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Old Aug 28, 2004, 1:17 AM   #1
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:O I am in the market for a new digital camera – my Kodak DC260 (1.5 megapixels) is dying after about 5 years. I thought I had a good 5 meg camera picked out but I am not too impressed with the sample pictures that I have seen from that camera. I like to take scenic pictures, sports shots of my kids, and even a few weddings (not professional of course). From my regular SLR days I want to again have aperture priority, shutter speed priority, manual, AF and manual focus, image stabilization would be a plus, compact SLR-like is what I am looking for. I think I want a good 8 meg camera instead of a 5 meg. It is not that I print large photos - 8x10's are pretty much the largest I would want to print and I mainly look at the photos on a computer and send them through email after downsizing them. One thing I think I could use an 8 meg camera for is that lately I have been playing with putting together slide shows and I have been using ProShow Gold – the new version that has the pan and zoom features (I think this is sometimes called the Ken Burns effect) which needs fairly high resolution at times to keep the scene from pixelating(sic). I was also wondering about newer printers – they seem to be going to higher and higher resolutions so that it might be worth buying an 8 meg to take advantage of some of the latest printer advances.

I have looked at some reviews of the 8 meg cameras and I have been looking hard at the Olympus C-8080. From what I read, I really like everything about this camera except the limited zoom lens – 28 to 140 mm. I was hoping for at least an 8X optical zoom. I know Panasonic has a couple of telephoto lens attachments for this camera but I found this to be very clumsy with my DC260 and do not think I want to repeat that process. The reviewer liked the way the C-8080 camera transitioned from optical to digital so I was wondering about the digital zoom of a high resolution camera. Is zooming to, say 10X(5x optical and 2x digital), with the C-8080 camera similar to a 4 meg camera with a 10X optical zoom? The example photos seem really good from the C-8080 so I am leaning this way.I don't want a full size DSLR - I need compact for my life style.

Anybody have any good recommendations for me – get a 5 or an 8 meg camera and how about a couple of specific model suggestions?
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Old Aug 28, 2004, 4:13 AM   #2
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I recently had a friend staying who has bought the 8080 whereas I have the 5060, and at first I was most impressed with the 8080. However, after we had played a bit and printed the results, there wasn't enough in it for me to justify the difference. Cropping before printing achieved the same results and the 5060 is lighter and easier, both having the important wide angle for scenic, family and indoorshots. However, to take scenic pictures on one hand and sports on the other will not make either camera a good compromise I fear, since like most prosumer cameras they suffer from focus and shutter lag for action shots. My friend had a lot of shots of an empty race track after the car had gone! Both cameras will provide prints to the size you need, and I have had good results at up to A4, plus of course you have full manual control when you need it. I'm not very up on the other long-zoom prosumers I'm afraid but I would put the question very carefully about shutter delay before buying. I do have though, the Nikon D70 with the kitlens 18/70 plus the70/200 lens and while we are not in the same ballpark the results are stunning, printing even up to A3+.

Incidentally, I have the new Canon i9950 printer (9900 in the USA) and swear by it. The smaller A4 version is apparently just as good.

Best of luck


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Old Aug 28, 2004, 7:22 AM   #3
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rocketcam wrote:
Quote:

:O
I am in the market for a new digital camera – my Kodak DC260 (1.5 megapixels) is dying after about 5 years. I thought I had a good 5 meg camera picked out but I am not too impressed with the sample pictures that I have seen from that camera. I like to take scenic pictures, sports shots of my kids, and even a few weddings (not professional of course). From my regular SLR days I want to again have aperture priority, shutter speed priority, manual, AF and manual focus, image stabilization would be a plus, compact SLR-like is what I am looking for. I think I want a good 8 meg camera instead of a 5 meg. It is not that I print large photos - 8x10's are pretty much the largest I would want to print and I mainly look at the photos on a computer and send them through email after downsizing them. One thing I think I could use an 8 meg camera for is that lately I have been playing with putting together slide shows and I have been using ProShow Gold – the new version that has the pan and zoom features (I think this is sometimes called the Ken Burns effect) which needs fairly high resolution at times to keep the scene from pixelating(sic). I was also wondering about newer printers – they seem to be going to higher and higher resolutions so that it might be worth buying an 8 meg to take advantage of some of the latest printer advances.

