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Old 01-09-2003, 11:16 PM
Mrcurtain Mrcurtain is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 91
Default Prosumer digital cameras


Message from Sam - responding here because others might be interested or have info on other med-high end digital cameras.

>Hi Adam,
>
>I'm writing you because I see you've posted
>several recent photos taken with an Olympus 5050
>digicam. I'm still an all-film SLR guy, but I'm
>looking for a high end p&s as an entry into
>digital. I'm interested in the 5050 mainly >because it's got the most megapixels in its
>class, but I don't know much more about it than >that.
>
>How do you like the camera? Pros and Cons?
>Frustrations versus a traditional SLR? Did you
>comparison shop with the Canon G2, etc? What made
>you decide on the 5050?
>

I'm unfortunately probably the wrong person to ask. I've never owned a SLR camera. I upgraded from point and shoot 35mm to the 5050 with the intention of turning photography into a serious hobby/potential career.

The things that do annoy me are primarily the focus lag and the memory-write lag. You need to get used to holding down the shutter button half-way and then waiting before every shot. The memory lag is only bad when using noise reduction, but no matter what the reason when the camera is making me wait to take a photo I get a bit frustrated. The view-finder does have some problems. Due to parallax you must use the LCD for closeup shots. You must also use the LCD if you are using any add-on lenses. The viewfinder also doesn't display aperature/shutter so if you are using the viewfinder and want to know what the camera is going to do you must press the shutter button half-way and then check the display on top of the camera or the LCD. The internal flash is also a bit quirky - fortunately it's digital if the flash creates a wrongly exposed image you can turn up/down the flash and immediately take the photo again.

There were all of the complaints. But I really do like the camera. The camera does have all of the features that you're used to (and I'm learning) aperature priority, shutter priority, braketing, high-speed mode, etc. Digital serves as an incredible learning tool for photography. Every day, I can go and take a hundred photos and then take them home at night and on the computer see what worked and what didn't.

In terms of selecting the 5050, I was looking for a travel camera. AA batteries were an important feature for me - so was the magnesium case - these may not be important for others. The 5050 takes compact flash I and II, smartmedia and xD cards. If I ever need to buy memory on the road or should a type of memory become outdated, I should be fine. The RAW mode was important to me while shopping but now I'm not so sure. Even HQ (as opposed to SHQ) 5 megapixel shots are good enough for almost any usage. In camera editing seems great for traveling. I can crop or resize photos down to 640x480 (while still saving the original). Then I can upload these smaller photos to my website (or trekearth). It would be nearly impossible to edit 5 megapixel shots in an African cybercafe.

I've been using it for a few weeks and am very happy with it. The macro capabilities are incredible (http://www.geekeasy.com/travel/galleries/San_Francisco_iris.html) everything else is good. The user interface is a bit weird, but you get used to it.

That was a long ramble - I probably covered some things in too much detail and missed other things completely. If you have any more specific questions let me know.

>Any comments would be appreciated. Maybe you >could even post something on TrekEarth for >everyone's benefit. Thanks.
>
>Sam
>
>P.S.- I live in Berkeley. Whereabouts do you >live?

Oh... and I'm in Oakland. I was supposed to go traveling again in a few days, but I've pushed that back and now I'm on the road and in a month and a few days. Ths time 1 year + through India, Africa, the Middle East and Turkey.
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2003, 06:05 AM
ronners ronners is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 350
Default Re: Prosumer digital cameras

If you don't mind going a bit further toward the higher end, I like the initial feel of the D100 (which I just bought). No discernable shutter lag or focus lag - it just behaves like a standard SLR. I moved up from an old Olympus C2020 (2.1 MP) - the Nikon has 6.1 MP. The Olympus irritated me because of the minimum wide angle zoom of about 37mm, and a comparatively limited set of features.

Being able to pick and choose interchangeable lenses is a huge bonus. However, because the typical CCD is smaller than a 35mm equivalent you have to deal with that 1.5x focal length magnifier (which takes my 18-35mm Nikkor to about 27-52 in real terms). Contax have already solved this problem by using a bigger CCD so that there's no multiplier, but their Digital SLR retails for around $7000! The Nikon was only $1995.
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