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Guide to your Perfect Digital Camera

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the everybody-likes-gadgets dept.

Graphics 603

Alan Dang writes "I've just posted a new digital camera buyer's guide at FiringSquad titled A Tale of Two Cameras. It explains why the digital SLR may not be the best camera for you, and helps you narrow down your holiday digital camera buying to a short list."

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LOL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073612)

http://thedikkyforums.net/forum/index.php HEY FAGS CHECK OUT THE
DIKKY FORUMS!!!!!!!!

Yay (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073613)

...for pointless use of Flash. :-(

Re:Yay (2, Informative)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073691)

Seriously, now we need Flash to read an article? Sheeze...

Anyway, the article itself was quite basic. "A portable digital camera it's what you need, unless you're a serious photographer; then get a SLR". Nice pictures though.

Article not useful (4, Insightful)

ktulu1115 (567549) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073883)

This article was focused on a single point pretty much, SLR or non-SLR.

The way I see it is - if you're looking to get a digital camera and you don't even know what SLR is, don't get one. It's designed for advanced and more knowledgable photographers.

That being said, I own a Canon A80 which I am quite happy with. Also, a good book on digital photography which I also own is Complete Digital Photography 2nd Ed [amazon.com]

Re:Yay (5, Interesting)

Walrus99 (543380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073737)

...for pointless use of Flash

I agree, what ever happened to good old HTML? And why so much border? You have a whole browser, fill it up, I had to put my glasses on to read the text and all I wanted to know was where to get a good digital camera for around $150.

Another case of designing for the PHB. What looks good on the latest PC on a high speed connection at work, might not even show up in the browser of the average user. And did you even check to see if it runs on Macs or Linux???

Re:Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073832)

It's Flash. So it does work on Linux and Macs. You don't need to test Flash cross platform (for the most part), because it is one-company-one-standard.

Re:Yay (2, Insightful)

ATN (630862) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073768)

Agreed, pick the best tool for the job. In this case flash isn't it.

Re:Yay (2, Insightful)

Random Chaos (831686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073788)

People who use flash like this should be shot.

Re:Yay (2, Insightful)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073802)

I'm all for using Flash when it makes sense, but I can't even make myself read an article presented in such a way.

Re:Yay (2, Funny)

adeydas (837049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073857)

i believe a review in simple words with a pictures would have been much much better... after all /. 'ers are busy geeks, you know... ;)

Well, what did you expect? (3, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073917)

A camera without flash would be pretty useless.

Re:Yay (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073945)

You got that right! 99% CPU usage just to view a freakin' text because the author thought it was cool to do it with flash? What a waste of bandwidth...

Is this article really up? (3, Funny)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073617)

OOPS!
"/pfucata_digicam_guide_04/lowres/upgrade.h tml"
The document you are trying to view is not available or the URL is incorrect. Please double-check the URL you are trying to visit at the address bar above. If you know the URL is correct and you are still viewing this message, please contact FiringSquad Tech Support.

Link is not necessarily work safe. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073645)

pantyman...

Another link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073632)

Can someone please give an alternate link or google cache link as the site is blocked for me.

Re:Another link (1)

scragz (654271) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073652)

Look one post up. That's it. There is no article to read, slashdotters rejoice!

What was that? (1)

Almond Paste (838493) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073640)

Was that a Powerpoint presentation or a web page?

But... (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073643)

Great, but why do I need a digital camera when I can see the rest of my room perfectly well from where I'm sitting?

Can anyone mirror this article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073646)

Can anyone mirror this? I'm at school and can't access this...

Website (5, Informative)

1000101 (584896) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073647)

Just go to dpreview [dpreview.com] and get better information without all the annoying page transition "features".

Re:Website (1)

scragz (654271) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073674)

2nd that about dpreview. I just bought a used Canon 10d [dpreview.com] , and their reviews were extremely helpful in making the decision. At 10-20 pages per review though, they are almost too thorough.

