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Ritzz
04-05-2003, 01:42 AM
Are digital cameras better than normal 35mm cameras picture quality wise??
I am looking at Canon Powershot S45.
What are the adv of Digital cameras over normal ones?
I know digt ones dont need film and you can view images instantaneously...but are there any other major adv??
Cheers

somebody
04-05-2003, 09:33 AM
Depending, but Digital cameras are usually not as good as 35mm cameras, esp. if you've got a good camera.

Digital Cameras these days - esp ones over 2 megapixels are probably getting close, and normal users won't notice the difference.

The main advantage is that you can download the photos to your computer, and either print them, or email/put on the web for friends/family to see. You can also edit them to create interesting combination photos (somebody's head on someone elses body :D)

If you like real photos and you like storing them in a real photo album, then it's probably best to stick to your 35mm camera. You can however, print photos from your digital camera onto special photo paper, and get almost-35mm quality prints.

olldaddy76
04-05-2003, 10:29 AM
Did you know that for the first time ever in AUSTRALIA Digital cameras have out sold others........in the last 3 months.
The price of digital cameras has come down heaps in the last 3 years........
A normal photo with a SLR lenses takes photos of 20,000 pixels whereas
a digital is what you are willing to pay top now about 6000 pixels BUT the normal eye can not tell the difference..at about 2.5 thousnd pixels
I have the personal belief that the future is in DIGITAL CAMERAS as in the increasing computerized world digital photography will win the day...

nomad
04-05-2003, 11:05 AM
as someone has said, the 35mm cameras are far better than digi.
i am a keen photograher - i will buy a F100 Nikon 35mm next. digi remains to be seen.

a great review is here [url=http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Canon/canon_s45.asp]DPReview

the Canon powershot is high recommended.
advs = can connect to PC, no film wasting, can preview, can edit a bit on camera, can delete and retake if pic was not gd enof, faster for emailing etc.. without the need to scan, no need to process photo so cheaper.

disadv = quality not as gd as 35mm, but its sufficient for majority, digi is expensive ie.. $1k u can get a SLR 35mm with a 300mm lense, memory card and battery is limited. u cannot shoot many high quality tif photo cos the mem card gets full. u can shoot jpg thou which should be ok for the majority users, battery is also a worry esp if u happen to be travellling. i hear u can get a 1hr quick charger and u can get a external hard drive that is connected by wire instead of one memory card so u can have GB's of room to store TIF photo's.

with a typical digicam price of $1k u can get a comparable camera of like $400 and $600 worth of photo to process and u get them on photo paper. this is how $$ a digicam is. sometimes u want a digiphoto on photo paper (the better ones) shops does this for about $1-1.50 per photo. just take the mem card to them.

some of the compact digicam can also take lense extenders, and hoods anf filters, tripods too!

Nomad

nomad
04-05-2003, 11:07 AM
DP Review (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Canon/canon_s45.asp)

correction :D

Susan B
04-05-2003, 11:47 AM
Digital cameras are fantastic!

I bought HWMO one for his birthday recently and he and I have had so much fun with it. We have taken loads and loads of photos and use it far more than we ever used the normal 35mm camera.

Why? Because we can take as many photos as we like for just the cost of recharging the battery. One of the best things about it is that you can see what you have taken immediately and decide whether it is any good or not and take more pictures until you are satisfied. So if what you thought was a great shot turns out to be a dud because the camera strap was dangling over the lens (duh!) you can take another one instead of being disappointed when the prints are done.

As said previously, you can load and view your photos on the computer immediately, and have the picture filling up the entire screen in great detail instead of looking at a puny 6x4 bit of paper. The best ones can be selected and printed out, either on your own printer (if it is capable of good photo printing) or by the photo shop to put in your album, if that is what you like. Personally, I would rather have a few CDs full of photos to look at either on the computer or on the TV with DVD player than have a cupboard full of albums that get looked at a couple of times per year.

Another plus for us is that the digital camera I chose, the Canon IXUS V3, takes way better photos than our automatic normal 35mm one. If you have a good quality SLR camera you may notice a difference, though.

You might like to read the digital camera thread (http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/thread.jsp?forum=1&thread=31907) that I started as it has a lot of good information in it.

The digital camera is one of the best toys I have ever bought (after my computer, of course!) and good ones are so much more affordable than they were a year or so ago.

