Another cry for help –

Many of my LJ friends are fabulous, devoted photographers and it has left me suffering from pic envy. I’d like to get more aggressive about shooting and posting here, and I’d like to just generally up the quality of the digital pics I take. With that in mind I’m soliciting suggestions on cameras. I have in mind kind of a two tiered approach: a 2 megapixel camera that is small and good for impromptu shooting, and then something with more heft for more serious endeavors. On the high end, I don’t need a pro model, like 8meg something or other, but rather something with decent optics and features. I don’t see myself ever really using this for prints. So any suggestions would be welcome!

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  1. we prefer to take pictures with Spice-Cam, a Spice Girls-themed Polaroid that was part of the tail-end of the Spice Girls merchandising mania. It’s pink and purple and covered with stickers of the ladies and takes blurry color shots of drunk people at parties.

  2. i should really get a tiny camera for impromptu shooting…

    i heard some hackers found a way to take those $11 disposable digicams and attatch a USB port onto them….only thing is, you don’t get a screen to view pics on.

    for something a bit more “upscale” in the small camera category, i know a number of people that have the Fuji Finepix 2650 that are quite happy with it.

  3. As for a really nice digital camera, I’ve been lusting over the Canon PowerShot S45/S50 for a while now. They’re “compact” format cameras; their techno-siblings the PowerShot G4/G5 have even more impressive optics in a more traditionally SLR-ish body style.

    For an inexpensive quick-snap cheap digicam — I dunno. I’ve been shopping for one myself, and haven’t found one that really seems to suit me. I wound up going with another film camera as my “good” camera, because I just couldn’t afford the aforementioned S45….

  4. Many of my LJ friends are fabulous, devoted photographers and it has left me suffering from pic envy.

    Although I’m certainly not in the “fabulous” or “devoted” categories, I’d certainly encourage following this impulse. I really didn’t “get” photography until LJ brought it to life and made it more personal. Now I’m fairly enthusiastic. It’s like a new way of seeing.

    My take on it is that all imaging devices provide opportunities for art. I’ve become quite interested in my crappy cell phone camera, because it really forces you to think about the scene you are photographing. Not that it ever takes good photos, but it’s an interesting process trying to get something even slightly respectable. I almost enjoy this more than my fancier Digital Elph, which still sucks quality-wise but has the advantage of being small.

    I’ve discovered that a big camera is useless, because I never take it anywhere. Small is where it’s at.

    I wish my camera had more manual features, like manual focus and exposure, that was convenient to use. The auto settings never seem to give me what I want.

  5. One of my favorite video games is the Spice girls one for the playstation one. In it you get to view videos, teach your virtual spice girl dance moves, and remix the hits. I love making it so that “wannabe” becomes and endless loop of “Tell me what you want what you really really want, I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, I wannaIwannaIwannaIwanna, Tell me what you want what you really really want, I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, I wannaIwannaIwannaIwanna,Tell me what you want what you really really want, I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, I wannaIwannaIwannaIwanna,Tell me what you want what you really really want, I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, I wannaIwannaIwannaIwanna,Tell me what you want what you really really want, I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, I wannaIwannaIwannaIwanna….”

  6. was the fascination with cell-phone photos brought on, by any chance, by ‘s shots in ?

    my digicam is big – i hardly ever use it. must get small cheapycam!

  7. This is exactly my problem – my current 2 meg camera is just a little too big to be a “toss it in the bag, whip it out and shoot” item. I wouldn’t mind a bulkier camera if it meant that when I took it out with me I could concentrate on photographing. What I have now satisfies neither desire.

  8. Three things you might consider for your carryabout camera are macro function, optical zoom and pocketability.

    I tend to use the macro (close focus) feature a great deal to capture closeup textures and colors. With your fine stolen-from-angels eyes, this will probably come in handy for you too.

    Optical zoom comes in hand many times when I’m having trouble capturing a shot from a particular angle, or can’t get close enough to properly frame a shot. (ie: I can’t just stand in the middle of the street to snap a shot, but I may walk a block away and get the same shot with a zoom) I also don’t care to deal with an extra case for my camera, so it should protect itself and be able to ride in my pocket.

  9. I think my S40 works pretty well as a snapshot camera, but the optics are way too small for anything other than well-lit or flash stuff. And if you’re looking for a snapshot camera, there are smaller, more pocketable options. Then again, has gotten some great stuff out of his S40.

