Forum: Arts / Photography - Artistic

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re: The camera review post
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6359, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Tue Dec 28, 2010 07:36 PM
^If you are just starting to take photos to any degree many of the Coolpix (that is a Nikon trade name) cameras are quite decent. I actually have two of them, one an early one my son gave me and another at the very bottom of the line which my wife uses. [I'm an ex-pro photographer and I generally use a Nikon D-80 digital SLR myself.]

There are a number of Coolpix cameras. They all work. They all take decent photographs if you know their limitations. I could also say the same for just about any major brand of digital camera...Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, Sony etc. The ability of cameras to take a decent photograph is probably higher today than it ever was.

What I do like about these smaller digitals.
Light in weight and compact.
The wide angle to telephoto zoom capability
The ability for instant feedback...you know right away whether you got a decent result.
The ability to take 100's of photos on a single chip...this allows you to experiment without having to pay for processing...load the photos into a computer, keep the ones you like delete the ones you don't. I then make a CD rom of the photos I like, take them to a one hour place and have them printed. I could print them here on the computer, but the cost of ink is rather high. I get prints for 10 to 15 cents each depending on how many I bring in when I go to Costco or SAM's club.
The automatic or programmed exposures are pretty good. I'm a seasoned pro, I don't even need to use a meter, but I still let the automatic exposure do 90-95% of the shots I take for casual shooting such as my vacation shots. I can alway do minor tweaks
with photoshopish programs.

What I don't like about these "point and shoot" cameras.

Most have a delay between pushing the button and the actual photograph. I hate that. If I'm shoot a person I want what I see NOW, not a half second ago. (Digital SLRs only have a delay in milliseconds, point and shoots are anywhere from a half second to 2 seconds...and eternity to a photographer.

I do not like using the viewing screen to see what I am about to shoot. This may be a generational thing, but after 50 years of using SLR camera up to my eye, holding a camera way in front of me to shoot is off-putting. Two of my point and shoots do have an optical viewfinder...the kind you put to your eye. The one my wife uses does not...you have to hold the camera a foot or so in front of your face.

I hate the flashes on these things. (I also hate the built-in flash on my Nikon SLR, but all cameras have them now.) Having a flash so close to the camera's lens is an open invitation for "red eye." Even worse are the "red eye prevent feature." That shoot a secquence of flashes even before the actual shot it taken to close a person's pupils to minimize the red. The red in red eye is actually the back of the inside of your eyeballs. Again, this burst of flash takes time and you miss the photo you wanted to take two seconds ago. I never use this feature. If I get red eye, I remove it with a "photoshop-type" program.

The viewing screen which is actually a tiny TV, is a battery hog and cuts down on the number of shot you can take with a single battery set. I actually prefer a point an shoot camera you can use with a pair of AA batteries, because if the battery goes dead, you merely insert two new ones. My wife always carries four AA batteries in her purse for just this reason.

Pixel ratings are really rather meaningless. These cameras are so much alike that pixel numbers are about the only thing they can advertise. My Nikon can do 10 megapixels. I used that capability exactly once...and then I didn't neet to. If I were shooting for billboard, that might be important. I usually shoot for about 5-6 meagapixels.

I hope this gives some perspective.

Jon
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