R.M.
04-05-2003, 12:32 PM
Yes, I too am saving/waiting to buy a Canon Powershot S45. I see in your thread Susan B that Bruce Buckman says he has reviewed a Canon L45. Does he mean a S45 - and I don't have that copy of FFWD. Is anyone able to tell me where I could see what he said (presuming he is talking about the S45)

Thanks
R.M.

Iain Walmsley
04-05-2003, 01:18 PM
Digital vs Film depends entirely on what you want. It is a pain in the ass, and more expensive if you want positive prints of all your photos and you have a digital camera, however if you want digital copies of your photos, and you have a film camera its also a pain in the ass having to scan them all.

Watch out for places tauting "5x" zoom etc, because when they say 5x, they dont mean 5x in the sense that most people think. 5x zoom, means that the highest zoom power, is 5 x the smallest zoom power. And the catch, is that the lowest zoom power isnt 1x, its abou 0.5x. So a 5x zoom camera, will let you photograph things around 2.5x reality.

There is a trade off between optical zoom and image quality. Most cameras either give good optical zoom, or they give good image quality. You want to make sure you have one of the two, because digital zoom degrades picture quality, and if the quality isnt that flash to begin with then youve had it.

Dont worry about the digital zoom on a camera, you will get better quality enlargements using software like Photoshop, plus you still have the original image to work with.

Quality wise, if the original file is around 100Kb or bigger in JPEG format, then you will get 4x6 photos that the human eye cant tell from film photos, about 250Kb and you will get reasonable quality 8x10.

I dont know what the status is at the moment, but I would advise looking overseas if you want a really good digital camera.

I bought the Olympus CZ-700Ultra Zoom through an online retailer in New York, and while it is a lot more hassle... bank transfers, customs duty, insurance, postage time, after all the costs I still saved $1000 on what it would have cost me in NZ.

Having said that, about 6 months after I bought it, the NZ price dropped by about $1000... so it may not necessarily hold.

somebody
04-05-2003, 01:36 PM
err... I think you might have the number of pixels wrong there..

caffy
04-05-2003, 02:27 PM
This is going off the topic a little bit - but i was wondering, with Digital cameras, can you make a index print? You know like a page or smaller with thumbnails of all the photos u have taken? I know this can be done with normal film cameras, but is it possible with digital cameras?

I myself am also looking at buying a new camera in duty free when i go overseas later this year, and am weighing up the pros and cons of getting a film camera VS a digital camera.

cheers,
caffy

Bazza
04-05-2003, 03:19 PM
Yes, Caffy, an index print is easily done with suitable software.

The 'Easy Photo' software included with my Canon printer will print 1, 2, or 4 images on A4 or 6 x 4" size paper, & also do an index print on A4 of 20, 48, or 80 thumbnails.

I believe other image viewer programs, such as irfanview will do index print.

Greg S
04-05-2003, 03:37 PM
> as someone has said, the 35mm cameras are far better
> than digi.

Have to disagree on this point - yeah dollar for dollar, a regular slr will create better images. But the high-end digi's come so close and can even exceed, the quality of slr's. The following link is where I got my info from:
http://www.dansdata.com/d60.htm

nomad
04-05-2003, 05:23 PM
u may be rite. if u use a high end slr 35mm they still will be better like the Nikon F5 or F100. u will not be using thr camera's full potential due to the size of the mem card. how many tif 6MP images can u store on one mem card? mem cards are expensive...

nomad
04-05-2003, 05:41 PM
i believe there is always gonna have this debate between 35mm and digi.
they are 2 separate markets and are complimentary to each other.

my household has a Canon SLR 35mm. My next cam's probably gonna be a Nikon D100 (digital) then a F100 35mm. The quality is close but due to the sensor size 35mm can be enlarged a lot bigger - like wedding and reunion photo's to be framed.
http://megamyth.homestead.com/printsize.html

metla
04-05-2003, 06:26 PM
only problem ive had with my digital camera is the inability to take pics of moving objects,and seeing as we do a lot of motorsports then the camera was almost redundent on the day of purchase.

Im led to belive this has been improved but not cured on more recent cameras.

