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w00t! - Lograh — LiveJournal

Monday, 13.Jan.2003

8:18 - w00t!

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Friday after work I dropped by the photo place and picked up 14 prints I had asked them to do for me. One I knew wasn't going to be nice, but someone wanted to have it, so I said I'd get it for her.

Of the other 13, I'm pleased with most of them. But then, I knew I would be (the joys of digital). I'm not finished with them yet, which is why y'all haven't been shown them (I don't usually show my works-in-progress). But I was curious how they'd look in print, and I am considering attempting to get one of them printed at 18x24. It's got a lot of soft curves mixed with sharp corners, though, so it's going to be needing some serious tweaking before I try that (3MP won't print that large without lots of help). I'll let you know how badly it turns out (if I do it at all).

Also got the colour negative developed along with these prints. Of the 16 pictures, I think about 2 or 3 of them have potential. One looks like it could be good enough for a 30x40 print. I'll have to do it at 8x10 first and see if it's worth spending the money for the larger size.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:sifueireman
Date:11:19 13.Jan.2003 (UTC)

Opnion please

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May I ask you a technical question regarding digital cameras? What do you think of a Canon s230? I am in the market for a digital camera and alas I must profess my own ignorance.
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[User Picture]
From:lograh
Date:17:52 13.Jan.2003 (UTC)

Re: Opnion please

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s230? haven't seen it yet.. lemme go look it up....

ooohhh.. hrmmm.. overall, I wouldn't get it. Even if I were interested in a point-and-shoot, I wouldn't get it. The stoppers: no RAW file format exporting, no CF type 2 slot (minor, but can be an issue on big photo-trips), *VERY* limited aperature range. Those are the big three issues.

The more detailed review follows:

Note: I am a self-admitted photo snob. I demand perfection from my pictures, and have tossed as crap photos that other people have said were great. It's why I only have a scant few on my website, yet I've taken over 4300 in the past year. I don't do casual photography, and I hope to someday use my photography as secondary income (primary if I get that good, but I doubt that will ever happen). My review will be done from this standpoint.

hrmm.. let's take this one bullet at a time:

- small. It's a point-n-shoot. I have learned to dislike these for various reasons, which I'll cover below. I much prefer the SLR style. Small is nice, but you sacrifice a *LOT* in favor of convienance.

- 3.2MP very respectable. That's the same resolution mine does, and you can expect to be able to make 8x10 prints that have the same clarity of film. I think it's a great level to start at.

- CCD. Uses more power than CMOS. Smaller, yes. More common, yes. Less efficient and higher battery drain, YES! My dad got a camera similar to this s230, and it used a 3MP CCD also, and his battery was damn close in physical size to mine, but he could only get about 1/3 the pictures I could. 1/2 in the best conditions. You'll likely want a second (or even third) battery handy when out on photo trips (I take two and have gone through both on multiple occasions).

- 2x optical / 3x digital zoom. Grrr.. I try to avoid Digital Zoom in cameras, since you can never be certain if the picture you get is real or not. Digital Zoom will take two pixels that are next to each other and "invent" a pixel that should likely be between them in order to "zoom" closer into the picture. It creates something from nothing, and there is no way you can be positive it is being 100% accurate. I'll take optical zoom over digital zoom every day.

-9-point AF. Nice, it covers all the major subject areas. This will come in handy since you likely have no capability for manual focus and I've seen many a shot ruined becuase the AF was picking up on the wrong subject.

-3 minute movie. Wow! If you're into that kind of thing, this is a sweet stat. Everyone I know that has a little dealie that can do movies also has to suffer with only 30 seconds at a time. 3 minutes is a huge time for a movie. You'll likely learn to enjoy this one a lot.

-photo effects. Eh, nothing you can't do in Photoshop, so I don't know why you'd bother using the camera for it. Waste of camera space, if you ask me.

-smart orientation sensing. Again, I'd rather trust myself to orient it afterwards in Photoshop. Another waste of camera space.

-Direct Print. Big deal. Most of the time, you'll be doing Photoshop touchups or alterations, so you'll likely never even use the direct-print. It is nice to have as a backup, though, if you don't have access to a computer that can attach to the camera yet.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Time for a look at the real specs:

-- continued in next reply --
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[User Picture]
From:lograh
Date:17:52 13.Jan.2003 (UTC)

Re: Opnion please

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focal length: equivalent to 35-70mm. A nice beginning range. It covers some minor wide-angle through to the mid-protrait lengths. You won't get any huge landscape shots in one frame with this, and if you want a telephoto effect you'll have to manually crop it in Photoshop once you get home from the photo trip. But 35-70 is a nice general-purpose coverage.

LCD is 82% coverage of actuall image. This will screw with your mind something frightful until you learn where the real image boundries are. My viewfinder is only about 95% of the image, and even that little 5% is enough to have a pole or trashcan in the corner I didn't expect. You might find yourself spending a lot of time cropping in Photoshop till you learn the extent of the boundries.

aperature limitations: f/2.8-f/4.0 !!! that's *IT*!! this, you will find more than anything else, is a *BIG* limitation. It is basically saying that every shot you take will have a fuzzy background. You will have trouble taking pictures of billiard balls on the pool table with every ball in focus. If three people stand in a line, with some space between them, and you shot from a diagnol in front of them, focusing on the middle person, the first and last persons will be fuzzy. This will be fine for familly portraits, but much artsy stuff might be out of your reach. Take a look at their sample image. Look carefully at the lines in it. This setup doesn't likely cover more than 3 feet, yet the tablecloth lines in both the foreground and background are fuzzy. Only the objects in the dead center line are in focus.

Shutter speeds: 15 - 1/1500 sec. It's an okay range. There is more you could ask for, but you're not going to be missing out on too much with this range. Just don't expect to get a long-exposure shot of the stars swirling around the earth, or a fast-action shot of a hammer hitting an orange.

ISO: 50/100/200/400. Hrmm.. one could ask for more, particularly when you are limited to a smallest aperature of f/4.0 (bigger numbers = smaller aperature). You'll find a lot of bright-daylight shots are either over-exposed or very high shutter speeds with low ISO numbers. Also, it's auto-selected, which makes me nervous. At least it has spot metering available. That much is nice.

Media type: CF type 1. damn, that sucks. Too bad it's not type 2 compatible. You'll not be able to get some of the larger CF cards to work with it.

File format: JPG, AVI !!!!! no RAW!!!! This alone, even if everything else was perfect, would keep me from buying this camera. JPG is fine for the familly album, but if you want anything of even a moderately artistic high-quality level then JPG is amongst the worse things out there. JPG files are lossy, what this means is that even after your wonderful 3.2MP sensor takes the picture, and you have a beautiful file ready for storage, the compression function is going to throw away some of your data in order to make it fit on the CF card. This data is gone forever and can not be recovered through any means. Also, it means that you can't expand the image as far as you would otherwise be able to before you hit pixelation. I only used JPG when I first got the camera because I could only fit 3 raw files on the CF card that came with it. I went and got a bigger card the first weekend with the camera. Once my larger CF card that I ordered was delivered, I haven't shot anything but raw files for the pictures I care about. Like I said, for familly album photos I'll use JPG, but *nothing* else uses JPG (and sometimes they get raw also, if I actually care about the event).
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[User Picture]
From:sifueireman
Date:5:01 17.Jan.2003 (UTC)
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Yet another silly question for you. =) Thanks by the way, I knew it was a smart idea to ask you opinion about the Canon. What then, in you opinion, would be a fairly good digital camera to start with. Something within a reasonable price range of your average Joe, but has nice features and the most functionality?
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