Fixed Lens camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rob.davies73, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. rob.davies73

    rob.davies73 Guest

    The cheapest cameras I have seen are one from brands like Praktica and
    have fixed lenses. Does a fixed lens camera require you to press &
    hold the shutter button halfway down or is it a straight 'one-click
    takes photo' operation?
     
    rob.davies73, Jan 3, 2008
    #1
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  2. You will have to check to see. Most better cameras (with or without
    fixed lenses) will have a delay while they focus and/or set exposure.

    I am assuming you are looking for a new camera. I suggest that no mater
    what camera you end up buying, that you get that camera in your own hands
    and see how it feels before you buy it. Each of us has different hands and
    some cameras are just not going to feel right and it won't get better.
    Since you will have it in your hands you want to go though all the steps of
    taking a photo and I might add getting the photos out of the camera and see
    some actual results. Far better than relying on some test reports. Test
    reports are good, and they should help you, but don't rely on them only.
     
    Joseph Meehan, Jan 3, 2008
    #2
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  3. Well, there is no straight yes-or-no answer to that question.

    First of all, where did you get the idea that you would need to _hold_ the
    shutter button halfway down? Modern cameras give you the *option* to
    pre-focus and pre-meter by pushing the button down halfway, which is useful
    in certain situations. But nobody is _forcing_ you to do that. You can
    always just push down all the way immediately.

    Second way back when there used to be cameras with fixed focal length and
    fixed exposure. I guess you can still get them as cheap use-ones and
    throw-away cameras at the checkout aisle in grocery stores. Those are true
    point-and-shoot. Nothing to set, nothing to change. And they don't have a
    half-way shutter release position.
    Now, having said that, I do not know if there are any compact _digital_
    cameras, that fall into that category. Maybe those cell-phone contraptions
    and similar lowest-end bottom-quality cameras.

    jue
     
    Jürgen Exner, Jan 3, 2008
    #3
  4. rob.davies73

    rob.davies73 Guest


    The camera is for my 75yo mum. She has used those disposable film
    cameras from the grocery store and, believe it or not, has always been
    happy with the results. They do look terrible to me though. She
    likes the idea of a digital camera but it needs to be as simple as
    possible - even to the extent of not having to hold the shutter button
    halfway down to focus. As you said though I guess she could just hit
    the shutter button anyway and hope for the best. I guess that turns
    an auto-focus camera into a fixed-focus one anyhow?
     
    rob.davies73, Jan 3, 2008
    #4
  5. I am not sure whether, by fixed lens, you mean fixed focus or single
    focal length. The cheapest cameras do have both- a fixed focus single
    focal length lens. However, there are single focal length lenses (non-
    zoom) that also focus. They are a bit more expensive than the fixed
    focus lens cameras.
     
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Jan 3, 2008
    #5
  6. rob.davies73

    rob.davies73 Guest

    Hi. Sorry for confusion. I think I mean fixed-focus. The cameras I've
    looked at for her do _not_ include an optical zoom of any kind. Having
    an optical zoom would just be another complication :)
     
    rob.davies73, Jan 3, 2008
    #6
  7. rob.davies73

    Ed Mullikin Guest

    Snip,

    The camera is for my 75yo mum. She has used those disposable film
    cameras from the grocery store and, believe it or not, has always been
    happy with the results. They do look terrible to me though. She
    likes the idea of a digital camera but it needs to be as simple as
    possible - even to the extent of not having to hold the shutter button
    halfway down to focus. As you said though I guess she could just hit
    the shutter button anyway and hope for the best. I guess that turns
    an auto-focus camera into a fixed-focus one anyhow?

    My wife is 79 and very intelligent, until she gets a camera in her hands and
    her IQ drops to around 10! We were in Africa "on safari" and we had to go
    our separate ways at one point. I asked her when we got back together if
    she took any photos. "Sure I did" was the reply. There was nothing there!
    Turns out she focused the camera about 20 times but never went the rest of
    the way. SHE should have a grocery store camera. She'd be happy and so
    would I!
     
