Camera

May 13th, 2001, 05:41 AM
  #1  
Pat
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Camera

I think it's time for my husband and I to get a new camera for our December trip to Paris. We are not (repeat, not!) very good with cameras. Any suggestions? Our kids will be with us so I think it's nice to get some good closeups. You know, our daughters gazing at the Seine in awe!
 
May 13th, 2001, 06:05 AM
  #2  
Howard
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You can get a decent point and shoot camera with a zoom lines for under $300, even under $200. Olympus and Canon both are both recommended.
 
May 13th, 2001, 06:44 AM
  #3  
Al Godon
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A workman is no better than his tools.
I never thought being poor with a camera was a good excuse to buy a cheap camera and take several hundred poor pictures.
You come home from the trip of a lifetime with 100 muddy looking pictures with poor depth of field and weak composition and what do you have? Something you are not real proud of.
I had rather buy a first class used single lens reflex camera with a good zoom lens that ranges from slight wide angle to telephone and learn to take decent pictures than to waste several hundred dollars on a poor camera and several hundred poor pictures.
If you are going to the expense and the effort, why not do it better and take some pictures you are proud of??

Using a camera well is not an arcane science restricted to a select few.
Using a camera excellently requires training and study, but anyone of average intelligence can learn to use a good camera and obtain good results.
I did.

 
May 13th, 2001, 07:48 AM
  #4  
Rich
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I carried a "Point n Shoot" Olympus in my briefcase for years and in fact, wore it out. I replaced it with another Olympus but with a short (115mm)zoom lens and love it. The zoom really helps with composition and the relative mild 115mm length does not produce camera shake like a longer one might with a light camera. It fits easily in a pocket and is easy to use.

Rich
 
May 13th, 2001, 08:27 AM
  #5  
Art
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Hi Pat, I would recommend a 345mm with a zoom from 28mm to 80mm like the Olympus stylus. I find that I need wide angle much more often than a long distance zoom lens. I also take 2 cameras, my Olympus (that I bought last year) and my old Cannon A1 with 3 lenses. I again use the wide angle much more often than the telephoto zoom lens. I keep 100 or 200 speed film in my Canon and 600 in my Olympus (for inside shots.) The Olympus comes with a small holster that you can put on your belt and a strap that you can also hook onto your belt(to stop thieves.)
Regards
Art
 
May 13th, 2001, 06:22 PM
  #6  
Debs
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Pat-Whichever camera you decide on, make sure and experiment with it before your upcoming trip to Paris. Go to the park, zoo, museum-anywhere-and shoot some 'practice' shots to familiarize yourself with it. Have fun!
 
May 13th, 2001, 06:36 PM
  #7  
Greg
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Take a look at the Nikon SLR cameras. www.nikon.com Hopefully, no one will get hacked about my submitting the Nikon site.

Also, Even though I like to do some hikin' in the Berner Oberland and wallis area of Switzerland, I still hang a Sony digital video cam around my neck. I know all the climbing and hiking purists hate that, but sooooo what.

I come home with a great video diary of each trip.

BTW, who is Rex? And why is everyone so wound up about him?
 
May 13th, 2001, 08:20 PM
  #8  
Mary
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Hi Pat,

We recently went to Italy with a Canon Elph 370z. I loved it! It uses APS film which is super easy to use. The camera allows you to change film mid roll as well as taking 4x6, 4x7 and panoramic shots. It's also very small and unobtrusive. I took 14 rolls of film during the trip thinking I would end up throwing out half of the photos but they all turned out great. The new 400 ultra film works really well in low light and I was able to take pictures without flash in some of the museums. Another nice feature is the "slow synchro" - it allows you to take great night shots. If you'd like, I can email a couple of photos we took with the camera so you can get a sense of the quality.

