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Cameras forum

General discussion


by kkeelliiee06 / March 15, 2008 7:55 AM PDT

I am a novice photographer, probably not even much of a photographer, but I know what I want I just don't know where to get it. There is only a few very important things to me and that is zoom, up to 50 yards or more, the ability to take night pictures(fireworks, or the moon shining on a lake) and quick picture taking. Could someone please tell me which camera is good for these.

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by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / March 15, 2008 11:53 AM PDT
In reply to: novice

The only problem with doing high zoom lens (you're probably looking to need at least 300-400mm equivalent if you want 50 yards) is that high zoom lens tend to have small apertures, thus having to drop down shutter speeds in order to collect enough light in the sensor. A tripod helps out in those situations though. The Canon S5is would be a very good choice for you if you want to expand your photographic capabilities. There are a few other cameras that would might work.

It's all about compromises...large zoom lens are a compromise and it's usually distortion, Chromatic aberration, and smaller apertures. If you are in decent light it'll work well, but in low light stay in flash range or increase flash range by buying an external flash. Remember, the tripod is your friend.

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by kkeelliiee06 / March 16, 2008 5:01 AM PDT
In reply to: problems

What are the other cameras that you might suggest and do they have the zoom and night shot capability? I would also like to stay under $500.00. I just don't use it enough to justify over that.

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / March 15, 2008 11:59 AM PDT
In reply to: novice

First, it is important that you know more about the abilities you listed.

Night pictures:
Most cameras can take night pictures.
When taking this type of picture, you will be using a slow shutter speed due to lack of light.
That means you will need a tripod to support the camera.
A camera with some manual controls is best, because sometimes with night shots you want to over or underexpose a photo.

This is always done by setting the camera on a tripod and setting the shutter speed to several (5 to 10) seconds. That way you can capture more bursts in one picture. My last fireworks shots were from an angle almost under the bursts. This required that I manually set the focus. Auto-focus would not work with nothing buy sky in the shot.

Quick Picture taking.
This can mean several things:
1. All digital cameras have some shutter lag.
The time between, when you press the shutter button and the picture is captured. Most of the shutter lag is waiting for the auto-focus to lock. A shutter lag of 0.4 to 0.5 second is common. Some cameras have a shorter shutter lag.

2. Shutter Speed
Most cameras have speeds from over 1 second to 1/1000th of a second.
1/1000th of a second is fast enough for 99% of all photography.
When using fast speeds, you need more light.

3. Burst and Continuous
Most cameras have a burst mode and/or a continuous mode.
This lets you take a series of action shots in a few seconds.
The more available light, the better.


There are a lot of digital cameras with 10X optical zoom (or longer).
(Digital Zoom should never be used - it degrades the picture).


Before recommending a camera.....we need a couple of things:

What is your budget for the camera?
Do you have a preference as to camera size?

Digital camera with 10X optical zoom start at about $200.


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by kkeelliiee06 / March 15, 2008 4:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Novice

Size doesn't really matter, and I don't really want to go over $500.00. My last camera had night shots but it was in green or night vision if you will, I never really seemed to get the hang of it. Most of the time when I would like to take a night picture it is on my way home from work(I work 2nd shift). So i'm thinking a tripod would not be an easy thing for a quick, stop get out of the car and take the picture kind of thing. Does this mean I will probably never get the picture I want unless I have a prepared shot? Thank you for responding, any suggestions would be helpful.

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Night Shots
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / March 16, 2008 12:44 AM PDT
In reply to: novice

A night shot requires a certain amount of light.
Cameras under $500 don't have a bright enough lens available.
And when they use a high ISO settings, it will increase the noise (grainy look).

That means the camera must choose a slower shutter speed.
If you choose a camera with a shutter speed as slow as 30 seconds, it should handle most night shots in Auto Mode.

You can use a substitute tripod.
Some photographers carry a bean-bag.
Set the bean-bag on top of your car and place camera on the bean-bag.
You can shape the bean bag to hold the camera in the desired position.

You may be able to set the bean-bag on the car window sill.
If your car does not idle smoothly, shut off the engine.


The DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras can take hand-held night shots if you fit it with the right lens.

The Canon 400D will let you choose high ISO settings with little noise up through ISO-1600.
If you fit it with the 50mm f/1.8 lens (about $80), it should do well for what you want to do.
The total cost would be between $600 and $700.


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