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Old Jun 30, 2006, 8:51 PM   #1
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I currently own a Kodak P880, top end of the kodak prosumer category. I'm seriously considering selling it though, don't get me wrong it's not a bad camera, it's just that I finally (after owning it 6 months) decided it's not really the best for my needs. So I'm in a bit of a quandary here, what else should I go with?

Cost (as always) is an issue. I have enough money to go dSLR but I don't know if that's the best option for me right now. I would REALLY like the interchangeable lens ability, which I suppose would be my big wish for the P880. My complaints with the 880 are the shutter lag and image processing/storage times (I'm using a 120x SD card and it still takes like 20-25 seconds to process and store a 16-second exposure at full resolution). If I'm not mistaken, these things could be corrected, or at least dramatically improved, with better firmware. The new firmware update helped a couple things but just not enough.

I mostly take landscape, sky, and concert pics (indoor and outdoor) when I'm really going out specifically to take pics, so zoom can be very important at times and the 880 doesn't cut it without a tcon lens addition. I carry it around with me almost all the time though just because I know there's situations where I'd want it. Occasionally I'll want to take close-ups, and the 880 just has not turned out one really worthwhile macro shot (even with macro lens adapters), and sometimes I'll take studio-ish pics (set up lights etc.) when I find a cutie who'll model for me

I've strongly been considering a Kodak V610 as an always-with-me camera which would make the cost of dSLR a little on the prohibitive side, and so I'd just get another prosumer point-and-shoot to fill in for the special occasions. I used to have a Kodak DX6490 and absolutely LOVED it, and I see them selling for less than $150 now, but from some things I've heard it's a little hit-or-miss on getting a good one, I definately got a great one before.

Friends tend to rag on me for carrying a "purse" (a quantaray camera bag, decent looking IMO but not "stylish"), if I was more serious with my photography then I know they'd shut the heck up, or I could smack them over the head with it (it's rather cushy ), another reason I'm considering a compact camera for carry-around.

If I get a dSLR, I need it to have an "auto" mode or something real similar. Not for my use, but if it's going to be my only camera and I want someone to take pics of me w/ it or someone just wants to try it out and doesn't know what to do (canons tend to scare old people!! lol) then I'll need a dummy-proof setting. I'd also like one to have live-view. It's not a "professional" feature, but I don't always want to have my face up to the camera for each shot. Not a must, just a want.

I AM NOT EVER CONSIDERING A SONY! Not even if it's solid gold and can make me a sandwich! Proprietary-anything just pisses me off and sony f***ing loves to do that (i.e. memory stick) and their tech/warranty support was abysmal for my friend and his P72. Despite that I would consider an olympus dSLR but NOT a carry-around, their consumer-level things just honestly crap for the price... the new stylus 700/800 are still quite shy of "redemption" in my book. I like SD memory, on a few occasions I've been able to take my camera card out and pop it in my Treo 650 and send the pics to someone from wherever I was, I don't do that often and it takes a LOOOONG time on cellular data networks, but it's still really cool. I'm not "married" to SD, I'd accept CF/microdrive with no complaint and xD only in an SLR.

Also... are there any dSLR that even take video? That's really a consumer kinda thing, I know, but that's one thing the 880 does pretty well for being a "still" camera. Aside from the lack of video compression (8 minutes was 400mb!!) and the stickiness of the manual zoom (it's not smooth, shakes the camera... of course not an issue when doing still shots) the quality is rather decent and the mic doesn't get overwhelmed easily even when close to the speakers at a concert.

Whew, so after my long-windedness, what I'd like to hear your opinions about:

1) Stay the course, learn to love the P880 again and get a tcon adapter (or a DX6490)
2) Sell it, and get a different prosumer point-and-shoot and a compact for carry-around
3) Sell it, and get a dSLR body and pair of good lenses
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Old Jul 3, 2006, 1:33 PM   #2
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wizbummer wrote:
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and image processing/storage times (I'm using a 120x SD card and it still takes like 20-25 seconds to process and store a 16-second exposure at full resolution).
Camera propably uses dark frame noise reduction so it takes second equally long exposure "with lens-cap on" and subtracts noise in it from real exposure. That's what all non-SLRs do for long exposures.