Iain Walmsley
04-05-2003, 06:32 PM
That depends entirely on the camera. A decent digital camera will have a sports mode just like any decent SLR. There is maybe a second delay when you first activate it, then it constantly updates focus, f.stop, shutter speed etc so that it is ready to take a photo instantaneously.

metla
04-05-2003, 06:38 PM
> That depends entirely on the camera. A decent
> digital camera will have a sports mode just like any
> decent SLR. There is maybe a second delay when you
> first activate it, then it constantly updates focus,
> f.stop, shutter speed etc so that it is ready to take
> a photo instantaneously.

Sounds good,i might have to take another look into it.Last time i went into a camera store and told them i wanted a digital camera that would take instantaneous shots they said it couldn't be done as of yet and the best model they could get still had a very slight delay.

Btw,Our camera is about 3 years old i guess,and was bought at a duty-free store at sydney airport,........an impulse buy.....

godfather
04-05-2003, 07:05 PM
My digicam (Fujifilm S602Zoom) will take fast sequential shots, suited for sporting events.

It will take 5 a shot sequence in one second, or continuous shots at about 2 per second for 20+ shots before pausing to save to memory card.
Also does up to 30 minutes video at 25 fps.

Initial picture delay is very short, boot-up time is about 4 seconds though. Normally you would leave it on, as it will go into a fast response "sleep" mode. You need a spare set of AA rechargeables (or Alkalines)

I GB CF memory card plus 32 MB MartMedia memory cards on board.

nomad
04-05-2003, 07:12 PM
nikon coolpix 5700 should do what ur after. is 1/4000 sec enof :D aperture to about an 8 from a 2.8 or so. 35-280mm lense
the CP 5000 is similar but a weaker lense (28-85).
D100 of course is nice. US has these for $3knz, NZ for upto $4.5k - crazy. less than 3k if its a jap import with no nz warranty. the 3k is a usa model so they do give u a 1yr intl warranty.

www.dpreview.com

yeah .. duty free is nice or give someone a list when they travel!

u got get lense attachments like macro and telephoto that enhances ur lense.

Shortstop
04-05-2003, 08:49 PM
I agree with Susan B. Digital cameras are the greatest fun since sliced bread. Get one that's small enough to tote around (slip into a shirt pocket) all the time; not too small so that all the controls are too fiddly. You can take every shot that tickles your fancy, and get rid of it when it turns out to be not a great masterpiece.

I've had one for a couple of weeks. 6 days after I bought it a couple of hoods had their car parked over a pedestrian crossing. I asked them to move - to no avail. I went over the other side of the road and took a photo of them in their car. They screamed off like scalded cats - very funny.

Ritzz
05-05-2003, 12:28 AM
Thankx for the info guys.

So i take it that Digital cameras are still somewhat inferior to quality of 35mm cameras.... in regards to canon powershot S45. It seems to have 4Mega Pixels...So what resolution will Digital cams catch up to 35 mm...5M/6M? Or are there other features which play a part other than resolution. Seems also, getting fast moving objects is not handled well by Digital ones.

I have a Olympus mju II Zoom 115 and was wondering if getting a canon S45 will be any better than this 35mm one.

One of my mates got canon Powershot S45 for $999 from the parallel importers in Auck. Seemed a good deal compared to retail 1300. Only thing it came with japanese manual but the guys at Parallel import binded up a Eng copy of the manual.

nomad
05-05-2003, 01:25 AM
comparision ummm some say 20MP.
u should not notice too much unless u print large photo's. high resolution also helps.

compared to the olympus u got. umm.. on par? compact 35mm arn't a good camera at all.

memory card options, battery lift is impt features. check how the website i given u - how they rated the camera (the areas).

digital can handle quick photo's. not a problem. it depends on the model if u get like a digital SLR or the SLR styled with fixed lense they are quick! up to 1/4000 sec shutter speed. heck, some entry 35mm SLR can only do 1/2000 sec. professionals uses a general benchmark of 1/125 for moving car, 1/15 for tv, 1/350 for still water fountain (no bluriness as the water is still). having said that check the model u interested in - it jus may have a shutter speed quick enof for u.

