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Old Jul 29, 2004, 4:26 AM   #1
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I posted a similar topic in a Manufacturer-specific forum and got no response, so I'll generalise. I am looking for a general purpose camera. I'm not pro, and don't yet know anything real about photography. I did once own a Canon EOS 300N 35mm SLR, but nere used it except on Auto. I am now looking for a second digital camera to replace my Minolta Dimage E323, which will allow me to experiment a bit more. I am interested in the following tasks:

- Amateur outdoor sports shots

- Night shots

- Blurred water shots

- Architectural shots

- Landscape Panoramas

With this in mind, what manual controls do I really need? I am considering the IXUS 430/500 (S410/S500) from Canon but it only provides Shutter and ISO control. Or should I really get the A80 despite its bulk, which makes me think I'd just end up not taking it everywhere. I'd love the S60, but just can't afford it (it's $570 here in Rip-Off Britain). I don't think I want to make it a serious pastime, but it would be nice to get a bit creative.

Any help is greatly appreciated.



Thanks.
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Old Jul 29, 2004, 4:43 AM   #2
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Shutter and apeture are what you need.
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Old Jul 29, 2004, 4:51 AM   #3
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Hi as well as apeture and shutter modes as Rob suggested A full manual mode is occasionally handy as camera will always try to take well exposed photos .If youwish to get a bit more adventurous manual or at least exposure compensation is good .On a few cameras very long sutter speeds are only availible in manual .

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Old Jul 29, 2004, 5:48 AM   #4
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So basically it's either the A80 or the S60, right. As far as I have gathered, the S500 only has long-shutter, white-balance and ISO. Oh if only I could get the S60 for ~$430 like in the states.
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Old Jul 29, 2004, 6:05 AM   #5
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Saracen wrote:
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So basically it's either the A80 or the S60, right. As far as I have gathered, the S500 only has long-shutter, white-balance and ISO. Oh if only I could get the S60 for ~$430 like in the states.
Thing is some stuff you want to do needs some manual control of either apeture and sutter or both.

Anything auto is going to select the best fit general settings for that picture which may not be near what you want.

- Amateur outdoor sports shots * generaly needs very quick shutter speeds to catch action, so therefore big apature and smaller depth of field. basica camera auto may get it right but probably not.

- Night shots * needs long exposure/higher iso , auto may get it right more often than not to a certain point.

- Blurred water shots * auto wont get this right. You need a longer shutter speed than auto will set (and a smaller apeture.

- Architectural shots * depends on the shot.

- Landscape Panoramas * Auto will probably do this ok, needs decent dof but most cameras can cope with landscapes on auto.

Auto is great for 90% of shots in most cameras. Its when you want something out of the ordinary that you need to controll apeture and/or shutter speed.

Also depends on the range of auto modes.
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Old Jul 29, 2004, 8:21 AM   #6
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OK, what I am specifically wondering now is re: the S500.

I can set the ISO, so that should help with sports. It also has a long shutter mode, from 1.3s to 15s, so It should manage the night and waterfall shots in some way.

But what I'm wondering is does the ability to set the aperture really make much difference to these shots?
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Old Jul 29, 2004, 8:47 AM   #7
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Saracen wrote:
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OK, what I am specifically wondering now is re: the S500.

I can set the ISO, so that should help with sports. It also has a long shutter mode, from 1.3s to 15s, so It should manage the night and waterfall shots in some way.

But what I'm wondering is does the ability to set the aperture really make much difference to these shots?
Setting the ISO is not that good for sports. You will get a choice of 2 or three settings and then the camera is going to have a curve it works on. It is not going to fire at the fastest speed (unless the sun is really bright). Instead it is going to fire on a curve and for most of these cameras that means shoot at the widest lens first (for maximum DOF) and then pick a speed.

You can fake aperture priority if you have shutter priority. And you can fake shutter with aperture. Full manual is where the creativity really takes off.

Take a look at the Finecam S5 or Pentax Optio 555. They are both small cameras with manual settings. I'm sure others will have suggestions.

The S500 is a nice camera but if you have any inclination of going advanced it is the wrong tool for the job.
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Old Jul 29, 2004, 10:12 AM   #8
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Saracen wrote:
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what manual controls do I really need?
As well as the controlsalready mentioned, you might consider....

an easy-to-set manual focus facility, preferably with a scale (possibly on-screen) so youcan estimate the focus distance in poor lighting conditions;

exposure bracketing isn't really a manual facility, but you might well find it useful, because the 'correct' exposure for many ofyour categories of work is going to be debatable.
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Old Jul 29, 2004, 11:11 AM   #9
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In addition to what the others have already mentioned, for your blurred water shots, you'll need a camera that lets you stop down the aperture more than most consumer models will allow. Otherwise, your photos will be overexposed in daylight conditions (even if the model allows slower shutter speeds).

So, you'll want a model that allows you to use a Neutral Density Filter (which reduces the amount of light hitting the cameras lens and sensor). This rules out models that don't allow you to use external filters. Athough, some models (like the Canon G3 and G5) have neutral density filters built into the camera for this purpose).


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Old Jul 29, 2004, 11:37 AM   #10
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So now I wonder, will the S410/S500's long shutter mode be adequate? I am presuming that in long-shutter mode it will use ISO50 and as small an aperture as possible? As far as I know we are talking shutter speeds in the 1/30-1/15s for the blur.

THanks.
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