Jump to content

Digital camera recommendations


Recommended Posts

Not a second new camera, but I realized that I hadn't mentioned the brand and model, in case anyone was interested.

 

I think dpreview offers more reliable evaluations than cnet, but my camera has not been reviewed by the site yet, although it's gotten a lot of praise in the Canon forum over there.

 

The specs on the macro function are impressive, but I haven't really tested it yet.

Battery life is spectacular.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 469
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I think dpreview offers more reliable evaluations than cnet, but my camera has not been reviewed by the site yet, although it's gotten a lot of praise in the Canon forum over there.

I think Lippy is correct about DPReview being a better source of information than CNET. And the Canon forums were invaluable to me in evaluating whether or not my Powershot Pro1 was a lemon or not. (It was! They sent me another one.)

 

I used to regard CNET as infallible, but they just aren't very thorough, and I think they're spread too thin.

Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't think megapixels have much to do with detail, do they? just a question of how big your prints can be without losing quality. i rarely, okay, never, print anything bigger than 5x7. so even 5mp seems like overkill to me. the important things for me are color accuracy, focus, optical zoom, macro, low-light performance, and to not be constantly over-ridden by automatic settings--which with some new point and shoot cameras seems to be the case.

 

will check out dpreview. the site is terribly laid out, however.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think macro is more complicated than the camera salespeople lead you to believe. The macro capability of even the best digital camera can take you only so far. I think it's entirely possible to photograph flowers, and so forth, but not something as small as a small insect to fill the frame. (I may be wrong, here, and there may well be some cameras that are capable of doing this, but my impression is that you still need a close-up lens or filter to photograph the really small objects.)

 

Another advantage of more megapixels is that you can crop your photo and still retain quality.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think macro is more complicated than the camera salespeople lead you to believe.  The macro capability of even the best digital camera can take you only so far.  I think it's entirely possible to photograph flowers, and so forth, but not something as small as a small insect to fill the frame.  (I may be wrong, here, and there may well be some cameras that are capable of doing this, but my impression is that you still need a close-up lens or filter to photograph the really small objects.)

 

Another advantage of more megapixels is that you can crop your photo and still retain quality.

The super-macro on my Canon Powershot Pro1 was the final deciding factor for me. It can get 1.3" away from the subject matter.

 

These are some shots I just took for the hell of it, out in my yard a few minutes ago.

 

Macro2.jpg

 

Macro3.jpg

 

Macro4.jpg

 

Of course, to get the full effect, I'd post a close-up of the original size. These are just cropped images where I zoomed in some.

 

A flower at a farm this week:

 

Macro1.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

The macro capacity on my old digital (1996 Olympus D-340L, 1.3 megapixels, no zoom) was spectacular. I was able to shoot within an inch of the subject and get total clarity. Shooting subjects similar to the ones Tana has posted was easy.

 

In 2004, the Olympus started to show its age. It was time to buy a new camera. After months of research on several camera review sites (Steve's Digicams, DCResource, etc), I finally settled on the Konica Minolta Dimage A1, which I dearly love. However, the macro capacity sucks. After a year's use, it's the only thing I dislike about the camera.

 

Last week I ordered a macro lens and adaptor. We'll see how well the lens works. I have my fingers crossed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It's been raining since I bought it, so I haven't been able to give it an extensive trial, but I'm very happy with it so far.

Overcast & rain are actually good conditions for photography. Since the contrast & glare are reduced, colours are more saturated. Of course, there are also the "moody" photo's (as-is or trying out the B&W or sepia modes for added effect).

Link to post
Share on other sites
i don't think megapixels have much to do with detail, do they? just a question of how big your prints can be without losing quality. i rarely, okay, never, print anything bigger than 5x7. so even 5mp seems like overkill to me.

If the number of pixels don't affect quality, then see how satisfied you'd be with a 1 pixel camera. :wub:

The more pixels there are, the greater the detail that you can capture. If the scene doesn't have much detail to begin with, then there's no point to having higher resolution, but as Lippy pointed out: "Another advantage of more megapixels is that you can crop your photo and still retain quality." In fact, that's exactly what digital zoom is – cropping a photo (and thereby reducing the final resolution) to make it appear zoomed-in. You can do it yourself with much greater control... and quality.

 

Capturing detail is just one matter, printing it is another. Home ink-jet printers vary widely with regards to the level of detail that they can print. Some of the limitations are: (obviously) the resolution capability of the printer (although most newer printers are quite good) & what you have it set to; and the paper type that you're printing on (plain, matte, glossy, photo-matte, photo-glossy, textured, etc.). Also obvious, is the resolution of the original photo/file.

One good option for high-quality prints, is to take the image file to a lab (or ftp it, if the service is available) to print it for you using the very same photo dyes and papers that they use when printing photo's from negatives. Prints from a lab will last as long as a "regular" photographic print.

