SFR Digital Cameras

Discussion in 'Photography / Video' started by jessejames, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. FlyfishermanNY

    FlyfishermanNY New Member

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    I do alot of Underwater Photography and have several different film and digital cameras. Mostly Nikons. I have three Nikonosis III and sometimes take it on fishing trips, fully waterproof.It is film, I also use a Nikon Action one (disc many years ago) a film camera fully auto and takes great photos submersible to 16 feet. Then when I have the film processed I either scan the prints/negs or have the lab put it on a CD for viewing. It beats taking the more expensive and delicate cameras that are not water proof and dunking them. The Nikon One Touch as often avail on e-bay so I bought a back up. Solves my problems of ruining cameras which I have done in the past.
    Bob Studen
    Long Island New York :)
     
  2. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    Don't get too caught up in the megapixel race. A good 3.2 will typically shoot much better photos than a cheap 5.0 in the same price range. The glass in front of the sensor has more to do with photo quality than a boost in pixels. Also, a lot of cheap, high-megapixel cameras are painfully slow to focus and record, with buffers that are too small for the size of images they capture.
     
  3. Doug

    Doug Member

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    Kent has a very good point about buying cameras on line. You can't beat their prices most of the time but you do want to be careful with some of the companies out there.

    Some of the equipement that they may try to sell you is gray market equipment or an off brand name. So make sure you compare between different sites.

    I have always used cameraworld.com with excellent and honest service. They are also ( or at least used to be) located in Portland. You may want to check out their clearance section, I just noticed some fantastic deals there. bhphoto.com is another high quality supplier that is located on the East coast.

    As far as brands go, if you talk to six different people you will get six different answers for the price range you are looking for. So don't worry about optical quality too much until you start buying high quality and high priced equipement. Personally I would buy Nikon myself, but thats what all of my equipment is, including my Coolpix 950 which has taken a bath in the Nooksack River and still works five years later.

    Also consider getting a camera with macro capability for some unique photo's of insects and whatever else you take pictures with.

    Make sure you get rechargable batteries too, they will last much longer than alkaline battiers do.

    One other thing to keep in mind, the more metal on your camera, the sturdier it will be. The more plastic it has and the easier it will usually break.

    Good luck
    Doug
     
  4. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Paul's exactly right about using software to post-process your images. In fact, most of the pros I know and work with spend as much time or more tweaking their images AFTER shooting them as they do in setting them up before taking them.

    The rub though is that Photoshop CS lists for $795 - more than most consumer-grade digital cameras. Although the program is incredibly powerful, it also needs a pretty substantial machine to run it, and especially one with lots of RAM (I have 1.5 GB on my primary work box.)

    As an alternative, Photoshop Elements costs about $100 and does much of what Photoshop does with a much more intuitive UI.

    K
     
  5. Fred Aldridge

    Fred Aldridge Member

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    After destroying a few cameras with too many pictures taken with wet hands, I finally purchased an Olympus Stylus 300. While not totally water proof, it probably won't take a dunking, it's working great for me. It's small enough to fit into most pockets and the battery seems to be holding up well. I purchased a 128meg picture card, which I've seen advertised for less than $40 lately and that is plenty of storage for me. I use Photo Studio softawre by Arcsoft which is very easy to use and inexpensive. :thumb:
    Fred
     
  6. SpokaneFisherman

    SpokaneFisherman Member

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    I already gave Jesse my $.02 offline. So this question is for the rest of you guys. I broke down this spring and bough an Olympus Stylus 400 Digitial right about the time the 410 came out. Up until that point my primary camera was a Nikon F100 (Film SLR).

    So far I've been happy with the Olympus. And the small size means I take it with me when I wouldn't have taken the F100. But I have noticed that this camera does not handle low light situations well. I seem to find that my low light exposure is off and the focus always seems a little soft (w/ or without flash). Anybody have similar experiences? Just curious if this is an actual problem or just my perception. I think it may be that I'm missing the control that I have with my SLR. :confused:
     
  7. jackchinook

    jackchinook Member

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    I'm in the same boat. I shot with a Canon EOS5 for a long time. When I entered the digital realm, I did so with a Canon Powershot S400. It's a great camera but I constantly find myself frustrated with the fact that it's really just a zoom point and shoot. I think we get used to having total control on everything when we shoot SLR and then you step down and it's frightening. I broke down and bought a EOS 10d (DSLR) and haven't looked back - except when I take out the little guy in its waterproof case when I'm on the water!
     