Re:Website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073694)

This website doesn't seem to be very good for newbs. Any recommendations for cheaper, entry level digital cameras? Not on the website, I'm asking personally.

dpreview buying guide (2, Informative)

brlewis (214632) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073847)

One feature the dpreview buying guide [dpreview.com] doesn't ask you for is the orientation sensor. Not all new cameras have it; I know Canons generally do. The orientation sensor saves you the trouble of rotating from landscape to portrait because EXIF information is written that lets programs like jhead do it automatically. If you take photos in batches, I highly recommend buying a camera with this feature.

I do agree that dpreview is a great source of information overall, and I didn't have patience to work through much of the annoying flash presentation in this article.

Funny (3, Insightful)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073654)

It's funny how an entire feature can be so insightful about digital cameras, and totally leave out suggestions about photo printers. Quality in prints now is limited to printer quality, not image resolution, if I am not mistaken.

I just think it would be helpful when making a "buyer's guide" like this to include some printer recommendations for the layman all the way up to the pro...

Re:Funny (2, Informative)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073718)

are in house printers cost effective at all? wallyworld, cvs, and everyone else sells digital prints at under .30$ for a 3x5 print (or is it 4x6?). at anyrate, my take is to let them have the high quality printer/paper/ink etc. and i can just print what i want. i'm hoping also that prices will slightly drop when more and more people switch from film to digital photos.

Re:Funny (1)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073729)

I thought the point of a digicam was that you didn't need to get prints, and that you can share them with everyone over the Internet.

Re:Funny (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073818)

Many people think about digital the way you do--they want to go totally paperless. That's me for the most part. Still, though, even I recognize that in order to truly see a photo, you need to print it.

I've often felt conflicted about this until I read in a photo rag that the human mind is able to see subtle differences (almost at the subconscious level) between different high rez shots. A very high res print will seem more 3D, the colors more saturated...more like you're there. The highest resolution a monitor can achieve is .25mm pitch.

Still, though, with digital the standard for what actually gets printed is allowed to go up a whole bunch. :-)

Re:Funny (2, Insightful)

mtfbwy (131640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073749)

The best recommendation is to take your digital photos to a lab with a Fuji Frontier printer or similiar.

Its funny people even buy printers... (2, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073769)

Given the prices of getting real prints made are dropping through the floor, its weird people even bother with photo printers, unless you're shooting pictures you don't want the processor to see.

I have an Alps MD-5000 dye sublimation printer, and at a cost of a buck a print, I can make prints quite a bit better quality than a consumer optical process can do, or those dyesub Kodak kiosks. But for $.24 a print, I can get them printed as true photographs at Wal(greens|mart), and will end up with a quality that is nearly as good for most stuff.

Considering the best ink-jets I've seen aren't even in the ballpark in terms of quality as compared to my Alps or a photo print from a Fuji processor, I find it funny people drop a couple hundred bucks plus ink on a photo printer.

The break-even point is in the thousands of pictures, in terms of cost, and you get grainy, pixelated prints of unknown long-term image stability.

Re:Its funny people even buy printers... (1)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073936)

True, but what about for 8x10s? I have a Sony DSC-T1, and I like to print 8x10s and they look great along with a cheap but good HP 932C on glossy premium paper. I know it takes a lot of ink to print something like that and the paper is not free either, but is it still cheaper to go somewhere? I, personally, love the convenience of not having to leave my house to make prints.

Also, you figure most people are going to buy an IJ printer anyways, so they might as well get one capable with photos too, right?

Re:Funny (5, Insightful)

DocStoner (236199) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073777)

You've brought up a good point. People (amatuers) ask me all the time about what printer to buy because they want to print their digital photos.

They always give me a dumbfounded look when I tell them not to print any photos on any of the entry level photo printers, instead have them printed at a reputable photo lab. "Isn't that expensive?" they ask. Nope, not when compared to the total cost of the paper, the ink cartridges you used and the quality of the prints.

Unless you are a pro (or a VERY serious photo geek) and can afford a pro quality photo printer,do not print digital photos at home.

Re:Funny (1)

Kaa (21510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073794)

It's funny how an entire feature can be so insightful about digital cameras, and totally leave out suggestions about photo printers.

Umm... and why should it discuss photo printers? A lot of people just bring their memory cards to Costco/some photo lab and get their 4x6s that way.

