Photo and video veriteGot questions about cameras or camcorders? Digital imaging Editor Lori Grunin gives you 30 minutes to hit her up for answers.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:05 >> Welcome back to Editor's Office Hours. I'm Dan Ackerman, and this is the live show where for 30 minutes I grab a CNET editor, tie them up, and force them to answer your questions. Today we have -- >> Yeah, you can't see, but my ankle is chained to the desk. >> That's right. You're chained up right here. Lori Grunin [Assumed spelling] is here with us. Weren't you just here? >> It feels that way. >> But we never have any end to the digital camera questions we get, so we're very excited to have you back. So I assume that means we're going to be talking about more camera stuff. >> More camera stuff, yep. [ Multiple voices talking ] >> -- all that fun stuff. So in order for you to be able to ask the questions you need to go to that white box if you're watching this live, that's right next to Lori's head. Type in a question there. You do need to be a CNET member to do that. But that's pretty easy to do. >> We don't charge a thing. >> There's also a chat box below here, if you're watching this live, and you can chat with other people who are watching the show and, you know, complain about us or -- or whatever. And if you're not watching this live, note that this is the day after the big presidential election. Somehow we both made it in today. I don't know about you, but I was out at a bar last night. We had a very inventive drinking game, where every time CNN would call a state you would have to do a shot if your preferred candidate won that state. >> Oh, that's interesting. >> And yet I'm here. >> Mostly, I just sat with my laptop, watching the returns come in. >> That's good. And we all made it, and let's jump right into our first camera question, and that is from Cafemachiado [Assumed spelling], wants to know is it true, he says accusatorially, that digital SLR cameras are not made to, quote, last, like professional film cameras, such as the F series -- I don't know what the F series is -- >> F series was a high-end film camera, Nikon. >> Okay. So this guy is basically saying, hey, digital S L Rs, are they actually junky pieces of plastic that aren't made to last. >> I think you're sort of extrapolating from the whole trend in consumer electronics with, you know, planned obsolescence, which we've been living with for even before the F series. In terms of what I've seen and what I heard about cameras, it doesn't seem as if the manufacturers are making them to last any less long. I think we are expecting more of them than we used to. The other thing is frankly they're a whole lot more complicated than old -- older film cameras used to be. There's lots of electronics in there, there's circuit boards, there's lots of stuff that could go wrong. So it may seem that they're not lasting as long, but, you know, I don't think the manufacturers are making them that way intentionally. >> So is a $1,000 SLR better made than a $40 -- >> He's talking about professional. If you want to talk about consumer models and are they made less well than consumer models of the past, actually I don't think so. I think it really does harken back to the fact that like cars, they're a lot more complicated than they used to be, and there's a lot more that can go wrong. >> I think every digital camera I had has died, but from an unfortunate physical accident rather than just falling apart. >> Remind me not to let you hold my camera. [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Our next question, ooh, this is a very specific question. The Nikon P 6000 or the Canon G 10, which is better to have as a walk-around camera when you don't want a digital SLR? >> Well, we haven't yet gotten in or tested the Nikon P 6000, which is the direct competitor for the G 10. However, everything that I have read about it, and from previous experiences with the Nikon, you know, enthusiasts, compacts, I think the G 10 is probably a better camera. I don't know what the image quality is like, but in terms of performance the Canon's usually do a lot better than the Nikons. And you know, from what I read people are a lot happier with the G 10s, they're not quite as happy with the P 6000s. >> And the G 10 is a very popular camera. >> Well, it's a replacement for a very popular camera. It hasn't been out long enough for us to know whether it's popular or not, you know, given how everything is. People may be holding on to their older models a little longer. >> There's a follow-up question here, presidential press conference style. I'm a little worried about Nikon's compact raw format. Now we talked a little bit about this last time, how raw is not really a universal point, everybody has their own -- >> Well, what he's referring to is the fact that with the P 6000 Nikon broke with its proprietary raw tradition and supports the raw codex [Inaudible] and Microsoft Vista. >> Ah. >> That's what he's referring to. So actually, oddly, this -- the format he's talking about is less proprietary