Canon A640

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by damifino@whatsgoingon.com, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. Guest

    Hello

    I am totally new to photography. I bought a Canon 640 at a CompUSA
    store that is closing after being incorrectly informed that it has
    image stabilization. I have been been experimenting with it; that is,
    I'm trying to figure out the basic features.

    How important is it that this camera does not have image
    stabilization? If it's a critical feature, I'll try to return it.
    , Apr 8, 2007
    #1
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  2. Le Patriote Guest

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  3. Guest

    On Sun, 8 Apr 2007 18:15:22 -0400, "Le Patriote" <>
    wrote:

    >http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Optical/Image_Stabilization_01.htm



    OK.

    I'd like to know whether the Canon 640 is a bad bet for shooting
    moving images in low light conditions or when using long focal
    lengths. It's supposedly a pretty good camera so I wonder whether it
    effectively compensates for the lack of image stabilization.
    , Apr 8, 2007
    #3
  4. ASAAR Guest

    On Sun, 08 Apr 2007 21:58:20 GMT, wrote:

    > I am totally new to photography. I bought a Canon 640 at a CompUSA
    > store that is closing after being incorrectly informed that it has
    > image stabilization. I have been been experimenting with it; that is,
    > I'm trying to figure out the basic features.
    >
    > How important is it that this camera does not have image
    > stabilization? If it's a critical feature, I'll try to return it.


    Image stabilization is important for some people, not very
    important for others. When I got my A620, which also doesn't have
    image stabilization, part of the reason was that it produced better
    images than the A710 which does have image stabilization. For P&S
    cameras IS is of greatest use with very long lenses, the kind that
    you see with the 10x and 12x megazooms. When IS does help, it's
    with static subjects, but if the subjects are moving (children,
    pets, active sports, etc.) IS won't help much and can even worsen
    the blur you'd get from moving subjects when it allows slower
    shutter speeds to be used. Irregardless, IS does *not* eliminate
    blur. It only reduces it, and in some cases can be quite helpful.
    But your even if your A640 had IS, you'd get much sharper, blur free
    shots by using a tripod with the IS turned off than by handholding
    the camera using IS.

    In case you aren't familiar with any of the better camera review
    websites, here are a couple of URLs for reviews of the A640 and the
    A710 IS. They'll probably be worth reading even if you aren't
    familiar with or understand all of the intricacies the reviews get
    into. They're quite extensive with, for instance, the A640 review's
    conclusions only appearing on the 16th page. Reviews of other
    cameras having IS are also available from DPReview, and include some
    made by Olympus, Panasonic and other manufacturers, as well as some
    others from Canon, such as the S2 IS and S3 IS.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canona640/

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canona710is/
    ASAAR, Apr 8, 2007
    #4
  5. Guest

    On Apr 8, 5:58 pm, wrote:
    > Hello
    >
    > I am totally new to photography. I bought a Canon 640 at a CompUSA
    > store that is closing after being incorrectly informed that it has
    > image stabilization. I have been been experimenting with it; that is,
    > I'm trying to figure out the basic features.
    >
    > How important is it that this camera does not have image
    > stabilization? If it's a critical feature, I'll try to return it.



    It depends. It sounds unhelpful to say this but it's useful for its
    use, if you need it. That is, handheld lowish light where you
    wouldn't be using a fast shutter. Not only for moving subjects but
    also still objects where the shutter speed would prevent a decent
    picture hand held. For use in good light and general out and about
    shooting it's not a deal breaker. It's a good feature but it
    wouldn't make me buy a camera I wasn't crazy about.


