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Brian Ferguson
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since we now have a relevant forum, and since photos play such a huge role in SF posts, and since I will soon be in the market for one
.....I'll take advice on what to look for.

I have come to some basic conclusions - which may be right or wrong.


Megapixels: Up to a point, more is better, but then become overkill since you become restricted to fewer photos unless you opt for one or more large memory cards or simply use the camera at lower resolutions. I'm thinking in the area of 4 megapixels as respectable and 6 as a practical maximum?

Zoom: Obviously, optical zoom is better than digital. Most are in the 3-4X range, but some go as high as 6X optical or more. Sounds like more is better in this case?

Macro Focus: For me, considered a necessity that the camera can focus to very short distances. Many can't. Some claim macro-mode focus to as little as just a few centimeters.

Style: Personally, I hate tiny cameras. Perhaps it's because I have large hands, but I prefer larger SLR-sized units. Pocket-sized stuff is out for me.

LCD Display: For old eyes, bigger is better.


Movie mode: I would like to have this capability, and have seen varying numbers for frames-per-second and resolution. Is 30 at 640x480 a reasonable number for good quality? Is AVI a good format or is Quicktime better?

I'm currently looking at this camera.

Any comments and advice greatly appreciated! This is definitely a new area for me and the prices are not tiny!
 

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To be not very helpful, I'll say that all of your conclusions are correct as far as I know. But I don't know anything about good quality frame rates or anything...

Camera looks awesome, but why not buy a small island instead?


Mclaren
 

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Brian Ferguson
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE why not buy a small island instead?

Don't forget.... Canadian dollars are like Monopoly money.... pretty worthless!
That is also not the price I would pay, just the best local online info for it - actual price would be more like $750 CDN.

Besides... I can't build a large track on a small island!
 

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DT
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McLaren, aren't you late for the meeting down the pub with your mates? Are you trying to break soe sort of record today?


Fergy, the Fuji is a great camera.
I have a similar one and the colour is very good. Your assumptions are correct. Try it out in a shop and take along a slotcar to see how well it takes close-ups. The latest digital cameras are better than film and with the ability to do small video clips and download to your computer they surpass film SLR's.

I am doing some time-lapse photography tonight with mine. Completely controlling the camera from a laptop including the f-stop, speed and white balance. Saving the images directly onto the computer so the CF microdrive card doesn't fill up.
 

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Brian Ferguson
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Thanks, Nuro! So.... is it typical that you can control the cam from a computer or is that a special function of the particular unit you have? I'm lost on some the terms associated with these, though I'm a (generally) competent film photographer.... I'm just not sure how to identify such features on a digi cam.
 

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Fergy, if you buy that camera I don't think you'll be disappointed! I've had a Fuji FinePix S5000 for a couple of months now and you've seen what that can do at least as far as macro work is concerned.

It eats batteries though so budget for a couple of sets of rechargeables and also a larger memory card - I've got 128Meg which is good for around 100 decent quality shots.
 

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QUOTE LCD Display: For old eyes, bigger is better.
Not necessarily! On my camera you can flip the image between the panel display and the viewfinder. You really need to use the viewfinder in bright light conditions but the real bonus for my older eyes anyway is that I can focus it and see all the little indicators clearly without wearing my reading glasses!
 

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Brian Ferguson
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, JP! Yes, it seems to be one of the few in its class that doesn't use rechargeable LIon batteries. That doesn't worry me though.... I have rechargeables coming out my ears here (12 year old son and all!).
I was figuring on a card, 128mB fits the plan...


Good on the viewfinder too, 'cause I'd hate to be carting my reading glasses around with the camera just for that purpose.
 

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There's crucial differences between Nickel Metal Hydride and Nickel Cadmium batteries, which means that some can be used for some things and others can't. Unfortunatly, for the life of me, I can't remember what the differences are, except for how they are recharged. One is a kind of pulse charging, one is a kind of trickle charge... Erm, I'm gonna go and look at my battery charger instructions... back in a minute...

