Cameras!

Ben Ruset

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So what sort of cameras does everyone use in the Pine Barrens?

I have two - a Sigma SA-300 35mm and my new digital camera, a Fuji Finepix S602Z.

I bought the Fuji because my old camera - a Sony Mavica FD-91 - couldn't hold a charge and saved on floppy disks, which meant that I had to carry tons of floppies with me every time I went to use it.

The new camera came with a 16MB SD card, but I added a 256MB compact flash card. I can take several hundred pictures and not have to worry about storage. It also runs on plain AA batteries so I just have to keep a spare set in my truck, vs having a proprietary battery on a charger on the power inverter in my Jeep.

What do you use?
 
A

Anonymous

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With teenagers sucking up all our spendable income, we settled for the Minolta S414. I just got it 3 weeks ago, and am just learning to use it. I took the photos of trailing arbutus in my gallery with it.

Yesterday I took 52 shots out in the pine plains, and was ready to sell it on ebay cause I thought the clarity was awful, until my wife Annie calmly pointed out that I had to resize the images to see the real deal. It seems like a decent camera, but like all other electronics these days, it has more features to learn than you have time to figure out.

What size photos do you guys use as the standard when you shoot? Do you usually use the automatic setting?

bob

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Minolta/minolta_dimages414.asp
 

Teegate

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Bob,

I just checked and yours is a 4.1 Mega Pixel which is very good. Mine is only a 2.1 with obviously the higher being better. I use the highest setting for mine which is 1600x1200, and you should set yours at 2272 x 1704 for best quality. But remember that will be a very large picture, and Annie was correct that you will have to resize it to see it all unless you set the settings on the program you use to view them to fill the screen. But I would suggest you at least keep it at 1600x1200.

Don't give up on it yet. Also, I have found that digital camera's work best with plenty of light. That would seem obvious but I feel in darker area's a regular camera seems to be able to compensate much better. It took me month's before I was able to get a real feel on how it works.


And I checked out your gallery and the photo's look great. Keep the camera!

Guy
 

Ben Ruset

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Argh, I forgot to make it so that you had to be logged in to post! That's fixed now.

Anyway, I didn't even realize that Bob started his own gallery until now. Those pictures are amazing! The camera seems really good.

I usually leave mine on the automatic settings. I have the capability to change all of the settings for mine if I want but the camera seems to do a decent enough job of handling them itself.

Regarding low-light and night photography, that's something that most digital cameras don't do all that well yet. I did some experiments with mine and had to use my tripod and the camera set on "night" mode. They turned out pretty well, actually.

http://www.njpinebarrens.com/~bruset/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album19

I left some of the out of focus ones in since I had posted them on another site for critique. I was largely impressed with my Fuji's preformance.
 

Teegate

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I have found that when I use the zoom my photo's are always blurry. A tripod is really needed at that point to keep the camera steady.

Guy
 

Ben Ruset

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TeeGate said:
I have found that when I use the zoom my photo's are always blurry. A tripod is really needed at that point to keep the camera steady.

Guy

In bright light you shouldn't have that much of a problem. Camera shake sucks though. My old Sony had a feature called "steady shot" that somehow eliminated camera shake. It was a rude awakening when I switched to the Fuji and had to deal with shakes.

I am a natually shaky person, unfortunately.
 
J

JeffD

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I use a regular camera to take photos in the Pine Barrens. Maybe someday I'll have them scanned so I can post them. I use an old Tower 51 camera, made in Germany, which I bought, used, from my landlord in Deming, New Mexico in the early 80's for $50. I used it to take photos for local newspapers there.

Nothing is automatic on the Tower. I have to choose the f stop and shutter speed. I experiment with different settings to allow the lighting to emphasize different parts of the subject, and for different depths of field. I don't know if depth of field matters on the Internet. To load the camera, the bottom snaps off, and I have to slide the film into a cylinder and feed the end of the roll into the cylinder on the other end. I have to allow a couple of non shots because some of the film was exposed before I snapped the camera back together. I have to manually advance the film after each shot. To rewind, I hold a button on the bottom on the camera while turning the dial on top of the camera. I have to keep turning and turning until I feel no resistance. I end up turning more than I have to to make sure the film completely rewinds. The Tower 51 takes good pictures, and the only problem I've is that a piece of metal blocks part of the view. I just have to remember that there's a little more that will show up on one side than I see in the viewer. A few years back, the flash that attaches to the camera stopped working. I replaced the batteries, but I think the bulb had burnt out. I don't know how to replace it. I rarely use the flash, which was included in the deal.
 
