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Looking for a good, yet inexpensive digital camera

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wprager


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shabbs wrote:I have ordered from B&H before but I don't recall if there was additional charges (ie: brokerage fees) involved. It was a while ago and it was for some hoods and step-up rings.

They use Purolator and not UPS. I'm still not 100% certain by I googled and it appears all the taxes/fees are paid up-front. FingersCrossed

wprager


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Camera is "On vehicle for delivery" -- should get it some time today. Although my wife said just before she left to go to the bank (I had left a couple minutes earlier) that Purolator came -- or maybe they called. I can't find the package in the house and she won't be home for a while longer.

wprager


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Facepalm What did I get myself into? I might have to read DP for Dummies, or take a course. The camera comes with a full manual on CD -- maybe it has a tutorial. By all accounts this is one camera that you definitely don't want to leave on iAF (intelligent auto-focus) and there are a lot of options.

shabbs

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wprager wrote: Facepalm What did I get myself into? I might have to read DP for Dummies, or take a course. The camera comes with a full manual on CD -- maybe it has a tutorial. By all accounts this is one camera that you definitely don't want to leave on iAF (intelligent auto-focus) and there are a lot of options.
And you wanted a DSLR...

Wink

As for focus, I always shoot with center AF point only.

wprager

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My goof -- it's actually not iAF but iAM: intelligent Auto Mode. Basically it's the point-and-click mode where it figures what is the best mode (portrait, scenery, sports, etc.) and then adjusts the rest of the settings.

There is a 40 page basic manual -- scanned through about half of it but only read half of *that* with any level of comprehension; there is also a 180-page "advanced features" manual (available on CD or online) that I have not touched yet.

The camera has lots of burst-mode options. You can do 2 or 5 fps for up to 100 images at full resolution (14 MP), and set auto-focus on continuous if you want. You can burst at 11 fps for up to 15 full-res images. You can also burst at 40 fps (50 images) or 60 fps (60 images) at reduced resolution (up to 3.5 MP depending on aspect ratio). The 40/60 bursts use an electronic shutter.

Man, this is going to take a while to get to know.


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Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

shabbs

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Yeah, all cameras will have some sort of "auto" mode... on Canon's it's the "green box" that picks all the settings for you. It's ok to start out like that, looking at the settings it's picking for you and then when you want to step up to the next level, you can switch to one of the program modes and start controlling the settings.

You'll want to get an EXIF reader to read the data from your pics. I use this one:

http://www.takenet.or.jp/~ryuuji/minisoft/exifread/english/

Enjoy!

wprager

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The main issue with this camera is that using the auto settings you lose detail because of the noise reduction; the recommended setting is to set NR to -2 (lowest setting) and perhaps turn up sharpness +1 or +2. But I can't adjust those settings while in iA mode.

As for "reading" the settings, am I getting all of them displayed in-camera if I hit the Display button? This is what it shows me now (picture taken in Program AE mode):

F3.6
1/60
ISO400

There's also other info displayed -- like the Film Mode (there are a bunch of pre-set film modes I can select in P (Program) mode, plus in each of the film modes I can adjust contrast, saturation, noise reduction and sharpness).

Anyhow, the aperture, exposure and sensitivity are there -- anything else I should be getting?


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Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

shabbs

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Those are the key ones to keep mind of for now.

wprager

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A new thread on dpreview, the guy got his FZ100 Christmas Eve, played with the settings as described (NR-2, S+1), and was about ready to return the camera when he figured, what the heck, let's try changing those settings. And he says he got better pictures by putting NR at 0 or even +1/2, depending on sensitivity. Now he's decided to keep the camera.

So what makes his experience different? Mine arrived a week after his, and when I checked the firmware version, it was already running the latest (released end of November). So I wonder if the firmware update made it unnecessary to turn NR down?

Tomorrow the kids are back in school and I still have the day off (weird, since it's an official stat-holiday); maybe I'll grab the camera and go do a little "hunting".


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Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

shabbs

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What does he mean by getting "better" pictures? Did he put up samples of before and after? Were they sharper? More accurately exposed? Did they have more "colour" etc...?

You can play with the settings for a while until you find what works for you. Some people like a little over saturation (I do), some like to crank the in-camera sharpening and some to do all in post.

I don't think Canon's have this in-camera NR setting... my 30D has a custom setting that can trigger auto noise reduction on long exposures. I have not made use of this function.

