A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum  

Go Back   A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum > The Mezzanine > Exhibit Hall

Exhibit Hall For the exhibition of artistic creations by our members, from poetry and prose to drawings, photography, and digital art.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old Mar 23 2010, 09:33 PM   #1
mawra
Dolphin Friend

Craftmaster
 
mawra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: CONCORD VA
Gender: F
Fan of: PERN
Now Reading: Dolphins of Pern and Queens ow
Default camera question

I am thinking about getting a decent camera. I want a digital, but I also want a fast shutter speed. What would you recomend? I looking to pay up to 3-4 hundred for one. Depending on crash settlement.
__________________
MEDDLE NOT IN THE AFAIRS OF DRAGONS, FOR YOU ARE CRUNCHY & GOOD WITH CHOCOLATE


SO MANY BOOKS SO LITTLE TIME


DRIVING SMART KEEPS YOU ALIVE
mawra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23 2010, 10:13 PM   #2
Bob12
Senior Member
Heavyworlder
 
Bob12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Central Missouri
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonriders of Pern
Default Re: camera question

Look at one of the Canon or Nikon Point & Shoots. For that kind of money, you can get up into the 10 megapixel range or better. They'll all have the capabilities of fast shutter speed, as well as video, and several other nice features. If by "fast shutter speed" you mean lack of shutter lag time, which plagued some early digitals (and some low end current models), in that price range, it shouldn't be that much of an issue. One thing to remember with ALL current cameras that have auto-focus, you have to give the camera time to work --- press the shutter release half way down and hold it. The camera will auto-focus and set the f-stop and shutter speed (unless you choose to do those on your own.) Continuing to hold the shutter release half way down, reframe your shot if necessary, then, when you're ready to take the picture, press the shutter release the rest of the way down. Unless you're lucky enough to be taking a picture that's already in focus, no auto-focus camera, film or digital will take a picture until the subject is in focus. Yes, you can set some cameras to take the picture regardless of focus, but that's not usually the desired result.
__________________
The mind that will not admit it has something more to learn tomorrow is in danger of stagnating. - Masterharper Robinton
Bob12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 03:39 AM   #3
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: camera question

Since you're not much involved in photography I's suggest a point and shoot that you yourself are comfortable with. You can only establish that in a store. So, go to a good one and take them in hand, try them out and then chose what you like best within your price range.
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 06:34 AM   #4
Cheryl
Master Archivist
 
Cheryl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern!
Now Reading: Paladin of Souls (Bujold)
Default Re: camera question

What Bob said about shutter lag.

I definitely recommend Canon point and shoots, they take good pictures. My mom has a Kodak easy share and the picture quality is lousy -- they're grainy, and usually over-exposed.
__________________
Visit one of the other sites of Cheryl's Anne McCaffrey Triad:
Sariel's Guide to Pern: a detailed guide to the series
The Many Works of Anne McCaffrey: largest fan site about Anne and ALL of her works
McCaffrey Quest: annual trivia contest.
Cheryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 07:05 AM   #5
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: camera question

For the record; I have the opposite experience with Kodak EasyShare (my last point-and-shoot camera but I had the one with a retinar lens and 10x optical zoom.

I do agree, however, that the Canon Powershot cameras are much better; but then the good models are also more expensive.
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 07:52 AM   #6
Cheryl
Master Archivist
 
Cheryl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern!
Now Reading: Paladin of Souls (Bujold)
Default Re: camera question

Quality definitely can vary widely by model, so it's definitely important to try out cameras in the store, and/or read reviews of specific models.

And of course better models are more expensive, but in the range Mawra's hoping to pay it should be easy to find a good one. My last Canon Powershot, which takes very good pictures, cost less then that range.
__________________
Visit one of the other sites of Cheryl's Anne McCaffrey Triad:
Sariel's Guide to Pern: a detailed guide to the series
The Many Works of Anne McCaffrey: largest fan site about Anne and ALL of her works
McCaffrey Quest: annual trivia contest.
Cheryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 08:06 AM   #7
Samsara
Inactive
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Perth, Australia
Gender: F
Fan of: PERN!!!
Now Reading: Restoree
Default Re: camera question

I second that Cheryl. I have a Canon, very reasonable price, and it takes great photos!
Samsara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 09:11 AM   #8
StevenB
Bitsmith/Starsmith,
Master Sneak
 
StevenB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scotland
Gender: M
Fan of: Skies of Pern: what else?
Now Reading: My computer screen
Default Re: camera question

My advice would be not to be taken in by the number of megapixels alone. The overall quality depends on the quality of the lens and the quality of the detector (which is determined more by its size and readout noise rather than by megapixels). So try out a few cameras to see the quality for yourself. (Try some pictures in bright daylight to see what the lens is capable of and some pictures in poor light at a high ISO setting to see how good the detector is.) If you have a choice between two cameras with different numbers of megapixels, choose the one that gives the best looking photographs even if it has a smaller number of megapixels.

