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Melensdad
01-18-2006, 03:03 PM
I have a great pocket digital camera (Canon PowerShot S500) and I am not looking to get rid of it, but there are times when I find it lacking.

So I am looking for another camera, I'm thinking I may end up in the digital SLR cameras but I'm not really sure.

What I would really like is:

An OPTICAL zoom of at least 7x, but more is better.
PictBridge printer connection (ideal but not a deal breaker)
At least 1 frame per second capability for action shots
Rechargable battery
Easy to use
"Secure Digital" card format (not a deal breaker if different)
I don't want to spend $1000+ and buy a big fancy camera, I just want one that will allow me to take photos of my daughter's sporting events, etc and be simple enough for my wife to use too. We are in-between sports now, so I am in no hurry to buy, I'm just in the early shopping stages and looking for some ideas.

I'm not at all hung up on it being an SLR type/style. I see no real reason for interchangable lenses, it just seems that as the optical zoom goes up and to get quicker recovery times between shots that the cameras tend toward the SLR design.

My ideal camera would fit in a shirt pocket, and have the features I listed above.

PBinWA
01-18-2006, 03:41 PM
Canon is the best seller on Amazon and get's good reviews.

I like this site for camera comparisons:

http://www.dpreview.com/

They have a good comparison tool.

Fuji cameras are currently getting good reviews for their color quality. I'd just check out the latency and Frames Per Second. I like a camera that can shoot a moving target (I have small children).

Melensdad
01-18-2006, 03:48 PM
I like a camera that can shoot a moving target (I have small children).
That is a big issue with my camera. While it is idea for many things, it has a delay that causes missed shots in action situations. I also find it lacking when shooting photos at her soccer games.

But I will say that my first choice in any camera is a camera that I can comfortably carry. The best camera in the world doesn't do any good if it is so big and heavy that lugging it around is a chore so you leave it at home. My little Canon was their top of the line in its series and I appreciate it for all the features but mostly for the great image quality combined with the tiny size that lets me carry it.

My big worry with getting a larger camera is that I will leave it at home! But for action shots at sporting events it seems my little compact camera is not up to the task.

PBinWA
01-18-2006, 03:55 PM
Yup - I have a Fuji FinePix 602Z that was top of their prosumer line when I bought it. It is "full size" and gets left behind more often because of that. It does shoot good VGA video though so it is nice that I can shoot good pictures and good video with the same camera which is what I wanted 3 years ago when we started pumping out kids. I didn't want to have to juggle a camera and a video camera.

I think the next camera will be something smaller for the pocket. The size/feature issue will always be the major dilemna though.

I don't care that much about megapixels. I think anything over 3MP tends to be overkill and would choose speed and quality of the color and image over higher resolution.

Good luck - let us know what you go with.

OregonAlex
01-18-2006, 04:00 PM
Bob,

What is your budget for the camera?

I am curious.. where does the SD Card requirement come from? This makes it a little tough.

Anytime that you want a large optical zoom (i.e. 8x) is going to require a deep lens.. so you are probably going to be looking at bigger sized camera (read cant fit into your pocket).

However, Nikon also just re-introduced a coolpix camera which goes back to using the swivel type of lens (I have in my Coolpix 995 which has taking 8000 pictures today using this design) which allows you to use a big lens (running the height of the camera) in a flip away manner so the camera is more compact when the lens to folded back in-line with the body. The camera just came out and is called the Coolpix S4 and has 10x optical. Uses Secure Digital Media. Continous shooting is 1.3 frames/sec. I think this meets all your requirements.

take a look at the monster lens on that thing. You can see how they can make the camera compact and yet use a powerful large/deep lens with this flip away/swivel design. As a bonus you should be able to take self portraits of yourself as you can flip the lens back at you and still frame the shot by allowing you to see the LCD screen (camera inverts the picture for you so it is right side up *grin* ). I am assuming the S4 allows this, mine 995 does.

The only issue I can think with this design is the red-eye because of the location of the flash relative close proximity to the lens. I recommend you try to find a review somewhere like www.dpreview.com (http://www.dpreview.com).

Price look very nice.. $320 online.
http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=2&productNr=25533



found a review here:
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/nikon/coolpix_s4-review/index.shtml

OkeeDon
01-18-2006, 04:51 PM
I am curious.. where does the SD Card requirement come from? This makes it a little tough.I don't know about Bob, but my preference for SD comes from two situations. First, all of our other cameras, my wife's, mine, and other members of my family, all happen to have SD compatible cameras. Sure makes it easy to swap around SD cards on occasion. Second, Sam's Club sells huge SD cards at a ridiculous price. The current price for a 1GB card is under $80. The 1GB card in my wife's 5 megapixel HP will yield over 600 pix; in my 4 mp Coolpix 4800, almost 1,000 pix. There's no reason to have any additional cards.

The S4 is a cool-looking camera that is the first one I've seen with more than 3x optical zoom yet still fit in a pocket. I bought my Coolpix 4800 because it almost fits in a pocket yet has 8.3x optical zoom; it was the smallest I could find at the time. I paid $312 and see it today for $189. I saw the S4 for $289. I'd be tempted to abandon my 4800 and go with the S4 except for 2 things. I don't like the AA batteries (my 4800's proprietary battery last for more shots and is rechargeable for free; I bought a spare, and I'll never spend another cent for batteries). And, I really like a viewfinder other than the LCD screen; it can get really difficult to frame a shot in a washed-out LCD screen in the middle of a bright, sunny, Florida day. The 4800 has an electronic viewfinder that's tied to the LCD; they work the same. I would have tolerated the batteries if the S4 had a veiwfinder.

OregonAlex
01-18-2006, 05:04 PM
Don,

The Coolpix 995 had a viewfinder. Too bad the S4 dropped this.

The other cool feature that I like about the Coolpix swivel camera is you can take a picture from above your head, aiming the lens at a stage above peoples heads, let pointing the LCD straight down so you can see. Very handy for taking pictures in a crowded room.

Melensdad
01-18-2006, 05:44 PM
I have SD and CF cards, so my preference is a new camera that would use either of those rather than bringing in another type of card to have to deal with. But like I said, its not a deal breaker. My logic for wanting to use something compatible with what I already own was very clearly layed out by OkeeDon.

As for the budget, I really didn't set one.

I don't need a quadrazillion-mega-pixels either, I can't recall the last time I actually printed anything larger than 4x6. But that is the reason I'd prefer a higher optical zoom, the digital zooms, to be worthwhile need massive amounts of pixels to give a clear image and I'm pretty much convinced that the digital zoom quality with lots of pixels is still lower than optical zoom with fewer (but adequate) pixels.

OregonAlex
01-18-2006, 05:58 PM
I don't need a quadrazillion-mega-pixels either, I can't recall the last time I actually printed anything larger than 4x6. But that is the reason I'd prefer a higher optical zoom, the digital zooms, to be worthwhile need massive amounts of pixels to give a clear image and I'm pretty much convinced that the digital zoom quality with lots of pixels is still lower than optical zoom with fewer (but adequate) pixels.
Bob,

I bet the digital zoom feature in most cameras is actually a crop operation. check the filesize of the photo. ;-)

if you actully want to do a digitial zoom then you are actually a lot better off shotting the photo wide and preforming a image enlargement in Photoshop using their interpolation algorythm. This way you can increase the number of pixels in your photo with Photoshop using interpolation and then do the crop (i.e. magnification - :yum:).

Melensdad
01-18-2006, 06:04 PM
All the more reason to want optical zoom!!!

OregonAlex
01-18-2006, 06:09 PM
just remember.. large optical zoom means much smaller maximum aperature at the high end. translation, less light which requires either a slower shutter speed (blurr) or increased sensor sensitivy/aka ISO equivelent (noise)

so if you are going to be taking lots of low light photos and indoor shots you are better of with a smaller zoom, or even better a fixed lens.


if your current camera can display the f stop/ shutter speed, and/or iso equivelent that it is picking before taking the shot, you can play and see what I am taking about by zooming in and going wide. You will notice that at wide, the f stop number is low (meaning the aperature is higher, which translates to more light coming into the camera) .. you will also notice a faster shutter speed at the widest setting or a low digitial ISO speed equivelent (sensor sensitivity). As you zoom in, f stop goes up, shutter speed gets slower, iso equivelent increases to "faster" film.. Same reason.
All the more reason to want optical zoom!!!

Melensdad
01-18-2006, 06:25 PM
Yup, I know all that stuff. I've got a couple professional Nikons (F2A), used to do my own developing, enlarging, even wound my own film from bulk rolls, at one time I was averaging about 100' of raw film a week. I realize the lighting limitations of imposed by lense aperature.

The purpose for the longer optical zoom is to photograph outdoor sports such as soccer, horseback riding, etc.

OregonAlex
01-18-2006, 06:35 PM
I should have known better.. I will shut up now.

Melensdad
01-18-2006, 06:51 PM
I should have known better.. I will shut up now.

Just because I know how to shoot FILM, and actually have a dozen or so awards from local shows for my photography, doesn't mean I have a clue who makes a good digital camera that suits my needs. In fact, I don't have a clue. I can frame up a good shot, but I don't know what equipment is out there that will work for me. That is why I need help. I'm really looking to see if someone makes an easy, reasonably compact, good quality camera with more than a very modest zoom.

California
01-18-2006, 09:36 PM
Bob,

I don't know if your taste matches mine, but here's what works well for me:

I photograph to document and share what I have seen. I don't need hardware optimized for fine-arts photography - that's a different specialty. At the minimum that would require a tripod and I don't want to carry one. The most important thing is to come home with lots of good, maybe not flawless, images that I can sort through later.

First priority is a camera that won't be left home. It has to be pocketable, that's non-negotiable.

Second, a very valuable feature is the leaf-shutter-style lens cover. I decided this after many years of snarled lens-cover leashes, lost lens covers, arguments with my wife when I'm sure I gave the lens cover to her to hold, etc etc. Fumbling with a lens cover is a significant cause of lost or delayed grab shots.

My present travel camera is a Canon A-75 and its travel case is simply an open ziplock bag in my pants pocket that I can get it out of instantly, (or into instantly, if I'm surrounded in a crowd of strangers.) The 3mp is sufficent for my primary use which is sharing photos on my family website, and the very few 4x6 prints I put on paper. The Canon A-95 would allow better enlargements and has a swivel viewfinder but I wouldn't buy a camera for field use that is any larger than that. Canon presently makes the best digital cameras in my opinion.

My next camera will probably have long zoom and image stabilization. I think Canon's S2-IS is the best inexpensive camera in this category except it is large and has that removable lens cap. S2-IS might be suitable for soccer and general photography, but not for travel snapshots because it is too big to carry in a pocket and you would never have it out when the photo opportunity occurs.

I'm fascinated by Panasonic's DMC-LZ2 5mp pocket camera with 6x zoom and Image Stabilization. It's no larger than my Canon A-75 and the zoom and IS are valuable features. One review described it as 'think of a Canon A-95 with 50% more zoom and IS". According to reviews I have seen there are tradeoffs for the zoom, ie noise within dark shadows, the corners aren't as sharp as a lesser zoom, and some barrel distortion at one end of the zoom range. I figure with 5mp there is enough image to crop what I don't like so I don't consider those compromises to be significant. And equally important with the 6x zoom, IS, and small size, it has that leaf-shutter lens cover that makes it truly pocketable. It also uses SD cards and AA batteries, both a plus in my opinion. I suggest check this one out. They are about $200 on ebay, $229 on sale at Fry's Outpost.com.

As you can see here I value functionality over superb specs. Digital cameras have a lifetime before obsolescence of about two years and in my opinion should have taken thousands of exposures and look thrashed by that time.

OregonAlex
01-18-2006, 09:59 PM
California,

Do you know of a Canon camera which meets Bob's requirements? Compact AND at least 8x optical zoom? that's the tricky part. There are lots of compact camera out there which fit in your pocket and there are lots of cameras with 8x or more optical zoom. Just not many that are both.

When it is compact it is hard to give you a Looooooonnnnnnnnggggggg zoom because you don't have the space for it. That is why Nikon makes that funky swivel lens design. It allows them to put in a longer lens which runs the height of the camera body instead of the thickness of the camera body. Allowing you a longer lens.

ps. Nikon's offical name for the Nikon S4 is:

COOLPIX S4 - Pocket Zoom

emphasis on Pocket AND Zoom.

California
01-18-2006, 10:21 PM
Alex, with my strong bias toward IS, portability, and convenience, the Panasonic DMC-LZ2 5mp is the camera I will check out next. It may or may not be the solution but its at the top of my list at the moment.

I like the swivel Nikons. I took hundreds of soccer pictures of my daughters and their games using my Nikon Coolpix 950 (2mp) with Nikon doubler. State of the art in Y2k.

