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Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

by farleto / January 28, 2004 5:43 AM PST

Need a digital camera to capture images of my baby and either print or keep online.

Im concerned about shots that will have blurred images. Tested a few cameras and half the shots were blurred. Is this typical with digi cameras?

Most importantly does anyone have experience with a 3mg pixal or greater camera that takes good babies photos???? especially moving ones. =)

Would LOVE some good advise, size and complexity of camera is not an issue.

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Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!
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Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

When someone first start using a digital camera it is quite common to view the results and see lots of blurred photos.

There are several reasons:

1. Lag times:

Auto Focus LAG is (roughly) the amount of time it takes the camera to autofocus (a half-press and hold of the shutter release button), this timing is normally the most variable as its affected by the subject matter, current focus position, still or moving subject etc.

Shutter Release LAG is the amount of time it takes to take the shot from the moment you fully depress the shutter release button, measured both as a time including auto focus and a time assuming you have already pre-focused by holding a half-press of the shutter release.

To Be Continued:

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continued:

Auto Focus Lag is usually in the order of over 1 second.

Shutter Release Lag can be from 0.1 second to 0.5 second. depending upon the camera. In the digital camera world 0.1 second is considered fast.

To minimumize the lag, you get ready to take the picture by pressing the button half way down and holding in that position for about two seconds and them when the action occurs, you press all of the way down and the picture is then taken 0.1 second later.

So you can see the possibilites for blurred and out of focus pictures.


2. Low Light Conditions. (with or without flash)

Some cameras do not autofocus well under low light conditions. This means it may not focus quickly or not at all.

3. Low Light Conditions. (without flash)

To compensate for the lack of light the camera adjusts it self to let in more light and also reduces the speed of the shutter. If the speed of the shutter drops below 1/60th of a second and you are hand holding the camera, camera movement comes into play and your body movement will be the cause of a blurred picture. Use a tripod at slow shutter speeds.

...............

So you need to select a camera with:

..Fast Shutter Release Lag.
..Autofocus assist light.
..Aperture and Shutter Priority features.
..A Fast lens (most digital cameras have a F2.8 lens; a fast lens would be approx F1.8 or 2.0, but they are few and expensive, well over $600)

Two examples of good choices for action cameras from Canon would be:
A60 - 3 meg - 2x zoom - $180
G5 - 5 meg - 4x zoom - $525

These where chosen from the low and middle of the Canon digital line of cameras. There are others.

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Correction:

The Canon A60 camera is 2 meg and 3x zoom.

..

the reason this reply is broken into sections is because the software on this forum limits the size of a reply.

..

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Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

My guess is that the blurred images you're getting doesn't have as much to do with the camera as it does you not holding the camera steady and/or using a too slow shutter speed. Sharp images are the result of several factors---ISO setting, shutter speed, steady photographer and steady subject.

The higher the ISO that the camera is capable of the higher the shutter speed, in general, that can be selected. A higher shutter speed will help reduce blur but the hands holding the camera still have to be as steady as possible. Without getting too technical the ISO is a means to measure how sensitive the film, or, in the case of digital cameras, the sensor is to light. The higher the ISO number the higher in sensitivity the camera is and as a result the less light it needs to produce an acceptable image which means a higher shutter speed (less light hitting the sensor) can be used.

Just about any brand name 3MP camera will give you good results but you have to know a few basics of using any camera to get the most out of it. Depending on your level of experience you might want to consider a camera that will allow a maximum ISO setting of 400. Some go as high as 1600 but I doubt you would need that. I would definitely shy away from a camera that had a maximum ISO of 200.

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Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

farleto, your questions indicate that you do not have much photographic experience. basically, a camera is a camera. shutter opens, lets in light, closes. unsharp pictures are indicative of either motion of subject or camera movement. these are corrected by a fast shutter speed and/or by holding the camera very still, even on a tripod. the more light available(as in a good flash or bright daylight) the quicker the shutter speed and the sharper the picture. the steadier the camera, the sharper the picture.
as far as camera movement is concerned,lean on a steady object when you shoot, hold your breath, squeeze the shutter release, don't push it quickly or you'll move the camera, and even use a tripod if you want the sharpest pix.
camera recommendations? if ya got the bux, the canon digital rebel$999 is a great camera. I really recommend that you determine your needs(how large are you going to print), read some literature on the subject, on line, photography magazines, etc. good luck.

