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digital camera question?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK megapixels. I have heard that a 3.2 mpx camera can go up to (or maybe a little above) an 8x10 picture at photo quality. So are additional megapixels just a waste as I don't plan to make anything above an 8x10?

And if you were choosing between a camera for $150 that has 3X optical zoom, 3X digital zoom, 5mpx, and movie mode at 15 frames/second or a camera for $260 that has 10x optical zoom 3x digital zoom, 3.2 mpx, and a movie mode comparable to that of an actual camcorder for up to 60min, which would you choose personally? Is 15 frames/second decent? I'm so confused.. $110 additional seems a little much for a camera with lower mpx, which has been my main digital camera decider in the past.

i just don't plan to buy another one for a very long time so this one I pick has to be awesome... but still lower cost.
post #2 of 12
First, don't pay any attention to digital zoom. It's basically the same thing you do when you re-size a pic in an imaging program. Optical zoom is definitely what you want to go by for that criteria.

I'd really question a 3.2 doing a decent 8x10. I wouldn't push it beyond 4x6 or 5x7.

Also my personal experience has been that you very seldom get good quality on stuff that has been added extra. IOW, if you want to take movies, get a movie camera, although for occasional use the 15fps should be okay. You will get some pixelation at that, but the file size will be much smaller which is a definite plus if you plan to e-mail them or make them available via the 'net.

Try going to www.dpreview.com for some more in-depth stuff.
post #3 of 12
Specifications are not everything and some cameras may have good specs yet somehow still fall short. And Megapixels is certainly not everything for some good cameras with lower pixels can produce better quality than some bad cameras with higher pixels.


The above sites have reviews on cameras. Why don't you mention the cameras you are looking at.
post #4 of 12
By the way, while I think optical zoom is quite important I have got quite nice pictures with a camera with only digital zoom. After all you can always use "manual zoom" that is by moving forwards or backwards with your feet, haha.
post #5 of 12
True, but it can be rather difficult to "sneak up" on some subjects with "manual zoom" .
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
the camera I want is the Canon Powershot S2 IS. The camera I can afford is the Canon Powershot S1 IS. I've looked at countless reviews and have basically narrowed it down to the S1 IS or something else, lol. What else I'm not sure, but something under $200 and most likely with only 3x optical. The feature about the S1 IS that gets me is the movie mode. I want to be able to shoot movies but only maybe every now and then and not enough to buy a camcorder for, so the movie mode was a big point for me. If the S1 IS was $150 or even $200 I would get it hands down but at $250 it kinda steep imo for what it is.

I will be using it for a variety of things but a lot of it's use will be at my bf's shows (he's in a band) to take stills and movie clips for their website, so the 10x optical interested me in those events where I can't get right up to the stage. These pictures will mostly be taken in smokey bars and the problem is no one reviews smokey bar shots I've been using a digital elph and it does well normally but not the band shots so I'm looking for a new one..
post #7 of 12
The more megapixels the better the possible quality of the image. So i recomend you go to the most you can afford. As you never know what you'll end up using the picture for. Also go ith a known make recomendations are always good. i'd recomend a Canon.
post #8 of 12
Hmmm, those are going to be very difficult conditions under which to get good shots with anything other than a "pro" type camera. From what I've seen (and the dpreview site does have shots from each of the cameras under different conditions) low light is definitely not the digital camera's forte. You'll also want to look at the "film" speed, or ISO then. In real film, 100 is usually used for outside shots, and the speed goes up from there. 400 is a decent low-light speed for film and a lot of the mid-line cameras have the digital equivalent (I believe mine goes up to 400.) It's a trade-off as the quality of the pix goes down (graininess in film, noise in digital) as the speed goes up. Also most of them absolutely cannot handle low light in movie mode, and in movie mode you don't have the "luxury" of using a flash. I'd guess that under those conditions the movie mode on the cameras you're looking out would be pretty much useless. Sorry, I seem to be full of negatives .
post #9 of 12
Anna, here's some big time tips for shooting live music.

Check out what the max speed of the camera is. You want one that has the option to choose the speed, and the higher the "ISO" the better. 400 is minimum for shooting live - unless the band stands perfectly still the whole show and you have a tripod. You never know how the lighting is going to be at different venues. Sometimes it's great, and sometimes it's horrible. A fast ISO will help when the lighting isn't so good.

Optical zoom is really important. When you hit that digital zoom point, you get all kinds of pixelation and the shot looks like crap. Even if you can be up close to the stage, if you want to shoot the drummer, you need the zoom. And to get the really cool up close shots you need the zoom too.

We have a decent Sony camera, but Earl is getting into more and more concert and band photography, so he wants a really nice camera now. I do the website for a local band (I've been friends with the bassist for about 10 years), and Earl shoots some of their shows. Here's some examples with the 400 ISO and 5X Optical Zoom on our camera.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Wait, the band HAS a mindv camcorder for taped shows, but this is for short like 30 second clips or one whole song at the most, not meant for taping the whole show. This is for those days when no one wants to watch the camcorder the whole time. Eww but what else I thought of is how can I mosh with the huge S1 IS?

Does anyone have any recs? Total price (card, battery charge and other accessories included) needs to be less than $400. Sure I could buy an SLR but I don't really need one plus I'm a cheapo.
post #11 of 12
Anna, I would also check out Ebay for these cameras. Sometimes you can get the exact same camera that you want for a LOT cheaper than you can buy it in the store. You might even be able to get more than you can "afford" by doing it that way.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
unfortunately all the S1 Is's on ebay are the same price or higher than the store I'm considering purchasing from. Plus I have gotten burned on some brand new electronics that actually were refurbed, and not very well might I add, so I prefer to go through an actual store for higher priced items.
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