    I have a 640 and love it. I simply use old fashioned photo strategy
    to get the best shots. The Canon A710 IS started off around the same
    retail but I notice now it's around $250 vs $215 for the 640. I liked
    the A710, I just didn't want to do without the rotating LCD which I've
    grown so used to. If you can get an equally good blow out price on
    the A710 IS you could do that and trade the rotating LCD and some
    mpxls for image stabilization.
    , Apr 8, 2007
    #5
  6. Guest

    On Apr 8, 6:27 pm, wrote:

    > I'd like to know whether the Canon 640 is a bad bet for shooting
    > moving images in low light conditions or when using long focal
    > lengths.




    It's hard to say. I do a lot of that with mine but while I
    definitely get what you'd call pictures, high ISO and long shutter
    speeds on the 640 give way to a certain artifactiness and graininess.
    How much depends on how far you stretch it. Moving images in low
    light is not a strong point. If that's your main thing I'd say it's
    not the right choice. If you're talking about indoor sports I'd say
    ixnay for sure.


    >It's supposedly a pretty good camera so I wonder whether it
    > effectively compensates for the lack of image stabilization.



    No, I'd definitely say that wouldn't describe it. But again, it's a
    great camera and the images in general are to me noticeably superior
    and more pleasing than from the A710 IS.
    , Apr 9, 2007
    #6
  7. Le Patriote Guest

    <> a écrit dans le message de
    news:...
    > On Sun, 8 Apr 2007 18:15:22 -0400, "Le Patriote" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Optical/Image_Stabilization_01.htm
    >
    >
    > OK.
    >
    > I'd like to know whether the Canon 640 is a bad bet for shooting
    > moving images in low light conditions or when using long focal
    > lengths. It's supposedly a pretty good camera so I wonder whether it
    > effectively compensates for the lack of image stabilization.


    your best bet is a cheap DSLR (D50, D40, Rebel XT), or one of the Fuji P&S
    that can give you good IQ even in low light.

    No movies with a DSLR and only the Olympus 330 has "live view on LCD" for
    now (I think). The E510 is not available yet (same for the Canon 1DM3 but it
    will be a lot more expensive ).

    And the king of high ISO is still the Canon 5D, it is of course, very
    expensive.

    You might try a Canon 30D (or a 20D) at ISO 3200, impressive for the price.

    You should go ask for samples in that Fuji forum if you prefer a P&S:
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1012
    Le Patriote, Apr 9, 2007
    #7
  8. ASAAR Guest

    On 8 Apr 2007 15:51:52 -0700, wrote:

    > It depends. It sounds unhelpful to say this but it's useful for its
    > use, if you need it. That is, handheld lowish light where you
    > wouldn't be using a fast shutter. Not only for moving subjects but
    > also still objects where the shutter speed would prevent a decent
    > picture hand held. For use in good light and general out and about
    > shooting it's not a deal breaker. It's a good feature but it
    > wouldn't make me buy a camera I wasn't crazy about.


    For still subjects, yes, IS can help. But it doesn't do anything
    to improve moving objects unless those objects are the
    photographer's hands. :) What you need to stop blur in moving
    objects is faster shutter speeds. You can get that by using a
    higher ISO, unless the high ISO produces too much noise. IS can
    help when the light level is low, but that's because it allows
    slower shutter speeds to be used. That's fine for still objects,
    but the slower shutter creates greater blurring of moving objects.
    ASAAR, Apr 9, 2007
    #8
  9. Matalog Guest

    "ASAAR" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sun, 08 Apr 2007 21:58:20 GMT, wrote:
    >
    >> I am totally new to photography. I bought a Canon 640 at a CompUSA
    >> store that is closing after being incorrectly informed that it has
    >> image stabilization. I have been been experimenting with it; that is,
    >> I'm trying to figure out the basic features.
    >>
    >> How important is it that this camera does not have image
    >> stabilization? If it's a critical feature, I'll try to return it.

