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Fran Crimi
12-10-2006, 01:13 PM
What digital camera do you use and how do you like it? If you could buy another, which one would you get?

I'm looking into the Canon G7. It's a bit expensive for a point and shoot but it's practically an SLR. Looks really good. Anyone else?

Fran

eg8r
12-10-2006, 08:08 PM
I am still using my Nikon Coolpix 950. At the time it was the highest prosumer camera on the market. It is a great camera and does much more than I would even understand. There are a lot of cameras out there these days with loftier "specs" but I still don't see any reason in upgrading.

My wife is using a Kodak camera and it is great to snap a pic and then set it on the printer dock and print the picture.

eg8r

Rich R.
12-11-2006, 04:20 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> What digital camera do you use and how do you like it? If you could buy another, which one would you get?

I'm looking into the Canon G7. It's a bit expensive for a point and shoot but it's practically an SLR. Looks really good. Anyone else? <hr /></blockquote>
Fran, I wish I could help, but I don't know much about the point and shoots.
In general, I think a lot depends on what you want to use the camera for. If you want to "point and shoot", this appears to be an excellent camera and with 10 megapixels, you will get good quality prints and enlargements.
If you never want to enlarge anything and you just want a camera for general snap shots, for small prints or email, one of the lesser cameras will do.
If your needs are more specialized, you may want to look at one of the Rebel D-SLR's, where you will find the benefit of interchangeable lenses. However, you may have to learn a little more about photography, if you don't already know, to get the most out of the camera.

DickLeonard
12-11-2006, 07:33 AM
Fran from my limited work with Cameras if I was so inclined I would find a class in Photography. Todays cameras are so involved and then printing your own prints etc. My Kodak camera has 100 pages of instruction fifty more than my Dell Computer. Of course Dell had 50 more pages telling you how to contact them.

Maybe you could trade pool lessons for photography lessons that would be a win-win.####

moblsv
12-11-2006, 07:58 AM
I have an old Olympus I use for most purposes. It's slow and only 3 MP but it is light-weight and fine for most shots.

I also have an 8 MP Olympus eVolt 300 that takes my old film SLR Pentax lenses with an adapter, this is better for when I want to lug around my whole camera pack. I only have this one because it was a demo I was able to pick up really cheap.

Someday I will probably break down and pick up a Nikon and some lens but It's not like I really need it.

The technology on these point and shoot cameras are such that I wouldn't worry too much about it unless you have some special needs. This one has more than enough pixels, 6x Optical Zoom is good and you definately want the solid state SD memory. Seems like a good choice to me.

SpiderMan
12-11-2006, 12:33 PM
It really depends on your usage. The G7 is a pretty good compromise for a point-and-shoot with prosumer features. Have you handled one, is the size OK for your needs?

One thing I might note is that this camera is the newest in the Gx line, and I'd wait for a little more review and user feedback on how well the image stabilization works. If the IS is good, this combined with available 800/1600 ISO should make it a great camera for photographing pool matches without needing flash. Just be sure to pre-set your white balance under the table lights.

One thing I like very much about the G7 is that they still use an optical viewfinder, even though the zoom range is fairly large (6X). Most similar cameras go to an electronic viewfinder for zoom ranges over 4X because it's hard to synchronize the optical viewfinder with the zoom lens over a wide range. Electronic viewfinders shorten battery life.

SpiderMan

Fran Crimi
12-11-2006, 01:59 PM
How long do you think I should wait on the G7 to be able to see enough user feedback? A month, maybe?

I've done some research and it seems like I'm in the same boat as everyone else who's looking, in that all of the features I'd like can't be found in one camera.

I would really like a 3" LCD screen, which would make life much easier when I play back videos of my students to them during a lesson. That only exists in one Canon camera, the SD 630, I think, and it doesn't have the optical viewfinder or IS and the ISO range is fairly limited. I really want an optical viewfinder.