P.S. If you don't know how to change the ISO setting, just try taking a picture in bright daylight and another of something dark and gloomy. The camera might change it for you in automatic mode. If you zoom in on the dark areas of the gloomy picture any noise will make the picture look grainy, as if someone has sprinkled pepper over it.
__________________
Steven

Last edited by StevenB; Mar 24 2010 at 12:21 PM. Reason: Added P.S.
StevenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 02:23 PM   #9
P'ter
Crafter

Craftmaster
 
P'ter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wolverhampton
Gender: M
Fan of: Favorite?
Now Reading: avidly
Default Re: camera question

One thing to remember is that the more pixels you have per picture: the longer each picture takes to get into memory. It can also be affected by the memory card: cheap cards take longer to transfer memory in & out.

I've got two: a point and shoot Nikon Coolpix and my big Pentax K10 D.S.L.R.

The 3 Megapixels of the Coolpix is perfectly adaquate. If the camera is offered with zoom do check that it is OPTICAL zoom NOT DIGITAL zoom! All digital zoom does is to use the central part of the picture by making each pixel's area larger, so it all looks really grainy.
__________________
"Truth is stranger than fiction: fiction has to make sense." Leo Rosten.

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
C. S. Lewis

"I find television very educational. Whenever somebody switches it on I go in the other room and read a book." (attributed to Groucho Marx)

The Pedants are revolting! (against bad grammar)
P'ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 02:51 PM   #10
Bob12
Senior Member
Heavyworlder
 
Bob12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Central Missouri
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonriders of Pern
Default Re: camera question

What P'ter says about digital zoom is accurate for the lower megapixel cameras. However, it's not as much of a problem (within reason) with the higher megapixel count of most modern cameras. As long as you don't try to blow the print up too much. With a 10 MP point and shoot, you can use the digital zoom and still get good 4x6 and, depending on the zoom level, even 5x7 prints.
__________________
The mind that will not admit it has something more to learn tomorrow is in danger of stagnating. - Masterharper Robinton
Bob12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 03:28 PM   #11
mawra
Dolphin Friend

Craftmaster
 
mawra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: CONCORD VA
Gender: F
Fan of: PERN
Now Reading: Dolphins of Pern and Queens ow
Default Re: camera question

The problem I am having with the camera I use now is that most of the pictures come out blurry if there is the slighest movement. I want a camera that I take a picture of something moveing and it not come out blurry.
__________________
MEDDLE NOT IN THE AFAIRS OF DRAGONS, FOR YOU ARE CRUNCHY & GOOD WITH CHOCOLATE


SO MANY BOOKS SO LITTLE TIME


DRIVING SMART KEEPS YOU ALIVE
mawra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 04:28 PM   #12
Bob12
Senior Member
Heavyworlder
 
Bob12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Central Missouri
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonriders of Pern
Default Re: camera question

To do that, you have to use the higher shutter speeds. Whatever you end up buying, make sure it allows you to manually set the shutter speed. That way, you can force the issue. Many of the modern point and shoots also include image stabilization which helps suppress camera shake. But, no matter what, the only way to stop action is to use faster shutter speeds. Depending on the speed of motion, you'll generally want something higher than 1/125th of a second. You might be able to stop some action down to a 60th of a second, but it would have to be something slow moving.
__________________
The mind that will not admit it has something more to learn tomorrow is in danger of stagnating. - Masterharper Robinton
Bob12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 04:54 PM   #13
StevenB
Bitsmith/Starsmith,
Master Sneak
 
StevenB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scotland
Gender: M
Fan of: Skies of Pern: what else?
Now Reading: My computer screen
Default Re: camera question

I agree. If preventing motion blur is important you would find image stabilization very useful. Lanen's point and shoot camera (a Panasonic DMC-TZ3) has it. When we went on a photographers' tour of Antelope Canyon in Arizona, Elizabeth was getting almost as good pictures with her camera in that dark place than I was with a tripod and no stabilization. A fast shutter speed is important too, but to use fast shutter speeds you need a camera that lets in as much light as possible. Have a look at the front of the lens and see if there is an "f" on it followed by a number, such as f3.5. The smaller that number the more light the camera can let in and the faster the shutter speed you can use in any given situation.

Lanen's camera is also good because it has a 10x optical zoom. I agree with P'ter that optical zoom is by far the best kind. Digital zoom is more like a crop by throwing away the pixels at the edge (imagine the difference between looking at something in the distance magnified with binoculars and looking at it through a drinking straw). Digital zoom can be useful if you are running out of storage space, but if you are not you may as well take a full frame picture and crop it later when you have more time to think about it.

