"Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

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paulhubbard
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"Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by paulhubbard » Oct 13 2010 10:12 pm

Just got my Nikon D3100 and without even reading the instructions I snapped a photo of Red Mountain to compare it to the same photo taken with my Coolpix camera. Coolpix is "doctored" with Paintshop Pro, the D3100 is untouced.

Coolpix:
Image

D3100:
Image

Bottom line? Get a good camera!!! I'm going to have WAY too much fun with this!!
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

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CannondaleKid
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by CannondaleKid » Jun 30 2014 4:47 pm

Sun Ray wrote:I use a Canon PowerShot SX260HS with 20x. It's a few years old so there maybe a newer model. Have a friend who is really into photography. He did all the research so when he got his....I bought one too. I've been happy with it.
Tracey and I both got one of these back in October 2012. We sought the 20x zoom and Hi-Def video capability, and I particularly wanted the GPS geocoding capability. (I think I may have covered this same ground some time back in another thread, so please pardon me if this is redundant)
Verdict:
Tracey still likes hers, but then she doesn't use it much.
I, on the other hand... well, I liked a number of features but after having Canon replace the camera three times (with refurbs every time) it is of little value to me.
Geocoding: A bit slow to get the coordinates and the elevation is off.
20x Zoom: Great!
Video: Nice HD, but the auto-focus is so noisy it can be heard in the resulting videos. Image Stabilizer makes a real mess with any faster moving video so i shut it off. Even on slower pans it can make you feel dizzy with the IS turned on, so I quit using it for peak panoramas long ago.
Stills: Even after trying the various focus modes I never got consistently good focus. Many times I'd have to focus on something else then holding it and swinging back onto the subject.
Macro: I probably didn't have enough patience to get it figured out, but I NEVER got a decent focus on a macro. I got better photos by standing back and zooming instead of the macro for close-ups.
Settings: Auto setting seemed to have too many washed out photos so I used the 'P' mode staying a bit on the 'dark' side.

But the real killer for me was it simply was not designed for dry and dusty conditions or any rough treatment at all. All the replacements were due to dust/debris getting behind the lenses... not just the outer lens, but the inner as well. The reason was the seals around the parts that extend out when turned on simply weren't up to the job.
Canon acknowledged the issue but after three replacements they said no more, so I tried to baby the last one to keep it going. I bought an Otter Box waterproof/dustproof case to keep it in while hiking, only taking it out for photos and immediately back in the case. But even then a piece of debris on the lens rubbed against the cheap plastic sliding lens cover and put a big scratch in the lens... which is when I bought my Olympus TG-2.

While it only has a 4x zoom, I feel it is a better all-around camera for my use, which of course may not be anything like what others are seeking. And as I mentioned above, Tracey's 260 is doing just fine, as long as she doesn't let me take it on one of my solo hikes... where I try to break everything, even a kneecap, which it sure feels like I did last hike, I'm still hobbling.
:M2C:
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by RowdyandMe » Jun 30 2014 5:12 pm

Maybe I should just get another Nikon S9500. It took great pictures until I fell and broke it along with my ankle. I am surepart of the problem is in the sensor. I hand a Panasonic Lumix and the same thing happen to it. I took it apart and cleaned the sensor but two weeks later the same thing. And really there not worth taking to a repair shop.
I have look at as they say rugged cameras but no real zoom. I really want the zoom for mostly wildlife .
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the dirty switcheroo

Post by joebartels » Jun 30 2014 5:14 pm

CannondaleKid wrote:But the real killer for me was it simply was not designed for dry and dusty conditions or any rough treatment at all. All the replacements were due to dust/debris getting behind the lenses... not just the outer lens, but the inner as well. The reason was the seals around the parts that extend out when turned on simply weren't up to the job.
Canon acknowledged the issue but after three replacements they said no more, so I tried to baby the last one to keep it going. I bought an Otter Box waterproof/dustproof case to keep it in while hiking, only taking it out for photos and immediately back in the case. But even then a piece of debris on the lens rubbed against the cheap plastic sliding lens cover and put a big scratch in the lens... which is when I bought my Olympus TG-2.
Frankly, I thought HAZ'ers tended to be more savvy than the average hiker, but come on folks, this is like an epidemic! :roll:

Is it just me being obtuse* or what? :? (* see Shawshank Redemption for context)
But for the life of me I simply cannot fathom how one can get a point shoot lens dirty. Alright, so I can, but really, c'mon now! How many of us can afford to ruin worthy little cameras? If you have money to burn, please send it my way.