than it used to be. >> That's always good, right? In principle? >> Yeah, I guess. I don't think there's anything really to worry about. If you're not using Vista, and you know, lots of people aren't, then you don't gain anything by using that format. And you're still stuck in the cycle of waiting for the software manufacturers to upgrade their raw codex to support it. So I don't know that it's necessarily a reason not to buy the camera or to buy the camera. >> Not a big plus or minus, unless you're a dedicated Vista user. >> Exactly. >> Okay, okay. Here's a great question from Matt Burly [Assumed spelling], and he's very friendly. He starts off, hey Dan Ackerman and Lori Grunin. >> Hey. >> I want an HD camcorder this holiday season. Which is your favorite 1080 P or 720 P HP camcorder that's kind of a budget -- that's kind of a budget camcorder. Thanks, Lori and Dan. Love CNET and CNET TV. [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- that's really the way to go. >> Um, okay. Once you use the word budget in -- with HD camcorder you kind of run into problems, because that means different things to different people. I guess I consider a budget HD camcorder about $800. Now to a lot of people, that's still really expensive. However, about 700 or 800 is the least that I would pay for a Dee sent HD model. And in that respect, I'd probably say the Canon HF 100. It's flash-based, it doesn't come with any memory built in, so you do have to budget in the cost of an extra SD card. They're really not that expensive these days , so I don't know -- you know, and that's a reason why I sort of encourage buying the ones that don't have memory built in. Because when you do you're paying extra for the memory when by the time you buy it, the cost has dropped for that 16 gigs -- >> So you just go get a 16 gig card. Like, what could you store, how much could you store on a 16 gig card, at, you know, like, a 720 P camera. >> Oh God. I don't remember. I am thinking about a half hour. >> That's not bad. >> That's a guess. I have to look up, and it depends upon what you're shooting, et cetera. But as I said, the Canon HF 100 is probably my pick for budget HD. >> Well, there you go, Mathew. You got a very specific answer because you are so nice and [Inaudible] your question like that. Here's another super-specific question. I was wondering what your thoughts are concerning the 40 D versus the D 90. Now I assume these are cameras. You're going to have to fill me in a little bit, give me a little background on this. >> They're very -- >> It was a very direct question. >> The 40 D, very popular Canon digital SLR, was considered a mid range model until they dropped the prize for the body to under $1,000. The G 90 is Nikon's new mid range digital SLR that the body costs just under $1,000. I mean, like, squeaking in there by a couple bucks. So basically what you've got now is a new camera competing with an old one. And of the two I'd have to say my pick is the D 90. In part, it's higher resolution, it's -- it takes advantage of all the newer technologies that have come out in the past year since the 40 D was introduced. It does video, it was the first digital SLR to do video. Which -- although the video quality isn't terrific, if you want to play around with it, it's really nice. But it's -- it's fast. 40 D does have a bit of an Achilles heel in one speed respect. But I guess my pick of the two is the D 90. >> Okay, okay. You think it's going to be a popular holiday season choice? >> It might. The thing is when Nikon released the D 90 they dropped the price of the D 80, which was its predecessor. >> Okay. >> And now the D 80 is extremely attractively priced. It's -- and so I think a lot of people may be considered the D 80 instead. As a matter of fact, it was my choice for, you know, the gift guide, the holiday gift guide, because you know, I limited the gifts to, you know, where you can get a camera and a lens for under $1,000. >> And how much is the D 80, now, then. >> The D 80 -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> I can't remember what the body only, but you can get a kit for under $1,000. >> Okay. >> Which makes it really attractive, and it's a really nice camera. Lower resolution than the D 90 and it doesn't have the movie, but there's still a lot -- it's fast. It's a nice camera. >> Very nice. Speaking of DSLR stuff. They have another question. When I want a DSLR lens all I have to do is look for the Canon L designation. Does Nikon have a similar designation for their high-end lenses. You know, you see a lot of numbers, letters -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> And tell me what the Canon L designation means, first. >> Well L -- actually, it's really funny you should ask that, because I have no idea what L stands for. But it's professional. Let's go with that. >> Okay, okay. >> But actually you can stop a Canon professional lens -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Not only does it have the L on it, but you can spot it in crowed, it's got the red band. Unfortunately, Nikon doesn't have anything -- anything remotely close to a single letter or a visual designation that tells you what the pros are. You have to go by the specs. >> So it's a red band on a Canon lens means it's part of their high end kind of line of stuff. >> Exactly. Best quality lenses. >> Okay. Are those ridiculously more expensive than the basic ones -- [ Laughter ] >> And when I say more expensive, what kind of range are we talking about right here? Like this guy right here. >> About, say, 600 to $800 more than -- there aren't always direct equivalents, but theoretical equivalents in the same zoom -- focal length range. >> And what do you get for the extra money? >> You get better glass, you get better construction. You get -- it's faster, meaning it's a wider aperture. So you can let in more light. And you get sometimes -- actually not necessarily with Nikon or Canon, but say Olympus. They have water-sealed lenses. But that's the type of better construction. You tend to have metal mounts on professional lenses where you can get plastic mounts on the really low end ones. But you also get metal mounts in the middle -- >> Mid range. >> Things like -- oh, those are the basics. The most [Inaudible] -- >> So -- okay. So for Canon they have the L series, that's their high-end one. Nikon doesn't have a separate designation, just kind of look and see what the most expensive one is. >> Well, yeah. And it's actually kind of frustrating. They're -- on one hand I suppose they're preventing some sort of internal bias on the part of the buyer by, well, you know, it's -- if it's got an L on it I'm not going to be able to afford it, or something like that. However, really, really -- I mean, Nikon, if you're listening, it would really help a lot of your users if you would -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- yeah, just throw everything in one big bucket, kind of hard to tell them apart. >> Yes. >> So who else -- >> Clearly there's confusion. >> There is. So who else has lenses that they break out by category, besides -- besides Canon and Nikon, or are they the two big guys who make lenses. >> They're the two big guys who make lenses. Sony does, they're -- but they're relatively new. It's -- it's -- the thing is Pentex doesn't have a professional camera, so they don't really break them out that way either. Sony actually doesn't have a -- what I call a real professional camera. They have the A 900 which is an expensive full-frame camera, but it lacks some of the features that make it a pro model. But they do offer some really nice glass. Olympus doesn't -- if I recall correctly, Olympus doesn't differentiate in any easy, you know, sort of -- you can look at it and say [Inaudible] lens -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> They do on their site, at least. Whereas Nikon doesn't even do that on their web site. They just lump them all together on one page. >> They want you to feel like it's a challenge -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> When you pick the right lens. >> Olympus at least breaks it out into high grade, medium grade, and low grade. >> All right, we're going to take a break right now and check out a video of a camera. What camera are we going to check out in this video? >> This is the Canon PowerShot G 10, which I suspect is going to be on a lot of people's gift lists this year. It's what I call an enthusiast compact. It's not a real compact that you stick in your pocket, but compared to a digital SLR, for which this is an alternative, it's definitely more compact. >> Okay, okay. Let's check it out. And we will be back in just a minute. [ Music ] >> Hi, I'm Lori Grunin, senior editor at CNET Reviews, and this is the Canon PowerShot G 10, which is Canon's enthusiast compact camera. Compared to digital SLR or a mega zoom, it's fairly small. Still a little heavy, but it feels very well made. I find the grip is a little shallow and I wish there were a little more to hang on to. But I think other than that most of the aspects of the camera are very nice, and it's a very fluid shooter's camera. They've added yet another dial. They now have the mode dial inside the ISO dial, and they've put an exposure compensation dial on the left side. Other aspects that make this a real enthusiasts camera, has the shot shoe bayonet mount for adapter lenses. It has the scroll wheel. It has an optical view finder, which is of course isn't as nice as one you might find on digital SLR, but it's better than an electronic view finder on a mega zoom. Of course it supports raw, and it has a built-in neutral density filter, which is really handy if you like shooting at slow shutter speeds. Has a big, bright LCD, and it takes very nice photos. They're useable up to ISO 400, and then things start getting a little mushy. The one thing I wish that had gotten better is I wish it shot HD video instead of 30 frame per second BGA, and of course I wish it zoomed while you were shooting it. Single shot performance is very good, but time between sequential shots isn't that great, and when you add flash it gets even slower. Of course two of the most notable