Thursday, July 06, 2006

Can - Can - Camera do the - Can - Can

I've been meaning to do a post like this for a while, but since Aaron asked so nicely, I'll do it now. Also because it's so freaking warm now that I can't sleep and I can't wait to see my nephew again. So here it goes. Mind you that this most is not an an authority but my own experience and that any given photo site may or may not agree, but then again, this is a one side fits all post. Here we go... . First things first, we are now entering a time where companies like Sony, Panasonic, Sanyo and the like are seeing that there is a load of money to be made in the higher end camera market in addition to the mid and lower range. This higher end market consists of cameras that are SLR or SLR like, and to that end Sony has now joined the SLR party with their Alpha range of body and lenses - essentially it's a Minolta system that has been taken over. The other companies are producing digi cams of the P&S variety that are in the same price range as a SLR body and kit lens combo. It seems that the images produced by the cameras of these new to the market companies are more often than not captured in such a way that the images look great on the LCD screen in the back (sharp and generally saturated) and are exposed rather well in general - I touched on this in a previous post. Now the more traditional SLR camera companies like Canon and Nikon, while they also produce digicams, are big into SLR. And as noted above and in the past, these images are generally intended for post processing. At times they come out tack sharp, and other times they need help. This is in part because of the photographer and other times because of the lens. Other times it's because of pixel peeping. One of the things that I have noticed right away when looking at images from the SLR is that the color tones are very smooth, something that doesn't happen all the time in P&S. This helps in printing - what it would seem to me is the intended fate of SLR images in general - though it isn't ways what looks best on the screen, especially coming from the world of digi. So now that I've given my take on the images, the question Aaron had was with regard to the kinds of cameras for different uses. To that I say two things (and I give this sort of advice often in the faculty), get what you can afford and what you can carry. There is enough technology out there now that for the most part there is a camera that will fit your photographic needs and stay within your ergonomic and economic needs. Things that should be considered when buying? The types of pictures that you intend to take - are you doing shots of the kids and parties - get something small - almost anything will do. Are you looking at getting creative with photography? Get a camera with Av, Tv and M modes (priority modes for the aperture, shutter and then full on manual). Are you going on a trip and want to be able to zoom into shots - there are some amazing super-zoom cameras out there (Canon and Panasonic). There are also cameras, notably by Olympus that are weather sealed as well. If you are taking pictures at night or in darkened rooms that don't allow flash, you want to have something with low noise at higher ISOs (this is the reason I went Canon). Having mentioned all that, bear in mind that within the next year or so, the camera phones that are out in Japan and Europe will land here and we will have camera phones that can compete and hold their own in the Point and Shoot space. One thing that many people moving over notice is that SLRs cameras generally do best with specialized glass/lenses because they can. In P7S, the lens doesn't change and because of that they generally do wide angle and macro very well and zoom (optical) is getting to be very respectable as well. If you decide that you want to get into SLR, it's good to know that there are preset modes available that turn the system into something that is P&S friendly. So if you are thinking about getting a camera for someone who is fancying themselves a bit of a shutterbug, they will have something to help them learn. One of the biggest things that I'm finding out about SLR is exposure, it's something that many people new to SLR will find to be problematic. I also want to stress one other thing - it's not the camera that make great images. It's the world that is in front of and behind the lens. A poor photographer can't be saved by an amazing camera and an amazing photographer can do some cool things with even modest equipment. I can't think of much else at the moment - but this is a start at least for many (let me know if you want more). I'll leave you with something I found on the Canon site from a manual that comes with the 1 series of pro cameras and a picture of my nephew - and his mom set this up, it's not my doing, I was just there with the camera. Technorati Tags: