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View Full Version : I just want it to take a picture when I push the button!!!



allison
06-19-2007, 09:27 PM
I answered the questions below, but wanted to give a preface of why I'm looking for a new camera. I currently have a digital camera that's probably 5 years old. Most of the time I end up buying the disposable cameras. I love disposable cameras for one reason: when you push the button, they take the picture. Immediately. Most of my photos from digital cameras end up being photos of the carpet where the dog was standing 1 second ago, or the blur of a guinea pig bum as he scurries away. More than anything I am looking for a camera that will take a photo when I push the shutter button.

Budget

* What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.
I would like to keep the actual camera around $350ish (of course, the cheaper the better) since I know I'll need to buy memory cards, batteries, etc.

Size

* What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
I have looked at the Canon S3 IS and think it would be a manageable size...the smaller, the better

Features

How many megapixels will suffice for you?
I'm more interested in what will take the kind of photos I want... I'd rather have an excellent 6 megapixel photo
than a crummy 10 megapixel photo

* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify)
I would prefer ultrazoom

* How important is ���image quality��� to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
9

Do you care for manual controls?
I like to think I would figure out how to use them to set up difficult shots...it would be nice to have a camera willing to do most of the work though ;) Also, I would like to have a camera I could give to someone else to take a photo of me without it turning out too scary out-of-focus.

General Usage

* What will you generally use the camera for?
Photos of pets (guinea pigs, dogs) that do not hold still; Outdoor/nature photos (camping, hiking, etc); Party shots (people who don't hold still); Vacation photos; Baby photos in a few years

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
Nothing larger than 8" by 10", mostly 5" by 7" or smaller

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
Indoor photos

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
Not really... just pets that don't like to hold still

Miscellaneous

Are there particular brands you like or hate?
Not really... I have some sentimental feelings about Canons since I grew up using my parents' Canon SLR from the 70s, but I'm not fiercely loyal to the Canon name

Are there particular models you already have in mind?
I've looked at the Canon S3 IS at Best Buy and liked it. I've read about the Sony DSC-H2 and H5, but haven't used them in person. I tried the Sony DSC-W80 and W90 at Sears and liked them, but saw they got a crummy review on here.

(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
I would like image stabilization since I've seen what a huge difference it makes on others' test photographs. Water resistance would be a bonus, but I don't think it's very realistic for the criteria I have...if I want to take something canoeing, I can just buy one of those disposable underwater cameras

In summary, I would love nothing more than to have a photo of one of my guinea pigs yawning, a cute but brief occurrence. Thanks in advance for any feedback!

stevage
06-19-2007, 11:11 PM
You could be asking a lot: low shutter lag (ie, takes a photo instantly when you click the button), high image quality (you rated that a 9), ultrazoom (10x-12x), good low light performance (indoor = low light), manual *and* good automatic controls, water resistance, image stabilisation... - all for under $350 USD! At least you're not fussy on the resolution (megapixels...)

You might have to prioritise some of these requirements a bit. Such a high zoom level is pretty rare for compact cameras, as is image stabilisation.

How about the Panasonic DMC-TZ3? Low lag, and 10x zoom.
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_tz3-review/index.shtml

Steve

David Metsky
06-20-2007, 05:57 AM
No Point and Shoot is going to eliminate shutter lag. None. To get that you really need to go to a dSLR and you can't with your budget nor the rest of your requirements.

All of the ultrazooms will have some shutter lag but there are things you can do to avoid the worst of it. Avoid auto mode; set the ISO, white balance, and if possible aperture and shutter speed yourself. That gives the camera less to do when you hit the button. Pre-focus the camera by depressing the shutter button half way before the shot. That way the camera is ready to go as soon as you take the picture.

I'd look at the Canon S3/5 or the Fuji S6000. The Fuji has excellent high ISO/low light capability which could eliminate the need for flash indoors and speed things up.

speaklightly
06-20-2007, 06:53 AM
If you wanted to save some money, take a look at the Fuji S-700/S-5700. It is selling for around $(US) 200.00 and has just been reviewed by Jeff Keller.

