Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   What Camera Should I Buy? (
-   -   [Recovered Thread: 81419] (

lildixie94 Jan 30, 2006 4:37 PM

I have a Kodak digital camera now but it seems to take for ever to snap a picture. With this I always end up with blurry photos of my kids. It dosen't help to have small children who don't want to stand still. I also use my camera to take still shots of products that my work make to use in catalogs. I'm just not sure of which camera would fit my needs.

Thanks for your help in advance.

mtclimber Jan 30, 2006 6:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Are you now using a two stage shutter release technique. I you are not, please don't feel badly, a lot of folks are not aware of the technique.

Because any camera has some "housekeeping chores" to do before it can actually take the photo, you can actually help it with its "household chores." Here is what you do. (a) push down on the shutter release HALFWAY. (b) your camera now has the signal you want to take a photo.(c) as soon as any camera BOTHachieves sharp focus and sets the exposure, it will give you a signal. That signal is usually a beep, a light adjacent to your viewfinder, or a green dot, or shift in the focus barson your LCD. (d) Now, only after having completeda, b, and c,you are ready to take your photo. Dpressing your shutter release fully will release the shutter almost instantly.

Use this technique, and your present camera may give you great photos, like this!


slipe Jan 30, 2006 8:04 PM

Cameras have gotten much faster for both full autofocus lag and lag from half press. Imaging Resource has a page like this for all of the cameras he tests: It is under "picky details" on one page reviews and "timings and sizes" for the multi page reviews. Narrow down your choices and compare the timings. Dpreview also has a good timing page but they don't test as many lower end cameras as Imaging Resource.

I take the majority of my shots with a pre-focus as mtclimber described. There are times when you want to grab a fast shot where full autofocus lag is significant though.

One feature I find necessary for kids is "continuous focus". If you half depress the shutter it fixes the focus and you often get a blurry photo if the target moves. Continuous focus continues to update the focus until you completely depress the shutter. Continuous focus uses a little extra battery power and most cameras with a selectable continuous focus default to not having it on – I think so they look better on battery tests which are done at default. My friend's Kodak V550 has continuous focus, so you might check your manual. Continuous focus helps when pressing the shutter all the way as well.

lildixie94 Jan 31, 2006 2:15 PM

Thanks for the tips. But I am looking to still replace my Kodak...It just won't turn on any more (not a battery problem). I'm just not sure which camera would be best to buy.

mtclimber Jan 31, 2006 3:08 PM


Is there some confusion? I specifically suggested the Kodak V-530 or V-550, as an easy to use camera that offers a lot of value, is pleasingly small, and seems to meet your requirements.

I am happy to offer more info, if necessary.


slipe Jan 31, 2006 7:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)
mtclimber wrote:


Is there some confusion? I specifically suggested the Kodak V-530 or V-550, as an easy to use camera that offers a lot of value, is pleasingly small, and seems to meet your requirements.

I am happy to offer more info, if necessary.

lildixie94's complaint about the current Kodak is that it takes too long to take a photo. Full autofocus shutter lag isn't that great on the V550. While I agree that one should get in the habit of pre-focus, it still takes that much time to pre-focus before you can shoot. Continuous focus mode helps a lot, but there are much faster cameras for people who just want to push the button and get a shot.

I recommended the V550 to friends and they are happy with it. But they pose all of their people shots and don't have kids.

vwmom Jan 31, 2006 8:03 PM

I've got 2 young kids.. and I also shoot a lot of hockey and figureskating.

I've got the Canon S2 IS.. I LOVE it.. It's got a very fast processor.. Continous shots even are great. Set to AV mode it catches action very well. The flip out lcd has been an asset in things like preschool concerts, etc.. when I've been at the back of a room. I've been able to get some incredible angles.

The bonusof the S2 is the incredible video ittakes. There's ALWAYS moments with kids, that I don't happen tohave my camcorder with me. The stereo sound is great too.

TheIS (image stabillizer) is something a lot of cameras lack. Another plus.