The other brand cameras with 3" LCD's either don't seem to have had as good reviews as the Canon cameras or are lacking in features.

I want a higher than 3X optical zoom if possible that can be adjusted during video shooting. The way it was with my Canon SD450, I could set the zoom prior to shooting but I couldn't adjust it during.

I'd like the camera to be able to capture stills at 1600 without the output being grainy. Otherwise, what good is having a 1600 ISO setting?

What's the difference between SD, flash memory, memory stick and multimedia cards? Which is best? I'm confused.

I haven't held the G7 in my hand yet, but if I feel it's too bulky, perhaps the SD800 IS? Is that too much of a step down?

Last but not least, I want quality, quality quality. I can't accept inferior quality still photos. If I do everything right, I expect the output to be right. I taught myself Photoshop, (no small task) but I don't want to spend my days editing inferior product.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Fran

Fran Crimi
12-11-2006, 02:14 PM
Yes, I was looking at the Rebel series. I think it's more camera than I need. Probably the G7 is more than I need, but I know I definitely wanted more manual control than with the Canon SD 450 which is what I used until my father lost it last week on a cruise ship. (No one turned it in, either. Sad.) He felt worse than I did about losing it. I was kind of glad for the opportunity to look for something else. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Fran

SpiderMan
12-11-2006, 03:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> How long do you think I should wait on the G7 to be able to see enough user feedback? A month, maybe?<hr /></blockquote>

There are several "review" web sites that have user forums. One pretty good site is "imaging-resource.com". It doesn't take very long, when a camera is introduced, before the new users start to discover any inherent problems. For example, when Canon introduced the SXXX series (S100, etc), they were plagued by low-light focusing problems. Despite having an assist light, the cameras were constantly turning in random blurry pictures in low light. I actually bought an S200 and kept it for a few weeks before returning it for that problem. Later, I noticed that a little reading on a few user forums could have saved me the trouble.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>
I've done some research and it seems like I'm in the same boat as everyone else who's looking, in that all of the features I'd like can't be found in one camera.

I would really like a 3" LCD screen, which would make life much easier when I play back videos of my students to them during a lesson. That only exists in one Canon camera, the SD 630, I think, and it doesn't have the optical viewfinder or IS and the ISO range is fairly limited. I really want an optical viewfinder.

The other brand cameras with 3" LCD's either don't seem to have had as good reviews as the Canon cameras or are lacking in features.<hr /></blockquote>

I wouldn't trade a 2" LCD with optical viewfinder for a 3" LCD without. Using the optical viewfinder to frame and take your pictures, with the LCD turned off, is a great way to extend battery life. Also, the optical viewfinder lets your eyes relax and focus at infinity, while using the LCD as a viewfinder makes you focus up close. The older I get, the harder that becomes. Finally, when I use an optical viewfinder, my hands brace on my head, steadying the camera compared to what I get with extended arms.

A 3" LCD might not be so good for pointing out things to students anyway. Why not have a TV monitor available, with the camera's supplied video cable already hooked up, so that you can "plug in" after shooting and play back on a large enough screen to point out details?
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>
I want a higher than 3X optical zoom if possible that can be adjusted during video shooting. The way it was with my Canon SD450, I could set the zoom prior to shooting but I couldn't adjust it during.<hr /></blockquote>
Video performance in a point-and-shoot is very important to me also. Zoom-while-shooting is a great feature, and reviewers don't always mention it in the details. There is no reason, other than minimizing motor noise, that this shouldn't be available on all cameras.

My Canon S1-IS has 10X zoom with full range available during movies. I even use it as a second camera at concerts, to get a dual perspective for scene fading, when videotaping my girlfriend's band. I station a regular JVC DV camcorder on a tripod, capturing the entire stage, and "roam" with the S1-IS to get clips and closeups during solos. I can honestly say that both the video and audio from the S1-IS are of equal quality to what I get from the camcorder.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>
I'd like the camera to be able to capture stills at 1600 without the output being grainy. Otherwise, what good is having a 1600 ISO setting?<hr /></blockquote>
I would be very surprised if the 1600 ISO settings didn't result in noticeable degradation. That's a lot of gain being used. I haven't read a full review on the G7 yet, so I can't comment specifically on how effective the noise reduction will be.