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Re:Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

I just bought the Olympus Camedia C5060 and am EXTREMELY happy with all the shots I have taken so far. It has 5.1MP

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Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

I have the Sony DSC F-717 (about $700 street)
The delay in it is in the auto focus If you set it on manual and pre-focus the time delay is minimized. Also, if you are working with the existing light in the room set it on the highest ISO speed which will up the shutter speed or with the F-717 you can set the shutter manually and it will select the ISO automatically... just don't set it so high it exceeds the cameras capability.

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Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

I have 45 years of photographic experience. July 2003 I bought a Fujifilm 3800 as a test of digital photography. I am extremely satisfied with the picture quality(see consumer reports this month). I have found that the best solution to blurring is more light. If indoors and not in a sunny room use the flash. The shutter lag for the 3800 is longer than I like and extremely frustrating. A new camera with better specs and a minimal shutter lag is the Minolta Z-1. I have a new grandson and if you want I will send you pictures. Get in close and at the baby's Eye level. The 3.2 megapixel pictures (1.4 MB JPEG file) are amazingly sharp on my 19 inch monitor and 4x6's

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Re:Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

I bought the same camera and have been extremely satisfied, also. But I have a problem with file size. When I want to share my pics, they are so large they are impractical to email to yahoo and hotmail accounts (they are usually nearly full anyway). I have reduced the pixal count down to 1MP, but the pics are still 350Kb in size..way to large. Does someone know how to make a 60Kb size image from a larger one, or maybe there is a feature on the camera..
tnx

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Re:Re:Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

For scaling digital pictures, I use Graphic Workshop by Alchemy Mindworks, and have always been pleased with it's ease of use for conversion (JPG to BMP or GIF or any one of dozens of other formats) size scaling, copy, move and lots of other 'workshop' like tools. It is a shareware program that can probably be found here on CNET.

Also, you can use Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro (Shareware) or any 'paint' type program to adjust the 'image size'.

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Re:Re:Re:Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

Thanks much

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Re:Re:Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

Yes you can reduce the file size of a .jpg photo to just about any size you want.

You need some software that will let you manipulate digital photos. If you don't have such a program, download Irfanview.

http://www.irfanview.com

It is a handy-dandy free photo viewer and does basic manipulations.

If you have large pixel size photos you first resize the photo to 640x480.
Then you select "Save As" from the File menu.
Select the correct setting for .jpg and rename the photo to keep from overwriting you original. For this exercise I suggest you add the letter 5 to the end of the filename.

Before you click anything else, look for an "Options" button. Click that button.

That should lead you to a quality slider that is usually numbered from 0-to-10.
Slide that down to about halfway (5) and click OK to save the photo.

This compresses the .jpg to a greater degree.

Now check the file size of the saved photo and it will probably be somewhere near 60kb.

If you need to reduce the file size more, start over with the original, resize it and then "Save As" it with a "Option" quality level that is lower (say 3). Be sure to add the letter 3 to the end of you filename before saving.

The better software packages will let you see the result of the quality setting before you do the actual save. That saves time.

..

You can see the results of this type of file size control by going to:

http://community.webshots.com/user/randol99

Look at the Audie Murphy photos. These were just posted there and they were reduced down to 1040x768 and the file size was reduced to about 100kb.

I did this to cut down on my upload time.

..

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Re:Re:Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

The Kodak web site has some free software which will automatically down-sample your pictures to a resolution suitable for emailing.

Generally, you should always take your shots at the highest resolution you can use. It's easy to down-size a picture to lower quality, but you can't really go the other way...

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Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!
by Nagbor / February 16, 2004 12:44 PM PST

Set to motion mode & GET A TRIPOD !

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Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

Hello, I have a HP photosmart 435 digi cam and it cam take good shots with its video capture feature and built in microphone and you can also record audio to a picture if you want. It is 3.34 MP total and is 188 at the brick in canada and there is a camera and printer(HP photosmart 7660) at costco in canada.

Alex

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Re:Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

hey you can also attach the photosmart 435 to a tv and you can put a tripod on it.

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Re:Re:Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

THe photosmart 435 printer/camera pack has a free smaple of 8.5x11in photo paper and 20 sheets of 4x6in with a tear off/handling tab.I talso comes with )in the camera 16mb of space)and a free 32mb sd card (which is what the camera uses

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Re:Re:Re:Re:Hey Parents ... Digital Cameras and Motion Shots? Especially of babies!

I am interested in hearing about his question regarding sharing of the video capture. How can I share my video captures via the web?

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