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digital photo cameras

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

i'm looking for a digital photo camera to hook up on my powerbook g4.
It doesn't matter what brand it is, it only has to be small enough to fit in my pocket without me thinking all the time about it so it doesn't break.
It should have enough memory for let's say 100 pictures (not 640x480? but decent resolution).
Li-ion battery is a must.
It doesn't have to have a lcd display cause it'll only break down when i carry it around a lot.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
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post #2 of 64
I have a friend who was traveling through France recently. He was shown a Mustek digital camera. Very small. Very cheap. Decent pics.

<a href="http://www.mustek.com.tw/html/prod_camra/gsmartmini2.htm" target="_blank">http://www.mustek.com.tw/html/prod_camra/gsmartmini2.htm</a>

Note that the lens doesn't retract. Not sure this would hold up well in your pocket.

They also don't show Mac compatibility. No clue if this would work with iPhoto.

You should post the price range you're looking at.
post #3 of 64
Consider the Minolta Dimage Xi or Canon Digital Elph S230.

EDIT: It would be the Canon Digital IXUS in Belgium, I suppose. Kyocera also makes a smallish digital camera...the Finecam.

[ 12-21-2002: Message edited by: Eugene ]</p>
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post #4 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by Eugene:
<strong>Consider the Minolta Dimage Xi or Canon Digital Elph S230.

EDIT: It would be the Canon Digital IXUS in Belgium, I suppose. Kyocera also makes a smallish digital camera...the Finecam.

[ 12-21-2002: Message edited by: Eugene ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Let me second Eugene's Canon recommendation, although I use the Canon S330, not the 230. Great camera. With a 128 MB memory card I get around 130 photos at 1600 x 1200 resolution with minimal compression. Very compact and easy to use. Enjoy. Also, check out Steve's Digicams for camera reviews.
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post #5 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by gobble gobble:
<strong>
Also, check out Steve's Digicams for camera reviews.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Or the similar (but more detailed and IMHO easier on the eyes)
<a href="http://dpreview.com" target="_blank">Digital Photography Review</a>.
post #6 of 64
Have a look at the Sony Range of Cameras. I have a great 3.3 megapixel camera about 11.5 years old. It uses memory stick and works fine with my TiBook 800Mhz. The image quality is oustanding and the resoultion is cool!
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post #7 of 64
Don't be so stuck on Li-ion batteries. They do last longer, but when you are out with your camera and the batteries run out, you are screwed unless you buy another expensive battery from the mfr.

One of my requirements in a camera is the use of AA batteries. 1800mh NiMH batteries last a long, long time - and I can carry 2 sets with me.

As far as camera suggestions go, though - I dunno - I use the exact opposite camera you're looking for - an Olympus 2500L SLR camera - BIG, but takes very nice pictures.
post #8 of 64
I also have a C-2500L, but I don't find the AA requirement necessary. For one, alkalines will be devoured after taking ~10 photos with the flash. There's no real benefit to carrying 2 sets of nice NiMH AAs or two proprietary LiIons...in the end the results are the same.
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post #9 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by trevorM:
<strong>Have a look at the Sony Range of Cameras. I have a great 3.3 megapixel camera about 11.5 years old. It uses memory stick and works fine with my TiBook 800Mhz. The image quality is oustanding and the resoultion is cool!</strong><hr></blockquote>

You managed to get one 11.5 years ago? I bought the same camera last year. I guess these cameras aren't improving as quickly as I thought.

Seriously, I have two cameras which serve seperate purposes. I have a small camera (Sony P5) which I can keep with me all the time. It takes decent pictures but not great. You just cannot put good optics in such a small package. If I go someplace where part of the purpose is to take pictures, I take a much larger camera (Sony F707). If I were you, I would decide how big/heavy a camera you are willing to carry around with you and then pick the best image quality you can at that "size point." To my knowledge the best cameras at their respective size points (going from smallest to largest) are:
Minolta Xi
Canon S230
Sony P9
Canon S45
(There is a large jump in size here so probably something belongs here but I don't know what it is)
Sony F717
Canon D1s
post #10 of 64
Mebbe Olympus 4040/5050 or Powershot G3? A little bigger than S45. And there are some Olympus models with nice fast lenses, f1.8, iThink.
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post #11 of 64
<a href="http://dealcam.com/prices/1323.html" target="_blank">Fuji FinePix A200.</a>