As a self-admitted person who dirties up things around the house on a daily basis, how do I not ever dirty up a lens?
1. I do not rely on any of the manufacturers encasements. Why? Heck, if they made 'em worthy they'd lose sales for the companies.
2. I use a zippered PADDED LowePro case so it doesn't get knocked around and loaded with dust. Seriously do you think I'm going on less dusty hikes?
3. I focus on the clear sky and apply that logic to my feelings towards the lens.

So how about it fellow HAZ'ers? Is it time to stop the dusty lens epidemic?
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by azbackpackr » Jun 30 2014 5:30 pm

I have Fujifilm XP. Zoom is not that great. Looks fuzzy most of the time. Maybe I am using it wrong, though.
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by trekkin_gecko » Jun 30 2014 5:51 pm

larry, take a look at this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-WX350-Digita ... ikearizona
had i been willing to spend a little more i might have chosen this instead of my nikon coolpix s6500, although i am happy enough with the coolpix
really liked the sony wx150 that now has dust inside the lens, probably starting from staying on the beach in the grand canyon and from leaving the camera in my pocket for all hikes
i now have a padded velcro case and try very hard not to drop this one
i'm not a photographer, just like to document my trips to show my mom
there is plenty of info on the internet comparing features of compact digital cameras

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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by RowdyandMe » Jun 30 2014 5:52 pm

@joe bartels
Ok, I did not know that my camera was damage at the time I fell and broke my ankle.
So I need a new camera with real good zoom. What would happen when I do a night hike and I see a UFO? I need to be able to zoom in on it. What if I run into Bigfoot, you think he will let me sneak up on him with a 3X zoom? Or what I see a Chupacabra and no zoom. And the real kicker would be to see Jaguar and not get that picture.
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by CannondaleKid » Jun 30 2014 6:25 pm

joe bartels wrote:I use a zippered PADDED LowePro case so it doesn't get knocked around and loaded with dust.
That's what I kept my HS260's in but even zipping it fully shut after each use, it wasn't long before there was tons of crap inside the case. As for the the nice soft protective material inside the LowePro case? It was like a magnet for the sticky little things off of plants I passed by, so after spending time after each hike trying remove it from the material, I eventually gave up and bought the Otter Box. But even then, with the HS260, if I didn't wipe around the lens every time before shutting it off, it would drag the dust past the seals.
joe bartels wrote:Seriously do you think I'm going on less dusty hikes?
Yes and no... But that isn't the issue by itself... based on the beatings my previous four Canon cameras (S1, S2, S3 & S5) took and with which I NEVER had any dust problems, I could only come to the conclusion the seal problem was inherent to the HS260's. (Which Canon support eventually admitted to a certain degree)
joe bartels wrote:Is it just me being obtuse* or what? :? (* see Shawshank Redemption for context)
Maybe ;)
BTW, I've loved the word obtuse ever since I first saw the movie...
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by joebartels » Jun 30 2014 6:29 pm

CannondaleKid wrote:I've loved the word obtuse ever since I first saw the movie
had a hunch, you posted that entire response, more or less, at 6:36am 2011-04-03 http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=60749

:y:
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chumley
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by chumley » Jun 30 2014 8:24 pm

I had THREE (3) Canon PS cameras all get irremovable dust under the lenses before I chose not to buy Canon cameras anymore.

Is it possible that I could have kept the dust out? Of course. But that's not how I choose to use my cameras. I don't want it in a zippered case that is a pain in the pumpkin to get out every time I want to take a picture.

