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Old Jun 9, 2005, 9:56 AM   #1
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I want to stand in a church and photograph stained glass windows. I THINK I need the following features: ISO of at least 800, Image stabilization,10X optical zoom, and around $500.00. Do I?

Does anyone have a knowledgable opinion on whether I'm correct and if so what camera should I buy. It seems like when I get it narrowed down, there's always a feature missing.

Thanks.
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Old Jun 9, 2005, 10:04 AM   #2
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It´s going to be pretty hard to find a P&S camera with ISO 800 (or if you get one you will get NOISE everywhere due to the impossibility to change the lens).

10X Zoom with be good if those glasses are far away from you. Other way the zoom is no needed.

If you are looking for professional images you may want to get a DSRL and try a small apperture number lens.

And I´m sorry to say...$500 it won´t be enough.

Hope this helps

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Old Jun 9, 2005, 10:10 AM   #3
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For this purpose (photographing stained glass windows), I'd suggest simply using a tripod if light is not good enough. That way, you'd have a wide variety of choices in cameras within your desired budget. The subject will be stationary in this case, so your primary concern would be blur from camera shake.

Most models in your price range have objectionable noise levels at anything above about ISO 200 (with visible noise/grain in the ISO 200 photos from most non-DSLR models). Using a tripod allows you to keep ISO speeds set lower, while preventing motion blur if light is not good enough for faster shutter speeds.

Now, light *may* be good enough without using higher ISO speeds if you're pointing the camera at these windows in the daytime (but make sure you're using a lens that doesn't start losing most of it's brightness as more zoom is used). You'd have to try it to see what to expect at various ISO speeds.




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Old Jun 9, 2005, 10:28 AM   #4
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Thanks for your input.

I have no trouble finding image stabilization in my price range, but not with iso over 400. Maybe this isn't so important? To clarify, I'd be standing on the floor photographing up several stories with back lighting from outside.
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Old Jun 9, 2005, 10:35 AM   #5
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Thanks for your input.

I would be standing inside on the floor and photographing up several stories sometimes with only back lighting from outside. I can find image stabilization and enough zoom in my price range with no problem, but not with ISO over 400.

Are you saying you think I don't want/ needISO of 800? If not, this helps me narrow things down. If you had to buy a camera with the goals I mentioned, what features would you look for? I'll also be using it for regular stuf, but I assume any camera will be OK for that.
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Old Jun 9, 2005, 10:44 AM   #6
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Why you must be standing on the on the floor, and not using a tripod as JimC says.

IS is nice but when it came to long time exposition as the one you be needing won´t help you.

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Old Jun 9, 2005, 11:03 AM   #7
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Take a look at the Fuji F10...ISO 1600, within your price range.

No 10x zoom, no view finder (2.5" LCD), few manual controls.

No IS, but with ISO 1600, you probably don't need it.

the Hun


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Old Jun 9, 2005, 12:06 PM   #8
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gentlearts wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for your input.

I would be standing inside on the floor and photographing up several stories sometimes with only back lighting from outside. I can find image stabilization and enough zoom in my price range with no problem, but not with ISO over 400.
How large of print/viewing size are you going to need? ISO 400 can be pretty nasty from the non-DSLR models in lower light. Although most non-DSLR models have an ISO 400 setting, it's often better to reserve it for emergency shots of Extra Terrestrial lifeforms in low light, if you need larger viewing sizes. ;-)

The Auto ISO usually stops at around ISO 160 - 200 with most newernon-DSLR models (since noise can be objectionable at ISO 400). But, you can set most models to ISO 400 manually. At smaller viewing/print sizes,noise isnot as noticeable ;-)

There are some pretty good tools to help reduce the appearance of noise (but, these will destroy some amount of detail). They can work surprisingly well, though.

Popular tools are Neat Image , Noiseware, and Noise Ninja . I personally use Noiseware (although Neat Image is great, too). Both have free/demo versionsin their product line.