One thing I can say - even with image stabilization, you probably won't like many indoor pool pictures you take at shutter speeds less than 1/20 sec. This is because the stabilization only corrects "camera shake", ie motion blur due to your unsteadiness. You still have to contend with your subjects moving as you snap the picture, and with speeds under 1/20 Sec you'll see a lot of blurred images once you blow them up on your computer. My camera only goes to ISO 400, and I have to use 1/30 to 1/20 sec plus time the shot VERY carefully to catch players in a "pause".

If I could just do ISO 800, I think my life would be a dream.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>
What's the difference between SD, flash memory, memory stick and multimedia cards? Which is best? I'm confused.<hr /></blockquote>

"Flash Memory" is the generic term that covers all of the above. It's also sometimes used to refer to the small amount of on-board memory in some cameras that lets you do a few shots while the card is out.

Main types of cards you'll run into are Compact Flash, SD, Memory Stick, Multimedia (MMC), and XD. Smart Media (SM) has gone the way of the dinosaur.

Memory Stick is a Sony-only format, and I'd stay away from it for that reason. Without industry-wide support, "sales" and "deals" on memory stick media are not available to the same extent as for more popular types. Likewise, XD is confined to Olympus and Fuji, and despite Olympus cameras taking really great pictures, I'll warn folks away again because of the offbeat media.

Compact flash and SD are the media to go with. CF has been around the longest, and is the mainstay media for most higher-end digital SLRs. SD first appeared in the ultra-small pocket cameras, but is now making inroads into larger stuff as the technology matures. Up to 2-GB size, the two formats are pretty equal as far as price and availability. Above 2 GB, Compact Flash still rules. I can get either a 2-GB CF or a 2-GB SD for about $35. I can get an 8-GB CF for $140, but I'm not even sure an 8-GB SD is marketed yet. Everything else being equal, I'd pick CF unless I was looking at a pocket camera. But I wouldn't let CF vs SD sway me if the SD camera had the features I liked.

If you have a lot of other digital devices, SD cards could possibly serve double duty. For example, many MP3 players use them.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>
I haven't held the G7 in my hand yet, but if I feel it's too bulky, perhaps the SD800 IS? Is that too much of a step down?<hr /></blockquote>
I'm not familiar with the SD800, but generally the "G" series, for a more sophisticated user who understands the settings, is going to produce better pictures than the "SD" series. You also get a MUCH better built-in flash with larger cameras.

I often consider getting an additional "pocket" miniature camera as a backup, ie one that will always be with me, while continuing to use the larger camera when I'm specifically planning to do some photography.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>
Last but not least, I want quality, quality quality. I can't accept inferior quality still photos. If I do everything right, I expect the output to be right. I taught myself Photoshop, (no small task) but I don't want to spend my days editing inferior product.
Thanks in advance for the help.
Fran <hr /></blockquote>
I know what you mean, yet I do seem to spend a lot of time at the computer, working on my photos. But I get better all the time.

SpiderMan

Fran Crimi
12-11-2006, 09:14 PM
I appreciate all the good information you posted. It's been very helpful. I wish I could use a larger monitor for playback, but I don't always have access to one, and it wouldn't be practical to carry one around. I guess the 2.5 inch LCD screen will be okay. What kills me is that I know that within a year or so, 3 inches with touch screens will be the norm. But I need a camera now.

Fran

Rich R.
12-12-2006, 04:16 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> I wish I could use a larger monitor for playback, but I don't always have access to one, and it wouldn't be practical to carry one around. <hr /></blockquote>
Would it be practical for you to carry a small lap top with you, to use as a monitor?
Just a thought.

