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Need a Camera as fast as my Toddler

by toddlermom / May 13, 2009 1:54 PM PDT

This may make me a complete luddite, but I need a camera that does one thing and one thing well, takes a picture! I have a toddler and one on the way. Our current camera is dying a slow death (repeatedly low battery despite recent charging, failure to bother to take a picture when depress the shutter button) and we need a new camera. I want a simple, small camera I can throw in the diaper bag and whip out to take a picture when my kid does something cute, and I want to capture them actually doing the activity, rather than 2 seconds later. I need a simple point and shoot camera without shutter lag. It doesn't need to do video (I have a Flip Camera for that, which I love!!!), it doesn't need to have 12x zoom, HD capability, 47 megapixels or any other bells and whistles. I'll probably never put it in manual mode because who has time with a toddler. I just want a digital camera to take a good picture fast that I can easily carry with me. Any suggestions?

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some good choices

The Canon SD790 or SD880 should fit your bill. They are both very small, very good image quality, and in good light, take .3th sec. for shutter lag. That's up there with DSLR shutter lag speed.

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Toddler's photos
by hjfok / May 14, 2009 11:42 AM PDT

Taking toddlers photos are more difficult than most people think. They move fast from place to place and do not have patience to pose for anyone. You literally have a split second to capture the moment. I know because I have a very active toddler and that is the reason I got my D-SLR system. The most difficult ones are low light and indoor photos. Shutter lags are the worst when light is dim. But since you don't want to carry D-SLR, finding a compact camera that can have decent performance in low light is going to be challenging.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 has a very fast lens f/2.0 which can be a great help in taking low light photos. But it does not zoom out much, which may not be a problem since you are usually within a short distance from your toddler anyways. You should learn at least to use the semi-auto modes like aperture-priority, it's easy and will help you to take better toddler photos.

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Find a place...
by mwooge / May 15, 2009 3:09 PM PDT

Find a place with lots of cameras on display and snap a picture with each to see how long it takes.

I assume you know you can hold the button down half way and it'll focus, then press the rest of the way and it'll snap with no delay at all.

Actually, I think any camera will do, as they all have about a one-second delay, which is plenty fast enough. It'll take at least five seconds to grab your camera, turn it on, and point it, so the extra half second you might get with a "fast" shutter won't really matter.

BTW. The secret to taking a good picture is to take several and throw away the bad ones.

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Pre Focus taking Photos
by Hammerhead1964 / May 27, 2009 1:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Find a place...

Pushing the shutter down 1/2 way works fine EXCEPT on Polaroid (Hemorrhoid) cameras.
I have a PDC 3070 that my wife bought me as a replacement for a Fuji that went for a swim when I fell in a river when the bank gave way.
The shutter MUST be depressed all of the way to focus and if you want a date time stamp you must set the clock MANUALLY each time as it does not run. (This camera is a total joke) but I am glad to have it as we live on a low disability income and she saved for almost a year and a half to get it for me, so even though I cuss it out I am happy to have a digital camera.

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / May 28, 2009 12:42 AM PDT

Many people have been fooled by the new Polaroid name.

It is no longer the company that it once was.

Several years ago, Polaroid was sold to a company that specializes in finding foreign partners for US companies.
Polaroid is now just a marketing company that sells foreign made goods, mostly from China.

Chinese designed/manufactured cameras have long been noted for low quality.

The old company name of Bell & Howell has been used for advertising foreign photo goods too.
It is typically called Bell + Howell in the ads.
The company that owns the name of Bell & Howell rents it out to various companies.


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Shutter speed
by boscosbaby / April 3, 2013 12:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Find a place...

You said: Actually, I think any camera will do, as they all have about a one-second delay, which is plenty fast enough. I beg to differ. I sent back the new Samsung which were great pictures, however, the shutter spead was waaay too long to get kids or any moving object clear.
To Toddlermom: do your research then check out the cameras in person in store. Don't give up.

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I have toddler grandchildren, and I have a very good camera
by alswilling / May 15, 2009 8:17 PM PDT

I have grandchildren ranging from 3 to 20 years of age. When my youngest two came along (ages 3 and just-turned-6), we needed a good quality digital camera that took good pictures fast - for the very reasons you mentioned.

I have been an amateur photographer most of my life, using primarily manually controlled 35mm cameras with filters; flash; macro, and zoom lenses; etc.; so I have a good handle on quality camera equipment. I have always trusted Kodak for point and shoot cameras. Their quality has always been good, and their image processing has always been top notch, hands down. With Kodak's reputation for quality coupled with affordability, I decided to try Kodak's EasyShare C653 digital camera. It is compact enough to put in a diaper bag or shirt pocket; has a good LCD view screen on the back for quick shot framing; a good zoom lens; and for quick toddler shots with a minimum of blurred images (quick shots often are blurred due to movement of both the subject and the photographer's hands), there is an anti-blur setting on the selector ring around the shutter button. It also has many other neat features, including close-up and video capabilities. It has some memory built into the camera itself, but in the battery compartment, there is also a slot for a memory card. Unlike some zoom cameras with video capability, the lens can be zoomed in or out while in video mode.