Mary
 
May 14th, 2001, 03:05 AM
  #9  
bea
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A fariend recently bought a digital at Costco with the understanding that she could return it if she did not like it for whatever reason. That may be the way to go. Buy a small light camera which you can put in your pocket with a zoom. We have a cannon sureshot which is great and each of our kids have been given gifts of similar cameras - one a nikon and the other an olympus and they all take equally good pictures. Also try a 100 and 200 speed film and see which you prefer. The salespeople at some of the camera shops often make things real complicated and confusing - read consumer report.
 
May 14th, 2001, 03:07 AM
  #10  
Bea
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What is going on here??? I just typed a long reply and it is nowhere. Buy a small camera that fits in your pocket. Try 100 and 200 speed film before you go. buy where you can reuturn and try the camera out. a zoom is great. we have a cannon sure shot and our kids have a similar type olympus and nikon. All take great photos.
 
May 14th, 2001, 04:07 AM
  #11  
Greg
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Bea wrotegt;>Also try a 100 and 200 speed film and see which you prefer. <<

The ASA 200 films today are probably better than the ASA 100 films of 10 years ago. Grain structure and color saturation is great.

Using a 200 film will insure that depth of focus is deep.

 
May 14th, 2001, 04:23 AM
  #12  
Kavey
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I would like to make a point about APS film.

Whilst it is very slightly easier to load, and smaller to carry, and allows panorama shots, the quality is much much poorer.

Because the negatives are smaller the grain really shows even on normal size prints and make blowing up your favourite shots to large size a pointless exercise.

Lastly, as 35mm is still the main stream film choice, thats where all the developments are in terms of new films. YOu have much bigger choice of films, including makes, speeds, special effects etc.

Oh and also, its usually cheaper to develop your pictures, or it is in the UK anyway.

Though I prefer SLR cameras, if photography is not your thing, I would go with a good point and shoot with a small telephoto lens.

If you can get one which starts at 28 or 35mm not 50mm and goes up to about 120mm.

This will allow you to take both wide angle shots when you want to get a lot in (such as large people groups or buildings) and also to close in on details or to frame you shots, or to miss out that tv aerial by closing in.

Kavey
 
May 14th, 2001, 05:25 AM
  #13  
Anna
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First, a film recommendation. Everyone has been talking about 100-200 ISO film, but for Paris in December, I would seriously recommend 400 ISO. I'm on a photography course at the moment, and we were talking about films a few weeks ago. The latest Fuji 400 ISO film is apparently, bizarrely, LESS grainy than the 200 ISO (although 100 is best). I always use 400 ISO - it means you can take pictures on dull days, which 100/200 ISO often can't handle. I even take 400 on holidays to hot sunny places, it really is good enough these days. I have had some of my pictures enlarged to 8x12 inches, and there is still no obvious grain.

As for a camera - go to a good camera shop and ask them to show you a few cameras, both compact and SLR, and see what you think. SLR cameras do give better picture quality, and if you do get good with one, it will enable you to take pictures you would find difficult or impossible with a compact. The best one for you would be a low-end of the range fully automatic camera, which you can operate in point and shoot mode, just as you can a compact. You can also override the auto and do everything manually if you want to. The main downside is that they are bulkier and heavier than compacts (there is a reason for the name "compact"!) and if you are sure you will never take it off "auto everything" then there is probably no point in having one. Compact cameras can be very good these days, and many have good zoom lenses that enable you to take good close ups. I would stick to 35mm, unless you want digital. Forget APS - films are so much more expensive both to buy and to develop and the quality is less than 35mm, due to the size. Go digital only if you are going to want to transfer lots of your pictures to a pc - the quality just isn't there yet to justify it otherwise.

Whatever you get, have a great trip, and remember - it's you that takes the picture, not the camera.
 
May 14th, 2001, 07:35 AM
  #14  
Donna
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I have an Elph which I absolutely love! The pictures are great and I have not noticed any problems with graininess in the photes that I have enlarged to 8-1/2 X 11.

It's small enough that you can throw it into your pocket or hook onto your belt.