    I’ve been impressed by shots that other folks are getting with the Nikon coolpix’s. Both and have gotten great results from them. Though it’s hard to say how much is the camera and how much is PhotoShop, since they’re both PS geeks. Part of it must be the camera.

    The Canon G4/G5’s (and the new, similar Pro1) seem pretty decent as largish cameras. I haven’t fiddled with them much.

  10. My camera is a Kodak DX3500, point-and-shoot. I get frustrated with not being able to control exposure or focus, but it takes some nice shots so it would not be bad for your impromptu option. It also has a closeup feature, good for focusing around 8 to 12 inches. The view screen is difficult to see on bright days. Somebody told me Kodak isn’t making digital cameras anymore, but…just in case there are any available.

  11. One thing I’d suggest — although this just adds to the complexity of the decisionmaking process — is to get cameras that can use a common flash memory format. That way, you don’t wind up with quite as much in the way of duplicative purchases for camera storage. (I know there are CF adaptors for some of the smaller flash card formats like Secure Digital and xD, but I don’t know if you can actually use them inside a camera.)

  12. I have an olympus c4040

    I don’t know why more people don’t talk about the Olympus C line. I had a C2020 that got stolen but then I replaced it with a C4040. Almost 4mp, great colors, great auto exposure. I make up to 16×20 prints from them.

    You say you wouldn’t use it for prints – in that case, keep in mind that for displaying on screen your most common dpi is 72. My 4 mp camera takes 31 in x 23 in (roughly) images at 72dpi so when I want to create a version to display at say, 8×10 on the computer, I have to dump over half of the pixels.

    When I print, I need a lot better resolution and that’s where higher megapixel cameras make sense.

    So you might be able to get away with one 2mp camera that will meet all your needs.

  13. Sorry size queen that i am I have the Nikon D100 would love to get the D70
    Yah yah i know I do need something smaller and intermediate but not seeing anything in the ccd densities I want.
    Lol now a 16 mega pixie in a minisnappy would rock

  14. One of my favorite video games is the Spice girls one for the playstation one. In it you get to view videos, teach your virtual spice girl dance moves, and remix the hits. I love making it so that “wannabe” becomes and endless loop of “Tell me what you want what you really really want, I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, I wannaIwannaIwannaIwanna, Tell me what you want what you really really want, I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, I wannaIwannaIwannaIwanna,Tell me what you want what you really really want, I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, I wannaIwannaIwannaIwanna,Tell me what you want what you really really want, I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, I wannaIwannaIwannaIwanna,Tell me what you want what you really really want, I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, I wannaIwannaIwannaIwanna….”

  15. This is exactly my problem – my current 2 meg camera is just a little too big to be a “toss it in the bag, whip it out and shoot” item. I wouldn’t mind a bulkier camera if it meant that when I took it out with me I could concentrate on photographing. What I have now satisfies neither desire.

  16. I’m sorry, but every (and I mean every) time I read “mystery turd” I crack up.

    And don’t sell youself short: one of the reasons I’m thinking about this is because of your food photos.

  17. A few more considerations….

    One of the other things to consider is how the camera turns on. I know, it seems silly — but think about how you might be using the camera.

    I prefer cameras (either film or digital) that have a slide that covers the lens; when you pull back the slide, the camera turns on. It both protects the lens and with a little practice it becomes almost second nature as you grab the camera. You don’t have to fumble looking for the power button, or hold it in for however long to convince the camera it’s not just a random bump and you really do want it to turn on.

    If you want to capture fleeting moments, you need something you can have ready to take the photo as quickly as possible with as little wasted time as possible. If that’s not the kind of photography you have in mind, this bit isn’t as important.

  18. I’m sorry, but every (and I mean every) time I read “mystery turd” I crack up.

    And don’t sell youself short: one of the reasons I’m thinking about this is because of your food photos.

  19. I’m still feeling my way with mine. But then, I’ve only had it since December. I’m a firm believer into going out and using things and finding out how they work by trial and error, rather than reading instruction manuals.

    Probably, this is why I didn’t discover until very recently (like, this weekend) that my camera has a «landscape» setting for distant scenery. I could have done with that on Saturday, perhaps one could have spotted the San Francisco outline in the one photo I took from up on Cerro Este.

    Oh well, I did discover the «macro» function just in time to take some decent close-up photos of Brodiaeas.

  20. Go to B&H to shop, then price on the web. I’m planning an excursion sometime soon with my geek bear friend Rick. If and when we get our schedules in sync, I’ll let you know when we’re going.

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