digital camera recommendations

Hi,
I finally decided to buy one, and would like some advice on what (not) to look for. I need a camera for simple things : holiday snap shots (wife and
dog), and models (ARC who knows !). No movies, sound, etc...Which attributes should I look for ? I don't care much for printing my pics, as most pics will be viewed on a monitor (mine and yours). Looking at adverts it seems the following attributes are often mentioned : optical zoom (how much required ?) digital zoom internal memory (flash ?) slot for memory card (definitely needed I guess ?) pictbridge compatible compatible with SD memory card USB (required I think)
I can choose between the following brands : HP, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Samsung.
Any input appreciated, the consequences of which might soon be seen on the net...
Pierre
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

attributes
The most you can afford. For model work, I wouldn't go for less than 5:1. I have an Olympus with a 10:1 optical zoom. I have often used that in taking pictures of ship models in museums.

Forget digital zoom. Anything you can do with digital zoom you can do better by post processing in your computer. Digital zoom is really more of a marketing trick.

The internal memory doesn't much matter. It's the exernal memory that matters.

A camera without a slot for a memory card is totally unacceptable.

Don't know what this is. Most good cameras can output in several formats. The most convenient is to treat the camera as hard drive and take the pictures off the computer.

Why this restriction. SD cards are good, but I wouldn't make that as a restriction.

Without a USB port, totally unacceptable.

You should consider Olympus, also.

net...
You've left out a very important feature.. a good macro capability. This is essential for any model photography. Having a good optical zoom doesn't mean you have macro capabilities.
Refresh rate. For taking model pictures, this isn't an issue. But for taking pictures of the family, events, etc. it is very important. One of the big differences between high-end, versus low-end cameras is how often you can take a new picture. Some are very slow -- e.g., 10 seconds. Don't confuse this with the ability to take a fast burst of consecutive pictures. Two different features.
Pixels. Nothing less than 2 megapixels. However, watch out. Having lots of megapixel does not necessarily mean greater resolution. More digital trickery. What matters is the number of pixels on the CCD sensor screen and not the number of pixels allocated to each photo in the memory. Also, note that high megapixels usually mean slow refresh rates.
Interchangeable lenses. ONe of the major features of the high-end cameras is that they have interchangeable lenses .. e.g., Nikon, Canon. Then the issue of macro and zoom isn't an issue. If you need a higher zoom, you buy a longer zoom lens. If you need really good close-ups, you buy a macro lens. It's a qualitative difference, but also a quantum leap in cost.
Aperature versus shutter priority and depth-of-field control. You want good automatic modes, but you have to have the ability to select the f-stop and speeds manually so that you can control the depth of field and other stuff. Otherwise, taking good model pictures becomes quite difficult. Also you want to ability to deliberately over-expose and play other photography tricks. Again in the interest of taking good model pictures.
Boris
--

-------------------------------------
Boris Beizer Ph.D. Seminars and Consulting
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Boris Beizer wrote:

Don't know what this is. Most good cameras can output in several formats.

pictbridge allows you to print directly from the camera

--
Kevin(Bluey)
snipped-for-privacy@westnet.com.au
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

At least 3 times

Forget it - doesn't do you any good

Not nessecary, a good memory card will do you better

Absoloutly nessecary

Only if you need to print from printer without using the PC

Why bind to SD? Both CF, XD and the others are just as good, choose the camera, and then buy the extra card

I can live without, and belive you could too with a card reader, but most have it anyway

For smaller model like Pocket type, I have good results with Canon Powershot series, they have a good macro function. HP may be a little easier to handle, but are generally slightly smaller, and have less capable macro function.
As for the high end SLR's I have only tried Canon EOS D-10 and can only recommend it, but that's a whole different price range.

--


Claus Gustafsen
Strandby Denmark
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@econ.kuleuven.ac.be says...

You want to shoot models, you get a camera with a decent macro capability _and_ either a SLR or a possibility to zoom in on the display to check focusing and depth of field.
--
-sdg

"Un gromono, mon royaume pour un gromono!"
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Serge D. Grun wrote:

Nikon Coolpix series has the best macro mode out of the box I've seen. I have a 995 and am thoroughly pleased with it.
--
- Rufus

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pierre Francois wrote:

The bigger the number the better it is.

Digital zoom is a bullshit spec that does nothing to improve photos, it's a software trick that is basically just cropping and destroys resolution. Mine is disabled since it is a "feature" that is in reality a detriment.
Other than that money is the object, as in how much are you willing to pay?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pierre Francois wrote:

Check out the Fujifilm S5000 or the S7000 .
--
Kevin(Bluey)
snipped-for-privacy@westnet.com.au
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pierre Francois a prsent l'nonc suivant :

Hi Pierre,
I have a Coopix 5700 (Nikon) and a D70 (Nikon also). I am very satisfied with these two cameras. If you want we can talk about it by email, in French, it will be easier... ;o)
--
Chris

