A wee bit OT: Digi-cam suggestions for roadgeek photography?

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Larry Harvilla

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Apr 12, 2004, 9:18:33 PM4/12/04
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I have been considering the purchase of a digital camera for some time now,
and knowing that a lot of folks here on MTR take their own pictures of
roadgeekly things, I figured this was a good place to come for suggestions.

In all likelihood, I will also use it for other things besides just
roadgeeking, but that will probably be its primary use. I doubt I'll be
doing much printing -- most, if not all, of what I do will be saved on some
form of computer, either my own or server(s) somewhere. I talked to the
manager at a Radio Shack not long ago, and he suggested that I should avoid
4-megapixel models, as they are better suited to fine detail that leads to
large JPEG file sizes. For those of you who have done enough digital
photography to know what you're talking about, is he correct or off his
rocker? :)

Also, I would appreciate any other tips that could be useful. In
particular, recommendations as to models or particular features of a camera
would be highly useful. Thanks in advance.

--
Larry Harvilla
E-mail: roads AT phatpage DOT org

also visit: http://www.phatpage.org/
Highways section to be added soon.


Clayton Bigsby

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Apr 12, 2004, 9:55:46 PM4/12/04
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TV's Larry Harvilla wrote:
> I have been considering the purchase of a digital camera for some
> time now, and knowing that a lot of folks here on MTR take their own
> pictures of roadgeekly things, I figured this was a good place to
> come for suggestions.
>
> In all likelihood, I will also use it for other things besides just
> roadgeeking, but that will probably be its primary use. I doubt I'll
> be doing much printing -- most, if not all, of what I do will be
> saved on some form of computer, either my own or server(s) somewhere.
> I talked to the manager at a Radio Shack not long ago, and he
> suggested that I should avoid 4-megapixel models, as they are better
> suited to fine detail that leads to large JPEG file sizes. For those
> of you who have done enough digital photography to know what you're
> talking about, is he correct or off his rocker? :)

You can always lower the resolution after you've taken the picture, if the
file sizes are too big. Adobe Photoshop is an excellent program for this
use.

> Also, I would appreciate any other tips that could be useful. In
> particular, recommendations as to models or particular features of a
> camera would be highly useful. Thanks in advance.

--
Don't waste your touch, you won't feel anything
Or were you sent to save me?
I've thought too much
You won't find anything worthy of redeeming

AFI - The Leaving Song Pt. II

Dumbya, it's time to dump ya! Vote Kerry '04

Steve

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Apr 12, 2004, 10:01:14 PM4/12/04
to
Larry Harvilla wrote:

> I have been considering the purchase of a digital camera for some time now,
> and knowing that a lot of folks here on MTR take their own pictures of
> roadgeekly things, I figured this was a good place to come for suggestions.
>
> In all likelihood, I will also use it for other things besides just
> roadgeeking, but that will probably be its primary use. I doubt I'll be
> doing much printing -- most, if not all, of what I do will be saved on some
> form of computer, either my own or server(s) somewhere. I talked to the
> manager at a Radio Shack not long ago, and he suggested that I should avoid
> 4-megapixel models, as they are better suited to fine detail that leads to
> large JPEG file sizes. For those of you who have done enough digital
> photography to know what you're talking about, is he correct or off his
> rocker? :)
>
> Also, I would appreciate any other tips that could be useful. In
> particular, recommendations as to models or particular features of a camera
> would be highly useful. Thanks in advance.
>

Remember, large file size = fewer files per memory card. I would say 2
megapixels would be about right.

--
Steve
GO YANKEES! GO KNICKS!
Civil Engineering (Course 1) at MIT

RickB52X

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Apr 12, 2004, 11:30:38 PM4/12/04
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From: "Larry Harvilla" <IGNOR...@ADDRESS-IN-SIGNATURE.com>

>I have been considering the purchase of a digital camera for some time now,
>and knowing that a lot of folks here on MTR take their own pictures of
>roadgeekly things, I figured this was a good place to come for suggestions.
>
>In all likelihood, I will also use it for other things besides just
>roadgeeking, but that will probably be its primary use. I doubt I'll be
>doing much printing -- most, if not all, of what I do will be saved on some
>form of computer, either my own or server(s) somewhere. I talked to the
>manager at a Radio Shack not long ago, and he suggested that I should avoid
>4-megapixel models, as they are better suited to fine detail that leads to
>large JPEG file sizes. For those of you who have done enough digital
>photography to know what you're talking about, is he correct or off his
>rocker? :)
>
>Also, I would appreciate any other tips that could be useful. In
>particular, recommendations as to models or particular features of a camera
>would be highly useful. Thanks in advance.

