep 06 - 09:42 PM
GUEST,interested guest 05 Sep 06 - 08:30 PM
Ferrara 05 Sep 06 - 08:12 PM
Bassic 05 Sep 06 - 07:50 PM
number 6 05 Sep 06 - 07:36 PM
JohnB 05 Sep 06 - 06:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Sep 06 - 06:35 PM
Tootler 05 Sep 06 - 06:34 PM
Bert 05 Sep 06 - 05:19 PM
Bill D 05 Sep 06 - 04:57 PM
Bert 05 Sep 06 - 04:51 PM
number 6 05 Sep 06 - 04:50 PM
Bert 05 Sep 06 - 04:48 PM
The Villan 04 Oct 04 - 01:12 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 04 - 06:36 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 04 - 06:35 PM
The Villan 03 Oct 04 - 12:23 PM
brioc 03 Oct 04 - 11:15 AM
JohnInKansas 03 Oct 04 - 01:06 AM
Lady Hillary 03 Oct 04 - 12:03 AM
Bert 02 Oct 04 - 11:15 PM
DonMeixner 02 Oct 04 - 10:08 PM
JohnInKansas 02 Oct 04 - 01:49 AM
open mike 01 Oct 04 - 11:55 PM
Gorgeous Gary 01 Oct 04 - 09:32 PM
GUEST,b caste 01 Oct 04 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,Guest - Davidfromsydney 16 Sep 04 - 07:22 PM
Dave Wynn 16 Sep 04 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 16 Sep 04 - 06:30 PM
Charley Noble 16 Sep 04 - 05:55 PM
Cluin 16 Sep 04 - 03:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Sep 04 - 03:33 PM
mooman 16 Sep 04 - 11:49 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Sep 04 - 10:43 AM
The Villan 16 Sep 04 - 01:45 AM
harpgirl 15 Sep 04 - 05:59 PM
beardedbruce 15 Sep 04 - 05:28 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 15 Sep 04 - 05:24 PM
Grab 14 Sep 04 - 01:29 PM
The Villan 14 Sep 04 - 01:25 PM
DonMeixner 14 Sep 04 - 01:04 PM
The Villan 14 Sep 04 - 05:02 AM
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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Bert
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 05:19 PM

Thanks Bill.


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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 - 04:51 PM

Yes, but which one?


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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 - 04:48 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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,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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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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