Your camera ROCKS because...........

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pcarrell

Just a guy
I'm just starting to look into buying a new digital camera (Gotta go railfanning ya know!) and I'm a bit overwhelmed. So many choices!

I thought it might be helpful if I asked you all a question or three first though.

Tell me, what kind of camera did you get?

What do you like about it?

What don't you like about it?
 
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WisconsinCentral

New Member
I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7.

I like the 12X Zoom, and night shooting turns out pretty well also. Lowest ISO is 80, and you have a bunch of manual setting packed in a Point and shoot.

I dont like the purple fringe that I get when I zoom in far and the ends of some things have a purple tint to them. I also dont like the noise, it has quite a bit (only on cloudy days and not well lit areas is it a problem). All in all, Im happy with it.

Check out my shots at wctransfer.rrpicturearchives.net, just click the newest albums and you can see what my camera produces. Good luck,

Alec
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
I have two cameras. I like my 4 mp Fuji S1 SLR because I of the control I have. It uses standard Nikon lenses, etc. etc. What I don't like is that it is broken and the chip is 5 years old. Color is good mostly but heads a little red under incadecent lights. I can adjust for ths, but haven't. I need to find a repair shop. I'll send it anywhere in the US if the guy is reasonable.

I got a Fuji S5200 SLR 5.2 mp and although the lense is fixed, I have a lot of control over depth of field (well up to f8) and shutter speed. Plus there are good control for light and white balance.

The downside is that there is no manual focus and since I photograph eyes, irises actually, for work, the auto focus is not good enough. The manual focus is electric and does not have fine control. The chip is top rate and the color is excellent. It does an excellent jog both for layout pics and photographing my wife's art. (A well as the railfanning sort of stuff.)
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Chip, I didn't know that SLR's came in the lower mp's.
The S1 is a 5 year-old camera I bought last year for $500. Current resale is around $425 for the body. At one time it was top of the line.

This pic is with the S1. 4 mp

vitamin06.gif


The S5200 SLR is early this year. The one for $225 I got was refeurbished. It goes for around $399 new. I was willing to trade mp for control. For instance you are looking at a 10 mp with f4.8 on wide angle. I can get f8 but have to settle for 5.2 mp. At resolutions I deal with--web postings, etc and slides for my wife's art entries, the resolution is plenty high. There are a lot more controls as well.

I've barely done anything with the s5200, but here is a shot with natrual light. I didn't mess with the f stop so it would have defaulted to the f2.8. Notice the very small depth of field. -

prr0003.gif


The cameras you have been looking at might make a bigger picture, but you will be looking a depth of fields like this one.
 
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pcarrell

Just a guy
Those shots look great Chip.

Being in N scale, the close-up abilities would be of interest to me.

I found a decent scec page for the canon A650 IS I was looking at. As I know virtually nothing (though I'm learning, but it's like trying to take a sip from the bottom of Niagra Falls) I was wondering if this camera would serve my purposes for close-up work? Is it f settings I'm looking at?

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/c...TechSpecsTabAct&fcategoryid=183&modelid=15658
 
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rhoward

S.L.O.&W. Trainman
Those shots look great Chip.

Being in N scale, the close-up abilities would be of interest to me.

I found a decent scec page for the canon A650 IS I was looking at. As I know virtually nothing (though I'm learning, but it's like trying to take a sip from the bottom of Niagra Falls) I was wondering if this camera would serve my purposes for close-up work? Is it f settings I'm looking at?

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/c...TechSpecsTabAct&fcategoryid=183&modelid=15658
You can get VERY close in macro mode it will focus up .39" out to 1.6'. That is very tight. Much tighter than my Digital rebel in macro mode I think. Look in the specs under Lens, focusing range and you will see what you are looking for. f stop is the settings possible for the aparture (opening) on the camera. That controls the "depth of field". A large opening (Lower f value) gives little depth of focus or field (ei: only the items at the focus point will be in focus. For some kinds of photography this is important to be able to do). A small opening (like a pin hole) gives a much larger area of depth that will be in focus. Take a look at the thread I started yesterday "Playing with the f stop" http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6505 Larger numbers mean a smaller hole. If you want to take a photo of a large part of your layout and want it all to be in focus, you need a high number f stop.

I would go to a Brick and Mortar store (Circuit City or any camera store that sells the Canon) and try it out. You want a camera that will "feel" right in your hand for those non layout type photos you will make as well. That camera you are looking at has AWESOME specs and should do practically anything you want to do with the camera. I have a couple of generations ago Digital Rebel XT (8MP) and I absolutely love it. All of the Pros around this area are using the Canon line. There are many other cameras that are equal in quality. So...... Go handle, hold, and try out several different cameras and talk with some knowledgeable pros at a good camera store. Not Mall Wart or some other big box "we sell cheap crap and don't know anything about it but it must be good 'cause we sell it" kind of place. What might be great to us might not be what you really are going to be comfortable with. (Besides, They can probably provide a more definitive answer to Mouse's question about aparture.....;) :D
 
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IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Phillip,

I sacrified the decoder budget for my entire fleet of locos in April 2004 so I could buy the Canon EOS digital rebel I have now. I knew I'd be needing to take lots of panoramic shots, so depth-of-field was extremely important to me - it's very hard to achieve that without being able to set the F-stops and exposure times yourself. And I figured if Bob Boudreau recommended it, I couldn't go wrong. Of course now it's considered stone age technology.