Anonymous said:
With teenagers sucking up all our spendable income, we settled for the Minolta S414.



http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Minolta/minolta_dimages414.asp

I have the DiMage S404 and love it. I don't see a difference in specs between the two. As far as re-sizing the images to view: When viewing large image files like that you should change your computer's screen resolution to a higher if not highest setting.
I shoot in the highest JPG setting using a 256 card and can take 140 shots. When I load them to my 'puter I convert them to TIFF's for storage. When I want to post or e-mail them I copy and convert back to JPG at about 600x800.

Note: If you get a really great shot at high res they will print out a great 16" x 20" using a photo service. They're not cheap though.
 

Ben Ruset

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If it's saved as a JPG, converting to TIFF doesn't do anything. JPEG is a lossy format - the data was already compressed, so saving to a lossless format like TIFF doesn't net you any better image quality. All it does is just burn up disk space.
 

Teegate

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TIFF's are the best format for quality, but if I saved every photo I have taken in TIFF format I would need 5 times the CD's to back them up. I already have 2000 photo's from my camera with some of them at almost 2MB in JPG format. When I convert them to TIFF they are almost 5 times as large. And I can only go to 1600x1200. I now have 6CD's filled with my photo's from my camera, and in TIFF format with higher resolution I would need over 30.

Ben some camera's save the files in TIFF format so there would be no quality lost. But to convert from JPG to TIFF is indeed not needed. JPG is a lousy format for quality, but a necessary evil.

Guy
 

bobpbx

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If I hear you guys correctly, taking pictures in TIFF gives you the best quality, but they should not be emailed as they are too large. Right?
 

Teegate

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Correct. TIFF files are huge, so convert them to JPG at whatever size looks good to you on your screen. Remember if you have your monitor setting high, the pictures will look bigger on someone's screen who has their monitor set low. So as BEHR655 says you might want to go with 800x600.

And if you are uploading to Ben's gallery site, just leave the picture large in JPG format and the site will do all the work for you.

Guy
 

Teegate

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Bob,

I see you have not uploaded any photo's to your Comcast website. You should look into learning how to do that. You can use Comcast's website to upload them, but an FTP client works best. Ben can probably tell you a good free one for the PC. I have a Mac and use a different one and can't help you out there.

Here is your site. Nothing there!

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pbx/



Guy
 

Ben Ruset

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You can adjust the compression of your JPG files as well. A JPG with low compression will rival a TIFF in quality.

Guy, remember when my camera was really slow last Saturday? That's because it was saving those pictures of the graves at Union Clay as TIFF's. They were about 30mb each. I converted them to JPG and put them on the site. Look at the high res versions - you can hardly see any image degredation.

The stuff that I have done on 35mm I have archived as TIFF but I think that I may just go through and convert them to JPG one of these days.

Regarding a good FTP client, I use CuteFTP but it's not free. I hear SmartFTP is good, and is also free, but I have never used it.
 
bruset said:
If it's saved as a JPG, converting to TIFF doesn't do anything. JPEG is a lossy format - the data was already compressed, so saving to a lossless format like TIFF doesn't net you any better image quality. All it does is just burn up disk space.

True/Not true

Yes there is already a loss but the images are still of excellent quality. I convert to TIFF to prevent further degradation of the images when I fix, enhance or alter them and save. Every time you save in JPG more image quality is lost. I store my TIFFs on cd to save hard disk space.
 

Ben Ruset

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True. When I work with TIFF's I keep a "reference" image, unaltered, in TIFF format. Then if I need to make changes, I save the new image as a JPG. I've never done any retouching of my Pine Barrens photos and it probably shows.

I keep all of my photography on a big file server in my house. CD's are a pain. :)
 
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