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Thread: Camera Recommendation

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    Professional User Skippybox's Avatar
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    Default Camera Recommendation

    What kind of cameras do you use for personal use? Do you like film, digital, point-and-shoot, advanced, SLR, etc.? What brands and models do you suggest would be favorable. Feel free to comment about any details worth noting!
    Last edited by Skippybox; 26.08.2008 at 06:57 PM.

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    Moderator Sam_Zen's Avatar
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    Some time ago I got a Pentax Optio 60 camera as a birthday-present.
    So if I want to take a digital photo, I use it. Most of the times it's sufficient for my purposes.
    One aspect that could be a favorible : not only saving as JPG but also as uncompressed BMP or TIF.
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    Professional User Skippybox's Avatar
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    Default Save as BMP or TIF

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_Zen View Post
    One aspect that could be a favorible : not only saving as JPG but also as uncompressed BMP or TIF.
    That is a nice feature. You don't see that much anymore, with the way JPG has been embraced.

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    Moderator Sam_Zen's Avatar
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    Yep. It's the same principle I handle anyway with bitmaps :
    Doing the work with the uncompressed material. Only choose for some compression for the final result.
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    Professional User Skippybox's Avatar
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    Absolutely! But how do you change the industry? You have to pay quite a bit just to shoot in RAW, and bypass JPG-only cameras. But a BMP or TIF option would make things simpler. Is flash memory just too small still to handle it, or is JPG just reasonably acceptable considering the resolution (as high as 13MP)?

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    Power User j7n's Avatar
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    That is the basic rule of data compression, encode to lossy at most one time. Consumer cameras or hardware in general (like MiniDisc) compress to lossy because the average joe wouldn't understand the difference. The capacity of storage mediums is often expressed in "hours of video", "num of photos", etc. A system recording lossless or higher quality lossy would look uncompetitive in such comparison.

    The speed of flash memory is limited. It can definitely handle the data rate of uncompressed photos. But the manufacturers rather choose to improve the speed of continuous shooting, because again a faster camera would look better in the market. Professionals and prosumers, who understand the technical side will simply skip the low end.

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    Professional User Skippybox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j7n View Post
    A system recording lossless or higher quality lossy would look uncompetitive in such comparison...the manufacturers rather choose to improve the speed of continuous shooting, because again a faster camera would look better in the market.
    Why can't JPG comparisons continue to be used for competitiveness, but still have a lossless format choice in addition to JPG? Would it still be cost-prohibitive to the manufacturer, or simply be ignored by most users, like you say?

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    Moderator Sam_Zen's Avatar
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    The speed of flash memory is limited. It can definitely handle the data rate of uncompressed photos.
    Main point indeed. If recording the photo, it probably will be done uncompressed, but then the algoritm is calculated, before saving.

    Of course the situation manufacturers/consumers plays a role here.
    After buying a camera, how many consumers will check the menu, to get a higher resolution?
    But I think the manufacturers should be more aware of the fact that not every consumer just want to look at the picture.

    Some of the consumers like to edit the shot first, to enhance the quality, before looking at it.
    The reverse can be valid too. Suppose you have to make a cover for an audio-album.
    So you send a compressed version as an example. If it will be applied, it must be the uncompressed, big version.

    The audio-situation is quite analog here obviously.
    Most consumers now accept listening to a compressed mp3-version of a track, instead of the original WAV file.
    (or a format which isn't lossy)
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    Multiple User jazzman's Avatar
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    Most important thing when buying a camera is to know what you want it for.

    You may want a camera for your pocket, always ready for a snapshot, or you want to do advanced quality holiday photography. Or you want to go in for creating pictures for print media. - Is it outdoors or studio work you are planning for? etc. etc.

    If you want more than the most rudimentary functions, you need to go through all the features on offer and check whether they are important to you. - That takes some time and work, but then maybe you will be spending a couple 100 quid upward.

    What I came up with for myself was (a few years ago) the Canon Powershot G5.

    Important to me:
    - DSLR was too expensive at the time
    - image quality (obviously)
    - comfortable buttons and menus
    - Fast lens (f 2.0)
    - metal thread for tripod (plastic will wear out)
    - swivel screen
    - remote control
    - manual control of time/aperture
    - manual white balance
    - affordable flash memory (important at the time, much cheaper now)

    Medium importance:
    - zoom range
    - bulb setting (not available in the Canon G5)
    - viewfinder info (none in in the Canon G5)
    - various extras like time lapse, gray filter,
    - Megapixels (5 MB is quite enough for me, more will not be beneficial unless the sensor area is increased)
    - external flash socket

    unimportant:
    - most automatic modes and presets

    From todays viewpoint I'd like to have video capability that is only limited by the flash card memory. As it is, the G5 will only record 3 minutes at a time.

    I haven't found anything since that fits my requirements equally or better than the Powershot G5. Even DSLRs, while giving better quality images, don't give the functionality I want.
    Last edited by jazzman; 29.08.2008 at 11:42 AM.

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    Professional User Skippybox's Avatar
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    Default What we want!

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzman View Post
    You may want a camera for your pocket, always ready for a snapshot, or you want to do advanced quality holiday photography. Or you want to go in for creating pictures for print media. - Is it outdoors or studio work you are planning for? etc. etc.
    Don't we want it all?!

    What I came up with for myself was (a few years ago) the Canon Powershot G5.
    Excellent cameras are the G5/G6. Do you like the successors, the G7 and G9? They are quite different though. No swivel screen or secondary display.

    Important to me:
    - DSLR is still too expensive with all the lenses
    - image quality (obviously)
    - fast processing/startup
    - 2.5" swivel screen!
    - wide zoom range (12-20x)
    - manual controls
    - auto mode
    - cheap, replaceable batteries (AA - not lithium-ion)
    - video (640x480 or 1280x720)
    - compact, lightweight
    - good controls (dials/buttons)/menus(logical/aesthetically-pleasing)
    - remote control-wireless preferred
    - Megapixels (8MP+)
    - Supports cheapest memory cards (SD, CF - not MS or xD)

    I'm basically looking for a high-zoom prosumer camera. I'm leaning towards Panasonic, but I also am considering Olympus, Fujifilm, Canon, and Sony.
    Last edited by Skippybox; 10.09.2008 at 10:46 PM.

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