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Digital Photography Primer

6775 Views 79 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  Dr. Giggles
If you are looking for general info on choosing and using a digital cam, check out the articles HERE

This thread is now used for asking questions about digital cameras, whether it is a question on what to buy, what features to look for, technique, confusing terms, etc etc. Just fire away. I am also using this thread to keep everyone updated on new cameras, discontinued models, etc.

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I've never heard of the brand, and at 6 mp for $150, I'd have to say no. The body looks very plasticky, and the zoom controls are awfully low on the body to be easy to use. It doesn't appear to have any manual controls or shooting modes, and the lens itself looks very small. Also, may or may not be important, but it won't do video either. Oh, it also does not have any low light auto-focus assist, so you will have problems taking clear shots at night or in low-light.

There are many factors that affect picture quality, not just the megapixels. You want to be sure to get a quality sensor and good glass as well. I would recommend sticking to name brands. For that price I'd say spend $50 more and get either the Canon A75 or the Nikon Coolpix 3200.
Nice primer ,
Great Job.
I bought the Sony F717 and one reason is battery life.It's outstanding ..
macro/zoom/ease of use is great as well. I love it.

Bored at work I took this last week.

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Very informative thankyou
Interesting color on that macro shot....the F717 is a nice camera as well.
Cool thread but I have to disagree with your ISO settings. At an ISO of 50 or 100 on a fish tank using only the tank light you're looking at like shutter speeds of 1/30 with an aperture of 3.0 if you're lucky. I'd say an ISO of 400 is almost the minimum for tank shooting, and most cameras can do this with a minimum of noise and grainyness. I use 800 personally, 1600 if I'm really forced to do it by low light conditions
Nice primer, just bought the canon G5 and still dont know what I'm doing. practice makes perfect i guess
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Twitcho-many digital cams out there won't go above 400...and I agree that most tank lights wont be sufficient to shoot at 50 or 100, but I think people should start that low, so they can find the lowest ISO that works for them.

Here are some example shots from my Sony DSC-W1:

This one is not a great shot, but is a good example of what a long exposure can do for you...note the look of the water...

A couple macro shots I took on the same trip this last weekend:

On the leaf shot, notice that the background is blurred ie. f2.8 and shallow depth of field

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I know most cameras won't go above 400, but all the ones I've seen will do at least 400 and I think as long as it isn't overly noisey it should be left that way.
I love playing with long exposures...here is an example of a long exposure while moving the camera on a tripod with the white balance set on flourescent...

Here is another from my trip to Burney Falls...it's a 5 second exposure with a brief flash to bring in the buddy:

Here's the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk....around 3 seconds I think

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One thing I was thinking about...for those of you who take a lot of tank shots, look at cameras that have the ability to screw on an adapter for lenses, filters, etc...then you can use a circular polarizing filter, which will cut down much of the glare coming off of the aquarium. Good brands for filters are Tiffen, Hoya, B+W, Canon, Sony and Nikon.

I have to say from a novice and probably less than a beginner, this information you folks are sharing should be pinned!!!
Certainly helps me in an area I'm totally ignorant of.

this will come in very handy when i decide on my next camera..

winkyeee...beautiful shot...just wondering what are your specs on your camera?thanks in advance
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I'm glad everyone finds this thread useful. If you have any questions, feel free to post them.

Also, if you are unsure of what certain settings will do to your shot, just ask and I'll post an example or two.

Any ideas on what to add? I was thinking of putting together another post in this thread about framing your shot, composition, etc...

BTW, the Sony F717 Winky took that shot with is last years model...it's a 5 megapixel with a 5x optical zoom, do a search on Ebay, should pull up plenty up hits. Nice camera. Very uh unique looking. lol. It's replacement, the F828 is a nice camera as well, although at that point you can get a Canon Digital Rebel or a Nikon D70. I'm really looking forward to the Sony DSC-V3 that is coming out soon. It's similar and looks to be a category killer.
how are hewlett packard models?
Wow, this is outstanding information - thanks for sharing, Lyle

btw: Lyle, is there any chance you could make a short of recommended camera's, divided in a couple of market segments (like: up to $200,-, $200-400,-, $400-600,-, $600,- and up, and Digital SLR's, for example, or based on the amount of MPixels)?
It's clear that not all of us can afford or even want a top-of-the-range model, and even with a 1-2MPixel camera you can make great pictures that are perfectly suitable for use on the web... And some of us obviosuly do only want the best of the best - if we have all the information right here on PFury, it would be a tremendous service to our members, and a great addition to this site (I could even add it to the PFury Information Section, including this information, sample pics of what all the terminology means in practice, etc. etc. - if you're up for that, of course: pm me if you're interested, and I'm sure we can work out something...)

Either way, thanks you very much already for this primer
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Judazz, you've got pm.

ThePack, HP models tend to fall apart from what I've seen. They use SD memory, which is good, but the picture quality isn't outstanding. We used to carry them as an entry level ad offering, but we stopped. IMO, there are better cameras out there for the same money.
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