Photo Question for Phil D.....

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Aug 19th, 2005, 06:56 AM
  #1
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Photo Question for Phil D.....

Phil,

I could use your expert opinion. At the Sony Digital Days conference that I attended, I won a Sony DSC-W5 digital point and shoot camera.

It is a 5MP camera with only 3 times zoom (38mm - 114mm) but I am considering bringing this along for portraits and especially for its video recording capabilities. While I will not get much zoom out of it, should an elephant start chasing the vehicle, as I have no doubt will happen, especially in the Lower Zambezi, then I would be able to get the action on video.

Also, what it does give me is up to 114mm at f/2.8 rather than at f/4.0 which is what I will get with my Canon 17-85mm lens (which really is a 27mm - 136mm lens with the small CMOS sensor).

I already have plenty of compatible Sony accessories, such as all the memory sticks, batteries and battery chargers I will ever need, left over from my Sony F707 camera...which brings up the subject...am I a fool not to try to nurse back my F707 to health? It would get me up to 190mm and be f/2.0 - f/2.4, but it is worth noting that this camera has been used and abused over the last three years, while the DSC-W5 is sitting there unopened in a box.

I had been considering giving the W5 away as a wedding present for a wedding I will be attending upon my return, but now I am thinking that I could really use this camera and that it would not add more than 1.5 pounds, even with the battery chargers, batteries, memory sticks, etc.

What do you think? Also, others please feel free to advise me on this.

Thanks.
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Aug 19th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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ttt

(and while I am here)

Assuming I did take along the Sony DSC-W5, which would be preferable for the shorter length shooting...

A. The Canon 17-85mm (27mm - 136mm) at f/4.0 - 5.6 but also at 8MP

OR

B. The Sony DSC-W5 38mm - 114mm at f/2.8 throughout but with only 5MP.

Given the fact that I do have a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, with the multiplying factor, I would be basically covered at f/2.8 all the way from 38mm - 320mm between the Sony point and shoot and the Sigma.

I am just not sure if the Sony should be considered as an upgrade from the Canon 17-85mm f/4.0 - 5.6 lens.

Thanks.
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Aug 19th, 2005, 04:13 PM
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Hi, Roccco,

I can't comment knowledgeably about video capability since I have never used a digital still camera to make videos. I am one of those purists who believes that if you want to make videos, use dedicated video camera.

As for comparing that Sony point and shoot camera to a DSLR, it is like comparing apples and oranges. The point and shoot is very limited in what it can do on a safari. You have ample DSLR firepower on hand already to make portraits --why still another portrait camera?

The Sony's somewhat faster lens at 114mm is relatively insignificant. A one stop difference is minimal, and a one stop exposure correction can easily be made later with Photoshop if the image is slightly too dark.

Why would you want to nurse your old Sony 707 back to health, when you have state of the art DSLRs on hand?

As for wideangle shooting, a 27mm wideangle lens is a true wideangle. A 38mm "wideangle" is a contradiction in terms. It is not a wideangle focal length.

As for the lens speed difference at "wideangle" distance, I think you are making too much over a small lens speed difference. To be "covered at f2.8 at all focal lengths" is really not that important, when virtually the same shots can also be made at f.4 and easily adjusted in post processing.

My advice is to leave the point and shoot its box, Roccco. It is not really a safari camera. If you are not going to use it as a point and shoot snapshot camera, give it to someone as a gift, and make them very happy.

I hope this helps, Roccco,

Phil
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Aug 19th, 2005, 05:20 PM
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Phil,

Thank you very much...you just saved me from having to buy a wedding gift!
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Aug 19th, 2005, 05:40 PM
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You will make somebody very happy, Roccco. Which is far more important than schleping still another camera to the other side of the earth and back.

Phil
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