Quality in prints now is limited to printer quality, not image resolution, if I am not mistaken.

You are mistaken.

Technically speaking it depends on the original image resolution, the size of the print, and the printing technology, but for practical purposes the image quality is the limiting factor.

Besides, which printers? Consumer inkjets? Lightjet-type printers? Dye-sub printers? CMYK offset printers? All are used to print images...

Re:Funny (1)

bcattwoo (737354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073811)

For the layman, I would say just your memory card to the local photo shop that also prints digital pics. When I bought my latest printer I dreamt of printing out my own pics. Reality came calling when I realized that a) inkjet ink is f***ing expensive and b) printing out pictures uses it up FAST. I can take my pictures to the nearest Ritz Camera and get them printed for like $.29 a pop on 4x6. If they screw it up, I can take it back and make them fix it. If I screw it up at home, well, too bad.

Gah (5, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073659)

Meet today's nominee for the 2004 Worst Application of Flash Award.

Why DSLR might not be right for you (2, Interesting)

brlewis (214632) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073661)

DSLR Cameras: $1200 and up

Point, shoot and wait cameras: $200-500

Re:Why DSLR might not be right for you (1)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073751)

That's actually not a very good reason.

I purchased a P&S camera for $500, and it didn't do what I needed it to do. So, did I save myself money by going with it? Nope. True value is carefully considering your needs and then purchasing the appropriate camera to meet those needs.

Besides, you can *easily* get a Canon Digital Rebel for $700 these days (less if you get lenses with the stacking rebate). High-end P&S cameras are in that range, too. So, again, it's a matter of your wants and needs...

Re:Why DSLR might not be right for you (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073879)

I'm not sure I even get the point of a digital SLR. With film, the main advantage of an SLR is the split optical path behind the single lens that lets you see through the viewfinder exactly what's exposing the film, regardless of what lens you're using. Digitals have LCD screens that show you exactly what's falling on the sensor, thereby accomplishing the same thing. Or does "SLR" now just mean "interchangeable lenses"?

Re:Why DSLR might not be right for you (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073942)

Or does "SLR" now just mean "interchangeable lenses"?

as far as I can tell, SLR is an excuse to really pump up the cost of a digital camera with expensive mechanical parts, so that people have to pay a lot just to get interchangable lenses.

Or is the jiggle from mirror slap a "feature" these days?

I guess people who have used analog cameras for years find it hard to squint through the LCD to line up their shot just so. (To be fair, even though you'd think that the LCD and the image taken would match, some cameras have LCDs with "issues" that don't quite work out that way, typically incorrect aspect ratio or just the way the image is scaled down to the lower resolution LCD)

Re:Why DSLR might not be right for you (1)

Matthew Schultheis (603205) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073949)

The point is that the LCD screens have nowhere near enough resolution. Also, they work poorly in dark conditions. As to the SLR issue, SLR's don't split the optical path, there is a mirror that redirects it when not exposing the film/ccd.

Re:Why DSLR might not be right for you (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073897)

People without a camera often ask me what camera to get, and they usually don't need to hear any more than: DSLR > $1200 to decide they prefer point and shoot.

People with a camera (point and shoot) often ask me why they can't take good photos in low light or why the camera won't take a picture right when they want it to. Then they understand why DSLR > $1200.

Until they have experience, people seem to believe that there is no difference in quality, just a difference in "bells and whistles," whatever those are, and that inexpensive machines are equivalent to expensive machines, but stripped of useless "bells and whistles."

Nice, but late... (1)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073665)

I've already bought a new camera just a few weeks ago for the Thanksgiving holiday. It's the Canon 75 - 3.2M - with a 512 CF card. I can take the highest resolution and have room for 300+ pics, and that's more than what I need. I would suggest going with 3.2M unless you need to print larger than 8x10, anything higher is just for bragging rights. This Canon is all auto, but has a ton of options (via the dial on the top) to turn on/off diff auto aspects, so you can do allot manually if you want to. I love it.

I've handed down my old Olympus 460Z to my daughter (4 1/2 years old) to play with, and she's having a blast. Amazing how much digi cams have improved.