It takes "AA" batteries.. VERY handy.

If you want similar options you could choose the A620 or A610.. These two are a bit more compact.. You'd be losing the stereo sound.. And the 10X zoom for the most part. I did own the 610 before I upgraded to the S2.. Love it aswell.. But I wanted a bit 'more' of a cam.

Hope that helps a bit.

mtclimber Jan 31, 2006 8:44 PM

For a lot LESS $$ you should take a look at the Fuji S-5200. Honestly!

Here's the nuts and bolts. The MAXIMUM ISO on the, just recommended, Canon S-2 is only ISO 400. The Fuji S-5200 has a MAXIMUM ISO setting of 1600, or 4 times what the Canon S-2 is capable of under the very BEST conditions.

Young children move very quickly, you are going to need HIGH ISO speeds. My vote goes to the Fuji S-5200. Why, you might ask?

Because I own a Canon S-2, and it just cannot cut it! Where is my creditability? Well, I have written three digital camera books, and I am an Instructor that trains over 10,000+ people every year. Want samples, I have provided them already. Did you notice those10 years and under football photos? Yep, they're mine.

Let the other posters in this threadprovide a few sample photos, for some solid evidence/proof. How about some of those already mentioned ice skating photos, please?


vwmom Jan 31, 2006 9:45 PM

Though at this point I don't have time to sort through photos.. There are hundreds and thousands of examples online from this camera. In addition comments from hundreds of users.

I've had mine for about a month.. at that point it's not logical to have numerous photos sitting here ready to post, though what I have taken I have been happy with.

This person is asking for opionions of different camera users and owners. You are more than welcome to post your photos. I have enough time to reply to posts.. If I have time at a later point to post photos I will. As I type, my 2 year old is on my lap.

Here is a link of a LARGE number of S2 shots.. You can also search that site for other models. It will give you a FAIR examples of different cameras, under different conditions and different levels of expertise.

slipe Jan 31, 2006 9:45 PM

I would like to see a good review on the Fuji E5200 with some high ISO shots. Not little posts but some full sized shots. Fuji is putting ISO 1600 on all of their cameras, but only the F10/11 so far has been able to use that without excessive noise. The S9000 isn't too good over ISO400 and the Z1 is worse. If it has the high ISO capabilities of the F10 I agree it would truly be a great camera for kids. Stabilization doesn't help at all for subject motion but high ISO does. The E5200 sensor has a higher density than the F10 even though the Mp is lower.

vwmom Jan 31, 2006 9:49 PM

Here is the camera the other poster was referring to. Only you can be the judge on your investment.

FYI.. The S5200 and S2 are only about 80.00 apart in price. Shopping around also does help.. Finding a place that will price match is even better. I paid about 150 under retail for my S2.

By the way.. You can search ANY model on that site :)

mtclimber Jan 31, 2006 10:17 PM

But, VWMom-

We just want to see just a few of the photos that you have been posting so much about. Can't we see just three of those fabulous photos please?


vwmom Feb 1, 2006 2:37 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Really quickly.. had time to resize a couple to post.. Now I'm off to a docotrs appt. for my son, playgroup, groceries and home late.. Boy.. what it's like to have kids.

Again, I will mention the fact that I'm a MOM of TWO toddlers, lead a busy life.. and I've found that this camera is perfect for me. The lcd is great for catching odd shots, because it rotates.. and I'm alone with my boys, it's also possible for me to take a photo of myself and the boys with a tripod and timer.

The video mode is INCREDIBLE.. I took some video of my 2 yr old at gymnastics on the trampoline in LOW light, and it's wonderful.. When I figure out a place to host them, I will post a link.

