An225
Topic Author
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Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 3:59 am

Hello all,
I wonder if it is a good idea taking with me to spotting activity a small digital camera as a backup / additional camera for my Minolta Maxxum 700si.
I thought of buying a small 4MP camera with full manual features like the Cannon PowerShot A520 or similar.
If this is a decent idea, what would you recommend? Which of these small digi's are worthwhile?


Thanks,

Uzi
 
edoca
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 4:52 am

www.dpreview.com would be my starting point, because quality should be the criterium before anything else.

I've been using the 5MP Sony DCS-V1 (with tele add-on lens) for quite some time, and found it difficult to get acceptable shots, but possible. The first shots I uploaded here were all made with that one. It took lots of post-processing work - much more and different than with a D-SLR though. The huge advantage is you can get through a typical fence without the need for a ladder, or "holes"...

I would look for one that has excellent quality at at least 200 ISO, and can record in RAW format. I think those are the most important things.
 
A346Dude
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:07 am

Uzi,

Is a small point-and-shoot good enough to get some photos on a.net? Yes probably, provided it has enough megapixels (at least 3 I would say), relatively low noise, and good optics. But, you will likely not be able to obtain those beautiful, sharp, technically perfect photos like those of Wietse de Graaf (for example, there are many incredible photographers here on a.net). So, a small camera may be worth consideration, but don't expect one to be able to give you stunning photos everytime.

A346Dude
You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
 
atomother
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:42 am

Hey Alex, what the heck have you been doing in Israel? Coming back to DEN?

I would check out the Konica Minolta Z5 or the new Canon S2. Both are 5 MP/12x optical zoom and under $500. I would love to have one for my flights as the DSLR is just too much to bring along while teaching. Plus the video mode would be helpful for my students too so they can see what they are doing right/wrong.

Anyway, lets see some more photos at DIA, I can't quite get in there anymore.
 
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JeffM
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:34 am

Quoting Atomother (Reply 3):
Hey Alex, what the heck have you been doing in Israel? Coming back to DEN?

Tim, I think you are referring to Alex K. who is AN-225, not AN225.

-Jeff
 
Thom@s
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:38 am

Is it good enough? Let me answer that question with the following:

These were taken with a 3MP and 3x zoom Panasonic Lumix hand camera. The kind of cheap thing you can buy for the price of a chocolate bar these days.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thomas Andre Hjelmen
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thomas Andre Hjelmen



Nothing to write home about, but it does the job. (And hey, if it can get pictures added to a.net, that pretty much speaks for itself these days.  Wink )

Thom@s
"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
 
flyingzacko
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:20 am

Uzi,

I bought myself a Konica Minolta 4MP Camera last year in May to be able to do some aviation photography. However, the shots never came out the way I wanted them to. Might have been the camera, but might very well have been me. Since I was sick of it however, I saved up for a Canon EOS 300D which I bought this February. And a couple of weeks ago I got a 300mm lens for it as well. It was a lot of work getting used to the new camera and I'm learning new things every day, but I'm loving the DSLR. Now I'm not saying you shouldn't get yourself a "small" digital camera. I mean as long as you have at least 3MP the resolution will be fine. However I'm more concerned about the optics. Those cameras depending on whichever one you get, can usually never, unless it's like a Dimage Z5 or so get up to the same focal length as the DSLR ones. All I'm saying is, since I don't know how much money you have, think about, if you really need a camera right now, or if you can do without for another month or two and then buy something really worthwhile.

Cheers,

Sebastian
Canon 40D + 24-70 f/2.8 L + 70-200 f/4 L + Speedlite 430EX
 
ghostbase
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:21 am

Quoting An225 (Thread starter):
I wonder if it is a good idea taking with me to spotting activity a small digital camera as a backup / additional camera for my Minolta Maxxum 700si.
I thought of buying a small 4MP camera with full manual features like the Cannon PowerShot A520 or similar.

I think this is a very good idea because you never know when you might need it. On my last visit to the USA in 2004 I took a Pentax 35mm film camera and a 2MB Canon Powershot A40 as a back up. The film developer screwed up the processing badly and I ended up relying upon my little 2MB Canon 'digital toy' instead. Many of the photos from that visit are on A.Net. Also, my third most popular photo with over 8000 views was taken with this simple little camera:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Michael Baldock



I have no idea why it is so popular, it was taken from the tourist viewing deck on the Rock whilst fending off hungry barbary apes!

