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#88664 - 03/18/07 06:53 AM Re: Digital camera recommendations? [Re: Stretch]
ducktapeguy Offline

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358

Good catch. Actually, I got interrupted and didn't finish my thought on that one. You're absolutely correct, optical zoom is the only way to go, and you'll never regret having more zoom. What I meant to say was, also anything with more than 3x optical zoom will probably need a tripod or some sort of image stabilization, because it gets harder to handhold and get sharp pictures at those higher magnifications. A lot of people don't realize that the more you zoom, the less light reaches the lens, and the steadier you have to hold the camera. With a lot of the high magnifications on the newer cameras, it's almost impossible to handhold the camera without some type of stabilization, either internal or external.

Right now, I don't know of too many cameras with 14x optical zoom. I am looking at a couple that go up to 12X optical, which would be great for outdoors, but don't forget the other end of the spectrum. While high magnification zooms are always prominently advertised as a selling point, you should also consider the wide end of the lens. Most cameras that I've seen don't really go nearly wide enough for my preference. For group pictures, indoor shots, etc, having a true wide angle (28mm equivilent or better) is probabably more useful than extra magnification. It might not seem that important, but if you go to the store and actually compare a 28mm wide angle to a 35 mm (i'm talking about focal lengths, not films size), you'll realize it does make a pretty big difference. Unfortunately, a lot of cameras only concentrate on trying to outdo each other in zoom, at the expense of the wide angle.

#88666 - 03/18/07 11:40 AM Re: Digital camera recommendations? [Re: thseng]
KyBooneFan Offline

Registered: 06/19/05
Posts: 233
Loc: West Kentucky
Stick to companies who make cameras (e.g., Cannon, Nikon, etc.) and stay away from companies who build cameras as an addition to their primary products (e.g., Kodak, HP, etc.).


WHOA! Don't badmouth Kodak. They were making cameras before the CEO's of Canon and Nikon were born (in Japan of course). You can get a good Kodak for under $200 in the 3 MP range which is adequate to make enlargements up to 5 X 7 or larger.

I once owned one of those Kodak film cameras that made panoramic shots (can't remember the name). It finally died and I called Kodak about getting it repaired. Nice lady in customer service said the camera was discontinued and that it was of poor design from the start. Even though the camera was well out of warranty, she instructed me to mail it to her and she would send me the current version, FREE. And she did. This is not the first time I have gotten outstanding service from Kodak, like sending me a small part for my projector, FREE, with her apology.

As someone mentioned, some of their cameras have a charging/transfer dock. This is very handy for some applications. Rather than worry with a portable charger, I just carry an extra battery. Surely they have a compatible system to connect to laptops without packing the dock. Takes outstanding pictures as do most brands of digital cameras. I have an LG cell phone (LG8300)that takes unbelievably good pictures which surprised me greatly. They go on a mini-SD card which slips into the side of the phone.

This is sorta like which is best, Ford, Chevrolet or Dodge pickups. (Chevy diesel of course).

BTW, my Kodak digital camera, Model DX3900, is......<wince>....
made in Japan! It's still a great little camera and easily slips into your shirt pocket (or bra if you have the room). There is literally a plethora of digitals on eBay, some at real bargains new in the box.

My two cents.

"The more I carry, the less I need."

#88669 - 03/18/07 01:24 PM Re: Digital camera recommendations? [Re: KyBooneFan]
KyBooneFan Offline

Registered: 06/19/05
Posts: 233
Loc: West Kentucky
Sorry thseng. Meant to reply to Monkey.

"The more I carry, the less I need."

#88682 - 03/18/07 04:23 PM Re: Digital camera recommendations? [Re: KyBooneFan]
Stretch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 707
Loc: Alamogordo, NM
It seems that digital camera makers are lowering the quality of their optics (thereby reducing the practical amount of optical zoom they can provide) and instead focusing on "digital" zoom, which, as Ducktapeguy pointed out, is not a good thing. The digital zoom does work, but the more of it you apply the more corrupted the photo.

Optical zoom is identified as the first set of characters in the camera's zoom field. 3x/120x means 3x optical zoom and 120x digital zoom. The optical zoom is pure lens capture of your subject. Digital zoom just enlarges the pixels of the photo. The more digital zoom used, the larger the pixels, and the blurrier the image.

With our 14x Sony Mavicas, you didn;t really need a tripod too often. We used them for long-distance photos of license plates, cars, and people. The cameras had image stabilization (which most all do) which did a fair job of taking care of vibrations. That said, if you want the clearest photo using the highest zoom factor, a tripod and timed shutter activation is the only way to do it. This way, you set the shutter to capture say five seconds after you press the button. You press the button and step away and the camera then takes the photo without any interference.