    Ed Mullikin, Jan 3, 2008
    #7
  8. Now a new issue. Most, but not all, older adults and young children do
    best with simple large controls cameras. That is the controls they need to
    use when taking a photo need to be on the large size, not the small tinny
    size that many compact cameras have. The older folk also tend to have
    problems with eye sight and you should pay special attention to the view
    finder size and ease of use. She may have a difficult time with a LCD
    display and would likely do better with an optical finder. Each person is
    different. Those are general rules and they work.

    Just as above, I suggested you get the camera in your hands. Now I
    suggest even stronger that she get the camera in her hands before you
    commit to a specific camera.

    I have been out of the business for a long time so I have little
    knowledge of the current crop of digital cameras so you may have some
    hunting to do, but I do strongly suggest that you keep my suggestions in
    mind.
     
    Joseph Meehan, Jan 3, 2008
    #8
  9. I have to add one item. Make sure she has an easy way to get the photos
    out of the camera and onto paper, or into the computer depending on HER
    preference and computer skills.
     
    Joseph Meehan, Jan 3, 2008
    #9
  10. rob.davies73

    Scott W Guest

    Auto focus does not work they way you believe it does, you don' have
    to push half way and then the rest of the way to use auto focus, you
    just push the shutter, there will be a small delay while the camera
    focuses and then takes the photo. You have the option of pushing half
    way to get the focus then when you push the rest of the way the photo
    is taken in much less time, but just pushing all the way at once does
    not mean the camera does not focus.

    75 is not that old, my mother is 80 and handles a digital camera
    fairly well.

    Scott
     
    Scott W, Jan 3, 2008
    #10
  11. rob.davies73

    Paul Furman Guest

    This question was asked in one of these groups recently & the answer was
    a children's camera. There was one model which didn't look too goofy :)
    My mom is 75 & plenty sharp but not with cameras or computers. She
    recently got a 'geriatric' cell phone with large text & minimal
    functions which she is very happy with.
     
    Paul Furman, Jan 3, 2008
    #11
  12. rob.davies73

    Paul Allen Guest

    On Thu, 3 Jan 2008 06:09:48 -0800 (PST)
    You're still confusing fixed focus with fixed focal length. A camera
    without a zoom has a fixed focal length and thus a fixed field of view.

    A fixed-focus camera has no adjustable focus mechanism. It's like an
    old box camera, or an Instamatic. Everything from about two meters
    to infinity is in focus, for some sloppy definition of focus.

    I imagine a fixed-focus digital would be a rare bird, but fixed-focal-
    length digitals would be more plentiful. The lack of zoom makes it
    easier to include an optical viewfinder rather than an EVF, which might
    suit old eyes better.

    And, do think about what happens after the shutter is pushed. My parents
    have a new computer and I bought them a nice compact Canon point-n-shoot.
    They take the camera to Walgreen's and have the entire contents of the card
    printed because they can't imagine what they would use the computer
    for. As a result, they don't use the camera much because they perceive
    viewing the results as expensive and cumbersome. The joy that I've found
    at being freed from prints is lost on them.

    Paul Allen
     
    Paul Allen, Jan 4, 2008
    #12
  13. Some of the cheapest digitals are indeed fixed focus. Combination of
    a somewhat wide FOV and a small aperture (high f/#) does allow fixed
    focus.
     
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Jan 4, 2008
    #13
  14. rob.davies73

    rob.davies73 Guest

    No, I'm sure they are fixed-focus aka focus free cameras. E.g.
    PRAKTICA DC Slim 330

    http://www.praktica-uk.com/product_info.php?products_id=185

    A LCD display would be more useful to her as she has difficulty
    framing/composing a shot using a viewfinder.
    As for printing, my mum would give the camera to me to sort out!
     
    rob.davies73, Jan 4, 2008
    #14
  15. rob.davies73

    whitely525 Guest

    Don't knock'em. To the YouTube generation they are probably very high
    quality.

    I see the only reason for a digital camera is ease of editing/
    correcting/sharing w/o printing. Bit like a word processor over a
    typewriter.
     
    whitely525, Jan 4, 2008
    #15
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