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Old Apr 26, 2006, 1:41 PM   #1
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I've been deciding on a new camera, which will be my first real step in to digital photography. (check here if you can give any help: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=87)

The question that has come to my mind is: What do I have to be doing with my photo's for model differences to be relevant. I've seen charts based on megapixels to print size, but I'm looking for a slighly more enthusiast perspective. Of the factors most dicussed for reviews and on this forum, when do they become apparent.

eg ofthe sort of answerI'm loking for: "Brand x's pics look better than brand y, but you won't notice a difference unless you want to print them at (5x7/8x10/ 11x14) or bigger."

eg2:" Brand X's only has better photo quality if the subject isn't moving and on low iso"

eg3: "Sharpness is only detectable if viewing them at a size bigger than most monitors, but color saturation is always important"

Thanks for any help you can give to a noob

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Old Apr 26, 2006, 3:17 PM   #2
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Plus you forgot that many of those "sharp" cameras produce heavily processed photos... in fact in digital cameras sharpness-setting is about contrast of edges.

Also some cameras apply Disneyland-processing which increases colour saturation heavily, and often cranks contrast out of scale which worsens dynamic range problem.

And most importantly consider PR/ads as BS which are meant to be taken with 1kg pack of NaCl (aka salt) and 10 litre bucket of HCl. (aka Hydrogen Chloride)
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Old Apr 27, 2006, 7:36 AM   #3
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There are a couple basic aspects to your question:

1. Model differences are important with regard to what features they have. You need to decide what features are important - long zoom, high iso performance, good video capability, good burst rate, RAW capability, wide lens, anti-shake, macro etc. etc. etc. It's features that make the difference between say 4 different Nikon cameras in their digicam line or 4 different Canon A series cameras. You need to decide which features are important to you and ignore the rest. As an example, video capability is not important to me - if I were buying a digicam I could care less how well it performs in this area so for me it's not a feature I would look at in a camera. To others, it's very important.

2. When you see the 'you won't notice the difference unless you print large size photos' type of comments - typically people refer to megapixel differences - i.e. both a 3mp camera and an 8mp camera will produce a very similar 4x6 photo if no cropping was done (and if the cameras are of similar quality) - but if you print an 8x10 then the smaller resolution camera just doesn't have enough resolution to produce a good image. Let's face it, almost every camera is 4mp or higher now and many are 6mp- I've printed 8x10s with my old 4mp digicam. Unless you plan on printing a lot of 11x14s or larger I wouldn't focus too much on the megapixel issue. At this point in the game, MP is really one of the least relevent features. As an example if one model has 5mp and another 6, that difference alone is not worth the upgrade - choose the higher model only if it has other features that will help your photography.

Bottom line is no digicam is perfect. You need to determine what types of photography you want to do and buy a recommended camera that has the features that best enable you to take those types of photos. For example, if you want to do a lot of landscape shots, you want a camera that has a fairly wide angle lens. If you want to do some wildlife, a 3x zoom isn't going to fit the bill. So, buy the camera that has the features that suit YOUR needs. Typically people end up being dissatisfied with their digicam because it's feature set doesn't meet their needs. Also, an important feature is ergonomics - make sure you handle a camera before you buy it. Make sure it's comfortable for you to use.
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