    >
    > Image stabilization is important for some people, not very
    > important for others. When I got my A620, which also doesn't have
    > image stabilization, part of the reason was that it produced better
    > images than the A710 which does have image stabilization. For P&S
    > cameras IS is of greatest use with very long lenses, the kind that
    > you see with the 10x and 12x megazooms. When IS does help, it's
    > with static subjects, but if the subjects are moving (children,
    > pets, active sports, etc.) IS won't help much and can even worsen
    > the blur you'd get from moving subjects when it allows slower
    > shutter speeds to be used.



    Irregardless,

    Amaing, this is the first time i've heard this word used and I have to say,
    it confused me, but it seems that it is a standard North American word.
    Boston or Indiana maybe?



    , IS does *not* eliminate
    > blur. It only reduces it, and in some cases can be quite helpful.
    > But your even if your A640 had IS, you'd get much sharper, blur free
    > shots by using a tripod with the IS turned off than by handholding
    > the camera using IS.
    >
    > In case you aren't familiar with any of the better camera review
    > websites, here are a couple of URLs for reviews of the A640 and the
    > A710 IS. They'll probably be worth reading even if you aren't
    > familiar with or understand all of the intricacies the reviews get
    > into. They're quite extensive with, for instance, the A640 review's
    > conclusions only appearing on the 16th page. Reviews of other
    > cameras having IS are also available from DPReview, and include some
    > made by Olympus, Panasonic and other manufacturers, as well as some
    > others from Canon, such as the S2 IS and S3 IS.
    >
    > http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canona640/
    >
    > http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canona710is/
    >
    >
    Matalog, Apr 9, 2007
    #9
  10. Bill Funk Guest

    On Sun, 08 Apr 2007 21:58:20 GMT, wrote:

    >Hello
    >
    >I am totally new to photography. I bought a Canon 640 at a CompUSA
    >store that is closing after being incorrectly informed that it has
    >image stabilization. I have been been experimenting with it; that is,
    >I'm trying to figure out the basic features.
    >
    >How important is it that this camera does not have image
    >stabilization? If it's a critical feature, I'll try to return it.


    Unfortunately, if you bought it at a CompUSA that's closing, chances
    are you can't return it, unless you got it before the stock was turned
    over to a closeout business.
    :-(

    --
    THIS IS A SIG LINE; NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!
    The White House gave John Kerry's
    campaign nemesis Sam Fox, who funded
    the Swift Boat Veterans, a recess
    appointment to Belgium on Wednesday.
    Nothing ever changes. John Kerry
    insisted he was for the appointment
    before he was against the appointment.
    Bill Funk, Apr 9, 2007
    #10
  11. ASAAR Guest

    On Mon, 09 Apr 2007 02:02:38 GMT, Matalog wrote:

    >>> I am totally new to photography. I bought a Canon 640 at a CompUSA
    >>> store that is closing after being incorrectly informed that it has
    >>> image stabilization. I have been been experimenting with it; that is,
    >>> I'm trying to figure out the basic features.
    >>>
    >>> How important is it that this camera does not have image
    >>> stabilization? If it's a critical feature, I'll try to return it.

    >>
    >> Image stabilization is important for some people, not very
    >> important for others. When I got my A620, which also doesn't have
    >> image stabilization, part of the reason was that it produced better
    >> images than the A710 which does have image stabilization. For P&S
    >> cameras IS is of greatest use with very long lenses, the kind that
    >> you see with the 10x and 12x megazooms. When IS does help, it's
    >> with static subjects, but if the subjects are moving (children,
    >> pets, active sports, etc.) IS won't help much and can even worsen
    >> the blur you'd get from moving subjects when it allows slower
    >> shutter speeds to be used.

    >
    >
    > Irregardless,
    >
    > Amaing, this is the first time i've heard this word used and I have to say,
    > it confused me, but it seems that it is a standard North American word.
    > Boston or Indiana maybe?


