Okay now I'm going NUTS! (Long msg)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Julian St.Cloud, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. Okay, Okay! It amazes me how the most basic of technology can have so
    many options. I can understand that quality and options would be a
    variable based on the price of the technology. The old, you get what
    you pay for stuff. However, it seems that with digital photography you
    get what the engineeering team designed. An example would be the Canon
    Powershot A70. It has a bunch of features for its price class.
    I'm going NUTS in that it seems what I would like to have doesn't
    exist. I have been looking at manufacturer web sites, sites that offer
    to find the camera I, "need," by features, digital photography
    magazines, and at the cameras in person at stores.
    Whoever helps me with the following will in my mind be the digital
    photography expert of the year. I do thank you in advance for reading
    this plea.

    At first I wanted to stick with traditional 35mm SLR equipment. Mine
    was destroyed when I placed my camera in the trunk of my car during a
    rainstorm to protect it. The rubber strip that seals the trunk fell
    off when I closed it and the trunk became a swimming pool for my
    I decided that I would like the freedom to shoot more shots without
    the cost prohibitive nature of that dirty word, "Processing." This got
    me to look at digital. Then I decided that it would be nice to have a
    camera that I can carry almost constantly to catch the candid moments
    that I personally appreciate. Of course, a big SLR is tough to carry
    all of the time especially if one's job is not photography.
    So, the following is what I would like to have:

    1. Digital Format
    2. Small enough to wear around my neck without giving me bad posture.
    3. Aperture Priority
    4. Shutter Priority.
    5. White balance adjustments (Manul option preferred but not
    absolutely necessary).
    6. Minumum shutter speed of 15 minutes for shooting star-fields.
    7. All weather case without buying an accessory for $250.00 more.
    8. Do they even make one that will survive a drop when off and lens is
    9. Where the wrist-strap connects it will need to be sturdy because I
    want to replace the wrist-strap with a neck-strap. I prefer metal here
    instead of plastic. I'm trying to avoid a case all together.
    10. Lens cover like Olympus or something that is workable to protect
    the lens from rubbing against my clothing or bumping an object if I
    lean forward while wearing it.
    11. At least 3.2 Megapixels.
    12. Viewing screen.
    13. Built-in flash.

    A camera like this will be perfect!

    Thank You!
    Julian St.Cloud, Dec 7, 2003
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  2. Julian St.Cloud

    dylan Guest

    Canon S50 or G5?, neither will manage request 6 (I guess you need an dSLR
    for 15 mins with Bulb setting, although some Nikons eg 5000 manage 5 mins),
    7 (seem rare these days to find included), 8? (which ones will guarantee
    that, my G1 has bounced several times but still works !).
    dylan, Dec 7, 2003
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  3. Oops! I meant 15 seconds for the shutter time. Must've been a Freudian
    kinda slip eh? <grin>.
    Anyway, I also forgot to mention a remote or cable shutter release.
    But that's it for my perfect camera I promise!
    Julian St.Cloud, Dec 7, 2003
  4. Sorry... That's the one you won't get. Only astronomical CCD cameras with
    special cooling chips (and a continuous external 12-volt power supply) will
    expose for 15 minutes. In an uncooled CCD, noise starts to take over around
    15 seconds, not minutes.

    Star fields with ordinary digital cameras are still a curiosity that
    sometimes works -- not a technique you can use reliably.

    Clear skies,

    Michael Covington -- www.covingtoninnovations.com
    Author, Astrophotography for the Amateur
    and (new) How to Use a Computerized Telescope
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 7, 2003
  5. One last thought. If you want to shoot star fields, get a fast lens (like
    Olympus's f/1.8). A tiny f/5.6 zoom won't do it.
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 7, 2003
  6. Julian St.Cloud

    Matt Guest

    Maybe Canon Powershot G5? Meets all the requirements except 7 (to an
    extent maybe?), 8 (maybe?) & 10 (does have a simple cap though). Exceeds
    a bunch of others (9 - comes with a neck strap, 11 - 5mp, 12 - fantastic
    screen with 270deg swivel).

    I bought one two weeks ago & am very happy. Only problem you might
    encouter seeing as you want to shoot starfields is lots of noise on
    anything greater than ISO 100.

    Matt, Dec 7, 2003
  7. Julian St.Cloud

    EarGuy Guest

    Seems to me like you need two cameras. For tripod-mounted star fields, you
    want an SLR (digital or film). For walk-around grab shots, you can have a
    smaller digital model. An Olympus Stylus 300 woud give you a light, sturdy
    camera that can take a few dings and splashes. It does have full manual and
    other "program modes" though not specific aperature and/or shutter priority.
    But I bet you that "sports mode" is shutter preferred and "portrait mode" is
    aperature preferred.