  8. jessejames

    jessejames Flyslinger

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    I started this thread a little while ago and thought I would let you all know I appreciate your input. The website Kent recommended Steves camera's (check Kents first post to this thread if interested in a link) was the most helpful to me. After reading all the posts and the research on the web, I went to the store and handled all the the cameras that I was interested in. My goal was to stay at around $300. for the complete outfit. There are a lot of good options out there. I narrowed it down to the Canon A75 and the Nikon coolpix 3200. I ended up buying the Nikon because of its more compact size and it's ability to focus down to 1.8" (I thought this would help when shooting flies)without any additional lense purchases, the
    Canon had some good features but the lenses and adapters would have put me over my budget. I got the camera, 4 rechargable batteries, a 4 battery charger, a nice small case and a 256 mb media card for $300. and change. It is under the tree waiting for Christmas I can't wait to try it out. Thanks everyone for the help..
    jesse clark
     
  9. numbbutt

    numbbutt Guest

    one thing you shouldn't forget about is a polorized lens. I've found this can turn bad photo into a good one, and a good one into a great one.
     
  10. Pauld

    Pauld New Member

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    Lots of good information being posted in response to your original question. Let me provide my answer to your concerns and then address some of the other concerns that were raised in this thread. [Sorry, its a bit long :( ]

    My responses are based on several years of using a Canon S110 and a Canon G3. (After using it for over two years, and taking about 10,000 pictures, I dunked my S110 and it died. I am very leery about taking the G3 on the water - but it is also a much bulkier camera - making it harder to carry around and still fish.)

    Get at least 3.2 megapixels?
    Yes. For what you seem to want to do, paying more $$$'s for more megapixels would not be economical.

    Optical zoom is better than digital is 3x enough?
    Yes. I get digital zoom up to 14X and find that I only use the lower end of it. The higher end pictures tend to be grainy and out of focus. When you get over 7 or 8X you'll probably need a tripod.

    Ease of charging batteries (dock, internal charger etc)
    I liked the separate battery and separate charger of the S110 better than the internal charger of the G3. For the S110, I carried a second charged battery and if one died I could quickly insert the second and then find a place to plug in my charger and get the first one charged. When the battery dies in the G3 I have to quit taking pictures and plug the camera in to be charged. The two-battery set up came in handy when I was off in the woods for a few days. Some good planning on your part can get you around a dead battery.. (BTW - I found the battery life to be very, very good in both cameras - despite my constant use of the viewing sceen.]

    Size, good for packing in my waders or chest pack.
    The SD110 is probably the smallest - the front face of it is only the size of a credit card. I felt that was a big plus as it fit neatly into a shirt pocket and could be readily accessiible. Sometimes I put it on a lanyard that I hung around my neck. My G3 is multiple times bigger and requires a separate case if I carry it around with me.

    Price of media, Sony seems to be the most expensive?
    Haven't checked this for awhile but Sam's and Costco have very big size memory cards for about $50.

    How much memory is enough 128, 256, etc?
    The main issue here is the pixel size you save at and how much compression you ask for. My cameras give me three choices of each feature. If you save big pixel pictures and don't compress them, you'll eat up a memory card real fast. At the lowest settings (smaller pixel, lots of compression) I felt the quality of my pictures declined. So guess what? I shoot and save on the middle level of each scale. [BTW - I think the 64mg or 128mg cards worked best for me. When I used a 256mg I found it slowed down my picture taking as the camera had to "go the end of the line" to store each picture I took - had LONG time delays between photos. The 32mg card is just too small for saving mid-pixel size pictures at mid-level compression.]