Check out the May 2004 issue of Consumer Reports. It has articles/reviews on
digital cameras, scanners and photo editing software. It's very comprehensive
and the information will probably save you a few bucks and headaches.

Of course, one thing to remember about Consumer Reports reviews. By the time
the magazine comes out, some of the specific model numbers reviewed are no
longer available because the next year's models are on the shelves, but then
you just look for the comparable model in the same price and feature range by
the same company. If nothing else, you certainly get a feel for which makes are
better values and which ones to outright avoid.


Rick...@aol.com
To e-mail me, remove
the X from the address.

I-540

unread,
Apr 13, 2004, 1:18:26 AM4/13/04
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"Larry Harvilla" <IGNOR...@ADDRESS-IN-SIGNATURE.com> wrote in message
news:8e11e2c2e8aeac04...@news.teranews.com...

> I have been considering the purchase of a digital camera for some time
now,
> and knowing that a lot of folks here on MTR take their own pictures of
> roadgeekly things, I figured this was a good place to come for
suggestions.
>
> In all likelihood, I will also use it for other things besides just
> roadgeeking, but that will probably be its primary use. I doubt I'll be
> doing much printing -- most, if not all, of what I do will be saved on
some
> form of computer, either my own or server(s) somewhere. I talked to the
> manager at a Radio Shack not long ago, and he suggested that I should
avoid
> 4-megapixel models, as they are better suited to fine detail that leads to
> large JPEG file sizes. For those of you who have done enough digital
> photography to know what you're talking about, is he correct or off his
> rocker? :)
>
> Also, I would appreciate any other tips that could be useful. In
> particular, recommendations as to models or particular features of a
camera
> would be highly useful. Thanks in advance.
>

I just bought one last month. Nikon Coolpix 2100 2.0 Megapixel, 3x Zoom.
Consumer Reports on-line rated it a Best Buy. I paid about $150 on-line for
it. I'm enjoying every minute of it. It comes with software you can use to
edit your photos as well, though I've been using Arc Soft PhotoStudio. It's
been really easy to transfer my photos to the computer as well.

I would suggest, however, you get rechargable batteries. The non-rechargable
lithiums that come with it are $$ (around $10).

Go to Froogle.com to find your best price.

---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.655 / Virus Database: 420 - Release Date: 4/9/04


Froggie

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Apr 13, 2004, 6:09:28 AM4/13/04
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> > Also, I would appreciate any other tips that could be useful. In
> > particular, recommendations as to models or particular features of a camera
> > would be highly useful. Thanks in advance.
> >
> Remember, large file size = fewer files per memory card. I would say 2
> megapixels would be about right.

Personal preference. Personally, I like having a lot of detail in my photos, so
I have my Mavica set to the full 5 megapixels, then I crop as needed afterwards.
Even with a high setting, I can still get 60-65 photos on one mini-CD.

Froggie | Virginia Beach, VA | http://www.ajfroggie.com/roads/


Keith

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Apr 13, 2004, 7:18:20 AM4/13/04
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Mine is a Sony DSC-P8 with 3.2 mega pixels. Coats $350, but well worth it.

Oscar Voss

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Apr 13, 2004, 8:02:55 AM4/13/04
to
Larry Harvilla wrote:
>
> I have been considering the purchase of a digital camera for some time now,
> and knowing that a lot of folks here on MTR take their own pictures of
> roadgeekly things, I figured this was a good place to come for suggestions.
>
> In all likelihood, I will also use it for other things besides just
> roadgeeking, but that will probably be its primary use. I doubt I'll be
> doing much printing -- most, if not all, of what I do will be saved on some
> form of computer, either my own or server(s) somewhere. I talked to the
> manager at a Radio Shack not long ago, and he suggested that I should avoid
> 4-megapixel models, as they are better suited to fine detail that leads to
> large JPEG file sizes. For those of you who have done enough digital
> photography to know what you're talking about, is he correct or off his
> rocker? :)
>
> Also, I would appreciate any other tips that could be useful. In
> particular, recommendations as to models or particular features of a camera
> would be highly useful. Thanks in advance.