aspects of the camera over its predecessor are the bump to 14.7 mega pixels. The other thing is that the lens is now wide angle. It goes to 28 millimeter equivalent. But you also lose a lot in the telephoto. It only goes out to 140 millimeter equivalent, as opposed to 210 millimeters that the G 9 did. Anybody who buys this camera who an enthusiast and isn't looking for an ultra-compact, I think you'll be pretty happy. I'm Lori Grunin, and this is the Canon PowerShot G 10. [ Music ] >> Hey, welcome back. It is Editor's Office Hours and I'm here with Lori Grunin. We're talking cameras, taking your questions, keep them coming. We've got about 10, 15 minutes left. We're going to get through as many questions as we can. Here's a good one. Less about the cameras, more about the software behind them. What is the best laptop for photography, as far as monitor calibration goes. I need the best screen calibration right out of the box. Should I just get a MacBook like most of the photographers I've seen. >> Well, first thing is I think they're confusing calibration with monitor quality. Because none of them come out of the box calibrated. As a matter of fact, if you're even considering doing any sort of work on a laptop those screens really need to be calibrated. I don't know that you have a lot of latitude in the calibration like you might with a desktop monitor. They're just, you know, because they have to match power requirements and stuff like that, they're just -- the new ones are starting to have LED back lights, and we're seeing a range of laptops that have just come out like the HP Elite book, Dell I think just came out with one, where they have the higher gamut, wider gamut LCDs, and really if you're interested in doing photography on a notebook, that's the type of thing you should consider. The one thing -- sort of the trade off, the reason why they look so much nicer is because they tend to have the glossy screens, which can be very difficult to use in different lighting. If you just plan -- if you're going to be in a situation where you're not really schlepping it around, you just have a laptop at home, and you can control your lighting so you don't have to worry about glare, then the MacBooks and the newer bright-screen monitors are definitely a good choice. But you do want to stay away from the low end laptops, because they have really, really high mat screens for -- to decrease the reflection. And the color, you know, they tend to have cheaper graphics chips, and you want something with a really good graphics chip set, preferable a separate not integrated graphics chip set. So -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- aren't there also a couple of laptops that companies are putting out now specifically aimed at -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- I was talking about the HP Elite book. It's one -- they tend to be referred to as mobile work stations. >> Yes, okay. >> And although Dan, you might know more about that than me. But sort of the high -- the high end of the manufacturer's mobile work station lines are now coming out with these, you know, very good displays, some of them ship with calibrators. >> I saw one with a -- you close the lid and the calibrator goes to work. >> Yeah, and I haven't tested that -- >> It was a [Inaudible] W 700 -- I don't think it's out yet. >> [Inaudible] I was trying to remember who the third one was. The thing -- that kind of sounds a bit odd to me, because you want to calibrate based on ambient lighting. So when you -- I mean -- >> Hard to calibrate with the lid closed. That's a good point. >> But I don't know. I haven't tested it. So for all I know they're doing some, you know, wizardry that I'm not familiar with. >> Okay. >> But really, you will need to spend a lot more on a laptop than your cheap Toshiba to get a decent display -- >> No 599 special for you. >> No. And you will have to actually use a physical calibrator. >> Something you clip on the screen. >> Yep. >> Okay, okay. Is the Nikon D 40 a good choice for a first SLR, or should I jump up to the D 90. >> If it's your first digital SLR and you're not sure you're going to be embracing photography wholeheartedly, I would think the D 40 is a fine choice, and I'd probably go for -- spend a little extra, you know, the money that you save in the difference in getting a slightly better lens. Because the better lens will definitely give you better photographs, and I think you'll have a better experience if you have a nice, sharp, fast lens. >> So what is a D -- what is the price difference between those two, generally -- >> At this point, I'm guessing 3 or $400. Which is a significant chunk. >> Like 700 versus 1,000? >> I think 4 or 500 versus $1,000. >> But that's without the lens on the D 40. >> Street prices tend to range all over the place. And I have no reference. I can't look. >> That's a good question, actually. We always see a lot of kind of fly by night on line camera stores offering great prices on a lot of cameras, but you always hear complaints about them. Where's the best place for people to