Pcv%%

Re:Nice, but late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073728)

I would suggest going with 3.2M unless you need to print larger than 8x10, anything higher is just for bragging rights.

That is unless you crop images. More MP is nice to keep the resolution at an acceptable level.

Re:Nice, but late... (1)

danamania (540950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073758)

As a complete newbie to digital cameras a year ago, I bought an A70, mainly because it was still a cheap consumer cam, but looked to be about the only one with manual controls on almost everything.

For me, for now, I don't need a SLR. I might want one, and surely within a couple of years I'll have one, but until then it's great to learn the basics on. If anyone had an inkling of taking up photography as a serious hobby, I'd recommend going for a cheapie with as many manual settings as you can get - unless you have no problems spending $1k+ on something you may not use much in 6 months, and whose size has become a hindrance for everyday snapshots.

For now, I'm happy still learning on the A70, and there's plenty to learn... one day I might just get out of macro mode... [danamania.com] :)

Lickable CPU??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073889)

Wow, I knew Apples were made to look lickable on the outside but I didn't know they made the cpu [danamania.com] look tasty bondi blue also.

Re:Nice, but late... (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073861)

It's the Canon 75 - 3.2M - with a 512 CF card

Consumer Reports rates the Canon A75 very highly on it's 3MP list. I think it rates it second or third out of all 3MP camera's they tested.

No Flash (1)

dorward (129628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073670)

It looks like an attempt to view any page past the "Choose your resolution" screen results in a page containing an iframed advert, some Flash, and some JavaScript to see if you hava Flash.

Users without Flash then get redirected to what appears to be intended to be an instruction to upgrade (I can't, and wouldn't if I could) which is actually a 404 error page.

Does anyone have a mirror which doesn't depend on Flash?

Re:No Flash (1)

bbdd (733681) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073804)

some here [google.com]

depends on light, yes, but Flash, no.

Uh, can't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073834)

Why, are you running lynx from a terminal in your parents basement? Upgrade your life kkthx.

(And yes, I know the sites use of flash is pretty terrible.)

Re:No Flash (1)

atomico (162710) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073840)

Don't bother. Seriously.

Flash linked in a Slashdot article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073676)

Yeah... here come the relevant comments.

In short (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073678)

With most camera over 4MP already (I don't think you can even get one under that any more, maybe in some camera phones?) there is less reason to need to "step up" to a DSLR.

Really look at what you want in a camera. If its a Big Boys feature like putting 15 minute exposure times or maybe using a film back, then you don't need DSLR.

The best digital camera (1)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073683)

may be the one you already own.

I have the ubiquitous 1.3Mp, compact-flash, USB 1.0 model. I got it on sale a couple of years ago, and take pictures maybe two or three times a year, usually in a batch of 50 or so.

Until someone can tell me why I should upgrade when my simple needs are already met, I'll stick with the devil I know.

newer camera better for batches of 50 (1)

brlewis (214632) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073752)

Unless all your photos are landscape mode, you likely have to go through one by one and rotate appropriately. Many newer cameras have an orientation sensor that records EXIF info so that programs like jhead can automatically rotate them for you. This removed the biggest chore I used to do with my digital photos. Also, if you take group photos to enlarge more than 5x7" you'll notice that 1.3MP is not enough. I think 5MP is overkill, but 3 or 4 is good.

The eyes' depth of field (4, Informative)

erlkonig (15872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073689)

The article asserts "Your eye has a lot of depth of field. Everything you see is sharp and in focus. the laws of physics make it impossible for a camera to do this".

Well, actually most of what one sees is out of focus, since the eyes constantly adjust to favor a specific depth of field at any one time, leaving everything else fuzzy. If you compare this to an autofocussing camera, they are actually quite similar, and well within the "laws of physics". The future's flexible lenses will bring cameras even closer to the model used by the eyes.

Re:The eyes' depth of field (1)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073855)

yeah thats a silly assertion. The eye is a foveated optical device anyway, comparing it to a camera is difficult.

