Digital Camera Recommendations

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  • Reply 21 of 36
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Apoder

    Yeah thats the message/icon I'm looking for. Nothing seems to happen when I plug in/pull out the cam so I guess it should be fine



    The green icon should be there. However, it may be simply hidden 'cause XP by default hides unused icons. There should be a small arrow in the taskbar, click on it and you should be able to find the green icon there.
  • Reply 22 of 36
    pyr3pyr3 Posts: 946member
    I have a Canon s500 which I really like. The only problem I've had with it is that auto-focus. When using macro, the auto-focus sometimes focuses on the wrong things. I regular mode the auto focus works fine though.
  • Reply 23 of 36
    apoderapoder Posts: 49member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Gene Clean

    The green icon should be there. However, it may be simply hidden 'cause XP by default hides unused icons. There should be a small arrow in the taskbar, click on it and you should be able to find the green icon there.



    Nope, nothing there. Maybe it's a bug.
  • Reply 24 of 36
    mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pyr3

    I have a Canon s500 which I really like. The only problem I've had with it is that auto-focus. When using macro, the auto-focus sometimes focuses on the wrong things. I regular mode the auto focus works fine though.



    I believe AiAF works by focusing on the highest contrast "thing" in the field of view. Obviously what is highest contrast to the camera may not be what you had intended on taking a picture of. Just disable AiAF and you're fine.
  • Reply 25 of 36
    mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Apoder

    Nope, nothing there. Maybe it's a bug.



    I've noticed the same thing as well, but I've never noticed any adverse effects when yanking the USB cord.



    It could be that the file ops between the computer and the camera are synchronous and uncached. Essentially this means when Windows says the file is done copying, it actually *is* commited to disk/camera (depending on the direction of transfer) and nothing remains in cache.
  • Reply 26 of 36
    pyr3pyr3 Posts: 946member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mikef

    I've noticed the same thing as well, but I've never noticed any adverse effects when yanking the USB cord.



    It could be that the file ops between the computer and the camera are synchronous and uncached. Essentially this means when Windows says the file is done copying, it actually *is* commited to disk/camera (depending on the direction of transfer) and nothing remains in cache.




    I somehow doubt that. Most external storage devices like cameras, flash drives, or flash cards are formatted FAT16 or FAT32. I doubt that somehow Windows treats one FAT32 external storage device differently than another is such a fashion.
  • Reply 27 of 36
    mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pyr3

    I somehow doubt that. Most external storage devices like cameras, flash drives, or flash cards are formatted FAT16 or FAT32. I doubt that somehow Windows treats one FAT32 external storage device differently than another is such a fashion.



    Ok, in that case, why does the A520 behave differently than other cameras (like my Sony digicam, for example)?



    Perhaps the A520 supports a newer/extended version of the PTP protocol that tells the Windows USB I/O manager to perform uncached file ops.
  • Reply 28 of 36
    pyr3pyr3 Posts: 946member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mikef

    Ok, in that case, why does the A520 behave differently than other cameras (like my Sony digicam, for example)?



    Perhaps the A520 supports a newer/extended version of the PTP protocol that tells the Windows USB I/O manager to perform uncached file ops.




    I don't know. I'm not bashing you or anything. I'm just saying that it seems odd that it would be different. The explanation might just be that it is using something other than the generic USB Mass Storage Device driver.
  • Reply 29 of 36
    Here is a bit of advise that a lot of people don't think about checking. Which ever camera you check make sure you have these options:

    -ISO settings from 200 and up. This will determine the quality of your shots in low-bright light and action.

    -Image size (pixels)"Raw, Tiff,JPEG, Fine, Normal,etc. These are the settings towards the best quality image possible to the worst.

    -Image modes or the sizes of your pictures "5M (2592x1944), 3M (2048x1536), 2M (1600x1200), PC (1024x768), TV (640x480)" These are just examples.



    I have a friend you only had Image size (pixels)JPEG, Fine, Normal and is not happy with the quality. He already wants to change it.



    Check out the differant CoolPix. Also the rear LCD can pivot in 360 degrees.