You will simply NOT find any other camera anywhere near this good, for under $130
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post #12 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by FormerLurker:
<strong><a href="http://dealcam.com/prices/1323.html" target="_blank">Fuji FinePix A200.</a>

You will simply NOT find any other camera anywhere near this good, for under $130</strong><hr></blockquote>

[quote]
INTERNAL MEMORY: NONE
INCLUDED MEMORY: 16MB
MEMORY TYPE: NONE<hr></blockquote>

ummm... :confused:

so there is no internal memory, and no memory type... but it comes with a 16 MB card... that I assume you cant use?!? <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />
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post #13 of 64
I would place the Canon Powershot G3 ahead of the Sony DSC-F717 because it's a much better enthusiast's camera. It's 4 mp instead of 5, but I still prefer the G3. Plus, it doesn't have a big honking lens barrel like the F717 or even my C-2500.
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post #14 of 64
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Nikon. Look into the Coolpix 2500.
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post #15 of 64
There's always something wrong with particular Nikon generations that really turn me off. Originally it was price...then it was purple fringing...then it was build quality...now it's color stepping. try taking pictures of bright contrasting colors with sharp adjoining edges... If the edge is diagonal, you'll notice what can best be described as 2x2 jaggies. The results are very unpleasing to the eyes.
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post #16 of 64
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the reply's, i couldn't find such a lot without you guys.
I'm going to check out the sony dcs-U20 in about an hour. I believe it's about the right camera for me, small, good pictures, not too pricey.
I'd love to get one of those mobile-phone-cameras but i believe they need more work to do before the quality of these things are the same as an stand alone digital camera.
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post #17 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by Eugene:
<strong>There's always something wrong with particular Nikon generations that really turn me off. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Really? These were taken with a Nikon Coolpix 990.

<a href="http://www.xaqtly.com/fish.jpg" target="_blank">Fish</a>

<a href="http://www.xaqtly.com/pooh.jpg" target="_blank">Winnie The Pooh</a>

<a href="http://www.xaqtly.com/oval.jpg" target="_blank">Milford, New Hampshire</a>

<a href="http://www.xaqtly.com/exige.jpg" target="_blank">Lotus Exige</a>

<a href="http://www.xaqtly.com/paris4.jpg" target="_blank">Eiffel Tower</a>

I'm not a professional photographer by any stretch, but Nikons have always produced really good pictures for me. I wouldn't have recommended one if I thought otherwise.
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post #18 of 64
Aww Eugene I'll have to look for that now. I got a Nikon 3500 for Christmas and so far I think it kicks ASS. The lense swivels so I can take a pic of myself or something behind me, the interface is easy (#1 priority in my book), works with iPhoto, 3x OPTICAL zoom, rugged, and 3.2 megapixels. I recommend it, although I am kind of new here, this being my first digital camera.

A few questions actually: when I point the camera at something bright like a lamp it turns off! Is this bad for the camera?

Also is there CF memory out there fast enough to take a pic instantly, like an analogue camera can? I need to be able to take embarrassing pics but it'd be kind of hard if I had to ask someone "excuse me, can you do that again? My Coolpix takes 3 seconds to actually take a picture." <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

[ 12-28-2002: Message edited by: Aquatic ]</p>
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post #19 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by Aquatic:
<strong>My Coolpix takes 3 seconds to actually take a picture." <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Not to speak for Eugene but that would appear to be something wrong with that particular Nikon. Anyway, this is not a CF problem. Slow memory prevents you from taking sequences of pictures quickly but has nothing to do with the first picture. The problem is most likely that the autofocus or auto-exposure system is slow. With most digital cameras you need to push the shutter release down half way to focus the camera and it is then fairly quick to take a picture when you push it down the rest of the way. I don't understand why but often it seems that pushing it down all the way is even slower than pushing it down half way, waiting and then pushing it down the rest of the way.
post #20 of 64
i just got the Canon A40 for christmas and its everything i wanted.

Its smaller (fits nice into a coat pocket, pants pocket not so much unless you are wearing pretty big jeans)

It takes 1600x1200 pictures very nicely and can hold large amounts of pictures, at the best quality i can hold around 200 pictures with my 160mb Compact Flash card.

It also sports many manual options like shutter speed, iso speed, different flashes. if you are going to europe and want a panorama this is the camera for you since it has a mode made for that which makes it easier then owning a mac.

even a crappy movie mode is built in and all this for $250.