As for the picture quality, I have taken very close shots of tiny insects and flowers, as well as indoor portrait shots both with and without a flash in normal lighting, and I have gotten excellent results in all situations. The only shots I had to fiddle with to get right were nighttime landscape shots with the full moon. It doesn't do nearly as well as a film type camera for outdoor night shots, but it did well enough for wallpaper on my computer screen.

So, from an amateur photographer with toddler grandchildren, I recommend the Kodak EasyShare C653 camera, or their current equivalent. I've had mine for a couple of years now, so Kodak may have a new model on the market now.

I got mine for about $125.00 plus tax, and it has been money well spent.

Oh. You might want to consider getting about eight rechargeable batteries and a charger capable of charging some or all of them-or two chargers capable of charging four batteries each to reduce battery costs, especially if you will be using video mode or flash a lot.

I think you'll be well satisfied with Kodak's EasyShare camera. You can also get an EasyShare docking station to dock the camera to your computer or printer, but I have been using the USB cord that came with the camera and the EasyShare software on my computer to download the images from the camera to my hard drive. You don't need the docking station to print the photos or send them by e-mail, or to upload them to the EasyShare or other image hosting service if you choose to go that route.

I hope this helps.

Cleveland, TN

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A fast camera that has my fingers itching
by jbk9255152 / May 17, 2009 3:52 PM PDT
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Ultra fast shots
by hjfok / May 18, 2009 8:11 AM PDT

This may work in well lit or bright ambient light, but may not work well in lower light. Most of the situations that your camera becomes annoyingly slow and miss the moment is likely in low light, when the autofocus is slow, taking forever to hunt and lock in focus. Most cameras do not have problem with shutter lag in bright light, only if light becomes dim. In general, Casio also has more noise and lower image quality than others.

Here is a comment from a review, "The EX-F1, sad to say, is auto focus challenged, particularly in low light situations. We frequently found that the system refused to focus the first time we held the shutter down, only to lock in quickly and efficiently when we pressed it a second time, with no change in position or settings. There?s no rhyme or reason to the problem. It is worse when the lights or low, but even an outdoor scene with clearly defined edges can suffer from focus interruptus."

And here is a link to that review,

Here is another review about the newer and slimer model,

Despite the incredible fast speed on paper, lack of image quality is still a significant draw back (poor high ISO noisy photos are not uncommon in cameras of this category). This is somewhat like a machine gunshot approach, take 60 shots and hopefully a few will be in focus and useable.

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Camera as fast as a toddler
by ericshenton / May 24, 2009 8:12 PM PDT

You need a camcorder then you can forget about pressing the shutter at the right moment!
I have been a film camera/ camcorder user for over 40 years and can testify that the films of our children`s early years and now our grandchild, are watched more and give far more pleasure than any of the photographs that we have of them. Camcorders capture the moment with movement and sound.....far more true to life than any still picture. They are easy to operate and if you buy a modern HD camcorder you can take stills and print out photographs from the camcorder footage with the appropriate software. Don`t be tempted to try the other way round.....still cameras with a video facility are a poor compromise with heavily compressed video and awkward controls.

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Photos vs video
by hjfok / May 27, 2009 12:49 PM PDT

Some people prefer photos whereas others prefer videos. I do both for my 4 year old and family. But I find using a camera to freeze the moment of action and emotion simply adds magic to the photos, and you can print it and display it.

Here are a few memorable moments of my 4 year old that I find, at least as enjoyable as looking at the video, if not more so.

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photos v video
by ericshenton / May 27, 2009 9:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Photos vs video

Beautiful photos. I agree with what you say there are moments when a photo speaks louder than words! The point of my message was not to say there wasn`t a place for photos but that in nine cases out of ten to catch the fast action of a toddler a video camera is far easier to use as the shooting is continuous and you do not miss moments that you might do when fumbling to set up a photo.

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photos and videos
by hjfok / May 28, 2009 4:15 AM PDT
In reply to: photos v video

Thanks. Yes I agree that video is easier to capture everything and easier to capture low light action without using expensive fast lenses. And video can capture sounds. But photos can make an image stand out and isolate the memorable moment, with more aesthetics. However, it takes some practice to capture the moments with a camera. On the other hand, editing video is more time consuming and takes up more hard disk space. And photo sharing is still easier than video sharing, though You Tube has made video sharing much easier these days. So what I'm trying to say is that both photo and videos have their strength and weakness, and they complement each other. Most people, including myself, do both. This is a digital camera forum, so I have to give some support to photos.

