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View Full Version : OT: Recommend a digital camera?



Kyle
2009-02-27, 07:21
I have had a Panasonic Lumix camera for about three years and I would like to get a new one for my wife. My complaints about this camera are the long reset times and the delay between tripping the shutter and the shot actually being taken. Both are extremely annoying. I hope there are better options available today. I'm looking in the sub-$200 range (5-6 megapixels is fine) and don't want much more than point and shoot as this is for my wife who wants ease of use. Thanks for any suggestions.

Dogberry2
2009-02-27, 08:35
I highly recommend the Canon Powershot SD line. I've had one for years, and it's been great. My wife got the SD1100IS (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-SD1100IS-Digital-Stabilized/dp/B0012YC7AE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1235748290&sr=1-1) model last year, and it also takes fantastic pictures. I've recommended them to friends, and everyone who has bought one loves it. It's shirtpocket small, but has great optics and firmware; the pictures are generally outstanding. I've had photography snobs see my pictures and be wowed, then try to start a conversation about what kind of fancy gear I used. When I tell 'em it was just a little pocket point-and-shoot camera they look startled and change the subject. Battery life is very good (obviously longer if you're not using the flash), but get a spare battery anyway, so you can keep using the camera while one battery is in the charger. And of course, get a big SD card or two (8 GB cards have come way down in price, and hold a ton of photos). Oh, and get one that has an actual viewfinder window, in addition to the LCD screen. You might not use it often, but there are times when it comes in handy.

MadScientist
2009-02-27, 08:49
Search and ask your question on the photo net site where you're likely to get some good pointers

http://photo.net/

MS

pfarrell
2009-02-27, 10:52
Kyle wrote:
> I have had a Panasonic Lumix camera for about three years and I would
> like to get a new one for my wife. My complaints about this camera are
> the long reset times and the delay between tripping the shutter and the
> shot actually being taken.

I have some Nikon point and shoots that would take years between when
you push the shutter and when it actually took the shot. Drove me nuts.
Replaced them with current Cannon, I think SD1100. Great camera.

Try it in the store before you buy.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

Kyle
2009-02-27, 15:17
Pat, I actually ordered the SD1100 from newegg today. It was packaged with a 4gb card and a case at a good price. I'm sure my wife will be fine with it. I found a pretty good review site that gave shutterlag figures and reset figures, and it measured up pretty well. Gotta be better than what she's using now. Thanks for the advice (even though it was in the wrong thread!).

Howard Passman
2009-02-27, 15:29
Pat, I actually ordered the SD1100 from newegg today. It was packaged with a 4gb card and a case at a good price. I'm sure my wife will be fine with it. I found a pretty good review site that gave shutterlag figures and reset figures, and it measured up pretty well. Gotta be better than what she's using now. Thanks for the advice (even though it was in the wrong thread!).

There are a few things you can do in some instances to make your camera trip the shutter faster. The camera is spending time trying to calculate, shutter speed, focus, etc.. If you can set the exposure manually, you shorten the time the camera takes to do that. In some cases the exposure doesn't change from shot to shot so you can set it and forget it. Next, if the camera has a manual focus mode and it is easy enough use, then you can use that in cases where you know the focus point. Say you're shooting your kids baseball game. The play is going to be at second base. Manually focus on second and wait for the action to happen there. If you set the focus and exposure ahead of time, the camera will trip very quickly. It takes a bit of thinking for a while, but there are lotsof cases where you can preset focus and exposure and then catch the action. Your other option is to spend $800+ on a camera body. The more you spend the less the lag time.

Howard

Kyle
2009-02-28, 03:53
Howard, if it were for me, I'd spend some extra dough and get a DSLR. But for my wife, p&s is what she needs. I think the camera I bought will be a big improvement over what we've got now, if the specs I read were correct. Thanks for the tips, though.

Howard Passman
2009-02-28, 04:15
Howard, if it were for me, I'd spend some extra dough and get a DSLR. But for my wife, p&s is what she needs. I think the camera I bought will be a big improvement over what we've got now, if the specs I read were correct. Thanks for the tips, though.

Cool. I hope she enjoys it. Lots of big improvements over the past 2 years. 2-3 years ago we were using the same tricks I mentioned even with DSLR's for some stuff. Not so much for the exposure, but for focusing. I've been shooting 35 years off and on and I still don't know how the sport shooters in the manual focus days did it. Lots of film, lots of film.

Have a great weekend.

