Digital camera recommendation

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Inez, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. Inez

    Inez Guest

    Hello, denizens of rec.photo.digital. I wonder if I might benefit from
    your expertise.

    I am a fairly experienced photographer, mostly using a twin lens reflex
    and black and white film. I'm looking for a digital camera. What I
    want to do with it is take snapshots and print them on one of those
    tiny little photo printers that make 4x6 inch prints exclusively. I do
    not believe I need a vast number of megapixels, video capability, or a
    long zoom lens, although I do not mind these things.

    My main concern is that I would like the camera to actually record an
    image when I push the shutter button, rather than waiting for an
    unspecified period before going off. A camera with a long shutter
    delay will make me say bad words, and I think none of us want that.
    Are there any lower priced options for such a camera? I can afford a
    digital SLR if need be, but it seems a waste to buy so much camera for
    what I'm planning on using it for.

    Thank you all in advance.
     
    Inez, Mar 24, 2006
    #1
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  2. "Inez" <> writes:

    > Hello, denizens of rec.photo.digital. I wonder if I might benefit from
    > your expertise.
    >
    > I am a fairly experienced photographer, mostly using a twin lens reflex
    > and black and white film. I'm looking for a digital camera. What I
    > want to do with it is take snapshots and print them on one of those
    > tiny little photo printers that make 4x6 inch prints exclusively. I do
    > not believe I need a vast number of megapixels, video capability, or a
    > long zoom lens, although I do not mind these things.
    >
    > My main concern is that I would like the camera to actually record an
    > image when I push the shutter button, rather than waiting for an
    > unspecified period before going off. A camera with a long shutter
    > delay will make me say bad words, and I think none of us want that.
    > Are there any lower priced options for such a camera? I can afford a
    > digital SLR if need be, but it seems a waste to buy so much camera for
    > what I'm planning on using it for.


    Any auto-focus system takes some time to operate, and there exist for
    any auto-focus system conditions that will cause it to be particularly
    slow.

    However, many of the current generation of cameras have very little
    actual "shutter lag" -- the time *after focus is complete* to take the
    picture. Essentially all cameras support the idea of pressing the
    shutter button half-way to auto-focus, and then the rest of the way to
    shoot. In that mode, it's like any manual-focus camera -- I focus,
    recompose, wait for the right moment, and shoot.

    Camera reviews on dpreview.com include a section where they measure
    autofocus time and shutter lag.

    The Fuji F10, F11, and probably the new F30 have very little shutter
    lag. The Canon A610 has rather low shutter lag. As do lots of others
    I'm sure.

    (An SLR, digital or film, has somewhere from 50-100 milliseconds
    shutter lag, after focus is complete; your TLR has one of the shortest
    possible shutter lags of course.)

    Very few of the cheap P&S have even vaguely tolerable manual focus
    (rather more have *some form* of manual focus, but be sure to use it
    on the particular camera before counting on it). Even DSLRs are
    usually iffy -- few of the focusing screens have any focus aids (you
    do often get a confirmation dot from the AF sensor).

    The rule of thumb is that for fully photo-quality prints, 300
    camera-original pixels per linear inch is plenty. A 4x6 print thus
    requires 1200x1800 pixels, or 2.2 megapixels (if the aspect ratio is
    exactly right for 4x6, of course). This rule is very conservative;
    it's very rare for even picky professionals to notice even fairly big
    transgressions (what you can get away with depends a lot on the
    subject matter of course, just as in darkroom printing).

    You shouldn't have to spend much to get something that does a very
    good job for what you want -- *if* you can get comfortable using
    auto-focus with the push-half-way, compose, push the rest of the way
    sequence.

    Good luck!
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Mar 24, 2006
    #2
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  3. Inez

    Monkee Guest

    "Inez" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hello, denizens of rec.photo.digital. I wonder if I might benefit from
    > your expertise.
    >
    > I am a fairly experienced photographer, mostly using a twin lens reflex
    > and black and white film. I'm looking for a digital camera. What I
    > want to do with it is take snapshots and print them on one of those
    > tiny little photo printers that make 4x6 inch prints exclusively. I do
    > not believe I need a vast number of megapixels, video capability, or a
    > long zoom lens, although I do not mind these things.
    >
    > My main concern is that I would like the camera to actually record an
    > image when I push the shutter button, rather than waiting for an
    > unspecified period before going off. A camera with a long shutter
    > delay will make me say bad words, and I think none of us want that.
    > Are there any lower priced options for such a camera? I can afford a
    > digital SLR if need be, but it seems a waste to buy so much camera for
    > what I'm planning on using it for.
    >
    > Thank you all in advance.