McLaren
 

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QUOTE this is my 58th post of the day... that's more than 887 members have in total... oops
Just checked McLaren - if your going to beat Inte's 2440 posts you need to do another 1292, no 1291, no 1290, no 1289, no...

Gah, I reckon you'll do it by about 2pm at this rate
 

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DT
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Most digital cameras eat batteries. I received 4x 1200mAh batteries with my camera 3 years ago and every year I buy a set of longer lasting ones. I use the old ones in other cameras or gadgets. I'm now on 2300mAh ones.
 

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2300mAh AA's!

Jeez, bet they ain't cheap! I usually get them at about 800 - 1000mAh... and they are pretty costly.

McLaren
 

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That's not bad... not that I need any more now!

Can't find the charger manual now... but I'm sure someone else around here will know the difference between NiCad and NiMH...

McLaren
 

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NiCad need to be completely discharged before charging or else they suffer in performance.

NiMh can be charged at any time like mobile phones can do.

NiCad's are usuall cheaper.
 

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DT
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Fergy, if you would like to see a review of the S7000, look here.


It looks bigger than it is in the CompuSmart photo.

Overall, it seems to be good value for money. Recommended.
 

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NiMh give full power until they pass out - kinda like any of us on the booze. Very important for the circuitry in the camera.

I'm a fan of the Fujifilm cameras. They have the colour sensors offset & with their software effectively have more pixels than they have physical sensors. (It's complicated. Can expain but I bore myself when I do).

I used to do a lot of 35ml stuff so I'm used to a "camera" rather than a compact. That's why I originally bought the Fuji.

Had it for 2-3 years. The stuff sold for half the price now has twicw the pixels of mine. Remember - 35 mm film is in efect around 16 Meg.

I reckon it's the same as buying a telly - buy the biggest one you can get before the price goes exponential & you'll be right. Hope this helps..
 

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Another Fuji fan here; I have had a FinePix 6900Z (I think it's the first version of the camera you are looking at Fergy) for a few years now.

I have found mine to be a great camera with only one weakness; the delay between pressing the shutter and taking the photo. Because of this I remained with 35 mm for motorsport.

I understand that the modern digi cameras have addressed that problem so don't let that put you off (but you might like to check it before purchase!).

I probably take more 35 mm but they may change when I upgrade my digi camera. Minolta are bringing out a digi slr that will take all my lenses at the end of the year so I am saving up!

Mark
 

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Just to give you my two pennies worth.

Over 18 years ago i was a freelance Pro photographer jostling outside number 10 and basically anywhere i was paid to go and snoop.

At the time it was film and with out doubt everyone used Nikon's.

I packed it all in and actually got rid of all my kit (taking pics for a job is not the same as doing it for fun). jump forward ten years and i thought of getting back into it, straight to the shops and bought all my old kit back. Big mistake! forgot just how heavy it was, took it back and upgraded to the latest and lighter Nikon SLR's. As ever they performed great and are pretty indestructible.

A few years pass and we have a couple of decent digi cameras at work, but they really needed updating.

Most of the pro's these days use the Nikon D100, which is a great camera, but expensive, this is what we were about to buy when Nikon announced the D70.

We paid about £800 for the body and a 18mm - 70mm zoom lens.

I have been using this now for about a year and can thougherly recomend it to any one. Pro or amatur. For the price of the Fuji you can get a top end 6.1 mega pixel SLR. All the old Nikon lenses work on the camera. No video facility!

Fuji do make a digi SLR which actually uses Nikon lens mounts, but my choice would always be the Nikon.

However the above is all IMHO.

One thing that is more important than the camera is the software.

To get anything like decent results (don't belive the hype - film is still better than digi for ultimate quality!) you will need to know your way around Photoshop. and get your self a good PC/Mac, screen and printer.

Sorry if this is a bit of a rant, but spending the best part of £1K it's probably worth getting as much advice as possible.

This might be of use:

http://www.nikon.co.uk/buyers_guide/

Have fun Gareth
 
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