OregonAlex
01-18-2006, 10:37 PM
Bob,

as you stated you understood aperature and all that .. just might want to look at these max aperature values for the lens on the S4.

Aperture: Five-step; aperture values for the entire zoom range are: f/3.5, f/4.0, f/6.8/ and f/13.6

f/13.6??? ouch ouch. wonder where f/6.8 is in the zoom range? that would be acceptable. f/13.6 better not be cloud in the sky that day. Then again what do you expect for $300? Camera AND a good fast Lens?

California,
IS definately is nice for shooting without a tripod in low light cases where the picutres are of stationary objects. This low light case would be when using a zoom at its longest setting (i.e. smaller aperature) or indoor shots. As you know IS allows you to use a much slower shutter speed without worring about you shaking the camera and blurring the photo. However, I don't know if I would trade a fast quality lens (with a low max aperature throughout the range) for IS. Especially if what you are taking a picture of things are that have a tendancy to move; as in sports/action photos using a zoom or wide angle of children and guests indoors. In those cases an IS system will attempt to increase your shutter time (to decrease noise), but effectly allowing your moving subject to blur the picture without any doing from the photographer's camera shake.

If you are a landscape photographer, do lots of macro photography of plants, or just generally take pictures of stationary objects without lugging around a tripod then IS is ideal. IS is effectively compensation for slow, less expensive lens in some cases, if your subject matter is stationary. However, sometimes there is just no substitute for a high quality expensive fast lens. Unfortunately.... I am gonna go cry now about how expensive good lens are... and that I can not afford them. damn.

California
01-19-2006, 01:39 AM
Alex, I think you are preaching to the choir. Better specs (f stop in this instance) are always better but you reach a point where the precious camera doesn't get much use.

Bob knows this and can afford whatever he wants, Yup, I know all that stuff. I've got a couple professional Nikons (F2A), used to do my own developing, enlarging, even wound my own film from bulk rolls, BeenThereDoneThat. I worked for an aerial photo outfit and processed B&W enlargements up to 36" x 36" if I remember correctly. Then I had my own enlarger and developing setup at home, film winder, tanks and all. I understand the relationships of exposure/aperture/focal length/film size/ISO. (ASA in those days). 40 years later, my 2mp Nikon Coolpix 950 and its matched doubler were an $800 system, expensive for me but also worth it to me. I realize the lighting limitations imposed by lense aperature. The purpose for the longer optical zoom is to photograph outdoor sports such as soccer, horseback riding, etc. Yep.

There's no way to stop motion without carrying around big heavy glass. But you tend to leave big heavy glass home, or in its protective case, because it is expensive, heavy, and awkward. I used that big $150 doubler on the N950 only a few times because it was too much nuisance. Half of the fun of kids soccer games is adult conversation on the sidelines. Juggling too much photo hardware plus adult conversation plus the mad scramble on the field = sensory overload.

I come back to my original point, I like simplicity and automation as much as possible so I can concentrate on anticipating the sports activity. And so I don't have a tendency to leave the camera home. Bob can probably carry around a bigger camera for soccer than I would for tourist travel, but I think the larger the camera, the less likely it will be available in the right place at the critical time. One of his specs was shirt-pocket size and my answer is biased toward that because it matches my taste.

Below: enlarged out of a picture I made in 2000 using the 2mp Nikon Coolpix 950 at maximum zoom plus the Nikon doubler on it. I don't know what the effective f stop was but it had to be small given that lens system. The kid is a few hundred feet away, I'm on the sideline at midfield and she's in the diagonal opposite back corner of the soccer field. I think only another $2,000 / 5 lbs of glass could stop that motion.

OregonAlex
01-19-2006, 02:18 AM
California,

your photo using the 990 looks a lot like mine with my 995. ;-) No surprise.

If it wasn't for the moving kid the photo would be pretty clear..

You can see from the depth of field that the lens is stopped all the way down. (a lot is in focus). Looks like the photo had plenty of light and is actually a bit over exposed (look at the grass).. perhaps due to the camera setting its focus behind the girl, I assume you had continuous focus turned on and she was probably not the focus point but was actually somewhere closer to infinity. Actually it looks like it is focused on the minivan in the "dark" portion of the frame.. ??? maybe??? so it overexposed your photo by setting the shutter too slow and stopped the lens all the way down for the depth of field? dunno.. hard to tell what it is focusing one but the depth of field and the over-exposure would make me guess that is what happened.
I am assuming this was NOT shot in shutter priority. Prehaps that would have stopped the kid.... you seem to have enough light that day and clearly the lens is stopped down most of the way.

What do you think?

You probably already know this but you can always check to see what f/stop, shutter speed, and iso equiv was used because it is embedded in the JPEG header. Using something like iPhoto or PhotoShop will tell you the values that were used by the camera.


With the Nikon doubler do you lose a few f/stops as a penalty? pretty cool device.. remember the add on film/slide copy shot adapter? pretty funky stuff. I was looking at this photo that someone took and its says the camera was set to 436 mm, ISO 100, 1/526 sec, F6.3, -0.3 EV, -0.30 ev

That has to be with some kind of teleconvertor.. maybe like the one you had? Pretty impressive.
http://img2.dpreview.com/gallery/nikoncp995_samples2/originals/dscn0380.jpg

To bad the electronics were not more evolved when I bought my Coolpix 995. Its quite a bit slower to power on and has a lot of shutter delay compared to the newer "consumer" cameras. However, I am happy with the optics on it and the sensor is nice for the time period. Can't really complain about the photos too much if you know its its limitations in Auto mode. Sometimes you can overcome a lot of them in manual mode. But when it is too darks, then nothing is going to help you except a tripod.

pretty cool what you can do with the camera set manual mode with a tripod:

38 mm, ISO 100, 1/3 sec, F2.6, +0.0 EV
http://img2.dpreview.com/gallery/nikoncp995_samples2/originals/dscn0336.jpg

Anyhow, we still use it regularly. Still have not made the photo # "odometer" roller over on it but getting there.

Not sure what our next camera will be. I like the size and build quality of the 995, wife carries it in her purse. ;-) definately not a pocket device. The digital rebels XT are nice, but the bundled lens is a bit weak. I think I would be motiviated too much to buy expensives lens..no doubt the lens will be more expensive then the little plastic fantastic XT.

OregonAlex
01-19-2006, 04:00 AM
California,

so it overexposed your photo by setting the shutter too slow and stopped the lens all the way down for the depth of field? dunno.. hard to tell what it is focusing one but the depth of field and the over-exposure would make me guess that is what happened.
I am assuming this was NOT shot in shutter priority. Prehaps that would have stopped the kid.... you seem to have enough light that day and clearly the lens is stopped down most of the way.


For comparison.. see this photo I dug up from Sports Illustrated web site.
Action stopped, notice the complete lack of any depth of field what so ever!! (lens aperature wide open) and no doubt shoot in shutter priority mode with a huge heavy expensive piece of glass with focus set exactly at the players.. judging from the focus on the grass plus or minus 12". Wow! Nice equipment. I am gonna go cry again.


Anyhow my point is that you need nice equipment but you also need to make sure you have it set correctly for the shot you are taking.. for action shoots, aperature set wide open, and be shooting in shutter priority mode and because of the low deep of field spot on focus.


if you can run that photo through photo shop I wouldn't be surprise if the f stop was around f/10 and shutter was about 1/125?? I am very curious.. if you have the time please report back. Thanks

California
01-19-2006, 04:37 AM
I think only another $2,000 / 5 lbs of glass could stop that motion.Ok, triple my estimate. Link. (http://www.sportsshooter.com/funpix_view.html?id=4697)

Alex, do you have some of your own photos to use for examples?

California
01-19-2006, 06:25 AM
wonder where f/6.8 is in the zoom range? that would be acceptable. ExifRead reports f= 6.8 for that picture. What did I win?!

And 1/60 sec exposure, Focal length 20.4 (near maximum), and ISO 80. There simply isn't enough glass there to stop motion.

Bob, if you want photos like the SI shot you will need cameras like in that Link. And probably stadium lighting.

Gatorboy
01-19-2006, 07:40 AM
I think only another $2,000 / 5 lbs of glass could stop that motion.

This 1.56 lb Canon 70-200 f/4 lens (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=183198&is=USA&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) would do the trick for less than $600.

Melensdad
01-19-2006, 08:46 AM
California . . . I think you and I are pretty much on the same page with cameras.

Nothing will pry my little, but still high quality Canon PowerShot S500 out of my hands when I am on vacation, I even have an underwater case for it that will allow for dive depths of 100' (I only snorkle so the only way I'll go 100' down is if I am attached to an anchor). What I am looking for in a new camera is NOT a camera to replace the S500, but a camera that will allow for more specialized photography such as shooting photos at my daughter's soccer games. I don't want this camera to lug around from tourist place to tourist place while we vacation, I want this camera to take to events where I can reasonably pack in a modest amount of gear and get better than average photos. I'm not looking to resurrect my big Nikons, I don't want to carry a full gear bag and switch lenses, I just want a pretty darn good camera with a good fast lense, quick recovery time between shots (2 or 3 fps) and fairly simple to use so the lovely Mrs_B can use it on occasion.

Dargo
01-19-2006, 09:23 AM
Bob, that was what I was wanting; something in between my little pocket 7.1 Casio and my full sized Canon SLR. I ended up with a Nikon Coolpix 8800. It seems to fit the bill perfectly for that middle area. The pics are great and the image stabilization apparently is a must for me when using the zoom for soccer pics. I didn't realize how shaky I was until I had the stabilization. I also got some great pics in Hawaii with it.

Here is a pic taken from the complete length of the soccer field. I had to shrink if to get it to fit, but the camera seems to be able to outperform it's operator. :o

OregonAlex
01-19-2006, 10:28 AM
ExifRead reports f= 6.8 for that picture. What did I win?!

maybe. Your 990 has/had a max aperature of f/2.4 - f/4.0 with an 8-24mm focal length length WITHOUT a teleconvertor. @ 20.4mm this would be eqivelent to taking the shot with ~80mm lens on a traditional 35mm SLR camera. @20.4 mm I think the max aperature would be somewhere around f/3.5. F6.8 is what you shot, I think from your specs your max aperature would be around f/3.5 because at 24mm it is f/4.0 according to specs for your 990. You camera shot 20mm which is about 3/4 of the way zoom in on your 8-24mm native lens range. This would infer that your aperature was 1/2 closed from its max settting at @20.4mm. Yielding about four f stops. opening it up all the way to f/3.5 should have brought your shutter from 1/60 to 1/500 and that would have stopped the action. Lets assume your teleconvert actually robs you of 1 f stop.. this would still allow it to take the photo at 1/250 at max aperature with the teleconvertor on.

You tell me do you think your camera was setting up to do a landscape shoot instead of an action photo?

I think that is a reaonsable assumption that it choose iso 80 and 1/60 shutter over faster shutter speed and opening up the aperatue max (f/3.5).


And 1/60 sec exposure, Focal length 20.4 (near maximum), and ISO 80. There simply isn't enough glass there to stop motion.

pretty sure the glass was not the issue in that shot.

Sorry California... I sense you feel I am criticizing YOU instead of your camera settings.. The camera simply choose the wrong setup in AUTO mode. I will try to find one my photos that you can pick apart to make us even. ;)

However, I am pretty sure we don't attempt to take many action photo with the 995 due to its shutter lag. Here is what I could find right now in a pinch.. however it is at the wide angle end. Typical day at the Oregon coast. Stay away.. ha ha

f stop was also f/6.0 like yours but shutter was 1/279. Have to admit it was taken in Auto mode so I got lucky as it was not setup for an action shot. iso 100. ;-)

OregonAlex
01-19-2006, 10:35 AM
Bob, that was what I was wanting; something in between my little pocket 7.1 Casio and my full sized Canon SLR. I ended up with a Nikon Coolpix 8800. It seems to fit the bill perfectly for that middle area. The pics are great and the image stabilization apparently is a must for me when using the zoom for soccer pics. I didn't realize how shaky I was until I had the stabilization. I also got some great pics in Hawaii with it.

Here is a pic taken from the complete length of the soccer field. I had to shrink if to get it to fit, but the camera seems to be able to outperform it's operator. :o
Dargo,

Nice photo... did you leave the camera in Auto mode for this?? I notice it was has a moderately low DOF setting (relatively open aperature) by the blurred back ground. Which is a good thing for action photos...
:thumb:

OregonAlex
01-19-2006, 11:00 AM
California,

Here is the best I could come up with. This was a photo taken many years ago on the 995 when we first got it hoping to take some action photos with it... before we came to the conclusion that the shutter lag and slow focus would not allow it. bummer.

as you can tell this photo was taken of third base from the other side of the field (behind first).

zoom was set to 31mm (~140mm equiv using 35mm SLR - note to Bob that was about about a 4x optical on this camera), shutter 1/348, f/5.8. iso 100.

recall your photo was taken at 20mm, 1/60, f/6.8 (max aperature at 20mm I estimate to be f3.5), iso 80.

my
995 lens specs are f2.6-5.1 max aperature @ 8-32mm range apropro.
vs your
990 lens specs are f2.6-4 max aperature @ 8-24mm range apropro.


So you can see this photo my wife took is pretty much zoomed all the way in (31mm out of 32mm - aka 140mm equivelent) and almost max aperature(f5.8 out of f5.1).

stopped the action ok I think. saaaaaaaafffffeeeee!!!!!

OregonAlex
01-19-2006, 11:44 AM
This 1.56 lb Canon 70-200 f/4 lens (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=183198&is=USA&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) would do the trick for less than $600.

your 990 was capable of:
38-115 mm (35mm equiv) at f2.4- f4.

vs the Canon lens above

70-200mm (35mm equiv) f/4

Not a bad lens on that 990. ;-) And with that teleconvertor you might lose one 1 f stop.

so maybe it was a
76-230mm (35mm equiv) at f2.8-f5.6???
:o

lens on the 995 (4x optical):
38-152mm (35mm equiv) f2.6-f5.1 not too bad either.

Bob, you sure you really want an 8x.. wow! we are talking like 300mm equiv at the high end. That is gonna be tough to find something very fast in a compact camera at that zoom level. I believe Dargo has an 10x on his 8800 but that is one huge lens.

Dargo's Nikon 8800

35-350mm (35mm equiv - 10x optical) f2.6-f4.9

very nice lens on that camera Dargo!!. Got a way to tell us what the exposure settings where on that photo you took above (your nice soccer shot). I am curious. Looks similiar to the Sport illustrated shot I posted! Well maybe not as wide open aperature.. ha ha.. but on the right track.


similiarlly a Nikon 8700 has a 8x.. also very nice.. its specs are
35-280mm (35mm equiv - 8x optical) f2.8-f4.2

Dargo
01-19-2006, 05:09 PM
Dargo,

Nice photo... did you leave the camera in Auto mode for this?? I notice it was has a moderately low DOF setting (relatively open aperature) by the blurred back ground. Which is a good thing for action photos...
:thumb:

:o Yes, automatic is the only setting I've ventured to try so far. I don't have a clue what a DOF is. For me, automatic is gooood. :D

California
01-19-2006, 05:53 PM
Bob,

If the larger size of a camera like Dargo's isn't a problem, than his Nikon or a Canon S2-IS (my preference) should do the job. I don't see any reason to look farther than those two. Both are excellent. Or possibly as Ibrahim suggested, put a 200mm lens on your Nikon film camera. If you get a CD back with the prints, those digital images are likely sharper than using a digital camera.

The Panasonic I mentioned is pocketable but not anywhere near the Canon or Nikon specs. I'm interested in it because it combines IS, the integral lens cover, and small size. For me that means it is more likely to be available when the perfect photo opportunity appears. YMMV.

Alex, your are right that I shouldn't have relied on Program Normal mode when using the doubler. I thought that photo was interesting because it shows what a 2mp sensor + doubler could accomplish once in a while when I held it unusually stable. With IS and setting the lens wide open, I would hope to get much better photos with a modern camera like Bob is considering.

Incidentally that's a Nikon 950, max f4 @ 21mm focal length, not the later Nikon 990 you cite.

The ExifReader that I cited (free download) can read the EXIF fields from your photo and Dargo's. (and SI's where it just reveals 'Photoshop CS'). For some reason the Photoshop Elements I used to shrink my photo strips the EXIF data. Maybe that's a feature of its 'Save for web' sizing. I see you and Dargo use Program Normal mode also!

OregonAlex
01-19-2006, 06:45 PM
Bob,



Incidentally that's a Nikon 950, max f4 @ 21mm focal length, not the later Nikon 990 you cite.

The ExifReader that I cited (free download) can read the EXIF fields from your photo and Dargo's. (and SI's where it just reveals 'Photoshop CS'). For some reason the Photoshop Elements I used to shrink my photo strips the EXIF data. Maybe that's a feature of its 'Save for web' sizing. I see you and Dargo use Program Normal mode also!
California,

Yup... sorry about that 990 vs 950 confusion. Still very nice lens on that camera.

Thanks for the ExifReader tip.. I shrunk both of my photos with Photoshop CS to allow them to be posted on FF. Photoshop did not strip the Exif data.. the SI photo didn't have it in the first place before I shrunk it.

I agree, I am guilting of using Auto way too often. Most of the time the results are acceptable.. but a lot of times it is a disaster.

Like Dargo, I (or more accurately say my wife) got luck with those sports actions shots. Whenever I try to incourage her to use Manual mode, her eyes roll backwards.. no surprise.:yum: It takes an effort to produce good photos in low light conditions. Auto is a crap shoot.

OregonAlex
01-19-2006, 07:07 PM
Looking at Dargo's Exif photo data.

f/5.8 @ 89mm (350mm equiv you were fully zoomed in f4.9 was the max aperature fully zoomed in) Iso speed 50, shutter 1/100. Wow!! you really got lucky with this shot Dargo.

1/100 shutter is on the brink of blurred action. I am not sure what kind of shot it was doing with an a wide f/5.8, iso 50, and 1/100 shutter. This would normally indicate a portrait shot, but the fully zoomed out data has me confused. California?? any idea what the heck Dargo's 8800 was thinking here? a zoomed up portrait??

f/5.8 at 350mm equiv... is great however... and your lens helped a huge amount with that shot even though your camera's AUTO setting was fighting you all the way.

Manually setting it to f4.9, iso 200, shutter 1/500 would have given you the same exposure and would have been SI quality. :thumb:

Dargo
01-19-2006, 07:31 PM
Looking at Dargo's Exif photo data.

f/5.8 @ 89mm (350mm equiv you were fully zoomed in f4.9 was the max aperature fully zoomed in) Iso speed 50, shutter 1/100. Wow!! you really got lucky with this shot Dargo. Your camera was doing the same thing as
California's. It thought you were taking a landscape shoot instead of an action photo. 1/100 shutter is on the brink of blurred action. You can tell by the low iso speed it picked that it thought it was doing a landscape shot.

f/5.8 at 350mm equiv... is great however... and your lens helped a huge amount with that shot even though your camera's AUTO setting was fighting you all the way.

Manually setting it to f4.9, iso 200, shutter 1/500 would have given you the same exposure and would have been SI quality. :thumb:

What did you just tell me? :o For all I know you insulted my manhood but said that I made up for it with speed. :tiphat:

Does this mean I should read that 10,000 page manual? Or, maybe, if I read some of the manual the camera is capable of taking some pretty decent pics? I have a bunch of lenses that screw on then end of the camera and one of those funky looking lens hoods and a cool box of different filters and stuff too. I had a friend who seems to really be into his camera stuff pick out my camera based on my stated needs and he also picked out all of the other option things. He wanted me to get the Canon EOS 1D. It sounded really cool until I heard the price. :eek:

OregonAlex
01-19-2006, 08:14 PM
What did you just tell me? :o For all I know you insulted my manhood but said that I made up for it with speed. :tiphat:

Does this mean I should read that 10,000 page manual? Or, maybe, if I read some of the manual the camera is capable of taking some pretty decent pics? I have a bunch of lenses that screw on then end of the camera and one of those funky looking lens hoods and a cool box of different filters and stuff too. I had a friend who seems to really be into his camera stuff pick out my camera based on my stated needs and he also picked out all of the other option things. He wanted me to get the Canon EOS 1D. It sounded really cool until I heard the price. :eek:

All I was saying was that in Auto mode the camera is taking its best guess at to what aperature, shutter speed and iso speed settings it should be using. It can pick many different combinations at still arrive at a photo which is exposed properly (not too dark, not too light); yet one photo may have a blurred subject yet great depth of frield and low noise (like the photo California shot) and other photo can have a non-blurred subject but a blurred background and foreground with possible increased overall noise(like the SI photo). It depends what the photographer is actually going for in the shot. Look at California's photo.. you see how pretty clear the foreground and background is? Now look at your photo... background and foreground a bit more blurry. His camera setting where better then yours for a nature shot. Now look at California's soccer object and look at yours. His is blurred but yours is not. Yours are better then his for an action shot. So if the intent was to make a nice pretty nature scene without action, California's camera settings choice would be better then your. If the intent of the photo was to make an action shot without a blurry subject then your camera settings would be better. Which is better overall? NEITHER!!! It depends on what you were trying to take a picture of in the first place. The camera has no clue which one is best, it is just guessing.

What the camera chooses in AUTO mode is a crap shoot. It really doesn't know what the photographer is actually going after in the shot and just takes a best guess. For zoomed up action photos that guess will normally be wrong when in Auto mode. Having a good lens helps your chances a lot that the photo will still look acceptable. So if you want to leave your camera in Auto mode and don't want to read that 10,000 page manual or dont have time or interest to learn how to make your camera pick more apropriate settings for the shot you are attempting to take, then throwing money at the problem by getting a nice lens will help.

California
01-20-2006, 05:00 AM
You guys are a bad influence. I almost spent money I didn't need to spend.

I went to Fry's to play with that small Panasonic IS camera I thought looked good, based on the specs. I would have bought it if I liked it. (Panasonic DMC-LZ2. 5mp, IS, very pocketable, with integral leaf-style lens cover that opens at power on.)

Equipment review:

The specs looked good, but in person I would grade the ergonomics and overall user satisfaction maybe B at best.

I can't get used to no viewfinder. The digital display panel is excellent but it was hard to frame precisely, or compose using the tiny image. At 6x zoom it is hard to aim because the image is tiny - it's easy to scan right past the subject.

No manual controls. I suppose the 'sports' setting is intended to stop motion like we are talking about here but it gave me several blurred pictures of people walking 100 ft away. On the other hand the display was showing 1/13 second and the background was in focus, so I guess it was doing the best it could.

The plusses are substantial, too. I still might buy one off eBay if they get cheap enough. (Presently about $200.)

Truly pocketable size.
Auto-opening lens cover at power-on. These are major plusses for me. A camera that is 'Too much hassle to set up' never gets used.
Image stabilization. It worked very well. This is the only pocketable camera with IS.

If I were outfitting a family member with a foolproof camera this would be my first choice. The various programs and the IS should result in a high proportion of flaw-free photos. Likewise if I were departing on a trip I would probably grab one. (And take the Canon too for assured reliability).

For now my Canon A-75 is the better camera. But the 2006 cameras should be out soon. Either the Panasonic's price will drop to irresistible or some 2006 camera will have similar advantages plus a real viewfinder. I can't wait to see!

California
01-20-2006, 05:25 AM
What did you just tell me? ... Does this mean I should read that 10,000 page manual?Relax. Your camera makes jpeg's that include more stuff than you may have realized.

There's usually a thumbnail encoded in there, and a chapter of text data (EXIF fields) that lists camera brand and model, date, exposure, zoom, flash on/off, etc. To view your EXIF data:
Download EXIFreader. Link (http://www.takenet.or.jp/%7Eryuuji/minisoft/exifread/english/). Start it up. Drag a jpeg into EXIFreader and all will be revealed.

There are related programs to write whatever you want in the 'user comment' field, that is there for that purpose. Photoshop CS may do all this, I don't know. Also some users think it is a good idea to strip off the EXIF data before posting anything on the Internet, because it might be used as a digital fingerprint identified with you.

Alex and I and the whole world can see the EXIF data in the pictures you post. But we won't tell you all that it reveals.........:D

Melensdad
01-20-2006, 07:39 AM
Also some users think it is a good idea to strip off the EXIF data before posting anything on the Internet, because it might be used as a digital fingerprint identified with you.

Alex and I and the whole world can see the EXIF data in the pictures you post. But we won't tell you all that it reveals.........:D

Dargo, Its also a good idea to wear a tin foil helmet while you are posting on the internet so 'they' can't read your mind. :yum:

Dargo
01-20-2006, 08:33 AM
Relax. Your camera makes jpeg's that include more stuff than you may have realized.

Whew! I suppose you now know that I was too stupid to lie about anything photo wise. :o It appears that you verified that I took that pic on auto setting zoomed as far as I could across the soccer field. It didn't record me bitching about it being 95 degrees, did it? :tiphat:

From that same soccer game, I know that with the 8 mp camera, when you view a picture at 100% size you can see all sorts of detail. I snapped a pic of a mom on the opposing team yelling for her daugher and sent it to a friend of mine for kicks. Viewing the pic at 100% allowed us to see that she hadn't brushed her teeth in a while, she apparently had berry Pop Tarts for breakfast, and she had a real issue with nasel hair sneaking out. :eek: :thumb: What surprised me was that the afore mentioned picture of the lovely lady was taken from about 50 feet away.

