OT - cameras??



I've had a Fuji Finepix 2800 for several years now, bought mainly to take pictures of stationary engines at the shows, apart from general use for holidays etc. It's only 2 Mp, but to me that's quite good enough for the job. It uses 4 AA cells, but I have never used disposable cells in it, only NiMH rechargeables, mostly of around 2.1 to 2.9Ah. A set of 2.1Ah cells normally lasts for a full 128Mb SmartMedia card (around 165 images at the highest resolution), which will accept my typical full day's picture taking at a big show such as Rushden or Stoke Goldington. I carry three spare 128Mb cards and a spare set of four rechargeables, but rarely have to use them.
I now also have a 4 Mp Konica Minolta Dimage Z3, which I bought second-hand from a friend for 40 last spring when I thought (wrongly) that the Fuji was giving up the ghost. It can store 2Gb of images on its SD card, which is nearly 1000 shots at the highest resolution, and will run for a full day on one set of 2.5Ah rechargeable AA cells.
During the winter I normally keep a set of Uniross Hybrio 2.1Ah low-self-discharge NiMH rechargeables in each camera, and these stay usable for a couple of months or more, just supplying the minimal memory-maintenance power needed.
I deliberately avoid, as far as possible, portable devices that use dedicated battery packs, due to the silly price of replacements, and the fact that many of them have to be charged while they're on the device in question. Sadly, this is difficult to impossible with some things, but thankfully, some bits of kit still have an AA- or AAA-cell case option, or run on those standard sizes of rechargeables.

My Fuji is still perfectly adequate for engine and other rally pics; the Dimage is better, and has far more image storage capacity. I usually take both with me when I go to a rally.
--
Regards,
Andrew Marshall, G8BUR, M0MAA.
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There are now rechargeable batteries available which have a very low self-discharge rate and once charged hold the charge for 9it is said) 12 months, thus tend not to "run down" so quickly. The ones I have been using for some time in my digital camera are branded "instant" AA type rated 2100mAH bought on ebayuk (http://stores.shop.ebay.co.uk/component-shop__W0QQ_armrsZ1 ) and I would definitely recommend them, not much difference in price to normal rechargeables. Also fitted some C types in our battery/mains radio (usually used on mains) so that if we have a power cut we can still listen to the radio ( I previously had put Energiser batteries in there, but every time we went to use it on batteries, they had gone flat). However I do find Energisers last longer than Duracell.
Pete

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Seconded; I use the Uniross Hybrio type of these, and they pretty well do what it says on the tin. Beware of devices, though, which have a very slow discharge current (e.g. to sustain a memory or internal clock) even when apparently off; they can give the impression that the cells are losing their charge by self-discharge when in fact it's the device very slowly draining them.
--
Regards,
Andrew Marshall, G8BUR, M0MAA.
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That's really good stuff & I'll print it off & read it over tea!
Thank you.
Regards,
Kim Siddorn

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I used Pentax kit (LX & MX bodies) for years, until a few years ago swapping to Canon A1s via cheap eBay kit. Can't beat them if you still want film. The EOS is my parents' old kit.
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold. I remember "kimsiddorn"

In that case you could buy a 4/3 camera - such as the Olympus or Panasonic dSLRs which will accept your old lenses in fully manual mode. It's all about the register distance of the lenses and all the other, larger, dSLR systems won't work too well with the old Canon F series lenses. One slight drawback, which you probably won't notice too much unless you're a pixel peeper, is the small 4/3 sensor tends to be a bit noisier than its larger cousins, but it might be a worthwhile trade-off for you if it allows you to continue to use your stable of lenses. I'd suggest getting a kit lens with the digital body though, as you will find that fully-systemised auto-everything on at least one lens is handy to have, and the kit lenses are generally fairly good.
Depending on what you want out of the camera, throw a coin in the air and choose a Nikon, Canon, Pentax, et al. For there's nothing between them nowadays at a given price point - the image quality is all pretty good, and all you get is extra bells and whistles. Onboard video is useful, though, it must be said.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

