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Thread: Digital camera experts?

  1. #1
    TheNobleEU's Avatar Post Count Slacker
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Hi all, camera n00b here,

    Looking to buy a decent digicam for taking pictures from fair distances, and also detailed shots from close-up.

    A few questions from those more in-the-know:

    1. For someone like me, looking to take pictures of historical buildings and monuments on trips to Europe etc., what sort of optical zoom should I be looking for? Is 12x necessary?
    2. I'd need publishable, pseudo-professional-quality (sorta) prints (I'd be taking detailed technical shots of museum pieces). What sort of megapixel range should I be looking at, within the context of the needed optical zoom?
    3. Lots of cameras are out now that are hybrid digicam and digital camcorder. Can anyone with experiences with such a camera comment on whether this is a worthwhile feature to be shopping for, within the context of the above?


  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    lynx's Avatar .
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Yorkshire, England
    If you are going to want semi-professional quality the things you need are high quality lens and high pixel count.

    Cameras with a pixel count in the region of 6 Megapixels are just about in the same range in terms of resolution as a good quality emulsion film. Anything less than that and you will get ok scrapbook sized photos, but enlargements will be fuzzy. Example: 8x10 print at 300dpi = 300x300 = 90000 pixels per square inch, so an 8x10 inch picture is 90000x8x10 = 7.2 million pixels.

    On the lens side, it is no good having a high pixel count if the image is poorly focused because of an inadequate lens, so one of the cheap cameras with a tiny lens is unlikely to give you the results you need.

    For good quality shots, you won't need anything like 12x zoom. The simple fact is that camera shake and air disturbance will ruin any chance you have of a good result. Get nearer, use a lower zoom, and get a tripod (or a monopod).
    Ignore digital zoom, it won't do you any good for the quality you want, and in any case it can still be done in post-processing.

    Don't forget that you won't get many shots on a memory card if you are using high-res. If you want to use it as a camcorder, you won't get much play time on a memory card either. Get plenty of large memory cards, take a laptop with you, or find out if there's somewhere that can transfer the images to cd or dvd.
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    nostalgia's Avatar Frequent visitor
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Northern part of The Netherlands
    Try that site (camera reviews)
    -- They tell me tomorrow will never arrive, but I've seen it end a million times. --


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