Iain Walmsley
05-05-2003, 09:11 AM
Actually, the minimum rule of thumb is 1/Focal length to eliminate camera shake. So if you are using 35mm (or minimum magnification on a digital) you shouldnt be using anything slower than 1/35 shutter speed unless you are using a tripod

Iain

Biggles
05-05-2003, 09:22 AM
I've taken more, better photos since I bought my Nikon digicam. Why? The expenee of rolls of film was beginning to put me off using my Pentax SLR. I've had it for years (1984 actually) but spending up to $20 bucks to develop and print and replace the film, when there were often only a few shots worth keeping irritated the heck out of me. Since getting my digicam this expense is way reduced since:

1] I know instantly if the pic is any good and hence can adjust my shooting parameters to get a better one
2] only priint out (at Camera&Camera) those shots I want.

So I've no regrets overall about buying a digicam.

However, as an SLR user for years I do regret that my money cannot yet buy me an SLR equivalent in a digicam. I've just been using Canon's new digital SLR the EOS 10D and love it dearly - the best of both worlds. It feels and acts just like a conventional SLR, takes good pics and is flexible enough for action, low-light and other photogrpahy modes that a cheaper digicam can't handle well. But at $4400 for the body alone it is not something that most of us can afford. It is still going to be some years before I'll be able to "replace" my olf SLR with what I feel is a true digital equivalent. But that's now mostly just a matter of price - the technology is here.


Check out Scott Bartley's comaprison of $1000 to $2000 digicams in this months PC World.

Biggles
05-05-2003, 09:34 AM
As for the quality issue - that's often subjective.

Example - how many times do you enlarge your conventional prints to say A4 size? Me, never. But my 3.4 megapixel camera's prints will and have been enlarged to that size with little problem. So don't get sidetracked by debates about how a digicam's megapixels are less than 35mm because this only becomes a factor if you really need to enlarge to the point where you lose resolution versus 35mm film.

The more important factor in quality is that digicams - in general - don't do colour as well as conventional cameras. This is all about how the CMOS or CCD sensor works. The new chip from Foeveon which is currently only available in one, expensive digital SLR (http://www.sigmaphoto.com/Html/news/news_sd9_fs.htm), promises to improve this situation but it is very early days for this technology.

See Foeveon's FAQ here (http://www.foveon.com/faq_technology.html#FAQ_tech_2)

So in the menatime you'll often notice overbright colours in your digitalics.

BUT - learning how to correct these issues in Photoshop or a similar program can quickly let you bring your pics up to conventional standards. I hardly ever print out anything that I haven't passed through Photoshop first to do some colour correction and sharpening.

Also, I reviewed a bunch of digicams for FFWD mag a while back and the Canon S45 was my pick of the bunch. It's a great little digicam for the money.

TerryW
05-05-2003, 01:16 PM
I got the s45 two months ago and couldn't be happier with it. The dpreview site listed previously in this thread is excellent and offers very good comparison testing. I spent a while looking around on the net before choosing the s45 and it seems to have a pretty decent set of features etc for a good price (I payed just over $1000 wholesale). The s50 is out now as well, but I don't know a lot about that one. Depending on what you want to do, the G3 from canon is alos worth a look, very smilar feature set, but 4x optical and allows lense attachments.

My only problem so far has been printing the photos; $expensive$. Luckily I do most at work on a color laser at $1 per a4, but photoshops seem to charge about $2 per shot - basically done as a reprint.

Chilling_Silently
05-05-2003, 01:57 PM
I think I read it in >>FFWD, saying that 35mm is 20 Megapixels, but you also need a printer that can do a REALLY high res.

In all reality, you get fine enough prints with a 3MP camera AFAIK!

OSD looks fine with a cam that can do 40x480, but not quite as nice for printing!


*There goes my 2cents for the morning*

Ron24
05-05-2003, 03:41 PM
Re buying duty free overseas. Last September I bought a Pentax Optio 430rs digital camera in Brisbane airport. It cost $1295.00 Au$ duty free, the same camera is on sale today in Auckland for $899.00, beware!.
Ps. it's a lovely little camera and fits in my pocket. Ron..

olldaddy76
05-05-2003, 05:38 PM
READ
N Z P C WORLD MAY
"Film is dead. P C WORLD see 10 digital cameras in YOUR future.
Does this end the thread?

nomad
05-05-2003, 10:44 PM
depends on the perspective. digi are great for most people. if the few are into real photography the suttle little differences is what sets u apart. bruce has mentioned about the color on the digicams. going digital removes the ability to control the type of film being used so u have less control on the output. ie.. making photo's more/less grains, tones.

what is art. people still draw using paint brushes. how can a constantly revolving technology be defined as an art when one yr is observably different from the past.

but yes i will keep my 35mm. i will however still go digital SLR. its nice how u can roll over 2-3 rolls of films in one afternoon jus perfecting that shot w/o having to pay processing costs. more practice so u get better at it so u can take better 35mm and digital shots. digital does need a 2nd battery then become more cost and luggge to carry and a desktop charger. i mean if i travel i find time is rare to charge a battery and inconvenient. if that time comes i would buy a 2nd batt. but it would not be used in special occasions.

