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CincyInDC

Time to upgrade my crappy camera

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So I have a 5 megapixel Nikon coolpix 4600. It falls short in a lot of areas, but it was cheap-ish, so I don't feel too bad. Check out [url="http://picasaweb.google.com/steven.beiting/WayfarersMunichDolomites#"]this[/url] for some recent shots. Italian Alps, bitchez.

I am an amateur photographer and I want to stay that way. I.e., no SLR--just another point and shoot that will be better than this one. Are Cannons better than Nikons or Pentax or whatever brand is out there? Any brands to avoid? Is 8 megapixels the standard? I think that would be enough, but hell, I'm an amateur, remember? :) I would also like a camera where when I zoom, I don't need to use a fucking tripod (which I of course don't have) to keep the image from fuzzing.

thanks.

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[quote name='CincyInDC' post='695035' date='Sep 3 2008, 04:24 PM']So I have a 5 megapixel Nikon coolpix 4600. It falls short in a lot of areas, but it was cheap-ish, so I don't feel too bad. Check out [url="http://picasaweb.google.com/steven.beiting/WayfarersMunichDolomites#"]this[/url] for some recent shots. Italian Alps, bitchez.

I am an amateur photographer and I want to stay that way. I.e., no SLR--just another point and shoot that will be better than this one. Are Cannons better than Nikons or Pentax or whatever brand is out there? Any brands to avoid? Is 8 megapixels the standard? I think that would be enough, but hell, I'm an amateur, remember? :) I would also like a camera where when I zoom, I don't need to use a fucking tripod (which I of course don't have) to keep the image from fuzzing.

thanks.[/quote]
Canon and Nikon are about equal in their offerings. I've had cheaper Pentax and Fujis... Haven't been impressed. If you're wanting to stay easy to use, etc. I have family that have had two different Kodak point and shoots and they've always been very happy with them.

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i realize you said no SLR, if you change your mind im looking to unload my old XTi with standard lens and memory cards, chargers, etc..

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I went Canon with my normal digital camera, but I have a 10+ year old Nikon digital as well that's still taking great pics, too. Either brand should give you a really nice camera.

Don't worry about megapixels. Image size will not be an issue with any new camera. It's a b.s. selling point, unless you're printing full sized prints, in which case you'd be better off looking for a D-SLR anyway for image quality :P

..but I digress..

Get a camera with an all-glass lens. I know that sounds silly, but even Sonys with their Carl Zeiss lenses actually have plastic lenses inside. Kind of defeats the purpose of putting "good" glass on the outside..

Other than that, my advice is to find a shop, play with a few of the cameras, and pick the one that "feels" right.

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Also, if you're concerned about blur when shooting at a long lens setting, there's not much you can do. What you really need is a fast shutter speed to eliminate blur. But it's not really that simple - in order to shoot at a fast shutter speed, you can make adjustments in three other areas. The camera with the widest maximum aperture - which will actually be the smallest 'f' number - will help you achieve faster speeds, but beware that when you extend the lens, the maximum aperture typically decreases. The sensitivity of the chip, analogous to a film's 'speed,' is also adjustable on digital cameras. Some point-and-shoots allow you to adjust it manually. In any event, the camera with the highest 'ISO' number will allow faster shutter speeds. Pushing the ISO too far will result in a grainy, 'noisy' image, similar to fast films which achieve their speed by having larger sodium halide crystals which require less light to be exposed. Finally, some lenses are simply faster than others. This is difficult to quantify, and most digital cameras will be similar in this regard, but lenses with thicker glass will generally be 'slower' unless their objective is wider. This is why the long lenses used for sports photography usually have huge objectives - they need to let in a lot of light for quick exposures.

I can't tell you anything about any of these proprietary 'image stablization' features, as I have no experience with them. The only artificial technique I use is sometimes the 'unsharp mask' filter on Photoshop when I find it too blurry.

As an easy alternative for stopping blur at long lens lengths, though, I would suggest you cut down on your caffeine / alcohol intake. Hold your camera with a steady hand, grasshopper, and shoot things that are stationary, and you will find that true crispness comes from within.

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[quote name='Go Tory Go!' post='695141' date='Sep 4 2008, 03:53 AM']...

As an easy alternative for stopping blur at long lens lengths, though, [b]I would suggest you cut down on your caffeine / alcohol intake.[/b] Hold your camera with a steady hand, grasshopper, and shoot things that are stationary, and you will find that true crispness comes from within.[/quote]

Certainly can't do that. :)

Thanks for the tips everyone.

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