actually buy their stuff, or [Inaudible] best deal on line. >> My philosophy on online shopping in general -- >> Don't do it? >> I never buy -- no. I do it all the time. I hate going into the stores. Especially, you know, I avoid stores from November through February. So -- is don't buy the cheapest. The cheap -- you know, just don't want to run the risk. Stay away from the most expensive, too. I see places that charge higher than list price on line. And these are actually some reputable places. So I go with somebody who charges about -- maybe 10 or 15% above the lowest price and that I've heard of. You know, if you've heard of it, chances are it's not bad. >> Bob's Back Room Photo Hut, perhaps not. >> Exactly. Unless of course, you know, you spend a lot of time on the Consumerist and all you hear about are the bad ones, then those are going to be the ones that you recognize. But you know, and frankly you can't really go wrong with a lot of the big names [Inaudible] -- video, Amazon, you know, I suppose Best Buy, you know, the big-box retailers, the ones that aren't having financial difficulties that you're hearing about -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Yeah. So you know, really -- their prices -- they -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- even though they may not be the cheapest. >> There are some very good ones that probably don't sound familiar to you. But you know, Google them. See if there's lots of complaints. >> See if there's lots of complaints, see if there's a lot of customer feedback. I like that. I like that. Okay, okay, is optical image stabilization better than in-body sensor shift image stabilization, or do they both do the same thing. And of course you'll have to give me a brief primer on what that means. I remember they used to have optical image -- not optical -- they used to have image stabilization in cameras, but it was digital and they said don't use it because it degrades the image. We're not talking about that here. >> Correct. We're talking about compensating for camera shake by either shifting the lens or shifting the sensors so that you know -- basically in one you have the lens compensating and in the other you have the sensor compensating. So essentially they're doing the same thing. Something is moving. >> Okay. As opposed to of the old style where they took the image and then afterwards tried to kind of fix it in the camera. >> Yeah. They're -- it's electronic -- yeah. Exactly. They both do the same thing. There's one significant difference between the two of them, and that is with optical image stabilization, when you look through the lens you get a preview of what the stabilized image looks like. >> Ah, okay. >> You don't get that with sensor shift. Now at short focal lengths where the picture is big , et cetera, it doesn't really make that much of a difference when you're framing the image. But when you're zoomed out really far and -- basically the whole frame is moving, then the optical stabilization can sometimes be easier to work with, because you do get that preview. So that's the difference. >> Okay, okay. Here's a good specific question here. What do you think about the DSET 700. Give us a brief out line of that. >> Well, that's actually at the top of our compact -- of our ultra compact -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Yeah. It's a very nice little camera. Sony -- it's a Sony -- >> Right. >> -- what they did was they put in a lot of memory so that you can use it as a portable photo album. Now I -- >> So [Inaudible] a lot of cameras in the camera itself. >> A lot of photos, yeah. >> Okay. Yeah. Store a lot of photos on the camera. >> Infinite regress on the cameras. >> That's right. >> They -- the thing is it stores low resolution images. So if you go to your friend's house and they want to print it or you want to give it to somebody, they be [Inaudible] drawbacks -- but if you just -- like a lot of people use their camera phones as a portable photo album. It's a much nicer solution, and it's a good camera. It's relatively fast and it takes relatively nice photos -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Oh, I don't remember. >> But not a -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> I think about 499, but that's a huge guess. >> That sounds -- that sounds good. Here's a question about printers. For ink jet photo printers, do I have to have one that uses pigment inks as opposed to dye-based inks in order to have archival prints. I know people have been talking for years about what kind of ink you're supposed to do -- what kind of ink you're supposed to use when you print out your photos so they don't, like, fade or degrade over time. So what are our options here, what's our best one. >> Do you need to have pigment for archival quality. Depends. Do you want it to last centuries? Yeah. At this point both dye-based and pigment last far longer than most silver alloy images ever did. So no matter what, as long as you have a good printer and you use the write paper -- because the paper it key. You can't just print on any paper