Iain Walmsley
05-05-2003, 10:56 PM
I had the problem with batteries when I started with the camera, but this was soon solved by an enterprising young chap at the local camera store. While some cameras operate using their specific branded odd looking battery packs, apparantly the difference between those and a pair of AA batteries is so neglible that it makes no difference.

Now I just run it on 4 AA batteries which takes 1hr to charge, and lasts me for around 128 photos or so with moderate usage of the flash and LCD display.

Iain

Bazza
05-05-2003, 11:04 PM
Who is this Nomad character ? who seems to know all about photography ? As quoted:

"i mean if i travel i find time is rare to charge a battery and inconvenient. if that time comes i would buy a 2nd batt. but it would not be used in special occasions."


"the suttle little differences is what sets u apart."

What are these suttle differences Nomad.. suttle, a new one on my dictionaries..

Ritzz
06-05-2003, 12:25 PM
Its a much easier decision to get a digi cam with all this info.

And the "Digital Destiny" on PCworld is really good for making choices when it comes to buying one. Canon powershot 45 seems to be quite good. Oh and can you put your pics on a CD and then later on decide to take it to photoshop, will they print it or do they need the mem card?

Cheers

nomad
06-05-2003, 07:04 PM
whats wrong wif discussing each type by their own merits?
yes as i said most most pple will go digital eventually. 35mm will still be left. jus like pinhole cameras that is said to be better than 35mm SLRs as when u blow the picture up pinhole loses less focus like 35mm SLRs.

for instance u can use polaroid film that makes the photo more artistic. more soft like an oil painting...

caffy
06-05-2003, 07:12 PM
> Oh and can you put your pics on a CD and then later on decide to take > it to photoshop, will they print it or do they need the mem card?

I believe that you won't need the memory card. Once you have burnt photos onto a CD, that's it, no need for memory card anymore.

All you have to do is go to Photoshop, and click open, and select the photo from the CD drive. Just as you would select a photo from the photos folder if you stored your photos on your computer.

Cheers,
caffy

nomad
06-05-2003, 07:16 PM
for instance if u travel and u will only be indoors like 10hrs (hotel). isn't it inconvenient to charge every nite and forgettin that u have a camera that does not power up. so a 2nd batt is impt.

in times when u using a overnight cabin train. it can be a night without a socket. then when the train stops its mornin u check into hotel and come out shortly after w/o having time to charge the batt.

i have frens using digicams who loves them. but they do run out of power in the middle of an event etc etc.. and purchasing 2nd batt's is considered expensive by many. also how long can a mem card last under a 3 week holiday away from home? but true u can buy special external hard drives that connects to the camera by cable as u are taking the photos = thus GB's of storage.

its depends on the usages. most will be fine on a digital. i mean a digicam would not go too far in a 2 week south african safari trip but in most occasions its fine.

caffy
06-05-2003, 07:33 PM
> also how long can a mem card last
> under a 3 week holiday away from home? but true u
> can buy special external hard drives that connects to
> the camera by cable as u are taking the photos = thus
> GB's of storage.
>
> its depends on the usages. most will be fine on a
> digital. i mean a digicam would not go too far in a
> 2 week south african safari trip but in most
> occasions its fine.

My sister and her husband went overseas for 3 months last year. took their digital camera with them. Everytime they got into a major city, they took the mem card to a photo shop and burned it onto CD, or even just burned them onto CD at friends' houses free of cost. And just before leaving NZ they upgraded their mem card in Duty Free, to help.

I don't know what they did when it came to charging the battery, but no doubt they charged it up every night, and turned off the LCD display when using the camera etc.