    I can second the previous posters comments on the Panasonic FZ30 as I own
    one myself, and compared to my Canon Ixus 750 camera, the Panasonic is super
    quick - you turn it on and it's ready to take a pic straight away and if you
    set it to fast focus (the only downside of the fast focus mode is the live
    viewfinder display freezes very momentarily as the camera focuses) you press
    the shutter button it focuses and takes a picture very quickly indeed.

    I'm sure SLR cams must be quicker, but unless I was trying to take pictures
    of very very fast unpredictable moving objects I don't see any time where
    the speed of the FZ30 would let me down - unlike my Ixus (which I still
    love), which is damn slow to focus and shoot!
     
    Monkee, Mar 24, 2006
    #3
  4. Monkee wrote:
    > "Inez" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Hello, denizens of rec.photo.digital. I wonder if I might benefit
    >> from your expertise.
    >>
    >> I am a fairly experienced photographer, mostly using a twin lens
    >> reflex and black and white film. I'm looking for a digital camera.
    >> What I want to do with it is take snapshots and print them on one of
    >> those tiny little photo printers that make 4x6 inch prints
    >> exclusively. I do not believe I need a vast number of megapixels,
    >> video capability, or a long zoom lens, although I do not mind these
    >> things.
    >>
    >> My main concern is that I would like the camera to actually record an
    >> image when I push the shutter button, rather than waiting for an
    >> unspecified period before going off. A camera with a long shutter
    >> delay will make me say bad words, and I think none of us want that.
    >> Are there any lower priced options for such a camera? I can afford a
    >> digital SLR if need be, but it seems a waste to buy so much camera
    >> for what I'm planning on using it for.
    >>
    >> Thank you all in advance.

    >
    > I can second the previous posters comments on the Panasonic FZ30 as I
    > own one myself, and compared to my Canon Ixus 750 camera, the
    > Panasonic is super quick - you turn it on and it's ready to take a
    > pic straight away and if you set it to fast focus (the only downside
    > of the fast focus mode is the live viewfinder display freezes very
    > momentarily as the camera focuses) you press the shutter button it
    > focuses and takes a picture very quickly indeed.
    >
    > I'm sure SLR cams must be quicker, but unless I was trying to take
    > pictures of very very fast unpredictable moving objects I don't see
    > any time where the speed of the FZ30 would let me down - unlike my
    > Ixus (which I still love), which is damn slow to focus and shoot!


    The FZ30 would be like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. He doesn't want
    to spend the rest of his life reading the manual. A 2nd hand Nikon Coolpix
    would be perfectly adequate.

    Dennis.
     
    Dennis Pogson, Mar 24, 2006
    #4
  5. Dennis Pogson wrote:
    > Monkee wrote:
    >> "Inez" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> Hello, denizens of rec.photo.digital. I wonder if I might benefit
    >>> from your expertise.
    >>>
    >>> I am a fairly experienced photographer, mostly using a twin lens
    >>> reflex and black and white film. I'm looking for a digital camera.
    >>> What I want to do with it is take snapshots and print them on one of
    >>> those tiny little photo printers that make 4x6 inch prints
    >>> exclusively. I do not believe I need a vast number of megapixels,
    >>> video capability, or a long zoom lens, although I do not mind these
    >>> things.
    >>>
    >>> My main concern is that I would like the camera to actually record
    >>> an image when I push the shutter button, rather than waiting for an
    >>> unspecified period before going off. A camera with a long shutter
    >>> delay will make me say bad words, and I think none of us want that.
    >>> Are there any lower priced options for such a camera? I can afford
    >>> a digital SLR if need be, but it seems a waste to buy so much camera
    >>> for what I'm planning on using it for.
    >>>
    >>> Thank you all in advance.

    >>
    >> I can second the previous posters comments on the Panasonic FZ30 as I
    >> own one myself, and compared to my Canon Ixus 750 camera, the
    >> Panasonic is super quick - you turn it on and it's ready to take a
    >> pic straight away and if you set it to fast focus (the only downside
    >> of the fast focus mode is the live viewfinder display freezes very
    >> momentarily as the camera focuses) you press the shutter button it
    >> focuses and takes a picture very quickly indeed.
    >>
    >> I'm sure SLR cams must be quicker, but unless I was trying to take
    >> pictures of very very fast unpredictable moving objects I don't see
    >> any time where the speed of the FZ30 would let me down - unlike my
    >> Ixus (which I still love), which is damn slow to focus and shoot!

    >
    > The FZ30 would be like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. He
    > doesn't want to spend the rest of his life reading the manual. A 2nd
    > hand Nikon Coolpix would be perfectly adequate.
    >
    > Dennis.


    Although, as he "does not mind (a long zoom lens)", a Panasonic FZ5 would
    be a light and very capable alternative. It has a fast response as well
    (minimal focus lag), and you can simply set it on "auto" and take good
    photographs straight away.