Re:The eyes' depth of field (4, Informative)

jd142 (129673) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073925)

Brilliant. Because I was thinking the same thing. ;) The eye's depth of field is normally pretty small, at least for near object. A quick experiment will show you that for close object, the depth of field is about 3 inches.

SLR's can also have a larger depth of field, it just depends on the aperature setting. And most SLR cameras have a Point and Shoot mode, at least at the hobbiest level.

After seeing these mistakes, I also wondered about the statements that you don't see what you get when use the LCD viewer of an SLR. That doesn't make sense to me at all.

3 words.... (5, Informative)

filenabber (628550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073703)

Worst flash ever. It's one thing to have useless flash on an artsy site, but to use flash like this on a site/page that should be informative is worse than annoying. I would have read the article if it were plain HTML, but after 15 seconds of the flash navigation, I left and won't be back.

Decent very basic primer... (5, Informative)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073709)

Okay, this was a fairly decent very basic primer about selecting a digital camera, and better than listening to a blueshirt at Best Buy...

Basically, though, there are two types of camera users: Hobbyists and casual users.

A hobbyist wants a DSLR and is willing to buy accessories and learn to use it. If you're not willing to do these things, you'll be disappointed. I'm one of these guys, and I'd suggest that people find a cheaper hobby. As a side note -- $900 for the dRebel? *After* rebate? Shop around a little, pal...

Casual users are a little more involved, but it comes down to three things that are easy to answer once you get asked the questions:

Megapixels: You almost certainly don't need more than 4.

Zoom: Think carefully here. Most cameras are 3x zoom, but is that enough? Are you planning to take pictures at Disneyland or at, say, your kid's soccer game? At Disney for a posed shot, 3x zoom is enough. Otherwise, a 10x or 12x megazoom with IS might be worth spending money on.

Size: Remember that the best camera is the one you have with you when you need it. What is easiest for you to carry around?

Think that over, then go to www.dpreview.com and look at the test shots for the cameras that meet your specs. I usually end up recommending one of the Canon Sx00 series (S410, S500, etc) for a good balance of size and picture quality. I'd specifically stay away from the Minolta Z line myself (very disappointed with the Z3).

And for the love of God, shop around! Don't buy at Best Buy unless you're ready to pay $100-$200 extra. Go on PriceGrabber.com and consider the retailers with good reviews -- I won't specifically mention those I've bought from in the past, but the retailer reviews are a good guide; don't go with someone poorly reviewed to save $20.

Re:Decent very basic primer... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073756)

veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerry basic. funniest thing about it was though that their adserver was down. buahahahah.

and besides.. the whole thing could have been "pocket vs. system cameras". no shit inexperienced photographers are in trouble with manual settings.

Re:Decent very basic primer... (1)

javatips (66293) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073896)

I'd specifically stay away from the Minolta Z line myself (very disappointed with the Z3)


I just bought the Minolta Z2 and so far I'm quite happy with it... I saw review of the Z3 and they were not that good. However, the Z2 score fairly well in reviews. The Z2 has no image stabilization but so far it's not a problem (I've used the zoom at 10X only on well lit subjects).

Karma-whoring Article Text: (5, Funny)

loteck (533317) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073712)

Aw, damnit.

Who needs a flash animation to tell you this? (1)

nysus (162232) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073714)

If you want to take pictures of your family at the holidays and keep memories of your vactation to Disney World, you get a standard digital camera. If you are a more serious photographer interested in artistry, you buy an SLR.

Re:Who needs a flash animation to tell you this? (1)

PhotoJim (813785) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073819)

Actually, if you want to perform artistry, a 35mm film camera (or better yet, a rollfilm or 4x5 view camera) is the way to go. Digital is just equalling the best 35mm film resolution now. It has a few years to go before it can match the larger formats. But shhhh. I don't want everyone to get all crazy about film cameras again and drive the prices up.

Re:Who needs a flash animation to tell you this? (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073865)

If you are a more serious photographer interested in artistry, you buy an SLR

Not necessarily. Other artistic photography options include: Medium Format, Large Format, and Pinhole.

For the uber-artist with hacker tendencies, Pinhole Photography is the technique of choice, since you can build your own camera to whatever specification your mind fancies, and process your negatives and prints in the discomfort of your own darkroomized closet.

