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Old Apr 20, 2008, 8:16 AM   #1
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Hello!

First of all, enligsh isn't my first language, so sorry about that

Currently im looking to buy myself a digital camera, that i will use mainly to take outdoor landscapepictures. Most of these pictures will be taken at dawn or dusk, or in other words when there isn't much light. So i started to figure which camera to buy, but i simply don't know. I've been looking at three different cameras though:

Samsung s1050

Olympus FE 340

Olympus SP 550 UZ (This one is kinda expensive for me, but if it's really good i figure i should get it anyway)

Now, i am a total newbie in the world of cameras, so if these cameras are useless at taking landscape pictures, please let me know

If anyone knows of another camera which is good at taking landscape pictures, preferably in the same price level as those above, please tell me about it.



Thanks a lot in advance
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Old Apr 20, 2008, 9:37 AM   #2
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Landscape photography requires wide angle lenses (shorter focal length), and dawn and dusk photography requires fast lenses (large maximum aperture, numerically smaller f-number).Low-light landscape photography is a rare specialty that requires things from a camera that most camera don't provide.

I'm not familiar with the cameras you referred to, but here's what I discovered when comparing their specifications.

Samsung S1050:
  • 35mm film camera equivalent focal length: 38-190mm [/*]
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8-4.5
Olympus FE-340:
[/*]
  • 35mm film camera equivalent focal length: 36-180mm [/*]
  • Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-5.6
Olympus SP-550 UZ:
[/*]
  • 35mm film camera equivalent focal length: 28-504mm [/*]
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8-4.5[/*]
The SP-550 has the widest angle and the largest aperture, and I think it will best suit your intended purpose.

The S1050 and the FE-340 are compact digicams, and as a class, those cameras don't generally offer lenses wider than a 35mm film camera equivalent focal length of less than about 35mm. As a result, you probably will need to step up to something like the SP-550. And even then, most don't go very wide.

You could take multiple shots with a narrower lens (longer focal length) and stitch them together, but for dawn and dusk photos, lighting conditions change quickly so you may have trouble doing that.
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Old Apr 20, 2008, 10:22 AM   #3
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Shots at dawn or dusk also require some thought in the metering process. Even using a "sunset mode", sometimes simply just pointing the camera at the subject and proessing the shutter release won't get the results you want. Most digicams offer spot metering, but I would make sure what ever you pick does so you can use it if you need to.

Landscape photography also means much more than just wide angle lenses. Some my most favorite sunsets and morning shots came at the telephoto end of the zoom lens..

I shot this from the train platform one morning waiting to go to work at a focal length of 226mm



and this sunset at a 35mm equivalent of 453mm..



These next two images were shot with a little Panasonic LX2 with a limited focal length set of 28-112mm zoom lens, and shot at the 28mm setting, which is as wide as I would have wanted to go. Any wider and everything becomes too small for my taste.

In this image I spot metered on the colors in the distant horizon. There's so much dark space around the frame normal metering would have evened things out and made the colors much less intense..



and here, I simply moved the spot metering area around until the scene presented itself on the LCD the want I wanted it..



You can shoot this type stuff with virtually any camera. It will be as much your knowing how to get the results as much as the camera being able to record it.
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Old Apr 20, 2008, 10:30 AM   #4
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There are a lot of nice cameras, Canon S5, Pany FZ18, I would skip the SP 550 it had a lot of focus issues but the 560 which I have is pretty good. I don't know much about the Fuji or Kodak. But a lot of these have built in panorama software so you can take great landscape shots by stitching photos seamlessly together like this. Ebay is a good place to find cameras if you don't have stores close by to try them out which is the best thing but make sure you check and get a reputable deal.
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Old Apr 20, 2008, 2:28 PM   #5
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eharrim's example illustrates my point.

Judging from the shadows, I presume that this panorama was taken during midday. At dawn or dusk, however, lighting conditions will change rapidly, so the exposuremaybe slightly different from shot to shot. This could make stitching them together quite difficult, whether within the camera or in post-processing.

For what you intend to do, I think it would be simpler to go with a wider lens.
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Old Apr 20, 2008, 2:42 PM   #6
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I would suggest the Panasonic TZ-5 camera. It has two features that seem to meet the OP's need rather precisely. The TZ-5 has (1) a 28mm wide angle mode (2) a 16:9 format. When those two features are combined together, the Photographer can actually have a photo span that equals the samelongitudinal span as a 25mm lens(due to the CCD size used in the camera). I have attached a sample photo from the TZ-5 showing the possible longitudinal span.

At the same time the OP could also gain from the TZ-5:

(1) a camera with 10X optical zoom

(2) new this year to the TZ-5 is the iA or Intelligent Automatic Mode

(3) a camera that take HD video clips

(4) a camera that allows you to zoom during a video clip.

(5 a camera that is small and very pocketable (see the 2nd attached photo)

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Old Apr 20, 2008, 3:46 PM   #7
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I believe we have a winner!
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Old Apr 21, 2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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mtclimber wrote:
Quote:


Man, you got a blue one, too! After I get back from my trip where I'm taking my blue TZ3, I've gotta get one of these!

That grip material positioning looks like it would be of much better use than what they did on the TZ3.
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 9:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
I believe we have a winner!
TCav

I just as new - infact just joined.

How would you rate the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3?

I am also interested in wide angle capture and landscapes are my favorite.

Thanks

Last edited by Yunus; Jul 13, 2009 at 9:52 AM.
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 10:21 AM   #10
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Hi Yunus - I just responded to a post on this topic a couple of minutes ago.
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/wh...ight-lens.html
The LX3 is currently about as good as you can get right now. The combination of the wide angle fast bright lens, large sensor, capped resolution, ability to limit ISO speed, image stabilization and a variety of formats (3x2, 4x5 and 16x9) makes for a very nice camera. Additionally, it has all of the manual features you could want. It is a very nice companion to a dSLR, but not a replacement. I use it quite a bit, especially when away on business and unable to bring my larger camera equipment along. I also will say that the limitation on zoom to 60mm can hamper things at times. As noted in this thread the TZ5 offers a bit more in the zoom area, but at the expense of a reduced wide angle.

hope this helps...
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