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Old May 17, 2003, 4:00 PM   #11
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Default What to buy

Once you have bought your camera, you will not give a toss what batteries it uses nor what storage media it uses. To choose a camera based on these features strikes me as rather short sighted. What you will be concerned about is the ease of use of the camera and the results you are able to get from it. I have a sony 717 which is now my fourth digital camera, and I am very pleased with it. I have a pocket full of the oft criticised 128 memory sticks, and would rather loose one of those than loose one whacking great 1 gig card. And AA batteries may be cheap and convenient, but the time-left indication allowed by the the Lithium cell in the Sony is worth its weight in gold. No more being weighed down with a pocket full of AA NiMh cells. No more Olympus cameras expiring with barely a few seconds warning.
And please do not take the advice of people who do not own the camera they discuss, we can all read the reviews. Hands-on user experience is what you need.
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Old May 17, 2003, 4:34 PM   #12
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And AA batteries may be cheap and convenient, but the time-left indication allowed by the the Lithium cell in the Sony is worth its weight in gold. No more being weighed down with a pocket full of AA NiMh cells.
kemb has a very good point. I used my cd Mavica thursday night to take some pics of the full elcipse. I had my camera on for over an hour, with the lcd on, taking over 80 pics of the event. Never even thought about worrying about my cam dying.
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Old May 17, 2003, 4:51 PM   #13
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but theres nothing less useful then a camera with dead propriatary batteries and no place to plug in. if all my weighty AA nimh batts are dead and a shot needs to be taken i just drop in a set of regular AA batts from the corner store which will then be good for 15-20 more shots in a squeeze.

a seasoned set of AA 2000 mah mimh batts in a D7Hi averages about 100-120 images when not constantly reviewing.

convenience can be viewed in a variety of ways. in my eyes the capabilities of the 7Hi more then outweigh the power consumption issues. it is the closest thing to a SLR type camera on the digicam market to this day it does things where others fall a more than a bit short.
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Old May 17, 2003, 7:31 PM   #14
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I've read up on the sony batter and it does seem incredibly good. I can see the convenience of being able to pop in some aa's, but being able to take 400 shots is remarkable and well worth foregoing the convenience of aa's that will only take around a hundred.

KCEMB - i'd love to hear what experiences you've had with the 717... what do you use it for and how do you find the features? Just an overall general description would do me the world of good with helping the selection process!

The review by steve seems to suggest it's an excellent camera, so i'm tempted, but i'll definately look into the dimage and the others that have been mentioned.
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Old May 17, 2003, 9:06 PM   #15
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I have a pocket full of the oft criticised 128 memory sticks, and would rather loose one of those than loose one whacking great 1 gig card.
A 1G card will hold ~600 pictures with a 5Mp camera so it will never leave the camera... ie loosing one is not a problem! Beside downloading 1 card is rather more convenient than sticking them in and out multiple times (if they are still in your pocket or even with the new 'Select' devices!). How this for shortsighness: How many tiff pictures can one fit into 128Mb? or did the the manufacturer forgot about raw which is more compact, but also is inadequate for a 128Mb card!

Popular battery also has a bonus as well, as more manufacturers compete one another: you can soon get rechargeable CR-V3 Li-Ion that are much more powerful and would take the place of 2 AAs in the same battery compartment. You are married to the proprietary battery otherwise (or until the Info-Lithium system go out of whack) and to the overpriced memories.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/diginews_mar2003.html
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A single Samsung I-Pack doesn't just do the job of two conventional cells -- it delivers better performance too. When used in a digital camera, with the power hungry LCD preview screen turned on, the built-in flash used for 50% of the exposures, and making continuous shots every thirty seconds, two AA alkaline batteries will last only eleven minutes and take approximately twenty-four photographs. Replace those two AA alkaline batteries with the new Samsung I-pack, and the same camera, used under the same conditions will last for 130 minutes and make 280 shots!
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Old May 19, 2003, 3:50 AM   #16
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KCEMB - i'd love to hear what experiences you've had with the 717... what do you use it for and how do you find the features? Just an overall general description would do me the world of good with helping the selection process!

Briefy then, I had an Oly 2000 for 2 years, loved it. Then an Oly2100 for a few months. OK but dont believe all the hype about it on Oly forums. Then an Oly C700. Liked the big zoom, liked the camera but poor macro and only 2.1mp. Should have kept it really!Went for the Sony 717 because best lens ever, rotating body superb, good macro, and 5mp, and EVF, and a pal I trust had one and loved it.

I take lots of close-up shots of engineering components in my hobby machine shop. I take lots of pictures of model aircraft. I take lots of holiday snapshots. I used to be a keen hobby photographer years ago, still have 2 Nikon bodies and a pile of lenses somewhere, but now don't take anything very clever, so in truth, you could say I don't need such a flash camera. I do sometimes take pictures for me, that I want to be proud of and hang on a wall, but not so much as I would like. I guess I am like most people who own a nice camera but are not club members or competition entrants.[I have twice had dpotd at Steves though. Now he will not accepet an more cos I am not in the USA.] A few pictures can be seen at www.pbase.com/motorboy. None of these are taken with the 717, but you will see the pictures I take. Nobody has commented on any so I guess they are just average junk really. I must get round to putting some 717 pictures there.