When I began considering replacing the Mavicas, their newest models wrote the images to a CDR and, if I remember correctly, the highest optical zoom had dropped to about 12x or maybe 10x. We didn;t get them and have yet to replace the Mavicas.

About the only way to get a good optical zoom anymore is by looking at the digital SLR cameras. Again, these are the ones with interchangeable lenses that we're accustomed to seeing photographers use for the last several decades. They are true digital cameras with mega-pixel quality, but their lenses are purely optical. They are, by far, the most versatile digi-cams out there that I'm aware of, but they carry a pricetag well above Norad's $200 budget.

#88690 - 03/18/07 05:16 PM Re: Digital camera recommendations? [Re: Stretch]
aloha Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 1047
Loc: Hawaii, USA
I love my Canons. I have two. You can get a Canon Powershot up to 7.1 MP within your price range.

My sister has had a couple of Nikons. The first one she had was pretty cr@ppy. But her current one is really good. I do not know the model though.

#88710 - 03/18/07 09:10 PM Re: Digital camera recommendations? [Re: KyBooneFan]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2840
The big issue with Kodak is some require the use of a dock.

#88820 - 03/19/07 07:53 PM Re: Digital camera recommendations? [Re: KyBooneFan]
monkey Offline

Registered: 10/06/06
Posts: 42
Loc: Portland, OR
Hey KyBooneFan,

Did not mean to offend, if offense was taken. My decision to use name examples to clarify my thought was a poor idea. Not to mention Kodak was a poor choice given their incredible history in the photography industry. Lesson learned, and I thank you!

For the record, I do like Kodak and have used their film for years. Still won’t use anything else. I did not mean to imply Kodak was junk or they ran a poor company. The company would not have survived over 100 years if they didn’t do things right. As a side note, my mother owns an entry level Kodak point-and-shoot that takes far better photos in low light than my “nicer” Canon point-and-shoot.

I do, however, stand by my opinion. I will spend my money on a Canon or Nikon before Kodak (at this point in time). I feel the features and function are better thought out. Just my most humble opinion.


#88886 - 03/20/07 03:05 PM Re: Digital camera recommendations? [Re: monkey]
KyBooneFan Offline

Registered: 06/19/05
Posts: 233
Loc: West Kentucky

No offense taken. I am somewhat opinionated myself and at times rankle some people.

I just wanted to point out Eastman Kodak's longevity and their great customer service. I really can't imagine calling Canon or Nikon and getting a sympathetic customer service rep.

Way back in the fortys, we had an old Kodak which was quite heavy and had a door that opened. Then you reached in and got a hold of a bellows apparatus that slid forward on a track. We called it our "Kodak". At that time any camera brand was a Kodak although there weren't many other brands. I don't know when the old Argus C-3 came about but it was the industry standard for a long time.

Like everyone calls all circular saws "Skill Saws" when in fact only a Skil saw is a Skil saw.

"The more I carry, the less I need."

#88904 - 03/20/07 05:26 PM Re: Digital camera recommendations? [Re: Stretch]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
For my hiking trips and everyday life I'm using CASIO Exilim EX S3 for several years (I've ordered it from Japan). At 3.2MP it's a _real_ point-and-shoot camera. No zoom, no focus to worry about (and thus a much more serious battery life - no motor-moving parts). Tiny lag-time. It's the smallest camera (most likely in the world) which produces _really_ good images for web publishing (printing is often limited by 5"x7"). It's so thin and lightweight, - I can carry it in my shirt pocket almost without noticing it's there.

The best thing about this camera is that I'm usually need less then 2(!) seconds to take a shot in any situation (take it out of the pocket, click power, aim, shoot - all with a single hand). I don't even bother to stop moving. All you need, in order to achieve the best quality, is to choose a right preset beforehand (like indoor/outdoor and backlight compensation). The second - It gives me about 300 shots (not using flash) out of a full charge.

The only bad thing, I could mention, is proprietary battery. Yes, it's removable, and I'm carrying a couple of charged spares, but to charge them you'll have to carry either a CASIO docking station (though, it's small enough), or an external battery charger. The second - 80cm minimum distance to the subject. So, for the macro shots I have to carry a macro converter lens.

Random nature image:

Edited by Alex (03/20/07 07:20 PM)

#89110 - 03/22/07 02:51 AM Re: Digital camera recommendations? [Re: norad45]
Misanthrope Offline

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 156
Loc: Chicago burbs
Check with Polack187. He is the resident photo guru.

I hear voices....And they don't like you.

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