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Old Oct 18, 2003, 6:07 AM   #1
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Default Sony, Nikon and Canon vs. Olympus, etc.

I seem to have found a camera that can take awesome night shots which is something I inquired about in here a little while ago; the Sony Cybershot DSC F717. Every camera so far that's piqued my interest winds up falling short for one reason or another though so I'm waiting to see what the shortcomings on this camera are (and if I can live with them or not - more research!)!

I was all geared up to go after a Nikon because I'm really impressed with the color and image quality that I've seen in Steve's "Macro and Closeup samples" but my mom has suggested getting nothing less than 5 mp if I want to print 8 x 10 photos - I'm not so sure how often I'd actually do that - but just in case...

The one Nikon that fit that with a few other criteria had numerous reviews complaining about it's inability to focus in low-light conditions so there went that idea (I live in Washington state where low light is chronic - and indoor nightshots are frequent).

Is this why I don't see more people singing praise for the Nikon's? I'm also impressed with the Sony and Canon shots here but haven't seen them recommended much either (vs. Olympus which seems to be a favorite). Any thoughts on this? I'm curious because to my eye, on this site anyway, these took the very best shots (color/sharpness).

Thanks for your input!
Becky
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 7:05 AM   #2
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There were only two things I really did not like about the F717. 1. the camera was too big for my taste. 2. It uses a proprietary battery.

I used a friend and the camera does well in low light conditions and the 5X optical zoom really helps. The picture quality was very good and you should be pleased with the camera. The F717 is an expensive camera so fewer people buy the camera. Find a camera store and hold the camera and takes some shots with it.
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 7:46 AM   #3
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You know, soon after I left this message I stumbled on a path that led me to the "sony" forum and felt pretty darn bright. There's a forum for all persuasions. This will be a good way to learn more about cameras I might be interested in.

There's some not so good stuff on the F-717 in the Sony forum. And you're right, it's a pretty darn big camera! For a great shot I don't think I'd mind. I'll have to weigh this all out as best I can. Information overload right now.



Thanks for the input.
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 11:47 AM   #4
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Having owned a Canon digital Ixus I noticed when taking bnightshots in my street (quite narrow) the light carried quite far and could be taken as a sign of snooping (instead of skyline photography)

When I looked for a new digital camera I was also impressed with the Sony F717 specs, but then I saw a picture how Sony manage low light focus; It's sort of a red grid projected at the subject. To my personal taste this looks way to intrusive and aggressive.
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 1:46 PM   #5
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Thanks for that info. That's good to know. If I were going to take a shot at (or near) night, it'd probably be somewhere out in my yard (of the sky). Sounds like the neighbors might freak out! I'll have to check that out.
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 2:11 PM   #6
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I don't think it's that bright. However if you would point it at their bedroom window they may feel uneasy (especially if that happens more often, they may not understand the innocence of dimm red light at their window)
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 11:18 PM   #7
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I'm puzzled by the comment that the holographic illuminator is 'intrusive'. As I understand it, the holographic autofocus (HAF) assist light--laser--is only on for the fracton of a second that it takes the focus servo to achieve focus lock. In addition, it can be switched off and you can rely solely on the IR night framing illuminator for framing and focus.

I don't have any direct experience with the DSC-7x7, but I am in the process of evaluating/deciding on a new camera which will likely be a DSC-828 or -717 (or something completely different) depending on how the end-of -year pricing shakes out.
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Old Oct 19, 2003, 7:11 PM   #8
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Default Maybe Mom's.... errr... not fully correct

There are times to listen to Mom, and times to ignore her . There are lots of cameras with much smaller sensor values than five megapixels that will print very nice 8 X 10 pictures.

I routinely print nice 13 X 19's taken with my Canon Pro90 (2.6 MP). Other factors include lens quality, printer, paper etc.

I don't know much about the Sony cameras, but am intriqued by their laser illuminators. Seems like a neat technology. But it has range limitations (as do others) from what I have read. If I were a smarty pants, I would suggest buying your camera from Canon or Minolta and your Walkman from Sony. But I won't. ops:

More megapixels generally mean better resolution, and hence, better ability to crop your pictures. Some manufacturers are jamming more megapixels on the same size sensors, which can lead to noise, especially at higher ASA settings.

While I love my old Pro90, it has some serious problems with speed, shutter lag and low light focusing. Sensor megapixels isn't as much of a concern to me, the way I use my camera.

I haven't seen a digital camera yet that will make me part with my cash (except maybe a digital SLR) yet. Maybe next week.
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Old Oct 19, 2003, 8:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Maybe Mom's.... errr... not fully correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildman
There are times to listen to Mom, and times to ignore her . There are lots of cameras with much smaller sensor values than five megapixels that will print very nice 8 X 10 pictures.

I routinely print nice 13 X 19's taken with my Canon Pro90 (2.6 MP). Other factors include lens quality, printer, paper etc.
I have to agree 110% with what Wilman said...in this case mother doesn't know best. I also use an older 2.1MP camera, and nothing today in that same range (over $650) makes me want to buy a new camera (except a dSLR but we're talking thousands of dollars for the one I'd like). But, at the same time we're not saying not to buy a higher MP camera...in our cases our investments still works fine for us and we're capable of printing larger prints but higher MP does give the capability to crop.
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Old Oct 19, 2003, 8:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
I routinely print nice 13 X 19's taken with my Canon Pro90 (2.6 MP).
But I thought mom knew best (or was that father?). I still have a lot to learn I was wondering why a lower pixel camera couldn't make just as nice a photo as the image it produces on a computer. It's hard to believe some of the images I've seen here in the "digicam close up's" wouldn't make beautiful printed images as well. Thanks for letting me know they can (at least yours seems to!).

Quote:
I don't think it's that bright.
Quote:
when taking bnightshots in my street (quite narrow) the light carried quite far
Is this holograph light thing like one of those laser gun type lights or just an illumination (like a flashlight)? I guess I could carry my rear down to a camera place and check it out myself - but in my ignoramous state and wanting a camera as soon as possible I'm afraid to set foot in a store just yet.

Quote:
I am in the process of evaluating/deciding on a new camera which will likely be a DSC-828 or -717
You might want to check out the "sony" forum. There seems to be enough people with brand new F717's that have inherent focusing problems to make me a little leary about getting one now. I'm not sure if they just happened to be an unlucky few (there's lemon's in everything) or if they represent an even larger number. I sure wouldn't be very happy to spend that much money for a camera and have any kind of problems with it at all.
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