<a href="http://www.powershot.com/powershot2/a40-30/index.html" target="_blank">Link To Page With More Info</a>

[ 12-28-2002: Message edited by: ast3r3x ]</p>
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post #21 of 64
JBL you're right! when I hold it down half-way it seems to take a picture but it's probably just focusing as you said. At first I thought it was actually taking a picture. I'll look into this and get back to you. Anyway the Coolpix is really cool. :cool:
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post #22 of 64
I just bought a Canon Power Shot A200 from Amazon.com after a friend let me know about Amazon's offer. It's a 2 MP camera with a 4x digital zoom, several flash modes and exposure (color correction such as sepia, etc.) modes. It comes with an 8 MB Compact Flash card, with room for 24 photos at the highest resolution (1600x1200.) Amazon threw in a 32 MB Compact Flash card for free, and I opted for free shipping. It hasn't arrived yet, but I'm kind of impressed that the whole thing only set me back $179.

I'm no pro photographer, so I reasoned I didn't need anything better than 2 MP.
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post #23 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by Aquatic:
<strong> My Coolpix takes 3 seconds to actually take a picture." <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />
</strong><hr></blockquote>

My Sony DSC-P1 takes a little while too. I thought it was just because its a digital camera
<img src="confused.gif" border="0">
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post #24 of 64
my a40 seems to take pictures pretty quickly (maybe between 1-2 seconds inbetween pictures without the flash on)
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post #25 of 64
my a40 seems to take pictures pretty quickly (maybe between 1-2 seconds inbetween pictures without the flash on)
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post #26 of 64
From a professional photographer (shooting digital as well)...the delay that you have is called "lag." It exist even in traditional film cameras but only in fraction of second(s). Most consumer cameras will have the few second(s) lag because of its auto focus/auto exposure, etc.. task before it fires whether you pressed it at the moment you thought it was okay. Only a few digital cameras will be able to fire at the exact moment you release the trigger (and it will not be in focus or right exposure unless it was set to manual mode at the correct focus/exposure metering setting), and the few cameras that do have the shortest lag time are professional cameras that cost thousands of dollars.

Meanwhile, if you think you are going to take "of the moment" candid shots, then you have to have already set the focus in manual, and its exposure locked in manual, then fire away. The only way for you to get good results is to experiment with your camera in various settings for various lighting conditions. Luckily, the experiment will not cost you anything because you already have the camera and there is no processing fee to see the results. Enjoy your trial and errors

(pardon my engrish but I was out drinking til 2:30 AM and when I get drunk I get wide awake and hence I am surfing the AI board... <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" /> <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

[ 12-29-2002: Message edited by: kwondo ]</p>
post #27 of 64
Understood. I'll have to practice secretly fiddling with my camera so no one notices I'm going to get good blackmail shots... <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />
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post #28 of 64
If you want a small camera check out this one from Casio. It is tiny has a sweet metal housing and can take pictures rapidly.

<a href="http://www.exilim.com/" target="_blank">http://www.exilim.com/</a>
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post #29 of 64
yeah i've been working with my camera (a40) on manual mode for a while, i have a better understanding on how to set the ISO and Shutter speed, but F-stops is something i'm not really quite sure of yet. needless to say since this if my first camera, i am not perfect on what the camera needs to be set at, though i'm getting closer

...my blasted boss (actually he is really nice) but he is a phtographer and he just knows how to set it and its almost always perfect...thaat bastard
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post #30 of 64
Chilleymac,

That is a sweet looking little camera. Do you have one? Any disadvantages. Appears it doesn't have a lens protector.
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post #31 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by ast3r3x:
<strong>yeah i've been working with my camera (a40) on manual mode for a while, i have a better understanding on how to set the ISO and Shutter speed, but F-stops is something i'm not really quite sure of yet. needless to say since this if my first camera, i am not perfect on what the camera needs to be set at, though i'm getting closer

...my blasted boss (actually he is really nice) but he is a phtographer and he just knows how to set it and its almost always perfect...thaat bastard</strong><hr></blockquote>
At the risk over-simplifying, here's some notes that may help in getting a handle on manual settings (these are based on years w/ 35mm SLRs - I don't have a digital camera yet):

As you've mentioned, there are 3 basic aspects - shutter speed (fairly self-explanatory), 'ISO', or Film Speed, and the F-stops, or aperture.

