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Old Dec 9, 2003, 4:21 PM   #1
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Default Need help in understanding the Canon A70.

I'm planning on buying one (btw, does anyone know where to get one for less than 300 dollars in NYC?).

I need to know what exactly the ISO settings do, and for example, if I take a 480 x 600 (or something like that) resolution shot, does it mean that it'll just come out smaller, or that the quality and detail will be affected?

Also, what are the A70's different setting for better quality or lower quality, and how much does a full quality, using the camera's full potential, shot take up? (I'm guessing 1.3 o 1.4 mbs?)

Thanks for your help.
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Old Dec 10, 2003, 2:20 AM   #2
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ISO settings are used to adjust for the levels of light available. For example under brightly lit conditions you or the auto setting on the camera would use a lower number ISO setting such as 64. While under low lighting such as taking shots with candlelight , the ISO setting would perhaps be set to 400 to help capture a picture. It comes from the film world where ISO refered to the ability of the dye in the film to react to light.

Warning == like everything else there is a trade -off. The higher the ISO the grainier the picture even in the digital world.

Taking shots at 480 x 600 has no inherent advantage other than allowing you to take lots more shots on your memory card. Pics of this size/resolution cannot be printed on paper to most people's satisfaction. The largest printed image that "looks reasonable in detail" from this resolution would be about the size of a credit card. This allows no flexibility for editing, cropping etc.
Generally this size is used for Internet web sites.

You can take any size/resolution image and print it any size. Theoretically you could take a 480 x 600 shot and print it 8 inches by 10 inches. It would look awful with lots of "jaggies." The higher the resolution you allow the camera to take, the larger the size print you can make and still have the picture look "nice" and allow for later editing.

On the average, the standard mode setting for photos in the A70 results in about a 700-900 K (.7 - .9 Mb) file size. So the 16Mb card that comes with the A70 provides enough space for about 20 pics taken at the standard settings.

The next higher setting does not alter the size/resolution of the photo but affects the amount of compression that is used to save the picture on the memory card. Think of compression in these simplistic terms. The more compression that is applied means that the camera is allowing the internal software to make more guesses about the picture. A picture taken in raw mode would not have any guess work done. So no quality is lost for example when we edit that picture since no guessing is done.

During compression guessing has to take place with each editing of the photo. After lots of editing the amount of guessing taking place soon deteriorates the image to almost random noise. So basically, the less compression during picture saving the better.

Camera manufacturers make their best estimate as to the optimum amount of compression to use and allow you to do a modest amount of editing on the photo without sacrificing photo quality over several edits and still get a decent amount of shots on your memory card. Uncompressed photos takes megabytes of storage space each.

Hope this helps and isn't too confusing.
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Old Dec 10, 2003, 5:43 AM   #3
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The quality/compression mostly effects small details in the images. If you're taking portraits, you can go with lower quality/higher compression. If you're taking landscapes with tiny objects like leaves or grass, low quality will give you the "impressionism" effect - these details will be smoothed over, so you'll want to use the highest quality in this case.
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Old Dec 12, 2003, 1:20 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot guys! But one more thing, this camera just uses the "CompactFlash Card" right? It can't use the normal memory stick?
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Old Dec 12, 2003, 3:18 PM   #5
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So-called "normal" memory stick is widely and only used by Sony as i know.. Other brands uses different kinds of flash memory cards, such as Compact Flash (Canon and most Nikon), XD (Fuji), Secure digital/MultiMediaCard (MMC) (Kodak, HP)..

Compact Flash seems like having the best price/performance ratio..
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