Melensdad
01-20-2006, 10:54 AM
The Nikon Coolpix S4 seems to fit my bill. It has a 10x optical zoom, pict-bridge direct print capability, but I can't find information on how quickly it will shoot photos. For action shots I'd like to get 2fps. Can it do that? I like the small size, but I'm not convinced of the hoky twist to shoot pictures design of the camera. Lens aperature is dubious at f3.5 except in bright sunlight.

The Coolpix 8700 has a nice fast lens [f2] (for a camera of this price range), but I can't figure out if it has Pict-Bridge or how many frames it can shoot per second. The camera comes with a lot more bulk, but the improved lense and internal sensors are probably the main reasons for that.

Canon has the Digital Rebel series that look interesting too. And the Powershot Pro1. They have a similar size and form factor to the Coolpix8700.

California . . . too bad about the Panasonic, I like the concept of image stabilization and a decent zoom in a pocket camera.

Anyone have any additional thougths? Right now I'd probably go for the Coolpix8700 or a Rebel EOS or a Powershot Pro1 but I'd still prefer a smaller package than they offer.

bczoom
01-20-2006, 11:54 AM
Anyone have any additional thougths?
Yes.
98% of this went over my head.

Have you all decided on a camera that I too can get? Something I can use as a point-and-shoot that Mrs. Zoom and I could use. We can use the power button, zoom and then click. Much more than that will mess us up.

Melensdad
01-20-2006, 11:59 AM
Have you all decided on a camera that I too can get? Something I can use as a point-and-shoot that Mrs. Zoom and I could use. We can use the power button, zoom and then click. Much more than that will mess us up.
I absolutely LOVE the Canon PowerShot S series cameras. They have been upgraded and now are called the SD series. They are small but still high quality. Metal case so they can take a bit of abuse. Point and Shoot simplicity. Good zoom function, good quality, good color rendition and ease of operation and from a camera that is the size of a pack of cigarettes. At home we use a Canon S500, at work I keep a S230 (older version of the S500). Go to Canon's website and look at the SD series, they are the more updated equivalent of S series.

If you want a cheaper camera take a look at the A series cameras from Canon.

OregonAlex
01-20-2006, 04:05 PM
The Nikon Coolpix S4 seems to fit my bill. It has a 10x optical zoom, pict-bridge direct print capability, but I can't find information on how quickly it will shoot photos.

Capture Modes: 1) Single, 2) Continuous (approx. 1.3fps), 3) Multi-shot 16 (16 frames 1/16 in size)


For action shots I'd like to get 2fps. Can it do that?

no


Bob,

a word of warning.. You said you were concerned about the lens in the S4 @ f/3.4. And that the 8800 was better at f2. I don't know I would worry too much about it as this is the max aperature at the WIDE end.

But you are onto something. As I stated earilier I would be concerned with the max aperature at the NARROW end (fully zoomed in ). The S4 won't be good for any sort of action photos @ f13.6:eek:... the only thing the zoom is good for on this camera (fully zoom in) would be for stationary objects and you most likely have to use a tripod as well.

Five-step; aperture values for the entire zoom range are: f/3.5, f/4.0, f/6.8/ and f/13.6

if you looking to take action photos on a camera (fully zoomed in) you better make sure the camera you choose has the following specs.

1. The ablity to go into Shutter Priority Mode so you can control what shutter speed the camera chooses (i.e. at least 1/250 or faster). The ability to also choose either iso equiv or aperature would be nice too as it would pretty much dictate the other variables. controlling aperature would yield iso and vs versa.

2. a max aperature at the narrow end (fully zoomed in) that is on the order of f/6.5 or less.

3. iso equivelents of at least 400 and make sure the noise if tolerable if the camera does support 400, 800, or more.

OregonAlex
01-20-2006, 04:16 PM
Whew! I suppose you now know that I was too stupid to lie about anything photo wise. :o It appears that you verified that I took that pic on auto setting zoomed as far as I could across the soccer field. It didn't record me bitching about it being 95 degrees, did it? :tiphat:
.
Just be glad that build-in GPS never became popular. There is a field for latitude and longitude in the Exif header.

Actually I think that would be cool. This picture was taken HERE and such and such a date and time. I am sure it would be a great recording tool.. police crime labs, insurance claims, etc.

messickfarmequ
01-20-2006, 05:08 PM
I have the first Canon digital rebel and I love it. The pictures are simply amazing compared to some of the pocket camera's being sold. I use it several times a week for different web work and i tote it to any fun events. The only draw backs - first size - its big. And second you end up spending still more money on lenses.

OregonAlex
01-20-2006, 05:10 PM
California,

I was looking at the specs for the S2 IS and they certainly do look impressive. 12x zoom @ f/3.5!! However, its strange that Canon's top of the line non-SLR camera the PowerShot Pro1 (which competes with Dargo Nikon 8800) only has a 7x zoom @ f/3.5 ("L" series glass).

Do you know what Phil Askey means in his review of the S2 IS by:
Cons section of dpreview.com (Conclusion section)
***Limit to highest shutter speed usable at wide apertures*****

Note that Canon high end camera (Pro1) does not give you IS with similiar wide aperature specs to the S2 IS. Note, their Pro camera, the Pro90, DID have IS back in 2001 with similiar max aperature specs.. but their currentPro camera, the Pro1, does not.

Melensdad
01-20-2006, 05:21 PM
Looking deeper into things, the Canon Rebel EOS and the Nikon Coolpix 8700 seem to be the top contenders, but I have to admit that I am afraid of their size.

As Neil Messick points out, the Rebel is large, the Nikon is no smaller. I almost feel like I should just pull out one of the old, but very trusty Nikon F2As.

These cameras meet all my criteria except for their large size.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should give up a little on the optical zoom and scale it back to something like a 6x to see if I can get a more compact camera with a good lens.

OregonAlex
01-20-2006, 05:27 PM
Looking deeper into things, the Canon Rebel EOS and the Nikon Coolpix 8700 seem to be the top contenders, but I have to admit that I am afraid of their size.

As Neil Messick points out, the Rebel is large, the Nikon is no smaller. I almost feel like I should just pull out one of the old, but very trusty Nikon F2As.

These cameras meet all my criteria except for their large size.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should give up a little on the optical zoom and scale it back to something like a 6x to see if I can get a more compact camera with a good lens.

Bob,

When comparing the Coolpix 8800/8700 it would be more fair to compare it to the Canon PowerShot Pro1.

When comparing the Canon Digital Rebel XT it would be more fair to compare it to the Nikon D70.


In both cases, I think you will find the Canon's superior.


I think you are on the right track in easing back on your zoom requirement. Just make sure whatever camera you pick can do shutter priority and apropriate max aperature zoomed all the way in.

OregonAlex
01-20-2006, 05:37 PM
The only draw backs - first size - its big. And second you end up spending still more money on lenses.

Niel..

When you take into account how much good lens cost, the Canon Digital Rebel starts to look like the cheap piece in the equation. A good lens will easily cost as much or more then the camera itself. :yum:

Reminds me of the Inkjet Printer vs the ink cartridges scheme... no wonder camera companies are motiviated to get the DSLR prices down.. once they got you on their Printer (camera) then they got you where they want you; buying their ink cartridges (lens).

the kits lens which comes with Digital Rebel is not on par with the camera itself. That is obvious. Its just a way to get you to buy the camera and have something useable at a low price. Anyone who buys the Digital Rebel will be blown away of what that camera is capable of with a quality lens.

What kind of shots do you make with the Digital Rebel when you say you do "web work"?

If you are curious what that camera is capable of doing and not spending a lot of money, can I recommend you consider getting a "prime"/fix lens?

maybe a Canon 50mm/f1.8 (will give you about 80mm equiv) or a Canon 35mm/f2 (will give you about 56 mm equiv). Price is about $80 and $200 respectively. The lens are not "L" series quality but very good for the money.

OregonAlex
01-20-2006, 06:06 PM
Bob,

although you will find that the Nikon 8800/Canon Pro1 are almost the same size as the Digital Rebel XT/Nikon D70 DSLR and priced closely. Don't loose sight of what you are paying for. With the Nikon 8800/Canon Pro you are buying a NICE camera with a NICE lens. With the Digital Rebel XT/Nikon D70 DSLR you are buing a GREAT camera with a FAIR quality lens.

also.. dont forget the kit lens which comes with the Canon Rebel XT is a macro zoom len. 18-55mm (28mm-88mm equiv)..hardly a big zoom lens. If you want a quality zoom lens on par with the lens which comes inside the PowerShot Pro1 you better reach deep deep deep into your pocket book. So, if you want a good wide angle lens be prepared to reach even further. With the partical frame nature of these DSLR any lens you put on it make sure you factor in the 1.6x magnification factor effect. So going the camera to telephoto is easier then trying to find a lens to make it go wide angle. That is why DSLRs have been hard to sell into people shooting landscape and wedding photography.

Melensdad
01-22-2006, 12:46 AM
I stumbled across a Kyocera that looks interesting. Any thoughts?

http://www.kyoceraimaging.com/product.asp?itemnum=300390

California
01-22-2006, 02:13 AM
re Kyocera

Just observations, I'm not strongly pro or con:

Only 4mp, so limited enlargement or crop ability. I hope it isn't priced like a more-megapixel camera. Fry's just closed out a similar 4mp Panasonic, with IS, for $199.

No Image Stabilization. Does their literature emphasize a high ISO?

Digital viewfinder. It seems to me that only a glass viewfinder will show you if you are holding it steady enough.

The rapid startup and next-pic figures look good, may be the best of any similar camera.

OregonAlex
01-22-2006, 04:51 AM
Bob,

which cameras are you considering against this Kyocera? Are we talking compacts or prosumer cameras like the Dargo's 8800 and a Canon PowerShot Pro1. Just curious if you have given up on the smaller camera and are now focusing on the bigger ones.

Sorry I don't know much about that camera. www.dpreview.com is always a good place to look for reviews if you want a good run down of pros and cons.

Melensdad
01-22-2006, 08:12 AM
Right now the 3 leading choices would be the Coolpix 8700, the PowerShot Pro1 and the Rebel. I like the form factor of the Coolpix the best of those 3, but that is without actually touching it. I'd like to touch, hold, and play with a camera before buying. The Kyocera is 1/2 the price of the others, lower quality lens but probably more than adequate for my tasks. But it has the features I am looking for.

BTW, my first choice would be a Leica Digilux2. But I'm not going to drop serious cash on a camera that is going to be used infrequently.

Big Dog
01-22-2006, 08:34 AM
Food for thought.....

I'm not into the smaller cameras with AA batteries and big hands. I like the Kodak series and just bought my second Kodak, a z740 for $215. Simple for the dummy in me..:D

Take a look and BTW the website Steve's Digicam is a great source for info....

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/z740.html

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/dx7590.html

Dargo
01-22-2006, 09:01 AM
but that is without actually touching it. I'd like to touch, hold, and play with ...

Hey, hey. I've got one you can touch and play with; er a camera that is. :thumb: :whip: It's an 8800 and I have no idea the difference between that and an 8700 besides 100 though. :o

Melensdad
01-22-2006, 09:10 AM
Let me toss another camera into the mix. Nikon's D50. It is an SLR format similar to the Rebel, but it is rated higher than any of the cameras. But what I am attraced to is the focus system. I was unaware of it prior to getting a PM from another member. But the autofocus seems to track the subject and adjust on the fly to keep the moving subject in focus better than many other cameras. I suspect it probably is similar to image stabilization, but done differently? It sure looks interesting. dpreviews gives it their top rating.

Dargo
01-22-2006, 09:24 AM
Bob, just get the Canon EOS D1S Mark II with the Canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM EF lens like my uncle has. Your search will be over then. He is well pleased with his camera. I actually had to look up an email he sent me to see what he had. Not knowing any better, I'd emailed him saying that I liked his camera and was wondering what it was. :o He is still wondering why I didn't buy one. I'll give you one guess why, and it's not because of any physical aspect of the camera. ;)

Melensdad
01-22-2006, 09:38 AM
NOPE, not even going to look at that one. Its too big, too expensive. I'm still looking for my ideal camera and it would be small & light enough fit in my shirt pocket but have a huge fast/lens that pops out of body. Such a beast does not exist.

What I have pretty much figured out is that there is a big division in the cameras. I may end up scaling back my optical zoom requirement to 6x and my shots per second to 1 fps to see if I can come closer to my ideal. If not, then I will very likely buy a pro-sumer grade camera.

OregonAlex
01-22-2006, 10:06 AM
Hey, hey. I've got one you can touch and play with; er a camera that is. :thumb: :whip: It's an 8800 and I have no idea the difference between that and an 8700 besides 100 though. :o

Dargo,

Here is a quick side by side spec cheat sheet for the 8800 vs 8700.
Street prices seems to be about the same for both.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp8800/

Melensdad
01-22-2006, 10:15 PM
OK guys, I've been all over the map on this search and I don't think I am any closer to a decision, but I sure am confused. And I'm convinced that if I wait 90 days then all these will likely be replaced with newer models.

