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Old Dec 16, 2003, 5:42 PM   #1
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Default Shutter Lag

How 'bad' is the shutter lag on digital cameras compared to slr/non diggie ones? Can I still take some action shoots? I don't wnat to buy a digital camera that can't really take any action shots... As you can tell I am a new user to digi cams. I never owned one before and I'm looking into getting my first one for Christmas, hoping it will last a long time.

Since you guys are already looking at my post I might as well get some camera suggestions:
-low shutter lag (able to take some action shoots)
-zoom, let's say 5x optical zoom (or more)
-under $450 or so...
-has a manual mode
-4 or more MP

That is all I can think of as of now, suggestions are helpful... I just need some ideas to narrow down digi cam choices, and then I will go to the store to check them out.

Thank you for your help!
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Old Dec 16, 2003, 7:27 PM   #2
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IMHO, shutter lag is WAY overstated. Every camera has shutter lag, even the very best 35mm SLR. You're talking microseconds...I think you can catch action with any of the better cameras

I'll defer your camera requirement search to others.
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Old Dec 16, 2003, 10:06 PM   #3
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shutter lag can be a big problem - it depends on what you're shooting.

For things like pictures of kids in the backyard I found my Canon G2 to be very poor and it was the best one of all the cameras I looked at. I never did get good shots of my toddler on the swing set with it. I bought a Digital Rebel because I was missing to many good shots.

Some people have had more success but I do find that the shutter lag is quite a bit longer than an entry-level SLR. One trick I use is setting the camera to bracket the exposures my +- 1/3 that way I get a sequence of shots. I can then use photoshop to tweak the image back to a better exposure.
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Old Dec 16, 2003, 11:22 PM   #4
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I am a little fuzzy on the issue of manual mode on digital cameras. I get that manual mode lets you adjust the various functions making it a manual camera, but will this allow me to take some of those fast shoots when needed. I am just unsure whether to spring for the digital camera, wait until digi camera technology improves (may take awhile) , or get a good SLR camera. I like SLR because they are an all around good camera, but lack the features of a digi camera. (obviously) Anyways, thats enough of my ramblling, sorry.
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 8:16 AM   #5
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Still reasonably new to this myslef but i have found that the shutter lag isnt that big a problem for me. I have taken pics at a couple of rallys (of cars doing 60mph+) now with my very cheap camera that seems to have quite a bad shutter lag. I have got some pretty good results by prefocusing the camera and tracking the car while pressing the button when it gets to the prefocused spot. that way the half second or so shutter lag doesnt really matter that much. Think the big problem with my camera is that the shutter speed is too slow so can blurr very bad.

Im looking at upgrading to a better camera, something like a Fuji S7000 or Minolta Dimage A1 which have SLR type features but cost a fair bit less (but still not as good as a digital SLR)
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 8:34 AM   #6
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You hit the nail on the head. Prefocus and tracking can solve alot of shutter lag problems. The disadvantage of film cameras is you really do not know if you captured the shot until you developed the film. Digital cameras provide you with feedback immediately. If you missed the shot, you can shoot again. Cameras with full manual mode or digital slr cameras allow you feel and reaction of a film camera. When I received my newest camera I shot 300 to 400 shots so that I could understand the camera and get the feel of shooting with it. First thought I went through the entire manual to become familiar with the camera. You can become a better photographer if you master your equipment regardless if it is digital or film.
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 9:29 AM   #7
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I LOVE continuous and multi-shot modes. These are better on my digicam than a mediocre motor drive slr, and I can check the shots I wanted and dump the rest. But every cam offers compromises like max capture resolution/time between shots/max number of pics stored per res. option/pre or post shutter capture/ setup time for first shot in sequence.

Some cams are strange. I have a Minolta S414 which takes a lot longer to take 2 separate shots at 4Mpix, than to take 5. This is because in single shot mode they locked out further shots until the previous write cycle was complete. In muti-shot mode they remembered they'd put a 32Mb buffer in the camera and used it! VOX
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 10:41 AM   #8
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I have a G3, and I take action shots at high school basketball games all of the time. The key is to kick up the shutter speed really fast and to prefocus the camera and follow the action. Prefocussing the shot will almost eliminate shutter lag.

Holding down the shutter button half way should prefocus the shot.
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 5:41 PM   #9
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Thanks guys for your suggestions, since I never really shot a digital camera, I had no real idea on what to except.
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