They must have come home with 10+ cds and each cd was full! heaps of photos aye. Think how much this would have cost if it was all on film. I went to Sydney for 3 months about 3 years ago, came home with heaps of rolls of film - all together i spent $100+ getting the photos developed. Ouch...

godfather
06-05-2003, 08:27 PM
Its quite important to consider the type of battery in a digicam at purchase time.

I recently purchased another camera, and this time I bought based on the feature set I need. Standard AA batteries are the best and cheapest long term option for me. I use a set of AA 2000 mAhr recahargeables, another set of AA 1800 mAhr rechargeables, and beyond that I can use ordinary AA Alkaline batteries.

My previous camera has a dedicated LiIon battery, expensive to carry a spare and then you need to charge them.

At 640 x 480 resolution, my memory card will hold close to 9,000 photos.
At full resolution only about 82 photos, but realistically at adequate quality I would get around 1,200 photos. (1 Gig CF card)

caffy
06-05-2003, 08:50 PM
> I went to Sydney for
> 3 months about 3 years ago, came home with heaps of
> rolls of film - all together i spent $100+ getting
> the photos developed. Ouch...

And i forgot to mention that i ended up scanning about half of those photos! to email them to friends in Sydney and post it on my old website. Guess you can tell it took ages to scan!

caffy
06-05-2003, 09:05 PM
One question here - since i mentioned earlier I was interested in buying a digital camera myself, would you recommend buying it in NZ or in Duty Free or overseas?

I could check the camera's out here in shops, and cross my fingers that they have the same models in duty free?

Susan B
06-05-2003, 09:55 PM
There are pros and cons for buying here or overseas Caffy. One disadvantage is the possible hassle of claiming under a warranty when buying overseas.

Another disadvantage is if you wish to use your new camera while on holiday overseas it might take you a bit of time to learn how to operate it properly. In the meantime you could be missing or stuffing up some good shots if that was your only camera.

I would be surprised if the duty free shops had cheaper cameras than the specialist shops. Some people here buy their cameras overseas and make good savings but it would depend on where you were travelling to. It is something you would need to do your homework on. ;-)

phred
07-05-2003, 12:02 AM
Thought I might add to the debate as Ive owned a Sony DSC85 (4Mp) for a year+ and some 9000 'shots' later. I was/still am a keen 35mm photographer, but the digital is great if you are prepared to spend a bit on hardware/software. Prices are dropping rapidly - nearly 50% in the case of the DSC85, so watch for good deals. Yes, Dpreview is THE place to check reviews and user comments (some of mine there).
Im really happy with the camera, blast away all day and getting some great shots. I use ACDSee for filing, quick viewing and it can print sheets with multiple thumbnails if you need - often print 4-6 per sheet & stick straight in the album for family shots. For hi-quality printing Ive got an Epson 1290 and have blown fine jpg's @ 1600 to 2273x dpi up to A3 size with no problem via Photoshop, but I prefer to keep manipulation of shots to a minimum in line with 35mm. Havent done many tiff's yet due to size/time to save
U need a big HDD, fast graphics, good printer to make the most out of digital. A couple of Mem cards is worth having (I generally get 60-100 shots per 128Mb stick depending on resolution), xtra battery too, tho DSC85 Infolithium is top rated. I dont miss film processing costs
Downsides? LCD is difficult to check autofocus on - cant beat TTL, minimal optical zooms (tho getting better), poor/proprietary filter accessories
All in all, if you want to put some fun back into photography, Id say bite the digital bullet, but do your homework on the net first. Trademe has some good deals at times.

Iain Walmsley
07-05-2003, 12:09 AM
> Downsides? LCD is difficult to check autofocus on
> n - cant beat TTL, minimal optical zooms (tho getting
> better

Not at all true. My camera is far from top of the line at around $1500 at the moment, yet it has a 10x optical zoom. This is the equivalent of a 35-350 lense which is certainly not ultra zoom, but is far from minimal.

Iain

phred
07-05-2003, 09:09 PM
>> My camera (Olympus CZ-700Ultra Zoom) is far from top of the line at around $1500 at the moment, yet it has a 10x optical zoom.

Fine Iain, but 10x optical is rather above the norm for most 2-4 Mpixel cameras on the NZ market today, other than stepping into the professional price/pixel range, and you had to go outside NZ to get a good deal (the CZ740 UZ is now around $US500).

Most digitals are 3-4x optical with similar digital zoom, but for snapshot/family use thats probably fine. If you really want, you can usually buy accessory lenses for zoom & macro, but they'll cost.