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I mostly take landscape, sky...
That's quite much wide angle requiring so I would discard cameras with worse wide angle than 28mm, especially sky requires good wide angle.
This one was taken with 28mm + 0.8x wide converter (~22.5mm, "wide" angle of most cameras captures only half of that area.


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Occasionally I'll want to take close-ups, and the 880 just has not turned out one really worthwhile macro shot (even with macro lens adapters)
Do you mean you don't get small enough targets? (that tele "macro" must suck)
Or bad chromatic aberrations, distortions and corner softness which are faults of wide angle macro. (pluslens shading target)

From non-SLRs KonicaMinolta A200 would have one of the best tele macros and 200mm tele should be nicely longer while 28mm wide angle is good.
Other camera with longer than compact-standard tele and good wide angle is Fuji S9000 whose tele macro is slightly worse.

As for dSLRs you can be sure those bend to every aspect of still photography as long as you have approriate lenses. (SLR lenses generally cover only very short focal length areas)


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Also... are there any dSLR that even take video? That's really a consumer kinda thing, I know, but that's one thing the 880 does pretty well for being a "still" camera. Aside from the lack of video compression (8 minutes was 400mb!!)
No, structure of "d"SLRs is still from "analog age"/era of entirely other sensors and incapable to using all capabilities of digital sensors.
You can expect that feature when there's interchangeable lens camera with EVF and without that flipping mirror. It's quite propable that making of EVF accurate enough to replace TTL viewfinder is possible already... in fact KonicaMinolta A2, "predecessor" (and generally more feature rich) of A200 has accurate enough EVF that you don't see anymore separate pixels in it and that camera is two and half years old!

I agree while it's consumer feature it's must have in only camera, last year I wouldn't have gotten any material from summer's best thunderstorm without video capability and last night I got some lightnings with it which would have been extremely hard to capture with stills.

And around videos manual, mechanically coupled zoom is absolutely best, most button zooms even disable zoom completely for videos.
Also only few cameras use more efficient MPEG4 compression for videos... must be that many big makers don't want to endanger their video camera sales.

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stickiness of the manual zoom (it's not smooth, shakes the camera... of course not an issue when doing still shots)
Weird... well, Kodak has never really been maker of serious digicams.
Actually videos are one of the things in which stabilization is very usefull because that smallest high frequency shake (which is dampened much by stabilization) is most disturbing kind of shake in videos.

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I AM NOT EVER CONSIDERING A SONY...
You forgot rootkit-virus use limiting for music.
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Old Jul 3, 2006, 4:31 PM   #3
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You could go with something like the KM A-200 or the Fuji S-9000 that would not have interchangeable lenses, but would provide you with the video clip capability you desire.

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Old Jul 5, 2006, 1:18 AM   #4
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Thanks, that was very informative ET. My problem with close-ups w/ the 880 is (sometimes) poor, fuzzy focus and a general lack of detail, and I can't determine the cause. I just don't get the detail with the shots that I did with my dx6490, kodak SAYS the focus range is from 2" but I have never been able to get that close to something and get a clear pic from it, I'm usually 6-12" away. I've tried all the modes associated with closeups, made sure the lens wasn't dusty (of course), tried macro filter lenses (although they are kind of cheap ones from tiffen), but the pics just never came out too well. With my 6490 I took a pic of my hand just as a practice, no special modes or anything, about 6-8 inches from me. You could see the ridges of my fingers and palm, that's not a big deal alot of cameras can do that, but when I got the pics on my computer you could see, rather clearly, a few tiny specs of dirt in the creases of my finger.

And then I went and washed my hands :lol:

I suppose it depends all on my finances in the coming months, but by the end of the summer I think I'll end up with a dSLR and a V610. I'm leaning towards the EOS rebel xt 350, I saw a used one (body only) sell on eBay for $315!

Oh, and the stickiness isn't terrible, and I think it's gotten better as I've used it, but it definately isn't as smooth as the SLR's I've tried out in the past. In all honesty, I think it's kind of pointless on the 880 other than to make it "feel" like an SLR or possibly to reduce the weight a bit. Sure, there's no zoom noise in video but what good is that if it shakes the camera?? All I really cared about was the manual focus ring, which is ALOT smoother but has no effect on video. It relies on the autofocus no matter what, even if I turn AF off :roll:
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