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View Poll Results: Which camera should I get?
Kodak EasyShare DX6490 0 0%
Olympus C-2040 Zoom 0 0%
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Old Jul 29, 2005, 8:50 AM   #1
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Dear digital camera-owners:

Does anyone own a Kodak EasyShare DX6490 digital camera?

THIS ONE
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/dx6490.html

My Olympus C-2040 Zoom was stolen recently, and I need to replace it.

THIS ONE
http://www.steves-digicams.com/c2040.html

Consumer Reports (which I generally trust but does not cover as many cameras as this site) says the Kodak is "excellent overall, with superb photo quality." It is the only camera they are currently reviewing with such high marks (out of 50 or so cameras across the price spectrum).

My old (March 2001) Olympus took really excellent shots, mainly without my help (i.e. automatically). Seriously. It helped me out of the abyss of being a truly crap happy-snapper to a considerably-less-crap happy-snapper. It held the top slot in CR's ratings for 2MP cameras for 18 months, but it was still lower rated then than the Kodak is now. The proof of Olympus 2040's quality is visible on my silly photo-blog site at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/klp/show/

(you can speed up the slideshow in the top-right corner -- move the mouse there)

MYQUESTION
If you look at my snaps (watch the slideshow for a minute to get the range of capability) -- and consider that I am a TOTAL amateur -- can you assure me that the Kodak takes as good pictures as the Olympus? I don't care muchabout size or shape of the camera, or about how many megapixels -- I care ONLY about photo quality (i.e. the look, color, realism, lighting, etc. of snaps). I almost never print, instead showing on-screen. Or can you suggest an amateur camera that takes better shots?

If not, I may be forced to buy the old camera again, and I worry that I will miss an opportunity with the Kodak.

I would be grateful for any advice you can provide!

--kp.
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Old Jul 29, 2005, 9:53 AM   #2
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Your C-2040z had some benefits that are hard to find in most newer models.

One is it's extremely bright (f/1.8-2.6) lens.

Most cameras have a lens that doesn't start out until around f/2.8. At f/1.8, your C-2040z was more than twice as bright at it's wide angle lens position.

That means that shutter speeds will betwice as fast for any given ISO speed in low light without a flash compared to the vast majority of compact cameras on the market now.

Since I see some existing light photos in your album, you may want to take this into consideration when shopping. You'll probably need to use a flash with most models in some indoor conditions that you got by without one using your C-2040z. Otherwise, you'll get motion blur unless you're using a tripod and your subject is stationary.

To get a better idea of how Aperture, Lighting and ISO speed impact the shutter speeds a camera will need for proper exposure, see this handy online exposure calculator. Note that Film Speed is the same thing as ISO speed:

http://www.robert-barrett.com/photo/...alculator.html
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Old Jul 29, 2005, 10:23 AM   #3
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Jim, first let me thank you for taking the time to a) reply with your advice and b) looking at my snaps to get a better idea. I LOVE community spirit, and I thank you for your commitment to assisting me.

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that in low-light situations -- with correspondingly long shutter times (I took a course injunior highin the '80s;learned just enoughto get me into trouble) --I will need to brace any camera, either on something or with a tripod. UnlessI use a flash, that is.

Actually, I needed to do that with the Olympus 2040 as well.After a bit of trial and error (i.e. blurry photos), I assumed that one always needed to do that in low lightwhen not usingflash.

May Iask your opinion as to the relative merits of the 2 cameras regarding picture quality, color, etc.? Or is there a better one for an amateur (on that basis)?

I have looked at the site's reviews for both, as well as the site's "best cameras", but so many are listed in each category, and it is not clear to me if choices are being made on picture quality. I have also tried asking on a number of external forums, and everyone directs me here!

But no pressure if you don't have time, you've already helped a lot!

Thanks,

--kp.
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Old Jul 29, 2005, 11:26 AM   #4
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kprager wrote:
Quote:
If I understand you correctly, you are saying that in low-light situations -- with correspondingly long shutter times (I took a course injunior highin the '80s;learned just enoughto get me into trouble) --I will need to brace any camera, either on something or with a tripod. UnlessI use a flash, that is.