I have used the panoramic shots quite often and the effect of the pictures is amazing.

Another camera that I have seen advertised lately is the Kodak advantix where you can see your pictures on a screen after you rake them - so if yu don;t like it you take it again - I think this is an awesome idea.

Donna
 
May 14th, 2001, 08:17 AM
  #15  
dan woodlief
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It looks like the camera tips you have received are sufficient without me adding to them. However, I noticed that you mentioned getting closeups of the kids. This made me think of what I feel is the essential tip for photographing people well. Get close, and when you think you are close enough, get closer still. You don't need a zoom lens of any type to take closeups of your kids, unless they are running around and you are sitting on a park bench or something. Just get right up in their faces. A lot of people have trouble with this. How often have you seen people back way up to photograph a friend in front of some monument? The only thing to know is that a wide angle (like 28mm) can tend to make things closest to the camera look elongated or big, such as noses, feet, or heads. So something that at least has around 50mm or higher would generally work better for closeups. This doesn't mean you can't do this with the wider lens though. Include just enough of the Seine in your closeups to know it is the Seine and concentrate on the person. Longer lenses, however, do work great for candids of people you don't know.
 
May 14th, 2001, 09:45 AM
  #16  
J T Kirk
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Anna and a few others have covered this, but I'd highly suggest 400 speed film. Grainyness isn't much of an issue anymore. And with 400 speed film, you can shoot pictures in lowlight situations (without flash) unlike 100 speed. Also, there really isn't that much difference between 100 speed and 200 speed. Buying 200 speed is sort of a waste. I take 100 speed film to shoot on bright clear days. 400 speed for everything else. by the way, most point-n-shoot cameras (such as Olympus) suggest using 400 speed film. the apeture just isn't as big in point-n-shoots.
 
May 15th, 2001, 08:18 AM
  #17  
dan woodlief
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Ditto on the 400 speed film. I would do as the last poster said and only use 100 with a point and shoot in bright sunshine. This does not, however, go for all point and shoots. If you get one with a fixed focal length (for example, only 35mm), the aperture should be fine. If you get a zoom, especially a long zoom, the maximum aperture will change when you zoom out. This means that when you zoom to say 100-135mm, the lens will let in a lot less light, requiring slower shutter speeds. This means you are more likely to get blurred photos, especially when the light is low.
 
May 15th, 2001, 09:52 AM
  #18  
Jim Tardio
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I also have to recommend 400 speed film if you're using a point and shoot. The lenses on these cameras are so slow that you want a faster speed film to force the lens into a smaller apeture. Some tips: set your camera to "fill-flash" in the daytime, if people are in your photos. Turn the flash off in bright daylight for other shots...buildings, monuments, etc...At night, use full flash.

A good camera with a nice zoom is the Minolta Freedom Zoom Explorer. It goes from 28-75. The 28 end will be much more useful in Europe than the 75 end. If you can live without a zoom, the Olympus Stylus Epic is tiny, cheap ($89.00) and comes with a fast, very sharp, 35/2.8 lens.

Have a great time and take more film than you think you need...and, of course, don't pack it in your checked suitcase...the xrays will ruin it.

Lots of photos on my website: http://www.jimtardio.com
 
May 15th, 2001, 12:16 PM
  #19  
dan woodlief
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Good point about forcing a smaller aperture Jim. That is what is so great about an SLR and makes it worth the trouble - lots of control.
 
May 17th, 2001, 10:37 AM
  #20  
Al
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If you primary interest is in recording some memories of your trip, not to produce portraits or professional photos, a point and shoot should be fine. At the risk of hearing from photographers who are purists, I would suggest a medium price range digital camera which would allow you to immediately view your photo to see if all the heads are there and that no tress jumped up in front of your primary subject. I carry a pocket size Canon advantix and a pocket size Olympus digital. By using the high quality setting I can almost duplicate 35mm quality with the digital. The immediate review allows me to retake a bad shot if necessary.
 

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