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Old Aug 20, 2006, 1:29 PM   #11
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Take a look at the Best Cameras List here to get a better idea of models deemed to be a good value within a given niche.

Then, check the review Conclusion Section (the page just before the sample photos) for models you consider.

You'll find startup time, autofocus speed and reliability, cycle times between photos, and other performance related issues discussed for most models reviewed.

Make sure to consider things like flash range and flash recycle times if shooting with a flash. Recycle times tend to increase as your range to subject increases (since the flash burst needs to be longer for increased range).

Also, keep in mind that if light is low (or your subject has low contrast) your Autofocus Speed may be much slower than the times you see in the reviews (both here and elsewhere). But, these times are good for comparing models used in similar conditions.

All camera have limitations.

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Old Aug 20, 2006, 1:40 PM   #12
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reggie_uk wrote:
Hi Guys......so let e summarise!!! From what I read, there is no compact camera which us parents could purchase to photograph our young ones?????

Sorry for the non-technical lingo, but the half pressing then waiting for kids to re-create that expression which we initially wanted to capture just doesnt work!!! All i want is a decent compactcamera where as soon as i see an expression i click and HEY PRESTO!!!

PLEASE....don't tell me there is a camera for our needs!!

I don't understand the problem. To capture a great fleeting expression you must have the camera in your hand and generally pointed toward the child. Why not have the camera in your hand pointed at the child with the shutter half depressed?

I don't think there is a camera on the market faster for a full autofocus shutter than my Z750 at 0.25 seconds at wide and 0.4 seconds at telephoto. I can tell you that isn't fast enough for a young child who is in perpetual motion. I can't use the half press technique very effectively with the Casio because it doesn't have continuous focus. I find the half press technique better even with the Casio compared to waiting for the full autofocus. But since if fixes the focus I get a lot of out of focus shots with a 2 year old. Often when I release the shutter and reset to refocus, the shot I wanted passes.

I have two larger cameras with continuous focus. Even though they aren't as quick as the Casio for full autofocus shutter lag they get much better rugrat pictures. I can half depress the shutter and just wait for the picture I want.

If you are saying that a half press approaches brain surgery then I have to agree that there isn't anything on the market in a compact you will be happy with for a 2 year old if you want every picture right. They just move too fast. Most camera manuals suggest the half depressed shutter release as the standard shooting technique. That works fine in static situations, but in dynamic situations it only works with a continuous focus mode.

I have some great rugrat photos with my Casio even though it doesn't have continuous focus. One advantage of digital is that it isn't a big deal if a photo isn't right. With over 300 shots to a charge and hundreds on a large memory card every shot doesn't have to be perfect. If you stop thinking in film terms then you can get good shots just counting on volume.

From my Casio – second birthday party.

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Old Aug 20, 2006, 2:08 PM   #13
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Another option is using a camera with manual focus or the ability to select from fixed focus points.

With most non-DSLR models, you have pretty good depth of field as long as you aren't trying to fill the frame with a smaller subject, and indoors you can usually stay on the wide end of the lens in closer quarters anyway.

I do this sometimes a little Konica Revio KD-510z I use. I simply put the focus on 2 meters and shoot away. This eliminates autofocus lag.

Depth of Field is good when I stay on the wide end of this camera's lens (actual focal length of 8mm, or a 35mm equivalent focal length of 39mm).

Setting my focus at 2 meters and staying on the widest zoom setting allows everything from 1.31 meters to 4.24 meters (a bit over 4 feet to almost 14 feet) to be acceptably sharp at my widest aperture (f/2.8 ).

Most compact digital cameras will have similar depth of field on the wide end of their lens.

To get a better idea of how depth of field works, see this online calculator. Make sure to use the actual focal length of a lens when using it (compact digital cameras have very short actual focal length lenses to get a given 35mm equivalent angle of view).


Many cameras also have an Autofocus Lock feature that allows you to keep your focus at a given setting while shooting more than one photo.

But, even when using manual focus or autofocus lock features, many cameras will still have a little bit of lag (time needed to determine correct exposure, flash burst length, white balance, etc.), although you can also preset some of these features on some camera models if the conditions are not changing any to help out with lag time.

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