    I've got A Nikon Coolpix 5400 and it has all these settings and the pictures are awsome.





    http://www.nikon.ca/digital/:)
  • Reply 30 of 36
    thttht Posts: 3,063member
    Well, after taking 700+ pictures with our new Canon Powershot S2, as well as other digital cameras in the past, and this seems like a good thread for it, here's a little bit about the experience.



    Of the 700+ pictures we took, there were maybe 5 good pictures. "Good pictures" in the artistic sense, not that the image wasn't in focus or whatnot. That was depressing after looking at them on the computer. Those 5 or so pictures had good lighting, good framing, the subject was smiling right with eyes open right and no red-eye, the scene was pretty, and the image quality (in focus, no noticable noise, etc) was good. Thus it is with photography.



    I had a lot of fun learning how to use the camera. This was our first digital camera, and it was a very enjoyable experience. The Powershot S2 IS is a mini-SLR form-factor style digital camera with good construction, a solid grip, a lens barrel that was fairly easy to grip, 12x optical zoom, an articulating LCD, an electronic viewfinder, image stabilization, 4 AA batteries, the usual accouterments of buttons, lots of shooting modes including manual aperture, manual exposure timing, and manual focus (haven't tried this yet). We bought this primarily for the mini-SLR form factor and solid construction feel when compared to the Powershot A95 or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2. Not a fair comparison since they are different classes of cameras, but I really didn't know much about usage differences at the time.



    We used the camera in virtually all settings: bright sunlight, night time, low light, sunset, mountains, beaches, etc. For taking most pictures, we left it on the "AUTO" shooting mode and used manual mode for some unique times (pictures of sunset). I mostly played with aperture widths and exposure timings, and left it on the default ISO mode when in manual.



    For taking pictures, using the LCD was fairly useless because the LCD wasn't very clear in bright light conditions, if not most conditions. It was primarily useful for automatic portraits (with customizable delay times) and reviewing pictures. A few days into our trip, we used the electronic viewfinder almost exclusively.



    I'm not quite sure if image stabilization helped us or not. At max zoom (12x) most certainly, but not sure about the manual low light conditions we tried. I tried some long exposure times (1/8, 1/4 second) in night time scenes, and they turn out ok, so maybe it did.



    As with most digital cameras I've used, getting the right part of the frame to be in focus can be very tricky. We had a fair amount of pictures that didn't have the right focus or wasn't focused at all. I'm sure most of that was due to hand jitter, but sometimes the autofocus couldn't do the job. Difficult part of this is that the picture seems focused on the LCD, but when on the computer, it wasn't as precisely focused as thought and you don't know until it is on the computer.



    Flash was ok. Portraits at night were ok. Portraits during daytime with subject in shadow, bright background landscape, and flash on was ok, don't really like the photoshoppy feel of such a picture though. Low light conditions where flash may or may not be needed tended to have some noise in the image with and without flash it seems.



    The Canon UI seems very good overall. I still needed a manual to figure out most of the features. Not that familiar with all the terms yet, but once you do, the UI seems easy and fast to use. The omni-directional button Canon uses also seems to be more useful than 4 buttons used by other brands. The software UI also seems very good as well.



    I guess the moral of my story is to be cognizant of what you are shooting. 99% of the time, the lighting will not be good or the action too fast, and be patient. The image quality from most recommended cameras is about the same, within a few percentage points of each other, and the differentiator between which camera to use is which one suits what you want to do with the camera.



    If you want to control a lot of the aspects of a picture, a digital camera with manual options would be a must. If it's just point and shoot, go for the lowest priced, best camera for the price.



    By the way, iPhoto and the pictures just crushes my 256 MB, 500 MHz iBook G3. Poor thing. Our 256 MB 2.4 MHz (?) P4 Dell doesn't do much better. Really really need to get a lot more memory for both systems to make it bearable. I put the 1 GB SD card into my Treo 650, and I really really hope it's Palm media app that's slow, otherwise, the Treo isn't much use for picture viewing either.
  • Reply 31 of 36
    mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    I've heard many good things and seen the results of the S2 IS (and it's predecessor, the S1 IS). That zoom is just unbeatable!