But the following three cameras were given the highest recommendation by dpreviews.

Olympus E-500 (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse500/) SLR with a street price of roughly $699 (lens cost extra) While I like this camera, by the time a lens is added it is going to be roughly $1000, which is too high of a price for my modest needs.

Nikon D50 (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond50/) SLR with a street price of roughly $900 with a modest lens. That puts it at the very high end of what I would pay, but really for what I am trying to shoot, it is not worth it to me to pay that much.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ5 (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz5/) with a street price of roughly $369 (lens is integrated, and made by Leica)

All these cameras vary wildly in what they are. The Nikon & Olympus are more similar than they are different. The Panasonic is much more of a consumer simple camera, but has some things that are very appealing, and when combined with the price make it a killer deal. With image stabilization and a 12x optical lens it might actually work without a tripod at high magnification. The Nikon has the best focus system from what I can see and action shots might be easier with that unit.


The 2 cameras discussed a lot in this thread as excellent choices were both rated lower than the above 3 cameras. Those are the Nikon Coolpix 8700 (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp8700/) and the Canon Powershot Pro1 (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonpro1/). Both were given a "recommended" rating, which is a lower rating than the above 3 cameras.

The Coolpix 8700 is running with a street price of roughly $469 (but prices range all over the place).

The Canon Powershot Pro1 has a street price of roughly $695.



Now based on my needs (as outlined in the first post in this thread) I would have to favor the Panasonic and the Nikon Coolpix 8700 as the two best choices for me. The Canon Powershot Pro1 is very similar in capabilities to the Coolpix, but is not worth the $240 price premium. The 2 SLR cameras that were given the higest rating are better cameras but honestly are overkill for my needs, sort of like buying a Ferrari and using it as a commuter car to get to work, the power is simply wasted.

So that leaves me with the Nikon Coolpix 8700 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ5 as the best choices for me. I like the image stabilization and 12x optical zoom that Panasonic provides, and the price is simply astounding. I believe the Nikon offers a better built camera, and a better quality lens. It gives up some optical zoom at only 8x, but that would still meet my needs, and the Nikon has 8 megapixels versus only 5 in the Panasonic.

So for now, my 2 choices are the Coolpix 7800 and the Lumix DMC FZ5. I'm not set to buy yet. Still looking. Still reading. Still considering. Still haven't gone to a story to touch these cameras yet.

What say you guys?

OregonAlex
01-23-2006, 03:12 AM
Bob,

Wait till Early March. the PMA show takes place at the end of Feb. That is when all the new cameras are announced. Kind of like the Autoshow for Cameras.

California
01-23-2006, 06:16 AM
Still haven't gone to a story to touch these cameras yet.
What say you guys?Go to the store! Touch the cameras!

The Panasonic is f3.3 at 12 x zoom while the Nikon is just f4.2 at 8x. But the Nikon has twice the viewfinder resolution. You need some hands-on time. 'Look and feel' will probably be the basis for your choice, not specs.

Can you find either at a place that allows a no-hassle return?

I could have used either of those this evening. I had the camera out photographing my installation of a new ROPS on my Yanmar, and finished just at sunset. I looked over and noticed the tractor across the canyon, a quarter mile away, had slid down where a vinyard terrrace collapsed. He looked thoroughly stuck. No ROPS. That could have been bad. If I had noticed while the light was good, and had a fast long zoom, that would have made a great picture. As night arrived, I grabbed what I could. (The fuzz in the foreground is wind moving the trees during the exposure).

Gatorboy
01-23-2006, 07:18 AM
Right now the 3 leading choices would be the Coolpix 8700, the PowerShot Pro1 and the Rebel.

If you go with the Rebel, then any lenses you buy for it can be used on any future Canon camera body you get.

messickfarmequ
01-23-2006, 09:21 AM
Niel..

When you take into account how much good lens cost, the Canon Digital Rebel starts to look like the cheap piece in the equation. A good lens will easily cost as much or more then the camera itself. :yum:

maybe a Canon 50mm/f1.8 (will give you about 80mm equiv) or a Canon 35mm/f2 (will give you about 56 mm equiv). Price is about $80 and $200 respectively. The lens are not "L" series quality but very good for the money.

Thats a good suggestion. I have the 50mm/F1.8 and it is a simply AMAZING lens for the grand ole price of $80. Its very compact and makes the camera quite easy to handle. I also have the 28-135 IS USM Lens. That was $400 and also worth every penny. I love the IS feature - it saves many of my pictures. Then comes the Phoenix 28-300 -- this piece of junk is proof positive that you get what you pay for.

My bother just got an 8MP olympus for christmas. I forget the model - he paid about $400 for it. The reviews from DP review where rather good, but I was totally unimpressed. The pictures looked noisey and grainy and the lens was not completly sharp on the edges.

OregonAlex
01-23-2006, 05:14 PM
Thats a good suggestion. I have the 50mm/F1.8 and it is a simply AMAZING lens for the grand ole price of $80.

sometimes you get more then you pay for!! :D I was playing around with this len and it seems to be really sharp stopped at about f/2.2. Wide open seemed a bit soft. But hey.. I ain't complaining.. its f/2.2!

OregonAlex
01-23-2006, 05:16 PM
If you go with the Rebel, then any lenses you buy for it can be used on any future Canon camera body you get.

with the exception of the EF-S mount of course. But I am sure that will change as newer cameras come out which support the "-S"

OregonAlex
01-23-2006, 05:22 PM
Go to the store! Touch the cameras!


I can't agree any more with this statement. specs are one thing, ergonomics are another. The Digital Rebel XT and the 20D take about the same quality images. However, go ahead and actually use the cameras (especially in manual mode) and it will become clear why the 20D is several hundred of dollars more. For the people who leave the camera in Auto mode and perfer a point and shoot experience the Digital Rebel XT will look like a better deal. No offense to anyone with a Digital Rebel XT. While it is true that you can change just about any of the settings on the XT as you can with the 20D its just the way it requires you to change it which makes it a little less ergonomic for "manual" freaks.

Anyone ever look at the Nikon D70 when comparing it to the Rebel XT? I found it was priced more closely to the XT then the 20D (both plastic bodies) but the ergonomics were designed more for 'manual" freaks and as such more closely related to the Canon 20D IMHO. The Kit lens that comes with the Nikon D70 is NICE quality maybe even bordering on GREAT. And as I stated, the kits lens that comes with the Digital Rebel XT is FAIR quality IMHO.

OregonAlex
01-23-2006, 05:34 PM
I also have the 28-135 IS USM Lens. That was $400 and also worth every penny. I love the IS feature - it saves many of my pictures.
Niel,

any comments how useable this lens is for shooting action photos at 135mm?
That fast focus is got to be awesome I am sure.

I believe Bob is looking for a bunch of zoom to shoot action shots with. I am guess of his daughter playing a sport. Bob, did you say your daughter plays volleyball? (read indoor lighting) I don't remember exactly.

Thanks

Melensdad
01-23-2006, 05:52 PM
She plays volleyball (indoors) and soccer (outdoors). I need a reasonably fast lens for indoors and a reasonbly long lens for outdoors. Hard to find one lens that fits both bills, but going the route of an SLR with multiple lenses is not desireable either.

I will be making a compromise choice and favoring convenience with the goal of getting a "good" camera for both needs within the confines of the self-imposed limits I'm setting.

OregonAlex
01-23-2006, 05:56 PM
Bob,

I was thinking this would be a good test for you if you decide to head to the store to check out and compare cameras.

For action shots,

1. Set Shutter Speed.
take the camera you are considering and make sure you can set the camera to use 1/125 sec shutter. You will need at least this fast of a shutter to produce a photo with any hope of not producing blurred action.

2. Zoom in
Zoom all the way in and take a shot of the inside of the store. I would recommend finding something with a dark background and light lettering on it so you can get a sense of the clarity and noise levels.

3. ISO "film speed" equilvent.
If the pictures comes out too underexposed, try increasing the ISO equiv till you find the exposure acceptable. Do not adjust shutter speed as any lower shutter will be unacceptable for most action shots. Try ISO 400, then try 800, if it goes up higher try that. As you go up in ISO equiv, preview the photo on the LCD panel of the camera . Zoom in and look around at the photo. Compare the noise levels to see what the noise looks like at each ISO setting and find one that is acceptable. Make a note of this ISO speed equiv.

4a. Zooming back out to allow a more acceptable result.
It is very likely that the result you get will still be very dark. Your only choice at this point will be to zoom back out to allow the lens to pick a wider aperature. Zoom back out till you take a shot which is acceptable at 1/125 shutter speed and the ISO speed that produces acceptable noise from the step above. When you get to this zoom level, make a note of it and move on to the next camera and repeat the test.

4b. In the event that you were able to find a camera(s) with acceptable exposure and clarity fully zoomed in at 1/125 shutter speed. Increase the shutter speed to the faster setting. 1/160?? 1/200??? 1/250, etc and redo the comparison. You will need this higher shutter speeds for faster action /sports. Like tracking a volleyball, basketball, etc.

If you follow this proceedure I garantee you that you will narrow down the field VERY quickly and will give you a sense of how much zoom you can ACTUALLY use for action photos. Plus it will give you some time to evaluate the camera ergonomics as you will need to take the camera out of AUTO mode to ensure you have a fast enough shutter speed. If you leave it in Auto mode, the camera will most likely choose a shutter speed which is unacceptable for action shots.

Good luck..

OregonAlex
01-23-2006, 07:31 PM
Bob,

I made some test shots for you of my daughters volleyball game to show what I am talking about in my post above. Posted below. This might help some other people.

These two shots are similiar. Same zoom 21.2 mm(approx 106mm lens equiv using a 35mm camera), same aperature f/4.0. Same iso film speed equiv 800. The first one is shot at 1/60 shutter. The second one is 1/125. 1/60 was not fast enough to stop the ball. 1/125 one was. Notice the second one is more underexposed because all othe variables remained the same. Note max aperature at this zoom is f/4.

OregonAlex
01-23-2006, 07:50 PM
Most of the time 1/125 was enough for this game.. but sometimes it was not. Demonstrated here and had to go to 1/250.

again same iso film equiv 800, and same zoom level 8.2mm (widest angle approx 35mm lens equiv using 35mm camera).. same aperature f/2.8 (max increased) and as a result you will notice that the photo are much less underexposed compared to the first set.

The 1/125 photo in this set is BRIGHTER then the 1/60 photo in the previous set. And the 1/250 photo in this set is BRIGHTER then the 1/125 in the previous set.

This is due to the max aperature increasing from f/4(smaller aperature) to f/2.8 (bigger aperature) when the lens is not zoomed out as far.

note: Ball is hard to find in the second photo.. look for it at the top of yellow safety pad on the post holding up the net. Center of frame.

OregonAlex
01-23-2006, 08:06 PM
this last set is to demonstarted the importance of the max aperature at the as you zoom in more.. as you zoom increases the max aperature drops.

same shutter speed of 1/125, same iso film speed equiv 800.
The first one the zoom is set to 16mm (approx 80 mm equiv) and max aperature is f/3.5 The second one the zoom is increased to 28.6mm (approx 143 mm equiv ) and max aperature is decreased to f/4.8.

OregonAlex
01-23-2006, 08:41 PM
one last one.. Some maybe be wonder if they can get away with setting the camera is shutter priority mode and letting the camera decide on aperature and iso film speed. I have had mix results.. sometimes it would get it right.. other times it makes the wrong decisions. As seen in this photo. The photo was shot in shutter priority set to 1/125 of a sec. The camera did try to open up the aperature to the max because it is obvious dark in the gym. But yet to decided to pick iso 400 film instead of 800. Guess it figured that less noise (less grainy) due to a faster film equivelent was more important then proper exposure. Bad call?? you decide?

zoom was 15.5 mm(77.5 mm lens equiv on 35mm camera) aperature was f/3.4. Compare it to the 80mm equiv/f3.5 shot above shot at iso 800 using fully manual mode.

DaveNay
01-23-2006, 08:53 PM
one last one..

Don't ever forget that these are digital images, and there is a TON of post processing that can be done. Notice the colors in the girls shorts.

messickfarmequ
01-24-2006, 01:38 AM
Niel,

any comments how useable this lens is for shooting action photos at 135mm?
That fast focus is got to be awesome I am sure.

I believe Bob is looking for a bunch of zoom to shoot action shots with. I am guess of his daughter playing a sport. Bob, did you say your daughter plays volleyball? (read indoor lighting) I don't remember exactly.

