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Old May 23, 2006, 7:37 AM   #1
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I have used a Minolta Dimage 5 for years now (3.3MP) for taking shots of landscapes, houses, inside houses, etc.I can only get so far back to capture everything I need in each shot. I have used photoshop to crop and augment. But the pics loose too much and become grainy.

I had decided to go to a wide angle camera such as Canon S80 or Konica Minolta A200. I have seen multiple review sites and a couple of others about the quality of this site. Many of the site reveiwers have said they really enjoyed the wide angle aspect once they tried a good digtal camera with one, yet most of you digtal camera buffs don't seem to care much for them.

I have seen some of you post that cropping is bad for the reason mentioned above and some say with high MPs (say 8 megapixels) that I can do that. Panaramic stitching is nice but I seldom have the time to pull out a tripod. I would prefer not to leavethe comfort of the Automatic mode or shoot inRAW because I don't have thoseskills.

I have read a lot of posts / replies and know there are some really knowledgable people on this site. Any suggestions. As a last resort I will even consider moving out of Automatic (my comfort zone) if its not too complicated.
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Old May 23, 2006, 7:46 AM   #2
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Moving from Automatic mode will not get you the wide angle you need. I'm also a bit confused when you say you've cropped to achieve this effect, as cropping is similiar to zooming in (the opposite of wide angle). Due to size constraints, and the general public being fascinated with zoom, there aren't alot of wide angle point and shoots available. Of the 2 you mention the Minolta is probably where I'd lean. Basically any camera that has an equivalent focal range of 28mm (in 35mm terms) should get you what you need. The only other option is a DSLR...most kit lenses start at 18mm (27mm or so depending on the manufacturer). I wish I could tell you more. This has been an issue for serious amateur/pro photographers since digital moved into the marketplace.
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Old May 23, 2006, 7:59 AM   #3
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Also confused about the cropping, its the oposite of what you say you want to do.

I have a fully automatic panorama stitching program (autostitch) and I've used it a few times with handheld shots, no problem at all. Its free and might be the easiest solution.

I love wide angle, I only have lenses that take me to a 28mm equivilent view and I want more. I had a Minolta A1 but upgraded to a dslr, it was a great camera though. There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages when comparing a superzoom to a dslr, whichever one is a better fit to your uses is the better camera.
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Old May 23, 2006, 9:18 AM   #4
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Another option for you is to stitch two or more pictures together. This option works great if there's no subject movement in the pictures. Try Autostitch, a freeware program, that does a great job with very little trouble.
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Old May 23, 2006, 10:05 AM   #5
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Cropping doesn't give any wider field of view... illusion of wider field by vertical cropping would be only achievable thing.


And why you're even considering S80 after Dimage 5? It would feel as toy.
Konicaminolta A200 is more something which could be considered as step forward.



eljohn wrote:
Quote:
Many of the site reveiwers have said they really enjoyed the wide angle aspect once they tried a good digtal camera with one, yet most of you digtal camera buffs don't seem to care much for them.
"Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so."
-Bertrand Russell

Add that to general tunnel vision and you'll get soup that bigger "zoom-number" is always better while it doesn't tell anything concretic.
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Old May 23, 2006, 9:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the great responses. I build custom homes in Austin. Some of them are as wide as 175 feet. So by the time I have stepped back far enough to capture the entire width of the house, only about 25% of the picture vertically is the house and the other 75% is sky and yard. The house is lost in the picture. Also alot of the contrast in the architectural details and colors are lost. I crop off a reasonable portion of the sky and yard/street so that the house becomes the focal point again. Does this make sense? I am also faced with the issue that some websites I post the pictures to are very limiting in file size.

I was considering the Canon S80because of the size and the more liklihood I would carry it around all the time for that right shot or when I see an architectural feature I like somewhere. But if you believe the S80 is a step backwards and the KM A200 is a step forward I will go that route.

Thanks for the advice on autostitch. I wil check that out.
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Old May 24, 2006, 2:24 AM   #7
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eljohn wrote:
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Thanks for all of the great responses. I build custom homes in Austin. Some of them are as wide as 175 feet. So by the time I have stepped back far enough to capture the entire width of the house, only about 25% of the picture vertically is the house and the other 75% is sky and yard. The house is lost in the picture. Also alot of the contrast in the architectural details and colors are lost. I crop off a reasonable portion of the sky and yard/street so that the house becomes the focal point again. Does this make sense?
Not much sense in showing uncropped pics with 3/4th consisting from sky...
So megapixels are good to have for quick cropping.

But when "aspect ratio of target" is such stitching panorama would always produce best results... for good looking panoramas it's better to have exposure locked through "sub"pictures, otherwise there's going to be quite visible seams in resulting panorama. Here we again see how camera with lot of controls can be much easier to use than "easy to use" automatic cameras... A200 has own button for locking exposure while I'm not even sure has S80 that feature. (but if it's there it's hard/slow to use)


If it would be only about taking photos of built houses then S80 would do it but I'm 100% sure that in general use you would find it very limited... you would be taking lot and lot of steps also closer to targets when you just zoom in with current camera.
For plain "wide" targets Kodak P880 would actually have really nice 24mm wide angle but again that camera has short tele.
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