Better is always subjective.

wprager

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Unfortunately he has not uploaded his pictures yet.

No matter. One thing I really cannot argue about with this camera -- it is *sooo* much faster than mine. And I'm not even talking about burst mode (although I played around with it a bit).

Anyhow, I've now gone through the 40-odd page booklet (the Quick Start Guide) and kinda, sorta understand most of it. The Advanced Features guide is more comprehensive and is around 180 pages long. It'll take a little bit longer to digest. I've got a wedding to attend next weekend. Crunch time Smile

Too bad I've got to get back to work on Tuesday Sad


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Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

Number Twenty Nine

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shabbs wrote:What does he mean by getting "better" pictures? Did he put up samples of before and after? Were they sharper? More accurately exposed? Did they have more "colour" etc...?

You can play with the settings for a while until you find what works for you. Some people like a little over saturation (I do), some like to crank the in-camera sharpening and some to do all in post.

I don't think Canon's have this in-camera NR setting... my 30D has a custom setting that can trigger auto noise reduction on long exposures. I have not made use of this function.

Better is always subjective.

most cameras these days will have a noise filter setting of some sort. (off, low, high). The NR you are talking about is dark frame subtraction for when you use long exposures - typically more than 2 minutes.

a small sensor camera like the Panny will have hardware noise filter that you can't turn off plus a user selectable value. The user selectable value is for high iso jpgs.

my T2i has both settings in the C settings menu.

shabbs

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Number Twenty Nine wrote:most cameras these days will have a noise filter setting of some sort. (off, low, high). The NR you are talking about is dark frame subtraction for when you use long exposures - typically more than 2 minutes.

a small sensor camera like the Panny will have hardware noise filter that you can't turn off plus a user selectable value. The user selectable value is for high iso jpgs.

my T2i has both settings in the C settings menu.
Ah, cool. Yeah, I've never done any super long exposures so was not too familiar with that setting. As for noise, I've been very impressed with my 30D's handling of noise even at ISO 1600. I've tried shooting at 3200 in low light just for fun but the results were not that great.

wprager

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Hey, somewhat unrelated, but has anyone ever used (or even seen) a LED camera light? Not a flash, necessarily -- this rechargeable unit can provide up to 60 minutes of light:

http://www.amazon.com/Ultra-Bright-Rechargable-Camera-Light-Panasonic/dp/B0045DGIWM/ref=sr_1_17?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1294086112&sr=1-17

I was thinking of getting a flash unit, eventually, and I'm just wondering if this is something to consider. Is it for video only?


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Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

Number Twenty Nine

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the problem with LED for photography is the blue cast it puts on everything. for lighting you can't beat the power of a strobe

Number Twenty Nine

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shabbs wrote:
Number Twenty Nine wrote:most cameras these days will have a noise filter setting of some sort. (off, low, high). The NR you are talking about is dark frame subtraction for when you use long exposures - typically more than 2 minutes.

a small sensor camera like the Panny will have hardware noise filter that you can't turn off plus a user selectable value. The user selectable value is for high iso jpgs.

my T2i has both settings in the C settings menu.
Ah, cool. Yeah, I've never done any super long exposures so was not too familiar with that setting. As for noise, I've been very impressed with my 30D's handling of noise even at ISO 1600. I've tried shooting at 3200 in low light just for fun but the results were not that great.

here's a long exposure I took this morning with the T2i and a ND1000 filter - 50 seconds

wprager

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Nice, how did you get the water to look smooth with 50 seconds of flow?

That reminds me, I better start looking for a tripod -- is 57" enough or should I go for something bigger? Amazon has a 72" for $17 (down from $50):
http://www.amazon.com/Carrying-Panasonic-DMC-TS2-DMC-ZS7-Protectors/dp/B004HMJQEI/ref=sr_1_152?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1294086858&sr=1-152

And should I also get a monopod (for a bit more flexibility)?


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Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

shabbs

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You'll want to make sure your tripod is solid and sturdy and I'd recommend a quick release head. That's a crazy low price... didn't see any reviews there for it though so hard to tell. Monopod's are great for when you're mobile and moving around. I use a monopod with my camcorder all the time. Saves your arms from strain and helps get a smoother picture.

What I use: Manfrotto 676B Digi Monopod; Manfrotto 728B Digi Tripod; Manfrotto 234RC Quick Release Head.

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