    I echo your sentiments that taking good pictures is not easy. Pointing and shooting requires some thought and should talent in framing/composing/(insert other pro-photographer terms for taking a good picture here ). I've taken thousands of pictures and not been proud of much more than a handful of them.



    Quote:

    By the way, iPhoto and the pictures just crushes my 256 MB, 500 MHz iBook G3. Poor thing. Our 256 MB 2.4 MHz (?) P4 Dell doesn't do much better. Really really need to get a lot more memory for both systems to make it bearable. I put the 1 GB SD card into my Treo 650, and I really really hope it's Palm media app that's slow, otherwise, the Treo isn't much use for picture viewing either.



    I am surprised that your Dell has difficulty handling these photos (no surprise the G3 is slow with iPhoto which isn't a fast app). Have you tried Photoshop Elements, Picasa2, and/or Irfanview on Windows? I find the performance of these apps to be quite acceptable.



    I put my SD card into my sister's HP h1940 PDA and it was dog slow as well. These things just don't have the CPU speed or bus bandwidth to do things quickly with 1.2+ MB files, unfortunately. Great gimmick, but not entirely usable.
  • Reply 32 of 36
    regreg Posts: 832member
    My photos got better after I switched to faster lens. One of the reasons was we were not allowed to take flash pictures during gym meets. I have been lucky in picking my locations of shots ( if you are not alowed on the floor you get to the best seats first ) and the 20D is a dream to work with after using several different cameras before, including the 10D. I still load everything into iPhoto first then Elements 2 or Canon's PhotoStitch to get the picture or or combo of pictures I want. Be thankful that it is digital and you are not wasting $100's of $1,000's on film. I am really impressed with my Dad who takes vacation pictures with a Canon SD400 and comes out with really good pictures about 60% of the time. I tell him he is lucky. He says wait till you are in your 80's and most of your shots will be good also.



    reg
  • Reply 33 of 36
    thttht Posts: 3,063member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mikef

    I've heard many good things and seen the results of the S2 IS (and it's predecessor, the S1 IS). That zoom is just unbeatable!



    It's a fun camera to use alright. The mini-SLR style form factor with electronic viewfinder really changes the way a camera is used I think. Maybe it's because the image appears larger to your eye in the viewfinder with consistent brightness than the LCD.



    Quote:

    I am surprised that your Dell has difficulty handling these photos (no surprise the G3 is slow with iPhoto which isn't a fast app). Have you tried Photoshop Elements, Picasa2, and/or Irfanview on Windows? I find the performance of these apps to be quite acceptable.



    We use Irfanview. But I was referring to the Canon software which is sort of like iPhoto where it previews all the pictures in one window. It took forever for it to cache all of the images. Using an explorer window with Irfanview is fast though. I'd expect the same thing with the iBook and Preview.



    Quote:

    I put my SD card into my sister's HP h1940 PDA and it was dog slow as well. These things just don't have the CPU speed or bus bandwidth to do things quickly with 1.2+ MB files, unfortunately. Great gimmick, but not entirely usable.



    I made it slightly more usable by selecting a couple of hundred nice looking ones and resizing to 1280x960. Will probably cut done to 640x480 later. Just exporting and resizing those 200 to 1280x960 took my iBook 20 minutes.
  • Reply 34 of 36
    mikefmikef Posts: 697member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by THT

    We use Irfanview. But I was referring to the Canon software which is sort of like iPhoto where it previews all the pictures in one window. It took forever for it to cache all of the images. Using an explorer window with Irfanview is fast though. I'd expect the same thing with the iBook and Preview.



    Seriously, try Picasa (it's a free download from our friends at Google). As far as I am concerned, it's the closest thing to iPhoto without being iPhoto. In some ways, I prefer it to iPhoto.
  • Reply 35 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pyr3

    I have a Canon s500 which I really like. The only problem I've had with it is that auto-focus. When using macro, the auto-focus sometimes focuses on the wrong things. I regular mode the auto focus works fine though.







    See if you can set it to use only the center focus point. Focus on your subject with that point, recompose if need be (keeping the shutter half way down and shoot. This is a common autofocus problem and the best solution I know.
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