Okay, what does SLR stand for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073726)

I've seen this acronym everywhere, but I can't seem to find a definition. What does it mean??

Re:Okay, what does SLR stand for? (3, Informative)

rpillala (583965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073745)

Single Lens Reflex. In an SLR camera, you are looking through the lens when you put your eye to the viewfinder. In a simpler camera you are not.

Re:Okay, what does SLR stand for? (1)

mtfbwy (131640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073801)

Single Lens Reflex

Re:Okay, what does SLR stand for? (2, Informative)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073816)

Single lens reflex - the viewfinder looks through the main camera lens, so what you see - focus, zoom, filters, etc - is what you get on film.

Re:Okay, what does SLR stand for? (1)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073872)

is what you get on film

Or CCD, in this case...

It is for Single-lens Reflex (1)

JaCKeL 1.0 (670980) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073822)

It is a camera that use a single lens system to frame the picture from the viewfinder and to capture the pictre on film or on CCD. Also known as TTL (Through The Lens).

Argh! (3, Insightful)

Xentax (201517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073732)

That's all great information...but what about some advice for the budget segment? I want to buy someone a digital camera for Xmas but I don't want to spend more than $200.

To me, this segment is the MOST likely to have a wide range of quality for the price point. Does anyone have advice here as to makes or models in the $200 or less price range? "Don't bother for less than $X" is also valid advice if you can back it up, of course...

Xentax

Don't RTFA; It's worthless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073750)

Not only is it in flash, but a lot of that information about DSLRs is wrong. Unless you like to give Best Buy your money, do yourself a favour and don't RTFA.

I've been able to compose using the lcd screen on some DSLRs.

Not to mention that the D70, while a good camera, is awful if you have been using Nikon for quite some time. None of my manual lenses can use the lightmeter on the camera. The D2H, or one of the "pro" Nikon's is definitely worth it, if you have the cash.

Re:Don't RTFA; It's worthless. (1)

darthv506 (571196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073785)

I'd like to know how you are using the LCD to compose a photo with a DSLR ;) I'd think that the mirror would kind of get in the way of that :P

I have so many questions about digital cameras (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073753)

Hate to be an annoyance:

I don't understand why cameras with big sensors need to be SLR. Are there professional grade cameras with interchangable lenses that don't depend on the optical viewfinder?

Are there semi-compact digital cameras with high quality lenses and big sensors?

Why does every digital camera have a crappy motor-driven zoom? Aren't there others out there that would prefer a normal (no-zoom) lens? Isn't a motor-driven zoom totally useless?

Are there decent digital cameras with decent macro lenses?

Re:I have so many questions about digital cameras (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073835)

And by professional grade, I mean not professional grade. Pro-am, hobbiest, whatever. I guess the pros use medium format digital backs or whatever.

Re:I have so many questions about digital cameras (1)

mtfbwy (131640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073909)

Those big sensors cost alot of money. The digicam industry is markenting megapixels and probably couldn't find much of a market for a "big sensor" camera. I don't know of any compact cameras that use the larger sensors.

The high-end Sony SLR-wannabe , 8 mp camera has a manual zoom.

My pocket, 4 mp Olympus C-4000Z has a really good macro lens.

Re:I have so many questions about digital cameras (2, Informative)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073930)

I don't understand why cameras with big sensors need to be SLR. Are there professional grade cameras with interchangable lenses that don't depend on the optical viewfinder?

Short answer: They don't, technically. Epson just came out with a digital rangefinder with an APS sized sensor (like most DSLR's have).

Long answer: The reason you don't want to use an LCD screen on a DSLR for most things is for creative control. Try manually focusing... with the current displays, this is very difficult because everything looks reasonably sharp unless its VERY out of focus. Another reason is the hardware autofocus modules on DSLR's use the mirror to reflect light into them. Your P&S cameras use an algorithm that calculates focus through the camera's CPU. Dedicated hardware is much faster than that.