Thanks

Its workable, but I would not say great. Frankly I use the F1.8 lens and crop the shots most of the time. You gotta remeber that on a digital body the CCD is smaller than film which magnifies the lens by an effective 40% (i think). So 135mm is really closer to 200mm. Personaly I find that I set better shots by having a fast lens and cropping the pictures.

Both these are with the 28/135 - the boating picture is great! I would have never hit that without the IS feature.

California
01-24-2006, 03:54 AM
Bob,

I was reading rec.photo.digital (Usenet) and found a discussion the same as your recent questions. The thread title is 'Nikon 8700/Canon S2-IS/Panasonic DMC FZ5K'.

Three people out of three, all experienced users, compared among those models then bought the Panasonic FZ5.

Here is the thread reprinted in Google Groups, if you don't have a proper Newsgroup reader.
Link to thread: Nikon 8700/Canon S2-IS/Panasonic DMC FZ5K (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.photo.digital/browse_frm/thread/8349a716544ca107/afb8d97ee5c227e9?tvc=1&q=Nikon+8700%2FCanon+S2-IS%2FPanasonic+DMC+FZ5K&hl=en#afb8d97ee5c227e9)

And here's a link describing Panasonic's 2006 models, to be released in March:
Link (http://www.photoreview.com.au/Articlexasp/2b84b450-e0f5-4b70-909d-db10a4b300d8/Default.htm)

Gatorboy
01-24-2006, 07:28 AM
When shooting indoors, it is best to use MANUAL settings on your camera. The ambient light does not change. Get yourself a gray card -- set the camera to the f-stop you want to use (typically wide open) in Aperture priority mode. Read the setting while filling the frame with the gray card. This will give you the light setting to use in manual. You may have to play with the ISO settings to get a shutter speed of 1/250 or better. Less than that and you will have quite a bit of blur with any type of action. Many gyms in my area require me to set my ISO to 3200 to get decent speeds. This is where the Canon 20D shines.

Here's a shot taken with my 135 f/2.0 lens on my Canon 20D.

http://www.harfordsports.com/hidden/forumImages/051207-1-057-WR.jpg

Melensdad
01-24-2006, 09:45 AM
California,
Thanks for the link! Looks like I should do a couple of things.
#1- I should wait until April when the new Panasonic Lumix is in stores.
#2- I should buy it!

I don't understand why they are so inexpensive compared to other brands. Anyone have any ideas?

OregonAlex
01-24-2006, 03:59 PM
When shooting indoors, it is best to use MANUAL settings on your camera. The ambient light does not change. Get yourself a gray card -- set the camera to the f-stop you want to use (typically wide open) in Aperture priority mode. Read the setting while filling the frame with the gray card. This will give you the light setting to use in manual. You may have to play with the ISO settings to get a shutter speed of 1/250 or better. Less than that and you will have quite a bit of blur with any type of action. Many gyms in my area require me to set my ISO to 3200 to get decent speeds. This is where the Canon 20D shines.

Here's a shot taken with my 135 f/2.0 lens on my Canon 20D.


GB,

Your shot looks awesome. Do you EVER have any luck using a STANDARD zoom lens for indoor action. On th order of 18mm-85mm/f3.5-f4.5 Or will those be too dark with a 20D @ 1600 iso? I was hoping to avoid 1600 iso as it tends to get a bit noiser compared to 800. I notice your shot was at 1/400 - 1600 iso. You would think it is possible to squeeze out 1 to 2 slower f-stops and still come up with a decent shutter speed. Would be nice not having to use a prime lens at moderate zoom (120mm+ telephoto at 35mm equiv) What do you think?

Its funny when you say to put the camera in aperature priority mode indoors. I am used to thinking about the problem the other way around with shutter priority because most of the time my lens is not fast enough to allow me to "trust" it in aperature priority mode and so I end up shoting underexposed. Having the luxury to go Above the minumal shutter speed because I know my lens is fast enough would be very nice. I wouldn't know what to do with myself. :smileywac

I like your fixed 135/f2 L lens but I can't afford a $1000 lens. Any comments about the poor man's 135/F2.8? The one with the softfocus feature. $270 is easier to swallow for an amatuer photographer like myself.

I am in the middle of trying to decide which set of lens and camera I should go with. I really like the feel of the Nikon's but their lens are much more expensive then the Canon's and they do other annoying things like lack of 100 iso and don't provide you any decent RAW capture SW. You have to buy Nikon Capture SW to get anything done. The stock software you can't adjust WB and exposure compensations. What good is it ?? WTF? So it looks like I am back looking at the 20D. The 350D/XT is ok, but I am not sure I can get past its ergonomics issues. I am thinking about waiting till after end of Feb (PMA) to see what Canon comes up with. Something is a brewing because they just got done with their rebates on the 350D/XT and the 20D. Plus Nikon's D200 I am sure has given the 20D some stiff competition and so has the Nikon D50 to the Rebel XT. Notice the D50 is almost as big as the D70 but cheaper then the undersized Canon 350D/XT. But I keep going back to the lens.. once I pick a mount I have to stick with it. The Nikon lens are much more expensive then the Canon's so as tempting as the Nikon cameras are I will stay away.

Gatorboy
01-24-2006, 04:41 PM
I use a 70-200 f/2.8 often indoors on the better lit gyms. I'm not afraid to go with ISO 3200. When shooting high ISO's I find you want to not underexpose, for when processing your images with PS, it brings out the noise more when trying to lighten them.

Another good piece of software is NeatImage. It does a good job of taking the noise out of your high ISO images.

I only use Av mode to setup my exposure with my gray card (indoors). Once I know the exposure, I set my camera to manual. The camera can get confused when shooting a white or black jersey.

I don't think I'd go with that soft focus 135. I haven't heard many good reports of it being a decent sports lens. The Canon 85mm f/1.8 is a great lens for basketball and volleyball. It costs about $350 and will really help in those dimly light gymnasiums.

Melensdad
01-29-2006, 10:56 PM
It looks like I may have found my camera? I'll have to wait a bit for it to get to the stores, but that is OK with me since I don't need it just yet.

The new Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 Everything looks to be just about perfect for my needs.

Here is a preliminary review:
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/panasonicfz7/

Big Dog
01-30-2006, 11:21 AM
It looks like I may have found my camera? I'll have to wait a bit for it to get to the stores, but that is OK with me since I don't need it just yet.

The new Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 Everything looks to be just about perfect for my needs.

Here is a preliminary review:
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/panasonicfz7/

As I mentioned earlier, I thought I bought a Kodak z740 as a second camera but the deal fell through after winning the bid. But I'm glad now. Now by all means I'm not a photographer. I did the photography thing years ago and have 2 old SLR's, Canon AE-1 and a Nikon F4 with a bunch of lenses and a couple hot shoes. I, like Dargo, found AUTO too easy to study aperature and shutter while wasting film.

Until the Power Show this weekend I had read many Digital Photography reviews and came to the conclusion Panasonic is what I want. The FZ5 didn't have enough expandability, the FZ7 wasn't out yet and I thought I'd wait. Right now camera size doesn't really matter to me. I already have the z7590 and frankly it's as small as I want to go.

Now since this little venture to the Power Show, I've come to the conclusion the flash systems are way too insufficient on digital cameras without support. The luxury now of course is being able to experiment manual operation without wasting film. Now flash ability is what I see as the stumbler for the FZ7. I have to believe it will need supplimental flash in a venue like the Power Show. Yes, you can add a DC flash adapter, $50-$150.

All this said, I'm now favoring the FZ20 or 30, both with hot shoe. Now a question for all the experts. Other cameras specify dedicated hot shoes but not Panasonic. What's your thought? Can I use one I already have or will I need a new one? Any other thoughts on the cameras listed in the comparision chart attached? Input is appreciated......:thumb:

http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/vModelComparisonResults?storeId=15001&catalogId=13401&catGroupId=24999&cacheProgram=11002&cachePartner=7000000000000005702&surfCategory=Lumix%26reg%3B&items=94140|71418|96060|95962|

Melensdad
01-30-2006, 11:35 AM
Greg, did you notice that the built in flash of the new FZ7 has greater range than the older FZ5? I'm not sure if it is up to your needs, but the FZ7 has a 6 meter range, which I would find sufficient indoors. You may be shooting the tractors, etc from farther away than 18' but I consider it a pretty nice improvement.

DaveNay
01-30-2006, 11:54 AM
Now since this little venture to the Power Show, I've come to the conclusion the flash systems are way too insufficient on digital cameras without support. The luxury now of course is being able to experiment manual operation without wasting film. Now flash ability is what I see as the stumbler for the FZ7. I have to believe it will need supplimental flash in a venue like the Power Show. Yes, you can add a DC flash adapter, $50-$150.

All this said, I'm now favoring the FZ20 or 30, both with hot shoe. Now a question for all the experts. Other cameras specify dedicated hot shoes but not Panasonic. What's your thought? Can I use one I already have or will I need a new one? Any other thoughts on the cameras listed in the comparision chart attached? Input is appreciated......:thumb:


I think you are setting yourself up for failure if you are looking for a camera with built-in flash or even a low price external flash that has the capability to properly illuminate a scene in a location like the Power Show. Anything that powerful is going to be a very expensive professional system, with aux fixtures and large capacitors.

Do your primary flash testing and evalluation in a setting more appropriate to your usual usage.

OregonAlex
01-30-2006, 01:29 PM
I would have to agree with DaveNay on this. Plus an external flash might defeat the purpose of a compact camera. With a compact camera, I would be more concerned with the proximity of the on board flash to the lens. Too close on you can count on really bad red eye. So bad you can't fix it in software.

I don't know about others but I absolutely HATE to use a flash. I would much rather get a fast lens on the camera and shot in natural light. But then again, this is not the inexpensive route.

The Panasonic's look nice. Especially when shooting at low iso equivelents. Noise appears to be an issue however at 400 iso. Less so on the newer models like the FZ5. Interesting note on the upcoming FZ7. They support iso 800/1600. Well kind of sort of. The manufacturer says "you can make acceptable prints at 4x6" when using iso 800/1600. Then dpreview.com goes on to say that 800/1600 is at reduced resolution. So I take all this to mean... they have an algorythm in the FZ7 which automatically downsamples the image so you don't see the noise so much. Anyone else agree? I am guessing acceptable 4x6 prints mean somewhere around 1 - 2 MP?

Pretty clever. For $350 the camera sounds like a great value.

OregonAlex
01-30-2006, 02:18 PM
Looks like Nikon is really trying to get people onto their Lens mount with the D50.
Current Nikon D50 DSLR prices are very impressive. Too bad their lens are so expensive.

Camera Body only is $495 on-line.
Camera with kit lens is $599 at CompUSA.

Gatorboy
01-30-2006, 02:58 PM
I am guessing acceptable 4x6 prints mean somewhere around 1 - 2 MP?

For prints you really want 300 ppi -- so for a 4x6 you want an image that is 1200x1800.

OregonAlex
01-30-2006, 03:01 PM
Kits/Ritz camera has the same price for the D50 kit. Camera alone is $550 .

Big Dog
03-05-2006, 10:05 AM
Panasonic DMC-FZ7K appear to be available!

http://www.bizrate.com/digitalcameras/pid408937709/compareprices.html

Melensdad
03-05-2006, 10:15 AM
Panasonic DMC-FZ7K appear to be available!

Yup, I've been watching them come down in priced for the past week or two. Ebay had a bunch of them them early last week for roughly $429 +s/h. Last Sunday's sale pages had an advertisement from Circuit City or Best Buy (can't remember which it was) that had the older FZ5 "on sale" for $429. I played with an FZ5 and really liked it, but I want the added features and lower price of the newer FZ7. Beach Camera, a mail order operation out of New Jersey that I've purchased video equipement from in the past, had the FZ7 at $344.

I don't need the camera until the spring sports season for my daughter starts to get active. I figure I have another month before I need to buy. That gives me the opportunity to shop the price a little longer. I know what I want, the question is what will I have to pay.

Ricochet
03-05-2006, 01:23 PM
I have a Nikon D50 SLR and it is very nice and a great value in this class of digicams.

Go here to see photos I took with it (hockey action shots):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pryor-place/

Note: Look in the addtional info (bottom right) of each photo to see if I used the D50 to take it, because I also have a Canon A75.

California
03-05-2006, 04:32 PM
I have a Nikon D50 SLR and it is very nice and a great value in this class of digicams.

Go here to see photos I took with it (hockey action shots):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pryor-place/

Note: Look in the addtional info (bottom right) of each photo to see if I used the D50 to take it, because I also have a Canon A75.The Nikon does a nice job!

I couldn't find your Canon A75 pictures to compare to the Nikon. (Canon's picture numbers should start with 'IMG--') Can you point out some sets from the A75?

How do the results from these two cameras compare for making web-size pictures?