Best of luck. I hope you find a really good camera.
__________________
Steven
StevenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 07:42 PM   #14
mawra
Dolphin Friend

Craftmaster
 
mawra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: CONCORD VA
Gender: F
Fan of: PERN
Now Reading: Dolphins of Pern and Queens ow
Default Re: camera question

Thanks for the advice.
__________________
MEDDLE NOT IN THE AFAIRS OF DRAGONS, FOR YOU ARE CRUNCHY & GOOD WITH CHOCOLATE


SO MANY BOOKS SO LITTLE TIME


DRIVING SMART KEEPS YOU ALIVE
mawra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24 2010, 10:19 PM   #15
Bob12
Senior Member
Heavyworlder
 
Bob12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Central Missouri
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonriders of Pern
Default Re: camera question

You're welcome, any time. Keep us posted what you end up with.
__________________
The mind that will not admit it has something more to learn tomorrow is in danger of stagnating. - Masterharper Robinton
Bob12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28 2010, 08:32 AM   #16
edith
Dragonrider


Weyrwoman
 
edith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Delft
Gender: F
Fan of: Most of them :)
Now Reading: Don't You Have Time To Think- RP Feynman
Default Re: camera question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheryl View Post
What Bob said about shutter lag.

I definitely recommend Canon point and shoots, they take good pictures. My mom has a Kodak easy share and the picture quality is lousy -- they're grainy, and usually over-exposed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
For the record; I have the opposite experience with Kodak EasyShare (my last point-and-shoot camera but I had the one with a retinar lens and 10x optical zoom.

I do agree, however, that the Canon Powershot cameras are much better; but then the good models are also more expensive.
I have real trouble with close-up photos and low light photos with my Kodak Easyshare, to the extent that one of these days I will have to go out and buy a new camera as most of the photos I take are close-ups in low light. I used to have a very cheap basic camera, which, so long as I didn't zoom, made quite nice close-up photos of my films. My "superior" Kodak won't take good photos if I have a white background. The autofocus won't work properly and I have to take photos on a dark background, which is fine for my metallic films- they're bright gold in colour, but my semiconductors are dull green- not so nice!

Of course the metallic films reflect so much more light that if I have to use the flash I get a nice picture of the flash reflected off a metallic surface.

It's not that comfortable to hold either.
edith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28 2010, 04:26 PM   #17
P'ter
Crafter

Craftmaster
 
P'ter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wolverhampton
Gender: M
Fan of: Favorite?
Now Reading: avidly
Default Re: camera question

My SLRD has stabilisation. My point-&-shoot doesn't; but I've found that a lot of the wobble comes from my finger moving to operate the shutter. I get round that by using the self-timer.
__________________
"Truth is stranger than fiction: fiction has to make sense." Leo Rosten.

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
C. S. Lewis

"I find television very educational. Whenever somebody switches it on I go in the other room and read a book." (attributed to Groucho Marx)

The Pedants are revolting! (against bad grammar)
P'ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31 2010, 06:41 PM   #18
Farclas
Inactive
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Edinburgh
Gender: M
Default Re: camera question

Two things to remember when buying - good glass and a decent sensor.

The glass is important because that determines the basic quality of your image. Forget superzooms (ie x12 or x 15); the good ones are ridiculously expensive while the cheap ones are optical compromises from one end to the other. Go for a good limited range - no more than x5. Something like 6 - 30 mm gives you medium wide angle to medium telphoto.

As for sensor size, there's a really stupid megapixel race going on. Do not be sucked into the belief that more pixels always means a better picture. The consensus is that there's almost no benefit in going beyond 10 MP.

And don't forget to actually go into a store and handle potential cameras. There's no rationale to the feel of a camera. Some instantly take to the controls and shape of a Nikon or whatever; I happen to like the 'feel' of Canons and the fact that their control conventions are pretty constant across the range.

I think we agree you can meet your needs from any of the common brands. But 'feel' is indefinable. Touch and handle before you buy; you'll find one that sits naturally in your hand. That's the one to buy.

ETA - If you want to know why camera sensors are not all created equal, then look at the chart below and wonder that you DO get such good images from a Point and Shoot camera. The bottom deck shows the size of the most common sensors. Try cramming 15MP on that and watch the noise levels soar.

Last edited by Farclas; Mar 31 2010 at 07:16 PM.
Farclas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1 2010, 02:54 AM   #19
P'ter
Crafter

Craftmaster
 
P'ter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wolverhampton
Gender: M
Fan of: Favorite?
Now Reading: avidly
Default Re: camera question

My Pentax K10D has 23.5mm x 15.7mm sensor (367 sq mm)
__________________
"Truth is stranger than fiction: fiction has to make sense." Leo Rosten.