The camera is simple and it has a lot of features. If you want to see some photo samples from the S-700/S5700 just go to the Fuji Folder and look for the thread titled "Fuji S-700 Photos."

Sarah Joyce

John_Reed
06-20-2007, 07:02 AM
"Push the button" implies that you want to mash the shutter button in a one-step shooting process. Here's what you do: Half-depress the shutter button to achieve Auto exposure and Auto focus locks. Keep your finger there, and follow the subject until you get your pose, then depress the button the rest of the way. You'll find that way you can capture that pose much more effectively. The rest of the time is known as "shutter lag" for modern digital cameras, and by itself, it's very short; it's when you try to add in the AE/AF delay to the shutter lag by "mashing" the button, that it takes too long.

Jonathan Gingerich
06-20-2007, 08:45 AM
Any new P&S is going to be noticably more snappy than a 5+ year old digital...

I'm not aware of any intrinsic advantage of a DSLR over a P&S in terms of lag. Isn't just a matter of how much money is in the autofocus and buffering?

The questionaire really needs to change the IQ question to a multi-choice qualified answers. No one ever admits IQ is a '5'!-) It's always between 8 and ... 11.

JG

David Metsky
06-20-2007, 10:19 AM
I'm not aware of any intrinsic advantage of a DSLR over a P&S in terms of lag. Isn't just a matter of how much money is in the autofocus and buffering?
Most dSLRs have essentially no shutter lag. All P&S have noticeable shutter lag. It may not be an intrinsic difference of the technology but the larger CCDs and the fact that they're not on all the time leads to the difference.

P&S have gotten much better, but it's still an issue if you are comparing to a dSLR.

speaklightly
06-20-2007, 11:20 AM
David-

I agree with you in principle. However, it is substantially more costly to move to a DSLR camera just to save a tenth of a second of shutter lag. As Jonthan has noted in his post, Point & Shoot cameras have improved greatly in terms of shutter lag in the ast 4 to 5 years.

In fact, the last camera that Jeff reviewed, the Fuji S-700, he found no complaint on shutter lag.

Sarah Joyce

John_Reed
06-20-2007, 11:38 AM
The original poster wants to take a picture instantly by just pushing the button. Now, you all know and I know that when you do that, you get two components of "lag:" One is the time it takes to lock AE and AF, and the second is the "shutter lag," i.e, the time it takes to release the shutter after that other stuff is set. I do believe when Jeff speaks of "shutter lag," he's referring to the second component.

Case in point: The Fuji S700 review. Here's what Jeff said about the subject:

Focusing speeds were good, but not best-in-class. Typically it took between 0.3 - 0.5 seconds for the camera to lock focus at wide-angle, with slightly longer waits at the telephoto end of the lens. Low light focusing was accurate, but quite slow, with focus times easily exceeded one second.

I did not find shutter lag to be a problem, even at the slower shutter speeds at which it can occur.
If you take the "button push" approach to taking photos with the Fuji S700, in low light for example, you can expect the time to shutter release to "easily exceed one second," according to Jeff's findings. On the other hand, if you're willing to watch the subject in the viewfinder as the AE/AF processes are happening (i.e., with your finger half-depressed on the button), then you'll experience that fabled "low shutter lag."

David Metsky
06-20-2007, 03:17 PM
I agree with you in principle. However, it is substantially more costly to move to a DSLR camera just to save a tenth of a second of shutter lag. As Jonthan has noted in his post, Point & Shoot cameras have improved greatly in terms of shutter lag in the ast 4 to 5 years.
I'm in complete agreement with you. I don't think I said anything otherwise.


