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Digital Cameras


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  #1  
Old 02-01-2005, 05:32:17 PM
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Default Digital Cameras

I want to buy a digital camera and I have a couple of questions. If I get a kodak Easy share do I have to use their software or can I use Adobe? are the kodaks any good. I do not want to spend an arm and a leg on this so does anyone have any recomendations Thanx Joe M.
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Old 02-01-2005, 06:06:13 PM
Harry Harry is offline
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

Most digital cameras store their photos as .jpg format files. If this is so, you can work on those files with just about any software, including Adobe.

One of the pitfalls of choosing a digital camera is what kind of memory chip they use. If it is a special chip used only by one manufacturer, when you buy extra memory chips you are locked into that manufacturer. Personally, I chose cameras with the Compact Flash chip as it seems to be supported by most camera manufacturers and card readers are readily available.

One of the best web sites for comparing digital cameras is http://dpreview.com/
If you link to a seller from them, they'll make a small commission. If you want to save some bucks, check the prices at Amazon.com and I'll get a small commission. Click Here

More mega-pixels is better, but you also need a good lens and control system to take good mega-pixel photos. I started out with a Kodak 1 mega-pixel camera back in the early days when those cost $600. Now I have a canon G5 and it's doing fine. I'd like to have a Canon EOS-20D at 8 mega-pixels, but those are $1,500. And then there's the Canon EOS-1D at $8,000 and that doesn't even include the lens! Dream on.

For web work, you're going to CUT that mega-pixel photo back to 800X600 and 1/10th of a megabyte anyway, so a 3 mega-pixel camera with a GOOD lens and controls you can work with, will do a great job.

Battery life is another subject. My old Kodak STANK with batteries that would last for 10 or 20 shots. (It was the display screen that ate them up.) My Canon G5 can do a whole engine show on one battery charge and I have a spare battery besides. I always use flash, even in full daylight.

Kodak 1MP: http://www.smokstak.com/gallery/files/1/dcp00602.jpg

Canon G5: http://www.smokstak.com/gallery/files/1/img_1658a.jpg

Dang! I didn't know I was going to write a report, but it turned into one.

Keep in mind that for every GREAT photo, you'll take a couple dozen others that aren't so great. You can see some of my other "stuff" here: http://www.smokstak.com/gallery/index.php?c=2
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Old 02-01-2005, 07:04:21 PM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

I am still using a 6 year old camera i bought from AOL for 60.00
My feelings about megapixels is if you are doing editing of the photos then megapixels is great but if your just putting them on your computer to look at and for others to see the lower pixels are just fine. Make sure the camera has a flash. If your like me and take a few photos and then come home and put them on the computer right away you dont really need a storage card to hold more photos. If you go on vacation and take dozens of photos your will need the card to hold them all till you get to download them to your computer. Hope this helps
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:39:26 PM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

I bought my Traveler camera at a nearby ALDI store. It's an off brand but I really like it. 6.31mp, optical and digital zoom, takes .avi movies, has camera settings like a 35mm camera or you can run it in auto mode (like I always do)came with a 128meg SD card, USB cables, television hook up cables (to view your pics on the TV), 110vac.battery charger, 12vdc battery charger, 2 batteries, photo programs for your computer and a carrying case. Cost $250. This was recommended to me by a person at the cabin fever expo last year, he bought 3 the previous year. You can take a look at some of the pictures on my other posts on this board, they were taken with this camera. These stores ony offer these on a yearly basis, if you have a store near you you might want to check if they have any left. If you don't see any in the store ask a store employee. I have no affiliation with the store other than being a satisfied customer.

Hope this helps,
Frank
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:08:21 PM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

We bought a 3.2 mega-pixl HP camera that uses the SD cards. We have plenty of storage. We first bought a 64 MB card, then a 128 MB, and then found a 1 GB card and bought it. All the pictures that we took at our show this year was taken with this camera.

Pictures taken with our HP camera
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Old 02-01-2005, 10:25:07 PM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

The Kodaks take great pictures but the software sucks.
Look for NON proprietary stuff ie: off the shelf batteries MAINLY!!!!
Your imaging software will work with ANY image...but your storage card may not work with older hardware. You might have to buy a card reader..they aren't expensive.
Unless you plan on doing portraits, anything from 3.2 megs and up will be just fine. HERE is one BIGGY though: WILL IT SAVE IN A UNCOMPRESSED FORMAT such as a tif or tiff when you REALLY want that SUPER image?
I STILL wouldn't trade my Epson 3100Z for anything on the market yet.
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:51:28 AM
BWegher BWegher is offline
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

Also, make sure you test drive before you purchase. different models have different controls, you need controls that YOU like, so that they don't get in the way of taking photos.

Almost any digital camera today will be ok for snap shots. Megapixels don't really matter 99 percent of the time. Get one that uses AA batteries.