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
C. S. Lewis

"I find television very educational. Whenever somebody switches it on I go in the other room and read a book." (attributed to Groucho Marx)

The Pedants are revolting! (against bad grammar)
P'ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1 2010, 06:47 AM   #20
Farclas
Inactive
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Edinburgh
Gender: M
Default Re: camera question

P'ter's Pentax will always give better results than a Point and Shoot. Why? Because he has a bigger sensor.

A brief non-technical tutorial on sensors:

Each pixel on your camera sensor is a photo-voltaic device. In other words, light photons hit the pixel and generate an electrical signal which is then sent to the camera processor to be arranged and turned into an 'image'.

I have a full-frame Canon 5D (top left) which boasts 12.8 MP and a Canon G10 P&S (bottom left) which features a 15 MP sensor. It stands to reason that the pixels will be MUCH smaller on the G10.

This is where the basic laws of physics kick in - the smaller pixels on the G10 will gather fewer photons than the relatively huge pixels on the 5D. To get a useable signal (voltage) from the small pixels, they are amplified to a much greater degree. But amplifying the signal also boosts the underlying electronic 'noise' to a far greater degree.

The results below demonstrate the consequences. Both examples are shot at ISO 800, at ƒ4. Both straight out of camera with no tweaking. Remember, the G10 is a top-of-range P&S - but you just can't beat the physics.



100 per cent crop:
Farclas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1 2010, 08:51 AM   #21
Farclas
Inactive
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Edinburgh
Gender: M
Default Re: camera question

And, just to hammer home the point that it's not the number of pixels that is important; rather the size and quality of those pixels -

- here's my venerable Canon 1D (top row middle, in the chart above). It's an ancient 2003 camera with a mere 4.1 MP sensor. But it clearly knocks the spots off my G10 P&S.

Farclas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1 2010, 11:20 AM   #22
Farclas
Inactive
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Edinburgh
Gender: M
Default Re: camera question

. . . and so to practicalities. This list is a tad out-dated, but will give you an idea of strengths and weaknesses in the various brands. Just decide what you'll be using the new camera for and narrow your choices:

http://www.engadget.com/2009/05/19/e...for-under-400/
Farclas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1 2010, 01:03 PM   #23
Bob12
Senior Member
Heavyworlder
 
Bob12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Central Missouri
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonriders of Pern
Default Re: camera question

All good points but the in the price range Maw is looking at, she'll not have to worry about sensor size. But certainly good info for others or for Maw when she's ready to upgrade
__________________
The mind that will not admit it has something more to learn tomorrow is in danger of stagnating. - Masterharper Robinton
Bob12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1 2010, 05:14 PM   #24
StevenB
Bitsmith/Starsmith,
Master Sneak
 
StevenB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scotland
Gender: M
Fan of: Skies of Pern: what else?
Now Reading: My computer screen
Default Re: camera question

Thanks for the demonstrations and all the extra information Farclas. Your pictures demonstrate detector noise much better than what I was trying to say in words.

Bob12, detector noise depends not only on the detector size but also on the number of pixels crammed onto the detector surface - more megapixels means smaller pixels, which usually means more noise. So even if the large detectors ared out of Mawra's price range, the advice about megapixels still stands. The best camera is the one that gives the best photos when tested, and might have a surprisingly small number of megapixels.

Marketing a camera in terms of megapixels is like marketing a keyboard in terms of the number of keys crammed onto it. The most usable keyboard is one that feels comfortable and matches your fingers; and extra keys can get in the way and cause more typos (i.e. more noise).
__________________
Steven
StevenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1 2010, 08:47 PM   #25
Bob12
Senior Member
Heavyworlder
 
Bob12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Central Missouri
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonriders of Pern
Default Re: camera question

Yep, I'm aware of that. But in Maw's stated price range, the biggest concern is which one feels best to her and will do the job she wants, as you and others have said. But, again, the info Farclas posted was certainly worthwhile.
__________________
The mind that will not admit it has something more to learn tomorrow is in danger of stagnating. - Masterharper Robinton
Bob12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Another big, unanswered question Levallia Dragonriders of Pern 70 Dec 6 2015 11:55 PM
Question: Anne and Todd - Dragon's Kin & Dragon Fire Nina Dragonriders of Pern 9 Apr 28 2010 07:02 PM
A question base of Skies of Pern, and rocks from space. GinnyStar Dragonriders of Pern 12 Mar 21 2010 11:00 PM
Photo: Which Camera? Or should I go for the ring? Shalyn Exhibit Hall 17 Jul 7 2009 10:37 PM
Digital Camera ??? Lady Maelin Café Archives 24 May 29 2006 12:58 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

ds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey’s fiction are copyright © Anne McCaffrey 1967-2008, all rights reserved, and used bA Meeting of Minds forum owned by Cheryl B. Miller.
All references to worly permission of the author.