    For the OP:
    With many digital cameras, you can half-press the shutter release to
    focus, and then fully press at the instant you want to take. The shutter
    lag is much less that way.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Mar 24, 2006
    #5
  6. Inez wrote:
    > Hello, denizens of rec.photo.digital. I wonder if I might benefit
    > from your expertise.
    >
    > I am a fairly experienced photographer, mostly using a twin lens
    > reflex and black and white film. I'm looking for a digital camera.
    > What I want to do with it is take snapshots and print them on one of
    > those tiny little photo printers that make 4x6 inch prints
    > exclusively. I do not believe I need a vast number of megapixels,
    > video capability, or a long zoom lens, although I do not mind these
    > things.
    >
    > My main concern is that I would like the camera to actually record an
    > image when I push the shutter button, rather than waiting for an
    > unspecified period before going off. A camera with a long shutter
    > delay will make me say bad words, and I think none of us want that.
    > Are there any lower priced options for such a camera? I can afford a
    > digital SLR if need be, but it seems a waste to buy so much camera for
    > what I'm planning on using it for.
    >
    > Thank you all in advance.


    I'd say you have a good plan and know what you want in a camera.

    The shutter delay has finally been addressed by the manufacturers and
    the technology is working its way down from the high end models to the more
    basic models. That means you are going to want to look at the newer models.

    After you thin it down to a few models, I do suggest that you get some
    of them in your hands to feel how they fit. You should not buy shoes
    without trying them on and the same goes for cameras.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
     
    Joseph Meehan, Mar 24, 2006
    #6
  7. Inez

    m Ransley Guest

    I used an A1-kodachrome for years but am suprised at the quality I get
    with my cheap sony W5. Auto Focus can be set to a Constant Search mode
    so it is always hunting and ready, it reduced my first shot lag to near
    zero. It is a feature im sure many cameras have now since the W5 is last
    years model. My pocketed P&S is always with me so its always used unlike
    my giant A1, P&S are limited in what they do but but at proper manual
    settings and iso100 can get great results on outdoor scenes. I am
    stepping up a model but since most of what I shoot is outdoor scenes I
    have a bit of thinking to do since reviews say the w5 can do shots at
    iso 100 as well as a 20d. Of course P&S are very limited,and inferior in
    many ways, unlike better dslr cameras. But for 250-400$ who cares, have
    fun, try one, get another better one.
     
    m Ransley, Mar 24, 2006
    #7
  8. Inez

    m Ransley Guest

    Ive been looking into printers, for the price, quality, a larger full
    paper borderless 8.5x11 printer costs little or no more than a 4x6
    unit. I believe Epson- HP produce the best B&W, Canon are slightly
    colored. With my w5 I use the tube atachment for filters, a Red 25 with
    B&W setting and photoshoping Im happy with what I can acheive. Read
    reviews on equipment. Many cameras have no provisions for filters, to me
    that is a priority for sunny outdoors use.
     
    m Ransley, Mar 24, 2006
    #8
  9. On 23 Mar 2006 20:40:59 -0800, Inez <> wrote:
    > Hello, denizens of rec.photo.digital. I wonder if I might benefit from
    > your expertise.
    >
    > I am a fairly experienced photographer, mostly using a twin lens reflex
    > and black and white film. I'm looking for a digital camera. What I
    > want to do with it is take snapshots and print them on one of those
    > tiny little photo printers that make 4x6 inch prints exclusively. I do
    > not believe I need a vast number of megapixels, video capability, or a
    > long zoom lens, although I do not mind these things.
    >
    > My main concern is that I would like the camera to actually record an
    > image when I push the shutter button, rather than waiting for an
    > unspecified period before going off. A camera with a long shutter
    > delay will make me say bad words, and I think none of us want that.
    > Are there any lower priced options for such a camera? I can afford a
    > digital SLR if need be, but it seems a waste to buy so much camera for
    > what I'm planning on using it for.


    Look at the reviews on dpreview.com . One of the things they measure is
    the lag time, both the time to auto-focus and the time to take a picture
    after focus is complete.

    A couple of possibilities, all with total lag < 0.75 seconds and shutter
    lag (post auto-focus) of <0.2 seconds:

    Canon A610/A620 610 would be best for you; cheaper, and you don't need
    the extra megapixels the 620 offers.
    Fuji F10/F11 Fast autofocus, and unusually good high-ISO performance
    Panasonic FZ7 Long zoom camera, but about the fastest-focusing you
    can get without going to a DSLR

    There are a whole bunch of other models that can do this, so it really
    depends on how much money you're thinking of spending, how big of a
    camera you prefer, whether you you want the option of manual control of
    aperture/shutter speed, etc.

    -dms
     
    Daniel Silevitch, Mar 24, 2006
    #9
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