In fact, the last camera that Jeff reviewed, the Fuji S-700, he found no complaint on shutter lag.
No matter what the P&S, there will be a delay if you just stomp on the shutter release button. If you take the steps listed above you can reduce it to a reasonable amount. I certainly find my S3 acceptable in most situations. But unless you take some steps to deal with pre-focus the OP will be disappointed with any P&S.

seo
06-20-2007, 03:34 PM
dSLR or a *gasp* film camera.

speaklightly
06-20-2007, 03:35 PM
Point well taken, John and David-

allison
06-20-2007, 09:16 PM
Thanks to all for your suggestions. I'm thinking about going with the Canon S3 IS* with the understanding that the "mashing the button and getting immediate results" technique is a dream that cannot be realized without putting a huge chunk of money toward a DSLR. If I invest half the time I've spent trying to decide what camera to buy into experimenting with manual controls, I hope to get some pretty decent photos. Perhaps you will soon see me posting on the photo-sharing threads! :)

*I read through a lot of the posts in the Canon section, and S3 owners' enthusiasm (bordering on cult-like loyalty ;)) has convinced me it's a great camera for the money (I found it online for just under $300).

tim11
06-20-2007, 10:19 PM
For indoors shots, I'd choose Fuji S6000fd over S3. The Canon S struggles to focus when light is low.

allison
06-20-2007, 10:58 PM
I found the ability to manually focus appealing, but was concerned there isn't image stabilization. Which feature do you think is more important?

Rooz
06-20-2007, 11:03 PM
I found the ability to manually focus appealing, but was concerned there isn't image stabilization. Which feature do you think is more important?

remember IS only works in low light for STATIONARY subjects, so in effect IS will not help in the slightest with "pets that won't hold still" or "party photos". for those sorts of shots you need the best iso you can find and thats where the fuji wins hands down...and by some distance too i may add.

tim11
06-20-2007, 11:18 PM
I found the ability to manually focus appealing, but was concerned there isn't image stabilization. Which feature do you think is more important?
For your case, I will stick for S6000 for the same reason ROOZ said. Not just manual focus that's appealing but it has cleanest image on high ISO than any point-and-shoot cameras money can buy. It can shoot to ISO3200, usable up to ISO1600 for small prints at least.

By the way, S3 also has manual focus though you have to do it with some funky menus and buttons.

AlexMonro
06-21-2007, 03:01 AM
I'll add to the reccomendations for the Fuji S6000 for indoor shots of moving subjects. Just get in to experimenting with manual or semi-manual (Sp, Ap) options - the full auto doesn't always make the best decisions.

About the manual focus - I have a Fuji S9500, which is similar. Although I've used the MF, it's not particularly easy. You turn a ring on the lens, but it isn't mechanically coupled, so there's no feel. And although you can enlarge the centre of the viewfinder, it's still not particularly easy to see when you're in precise focus. You can press the button to do a one shot AF, which can be useful for a kind of "pre set focus" technique.

All in all, nowhere near as good as my Nikon FM2 manual film SLR, with split wedge rangefinder and microprism, but better than the only other MF digital I've tried, the Olympus SP-350. I don't think that manual focussing is a strong point of any digital camera, including top end DSLRs (unless you fit a Katzeye focussing screen, maybe).

Rooz
06-21-2007, 03:05 AM
I don't think that manual focussing is a strong point of any digital camera, including top end DSLRs (unless you fit a Katzeye focussing screen, maybe).

why ? i use it regularly for macro.

speaklightly
06-21-2007, 04:52 PM
There is no doubt at all, that you will get better photos and more value from the Fuji S-6000fd. IS is good/convenient, but certainly not necessary.

Sarah Joyce

AlexMonro
06-22-2007, 02:02 AM
why ? i use it regularly for macro.

Well, I haven't seen any DSLR that has a split wedge rangefinder as standard.

I was shooting ducks on a lake a few weeks ago with my Nikon FM2 MF film SLR and Nikkor 35-105mm one-touch zoom, and I found it very quick and convenient to zoom and focus, without worrying about AF locking on to the nearer tree branches that I was using to frame the composition.

I tried using the S9500 as well, but found the ducks were moving too much to chose an AF point. I tried using MF and pre-focussing with the one time AF, but that wasn't very successful - I think the ducks didn't always move to where I thought they would.

I guess that perhaps your macro subjects don't move very much?

I suppose a digital rangefider like the Leica M8 could work well, but I can't see myself affording one of them fo a long time.