I want it readily accessible, in my pocket, ready to go. And I expect something that cost me $300 should be able to keep dust out. It's not like I was throwing it on the ground or mixing up last night's fire ashes with it.

In the end, I know I'm not alone in this desire, because there has emerged a robust market for "tough" cameras. All the major manufacturers make their own model. They are dust proof, freeze proof, waterproof, shock proof and small enough to fit in your pocket. There are obviously trade-offs with regards to zoom, manual controls, image quality and other features you might like. But what good is a camera with all the features you want if you can't take it out of it's protective suitcase to take a photo? Or if you do take a photo, have it covered in spots that take considerable time to photoshop out later on?

Everybody is different. You have to weigh what is most important to you. I'm not made of $ but over time, I've managed to acquire different cameras for different purposes. My recent Yosemite photoset features shots from THREE different cameras and a fourth lens! It's almost approaching the same as my pack weight in beer! ;)
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by RedRoxx44 » Jul 01 2014 4:51 am

I usually hike with two cameras. One has the wide angle lens then one is a backup with some sort of zoom lens, also macro shots. I must say the Oly cameras do pretty well with the no dust or dust removal it seems. I hike with the cameras usually in an open zippered pouch to get to quickly. Sometimes when I get home from my bushwacking I'll have leaves, sticks and dirt in the bottom of the pouch with the camera, as long as I note it on the lens ( usually protected with a UV filter or the cap) I don't have too many dust problems except when I am too lazy to clean the lens before I leave home.

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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by tibber » Jul 01 2014 7:56 am

RedRoxx44 wrote:I hike with the cameras usually in an open zippered pouch to get to quickly. Sometimes when I get home from my bushwacking I'll have leaves, sticks and dirt in the bottom of the pouch with the camera
ditto that Letty as that's the way I travel as well; fortunately I've never had any lens dust problems but I replace the cap every time which can be a pain. However, the rest of my camera can get very dusty.

I'm actually waiting to purchase a Panasonic ZS40 which is essentially the camera I have now with some upgrades but in compact form.
HOWEVER, I have to wait for a new computer to install new editing software that my old computer can't handle as my Photoshop Elements is too far behind for the new camera (I shoot in RAW).
Fortunately for me, I have a friend in the tech industry who is getting rid of her not so old computer and I get to be the beneficiary... that is once she gets back from her worldly travels.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by The_Eagle » Jul 01 2014 8:27 am

@tibber
I'll be interested to hear how well you like it.
My ZS25 still works well, but the ZS40 has a lot of neat features. (Especially a viewfinder).
Make sure to get an extra battery and a charger.
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by skatchkins » Jul 01 2014 8:48 am

chumley wrote:I've managed to acquire different cameras for different purposes. My recent Yosemite photoset features shots from THREE different cameras and a fourth lens! It's almost approaching the same as my pack weight in beer! ;)
Nothing wrong with bringing all the camera gear, all the time :)
1399670_10154051594700655_3122153753027232277_o.jpg
I did take out all the colored flashlights at least.

And I'm sure you remember the front pack solution: http://hikearizona.com/photo=374033
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by ssk44 » Jul 01 2014 9:29 am

Some of my opinions (for what ever there worth) on modern P&S cameras and digital photography in general. Take it or leave it...

Canon P&S cameras keep getting better and better but they are still small sensor cameras and must not be used beyond there design capability. I've learned to squeeze about as much image quality as can be achieved from P&S cameras over the years. P&S cameras are great, however don't ask more from them they can deliver.

I'm a real estate appraiser and do P&S non-flash low light photography every day when shooting the interiors of homes. The key is to not go beyond ISO 800 with a P&S. ISO 400 is about as high as you can go and maintain quality on small sensor P&S cameras. 800 is marginal. It's just the way it is. Zooming will typically raise your minimum f-stop on most cameras which will intern lower your shutter speed causing further low light shooting issues. "Auto" mode is choosing this stuff for you, but its still be chosen. Check your screen preview prior to shooting to see what's happening. A little background on f-stop for those that don't already know... Low f-stop means "large" aperture hole. High f-stop means "small" aperture hole. Large apertures (low f-stop's) always perform better in low light but have shallow depth of field. Small apertures (high f-stop's) are necessary for high depth of field but cause very slow shutter speeds. That's the trade off. It's a balancing act.