    The thread got into Digital Photo Software - here's my two cents on it:

    I use digital photo software by a company named JASC. They have two program "levels". The first is Paint Shop which is a more economical, smaller scale, less demanding competitor for Photo Shop. I have version 8, not the Pro version, but I don't get involved enough in altering my pictures to use it much. The other JASC program I have is Photo Album - and I use it ALL the time. It's easy to use, can make simple, effective, straightforward adjustments of pictures and it has great cataloging capabilities. Pretty cheap too. Here's some information on JASC and these three packages:

    Home page - http://www.jasc.com/
    Click on "Products"

    Paint Shop™ Photo Album™ 5 - page: http://www.jasc.com/products/photoalbum/
    Paint Shop Photo Album - Deluxe Edition is simply the easiest way to do more with your digital photos. Now you can organize, fix, share, and protect photos with one easy-to-use tool.
    $45 Download and $49 Boxed

    Paint Shop™ Pro® 9 - page: http://www.jasc.com/products/paintshoppro/
    Whether it’s a photo, graphic, or digital art, Paint Shop Pro 9 is going to help you get that vision out of your head and onto the screen. Your pocketbook doesn’t have to suffer for your art and you don’t have to settle on the pricey
    standard for quality. What you need is right here.
    $119 Download and $129 Boxed

    Camera Reviews - you said you were interested in the Canon A75 and the Nikon 3200 coolpix - here are links to reviews of them:.
    Canon A75 - http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/a75.html
    Nikon 3200 coolpix - http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/nikon3200.html

    Take a look at the Canon SD110 too (a newer version of the S110) - and it is currently being sold on Amazon.com at a pretty good price (see their link below)
    Canon SD110 - http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/sd110.html
    [NOTE: In this review the physical size of an SD110 is contrasted to the A75. The SD110 looks about 20% smaller than the A75.]

    And, yes. buy it online. Here are a couple of good online sites:
    Adorama - http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=main
    B&H Photo - http://www.bhphotovideo.com

    Finally, if you dunk your digital camera - DO NOT turn it on. Immediately remove the batteries and the memory card and, somehow, try to dry out the inards.If you are unsure whether or not it is dried out, DO NOT fire it up.
     
  11. Jason

    Jason Trout Bum

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    Everyone else has basically summed it up.
    I have a Fuji S5000, 3.2 megapixle and 10x optical zoom. Its bulky but takes great photos. And yes it does need a tripod for super zoomed in shots.

    As for puchasing, I bought it at BuyDig.com and recieved it within 3 days. And have refered several others to them as well. They have package deals with memory, case and so on for a good deal.
     
  12. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    I have an Olympus 410 and a larger Olympus with a better lense. Both are 4 meg, but the 410 is very small, nice lense cover arrangment and water resistant.

    Pretty good bang for the buck.
     
  13. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    I bought my Digital Rebel from BuyDig.com as well and had it overnight. There was only one place I could find that had a cheaper price (only $30 less), but it was from a place plagued with Better Business Bureau complaints. BuyDig is based in NYC and have the same appearance as some of the lowlife NYC-area camera ripoff outfits, but they're legit. I checked them out with the BBB before buying from them just to make sure.
     
  14. loneangler

    loneangler New Member

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    id go with either a cannon a85 or an s400, both are small ,light, dont eat up too much in batteries, and are 4.0 megapixels, which is fine for 4x6 photos. the s400 comes with everything but a printer the card and a case. the printer can run you alot or very little depending on what you get, you can get cards for cheap and a waterproof case for around 10 dollars, or in a pinch just put it in a ziplock and stick it in your pocket, though i wouldnt recommend doing this for very long. the price of the camera is really reasonable.
     
  15. Chris Stokesbary

    Chris Stokesbary Member

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    If you're looking for something small that is hiking / fishing worthy, I'd recommend the Pentax Optio series. I've got the 4mp version, which is waterPROOF to 25 minutes. I don't worry about it when it's raining, getting soaked hiking, and I don't worry about dropping it while fishing.

    Not much for zoom, but nobody makes a waterproof digital SLR for me yet. : )