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Old Jul 6, 2005, 11:10 PM   #31
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Great comments everyone! Here are some responses.

perception vs. specs:

After reflecting on TD's comment I must say that I bought my current digital camera on feel as much as specs. I liked the way the sky looked in the photos in the review on this site. And I was talking to a client who really likes the way their Nikon point and shoot does greens when they are photographing plants. It's true that specs only take you so far. I went over to pbase and looked at the E1 photos. It does nice skies as well!

improvements in useability:

I agree with Ira that cameras can get a lot easier to use. As basic resolution moves closer to "good enough" for many people then I hope the camera manufacturers will put more effort into useability. I don't have much experience with the mechanical controls so I don't have a lot of comments to add in that regard. I have a lot of computer experience and I know that there is room for tremendous improvement in what is displayed on the screen and how to navigate around to change settings.

One example is the advanced histogram setting in the Olympus C 8080WZ. I couldn't find an example of this on Steve's site so I am showing a photo at dcresource. The illustration is about halfway down the page, after the words "Record Mode" and the rightmost of the two images.


The dark areas are cross hatched in blue and the lightest areas in red. This could be real valuable for beginning as well as advanced photographers. An advanced photographer would want a way to set where the red and blue would kick in.

megapixel data:

To follow up on a comment about a theoretical 22 MP camera, it was interesting to make some scans and look them over. If somebody said my 22 MP sized scans were from a digital camera I'd say the camera was horrible! But if I scale them down to say 8 MP then the quality gets closer to digital camera quality. These are scans of 20 year old negatives from a 35 mm point and shoot camera. It's nice to have some real world experience with the megapixels vs. 35mm question.

Omniscient, omnipresent pocket point and shoot:

I've been looking for one of these as well! This company is coming at the problem from one angle. A lot of people carry around music players so why not combine that with a camera?

Note that Minox seems to be selling one of axisoft's offerings under their own name http://www.minox.com/

I am rarely without my cell phone. I am on my second cell phone camera and have been very disappointed with both of them. But one of the new 2 megapixel Sony phones looks very, very tempting.

I admit that as cameras these devices fall somewhere between laughable and barely adequate, but that could change dramatically in 3 or 4 years.

Again, thanks for all of the thoughtful replies and stimulating comments.
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Old Jul 7, 2005, 5:30 AM   #32
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I agree with BruceMcL, this has been a very interesting topic. As for the reasonI chose the Fuji S7000camera, despite all of the talk in reviews of the noisy images, there are three that stand out; first of all my wife has a Fuji 2800Zoom, great lens and magnificent images for a 2MP camera. Images from this camera rarely need any post processing, other than a touch of sharpening, especially the outdoor shots. This sold me on Fuji image processing.

Secondly, having read several reviews in British camera magazines they paint a very different picture of this camera. They noticed the noise, however they also point out that it produces better results at higher ISO than almost all of the big lens 8MP cameras and that the 12MP mode easily matches the resolution of the 8MP cameras at a significantly lower price.

Finally I own a couple of older Vivitar flash units (including an excellent 285) which would not work well with the electronics of some of these cameras, only Fuji and Kodak make cameras that I could verify would work with the higher trigger voltages of these older flash units. Since my main reason for buying a new camera was to allow me to do some weddings and events, a larger flash was a must, and new dedicated units cost hundreds of dollars while my old Vivitar was sitting there ready to use. My Cokin filters were also easy to use with this camera, even though post processing has made some of these filters unnecessary, and I already owned a couple of sets of NiMH AAs so I have batteries at hand.

As for my experiences with the camera and its images, the control layout works well and the images do show noise at 100% on screen but make great prints up to 13" X 17". The resolution allows me to crop quite a bit when doing 4" X 6" album prints and I look forward to shooting a small wedding with it in August (yes, there will still be a bag full of 35MM SLR equipment near by, just in case).

BTW, if the Kodak DX7590 had a manual focus option and used AA batteries I may have considered it since it also has an external non-dedicated flash sync and produces good images. A DSLR is not in the picture yet (pardon the pun) because I have Minolta Maxxum 35mm equipment and their only DSLR is way out of my price range right now.


(Edit): I guess all that rambling is just to point out that images must please the photographer, not the pixel peeper. A camera which produces pleasing images and has features that you need is far more important than the MP count alone. Does that mean that I would be totally happy with a 2MP camera?... of course not, I want more flexibility than that from my files, but what it does mean is that I will not buy a camera based on MP alone, that is how cameras are marketed to people who have very little photographic background because it is an easy statistic to brag about. Do I want higher resolution, of course, but not at the expense of other features which may be more important in some cases.

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