    I can't answer your question because I have no idea which word
    you're referring to. I'm not even sure if you intended to reply to
    me or some person whose name is Amaing. :)

    Oh, I see it now. I said "Irregardless" like so:

    > shutter speeds to be used. Irregardless, IS does *not*


    but the way you partially quoted it made it appear as if *you* were
    saying "Irregardless" to me. <g> The way I used it had about the
    same meaning as "regardless" or "be that as it may". Wikipedia or
    the OED must have consulted with you (or perhaps you did a little
    research) since Wiki writes :

    > Irregardless is primarily found in North America, most notably in
    > Boston and surrounding areas, according to the Oxford English
    > Dictionary, and was first acknowledged in 1912 by the Wentworth
    > American Dialect Dictionary as originating from western Indiana.
    > Barely a decade later, the usage dispute over irregardless was such
    > that, in 1923, Literary Digest published an article entitled "Is There
    > Such a Word as Irregardless in the English Language?"[2]


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irregardless
    ASAAR, Apr 9, 2007
    #11
  12. Summer Wind Guest

    "Matalog" <> wrote in message
    news:29hSh.5232$...
    >


    >
    >
    > Irregardless,
    >
    > Amaing, this is the first time i've heard this word used and I have to
    > say, it confused me, but it seems that it is a standard North American
    > word. Boston or Indiana maybe?
    >


    From Merriam-Webster:

    usage Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th
    century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of
    usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark
    about it is that "there is no such word." There is such a word, however. It
    is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to
    time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is
    still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.
    Summer Wind, Apr 10, 2007
    #12
  13. Guest

    On Sun, 08 Apr 2007 19:11:40 -0700, Bill Funk <>
    wrote:

    >On Sun, 08 Apr 2007 21:58:20 GMT, wrote:
    >
    >>Hello
    >>
    >>I am totally new to photography. I bought a Canon 640 at a CompUSA
    >>store that is closing after being incorrectly informed that it has
    >>image stabilization. I have been been experimenting with it; that is,
    >>I'm trying to figure out the basic features.
    >>
    >>How important is it that this camera does not have image
    >>stabilization? If it's a critical feature, I'll try to return it.

    >
    >Unfortunately, if you bought it at a CompUSA that's closing, chances
    >are you can't return it, unless you got it before the stock was turned
    >over to a closeout business.
    > :-(


    Exactly the case. The merchandise now belongs to the liquidator.

    I unsuccessfully tried to exchange it for the
    Canon A710 IS, but was told that all sales are final. (There
    are signs to that effect all over the store.) In any event, the
    store had sold out of the A710 IS.

    The salesperson at CompUSA (a young woman who majored in photography
    and who recently purchased the A710 IS - but who has used the 640 and
    likes it) told me that the 640 will produce sharp images if I stick
    with the optical zoom and not push the digital zoom feature too hard.
    Is that correct?

    She also told me that a tripod would help to minimize blur.

    So, take an indoor event where the lighting is neither great nor poor
    and you want to photograph what's happening on stage, would using a
    tripod minimize some of the blur, graininess, and other problems you'd
    otherwise get by holding the camera?
    , Apr 11, 2007
    #13
  14. writes:

    >The salesperson at CompUSA (a young woman who majored in photography
    >and who recently purchased the A710 IS - but who has used the 640 and
    >likes it) told me that the 640 will produce sharp images if I stick
    >with the optical zoom and not push the digital zoom feature too hard.
    >Is that correct?


    That's a start. If you have the camera set to the largest output image
    size (large as in number of pixels), there's no point in using digital
    zoom at all. It is all "empty magnification" that adds no detail.

    >She also told me that a tripod would help to minimize blur.


    A tripod minimizes or eliminates blur due to camera movement but does
    nothing to help blur due to subject movement. (But IS would not help
    the latter either).

    >So, take an indoor event where the lighting is neither great nor poor
    >and you want to photograph what's happening on stage, would using a
    >tripod minimize some of the blur, graininess, and other problems you'd
    >otherwise get by holding the camera?


