Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 27, 2003, 2:21 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 14
Default Seeking simple digital camera

I am looking for a fairly simple camera in the 5 to 6 megapixel range without all the whistles and bells that seem to come with the different cameras. For instance, I don't need video or sound in a digital camera. All I want really is high resolution. I can do without manual settings.
The end result I am looking for is a camera that will give me a good 20x24 finished print for gallery display. A print that will be done by a professional lab. Is there such an animal? And one that won't cost an arm and a leg.
Am I asking for too much? Any ideas would be appreciated.
George



Nothing is impossible when you can get someone else to do it.
GeorgeF73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 27, 2003, 3:12 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 394
Default ?

Let us know what you end up with?
normc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2003, 5:32 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 205
Default

If you specify your specific subject matter and the conditions/lighting under which you aquire it, this would be of tremendous help, as then I could start to list cameras that fit the criteria. Be as specific as possible. ALso, state your price range.

-Chris
WmAx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2003, 6:12 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 14
Default

Let's see if this will help. There are two types of photography I will be doing with this camera. First part is shooting archaeological sites outside. That is, ruins. The other would be shooting archaeological artifacts in a studio setting. Close ups. Objects will be from size of a dime to as large as 1 cubic foot. The pick of all these shots will be blown up to 20x24, framed and displayed in a gallery setting.
Probably some portrait work will be done too using photoflash in studio setting. Studio is not permanent but a temporary set up and later taken down.

A tripod can and will probably be used for most of the work. Very little candid work. No sports type activity.
GeorgeF73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2003, 6:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 205
Default

Please specify budget range/limits.

Also, do you already have a lens system investment?(Nikon F, Canon EOS, etc.)?

-Chris
WmAx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2003, 6:44 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 14
Default

Let's put the price range between $500 and $800 dollars. I don't have many lenses other than some old Pentax screw in type that I probably could use. I will be taking an old SLR 35mm camera along as backup that uses these lenses.
I would rather have a camera with a fixed lens as I will be using it under a very tough enviornment. I will be in the Arabian desert where sand and dust blowing all the time is normal.
I don't want to be changing lenses in a digital camera in the field.

I looked at the istD Pentax camera but did not see where the price justified an extra megapixel. I noticed quite a jump from 5 megs to 6 megs when you move into the SLR cameras. The Pentax interested me at first because I had some lenese Icould use but scratched it because of the cost. Not spending my money but the funds are coming from a Foundation which is on a tight budget.

I have already been out there several times and have chronicled in my book. www.lulu.com/farrier.

You folks are most helpful. Making the transition from film to digital is something else again. Decision, decidions, decisions. Especially hard for this old geezer who finds it hard to make the decision to get out of bed in the morning.
GeorgeF73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2003, 7:27 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 205
Default

Ok, thank you for teh data. This is still not much informatino to work with, but I will highlite some possibilities, and only address image quality factors since other features are not important, according to your reply.

(1) Resolution - Any of the top rated 5MP or better prosumer class camras will give adequate resolution IF proper post processing(including noise reduction software) is performed on the images. The key is in the post processing.

(2) Grain/Noise - This is a real problem with consumer digicams, because the sensor size is very small, typically just a few mm in any dimension, with millions of thermally reactive sensors on a chip that heats due to it's requirement ot charge/dischage electical currents. This leads to high levels of thermal based noise. At lowest ISO setttings, the cameras are typically very acceptable.... but at highe ISO settings, the grain can be serious. However, this is a problem that is managable if you post process the images with noise pattern software, such as Neat Image, using carefully produced custom profiles for the device in quetion. ( www.neatimage.com ). THe digital SLR cameras, with APS sized sensors, have much lower thermal noise, not requiring post process with noise reduction software such as neat image, at least when they are used at low to mild ISO settings.(up to iso 400).

Environmental Sealing - Forget it. None of the cameras in this class have it. If this is important, you can purchase a diving encasement flor the camera. Professional grade ujnits cusotmized for the specific cameras will run around $400-$800, just for the case.

Lens Distortions/Fringing/CA - At the high resolution, all of the cmaeas have finring/ca problems due to the tiny size of the sensors, and stray off axis light split by the lens striking them at different angles. ALso, with thiese small sensors, when they are overloaded(blowouts, clip), some charge may spill over to neighboring sensors, cuasing a more serious fringing problem. However, it is not a real problem unless you have blowouts in the imags; be careful to underexpose(blowouts/against dark areas is wher this is worst), then adjust curves later in software to push the image up a stop or two. ALl of the zoom lenses are gong to have signficant barrel and/or pincushion distortion. What do you expect from a 4x or greater zoom ratio do-it-all lens? However, their is an excellent freeware program called PT Lens that will automaticly correct the distortinos for most cameras on the marekt. Simply run the image through the software, and it looks at the EXIF data, and accesses a predetermined library for the lens data on that camera, and correct it. ( http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/index.html ).

Viewfinder: Most cameras in this class have eletronic viwefinders, not optical. I personally like them, because i can choose preview mode and see what the exposure looks like before i choose to save it. However, some people, especially film veterans, may not like these. But realize that the EVF are TTL, the optical units on these cameras(except on Olympus E-10, E-20) are not TTL, but parallax, like on film P&S cameras.

Camera Suggestions in your price range:

Sony F717 - EVF, 5x zoom, 5MP(warning, uses only Sony memory stick media)

Fuji S7000 - EVF, 6x zoom, 6MP - lowest noise at high ISO settings(ISO400) - widest tonal/dynamic range(assuming proper exposures cmopared to proper expsoure form other cameras, more subtle/precision gradients-less pop)

Minolta A1 - EVF, 6x zoom, 5MP

Olympus C5060 - optical veiwfinder, 4x zoom, 5MP

Canon G5 - Optical viewfinder, 4x zoom, 5MP - lowest noise at low ISO settings(ISO50)

Nikon 5700 - EVF, 8x zoom, 5MP

If you care to narrow down any more issues, then perhaps I can be of more use. However, the above is a list of the best featured prosumers that fit within your price range.

-Chris
WmAx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2003, 7:51 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 14
Default

Chris: You have been most helpful. Thank you very much. You have pretty well narrowed it down. I have Photoshop 7 and am pretty good at it so post production work on photos does not scare me. I would rather do it there than in the camera.

Thanks also for the site tips. I did not know these were available.
George
GeorgeF73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2003, 7:58 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 205
Default

Glad that I could be of some limited use. Please let me know which camera(s) you favor; just my curiousity. :-)

-Chris
WmAx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2003, 8:07 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 14
Default

I'll be happy to do that Chris. Thanks again for your input.
George
GeorgeF73 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:12 AM.