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 2):
But, you will likely not be able to obtain those beautiful, sharp, technically perfect photos like those of Wietse de Graaf (for example, there are many incredible photographers here on a.net). So, a small camera may be worth consideration, but don't expect one to be able to give you stunning photos everytime.

Ah, but not every photographer wants to be "technically perfect...like...Wietse de Graaf". There is more to photography than "technical perfection" though it does look impressive I agree and many people here seem to laud these photographers to the Gods; personally I do not agree with this and I think this approach to photography is over-rated.

You can achieve good results with 'small cameras' although you do have to work hard to achieve them. You have little room for rotation and cropping and because your file sizes are so small you are somewhat limited in what you can achieve with them.

The good news is that A.Net is still flexible enough to accept photographs that are 'artistically sound' so if you are prepared to put the effort into the post processing stages a small 4MP camera with full manual features should be no barrier.

 ghost 
"I chase my dreams but I never seem to arrive"
 
An225
Topic Author
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:34 am

Guys,
thanks a lot for your help

Quoting JeffM (Reply 4):
Tim, I think you are referring to Alex K. who is AN-225, not AN225.

I didn't know I have a twin  Smile


Thom@s,
I am interested in the Kodak DX7440 (4MP, 4X), but it all depends if my budget is big enough (it costs here in Israel ~$365)


Sebastian,

Quoting FlyingZacko (Reply 6):
All I'm saying is, since I don't know how much money you have, think about, if you really need a camera right now, or if you can do without for another month or two and then buy something really worthwhile

I am sooo broke, so it will take me more than a month or two.... but I still have my old and trusty Maxxum beast, so it will not be a great loss if I won't have a DSLR for the next year or so.


Uzi
 
Thom@s
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 4:42 pm

Quoting An225 (Reply 8):
Thom@s,
I am interested in the Kodak DX7440 (4MP, 4X), but it all depends if my budget is big enough (it costs here in Israel ~$365)

Ok, I suppose it would be better with 4MP than 3, so that's probably a good idea.  Smile Standard in quality is rising by the day on a.net, so eventually 3MP photos won't be good enough.

Btw, you might want to check out this Kodak DX7440 on nomatica.com.
http://www.nomatica.co.uk/photo/dx7440EN.htm

£159. Not sure what that is in $, but sounded cheaper at first... Just a tip.  Smile

Thom@s
"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
 
wietse
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:45 pm

Quoting Ghostbase (Reply 7):
Ah, but not every photographer wants to be "technically perfect...like...Wietse de Graaf". There is more to photography than "technical perfection" though it does look impressive I agree and many people here seem to laud these photographers to the Gods; personally I do not agree with this and I think this approach to photography is over-rated.

Care to elaborate? What approach is this?
Wietse de Graaf
 
An225
Topic Author
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:30 pm

Quoting Thom@s (Reply 9):
Btw, you might want to check out this Kodak DX7440 on nomatica.com.
http://www.nomatica.co.uk/photo/dx7440EN.htm

£159. Not sure what that is in $, but sounded cheaper at first... Just a tip.

This is good bargain  Wink

Thanks!
 
oly720man
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Wed Jun 08, 2005 6:14 am

Not hit hunting (more than 1800 anyway) but this was with an Olympus C40 (4MP) that's now long since been superceded. The recent C70 has got 7.1MP and a 5x zoom.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andy kennaugh

wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
photopilot
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:26 am

Hey, I've got two images posted that were both shot with a 2mp camera. It's 1200 x 1600 pixels so as long as you shoot carefully and at full frame the images can indeed be accepted.

You just have to shoot carefully and not plan on any cropping at all.

Steve

p.s. I'm not linking the photos cause I'm not after cheap hits.
 
ghostbase
Posts: 343
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:31 pm

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 13):
p.s. I'm not linking the photos cause I'm not after cheap hits.