Howard

Kyle
2009-02-28, 04:30
I used to shoot sports back in my old newspaper days (late '70's when I was writing sports) with a Nikkormat. With practice, you got pretty good at "follow focusing," but it was mostly anticipation with a lot of luck involved. Doing your own darkroom work helped, too. Cheers.

Howard Passman
2009-02-28, 04:37
I used to shoot sports back in my old newspaper days (late '70's when I was writing sports) with a Nikkormat. With practice, you got pretty good at "follow focusing," but it was mostly anticipation with a lot of luck involved. Doing your own darkroom work helped, too. Cheers.

Sorry, didn't realize you were a shooter. A lot has changed hasn't it. One thing for sure, the equipment somehow got heavier didn't it? ....and more expensive.

I enjoy digital, but I do miss the darkroom at times. You're gonna think I'm crazy, but I kept a bottle of stop bath just for old times sake. The smell is one of those time machines like the smell of gasoline for those who grew up working in gas stations before unleaded fuel :-) I pour a little bit on my monitor every now and then...NOT :-)

Howard

Kyle
2009-02-28, 04:47
Yeah, I enjoyed the darkroom work, but it's been years. I can still smell those chemicals, though. I bought a film Nikon and some nice lenses 6-7 years ago when digital was still young, but I just didn't use it enough and ended up selling it all on ebay when I got into digital. I'm still using a basic p&s camera, but I do some retouching with The Gimp (open-license program similar to Photoshop), and it's fun. It's amazing how images can be manipulated digitally. I remove power lines, open half-closed eyes, remove zits, darken and blur background distractions -- all kinds of things. Purists would probably scoff, but if they knew what went on in darkrooms, it's really not much different.

Howard Passman
2009-02-28, 05:01
Yeah, I enjoyed the darkroom work, but it's been years. I can still smell those chemicals, though. I bought a film Nikon and some nice lenses 6-7 years ago when digital was still young, but I just didn't use it enough and ended up selling it all on ebay when I got into digital. I'm still using a basic p&s camera, but I do some retouching with The Gimp (open-license program similar to Photoshop), and it's fun. It's amazing how images can be manipulated digitally. I remove power lines, open half-closed eyes, remove zits, darken and blur background distractions -- all kinds of things. Purists would probably scoff, but if they knew what went on in darkrooms, it's really not much different.

There are certainly two trains of thought on manipulation of photos. Some feel they are historical recordings and shouldn't be changed and others are considering the image and it's short comings. I'm sure most would agree Ansel Adams was a noteable photographer and yet he probably never printed an image without doing his "dance". I can see both sides and I maintain they are both correct in their own context. Nothing wrong with correcting a models blemishes. It's not a historical accounting of anything. On the other hand adding or subtracting from an image that is a historical accounting is wrong unless it is clear the image has been changed for artistic purposes.

In 2000 I started to carry a little Olympus P&S digital camera telling myself I would use it as a tool with my film cameras to preview composition and the such. It wasn't long before I was addicted and started the move to digital. These guys at Nikon, Canon, etc. know what they're doing :-) Well, except they may have overextended themselves to Ritz :-)

Howard

Moonbase
2009-02-28, 06:52
Hee hee, one nice off-topic thread this has become!

I started playing with an Olympus Camedia C-2500L in 2000 (one of the first halfway usable DSLRs), because I couldn't afford the AP NC-2000 my company sold at that time ...

Now I'm dreaming of a good Nikon DSLR body ... ;-)

Howard Passman
2009-02-28, 07:29
Hee hee, one nice off-topic thread this has become!

I started playing with an Olympus Camedia C-2500L in 2000 (one of the first halfway usable DSLRs), because I couldn't afford the AP NC-2000 my company sold at that time ...

Now I'm dreaming of a good Nikon DSLR body ... ;-)

Heck, no ones looking yet so I guess we can carry on till we get called on it.

I had my sights set on a Kodak DCS14 when they were announced, but couldn't wait it out. It was a huge jump from the (speaking of huge) NC-2000. Since then I've been on the Nikon bandwagon, although I have no idea why. I don't have one, but the D90 is getting some really good press. I half way don't want to know how good it might be. I might regret what I've spent :-)

Maybe we could start a "Other Interests" forum :-) Probably not....

P.S. I'll trade ya jobs

Kyle
2009-02-28, 09:13
Maybe we could start a "Other Interests" forum :-) Probably not....