I bought an A75 in 2004 for tourist travel. Its unobtrusive in use, and easy to get it out of sight quickly when necessary.

Market day - Otavalo, Ecuador

Dargo
03-05-2006, 04:37 PM
:yum: It looks like that pretty young Senorita is asking her man to explain once again why he came in really late last night. :D

California
03-05-2006, 05:02 PM
Bob,

Panasonic is about to release another new model, the Travel Zoom 1. It's 10 x zoom in a pocketable size, Leica optics, $350.

Description and pre-release sample pictures (http://index.hu/tech/digicam/cikkek/dmc-tz1_p/%211)

DMC-TZ1 (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/search.asp?query=TZ1&forum=1033)Specs in English (http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/vModelDetail?displayTab=O&storeId=15001&catalogId=13401&itemId=96359&catGroupId=24999&modelNo=DMC-TZ1K&cacheProgram=11002&cachePartner=7000000000000005702&surfModel=DMC-TZ1K)

dpreview.com - discussion and speculation (search on 'TZ1') (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1033)

I intend to get one as soon as they are available, apparently mid-March.

Over 6500 pix on the Canon A75 in 16 months and I've worn the paint off the corners - its time to give it to younger daughter, and upgrade!

Ricochet
03-05-2006, 05:21 PM
The Nikon does a nice job!

I couldn't find your Canon A75 pictures to compare to the Nikon. (Canon's picture numbers should start with 'IMG--') Can you point out some sets from the A75?

How do the results from these two cameras compare for making web-size pictures?

I bought an A75 in 2004 for tourist travel. Its unobtrusive in use, and easy to get it out of sight quickly when necessary.

Market day - Otavalo, Ecuador

Red Wings @ The Joe photo set was taken with the A75. I wish I had the D50, but like you mentioned the A75 is more portable.

The A75 is more or less my son's digicam now but he is too young to enjoy it and the A75 makes little video clips (if needed).

OregonAlex
03-05-2006, 05:37 PM
I have a Nikon D50 SLR and it is very nice and a great value in this class of digicams.

Go here to see photos I took with it (hockey action shots):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pryor-place/

Note: Look in the addtional info (bottom right) of each photo to see if I used the D50 to take it, because I also have a Canon A75.

Ricochet,

I would say I agree with you. I was all set on either a D70 or a Canon 20D. In the end, I have bought a D50 (minus the kit lens). Sure it does not have the quality at 1600 ISO+ as the Canon but then again you can buy two and a half D50s for the price of a D20. With the money saved over the competition, applied that money to nice lens instead. Which is how it should be.. Lens are the part where you should be putting your money into. A great lens will last you a very long time.. A great DSLR is not so great a few years down the road. With the same or slightly better performance then the D70, the D50 is hard to pass up at $500.

Read this review from Ken Rockwell.. who is known for being very hard to impress in his other reviews.
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d50.htm

I was avoiding Nikon a few months ago because their lens are more money then the Canon lens. After more research, I decided that the lens I was considering will mostly NOT be made by Nikon and ones that were made by Nikon seem better build then the Canon lens. So it was no longer an issue for me. After much research, it is clear the D50 was a clear winner for me. I know a lot of people who have bought the D70 are now selling them because the D50 has canibalized the D70 value through the cost/performance equation. Many are upgrading to the D200 now.

I got a $400 lens to go along with my $500 D50. Feeling much better about my decision now, knowing I was able to put more money into the lens and not break the budget. My father in law is a professional "film" photographer. After using my camera for a week, on loan from me, he was so impressed that he went out and bought one too. Hasn't shot film since he got his own D50.
The capabilities you get with RAW file manipulation blew him away.

OregonAlex
03-05-2006, 05:52 PM
I have a Nikon D50 SLR and it is very nice and a great value in this class of digicams.

Go here to see photos I took with it (hockey action shots):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pryor-place/

Note: Look in the addtional info (bottom right) of each photo to see if I used the D50 to take it, because I also have a Canon A75.

Ricocet,

what Lens did you get with the D50? Try changing the D50 into shooting Mode 1a (realistic color, D70 default) photos from the D50 default Mode III (landscape/vivid)? Photos will be less "punchy" but you might appreciate the colors being more true. Call me weird but I like to turn most of the in-camera "post processing" off. I can always manipulate it later in Photoshop. Then again, I shot RAW so it goes it doesn't matter, I can always change it on the fly if need be.

some pretty fun stuff.. find a photo of a portrait of person you have taken a picture of (subjet looking into the camera) without the flash. Zoom up on to their eyeball. Most of the time you can see yourself taking the picture... ;-)

Ricochet
03-05-2006, 07:01 PM
Ricocet,

what Lens did you get with the D50? Try changing the D50 into shooting Mode 1a (realistic color, D70 default) photos from the D50 default Mode III (landscape/vivid)? Photos will be less "punchy" but you might appreciate the colors being more true. Call me weird but I like to turn most of the in-camera "post processing" off. I can always manipulate it later in Photoshop. Then again, I shot RAW so it goes it doesn't matter, I can always change it on the fly if need be.

some pretty fun stuff.. find a photo of a portrait of person you have taken a picture of (subjet looking into the camera) without the flash. Zoom up on to their eyeball. Most of the time you can see yourself taking the picture... ;-)

I just have the standard 80mm Nikon lens and borrowed a friend's 200mm Tamron (I think) for my photos of the Thrashers vs. Pens game. He has a 35mm Nikon film camera with a few nice auto focus lens that work with the SLR’s as well. I will probably get a Tamron 200-300mm sooner or later...good value and good enough quality for me. I will be at RIR for the NASCAR races in May and want a telephoto style lens for the race action...plus any future hockey games or my son's soccer games.

BTW, I'll try some different modes and I suck at Photoshop...I just haven't taken the time to learn it. :)

OregonAlex
03-05-2006, 08:32 PM
Tamrom has made some really good higher end lens, but you kind of need to check the reviews first. I have two Tamron lens myself. 28-75mm/f2.8 (throughout) and a 19-35mm/f3.5-4.5.

check out

www.fredmiranda.com to see what people say about various lens.

If your friend had a prime 200mm (a fixed, non zoom lens) it will give most likely give you much better performance then a zoom lens would at 200mm.


what kind of Tamrom 200mm was it?? a fixed telephoto or zoom?


Anyhow.. from what I hear an inexpensive lens above 200mm is pretty much unusable. If you want a decent zoom lens for an affordable price I suggest you keep it below 200mm. The new Nikon 55-200mm/f4-5.6G DX lens is supposed to be a great performer for the money. It is around $150 at www.thecamerabox.com. $250+ at your local camera shop. I tried out this lens at the local camera shop and although it felt really cheaply made, it did seem to produce good quality shots. Note very useable however indoors.. (w/ tripod) fine for outdoor shots.

For a review.
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/55200.htm

Another one is the Nikon 70-300 f/4-5.6G. For about $99. Also at www.thecamerabox.com Ken Rockwell seems to like this lens over the 55-200mm.. but I don't know .. seems pretty much unusable at above 200 anyways.. so I don't see the point. dunno.. that's a head scratcher.
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/70300g.htm

OregonAlex
03-05-2006, 09:11 PM
herer is a thread I found on D50s, zoom lens and the Panasonics. Interesting.


http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=82849&forum_id=66&jump_to=467548

California
03-05-2006, 10:32 PM
herer is a thread I found on D50s, zoom lens and the Panasonics. Interesting.
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=82849&forum_id=66&jump_to=467548I got as far as "Just ordered the body only for £320" and "£450 for a 18-200 vr lens" "next up id like some zoom to replace what im loosing from using my [Panasonic] fz5..."

That's a different market than my emphasis on a small travel camera. No way would I whip that thing out while I'm jammed into a crowd of strangers!

Hong Kong, November 2004. I'm not happy with the blown sharpness, but the pic documents an unforgettable visit.

Melensdad
03-05-2006, 11:45 PM
California, I agree with you about the size issue. Bigger is not better. My biggest concern is that the camera is going to be too large to carry around. I actually played with a Nikon D50 today at a store, compared it to a Canon Rebel and Canon S2 and liked the size of the smaller Canon S2 far better. Kodak had a nice size camera, but its not in consideration, don't even recall the designation of it. I'm pretty set on the Lumix DMC FZ7. Its rougly the size of the Canon S2, not ideal, but it is the best compromise of quality, features, and size for my needs. I'd still prefer a pocket camera but I can't get the fast follow up shots or optical zoom that I want for action shots. I'm not giving up my cigarette pack size Canon S500, but I do need more for documenting my daughter's sporting events.

Ricochet
03-05-2006, 11:59 PM
Tamrom has made some really good higher end lens, but you kind of need to check the reviews first. I have two Tamron lens myself. 28-75mm/f2.8 (throughout) and a 19-35mm/f3.5-4.5.

check out

www.fredmiranda.com (http://www.fredmiranda.com) to see what people say about various lens.

If your friend had a prime 200mm (a fixed, non zoom lens) it will give most likely give you much better performance then a zoom lens would at 200mm.


what kind of Tamrom 200mm was it?? a fixed telephoto or zoom?


Anyhow.. from what I hear an inexpensive lens above 200mm is pretty much unusable. If you want a decent zoom lens for an affordable price I suggest you keep it below 200mm. The new Nikon 55-200mm/f4-5.6G DX lens is supposed to be a great performer for the money. It is around $150 at www.thecamerabox.com (http://www.thecamerabox.com). $250+ at your local camera shop. I tried out this lens at the local camera shop and although it felt really cheaply made, it did seem to produce good quality shots. Note very useable however indoors.. (w/ tripod) fine for outdoor shots.

For a review.
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/55200.htm

Another one is the Nikon 70-300 f/4-5.6G. For about $99. Also at www.thecamerabox.com (http://www.thecamerabox.com) Ken Rockwell seems to like this lens over the 55-200mm.. but I don't know .. seems pretty much unusable at above 200 anyways.. so I don't see the point. dunno.. that's a head scratcher.
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/70300g.htm


My friend's lens was a zoom. I didn't realize there was a difference between a zoom and telephoto, but I see know. Thanks for the links and info! It also sounds like this is good lens: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/7021056.htm I bet I can find one on eBay, if not I will go for the 70-300mm. I thought the Nikon lens were more expensive than that...that's why I was eye'ing the Tamrom. Also, my standard Nikkor lens is a 28-80mm.

BTW, here are my pics from Japan last May/June:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pryor-place/sets/385448/

http://static.flickr.com/14/15938523_259e845b4f_o.jpg

I hope to go on biz trip to China, S. Korea and Taiwan next month.

OregonAlex
03-06-2006, 12:52 AM
My friend's lens was a zoom. I didn't realize there was a difference between a zoom and telephoto, but I see know. Thanks for the links and info! It also sounds like this is good lens: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/7021056.htm I bet I can find one on eBay, if not I will go for the 70-300mm. I thought the Nikon lens were more expensive than that...that's why I was eye'ing the Tamrom. Also, my standard Nikkor lens is a 28-80mm.


unfortunatley, the Nikon 70-210 D has increased in demand. Used price on eBay is around $350!!! People are nuts. Dont confuse this with a 70-210 (without the "D") which is NOT the same lens and much less expensive (about $150).

Another lens to consider is the Sigma 70-300 APO DG. Make sure it says APO, again without the APO it is half price.

OregonAlex
03-06-2006, 01:15 AM
neat little focal length comparision web page.
http://consumer.usa.canon.com/app/html/EFLenses101/focalflash.swf

OregonAlex
03-06-2006, 10:09 PM
Panasonic FZ7 Review has arrrived at dpreview.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ7

OregonAlex
03-10-2006, 12:41 AM
We had our first official snow day today... been driving all winter long with studded tires and the week after I take them off it snows. Had 7" up here.
Murphy's law.. right?

Anyhow.. here is one I took today. Having a little fun with a shallow depth of field in order make the snow flakes show up. Taken with a D50 at 75mm/f2.8.

OregonAlex
03-10-2006, 02:05 AM
kind of hard to get stuff to look good and only take 100kb.. but we shall see what happens.

Doc,

whats the max file size allowed for posting?? size and resolution.
Thanks

Melensdad
03-10-2006, 09:03 AM
whats the max file size allowed for posting?? size and resolution.
Thanks

In the threads, a JPEG file limit is right about 190kb or 195kb. There is a pixel limit size too, I think it is 1000 tall by 700 wide?

But in the photo gallery you can easily go over 1MB, not sure what the upper limit in the photo gallery is, but I suspect it is right around 2MB

By the way, what do you think about the "noise" issue in the dpreview of the Lumix? I don't know that I would have much cause to shoot over 100ASA equivalent most of the time, but I'm sure there will be times when I would push it up to 200 or 400. Bear in mind, 98.9% of my prints are 4x6.

Thoughts?

