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Old Aug 17, 2007, 11:53 AM   #1
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I really like the DX3900... just wonderful especially good colors and night-time constellation pictures. For that, the 16 second manual exposure is just great. So, I'm stuck in a time warp, with a digicam from years ago and thought I should consider a newer model!

I've noticed, though, that most new Kodaks are very limited in their manual exposure times-- as little as 8 seconds, sometimes 4. I need at least 12, preferably 16-24 for constellation pictures.

Also, has Kodak ever put out an equivalent to Canon's Remote Capture, allowing one to remotely trigger the camera? That's great for bird pictures, especially as one can set the camera up close to the feeder and trigger the shutter from some distance away.

In any event, if I were to spend $200-300, what should I be looking at? Image stabilization would be cool/great, but don't know if Kodak has anything like that in its recent offerings.
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Old Aug 20, 2007, 7:05 PM   #2
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The only "current" Kodaks with 16 sec. are the P712 and P880. The quotes around current are because, although Kodak still lists them as current cameras they don't have any and as new the supply is near or is non-existent.

The Kodak's with optical image stabilization (ignore digital image stabilization) are theZ612 and the Z712, both ofwhich are readily available. Perhaps because ofthe higher ISOs now available 16 sec. is considered no longer required The Z612/712 will do constellation photos but with shorter trails.

Both cameras have high image quality, excellent color, are very versatile and are very good all around cameras.

I have a Z612 and the element that amazes me is the auto white balance capability of the camera. I have shot under a pretty varied lighting conditions and I have yet to need to tell the camera what kind of light is in use.
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Old Aug 20, 2007, 7:22 PM   #3
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Very helpful response! I'll check out those cameras on the Kodak web site. Good leads.

12-24 second exposures capture the constellations with little or no trailing (longer will produce them depending on where one is shooting), and at such an exposure length, the pics will show more stars and even the brightest nebulae and clusters!

I see where the Canons with IS still have 15 second exposure-- that combo could be good for IS for daytime and 15 second for night time. But I've always prefered the color saturation and responsiveness of the Kodaks!
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Old Aug 20, 2007, 8:46 PM   #4
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The DX3900 listed ISO setting of 100, 200 and 400. Do you know the ISO setting your constellation photos were actually shot at? The Z712 has pretty good performance at ISO 800, one stop more than the max available on the DX and the difference between 8 sec and 16 sec is one stop. You may be able to compensate for the difference in shutter speed by simply cranking up the ISO to one step more than you were actually using on the DX. Another factor on the Z712 is that at the same focal length as max on the the DX (70mm equiv.) the Z712 lens is faster (about f3.2) which will also partially compensate for the difference in max shutter time.

Kodak color is my main reason for buying Kodak. They simply get it right. I have two, my old DC5000 and my newer (8 mo. old) Z612.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 11:08 AM   #5
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Oh, yes, I know well the ISO setting! It was 400. When I tried constellation shots with a Canon A70, I found the ISO 400 incredibly noisy, so had to revert to 200 which meant they didn't go as deep-- and, of course, the Canon colors weren't as good.

The 3900's color is good enough to actually see star colors which correspond to their spectral types and temperatures!

What is also great about the 3900 is that it does noise reduction. Do a 16 sec exposure and it processes again about that long subtracting a dark frame, AFAIK.

Your comments about the stops and wider lens intrigue me! It would be interesting to see what it produces in night-time shots.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 12:17 PM   #6
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According to the Megapixal review the Z712 does dark frame noise reduction on all long exposures.
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