Quote:
Are you saying you think I don't want/ needISO of 800? If not, this helps me narrow things down. If you had to buy a camera with the goals I mentioned, what features would you look for? I'll also be using it for regular stuf, but I assume any camera will be OK for that.
I don't know from your description. I've never taken photos of stained glass windows. Well, I probably have at weddings, etc. But, the Windows were not my primary subject. So, I don't know what shutter speed would be like at any given ISO speed and aperture without testing it. Given things like glass design/thickness, lighting differences, etc., you'd just about need to be in the same location at the same time to find out.

I have seen a number of photos takenof Stained Glass Windows inside of churches, etc.. I've just never paid that much attention to how they were exposed. If I run across some of these, I'll let you know.

I doubt you'd need higher ISO speeds for photos of Stained Glass Windows in Daylight though, using a model with a bright (constant f/2.8 aperture) stabilized zoom lens.

Are you taking photos of the Windows only, or are you trying to capture the surrounding area at the same time? If the latter, you're probably going to run into a dynamic range problem (ability of the camera to capture both light and dark areas of a scene). Digital Cameras have a Dynamic Range that is similar to Color Slide Film (where you expose for the highlights).

So, it can be difficult to properly expose brighter areas (without blowing the highlights), while still getting the darker areas exposed well enough for some purposes. As a result, you may need to spend some time with an image editor. Bracketing photos can help (exposing one for the highlights and another for the shadow areas).

There are techniques that can be used to blend two images together using software later. If you run into a problem with the camera you choose, you'll be able to get some tips on these types of techniques in our Editors (Photoshop, etc.) Forum

But, you'll need to use a tripod for this purpose (so that the bracketed images are identical from a composition perspective). A DSLR with the ability to shoot in RAW is better for high dynamic range scenes (much easier to prevent overexposed highlights, since exposure can be adjusted to some degree after the image has been taken). But, a DSLR is going to be outside of your desired price range.

In the Ultra Zoom Models, I'd take a look at the Panasonic Models (like the DMC-FZ20). Their lenses are quite sharp, and stay bright throughout their focal range.

I'd let members know more about the photos you plan to take (i.e., purpose for the images, including print/viewing sizes needed, if you need to capture the surrounding area at the same time, etc.).

I'd also suggest trying out any cameras you consider in a store to see how they compare (Viewfinder Useability, Focus Speed/Accuracy, Ergonomics, Control Layout, Speed of Operation, etc.).

You may also want to buy the camera you choose from a vendor with no restocking fee policy -- just in case it doesn't live up to your expectations.

If you want something more compact, the Fuji F10 mentioned seems to work OK up to about ISO 800 without destroying too much detail. Itdoes have an ISO 1600 setting, butit's going to destroy more detail there. This is much better than other non-DLSR models, though. But, it's lens is pretty slow if you use much zoom. So, that cancels out the benefit of it's ability to shoot at higher ISO speeds compared to most non-DSLR Ultra-Zoom models.

For example, with a camera like the Panasonic DMC-FZ20 I mentioned, you'd be able to getshutter speeds almost as fast at ISO 200, compared to the Fuji F10 at ISO 800, if you were at full zoom with the Fuji F10 (which is only equivalent to 108mm with a 35mm camera), and the Panasonic would have the advantage of a stabilized lens.

This is because the Fuji stops down to alargest available aperture of f/5.0 at full zoom, whereas the Panasonic can maintain a constant f/2.8 aperture throughout it's focal range.

So, take the amount of zoom needed into consideration when shopping for cameras, too.

I'd give more details on what you're trying to accomplish, and perhaps some of the other forum members here can give you some advise.


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Old Jun 9, 2005, 1:00 PM   #9
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I don't know how well this would work, but I'd say IS off, use a tripod and shutter priority or full manual mode so you can select a slow shutter speed.
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Old Jun 9, 2005, 2:43 PM   #10
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Thanks, but my head is spinning now.

I guess where I am now is: I'll continue to use a tripod, and forget about the stabilizer, and I'm just going to try some mid range, fairly idiot proof camera like Olympus C770? Or maybe Kodak. I'll look at your suggestions tomorrow.
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