Fran Crimi
12-12-2006, 06:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> I wish I could use a larger monitor for playback, but I don't always have access to one, and it wouldn't be practical to carry one around. <hr /></blockquote>
Would it be practical for you to carry a small lap top with you, to use as a monitor?
Just a thought. <hr /></blockquote>

For groups, sure. But I wouldn't want to imagine dragging around a laptop to every private lesson.

Fran

SpiderMan
12-12-2006, 07:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> I appreciate all the good information you posted. It's been very helpful. I wish I could use a larger monitor for playback, but I don't always have access to one, and it wouldn't be practical to carry one around. I guess the 2.5 inch LCD screen will be okay. What kills me is that I know that within a year or so, 3 inches with touch screens will be the norm. But I need a camera now.
Fran <hr /></blockquote>

Check into one of those little portable DVD players. They're light and flat enough to slip into a large purse, you can pick them up for about $75, and they have about a 6" screen. What I'm not sure of is whether A/V inputs are common on these devices. If so, you're set to go.

It could also double as a player for instructional material on DVD.

SpiderMan

Rich R.
12-12-2006, 08:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> I wish I could use a larger monitor for playback, but I don't always have access to one, and it wouldn't be practical to carry one around. <hr /></blockquote>
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rich R.:</font><hr> Would it be practical for you to carry a small lap top with you, to use as a monitor?
Just a thought. <hr /></blockquote>

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>For groups, sure. But I wouldn't want to imagine dragging around a laptop to every private lesson.
<hr /></blockquote>
Although my own lap top is large and heavy, and I hate to carry it more than I have to, there are some on the market that are relatively small and light weight, like some of the Sony's. With a burner, you could not only show your student what they are doing wright and wrong, on a good viewing screen, you could give them a DVD for reference.

Eric.
12-12-2006, 12:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>
My Canon S1-IS has 10X zoom with full range available during movies. I even use it as a second camera at concerts, to get a dual perspective for scene fading, when videotaping my girlfriend's band. I station a regular JVC DV camcorder on a tripod, capturing the entire stage, and "roam" with the S1-IS to get clips and closeups during solos. I can honestly say that both the video and audio from the S1-IS are of equal quality to what I get from the camcorder.
SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

I have the S2 IS but would strongly recommend the new S3 IS. It has some improvments over the S2 and the S2 was feature rich, took great pics/movies and was d@mn near perfect (for all but the Pro).

I think I might upgrade.


Eric

SpiderMan
12-12-2006, 03:16 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Eric.:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>
My Canon S1-IS has 10X zoom with full range available during movies. I even use it as a second camera at concerts, to get a dual perspective for scene fading, when videotaping my girlfriend's band. I station a regular JVC DV camcorder on a tripod, capturing the entire stage, and "roam" with the S1-IS to get clips and closeups during solos. I can honestly say that both the video and audio from the S1-IS are of equal quality to what I get from the camcorder.
SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

I have the S2 IS but would strongly recommend the new S3 IS. It has some improvments over the S2 and the S2 was feature rich, took great pics/movies and was d@mn near perfect (for all but the Pro).

I think I might upgrade.


Eric <hr /></blockquote>

I bought the S1 right after the S2 came out, which let me take advantage of a price drop. Also, I wanted to avoid the migration to SD cards because I knew I'd be doing a lot of video, and wanted cheaper access to large-capacity CF cards. I currently carry three 2-GB and one 1-GB card to all my taping gigs, along with a couple of tripods and a regular mini-DV camcorder. I'm hoping the 8-GB cards drop to $100 soon - then I'll buy one. That will give me an hour and a half of DVD-quality video without swapping cards!

But I'll admit I was tempted by the S2's stereo sound and a few more megapixels. 3.2 MP is a little shy sometimes, because I may crop stills heavily. Size of the LCD wasn't a factor, as I seldom use it anyway, and 12X vs 10X zoom is almost unnoticeable.