In reverse order, aperture refers to how much light the lens lets in, measured in increments known as F-stops (lowest number = most light (widest aperture), highest number = least light (most narrow aperture)). This is important because the more light the lens lets in, the faster the shutter speed can be (more on this later), but it's also important because of what's called depth of field. Depth of field determines how much of the picture will be in focus. For example, say you're taking a picture of a friend in his room, and your point of focus is his nose. If you're set on low Fstop (f2.8, say), his nose may be in focus, but not his ears - but at a high f-stop (like f22), everything around him is sharp, not just his nose. So 'depth of field' means how "deep the in-focus part is, and f-stops determine that.

Ok, ISO is (im totally 'reasoning from prior art' here) roughly equivalent to the old ASA film speeds. The celluloid strip films used the ASA speeds to tell you how light-sensitive the film emulsion was: the lower the number, the lower the sensitivity. In practical terms, a slow film like Kodachrome (ASA 64) would be a good choice for bright, sunny days outside, and a fast film like Tri-X (B+W, ASA 400) would be used for indoor & 'available-light' (ie, no flash) work.

In digital cameras, where there is no film, I'd guess this is used to tell the camera generally whether to be more or less sensitive. Feel free to correct me.

Shutter speed matters because if the speed is set too fast, you might not get enough light for a well-exposed picture - and if it's too slow (ie, below 1/125th/sec), motion may not be stopped completely, tending to blur an otherwise sharp image (@ 1/60th, you have to hold VERY STILL while you take the picture; below that, you really should use a tripod).

Hope that's not all basic & insulting or what. In practice, how it works is, you pick general settings for general conditions. For example, doing street photography, I'd often go for ASA400 film speed, and 1/125th - 1/250th/sec shutter, and adjust the f-stops according to changing conditions.

Most photogs (used to?) prefer either to keep a consistant depth of field, or a constant shutter speed - this resulted in auto-exposure cameras that were either aperture-priority (Minolta, for example, where you'd set the f-stop & the camera would auto-adjust the shutter speed), or shutter-priority (which does the exact opposite, like Canon).

Anyhow, hopefully that will give you some basis for some informed fooling-around.
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post #32 of 64
can you tell me what you do if there is a strong backlight in a dark room, how would you fix that?
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post #33 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by ast3r3x:
<strong>can you tell me what you do if there is a strong backlight in a dark room, how would you fix that?</strong><hr></blockquote>

You mean like shooting into a room, directly towards some windows? I'd say use a powerful flash and hope for the best....
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post #34 of 64
I don't know much about digital cameras or cameras in general since college photography days. i want a manual focus camera , none of this auto-focus stuff. i want to be able to have better control like a real camera. i want the feel of a real camera as well like my old film camera (Nikon) i used in college photo classes. i preferably want 4 megapixels. is the higher the megapixel the better? i'm looking at the Minolta Dimage S404 which is about $500, which is about what i want to spent. This camera seems to get pretty good reviews

i found someone on another thread that like this model

any other recommendations?
post #35 of 64
I love my Canon A40. Great for point and shoot or manually setting your pix. Small and convenient, and even tho it's plastic, it feels pretty damned solid. Great buy for $224.

[ 12-30-2002: Message edited by: Mikey Offender ]</p>
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post #36 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by Mikey Offender:
<strong>I love my Canon A40. Great for point and shoot or manually setting your pix. Small and convenient, and even tho it's plastic, it feels pretty damned solid. Great buy for $224.

[ 12-30-2002: Message edited by: Mikey Offender ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

glad to see another a40 users out there is as happy as i am...what do you do to clean ur lens, i assume after awhile it will get dusty and even possible a finger print or two when my sis borrows it
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post #37 of 64
Thanks everyone this is quite a good thread!
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post #38 of 64
I've been taking some pictures with my friends Sony P9 these days and have noticed that they are pretty damn grainy. I take them at 1280x960.

Is this normal or what? (especially in lower light situations)

Aside from that, I love this thing. Really small, MPEG movies with audio, 4MPx, etc etc
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post #39 of 64
i've noticed that too in low light situations! Try opening up the aperture and adjusting for more exposure, does this help? I don't have my camera handy and still have to tackle the manual eventually.
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post #40 of 64
The reason pictures get more "grainy" in low light situations is that most digital cameras increase their sensitivity with low light. As noted above, there are three basic things you can change to adjust exposure: shutter speed, apeture and sensitivity. As you increase the sensitivity, the CCD will pick up more noise. What you are calling grain is that noise.
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