How do I find the camera. Firstly, the quality of the image is beyond any criticism I could make. I can produce A4 colour prints better than a high-street processor would make from 35mm negs. The rotating body and EVF [nobody else rotates the evf so well] is absolute magic. I would not be without it. I am a fan of the evf, again I would not heve a camera without it. Sure, it gets a bit dark under dim light like in a pub, but I manage to take shots in dim folk clubs without a problem. I like the information in the finders, and the various levels of info that you can select. I like the manual zoom with a ring, and use it all the time. I rarely use manual focus, if needed I just half press then move the camera. I like the access to common functions via buttons. I like the battery that gives a reliable time-left reading in the finder, and I like the 215 minutes it shows after a full charge. Believe it or not, I like the reassuring slr mirror/shutter noise it makes after pressing the button. The laser focussing I have used, but not a lot. I have pictures frogs in the garden in pitch blackness and got perfectly focussed results, but for me it is not a big deal.
Now the downside. The camera is large. There are times when I would take a little camera with me, "just in case", but I leave the 717 at home. Silly really. But when on a neck strap the camera points downwards, minimising the sticking-out bulk. It actually will hide under a coat looking like I am "packing a piece".
I absolutely hate the shutter lag. I do not care what the tests say, or how many examples of superb action shots people mail me in defence of the shutter lag, the shutter lag on this camera, after a half press, is absolutly dreadful in comparision to any of the other 3 digicams I have had. I do not believe the camera is faulty, and at times I have seriously thought about getting rid of the camera because of it, then I calm down when I realise there is no other camera for me. I take pictures of model aircraft and about 2 out of every 3 pictures of hand launched [high speed] models, the model is not even in the picture. It is not that important and these are only event records for my own amusement, but this camera is not good at it. It is no spur of the moment party animal. Somebody in photographic history spoke of "the decisive moment". Was it Cartier-Bresson, I can't remember. Well with this camera the moment has passed by the time it gets round to taking the picture. Rave over. Calm down Kenneth. This is the only problem for me, but there are some irritations. As the subject gets darker, say indoors or at evening, the viewer slows from real time to a slight herky-jerky motion. No-one else has commented on this, and it is not too much problem. Another irritation, the side buttons for spot, white balance and ael are too easily nudged without noticing. Also I use custom white balance a lot for shooting engineering components in a tungsten-lit light box, and the white balance stays set even when you turn the camera off. It would be nice for it to cancel back to auto when powered down, as I have messed up wih the wong balance due to forgetting to manually reset.
Memory sticks are not a problem to me. I have 4x128 that I got for 40 each. I do not have a spare battery because I have never needed one. The camera start-up time is so quick I never leave the camera switched on, and the battery lasts for ever.
Would I buy it again. Yes definately, despite the shutter lag. After all, what else is there? the Nikon 5700 does not have a swivelling eyepiece, does not have an f2 lens, does not have the night focussing, does not have a lens as good as the vario sonnar, and I don't like the idea of having the swinging screen accidentally knocked off by a passing clumsy tourist. But it does have a bigger zoom and closer macro. Not for me. And the Minolta, I don't think so. It does not have a swivelling body, just a slightly swivelling evf. The build quality does not feel satisfying, and I don't want to carry a sackfull of spare batteries or use the camera as a handwarmer in the winter. But is has a bigger zoom and the evf does gain-up [in monochrome] in the dark. In the hand it feels very comfortable. But not for me this camera.
I have to say that as basically a snapper, there are many cameras that would take the pictures I want, but I do like the 717. In the uk this camera can be bought for 539, some 200 less than I paid.
Oh, and the 717 did go back to Sony to repair the focussing issue, and I have only praise for their service.
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Old May 19, 2003, 6:46 AM   #17
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1. Let's look at some numbers here:
A Sony NP-FM50 is rated @ 8Wh for around ~$50-$60 and is super famous:
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...ht=infolithium
http://electronics.cnet.com/electron...9-1318-3255571

Lets' face it Infolithium used to be state of the art two-three years ago, but 4 NiMh are now rated for (4.8V x 2100mAh =) 10Wh for around $14, ie more power for 4 time less cost!!! Also better cells are reaching the market daily:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0305/03...rbatteries.asp


2. Let's put things in perpective:
While they are both excellent cameras, one is specifically designed for the consumer ease of use whereas the other is for the aspiring photographer wishing to learn and grow to future dSLR with lot's more of overiding functions similar to SLR and Photoshop's workflow...