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photos v video
by ericshenton / May 28, 2009 9:37 AM PDT
In reply to: photos and videos

Yes you make some valid points about the relative merits of both video and stills. I wouldn`t make so much fuss about editing although for those who have no experience of video making it is held as a major hurdle. It only matters if you want to produce videos that try to be like a hollywood production. To be quite honest most of our footage is for home consumption only so only a basic clean up of out of focus shots and unsteady images is called for. DVDs can be made quite easily with a basic programme and you can add titles and dates that are all so important in the future when your memory of times and places is getting hazy!I have made slideshows of my digital stills and these need time spent putting them together so in the end the time spent in making a CD/DVD of digital photos is similar to a basic video edit.

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photo vs video sharing
by hjfok / May 29, 2009 6:11 AM PDT
In reply to: photos v video

Sorry to drag this discussion further along, and off the original topic. But like I said earlier, some people prefer photos and some people prefer video, but most people do both. The preference is very personal. One way is not absolutely better than the other. If you look at how most people share their precious moments, there are more photo sites on internet than videos, mainly because it is much easier to share photos than videos. Nowadays, I share photos via internet much more frequently than other ways, and 99% of the time I share photos rather than video clips. So this definitely influence my preference in photos. But I still like my HD camcorder, and will sure enjoy those footage when my children grow up.

As for sharing unedited video footage, this may work with some people or families, but I think this is like watching the interview footage of the American Idol or sitting through a karaoke. There are a lot of boring, excess and somewhat distracting clips in most unedited video that you have to endure to enjoy the relatively short exciting and interesting moments. Not too many people like to sit for hours to watch someone else's home made uncut videos. So I usually will like to edit out the unwanted footage and put all the good clips together into an enjoyable movie. But the problem is that I don't have that much time to do this kind of editing, so there are piles of unedited videos waiting for me to work on one day, perhaps when I retire.
Making slide shows of photos on DVD is not the best way to share photos, especially if you view them on a HDTV. They take a long time to make and look awful on TV. There are media boxes or adaptors that can be used to view photos on TV directly from the memory card/stick or from the laptop. You can view the photos instantly and directly, and you can control what you want to show. And they look great, just like the computer monitor. Uploading photos on internet or sending them via the phone is fast and free. Uploading videos still take quite a while, and sometimes you may even need to pay for extra storage if your files exceed certain limits.
But again this is my preference, and for sure someone else will disagree.

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Slide Shows
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / May 29, 2009 8:44 AM PDT
In reply to: photo vs video sharing

I have just finished my third High Definition slide show for television and have to take exception to your statement about looking "awful on TV".

I first made a Blu-Ray DVD and played it on a Blu-Ray DVD player connected to a HD television. I found the picture to be excellent but jumpy when using the pan or zoom features in the slide show software.

My next two slide shows were burned onto normal DVD media (not Blu-Ray).
When played on a Blu-Ray DVD player or a newer upscaling regular DVD, the image is excellent but without the jumping I experienced on Blu-Ray DVD media.

All the pictures were 1920 x 1080 or larger.
And the software aspect ratio was set to 16:9

The slide show software was ProShow Gold by Photodex.

The software can also be used to show video clips.
Instead of inserting a slide, you insert a video clip.
Slides and video can be inner-mixed.

But you are right, it does take some time to make the slide show, but after you make a few, it goes much faster.


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Thanks for the tip
by hjfok / May 29, 2009 11:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Slide Shows

My prior awful experience was when buring slide show on regular DVD and play back on regular DVD player. That was quite a while ago. Since then I have been using wireless network media to connect my desktop to my HDTV and recently using a WD media box to connect an external hard drive to the HDTV, and images have been excellent. I have not tried burning photo slide shows since a long time ago. But I have burned videos and data using my Blue Ray burner with excellent playback on a blue ray player. The WD media box is so easy to use, I don't think I will try burning photo slide shows anymore. But thanks for the tip.

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My 2 Cent's Worth...
by jpedicord / June 10, 2009 3:28 AM PDT

I don't have a toddler, but I take pics of our cats who are our current children and they move fast too (when they're awake, that is). Two speed tricks I found that I didn't see mentioned in this thread that should work with whatever camera you end up with:

1- use high-speed memory cards for a tiny bit of advantage
2- turn off the review/display that holds the shot for you to see what you got after each shot. That way you can snap several shots in a few seconds time and improve your chances of capturing the cuteness. You can go back later to look and cull.

Good luck!

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by boscosbaby / April 3, 2013 1:16 AM PDT

VERY helpful! Thank you

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