OregonAlex
03-10-2006, 11:49 AM
By the way, what do you think about the "noise" issue in the dpreview of the Lumix? I don't know that I would have much cause to shoot over 100ASA equivalent most of the time, but I'm sure there will be times when I would push it up to 200 or 400. Bear in mind, 98.9% of my prints are 4x6.

Thoughts?
Bob,

I think that would be your call. I think Panasonic is counting on the image stabilization helping with that. As they will try to lower the shutter speed in order to keep you in the lowest ISO possible. However, obviously that will do the opposite of what you want if you are shotting action. i would recommend that you bring along your own SD card to the store and take a few sample shots with the FZ5 (which actually has less noise compared to the FZ7). Take a few shots in Auto mode of the inside of the store..without the flash going off (if that is even possible). Then switch it into shutter priority mode.. zoom all the way to 12x. And take more pictures at various shutter speeds. Note you will need between 1/250-1/500 to prevent your subject from being blurred. I say zoom in all the way because that way you can test camera stability system. Keep it mind you are telling it to keep the shutter speed up. So I am curious what it will do to the stability. I am guessing it will turn it off and shake will be very noticable. Then go home, and take a look at the photos. Crop the photos as you normally think you would.. Then print out the photos on 4x6 and see if you feel the noise is tolerable. I am very interested in your opinion of this camera. A mid $300 camera with the type of zoom it has is very attractive. It would definately make a good camera for taking outdoor landscape photos. I would be just a little concerned about its ability to take photos indoors and of action zoomed all the way in (12x).

California
04-10-2006, 01:01 AM
Panasonic is about to release another new model, the Travel Zoom 1. [Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1] It's 10 x zoom in a pocketable size, Leica optics, $350. Followup - I got one, and I love it. Now if I just had some photographer's light. Weeks of rain and overcast, and more coming.

I took this when we had a brief moment of sunlight. The flower is actually the diameter of a quarter. Whole frame (reduced) and crop (original size) of same 10x zoom photo.

Melensdad
04-10-2006, 09:08 AM
California . . . how many frames per second can you shoot? One think I like about the SLR type cameras (Lumix FX7, Canon S1, etc) is that you can shoot 2 or 3 frames per second while most pocket cameras do not allow for that. Given that my daughter is in some sports, that is a feature I really want to get with the next camera. I do like the size/form factor of this little Panasonic, it is certainly would be much easier to tote around!!!

Doc
04-10-2006, 09:12 AM
Very good question Bob. That issue alone has me thinking of upgrading my digital camera. With flash on mine takes 10 seconds or more to recover. It seems like forever when waiting to shoot the next pic.

CA please post frames per second with and without flash.
Thanks!

Gatorboy
04-10-2006, 09:44 AM
Followup - I got one, and I love it. Now if I just had some photographer's light. Weeks of rain and overcast, and more coming.


Overcast is great lighting ... no harsh shadows to deal with.

California
04-10-2006, 03:55 PM
The following is from the manual - I haven't experimented with burst other than EV bracket.

Movie mode: 30 fps @ vga 640 x 480 or wide-screen 848 x 480. Autofocus and zoom operate during filming. No flash. Requires a high speed SD card.

Burst:
Unlimited mode: 2 fps approximate, no flash, continuous until SD card filled. Focus is set by the first frame.
Or: 3fps x 3 frames (hi-res) or 5 frames (std res), slower if flash is used, flash cannot be enabled above ISO 200.

This is a pocket camera with a tiny battery. Flash recovery seems to take a second or two. The flash is only strong enough to use in your living room, not for a wedding reception or sports photography.

Sample photos: See Doug Lerner's posts at:
http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18184
His posts in about the first week of April illustrate the TZ1's capabilities better than Panasonic's own sites.

Also: Endless discussion of Panasonics, search on TZ1:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1033

California
04-10-2006, 04:06 PM
Here's a dpreview.com thread started by an enthusiastic new owner. His TZ1 is better than his FZ15, he says.

A second new owner posts, agreeing.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=17978311

Gatorboy
04-10-2006, 05:18 PM
Burst:
Focus is set by the first frame.

This is not good for sports photography. If the focus is set and your athlete is moving, anything after the first shot will be out of focus.

California
04-10-2006, 05:48 PM
This is not good for sports photography. If the focus is set and your athlete is moving, anything after the first shot will be out of focus.Agreed. I don't see how full frame at 2 or 3 fps is useful for sports.

That leaves 30 fps 640 x 480 or (848 x 480) with autofocus as the only reasonable sports mode. In your experience, is that large enough to print some individual frames?

The 800 or 1600 ISO High-Sensitivity mode is poor, the manual says suitable only for 4 x 6 prints. I'll add 'and only suitable for proud mommies who have to have a print from the Christmas Pageant to carry around and show everybody'. Sharpness just isn't there.

The target market for the TZ1 isn't pros who would use a much larger camera, rather it's a camera with some extended capabilities for the casual user. I would say its reasonable limits are f4.2 when zooming (clear up to 12.5x in 3mp mode) and ISO 100, maybe 200 or 400 with careful post processing. A proper sports camera would have a faster lens and higher ISO. And weigh 10 times as much.

Melensdad
04-10-2006, 05:56 PM
California . . . you really hit on the theme of the thread with your last comments.

I am not looking to replace my faithful Nikon F2a, what I am looking for is a "good enough" camera that splits the middle range. Something that gives me more capabilities than my Canon pocket point and shoot cameras but is not too big or too cumbersome that it gets left behind and goes unused.

Melensdad
04-12-2006, 07:10 PM
Well after looking at all the alternatives, strongly considering the Nikon that Dargo has, the Canon S cameras, and the new Lumix that California just purchased I just ordered the Lumix DMC FZ7. Perhaps not the best camera for everything, but probably the best for my needs considering the other cameras I also have for use.

Melensdad
04-20-2006, 06:28 PM
Well I have had the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 for about a week. Honestly have not had much time to play with it, but I have used it for work and took some photos inside a warehouse of a company that I am buying, so the bulk of the photos I've taken have been nothing more than snapshots.

But despite my lack of real use of this taking photos of my daughter's sports, I do have some things to say.

First, it is very light and much smaller than the digital SLRs that have removable lenses. It is also smaller than the Canon S1 series camera. If I was designing it I would have put the button on a slight forward cant instead of on the horizontal plane. I would have also added a shutter speed dial for shutter priority mode and a aperature ring for aperature priority mode . . . but in both cases I would probably be overruled by other potential customers for this camera. I really like the size and with the exception of the shutter button, the ergonomics are very good.

When it came down to the acutally purchase decision, I waffled back and forth between this and the Canon. I felt that this felt a bit better overall but liked the Canon's shutter button position better. I also liked the size of this better. Not big, but not too small. Several other brands (Nikon, Fuji, etc) don't have any flat surface to the left side of the lens so when you are looking through the viewfinder there is no flat side to rest your left hand/thumb against, I prefer the feeling of a flat side to the curved sided body. Just me I guess.

I like the extended eye cup for viewfinder use. Many cameras do not have this and force you to turn your head slighty to use the viewfinder, but even with my large nose I can use the viewfinder without twisting my head.

Here are a couple photos of the camera (obviously not shot by the camera). I set the camera on my laptop's keyboard to give you a bit of scale so you can see that this really is a fairly compact camera.

I like the burst mode, it gives you several options. One holds the focus at the same as the first photo, but others allow for constant focus even when firing shots at 2fps.

I also like the "macro" feature on the top dial, many cameras seem to force you to go through a menu to go into the macro focus mode, in photo 2 below you can actually see the camera is focused on the screen.

The rear view screen is very large, larger than most. Some might consider it a drawback that the screen is exposed, but I have several other cameras that have this feature and I prefer it. The Canon S1 has a flip out screen, which may protect the screen, but it increases bulk unnecessarily. The rear screen is also very bright which makes it useful when some others are washed out by sunlight.

BTW the camera comes with a 16mb SD card. I tossed that and replaced it with a 1Gig SD card since this will take photos up to 6MB it seems silly to even include a card that is so small it will not hold 3 images at full resolution!

One thing I will point out is that many of these compact super zoom cameras are very very good values for the money. It strikes me that the BEST camera is the one you like best. I can't honestly say that a Panasonic takes a better photo than a Nikon or a Canon or a Fuji or a Kodak. There are issues that some people may have when pushing any of these compact super zooms to their limits. Panasonic gives has some noise issues above 200 ISO settings but for most people (and I fall into that group) it should not be a practical issue.

TitanZERO
05-09-2006, 12:42 PM
Excellent camera. However...Nikons are great also.


http://www.jimliliy.com/theproject

Melensdad
05-09-2006, 12:50 PM
Excellent camera. However...Nikons are great also.


Yup Jim, I really do like this camera. I also like my Nikons. I don't consider the new Panasonic to be in the same league as my professional Nikons, but then again, I wasn't shopping for a professional grade camera. The higher end Nikon Coolpix cameras were discussed in this thread. For the added price, they didn't offer any advantage in the application that I have chose for this little Panasonic Lumix.

Melensdad
07-24-2006, 01:08 PM
Just a little bit of an update. Here are a couple images shot with the Panasonic Lumix FZ7 camera.

Both were taken while standing on the balcony of our condo. Both were taken of the same subject, only the zoom enhancement was different. One was taken without the zoom, the other at 48x (the camera has 12x optical, but goes to 48x in digital zoom mode). I was shooting into the sun. The camera was hand-held (which shows how well the new generation Image Stabilization system works because the 48x Zoom image is actually clear). Both images were originally 6MB each, I resized them to 700pixels by 525pixels and exported them to my desktop using iPhoto, then shrank the file size to roughly 140kb so they would upload here. There were no enhancements or other image alterations made.

Doc
07-24-2006, 01:36 PM
Very impressive Bob. That zoom is awesome. :thumb:

Now see how many bikini's you can get pics of.

California
07-24-2006, 02:18 PM
I like the Panasonics. My choice was TZ1 (similar to FZ7, pocketable, 10x optical zoom).


Old Sacramento (tourist trap) and its excursion train viewed from the opposite side of the river.
The white mast at the front of the riverboat is common to both the large picture and the inset small picture.


http://s93445617.onlinehome.us/pix/dprev/P1000521-24rSacWaterfront2.jpg

Melensdad
07-24-2006, 02:22 PM
I looked at the TZ1 too. Nice camera. Spec'd out a little lower on all things and if I was looking for a more 'pocketable' camera then it would have very likely been at/near the top of my list of choices. As size was less of an issue, and things like focal length, aperature, shutter speeds, etc were more important to me, I obviously opted for a less compact camera.

But it sure seems like Panasonic has got its act together with their cameras. Great prices and great features.

Junkman
07-24-2006, 03:15 PM
Have you had any problems getting film or having it developed????? Junk....

mtntopper
07-24-2006, 04:26 PM
Have you had any problems getting film or having it developed????? Junk....

From what I here Junk, it works just like your Brownie 110 you are still using.....:yankchain: Or did you finally upgrade to a newer pocket camera with flash from the local convenience store?????:confused2:

Excellent pics Bob, now lets see some beach bikini babes.......

California
07-24-2006, 04:48 PM
Have you had any problems getting film or having it developed????? Junk....Junk, I can never figure out when you are serious.

When I want prints its easy. I take the 'film' to Walgreen and they know how to do it. No big deal.:)

Junkman
07-24-2006, 05:36 PM
Junk, I can never figure out when you are serious.



I didn't think anyone ever cared or tried to figure this out..... Damn right that I am serious...... Very serious....... every awake moment of every day. :yankchain: :yankchain:

By the way, does anyone have a supply of 110 film for my Kodak Brownie?? I have been having difficulty finding it in the Rexall Pharmacy in town. I went by the local De Soto dealership and they have a really nice Fireflite convertible that I would like to take a picture of. Those 1957 models are very futuristic looking cars......:hide:

jim slagle
07-24-2006, 05:48 PM
By the way, does anyone have a supply of 110 film for my Kodak Brownie?? I have been having difficulty finding it in the Rexall Pharmacy in town.

think you want 126 for the Brownie. The 110 is for that new fangled flat camera.

I went by the local De Soto dealership and they have a really nice Fireflite convertible that I would like to take a picture of. Those 1957 models are very futuristic looking cars....

Wait until you see the 58 Olds. I hear there is at least 500 pounds of chrome on each tail fin. Pink is going to be one of the popular colors
:yankchain: :yankchain: :yankchain:

Junkman
07-24-2006, 05:57 PM
.............Wait until you see the 58 Olds. I hear there is at least 500 pounds of chrome on each tail fin. Pink is going to be one of the popular colors
:yankchain: :yankchain: :yankchain:

Jim....... PM says that it is going to be the 1958 Buick.........:hide: Check this video out....... (http://www.ev1.pair.com/pontiac_html/GM5commercial.html)