BTW, A larger lens will usually be better for lower light conditions.
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Old 02-02-2005, 10:26:13 AM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

I purchased a Kodak DX7630 a few months back, and I am VERY satisfied with the camera..It comes with a disc to install on your computer and a USB cable to transfer data to your program...BUT! I use another program that goes with my Estimating system because I am more familiar with that format..I print out on a Lexmark Z816 printer, so I opted NOT to purchase the printing dock...The entire package was a little under $350.00 for a 6.1 meapixel setup and a 128MB SD card....Stores about 400 photos on the lowest setting of about 1.7 megipixels.

David M.
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Old 02-02-2005, 06:45:32 PM
Rick I Rick I is offline
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

The camera to buy depends on what you will be doing *most* of the time with it... If you will be printing out 4x6" snapshots for nearly everything, or just taking pictures for email or the web, you do NOT need more than a 3 megapixel camera. (You probably wouldn't need more than about 2 MP even, but it would be tough to find a camera like that nowadays.) Larger amounts of pixels are useful in two scenarios:
1) you want to regularly make really big (foot-wide) enlargements, or
2) where you're far away, and will be digitally cropping (zooming in) later at home (like pics at a concert in an arena).

Note that you will be able to adjust the camera to set the quality of the images you are taking... e.g. on my 3.1 MP camera, that is what is used for the highest quality setting. But I have seldom used it at that quality- I just don't need it. I have it set to a medium setting, around 1.5 MP or so, and that's really just dandy for 4x6 prints (1.5MP results in around a 300KB image at the compression I've chosen). I also don't have gigantic images taking up memory card or hard drive space.

Don't be fooled by the !!MoreMegapixels!! = better... this is pure marketing hype. More pixels in an image does not necessarily make it better. You would be wiser to be sure you got a good quality lens by a well-known camera manufacturer than to just buy a higher megapixel camera.

Get a camera with some OPTICAL zoom, not (only) digital zoom. Keep in mind that the less the optical zoom, the less exotic the lens needs to be. For the same money, you can get a 3x zoom with really great lenses or a 10x with just so-so lenses.

Your computer will be able to extract pictures from the Kodak cameras without the optional dock (the camera comes with a USB cable standard).

You will likely need to install their software no matter what, because you'll need the correct driver so your PC understands what kind of device (camera) you have in order to communicate with it.

You'll want to buy a set of rechargeable NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries for it and a charger. They will FAR outlast alkalines or NICd rechargeables. Batts/charger might run $35.

I have handled and used countless Kodak dig cam models, and my best advice is to actually handle the models of interest before you buy. See how the lens is covered/protected- how well the cap stays on, and use the menu controls. Some models are very well made, some not so well. You'll be able to tell easily after handling a few.

The most common memory cards are SD card, XD card (newer than SD), SmartMedia (waning out now), CompactFlash, etc. Any one would be fine; they are are all still commonly available.
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Old 02-02-2005, 07:01:30 PM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

Thanx everybody. You have all been very helpful and I have learned a couple of things I didn't know. Thanx Harry for the links that is a great site to compare cameras from and I think it may have helped me make up my mind I knew there were a lot of choices but I must admit I am a bit overwhelmed, and by the way sorry about getting you so "Wound Up"

Joe M.
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Old 02-02-2005, 08:18:39 PM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

Just one more tip: PRINTING photos can get very expensive and even THEN they are still INK.
Fill a CD with pics you really WANT and take it to Walmart, Kmart, Wallgreens...where-ever and HAVE them printed. They come out as GENUINE contact prints and ARE, in fact, REAL photos. It'll cost you AT LEAST $50 in ink and paper to get your printer, scanner and monitor profiled so WYSIWYG......."what you see is what you get". Been there.....done that...
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:55:24 PM
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Cool Re: OT Digital Cameras

I use a Olympus C750. I have one nationaly published magazine cover (Home Shop Machinist Sept/Oct issue including a four page article) and tons of photos I've taken for various websites. It has true x10 optical zoom. With a 128mb card it holds 130 22inchx17inch (average sized) photos at full res. (@4megapixels) or 15-20 minute QT movie with audio. It comes with it's own Ni-Mh batteries with charger that last a long time. Cost is around $700 with 128MB card. There is a newer model but if it is anything like the one I have it is worth every penny.

I'm including a example of what the camera is a capable of freehand with little fuss.
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Old 02-03-2005, 10:02:14 AM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

Wow! Those are some beautiful miniatures, Forrest. Did you make the pressure gauge? If you did, my hat's off to you in awe.

Was the sediment bowl assembly part of a larger project? Is that glass or plastic?

Thanks for the pic. Interesting.