    It will help some. But if you're shooting events on stage without
    supplemental flash, you *really* ought to have a DSLR, any DSLR. The
    larger sensor on a DSLR lets you shoot at much higher ISO without noise
    becoming a problem. DSLRs also accept large-aperture zooms (expensive
    but can be rented) or large-aperture fixed focal length lenses (not so
    expensive) that collect many times the amount of light as the relatively
    slow zoom lenses found on most P&S cameras.

    Dave
    Dave Martindale, Apr 11, 2007
    #14
  15. wrote:
    > Hello
    >
    > I am totally new to photography. I bought a Canon 640 at a CompUSA
    > store that is closing after being incorrectly informed that it has
    > image stabilization. I have been been experimenting with it; that is,
    > I'm trying to figure out the basic features.
    >
    > How important is it that this camera does not have image
    > stabilization? If it's a critical feature, I'll try to return it.


    Certainly not critical; no camera had it until quite recently. And it's
    most useful with more extreme lenses (long telephoto) than the 640 gives
    you. It's annoying to be lied to, and real mechano-optical IS is a very
    good thing, but it's not a life-or-death matter.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 11, 2007
    #15
  16. wrote:

    > The salesperson at CompUSA (a young woman who majored in photography
    > and who recently purchased the A710 IS - but who has used the 640 and
    > likes it) told me that the 640 will produce sharp images if I stick
    > with the optical zoom and not push the digital zoom feature too hard.
    > Is that correct?


    You can produce excellently sharp images without IS, yes.

    I would suggest completely ignoring digital zoom. If you need to crop
    in post-processing later, then do it; it's silly to mess with that in
    the camera though.

    > She also told me that a tripod would help to minimize blur.


    Yep, a tripod holds the camera much more steadily than your hands.

    > So, take an indoor event where the lighting is neither great nor poor
    > and you want to photograph what's happening on stage, would using a
    > tripod minimize some of the blur, graininess, and other problems you'd
    > otherwise get by holding the camera?


    Blur, some -- a tripod holds the *camera* steady and thus reduces blur
    caused by camera shake, but does not help at all with blur caused by
    subject motion (and neither does IS). Graininess, not at all -- unless
    you can use a lower ISO by virtue of the tripod. But then you're
    risking blur caused by subject motion.

    And using a tripod puts you highly at risk for bad framing due to not
    being able to aim the camera freely.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 11, 2007
    #16
  17. Guest

    On Wed, 11 Apr 2007 17:26:48 -0500, David Dyer-Bennet <>
    wrote:

    > wrote:
    >> Hello
    >>
    >> I am totally new to photography. I bought a Canon 640 at a CompUSA
    >> store that is closing after being incorrectly informed that it has
    >> image stabilization. I have been been experimenting with it; that is,
    >> I'm trying to figure out the basic features.
    >>
    >> How important is it that this camera does not have image
    >> stabilization? If it's a critical feature, I'll try to return it.

    >
    >Certainly not critical; no camera had it until quite recently. And it's
    >most useful with more extreme lenses (long telephoto) than the 640 gives
    >you. It's annoying to be lied to, and real mechano-optical IS is a very
    >good thing, but it's not a life-or-death matter.



    Thanks to all who replied (while I was "computer-less")

    I searched Canon's website for accessories for the A640 and found the
    following items at
    http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=SNAModelSuppliesAct&fcategoryid=811&modelid=14109

    I would like to know what these things do -

    Wide Converter WC-DC58N

    Tele Converter TC-DC58N

    Conversion lens adapter LA-DC58F is required for Wide Converter
    WC-DC58N and Tele Converter TC-DC58N.
    (Apparently, I need this with either of the above two items)

    High-Power Flash HF-DC1
    PowerShot Flash Accessory
    (Maximum distance 23 ft./7m at ISO 100, f/2.8)
    (When would I want to have a high-power flash as distinct from what
    the A640 already has?)
    , Apr 17, 2007
    #17
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