Actually, I needed to do that with the Olympus 2040 as well.After a bit of trial and error (i.e. blurry photos), I assumed that one always needed to do that in low lightwhen not usingflash.

In typical indoor lighting, you can probably get away with using ISO 400 without a flash if you stay at wide angle on your C-2040Z and get fast enough shutter speeds to prevent motion blur from camera shake (provided your subjects are relatively still).

From time to time, I see someone that upgraded from a C-2040z, C-3040z or C-4040z that was not happy with a newer modelbecause they lost this ability.

So, I just wanted to make sure you were aware of how much brighter the lens is on your C-2040z compared to most newer cameras. There are a few compact models with relatively bright lenses (for example, the Canon G6 has an f/2.0-3.0 lens). But, these are much rarer than they used to be.

Most users needing existing light ability now go with a DSLR model instead (since these can shoot at much higher ISO speeds compared to the non-DSLR cameras).

Quote:
May Iask your opinion as to the relative merits of the 2 cameras regarding picture quality, color, etc.? Or is there a better one for an amateur (on that basis)?
Well, I personally don't like EVF based viewfinders. I'm also not fond of the amount of compression Kodak is using for their JPEG images.

But, most users seem to like this model a lot.

Most newer cameras are probably going to have more advanced image processing compared to what you see with the C-2040z.

Any camera is going to have pros and cons. You'll need to decide what is more important in a camera. You'll see some things I'd be sure to compare in each review's conclusion section (startup time, autofocus speed/reliability, cycle times between photos, viewfinder usability, image quality, etc.).

I'd make sure to try them out in a store, too.You need to make sure you're comfortable with a camera you select (viewfinder, ergonomics, control layout, menu system, etc.).
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Old Jul 30, 2005, 6:37 PM   #5
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I have a DX6490, and I consider it a good camera in many respects, although it does not suit me.

Like most Kodak cameras, the 6490 is easy to use, and its default settings produce the sort of images most people favor. It also offers excellent manual control of exposure, should you want to try that. It has a good lens, and its high compression probably will not be a matter of concern, if you are mainly interested in displaying pictures on a monitor. I think you would enjoy the extended zoom range.

However, if you ever used manual focus or focus lock on your Olympus, you should be aware that neither is available on the 6490. (You can, however, prefocus with a half-press of the shutter button and hold that focus up to 60 seconds.) If you have never used an Electronic View Finder (EVF), you will find it different from an optical finder. However, if you mainly used your Olympus's LCD for framing and previewing shots, you will probably find the 6490's LCD satisfactory.

You seem to suggest that you don't have much knowledge of photographic techniques, but I don't think that's true. Maybe you don't know the jargon, but you have obviously learned how to produce striking images with the 2040, and that suggests to me a certain level of mastery, whether you are conscious of it or not.

Some of the skills you've learned with the 2040 may not transfer easily to the 6490, particularly if you aren't familiar with the concepts behind them. So you may find you have to start all over again, learning the quirks of the new camera. To some extent, this is always true, though.

As Jim suggested, you will find that the 6490 is more difficult to hand-hold in low light situations, especially if you try to zoom in on a distant subject. So you will have to learn some new guidelines for what you can get away with.

If you want a camera that will, as much as possible, feel like and respond like the 2040, you should probably try to locate a reputable source for another 2040 or one of its successors, the 3040, 4040, or 5050. If you don't mind spending some time building new skills, I don't think you'll find it difficult to adapt to other cameras, and the 6490 might be a good choice.
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Old Jul 31, 2005, 3:36 AM   #6
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Why not have a look at the kodak 7590. The DX model is quite discounted and has most of the features of the Z model, which is the newer. 5mp, 10xZoom, large lcd, high-rez evf, external flash attachment, great auto mode and tons of selectable scene modes, as well as aperture, shutter priority and full manual. Excellent movies, 640x480 or 320x200 selectable. Easy to use and optionally fully manual.

Very similar to the 6490; just a few more bells and whistles.

I got the Z7590 from buy.com for a pretty good price. Bought an extra battery and xD [OOPs, meant SD] card, as well as the filter adapter and 2 filters, and splurged for the series 3 dock, which makes for easy downloads and keeps the battery charged.

An external flash is needed beyond about 12 feet.

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