Best regards,

Orrin
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Old 02-03-2005, 10:07:10 AM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

I went for a camera that used AA batteries so you could grab some off a shelf and keep going. I use Ni-Mhi rechargebles and they have always lasted the day. Didn't want to wrap up an extra $50 for a little odd shaped rechargeble battery so I was after one with double-A batteries. Also wanted one with lots of optical zoom. I will do my digital zooming (cropping) after I get it on the computer. I also got the movie mode with sound but don't use it to often. Still pictures with sound is neat as you can take a picture and then record a sound message afterward, like taking a picture of an engine and then tell all about it. When you play it back on the computer you get the narration while you look at the picture and can hear the engine running in the background. Neat!
Anybody will tell you the one they got is the best choice because they are so overwhelmed by how much it will do. Kind of like when you bought your first microwave.
I load my card up from my computer with images from several different shooting sessions and take it to the drug store downtown. They have a do it yourself digital station that takes all kinds of cards or CDs and then they print in one hour through their regular big machine, just like Walmart, only its in my little town. It's 50 miles to nearest Walmart or Walgreens.
I spent $379, 2-1/2 years ago. I bought an upgrade this year for about same money. Could have saved some by buying on eBay (new) but wanted to handle it first. The 7-800 dollar ones would be nice but so would a Cadillac.
I look at my other hobbies and for hours of use and money spent the camera and computer are way ahead of the others.
Steve
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Old 02-03-2005, 11:13:24 AM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

Orrin

No, I didn't make those parts, Jerry Kieffer made them. If you want to see them in person he should be at NAMES (North American Model Engineering Show) At the end of April. All of those parts are working pieces. They are for an 1/8th scale 1936 D JD.

Forrest
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Old 02-03-2005, 12:02:34 PM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

Last year, I picked up a Sony P-72. It shoots up to 3.2mp along with mpg movies. Excellent...Now to find a way to compress the video to show put on the web site. I have shot 5500+ pictures in less than one year with it. It is lacking in the 3x zoom department. that is one part that I miss from my floppy drive sony... I have had good luck with the Sony AA batterys NiHM... ~$6 for 2 of them. I carry 2 spare sets with me so I don't run out of battery. The camera will eat regular batterys very fast, but that is always an option.

I shoot most pictures in 1.2mp (202 pictures on a 128mb stick) and they will make a nice 5x7 picture. Fore larger ones, I shoot at 3.2. I take the memory stick or cd to a local shop who prints pictures thatI want for ~$.24 I spent $6-12 for a roll of film in the past and never knew what the outcome would be...

When someone asks me what they should get, My first question is what are you going to use the pictures for. I do need to get another memory stick as It was harder having to go back to my display to download 200+ pictures, so I could go out and take more pictures... The nice part was that I was able to give out several cd's of 450 pictures of Gade engines that were at the show to several people who were there. It was fun to say the least...
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Old 02-03-2005, 03:23:21 PM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

I have a Kodak 4 megapixel that my wife and I bought about 2 years ago. I have been very satisfied with this camera.

It came with a dock, usb cable and power supply. for around 300 give or take a few.

I got a small tripod for it for 20 bucks and it makes photo taking so much easier at the shows. And also gives you a little bit more to hold onto since the camera is fairly small.

Mine came with a 128 SD card and held about 90 pictures at the highest quality. I never shoot at a lower quality since I rarely need to take more than 90 pictures in a day.

I have also purchased a 256 and 512 meg SD card and swap them between my camera and my wifes Dell Axim handheld.

Right now SD is the dominant form of storage for most small devices and since it is so popular is reasonably cheap.

I also have a movie mode along with many others on my Kodak. It shoots a decent video for a device that is primarily a camera. The video's are shot in quicktime format.

Software was mentioned and if you have Windows XP and plug most camera's in it sees it as a new drive under my computer. You can open the device and pull the pictures manually or let the camera and scanner wizard do it for you. Recommended as this is super easy and user friendly. I dont like installing software if windows can handle the task itself.

I will not hesitate to buy another Kodak camera and I am a die hard canon printer fan.

Len
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Old 02-04-2005, 12:48:01 AM
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

I just bought a Canon PS A95. This camera is 5 mp, and uses AA batts, common storage (compact flash) A 512 MB storage (big) card was $35.00, the camera with excellent picture quality, and a very reliable maker, as well as a great nod from consumer reports, was $326. Plugs into the computer, or place the CF card in any reader.
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:34:13 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: OT Digital Cameras

A couple of years ago, I got a Sony Mavica - the one with the 1.44M floppy. It also has a slot for a memory chip but I've never gotten one since I've got a gazillion of floppies.

It takes good enough pictures for web use and, since I never intend to print any of them, that's good enough for me.

Zoom is good enough, too, although I don't use the digital extender 'cause the pictures fall apart rapidly. You need a really big pixel count to digitally zoom without getting really grainy pictures.

I will say that I'm an old 35mm SLR guy and miss some of the tricks you could use with film but I've gotten used to the Mavica and can fake it out fairly well to get the kind of pics I like.

Anyhoo, that's my two cents worth. You can see the results from the Mavica on my website. All the pics are made with it. Some of the pics look a little jaggy because I've reduced the bit count on most so they'll load quickly. The full sized flicks look better.

Take care - Elden
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:45:07 AM
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Thumbs up Re: OT Digital Cameras

Thank You all for your advice and help and thank you Harry for the link to the preview site. After looking around on there awhile and comparing stuff and all the help I have gotten here I have decided to get a Canon Powershot A510. This camera will do all I want and more and it is still within the imposed budget, if it was up to me I would just get the most expensive one I could find with no regard to quality or my wifes feelings, or so I have been told.

Thanx All Joe M.
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