Most of my problems come from having zero prior experience with photography, so when I try to read the manual, I can't understand 75% of what it says. My biggest problem now is that my pics are always underexposed [as I mentioned in Ray's thread]. If I could just figure out how to override the camera's automatic exposure settings when I'm in apurture priority mode, my pix would look alot better.
 

rhoward

S.L.O.&W. Trainman
Philip, here are some examples of what I was talking about concerning the f stop. This is a photo shot in automatic mode, around f 4.5 or so:

Bandstand03w.png


Notice the bandstand is in focus. For that shot, it was what I wanted people to focus on and see. The background buildings are not in focus (blurred).

Now here is one I took Yesterday of the same area from a different point at f 29. Notice how almost the entire scene is in focus. That is what the f stop does. BTW a smaller aperture (higher # f stop) requires a longer exposure to create a good photo (that is what I was experimenting with). The trees on the far right are over 6' away from the camera while the scenery on the left front is less than 9" away.

HopewellTestf29w.png
 
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rhoward

S.L.O.&W. Trainman
Phillip,

Most of my problems come from having zero prior experience with photography, so when I try to read the manual, I can't understand 75% of what it says. My biggest problem now is that my pics are always underexposed [as I mentioned in Ray's thread]. If I could just figure out how to override the camera's automatic exposure settings when I'm in apurture priority mode, my pix would look alot better.
Ken, get out your manual guy.....;) :D Try setting the f stop and then switch to full manual mode. On mine the f stop stays where it was set. Then you can get a reading from the light meter and set the exposure. Hmmm, its getting late.... I'l check on that and get back here tomorrow.....
 
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SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Ken, Ray, there should also be a program mode where you can select either shutter speed or f stop and the other will be calculated.

Ray,

The best photographer around here uses Fuji. I bought mine from him. But in reality, I made a trade and did not have to come up with cash so it was the best deal in town. Taken with an older camera.

camera01.gif
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Phillip,

Go look at Ray's first shot of the gazebo. Notice how only the gazebo is in focus. That is the best the cameras you have been looking at will do.

Now look at the second picture of the town. Notice how everything seems to be in focus. That is what the higher f-stop numbers will do.

I sacrificed megapixels to gain higher f-stops and I only get about twice what the cameras you are looking at will do at f8. My S1 will go up to f32. But it is only 4 mp. Still, for web publishing and taking extreme close-ups of the eyes, it will do what the fixed lens cameras won't--which is why I need to find a camera shop. All the ones around here are gone.

The picture of the rider was taken with the lens at 128mm and a 4x close-up ring. Basically that means that the focal length of the camera was shortenend to about 3-4".
 
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IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Phillip, I have to agree with Chip - go for a camera with the highest F-stop numbers possible. It's the only way to get good depth-of-field.

Ray, I'll bring my manual with me and re-read it during my daughter's soccer practice tomorrow. Promise.
 

kjd

Go make something!
I recently got a Samsung S850. It has two macro modes for focusing to 1cm. It has manual focus, Aperature and shutter priority as well as 5x optical zoom and 8.1Mp. I had been considering a Canon or Nikon SLR but this one was on sale for $95 so I thought I'd give it a try. For now it is good but I'd still like to get an SLR someday.

I really like the macro. I make models and props and occasionally need photos of little things that have already gone out on set and it works great for that. The 3 most recent photos I posted to the gallery are from this camera and used the macro function with aperature priority.

It falls down in low light high speed stuff. I was trying to take photos of the Blue Angels on a cloudy/rainy day and didn't get any good shots. I have also missed several shots because of the shutter delay and ended up with the middle of the hood centered between the trees instead of the cab, for example.





 
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pcarrell

Just a guy
I think I'm starting to catch on.

Ray, I didn't know about that thread. I'm going to have to check that out. Thanks!

Chip, I saw thast thread last night on the other site but it was late and my brain was mush. I made a mental note to check it out.

Paul, those pics look great! I noticed on the second one that the back of the first unit and all of the second unit ae out of focus slightly. It works for that pic, but lets say I was taking that pic and didn't want that. If I undrstand correctly, I'd want to raise the f-stop number on the camera and that would go away, riht? The shuttr would be open longer, but the pic (assuming the camera was held still) would be clearer deeper into the shot.



Man! I've got a lot of reading to do!
 

Joe Daddy

C & SF, my obsession
Coveting is one of the short list 10 sins, but I COVET my brother and my son's Canon XTI

If the camera does not have a Macro switch/button, keep looking. . .

MY 2 cents worth nothing more

JOe
 

pcarrell

Just a guy
OK, so for example.....

The Canon A650 IS that I was looking at has manual macro adjustments from "0.39 in.-1.6 ft./1-50cm (W)". From what Ray was saying, thats pretty good, and from what I'm hearing from the rest of you, that would be a good thing, right? The .39 setting would allow me to be very close, correct. And it looks like it's a measurement the way they wrote it. Does that mean I can be .39 inches away from the subject and still be in focus?

I better quit asking questions and go start reading! I'm going to wear you guys out!
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
.39 inches seems unreasonable. Besides all the measurements given on the specs are metric.

MY guess is that in normal mode you will have a minimum focal range of somewhere between 12 and 18 inches. I'm just guessing because it is not listed. When you switch to macro mode, whatever that minimum was will be reduced by a factor of .39. So if it was 10 inches to start, it will now be 3.9 inches. This is a guess.
 




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