Here is my son.. JUMPING up and down.. The only light in that room is behind him with that hanging ikea lamp and my flash.

vwmom Feb 1, 2006 2:39 PM

1 Attachment(s)
They're Dad stopped by for a visit.. This is of them wrestling (aka moving) on the floor. Again low light. Sorry for my legs and slippers in the I was playing with my camera on the couch and decided to snap some shots.

vwmom Feb 1, 2006 2:39 PM

1 Attachment(s)
A candid (again low light) of my 4 yr old.

vwmom Feb 1, 2006 2:41 PM

1 Attachment(s)
One more for now, as I need to run out the door.. I was playing with the custom colors.. This is obviously green.

mtclimber Feb 1, 2006 6:13 PM


Thanks for posting some very excellent photos. After speaking with Canon Customer Service, I was able to get my S-2 recalibrated on a walkin basis, and it is focusing much more rapidly and accurately than ever before.


lildixie94 Feb 2, 2006 2:43 PM

Thanks for the advice. I will keep both camera's in mind. I was wondering what you may think of a nikon. I was looking at one of the coolpix, or should I go with either the fuji or canon that was recommended?


vwmom Feb 2, 2006 2:56 PM

A good idea is to go right to the store.. "feel" a few.. see what you like the overall look/ handling of. Go back home with a list.. search for photo examples of those models. If you can in the end.. find a store that has a generous return policy. In the end I brought home and returned a few cameras before settling. The 610 I had for 28 days, then returned it for the S2. So far I'm happy with it.. Still learning of course.

txjeep Feb 4, 2006 10:28 PM

I have 4 kiddos from21 months to 8 yrs old. I bought a Kodak V570 (dual lens with one being a wide angle) and I absolutely love this camera. I thought the wide angle lens wassomething I really wouldn't use too much, but I find that I use it more than the standard lens. You can get all the kids at the birthday party in one picture without having to backup 20 yards. This camera also does a very good job of catching those kiddos in action (unlike the Sony it replaced) and also does an admirable job in lower light conditions.It takes phenomenal outdoor pictures in wide angle mode. It is also small and easy to use. Video is surprisingly good, though that was not something I cared too much about when buying it. I would give this one a look if you have not already purchased something else.

Brandnugirl Feb 4, 2006 10:36 PM

The Nikon coolpix have a tendency to be very slow. If you get a chance, go play with some cameras in Best Buy or Circuit City. I had a Panasonic FZ5 and it is the quickest camera besides a DLSR. I had a sandisk ultra II card and it would take pics right after the other, not on burst mode, and has awesome zoom. I only sold it because I bought a DSLR. I know you have many choices but that is what my main request was in a digicam (fast pictures) and the FZ5 delivers!!

Joshua2415 Feb 5, 2006 10:05 PM

We bought the S2 today and are extremely happy with it. We already had a Kodak P850 and a Canon G6 in our possession that we were trying out (gotta love those tax returns!). Well, it took me several rounds to get used to each one's focusing and all that, so we'd go back and forth between each of them, as to which was better. Finally after a few hundred pictures I was more familiar with them and tonight our last test run, at times just on auto, clearly demonstrated that the S2 won hands down.

I think we are going to love this one. After these we took at home, all the ones we tried out at the stores, all the reviews we read, all the photos at pbase and so on...this is the overall best we could find for our family's needs and interests.

Thank you vwmom! If I hadn't seen your photos I don't think I would have ever looked twice, because I thought maybe all the others at pbase might be ones that were done very "manually". When you told me that your photos were pretty basic, practically auto mode, and I could see they had such great quality and clarity, we decided we would try it out.

Thanks! When I ever figure out how to post pix on here I will post some. (I am a newbie to such things.:? )

vwmom Feb 5, 2006 10:09 PM

Congrats on your new purchase.. As I mentioned.. I'm still learning too..

You should have seen me last night at the monster truck I need to sit down and 'play' more to get total benfits of this cam.Thought I'm happy with my quickie shots. I took some awesome video at the show too.. Once I figure out where to upload it, I'll post it. Anyway.. as I have questions, I post them.. There are a number of S2 groups, in addition to the Canon forum here. There are a lot of helpful people out there.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:42 PM.