and have it last a long time. But I will say, you know, pigment, definitely in terms of fade, if you're going to be putting it in a window, you're not going to be putting it under UV glass, pigment does seem to last a little longer. But I mean, if you're talking about -- if you're selling them -- >> Making nice frameable prints or something? >> Yeah. If you're putting it under UV glass then -- in the frame -- then the life span of a dye print -- a good dye print -- is good enough. >> Okay. >> Good enough. >> It will out last us. [ Laughter ] >> Yeah -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> But yeah. So you know, pigment, because of the nature of what it is, it will last longer and is more resistant to light fade, but under the right circumstances, not necessarily necessary. >> Now what -- what about the paper that we use to print the photos on. I know a lot of people use different kinds of photo paper. Glossy, matte, shiny, specialized kind, you know, generic Staples brand. Does that make a huge difference? >> Yeah, absolutely. The manufacturers -- the coatings on the papers are specifically designed to last -- to either last or not last so long, and that's why some are more expensive than others. The -- the matte and the semi-mattes and the premium lusters of the world tend to last longer than the really glossy ones. But each paper is rated differently. If you're really concerned about it you should check out Wilhelm's site about it, Wilhelm's research -- they're the ones who do the quote unquote standard life span testing on prints. >> Oh, all right. >> But you definitely want to stick with manufacturer's inks and the manufacturer's papers, and the life of the print is determined by the combination of the ink and the paper. It's not the ink and it's not the paper. It's the combination. And that's key. >> So when I go to Staples and I get the big box of glossy photo paper for 10 bucks, that may not be the best long-term investment, even though it's -- >> Those are for flyers for your favorite non-profit, for the event that's happening next week. >> Okay. Okay. So stuff you don't need to stand the test of time. Okay, okay. Are professional grade -- this is a topic we talked a little bit about last time -- are pro grade, i.e. more expensive memory cards, worth the extra money. >> Depends. Are you shooting on Mount Everest? Then yes. The pro grade -- well, the thing is splitting it into pro and cheap leaves out a whole middle ground. >> Okay. >> The extra-cheapy ones, probably, you know, they may have -- you may have problems with them. You know, there are controller issues with the camera, et cetera. But unless you're shooting in extreme conditions, like, you know, on Everest, sub-freezing temperatures, stuff like that -- >> I often find myself doing that. [ Laughter ] >> Most of -- most anything from, like, mid-range and up should work. Now every camera has different -- I don't want to say requirements but, like, the more expensive cameras can take faster cards and make use of that extra speed. >> So a cheap camera may not be able to use the most expensive high-grade cards. >> Right. But -- and this has been pointed out to me several times by my co-worker Matt Fitzgerald, when you're downloading the photos, you stick it in a reader. That's when the extra speed really can help. Because the transfer rate from the card to your system -- >> Is dependent on part on the card as well as -- >> As well as the reader and everything like that. But -- so -- >> Might as well. >> So even if your camera can't take advantage of it, your system might be able to. >> Your computer just might be able to. All right, we're almost out of time. I've got one more I think really good useful holiday question for you. This is kind of the lightening round question. What cameras are going to be the hot sellers this holiday season? >> Oh gosh, I haven't even really thought about it. >> Go! >> I'm guessing the [Inaudible] Sony T 700, the Nikon D 80, the Canon 40 D might be. The Canon G 10, and -- the Canon SD -- I think the 770 or the 880. >> Okay, there you go. Lori's predictions for hot holiday sellers. We'll check back with you December 26 to see how on target you were. >> I'm always right. [ Laughter ] >> Thanks for joining us on another edition of Editor's Office Hours. You can catch us every day coming from either New York or San Francisco. Tomorrow we're going to be back in New York with Jeff Backlar [Assumed spelling] of all people, talking about who knows what. We'll find something fun to talk about. And Lori, you have a podcast as to why -- what is that show and where do people listen to it. >> Indecent Exposure is the name of the podcast. >> Get it, because it's like -- a camera, expose -- I get it. And where do I find that? >> At indecentexposure.cnet.com. >> And that's weekly? >> It's weekly, every Thursday. >> Excellent. Excellent. And of course you can catch me on Digital City, our urban living podcast every Monday at digitalcity.cnet.com. Thanks for joining us on Editor's Office Hours. See you next time. >> Bye. ^M00:29:50 [ Music ]