You seem to be making a bit of an assumption here Steve. Uzi asked whether it was a decent idea to purchase a small 4MP camera like a Canon Powershot. Thom@s, Andy and myself have posted photos taken with such equipment to show that, by A.Net standards, it is worth it. Surely posting a photo taken with such equipment is the logical thing to do here?

A photo is worth a thousand words is it not? (I might be misquoting!).

Oh well...

 ghost 
"I chase my dreams but I never seem to arrive"
 
ghostbase
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:55 pm

Quoting Wietse (Reply 10):
Quoting Ghostbase (Reply 7):
Ah, but not every photographer wants to be "technically perfect...like...Wietse de Graaf". There is more to photography than "technical perfection" though it does look impressive I agree and many people here seem to laud these photographers to the Gods; personally I do not agree with this and I think this approach to photography is over-rated.

Care to elaborate? What approach is this?

I was very amused to see references to these words in another thread! I am happy to elaborate, here goes...

Simple argument that has raged since photography started with glass plates and giant cameras on tripods with photographers with flat caps and large moustaches.

Some people see photography as a science ie point the camera in the right position, set all the buttons right, use lightmeter, check angles, make sure light source is in correct place, follow all the conventional rules and voila! A technically perfect photograph.

Others regards photography very much as an art which cannot be defined and it really takes the photographer's eye and personal visual interpretation to get that award winning photograph.

Personally I veer towards the second statement as a belief and I think that the best photographs are created as a result of the photographer's eye, not technical perfection. A photographer can be technically perfect but will not produce photographs that really grab the average viewer.

Of course, if one is lucky enough to have both these in a combination then look out for consistently great photos! My belief is that the 'artistic' approach is the more important of the two. Why is is that two different photographers can stand almost next to each other and yet seem to take two different photos? And, to keep with the original subject of this thread, the best photo is not necessarily taken with the most expensive camera either!

As far as 'lauded to the Gods' is concerned that is a rather dry and slightly cynical comment regards human nature which is frequently observed on A.Net as in 'real life'.

 ghost 
"I chase my dreams but I never seem to arrive"
 
Staffan
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:45 pm

Quote:
Of course, if one is lucky enough to have both these in a combination then look out for consistently great photos!

IMO that pretty much describes Wietse's work. You'll have to look hard to find someone around here with a better eye for photography and as consistent good technical quality as him.

I do agree though that you don't need the newest and most expensive camera to take a good photo, but it can help quite a bit.

Staffan
 
Jan Mogren
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:10 pm

 confused 

You seem to confuse Wietse with the mass of people shooting at AMS. (no offense to those)
If you actually took the time  idea  to look thru his shots you would find he
is one of the most artistic photogs on here.

/JM
AeroPresentation - Airline DVD's filmed in High Definition
 
ghostbase
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:05 am

Quoting Jan Mogren (Reply 17):
You seem to confuse Wietse with the mass of people shooting at AMS. (no offense to those)
If you actually took the time to look thru his shots you would find he
is one of the most artistic photogs on here.

I am delighted to be able to assure you, Jan, I am not 'confused' and am perfectly capable of reading names! I was reacting to the point made by A346Dude regards 'technically perfect photos', not the person that he was referring to in particular.

If you re-read my clarification post above you will see the point that Staffan has picked up on which was "Of course, if one is lucky enough to have both these in a combination then look out for consistently great photos!".

Thank you for your well meant advice that I should "actually take the time to look through his shots" however, please don't take this the wrong way, but I have absolutely no intention of ploughing through over 900 photographs taken at AMS by any photographer however good he or she is, quite simply because civil airliners at AMS are just not my thing and I am very happy to admit that. This is probably a risky thing to say on A.Net no doubt  Wink

But I do admit for just a touch of admiration for Wietse's twilight and lunar shots which are, well...absolutely superb!


Quoting Staffan (Reply 16):
I do agree though that you don't need the newest and most expensive camera to take a good photo, but it can help quite a bit.

So so true

 ghost 
"I chase my dreams but I never seem to arrive"
 
TACAA320
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RE: Using A Small Digital Camera? Is It Good Enough?

Thu Jun 09, 2005 11:42 pm

Hey... Really great pics!!!!

I'm sweating trying to learn how to use my new D70. Not easy for me. Maybe I'm to old for that.
'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'. Albert Einstein

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