Cameras without aperture and shutter priority - any good?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by John Wright, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. John Wright

    John Wright Guest

    I am planning on buying a 5 MPixel camera, priced around the US$400-450 mark. For good quality general pleasure photography use only - family, outdoor scenes, etc, nothing professional or fancy.

    With only my film camera experience behind me, I tend to believe that one can't do without shutter priority and aperture priority. Too many situations come up when you have to fix one of these two parameters first and let the camera work out the other.

    A few cameras recently announced seem pretty good. Some, e.g. Canon A95 has shutter and aperture priority. Many others (e.g. Casio Exilim Z50/Z55, Pentax S5i) don't. Instead, they provide lots of screen modes as substitute - landscape, kids, sports, portrait, pan focusing etc. Presumably these are preset to some aperture and shutter speed values that the manufacturer thought reasonable. I have not been able to find out what these preset values are.

    I would like to ask camera users - how well do these screen modes cover all the different situations? Suppose I use their portrait mode and find that the background is not sufficiently diffused, are there other ways to get what I want? Am I likely to miss too much without proper aperture and shutter priority controls?

    Regards - JW
     
    John Wright, Aug 29, 2004
    #1
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  2. John Wright

    Ron Hunter Guest

    John Wright wrote:

    > I am planning on buying a 5 MPixel camera, priced around the
    > US$400-450 mark. For good quality general pleasure photography use only
    > - family, outdoor scenes, etc, nothing professional or fancy.
    >
    > With only my film camera experience behind me, I tend to believe that
    > one can't do without shutter priority and aperture priority. Too many
    > situations come up when you have to fix one of these two parameters
    > first and let the camera work out the other.
    >
    > A few cameras recently announced seem pretty good. Some, e.g. Canon A95
    > has shutter and aperture priority. Many others (e.g. Casio Exilim
    > Z50/Z55, Pentax S5i) don't. Instead, they provide lots of screen modes
    > as substitute - landscape, kids, sports, portrait, pan focusing etc.
    > Presumably these are preset to some aperture and shutter speed values
    > that the manufacturer thought reasonable. I have not been able to find
    > out what these preset values are.
    >
    > I would like to ask camera users - how well do these screen modes cover
    > all the different situations? Suppose I use their portrait mode and find
    > that the background is not sufficiently diffused, are there other ways
    > to get what I want? Am I likely to miss too much without proper aperture
    > and shutter priority controls?
    >
    > Regards - JW
    >
    >

    Kodak has several cameras with both features and 4-5mp within the stated
    price range. I suspect that if Kodak does, others do as well, I am just
    not as familiar with them as with the Kodak line. Most of the new
    cameras 'auto' mode does a much better job of setting aperture and
    shutter speed than most snapshot photographers, so the features aren't
    really that much of a desirable thing. I have taken about 1200 shots
    with my current camera since Feb. 2004 and have used the shutter and
    aperture priority settings for 4 or 5 of them.
    You can see several hundred of my shots on Webshots. Just look for
    rphunter42 and go to the Alaskan Cruise pictures. All of these pictures
    were shot in either 'auto' or 'landscape', or 'close up' with no manual
    settings.
     
    Ron Hunter, Aug 29, 2004
    #2
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  3. John Wright

    John Wright Guest

    Typing error. Please read "scene mode", not "screen mode".
    - JW.

    "John Wright" wrote in message
    ... provide lots of screen modes ...

    Regards - JW
     
    John Wright, Aug 29, 2004
    #3
  4. John Wright

    Jem Raid Guest

    Dear John,

    I felt the same as you about buying a digital camera on a fairly low budget so I bought a Casio QV4000 and the controls on it are as comprehensive as any film SLR even down to manual settings, at the moment it's possible to buy the 5mp QV5700 version here in the UK for about £200 I guess there would be similar deals in the USA.

    I can get reasonable 8 x 10's off it using an old Epson 4colour printer, people who are not photographers and who are unaware of the quality of 35mm to 8 x 10, are completely bowled over by the prints. In many ways it's better than film, you can see what you've got, the contrast range is greater and it's easier to use to use than an SLR.

    J
    "John Wright" <> wrote in message news:413187e0$0$22903$...
    I am planning on buying a 5 MPixel camera, priced around the US$400-450 mark. For good quality general pleasure photography use only - family, outdoor scenes, etc, nothing professional or fancy.

    With only my film camera experience behind me, I tend to believe that one can't do without shutter priority and aperture priority. Too many situations come up when you have to fix one of these two parameters first and let the camera work out the other.

    A few cameras recently announced seem pretty good. Some, e.g. Canon A95 has shutter and aperture priority. Many others (e.g. Casio Exilim Z50/Z55, Pentax S5i) don't. Instead, they provide lots of screen modes as substitute - landscape, kids, sports, portrait, pan focusing etc. Presumably these are preset to some aperture and shutter speed values that the manufacturer thought reasonable. I have not been able to find out what these preset values are.

    I would like to ask camera users - how well do these screen modes cover all the different situations? Suppose I use their portrait mode and find that the background is not sufficiently diffused, are there other ways to get what I want? Am I likely to miss too much without proper aperture and shutter priority controls?

    Regards - JW
     
    Jem Raid, Aug 29, 2004
    #4
  5. John Wright

    Dave Cohen Guest

    Jem Raid wrote:

    > Dear John,
    >
    > I felt the same as you about buying a digital camera on a fairly low
    > budget so I bought a Casio QV4000 and the controls on it are as
    > comprehensive as any film SLR even down to manual settings, at the
    > moment it's possible to buy the 5mp QV5700 version here in the UK for
    > about £200 I guess there would be similar deals in the USA.
    >
    > I can get reasonable 8 x 10's off it using an old Epson 4colour printer,
    > people who are not photographers and who are unaware of the quality of
    > 35mm to 8 x 10, are completely bowled over by the prints. In many ways
    > it's better than film, you can see what you've got, the contrast range
    > is greater and it's easier to use to use than an SLR.
    >
    > J
    >
    > "John Wright" <
    > <mailto:>> wrote in message
    > news:413187e0$0$22903$...
    > I am planning on buying a 5 MPixel camera, priced around the
    > US$400-450 mark. For good quality general pleasure photography use
    > only - family, outdoor scenes, etc, nothing professional or fancy.
    >
    > With only my film camera experience behind me, I tend to believe
    > that one can't do without shutter priority and aperture priority.
    > Too many situations come up when you have to fix one of these two
    > parameters first and let the camera work out the other.
    >
    > A few cameras recently announced seem pretty good. Some, e.g. Canon
    > A95 has shutter and aperture priority. Many others (e.g. Casio
    > Exilim Z50/Z55, Pentax S5i) don't. Instead, they provide lots of
    > screen modes as substitute - landscape, kids, sports, portrait, pan
    > focusing etc. Presumably these are preset to some aperture and
    > shutter speed values that the manufacturer thought reasonable. I
    > have not been able to find out what these preset values are.
    >
    > I would like to ask camera users - how well do these screen modes
    > cover all the different situations? Suppose I use their portrait
    > mode and find that the background is not sufficiently diffused, are
    > there other ways to get what I want? Am I likely to miss too much
    > without proper aperture and shutter priority controls?
    >
    > Regards - JW
    >
    >

    I have a canon A40. I would use the various setting more if they weren't
    menu type items that are difficult to read in daylight.
    I wish they would either put more of this on a dial type setting or use
    a xtal display for all but the image, virually no battery drain.
    Dave Cohen
     
    Dave Cohen, Aug 30, 2004
    #5
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