Sjms's D7Hi can shoot 5 raw frames at 3 frames/s while the 717 takes 40+ seconds to store 1 tiff file! (128Mb is too small for this purpose anyway!) So yes a more powerful processor will draw more current, but then if use sparingly or go for the higher battery rating, you can shoot all day:
http://webpages.charter.net/bbiggers...r_newbies.html

My recommendation is for anyone looking into buying this camera, is to go to the store and put in fresh charged NiMh (base one's 1700mAh), and squeeze away the shutter. If you don't get over 250+ shots non-stop (you'll get more with 2100mAh) then go ahead buy the F717.

... but then you'll be missing a rare 28-200mm APO wide angle in digicam, and feature like AdobeRGB, sync terminal for studio flash (& wireless flash), WYSIWYG in manual, Direct Manual Focusing Overide etc... features available only on the D7's :lol: :lol: :lol:

BTW the D7's take the microdrive too:
Quote:
My main concerns are shutter speed. I borrowed a friends camera and found that it took about a second of holding down the button before it took a picture, and moving target shots were out of the question. Also compatability with Microdrive would be a plus, because i go away for long periods without access to a computer and a gig of space to store would be very handy.
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Old May 19, 2003, 8:43 AM   #18
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A Sony NP-FM50 is rated @ 8Wh for around ~$50-$60 and is super
Lets' face it Infolithium used to be state of the art two-three years ago, but 4 NiMh are now rated for (4.8V x 2100mAh =) 10Wh for around $14, ie more power for 4 time less cost!!!


Er, with the greatest of respect, I don't think so Sir. Sony does rate the info lithium battery at 8.5 watt hours. This is a very odd way to rate a battery, the normal being ampere hours. It is a 7.2 volt battery, so at 8 watt hours the current would be around 1.18 amps for 1 hour. This makes it a 1.18 ampere hour battery. Now, if you put together 4 x 1.2v Nimh cells, [as used by most cameras on AA sized cells], each of 2.1 ampere hours, you end up with nominally 4.8 volts and you have a 2.1 ampere hour battery. This is the way to compare batteries, not the simple addition of the cells capacity. Thus the 4x AA 2100 mAh NiMh pack has almost twice the capacity of the Sony, not 4x as you suggest.

But the benefit of the Lithium Ion cell in Sony cameras, for me, is the indication of the camera time remaining, and is not related to the cost.

As for the claimed merits of the Minolta, camera choice is a very personal thing. What to one user would be unsatisfactory , may be ideal for another. I am sure the Minolta is a "good" camera, meaning that it is capable of producing a satisfactory image in the right hands.
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Old May 19, 2003, 12:03 PM   #19
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http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_.../f717_pg2.html

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The F717 is powered by the "M" series 7.2v 8Wh NP-FM50 InfoLITHIUM battery pack. Sony claims it is good for approx. 410 - 2560x1920 Fine mode still images (205 minutes) using either the EVF or color LCD. This is the -best- rechargeable battery system on the market.

The NP-FM50 packs twice the power of the 3.6v 4Wh NP-FS11 used on the older F505/F505V. Also included is the AC-L10 combination battery charger and AC power supply which fully charges the battery pack in aprox. 150 minutes.
Read my statement again... more power for four time less cost (ie 10Wh vs 8Wh for $14 vs $60)
BTW my math is correct: 4 x 1.2V x 2100mAh = 10 080 VmAh = 10.080 VAh = 10.080 Wh

Bottom line is proprietaty memories and batteries are NG! I stand by my statement: stick with AA and CF and you'll get both cheap power and cheap film beside opening yourself up to more choices of cameras, and see what else you're missing...
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Old May 20, 2003, 3:22 AM   #20
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Default Batteries

I am sorry but your reasoning is rather misguided.
If my Sony or your Minolta allowed a choice of betteries, then a comparison between HiMh and Lithium Ion cells would be sensible. But we have no choice but to use the appropriate battery for which our camera is designed.
This peculiar watt hour rating is only useful when comparing the running time of batteries of the same voltage, and to compare the watt hour rating of a 4.8 volt battery against that of a 7.2 volt battery is erroneous. This is why amp hours are the figures normally used for battery comparison.
If I could use 6 AA 2.2 amp hour NiMh cells [7.2 volts and 15.8 watt hours] to provide the 7.2 volts needed by my Sony 717, that battery would run for nearly twice the time of my Sony Lithium Ion battery which is only 8 watt hours rating. My Sony battery now costs 35 [from Uniross] and the 2.2 amp hour NiMh battery would cost about 20, so it would be a small saving [on the price of the camera]. And it would be nice to feel you were not being ripped off.[You might loose the odd picture when the NiMh battery lets go without warning, but maybe you would disregard that].

So HiMh seems to be better value for money. But to say that Info Lithium batteries are NG, presumably this means no good, is an opinion to which you are entitled, but not a lot of help to the original Newbie poster.

What I fail to understand is why some posters regard digital camera ownership as some kind of competition, each entrant forcibly asserting that his camera or his equipment is the best. Is this a hormonal thing, a substitute for penis envy?

Photography is like fishing, it isn't the quality of the equipment, its how you waggle the worm.

Please don't bother to post reply to this, we have bored our readers long enough with this rather silly exchange, and I am bored too!
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