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Old Jul 2, 2005, 2:36 PM   #1
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A total newbie question here:

What digital camera paramethers should I consider for getting acceptable landscape shots in a normal daylight conditions (without extra equipment).

I'm considering 3-5mp 250-300$ range entry-level digital camera purchase & looking for professional advice to choose from several models.

Thanks
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Old Jul 2, 2005, 3:50 PM   #2
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Any camera can do landscape shots, but some people find that a wide-angle lens helps. Of course, a wide-angle lens isn't as big a deal in digital photography, where one can use software to stitch multiple pics together. If you do decide to get a wide-angle, there isn't much to choose from in your price range, but the Fuji E500/510 will do what you need, and have manual exposure controls as well. Both of these features are quite rare in the ~$200 range.

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Old Jul 2, 2005, 4:46 PM   #3
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Ok, I'll put it a different way.
Suppose you have 3 camera models in a same price range.
Is it possible to look @ their specs and say - this one would give better shots on open spaces because ...
Or it depends on specific model ?
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Old Jul 3, 2005, 10:44 AM   #4
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A wide angle lens is usefull - stitching often works, but not always and it does take time to do.

Almost all of the specs that are good for general photography are good for landscapes, but it is possible to point out the some things that are less important.

High ISO is not as important since you will most often be shooting in good light.

Wide aperature (small f/number) is not as important, again because you won't be frequently shooting in low light.

Fast response (low lag times) isn't important since your subject isn't likely to run away.
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Old Jul 3, 2005, 11:57 AM   #5
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Thanks for replay !
Any cameras in 300$ price range coming with wide angle lenses built-in or is it an optional component/accessory?
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Old Jul 3, 2005, 1:02 PM   #6
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There are optional wide angle adapters for some, but good ones are pricey enough that you would be better off with a camera that goes to 27-28mm on its own. Not a lot of choices though. The Fujis PhilR mentioned are the only ones I know of in your price range available in the US. Ricoh makes some, but they don't market them here.

Keep in mind that you are going to have to add a decent memory card and probably rechargeable batteries and a charger to your budget.

I didn't know how easy the Olympus cameras and software are for panoramas until I used some others. In pano mode it fixes the exposure and focus. It flags and numbers the shots so it is a snap to drag them into a box in the Oly software and the stitch is almost immediate. I can grab two or three pano shots with the Oly almost as quickly as a single shot. And with the camera held vertically they crop to a 4:3 at about 27mm with a lot of pixels.

I found that Panasonic's pano mode is almost useless. It doesn't fix the exposure and focus, so you have to use sophisticated stitching software that tries to even out the exposures. They take a while to stitch. I haven't used the Canon system, but they usually do a good job on things.

If the camera doesn't have a pano mode you need manual exposure and preferably manual focus. Some cameras have an infinity focus that works fine for landscapes.

There are more sophisticated panoramas that require sophisticated software. But for just emulating a wide angle I find simple is better.

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Old Jul 3, 2005, 2:50 PM   #7
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I didn't actually mean to use it for "panoramas", more likely for wide open outdoors, but also any other purposes. I would prefer not to purchase cheap wide-angle camera but an average standard one

Now picture quality & sharpness is actually an issue as I've seen many sample photos from decent cameras the perform poorly even in good lighting conditions.

Anyways, what Bill have mentioned sounds very reasonable for me.

Thanks for replays
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