I've been playing around with a Canon SX280 HS (20x zoom) for a little while now and have been very pleased with the results. The HS (high sensitivity) systems help considerably across the board in regards to image quality. Something else that this camera uses is the new Digic 6 processor. There seems to be something to this new processor. Canon is very proud of it and the benefits seem to be evident in the photos. It's handling white balance and low light better then prior generation Digic processors. The SX280 HS is no longer available. The SX700 HS looks to be the closest replacement. Photos will likely be nearly identical. Its compact, has a 30x zoom, Digic 6, HS system, and advanced manual control if desired. This looks to be a nice P&S and the retail price is only $350.

It amazes me just how good P&S camera technology is getting. My new SX280 HS only cost me about $280 on sale and it takes better photos then an old $400 S90. One more valuable tip on P&S cameras... Turn down the MP. Many consumer small sensor P&S models are pushing 18 MP. It's only to satisfy consumer misconception. Camera manufacturers want to sell cameras. If you notice, Canons advanced P&S models are still holding at around 12 MP. There are many reasons for that (far too techy for this topic). Stuffing too many MP into a small sensor causes image quality problems. 6-12 MP will give you the best photos on small sensor P&S models. Don't believe me... Call Canon. They will be glad to explain. I'm currently using a Canon DSLR for all of my advanced photography, however I still have great respect for a nice P&S model. It's why I keep buying them. They serve a purpose. A good P&S camera will take a far better photo then most people will ever realize. Buying a DSLR and automatically expecting killer pro shots is about like buying a Ferrari with the expectations that it will instantly make you a awesome driver. It wont. You must learn the essential skills of digital photography to take good photos. There is no way around that. Good photos happen in the field... Not behind your computer screen. You cant polish a turd. Don't lean so heavily on editing software. Take better photos in the field and you wont need to spend so much time "repairing" your images after the fact. Even RAW processing should not be used in this way. You must take good photos in the field. Every digital photo requires essential processing elements. That is a known fact. You can either let the camera do in JPEG or do it yourself in RAW. RAW allows creative expression without heavily degrading your photos but even RAW still requires good photography in the field.


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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by JoelHazelton » Jul 01 2014 3:00 pm

Re: Point and shoot that gets good low-light shots.

It might be beneficial to invest in a small tripod/monopod/gorilla-pod? That way you can keep the ISO low and use a slower shutter speed without risking too much camera shake. You can get them cheap. Would add a little weight to your pack, but sometimes that's the price for better quality pictures. Slower ISO on a tripod will typically produce better results than a faster ISO handheld, even with a newer sensor that claims good low-light. Just a thought...
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by skatchkins » Jul 01 2014 4:00 pm

@chumley
I laugh in your general direction that you only have three canonless cameras Chumster.
20140625_174909.jpg
*I do apologize a little for this. It would happen that just this past week, my wife bought 4 cameras for her art therapy non-profit for underprivelidged kids and trafficked girls and this is one of the impromptu but more tasteful shots that did not make it with the other two we texted to a friend who tries to stay competitive with me camerawise, and usually has a habit of opening photo messages during board meetings.
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by The_Eagle » Jul 01 2014 4:10 pm

@skatchkins
First... Your Python Quote is a bit off
Second... That's one long :pk: sentence.
Third... Nice ...er... uh...um Lense
Forth ... :o :yuck:
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by joebartels » Jul 01 2014 4:23 pm

the votive candles bring it home
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by chumley » Jul 01 2014 4:42 pm

Sorry I'm late on this. I was distracted by some Belgian bull pumpkin on the teevee.

:sl:
is my official response :)
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Re: "Okay" camera vs. "GREAT" camera

Post by ssk44 » Jul 01 2014 5:11 pm

@skatchkins

My eyes! My eyeees!! Ahh!!! :o
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