RE: Some answers (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073946)

"why cameras with big sensors need to be SLR"

Sensors are expensive. From a manufacturing perspective, smaller is cheaper and as all buisness is driven by the bottom line. The drive is to smaller sensors. I have seen 3mp sensor shrink about 3 times now.

SLRs using current lenses are exempt from this shrinkage as they have to mate with lenses designed for Film. So they have to be of similar size. It is more like SLRs force big sensors when using current lens systems.

"Are there professional grade cameras with interchangable lenses that don't depend on the optical viewfinder? Are there semi-compact digital cameras with high quality lenses and big sensors?"

There is a digital rangefinder with interchangeable lenses and a big sensor. Epson RD-1. $3000 for the body.

"Why does every digital camera have a crappy motor-driven zoom? Aren't there others out there that would prefer a normal (no-zoom) lens? Isn't a motor-driven zoom totally useless?"

Digital SLR take the same lenses as film counterparts and are manual zoom. Point and shoot digital mirror point and shoot film cameras that also have motorized zooms.

There are exceptions. Sony 828, Minolta A2 both have manual zooms. Obviously manual zoom is better, but there moto zooms still get the job done.

"Are there decent digital cameras with decent macro lenses?"

Macro is very good out of the box on many digitals (esp nikons) and add on lenses are available to make it even better.

underwear gnomes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073775)

Step 1: Post a "summary" of digital cameras with Amazon affliate links which pay you a comission to Slashdot.

Step 2: ?

Step 3: Profit!

I just got a D70... (2, Interesting)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073780)

I just got a D70, and am extremely happy. I already had a nice lens (Nikkor 24-120G VR AF-S Lens) and flash, so it was a no brainer. After selling my old body, it was about $500 to upgrade, and considering how much I spend on film and developing, I saved money.

Some Advantages of Digital for me (I shoot Concerts):
-ISO 1600 is very usable, enabling VERY low light pics like this [umbc.edu] one.
-Auto White Balance (or simply the ability to change it) alows me to go from outside to inside to inside w/flourescent lights
-I can carry the equivalent of 4 rolls of film on a 1GB CF card, which is more than enough most of the time.

Incomprehensible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073796)

What an awful website design.

I think the inventor of "flash" should be burned at the stake.

yeah great (1)

sydres (656690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073797)

I got a 1.3 mp cmos based aiptek and a samsung 2.1 megapixel ccd based camera the cmos aiptek takes a picture that looks warmer and more vibrant than the samsung and I only paid 24 dollars for it the only thing is it does not come with a flash like the samsung though even that is about useless the damn samsung does not even have a IR filter. I will say this though If you know how to adjust the various settings on a cheap digi cam you can get a picture to come out a lot better

Buy an American camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073863)

...not that Foreign crap

Whichever one your friend spent more money on (3, Funny)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073867)

Is the perfect one. At least that's what he tells me.

For Convenience, the Sony Mavica CD... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073875)

...win for me every time. Flash cards are too costly by comparison. USB is too slow. Mini CD-R/RW is the perfect medium for digital photography. Check out my latest JE for my "Ask Slashdot JE" entry regarding digital photo management.

All of this griping about Flash (1)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073878)

Doesn't anyone realize the humor in an article about cameras totally done in Flash? It's like an ethereal pun!

A Tale of Two Media Formats (1)

superultra (670002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073887)

The guide to your perfect website design.

Don't use flash for text.

film cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073901)

if you are going pro:
any film camera > any 8 MP camera
film camera + slides is like having a 30 MP camera.

Re:film cameras (1)

mtfbwy (131640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073940)

Unless you are a newspaper photographer or photo journalist.

Do you still use LP's?

red eye (1)

sometwo (53041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073906)

The biggest problem I have with my Kodak digital camera (and even some of the nice Canon ones) is the large amount of redeye that is introduced into pictures.

Are there any cameras that take 1 sec to take a picture with flash and have eliminated red eye?

He'll stop using flash after being slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073907)

When Alan realizes that he could have served 15 more people for every one slashdotter, maybe he'll stop using flash for text.