Especially if you like bridge photography, shooting at wide angles will
often come in handy on the road, so look for that capability (either
with a good zoom lens, or an attachment to the regular camera lens).

--
Oscar Voss - ov...@erols.com - Arlington, Virginia

my Hot Springs and Highways pages: http://users.erols.com/ovoss/
Hawaii Highways: http://www.hawaiihighways.com/

Chris Bessert

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Apr 13, 2004, 9:18:07 AM4/13/04
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"JL" <watuzis...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> You can always lower the resolution after you've taken the picture, if
the
> file sizes are too big. Adobe Photoshop is an excellent program for this
> use.

I have to agree with "J" on this. Photoshop is one of my best friends
when it comes to digital photography and website maintenance. Ever
since they added that "Save as for Web" feature in Version 5 or 6ish,
that's been a BIG help taking the guesswork out of making pictures
"Web-ready."

Here's how I see it: You might only want to put a photo online now...
but what if you want to make a print of it later? Or blow it up as
a 5x7? Get the highest resolution YOU want and don't worry about the
size of the files, unless you don't plan on being near a computer to
periodically offload them for a long time or if you don't want to have
a few 256MB memory cards handy.

Later,
Chris

--
Chris Bessert
Bess...@aol.com
http://www.michiganhighways.org
http://www.wisconsinhighways.org
http://www.ontariohighways.org


H.B. Elkins

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Apr 13, 2004, 10:42:29 AM4/13/04
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"Larry Harvilla" <IGNOR...@ADDRESS-IN-SIGNATURE.com> wrote:

>In all likelihood, I will also use it for other things besides just
>roadgeeking, but that will probably be its primary use. I doubt I'll be
>doing much printing -- most, if not all, of what I do will be saved on some
>form of computer, either my own or server(s) somewhere. I talked to the
>manager at a Radio Shack not long ago, and he suggested that I should avoid
>4-megapixel models, as they are better suited to fine detail that leads to
>large JPEG file sizes. For those of you who have done enough digital
>photography to know what you're talking about, is he correct or off his
>rocker? :)

Slam the doors, kick the tires, get something that feels good in your
hands and is easy for you to use. There really isn't a
one-size-fits-all answer.

My first digital camera was a Sony Mavica. Major problems with it
included limited storage space on unreliable floppy disks, and a
proprietary battery. However, it usually focused well from a moving
vehicle but there was limited exposure control.

I have a Minolta Dimage 7i now, and it has full exposure control and
uses AA batteries. It's a high-end SLR camera, but its autofocus
function is weak. I often get out-of-focus photos while driving. :-(

As for 4-megapixel models, most cameras have controls to tinker with
the image size. If you are saving mostly for the Web, you can probably
adjust the parameters to capture only 640x480 images, and you'll have
a lot more storage space on your memory card. Of course, you can buy
larger cards and increase the image size to get a higher-resolution
image, then adjust it down in your photo editing software (some form
of which will probably be included with your camera).
+++++++++++++++++++++++++
H.B. Elkins -- Beattyville, KY
http://www.millenniumhwy.net hbelkins(at)mis.net

"There's no doubt he's the best race driver in the world."
--Dale Jarrett, on the late Dale Earnhardt

Go Big Blue (Kentucky Wildcats)! Go #15 (Michael Waltrip, NAPA Chevy)!

To reply, just remove the restrictorplates...
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ron Bean

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Apr 13, 2004, 12:05:38 PM4/13/04
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hbel...@restrictorplates.mis.net (H.B. Elkins) writes:

>Slam the doors, kick the tires, get something that feels good in your
>hands and is easy for you to use.

This is important-- don't buy one by mail unless you've
personally held one in your hands. I've found some that looked
good but didn't feel right (and vice versa).

I don't think I'd bother with Radio Shack, though. There are
better places to buy a camera.

See http://www.dpreview.com for detailed reviews
(some pages take a while to load, but worth the wait)

If you're just taking snapshots in bright sunlight you can get
away with just about anything. For dim light pay attention to the
speed of the lens (lowest F/stop), and the ability to set the
exposure manually. I've found this helps a lot for non-roadgeek
shots (for long exposures use a mini-tripod, or brace the camera
against something, and use the self-timer so you don't move the
camera when you trip the shutter).

I think the Canon S-series is the smallest camera with a
full-manual mode, but like all cameras that size it has a slow
lens. The G3 seems to be a good compromise between size and
features (but discontinued, current model is the G5).


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