depends on what the lenses are. If they are cheapo 3rd party lenses that gave average results on film then they ain't worth much, pretty much like a T5 body.
However if they are all useable genuine Canon lenses that delivered pretty good results. Once you get over the fact that modern amateur dslr bodies are made of assorted plastics and not nice robust die castings encased in leatherette etc they are actually quite good cameras and capable of producing quality images - especially if they are set up and used correctly. What lenses do you have?
Canons current offerings of 450D, 500D and 550D are all very capable cameras and I would happily recommend any of them according to the depth of your pocket.
What is wrong with your ixus? I have an ixus 500 and it has been pretty bomb proof.
Hope this is of some help
Dudley
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kimsiddorn wrote:

Probably missing something, but I don't really understand DSLR - why have all that wriggly mirror stuff when you can get a perfectly good through the lens view from a little lcd and eyepiece? No complaints about my Fuji (next year's model but essentially the same as Martin's).
NHH (camera history Kodak Instamatic 126, Zeiss Ikon 120, Zenit EM 35mm (Moscow olympics special edtion), Zenit TTL 35mm (never quite as good as the EM, Pentax MX 35mm (with terrific Olympus XA as backup), Sony compact digital (ok but ate batteries and died after a few years), Fuji something)
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Nick,
I think a DSLR is a SLR without the flippy mirrors to expose the film as the only difference I can see between mine and a DSLR is that I cant remove my Wide angle to Telescopic lens.
Martin P

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campingstoveman wrote:

DSLR still have mirrors.
For now...
The larger sensor in a DSLR compared with a compact gives dramatically better light sensitivity, at the cost of needing larger lenses.
BugBear
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Generally speaking you should get much better battery life/useage characteristics from a camera manufacturers own design of rechargeable battery(ies) than from using AA or AAA etc rechargeables - whether they be NiMh or Lion. One thing is for certain alkalines are really only for emergency use!
There have been many digital cameras in the past that have had a reputation for eating batteries in a very short time - ie couple of days when the camera is off and hours or minutes when the camera is on. This has been due to any or all of the following - excessive use of the lcd screen to revue images, not letting the lcd switch itself off after 30 seconds of inactivity and a host of other user issues, but the biggest one of all - there is a short in the camera. Its not located anywhere that will stop the camera from working but just sitting there warming a chip etc nicely.
Why would anyone want a dslr instead of a decent point and shoot. Loads of reasons but optical quality is quite a big one. Some compact cameras have truly superb quality optics, others - that you may have hoped were also superb can leave a lot to be desired, but the thing is that most people don't really push the optics of their compacts. They don't tend to print large images from them, much as with point and shoot film cameras, they only tend to print at standard 'enprint' size of 6 x 4 inches and some don't even get past the computer screen or lcd photo frame where sub 2MB images are more than adequate. If the image looks dodgy as a 6x4, and its not operator induced, then you really do have a duff camera! If you were to shoot the same scene with a compact and a decent dslr side by side at the same time you should see the difference in quality. Shooting 'all manual' on a compact can be at best a PITA, especially focus whereas on a dslr with manual focus and through the lens viewing its a doddle. I am not entirely convinced about lcd eyepieces.
Compacts do have their advantages - minimal dust on sensor issues, weight, size, cost and for probably the majority of people a GOOD compact camera will do everything they need - if only they could remember how to get through all of the sub menus to set it up ;o)
Dudley
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My grateful thanks to all who helped to concentrate my thinking - Dudley in particular.
After looking at reviews and various deals, I settled for a Nikon D5000 body and 18-55VR lens from Camerabox - I'll have it in the morning. I was quite enthusiastic about an 18 - 105 but as it's 100 more, I eschewed it . ;o))
I have several cases - one is bound to fet.
Spare batteries from my favourite bloke at 16 each.
http://www.mailorderbatteries.com/contact.htm
ever such a nice chap - small company & speak to a human straightaway.
- and some SD cards & off we go. It's our major Viking show in York this weekend, so hopefully pics next week ;o))
Regards,
Kim Siddorn

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kimsiddorn wrote:

Hi Kim
You don't hang about do you ?
Nothing like an important event to photograph first time out with the camera ;o)
Of course you will have read and memorised the instruction manual before you go :o)
I am convinced that all camera instruction manuals are written by someone for whom English is not their first or even second language and they merely translate the manual from the original japanese via Swahili and that have never actually seen the camera in question or any camera att for that matter!
The VR on the lens should give you 2 stops slower than you can hand hold normally. Just remember to switch it off when you put the camera on a tripod.
One thing I forgot to mention - get yourself a skylight filter to screw on the front to keep the front element nice and clean. Some of the camera suppliers now actually stock filters that are labelled up as lens protection filters - probably just a skylight anyway, ideally you want one in a slimline mount to minimise the risk of vignetting with the lens set to wide. The other thing that I would recommend is a lens hood, the 18 - 55 may even come with one - if it does, use it but you'll need to check for vignetting with the skylight in place. If there is no hood supplied the way around the problem of vignetting is to buy a step up ring upto 72 or even 77mm and use a bigger diameter collapsable rubber lens hood.
I look forward to seeing the piccies
Dudley
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I shall of course glance at the manual, but I am a bloke and "reading the instructions" is for after you can't find the on switch ;o)) I will, however, print them off & take them with me ......
Is vignetting the repeated circles of light you get sometimes when the lens elements are not in agreement?
I didn't realise the VR was to do with camera shake, something which - thank God! - I still don't suffer from. However, it is a useful fall back.
I'm pleased to report that Camerabox took the trouble to ring me back and check various details of the purchase just to make sure it really was me as the card holder that had made the purchase.
All excited now! ;o))
Regards,
Kim Siddorn

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kimsiddorn wrote:

Hi Kim
Vignetting is where the corners of the image go dark because something is obstructing the light path - either inside the lens itself or more likely something in front of the front elelment - ie a screw on filter or a lens hood.
You can't always see it through the viewfinder but when the lens stops down as it takes the picture the effect becomes much more pronounced.
The VR isn't just for the crusties with shakey hands. It also allows mere boys with a firm grip and steady hand, such as your good self, to be able to use shutter speeds about 2 stops slower than you could normally get away with, to get certain photographic effects. Obviously if you are taking pictures of something moving such as a racing car etc you have to pan the camera, VR won't do anything to capture moving objects.
regards
Dudley
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Given like-for-like comparisons (mainly in terms of mAH capacity and in the type of technology used) there should be little if any difference in battery life between any rechargeable battery makes (in fact many of them are probably made on the same production line in the same factory and given different labels). However if you have a camera which is designed so that the batteries can be recharged whilst still in the camera, it is probably best to stick with what the manufacturers recommend to ensure compatibility between the charger and the batteries.
Pete. G3JXC.

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THE DOUGLAS STATIONARY ENGINE RESOURCE (admin) wrote:

There is very definitely a difference in quality between various suppliers of 3rd party batteries. When I was still using my Canon D30 I had some diabolical (Lion) batteries that after 20 or 30 charges were down to maybe 30% capacity and made Jessops own brand D30 batteries look pretty damned good!
The thing is with batteries made specifically for a particular camera is that they are or at least should be giving you optimal performance for the space that is available inside the camera body rather than trying to fit the cameras internals around 4 cylinders which waste a lot of the internal volume of the camera.
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I've not so far had a camera with a model-specific battery pack, but I have had many handheld amateur radio transceivers which had them, but which also had an AA-cell case option. In every case it was far cheaper to buy the cell case and fill it with rechargeables; in terms of pounds per ampere-hour, the manufacturers' sealed packs were much worse value.
I quite agree that alkalines are very much a distress purchase for use in cameras and other high-consumption kit; their very high internal resistance wastes a lot of power inside the cells, and thus delivers a terminal voltage under load which is lower than that given by rechargeables, which with their low internal resistance and fairly-flat voltage discharge curve deliver far more of their capacity to the load than an alkaline cell can.
--
Regards,
Andrew Marshall, G8BUR, M0MAA.
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