Article Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073914)

[flash]

OOPS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11073927)

OOPS!
"/pfucata_digicam_guide_04/highres/upgrade. html"
The document you are trying to view is not available or the URL is incorrect. Please double-check the URL you are trying to visit at the address bar above. If you know the URL is correct and you are still viewing this message, please contact FiringSquad Tech Support.

I wish I would even get the flash (well, the "plugin filtered away" page from privoxy), but their website is seriously borked.

dSLR cameras, not quite there yet (1)

Japong (793982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073931)

The main thing to focus on when buying a digital SLR isn't the cost of the camera itself but the lenses.

The camera itself will set you back around $1000, and if you're particularly lucky you'll get a lens in your package, as with the Canon digital rebel kit.

However, unless you already own lenses from your traditional camera days (AND they have the right mount! Canon mounts usually require Canon lenses!), you better be prepared through the nose for a lens that's equivalent to the the 10x (35-350mm)optical zoom on the Nikon 8800, or the 12x (36-432 mm) Panasonic Lumix FZ20. Both of these cameras have vibration reduction systems... and for SLRs, the stabilization is on the lens side, not on the camera side.

So you're looking at something like a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8D Autofocus Lens with VR - lists for about $1,500 or so.

Also keep in mind that these aren't really the cameras professionals use. The EOS 20D comes close, but the D70 and Digital Rebel (aka 300D IIRC), are crippled compared to a higher-end ($2000+) pro slr. The amount of shots captured per second, frame buffer, noise are far closer to that prosumer "all-in-one" solution than a Nikon D2X. In fact, a lot of manufacturers will intentionally limit the or reduce some of the features of their cameras, using throttled-down versions of the same memory chips, so as not to have the cheaper line usurp the larger profit margins of the more expensive camera.

DSLR == Narrow depth of field???!!! (5, Insightful)

MROD (101561) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073933)

I got a little way through this piece and came across a gross error which, for me, made the rest of the article of very dubious worth.

One of the reasons extolled at length for choosing one type against abother is that a DSLR has a narrow depth of field and a "standard" digital camera has a greater depth. As anyone who knows about photography would know this is total tosh.

The depth of field depends upon the aperture of the iris. A small aperture acts rather like a pinhole camera and hence will give a great depth of field. A large aperture relys upon the lens for focus and hence depends greatly on the focal length of the lens system giving critical focus and a very narrow depth of field.

Cheap "standard" digital cameras will usually have a small lens and small (fixed?) aperture hence a large depth of field. More expensive "standard" digital cameras are more sophisticated and allow the user to change the aperture and have a larger lens, so they can have a narrow depth of field.

Digital SLRs are totally dependant upon the lens system. However, because they have a variable iris within the lens systems they can have either a very wide depth of field (if they're stopped right down) or a very narrow depth of field (iris wide open). Both the end points of these will depend entirely on the characteristics of the lens systems.

How many people would accept an article which said that you shouldn't buy a 35mm SLR because you only get a narrow depth of field?

Why is the "bottom" of the market $350? (2, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073937)

That seems steep. Maybe this article is designed for the semiprofessional photographer who carries more than one camera around? That way the discussion about weight and bulk sounds more relevant. I mean if you're going to spend $1000 on a digital camera you may already be familiar with Digital Hasselblads.

a really good site for digital camera info (3, Informative)

jstave (734089) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073941)

Another really good resource for selecting and learning about digital cameras can be found at imaging-resource.com [imaging-resource.com] .

It has quite detailed reviews of pretty much every digital camera out there as well as sample images (there are even pages that allow you to compare images of the same thing taken by different cameras) and discussion forums.

I found it particularly useful when I was picking out my camera.

what the hell??? (1)

uv_light (750273) | more than 9 years ago | (#11073947)

$ lynx --dump http://firingsquad.com/pfucata_digicam_guide_04/lo wres/index.html
IFRAME: [1]a82d79c2

[EMBED]

References

Visible links
1. http://ads2.firingsquad.com/adframe.php?n=a82d79c2 &what=zone:56&refresh=20

Hidden links:
2. http://ads2.firingsquad.com/adclick.php?n=a82d79c2

here is what it seems to me... the page have no content, and it try to link me to an advertisment site.
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