 

I agree with you, though, on the points that mega-pixels aren't everything. If the other factors affecting picture quality aren't there, then resolution is meaningless.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On my new camera, I'm suposed to be able to focus as close as 1/2" at the wide angle on macro, but I haven't done it yet, so I don't know if it really works well. I'm eager to try it, but my batteries are charging.

 

Those are great pix, Tana. I love macro photos, but I was more driven by the 4x zoom on the A610, coupled with excellent image quality at that price point ($299.) I looked at cameras with 12x zooms, but they were too bulky for me to carry around all the time, the way I do.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I much prefer shooting on overcast days, but pouring rain, like we've been having, is something else altogether.

Granted, but if you're travelling, you'll take advantage of every opportunity that you can get. One of the nice things about photography-in-the-rain is the lack of people getting in the way. :wub: For urban shots, the reflections of coloured lights at night add greater interest. As long as you're relatively dry & comfortable (and it's not coming down in buckets), then go for it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
i don't think megapixels have much to do with detail, do they? just a question of how big your prints can be without losing quality. i rarely, okay, never, print anything bigger than 5x7. so even 5mp seems like overkill to me.

If the number of pixels don't affect quality, then see how satisfied you'd be with a 1 pixel camera. :wub:

well, i did say 5x7. couldn't do that with a 1 megapixel camera, could i? my ancient 2 megapixel kodak dc 280 takes very high quality pictures in most circumstances. the only reason i am changing is because its macro sucks, it doesn't do well in low light and because on my recent trip to india i realized it is nice to have more than a 2x zoom. these are not issues that a 8 megapixel camera could help me with. if i can get the features i need then anything over 4-5 megapixels is a bonus. at this point does anyone even make a decent new <4mp camera?

Link to post
Share on other sites
i don't think megapixels have much to do with detail, do they? just a question of how big your prints can be without losing quality. i rarely, okay, never, print anything bigger than 5x7. so even 5mp seems like overkill to me.

If the number of pixels don't affect quality, then see how satisfied you'd be with a 1 pixel camera. :wub:

well, i did say 5x7. couldn't do that with a 1 megapixel camera, could i? my ancient 2 megapixel kodak dc 280 takes very high quality pictures in most circumstances. the only reason i am changing is because its macro sucks, it doesn't do well in low light and because on my recent trip to india i realized it is nice to have more than a 2x zoom. these are not issues that a 8 megapixel camera could help me with. if i can get the features i need then anything over 4-5 megapixels is a bonus. at this point does anyone even make a decent new <4mp camera?

[Emphasis added to my quote for clarification.]

 

1 megapixel would be much better that 1 pixel ( no "mega" ). :lol:

 

Anything in the 2 to 3 megapixel range is good enough for transmission by e-mail.

Here's a "quick & dirty" calculation of how many pixels comprise a 5"x7" print taking a lab resolution of just 400 dpi:

• labs take standard RBG files, so each pixel of a colour image is actually comprised of 3 bytes

• given the above resolution, 5x7 = 2,000 x 2,800 for a B&W image, therefore triple those bytes for colour

• 5x7 (RGB colour) = 6,000 x 8,400 bytes = 50,400,000 Bytes or roughly 50.4 MB

[Calculations are before any file compression is done, such as jpeg (which is a lossy format).]

 

By contrast, a monitor's resolution of 72 dpi for a 5x7 image = 1080 x 1512 = 1,632,960 bytes.

 

Obviously, the camera's (and files) that we use – around the 4 to 5 megapixel range – are losing a LOT of real image data. The programs that we use to print images (as well as the labs) use algorithms to extrapolate the data so that we may have reasonable image sizes to print. The greater the camera's resolution, the more accurate the image... colour, tone, contrast, etc.

It all works together.

[Edited to add...] Remember, way back, when attempting to print a nice "big" pic from the web or e-mail, how disappointingly small the resulting pic would be? Postage stamp sized! They were big on-screen, but were being printed pixel-for-pixel. Many of the images are just as small today, but the software has been changed to accommodate our whims... within limits ("Print Screen" works quite well now, but it's still not photo quality; similar changes to s/w have been done to most graphics programs, but there we generally use larger image files which naturally result in better printouts). For most people, these images are "good enough", but it's kinda like comparing the sound quality of AM radio with modern music CD's (and older digital images were akin to 1930's era radio).

 

 

 

<4MP camera's are being phased out simply because the demand is going towards the higher megapixels. Camera manufacturers are currently capable of producing camera's in the range of 50+ megapixels quite easily... but why go straight there when they can "milk the market" for another 10 years or more?

 

To quote dpreview:

The old ISO standard resolution chart we have been using for the last six years has served us well but met its limit at around ten megapixels. With the advent of 10+ megapixel digital SLR's and maybe next year even consumer cameras it's clear the time is right for an updated chart. The new chart is based on the ISO chart but has double resolution bars which provide resolution measurement up to 4000 LPH (which should be good for up to 35 megapixels).

Expect more higher resolution cameras & much smaller useful cameras in about 5 years or so (about the time that the patents should expire (unless renewed) on the Foveon sensor technology... which can triple the resolution of a given sensor area).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...