Most forums have one. I've posted a lot of OT questions here, primarily involving technology, because there are so many members here who are a lot more savvy than I. I hope the mods don't get too picky about it.

Kyle
2009-03-05, 11:27
I received the Canon SD1100 and gave it to my wife today. Unfortunately, I had not noticed that it has a rechargable battery and does not take standard batteries. My wife is planning on taking this camera on a trip to Ireland this summer (a big reason for getting it). I know she doesn't want to mess with recharging the batteries, and I've had so much trouble with power converters, I wouldn't trust one anyway. I am seriously considering sending this camera back and getting one that takes standard batteries. Am I wrong?

Dogberry2
2009-03-05, 12:12
I received the Canon SD1100 and gave it to my wife today. Unfortunately, I had not noticed that it has a rechargable battery and does not take standard batteries. My wife is planning on taking this camera on a trip to Ireland this summer (a big reason for getting it). I know she doesn't want to mess with recharging the batteries, and I've had so much trouble with power converters, I wouldn't trust one anyway. I am seriously considering sending this camera back and getting one that takes standard batteries. Am I wrong?"Right" or "wrong" in this is, of course, a matter of opinion, and therefore up to you. I did mention the batteries and charger in my previous post when I recommended the SD1100, but I guess I didn't make it explicit enough. In any case, I still think it's the best little P&S camera on the market, especially for the price. I've never traveled in Ireland (or the U.K.) so I can't comment from firsthand knowledge on how likely it is that you'll be able to use a converter on the charger. But my daughter spent a semester in Wales a few years back, and was able to use a standard European-to-US power converter with her battery charger (as well as with her laptop) without encountering any problems. It's also entirely possible that Canon has a UK-specific charging unit for the camera; this might be worth checking into before giving up on the Canon altogether.

Secret Squirrel
2009-03-05, 12:41
I took this camera, charger, and an inexpensive plug adapter (the recharger is rated for 120v - 240V so an converter is not required) to both St. Lucia and Barcelona this year. NO PROBLEMS. It's great because the recharger works quickly. Something less the 30 minutes for a full recharge. However, I do carry an extra battery around while touring just in case I use up the battery. (I've already been stuck at a graduation an run out of batteries before my son walked on stage.)

HTH and she enjoys her trip!

SS

Ur[s]uS
2009-03-05, 12:54
I received the Canon SD1100 and gave it to my wife today. Unfortunately, I had not noticed that it has a rechargable battery and does not take standard batteries. My wife is planning on taking this camera on a trip to Ireland this summer (a big reason for getting it). I know she doesn't want to mess with recharging the batteries, and I've had so much trouble with power converters, I wouldn't trust one anyway. I am seriously considering sending this camera back and getting one that takes standard batteries. Am I wrong?

220v here, not 110v. Provided the wall-wart / charger is rated for 220v, all you need is pin converter. Fuji make a very convenient travel converter, with USB, pins for Australia, mainland Europe, UK/Ireland and US, worth a look. The rechargeable with camera are much better for flash and long-day snapping, ordinary batteries tire alot more quickly.

Enjoy.

xio
2009-03-05, 15:34
We're not quite in the dark ages here in Europe you know (well, except maybe financially ;-) ). I've travelled from here all over the place with the standard canon chargers and a variety of leads to plug them in and they work pretty much everywhere.

Kyle
2009-03-06, 08:46
Thanks for the suggestions, and of course I didn't mean to imply any sort of inferiority of Irish public works ;-), I just know that my wife, chaperoning a group of high school kids, is not going to want to mess with recharging a camera, so I'm looking at other options. One thing I like about the Canons is the traditional viewfinder, which we have discovered is sometimes necessary in bright sunlight as the LCD display is basically invisible. I'm looking at the Canon A590 as a substitute.

Pale Blue Ego
2009-03-06, 10:44
My everyday camera is the unusual hybrid Canon TX1. It's a cigarette-pack-sized camera that has a 10x optical zoom lens, takes hi-def video(1280x720) with stereo sound, and can be used as a stereo (16-bit/44.1) audio-only recorder with surprisingly good fidelity from the built-in microphones (the mics are behind those little holes on the back of the flip-out LCD)

Unfortunately, Canon seems to have abandoned the hybrid design; there was no TX1 replacement in their 2009 lineup. Maybe it was robbing sales from their more expensive video-only cameras. Anyway, it's a wonderfully tiny camera with excellent capabilities. I paid $325 for mine last summer.