I have looked at some reviews of the 8 meg cameras and I have been looking hard at the Olympus C-8080. From what I read, I really like everything about this camera except the limited zoom lens – 28 to 140 mm. I was hoping for at least an 8X optical zoom. I know Panasonic has a couple of telephoto lens attachments for this camera but I found this to be very clumsy with my DC260 and do not think I want to repeat that process. The reviewer liked the way the C-8080 camera transitioned from optical to digital so I was wondering about the digital zoom of a high resolution camera. Is zooming to, say 10X(5x optical and 2x digital), with the C-8080 camera similar to a 4 meg camera with a 10X optical zoom? The example photos seem really good from the C-8080 so I am leaning this way.I don't want a full size DSLR - I need compact for my life style.

Anybody have any good recommendations for me – get a 5 or an 8 meg camera and how about a couple of specific model suggestions?
You may want to use a different text color. It is not readable using the default color scheme. Go to "My Account", "Preferences" and set "Board Theme" to Default and you'll see what I mean. I had to highlight your text with my mouse to read it. I changed it to black in the above quote box so others can see it.

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Is zooming to, say 10X(5x optical and 2x digital), with the C-8080 camera similar to a 4 meg camera with a 10X optical zoom?

No. Digital Zoom is only cropping a photo (taking out the middle partand removing the outside edges to make it look like more optical zoom was used). It then interpolates the image (adding pixels not captured by the camera's sensor) to enlarge it). In your example (8MP Image using 2x Digital Zoom), you would end up with only2 Megapixels of detail in the image representing your subject before interpolation. Although, 2MP is still enough for a good quality 8x10" print, I can see an improvement going to 3MP (after that, I don't really see any improvement for an 8x10).

Resolution is computed by multiplying width x height. So, each time you double the image size, it takes 4 times the resolution. Likewise, if you crop an image to make it look like twice as much optical zoom is used, you end up with only 1/4 the original resolution.

I keep Digital Zoom disabled in my cameras so that I don't accidently use it. You can accomplish the same thing in software later anyway (crop the photo, then enlarge it using a good interpolation algorithm). I use the Lanczos Algorithm for interpolation in irfanview when I need to enlarge something after cropping. You can download it from http://www.irfanview.com (it's free). The resize/resample algorithms are under the image, resize/resample menu choice.

Quote:
I was also wondering about newer printers – they seem to be going to higher and higher resolutions so that it might be worth buying an 8 meg to take advantage of some of the latest printer advances.
If you are not going to print above 8x10" print size, it isunlikely that you could see any difference in quality or detail between 5MP and 8MP at this size. 5MP is already giving you 240 Pixels Per Inch for an 8x10" print. I can't personally see any difference once you get to around 200 Pixels Per Inch. Although, 8MPcould come in handy for cropping.
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Old Aug 28, 2004, 7:32 AM   #4
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I think the 8MP cameras are near equal in image quality (from what I have seen at least) so for most people it comes down to price and the "look and feel" of the cameras. The Sony and the Olympus have the more quality feel of the bunch but you should try to get a look at them all since none of them have low build quality. If your previous experience has been with digicams than the Olympus and the Nikon will feel most familiar (and to a lesser extent the Canon) while the Minolta and Sony will feel better to 35mm SLR owners because of the lens rings for zoom and focus.

Performance wise all of these cameras have lower shutter lag than most compacts, but do not provide the "near instant" response of s DSLR, but they are smaller, lighter and, except for the Olympus, offer a big zoom range. There in lies the Olympus' weakness, the other cameras have much larger zoom ranges (although the Nikon does not offer the wide angle of the other cameras).

Read the reviews and try to get your hands on each of these before you buy. These are expensive cameras and any purchase must meet the criteria you have for picture taking. None of these cameras are bad, but they are all quite different in features and handling. Image quality would be at the bottom of my list for this group since they all offer excellent low ISO results and all have high noise levels at higher ISOs (they all use the same imaging sensor).

Ira
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Old Aug 28, 2004, 10:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice - I will lookinto the shutter lag for this camera. I have been playing with getting an DSLR but I just do not think I can handle the bulkiness after haing a regular SLR and then going to a compact digital.

Thanks again.
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