I won't upgrade from the S1 in the forseeable future, it's just too near-perfect for the use I give it. But I will probably add a DSLR for better still pictures. They'll both use the same CF cards, so I'll feel good about that /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

SpiderMan

Fran Crimi
12-12-2006, 05:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Check into one of those little portable DVD players. They're light and flat enough to slip into a large purse, you can pick them up for about $75, and they have about a 6" screen. What I'm not sure of is whether A/V inputs are common on these devices. If so, you're set to go.

It could also double as a player for instructional material on DVD.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

I thought that was a great idea you had about using a DVD player as a monitor. After doing a brief search, it seems like it could get complicated. I'm seeing talk online about adaptors. And what about the file type? Does it matter if the file is an AVI type? Is there such a thing as the file type not being compatible with the DVD player? Sometimes it seems to be a never-ending learning curve with this stuff. Excuse me while I go take some Advil. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Fran

Rich R.
12-13-2006, 04:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Excuse me while I go take some Advil. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif <hr /></blockquote>
And you thought picking the right cue was difficult. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Welcome to the world of digital photography. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fran Crimi
12-13-2006, 07:14 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Welcome to the world of digital photography. <hr /></blockquote>

Oh brother...

Rich, I'll never complain about pool again.

Fran

SpiderMan
12-13-2006, 10:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Check into one of those little portable DVD players. They're light and flat enough to slip into a large purse, you can pick them up for about $75, and they have about a 6" screen. What I'm not sure of is whether A/V inputs are common on these devices. If so, you're set to go.

It could also double as a player for instructional material on DVD.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

I thought that was a great idea you had about using a DVD player as a monitor. After doing a brief search, it seems like it could get complicated. I'm seeing talk online about adaptors. And what about the file type? Does it matter if the file is an AVI type? Is there such a thing as the file type not being compatible with the DVD player? Sometimes it seems to be a never-ending learning curve with this stuff. Excuse me while I go take some Advil. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

Fran,

It won't matter, regarding the file type of your camera. The A/V inputs on playback devices (the RCA jacks for video and audio) are standard analog TV format. Likewise, all the digital cameras convert to this format before outputting the video to their "A/V out" cables. You can put the standard signal from your "A/V out" on a digital camera into the RCA jacks on a TV, a DVD player, a VCR, etc, and all will work fine. Most display devices have these RCA A/V input jacks. Anyway, if you're worried about compatiblity, just take your camera with you and plug it into the playback device in the store. It should be fine with anything that has RCA jacks for an aux input.

I'm just not certain about the little portable players, though - because they're small, they might not have all the features and flexibility. In other words, you might have to beat the bushes to find one that has the RCA jacks for an auxiliary input.

Note - "AVI" is not a format in itself. It's a very generic label applied to a "wrapper" that may contain any of several different types of content. I believe most Canon cameras, though the manuals list the video as "AVI", actually save in a format called MJPEG, or motion-JPEG, where each frame of video is stored as a 640x480 (or whatever resolution) JPG photo. It's a relatively-uncompressed format that preserves quality at the expense of file size. It also doesn't require any processing capability that the camera didn't already have for still pictures, ie there is spatial compression but no temporal compression. I get about 23 minutes of fine-quality VGA video, at 30 FPS, on a 2-GB flash card. As I noted earlier, it's about as good as what comes off my mini-DV camcorder (not a high-end model, though).

SpiderMan

Fran Crimi
12-14-2006, 01:08 PM
Okay, good. I'll continue to look into portable DVD players, then. Unless some really bad reviews come in, I think I'll go with the G7 after the holidays.

Fran

S0Noma
12-14-2006, 01:45 PM
My first camera had zero megapixels.

http://www.ozcamera.com/photo%2015/1586.jpg

Kodak Brownies were nearly idiot proof. It was a good kids camera. Mom and dad wouldn't let me use it with the flash attachment and for good reason. In those days a flash bulb could give you third degree burns.