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Have to second the Nikon recommendation, even though I own an Olympus. For non interchangeable lens camera's tthe Nikons have the best Macro focusing ability. The also (in the 900 series) are more like a conventional 35mm camera in camera control and function.. Nikon 900's and 995's have been out of production for a while and are STILL very popular camera's. Their manual controls are second to none. (my Olympus 4040Z is just as good in that regard) Dont get an Olympus, their macro ability is very poor. Ease of use for an external; flash coiuld be important to you, again the Nikon 900 series takes aftermarket flash units well. Look for a camera that has a hotshoe, and or takes a conventional flash unit. (not an Olympus again...)
You want at least 3 - 4 megapixels for an good 8 x 10 print which will give excellent 4 x 6, and 5 x 7 photo's also.
Digital zoom is nothing more than a fancy name for the camera equivalent of the crop tool in PS. Total waste of time except..... for long range shots where it can help to properly frame the shot. (and you still could just crop in PS later too.......)
You DONT need video, or sound recording though most camera makers put it in the prosumer non removable lens camera's.......................
If you can afford it a Cannon Digital Rebel, or Nikon N 70 are the way to go. Both excellent camera's !!! (for right around $1000.00)
Allan
Only A Gentleman Can Insult Me And A True Gentleman Never Will
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Beg to differ. Depends on the model. My 740 has a 10:1 optical zoom and an excellent macro. It doesn't compare to an interchangeable lens camera macro, but so far, the ability to focus down to about 10cm is all the macro I have ever needed.

Several of the OM models have an external shoe for an external flash.
--

-------------------------------------
Boris Beizer Ph.D. Seminars and Consulting
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Le 19/05/2005, AM a suppos :

Right ! When I did the first tests with my 5700 I was really amazed with the macro quality (it's a 5 Mp)... even this is better with my reflex... but with dedicated lenses In fact I have always the coopix with me, and the D70 for special events... Just another thing : With the coolpix I own a set of macro filters also very efficient...

Video is never as good as with a digital cam. In fact I rarely used this function... I use photo cam for photo only.
--
Chris

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Flying Frog wrote:

Concur - I have a Coolpix 995 and use it almost exlusively for shooting photos of my models. Very happy with it.
However - I have been reading a lot of buzz lately about Nikon encrypting the RAW format in firmware on some of thier newer cameras so that you can only use Nikon software to process the RAW image. If you want to do some serious photography and this is a concern for you, beware.
--
- Rufus

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rufus avait prtendu :

Right : Nikon uses a special raw size... It's a good process, but not really RAW... Not a problem for me because I only use Nikon cameras, but it can be one for people who have different brands of material...
--
Chris

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 20 May 2005 08:21:18 +0200, "Flying Frog"

Doesn't the (new) Photoshop handle the any raw image without a special plug-in? I just got the new Creative Suite 2 upgrade, and it seems pretty clear they have most raw formats integrated... You can even adjust in the "Bridge" or file browser.
As I don't have a Nikon, I am not sure...
Fred
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris,
j'ai essay de t'envoyer un mail deux reprises, mais sans succs ? Tu peux me joindre sur pierre snipped-for-privacy@skynet.be. Bonsoir
Pierre

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You didn't mention Kodak, but I have a DX6440 & I'm crazy about it. Went thru 3 Sony Mavicas & never found one where the camera or hardware worked, so went with the Kodak.
Pierre Francois wrote:

(not) to

(wife and

attributes
pics
mentioned :

on the

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've got and old Kodak DC265 (2MP) that I really loved, until the motherboard died. The camera wouldn't work unless the AC adapter was plugged in. Which was no big deal as I primarily used it for model photography. Now, sadly, it won't even workt with the adapter. Called Kodak and they wanted as much to fix the motherboard as they wanted for a new camera <sigh>. So, now I'm in the market for a new digicam, too. Been leaning towards another Kodak. Just need to save up enough pennies. Used the flashcard for storage and then using a card reader could transfer pics right to my iBook. The computer just saw the card as being another disk drive, none of the TWAIN software needed or any of that stuff. Don McIntyre Clarksville, TN
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
in article 428b4b4c$0$26076$ snipped-for-privacy@news.skynet.be, Pierre Francois at snipped-for-privacy@econ.kuleuven.ac.be wrote on 5/18/05 9:03 AM:

I'm not going to try to answer the specific questions -- looks like there are a lot of good responses already. FWIW, I HIGHLY recommend the Canon Powershot series. I bought an A-75 last summer (3.2 megapixel), and I totally love it. It's got excellent macro capability, a lot of flexibility for exposure control, very comfortable ergonomics, a straightforward user interface, and it takes wonderful pictures. It also uses 4 AA batteries, which means you can buy new batteries at your local pharmacy, and of course you can get chargeable AA batteries, which gives you the best of both worlds.
I found a very good webpage -- Steve's DigiCams -- with a lot of helpful, comprehensive reviews and explanations:
http://www.steves-digicams.com /
Pip Moss I used to feel cheap 'cause I had no signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 18 May 2005 16:03:55 +0200, "Pierre Francois"

If you want to use for models and macro stuff professionally, I would splurge on a slr style. Many more options, but larger size. If you want something to take on vacation, which you can fit in a shirt pocket... Different thing altogether.
For Vacation, I have a Casio Exlim Z50 which is 5Mpix, has great startup and response and a very usable range of manual ISO and focus settings ... Does not do raw, but with a 1 gig SD card, I can get about 550 shots at 2048x1563 in fine mode. Terrific for vacation stuff as it is so small. In fact too small, as you tend to leave it about ;)
Our office has a Nikon D100 that I take out from time to time, and it does give spectacular pictures, but again depends on the lenses and lighting to get the results you are looking for, Most our stuff is shot in a studio, against a backdrop with special lighting.
We do often need to get very close on some of the things we shoot, like the graduations on a caliper face which are only a few thousands of an inch in width, but we seem to get it right only after the lighting is correct.
As far as interfaces go, I tend to Fire Wire/IEEE 1394/iLink as the best solution. It is fast and efficient, does not grab processor time and also the best for DV transfer unless you have a dedicated vid board/processor.
Good luck,
Freddie
www.fvfowler.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.