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easy to shoot/high quality pics--does such a camera exist??

by cstep / March 26, 2007 12:58 PM PDT

looking for the above for my wife, whom is interested in capturing our children in action -- good or bad; her main goal is simply getting the shot the easiest way possible; however, from my standpoint, i'd like to have pictures that can actually be blown up into usable pictures...any suggestions?? thanks for the help

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Many such camera are available....
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / March 26, 2007 1:28 PM PDT

But...You didn't mention a price range.

Without a price range, we tend to go overboard.

With more information we can offer better suggestions:

Price Range?
Any preferences as to camera size (shirt pocket, jacket pocket, or full size camera)?
Do you need a zoom larger than 3X ?
What type of action do you have in mind?


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more info
by cstep / March 26, 2007 1:53 PM PDT

good point

price range $300-$400
smaller camera size
zoom prob not a huge issue
action -- 3 year old and 18 month old -- it's all action

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Heheh... askin' for much?
by fionndruinne / March 26, 2007 2:01 PM PDT
In reply to: more info

In your price range, which includes compact and some SLR-likes, you can get some quality, but generally not a lot good low-light or fast movement performance. If you really want good quality pictures, go for a SLR in the basic price range, $550-800. They are, contrary to popular belief, easy to use: just use them on auto settings. There are more features, but you will come to know them over time.

It boils down to getting either a low-to-medium quality sensor with compacts, or a high quality sensor with SLRs. Check out the Nikon D40.

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / March 27, 2007 12:42 AM PDT
In reply to: more info
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I am impressed by the Sony DSC H2
by abqstyle / March 28, 2007 1:41 AM PDT

I am impressed by the Sony DSC-H2. It provides quality that is very close to my current DSLR, the Nikon D40 in good light. The Sony DSC-H2 provides beautiful color, skin tones and has a fast, sharp, Carl Zeiss (excellent quality) 12X zoom lens. It is easy to use, well made and uses ordinary AA batteries. It is going for a very good price now (close to $200) as the new Sony DSC series is coming out.

Here are flower close-up photos I shot with the Sony DSC-H2. Excellent quality results!

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fast action photos
by hjfok / March 31, 2007 11:34 AM PDT

This is really a tough one. I have an extremely active 2.5 year old, and so I know how hard it is. All the compact cameras mentioned above will all do quite well when there is enough ambient light (outdoor during day time). But not all will be good enough indoor, and I take a lot of action photos of my 2.5 year old in low light and indoor. One thing I find is that I seldom need to do long zoom for this age, since I prefer to be close to them so that they won't run off or do something hazardous (but you will need longer zoom later when they grow older to participate in field sports). And I prefer not to use flash since this will slow down shot-to-shot time. Tripod is out of the question with a young toddler.
So if you find yourself taking quite a number of indoor or low light photos with the active toddler, then the Fuji cameras may be a better choice (with good high ISO performance). I personally use a D-SLR for my toddler, but this will be a lot over the price range you stated (about 6-10x your expected budget for a good system that performs well in low light without tripods or flash).

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fast action in low light
by hjfok / March 31, 2007 11:51 AM PDT
In reply to: fast action photos

One more thing. If you plan to take a number of action shots in indoor or low light, this is something you should look for in a camera:
1. Good high ISO performance (as little noise as possible). Many times I have to use ISO 800-1600 for indoor action without flash.
2. Short shutter lag
3. Fast low light autofocus
4. Image stabilization
5. Fast startup is usually not a problem with the new cameras now

Unfortunately, there is no easy preset mode that will help you take really good indoor or low light actions. To get a good picture, you likely need to make your own settings manually.
1. To capture action, you will need a shutter speed at least 1/250 to 1/500, to avoid blur from subject movement.
2. Pick an ISO that will let you have the above speed. The higher the ISO, the faster the shutter speed, and the less blurry the photo. But high ISO may give you grainy digital noise. That's why you need good high ISO performance.
3. Try not to zoom out too much. At lower zoom, the aperture is likely larger and this will help to give you a faster shutter speed and less blurry photo.

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Does it have to be digital?
by andrew77uk / March 31, 2007 6:56 PM PDT

If not, just get a film camera and a film scanner or get them processed at a local lab onto CD. Film SLR's are so cheap now that they are even cheaper than entry level digital! The benefit of film is...well its just so easy to use!! A hell of a lot easier that digital, theres 0 menu's just a dial with some different shooting modes, the most complicated part is just loading the film. Plus film is incredibly cheap to process, more so than developing digital, plus you tend to get free film when you process in an hour|! so you dont even have to buy film, making it actually vastly cheaper than digital to share photos with the family.

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by hjfok / April 1, 2007 4:53 AM PDT

Young kids like to run in and out, and the lighting condition changes quickly as you chase after them indoor and outdoor. I still remember the old days when carrying several rolls of ISO 100 to 400 films in case lighting condition changes. The advantage of digital camera is that you can change the ISO and WB quickly with the push of a button and a dial. And you can load the pictures on the computer and share with family and friends within minutes through your own website or other free online sites. This is a lot more fun than the films.

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Digital vs film
by hjfok / April 1, 2007 5:20 AM PDT
In reply to: films

For very young kids, they don't pose or stop for you. I usually grab the camera whenever I see a potential precious moment, and just use the high speed mode to capture the shots. Usually I'll get a few really perfect ones out of a bunch of okay ones. It is not uncommon for me to take 200 photos in one day and pick a few really memorable ones to keep in the computer, and then discard the rest. Developing hundreds of photos from film is quite an expensive way to pick a few good ones to keep. What I noticed was that in the past, I would wait for the perfect moment before I snap the shot to save films. But I sometimes I missed the moment. Now I just keep snapping like a paparazzi, and then pick the ones I really like and erase the rest from the memory card and the computer. Now I hardly miss any precious moments (a genuine unpretentious smile in its fullest stretch is a fleeting moment that doesn't stop for you to caputre, but if you capture it in time, it is a moment that will touch your heart forever).

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