    Two cameras. One for grab shots, the other for more technical photographs.
    That's been my solution.
    EarGuy, Dec 7, 2003
  8. Julian St.Cloud

    Andy Hewitt Guest

    My Minolta Z1 can do those.
    Seeing you're other reply above, 15 seconds is also on the Z1. Indeed it
    can do down to 15 seconds of metered exposure, and up to 30 seconds on
    'B' setting.
    Can't do that, although there are some manufacturers of underwater gear
    that might suit.
    Hmmm, you need a Zenit E or Olympus OM-1 for that. If you're liable to
    doing that why not look for a second hand DSLR?
    The Z1 comes with a neck strap as standard, and the rings it hooks onto
    are metal.
    The Z1 has a clip on lens cap, rather like a traditional SLR. I don't
    like the sliding panels myself.
    Yes, and a hot shoe as well.
    Some might ofer poor reviews about the build quality of the Z1, but it's
    only the casing that is a bit plasticy, it performs very well indeed,
    and seems to meet most of your criteria.
    Andy Hewitt, Dec 7, 2003
  9. Julian St.Cloud

    Hans Kruse Guest

    If you really are a SLR person, then look at the Canon Digital Rebel (or
    300D) it can shoot for 15 seconds without noise and it works exactly as SLR
    since it is a DSLR.
    You can find reviews in many places. I would recommend you to look at
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/digital-rebel.shtml and
    Buy it and have fun with it, if you like to take photos.
    Hans Kruse, Dec 7, 2003
  10. Julian St.Cloud

    LauraK Guest

    Buy an Olympus 400 -- the digital version of the Stylus -- and use that for a
    while to get a feel for digital and what it can and can't do. It's nice and
    pocketable and relatively water resistant. Like the film version, a great point
    and shoot.
    Digital is very different from film in how it handles light. Getting some
    experience with it will help you make more sense of why manufacturers offer the
    options they do.
    A good camera for you -- if you don't want to go the SLR route -- would be one
    of the Olympus X0X0 -- I think it's up to 5060 now -- cameras with the 1.8
    lens. Very low noise, fastest fixed lens.

    web design, print design, photography
    LauraK, Dec 7, 2003
  11. Julian St.Cloud

    R2D2 Guest

    (LauraK) wrote in
    The Oly 5060 does not have the 1.8 lens. And the 5050, which does have it,
    is discontinued.
    R2D2, Dec 7, 2003
  12. Julian St.Cloud

    Ben Thomas Guest

    Kodak DX6490 nearly meets your requirements, except its max exposure time is 16
    seconds, I think, and I wouldn't say the case is "all weather".

    The lens doesn't have a thread, but Kodak are apparently releasing a lens
    adapter so that you can fit filters, etc.

    Ben Thomas - Software Engineer - UNICO Computer Systems
    Melbourne, Australia

    Opinions, conclusions, and other information in this message that do not
    relate to the official business of my employer, UNICO Computer Systems,
    shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by it.
    Ben Thomas, Dec 7, 2003
  13. Julian St.Cloud

    Chris Brown Guest

    You can get perfectly decent 15 minute exposures with modern DSLRs. I've
    done 45 minutes with a 10D.
    Chris Brown, Dec 8, 2003
  14. Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions.
    I guess I'll take the plunge and go try the digital realm. I won't
    make my final decision until I try out a couple of the models
    mentioned in this thread.
    Thanks again.
    Now about that new toothbrush I want to get . . . <grin>
    Julian St.Cloud, Dec 8, 2003
  15. Julian St.Cloud

    Paolo Pizzi Guest

    I've done even longer than that with my Nikon D100 on very
    faint nebulae. The secret to great results is to switch the "noise
    reduction" on and clean the picture even further in editing with
    NeatImage Pro 3.0 or similar software.
    Paolo Pizzi, Dec 9, 2003
  16. I think you want a higher-end "point and shoot" camera.

    Two models that have been well-reviewed are the Canon PowerShot G5 and Sony
    Cyber-shot DSC-V1. I'd go with the DSC-V1 because it is a bit less expensive
    than the G5, though with the caveat that you need to find a good source for
    Memory Stick Pro memory cards, which can sometimes be hard to find.
    Raymond Chuang, Dec 9, 2003
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