As I said, optical resolution is improving all the time, as is that of the CCD's, and prices are coming down quite rapidly as you also noted. My next move will probably be a Sony DSC F717 which has a 38-190mm (5x) + 2x digital zoom lens and takes 58mm filters. Prices have dropped under $2K now - long may they fall......

Anyway - lets not knock it. Digital photography is great fun and an excellent/cheap way to explore hidden artistic talent, especially for kids, most of whom have heaps of computer 'nouse. They can also turn out some pretty good prints with the hardware readily available these days.
Have fun
Phred

Bazza
07-05-2003, 09:56 PM
Well, Phred do you really think that more than 3-4x optical zoom is "above the norm" for 2 - 4 MP cameras these days.

May be it is for Sonys, but as you have learned, Iain's Olympus has 10x optical. I've had FujiFilm cameras, 2MP & 6MP. Both have had 6x optical zoom + 3x digital. At the prices I dont think Iains are stepping into the professional/pixel range.

But as you say, 3-4x is probably fine for family/snapshot use, and it's all great fun. Enjoy.

caffy
22-05-2003, 04:56 PM
I just wanted to report back to here, about what I've purchased.

I bought a Sony Cyber-Shot DSCP-72 that was priced at $899, on special with a 64mb memory card.

I was surprised to get the camera with the 64mb memory stick AND a 16mb mem stick! It comes with rechargable AA batteries and charger, and software. I haven't used this software yet, looks too confusing and has limited options - I'd rather fiddle around with the photos on Photoshop.

I just go into My Computer, and the Sony USB thingy is there, and click on that to get to the photos on the memory stick (after plugging the camera to the computer via USB) and save them then paste them into a photo folder, and then delete them off the memory stick. Quick and clean job...

Since then, I've been playing around with it quite a bit - picture quality is excellent, even at 1.2MP (the camera's highest mp rating is 3.2), photos look a lot more natural than photos from my old 35mm compact camera. There are a lot of options on the camera, which is good, and the video capture option is cool, not as good as a REAL digital video camera, of course, but this option is convenient for capturing something quick and funny for example...

I haven't yet printed out the photos taken so far, but will be later..

Overall, I'm happy with this purchase :)

Has anyone else bought a digital camera recently?

cheers,
caffy

R.M.
22-05-2003, 09:01 PM
Yes! Today I got a Canon Powershot G3 - and at the moment am up to my eyeballs in manuals and software! All frightfully confusing - eventually I might get to take a photo....

Cheers
R.M. ?:|, but very :)

Tom McB
22-05-2003, 09:59 PM
That's a nice model there, R.M. I got a G2 from last Nov o/seas with a 128cf and caselogic bag on a "price match" deal. Did a lot of online research before settling down on a choice.

M2CW:
- no probs with batt life; would have gone for a batt pack & car charger, funds allowing
- planning on a 420 speedlite to improve those night shots which aren't too bad, just being picky
- mucked around with the manual focus today; scanner broke down and ended up taking snaps of an old photo

I was basically a 35mm point, shoot, payup and hope for the best snapper. Now I get better photos (well, relatively) and posted heaps on the yahoo group. I have printed a few on my S400 and won't mind paying the occassional $2 for really good photos above what my printer can deliver.

I don't mind the >2MP res and their bigger files sizes that I have set as my default as I know I will get good A4 prints when I want to.

Checkout the Canon forum of dpreview.

Cheers
Tom

Tane
22-05-2003, 11:30 PM
I've done the SLR thing, toting heavy camera bags and lenses and all that stuff, plus I realised that photo albums are only good for gathering dust and taking up space. But once I got a digital camera for my big overseas trip I found I learned so much so fast about what makes a good photo, The instant feedback of a digital camera allows you to take a decent photo, and if it takes 2, 3, 5 or more attempts it doesnt matter, you just delete the duds and try again. I have a middle of the road Canon but the results I have gotten are fantastic. Love it.

The ability to use AA batteries, as other posters mentioned, is a definite plus, especially if you are travelling somewhere like Cuba and cannot rely on there being a camera specialist on every corner. Sony make a charger (about $88 duty free) that does AA rechargables in a couple of hours, making it practical for when you are traveling.

Plus the price of flash memory is falling fast at the mo.