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DSCH-5

A forum to post any lighthouse pictures you'd like others to see. Feel free to talk about lighthouse photography. Lighthouse-related photos (such as LSS and lenses) are also welcome.

Postby Grover1 » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:16 pm


Permission has come from the Queen, a most generous and benevolent sort, that a new camera can be mine for the Nova Scotia trip ... While some of the weapons I've seen used by my forum mates ... and described here as well ... are still out of my range, I may have narrowed my search to this one ...

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSH ... llfeatured

Any feedback would be appreciated ... and my feelings aside ... if the notions are negative, please feel free to express that as well ... any alternatives would be appreciated ...

Thanks in advance,
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Postby Hersh » Thu Sep 28, 2006 3:13 pm


It looks like a good camera, one thing I'd be leery of is that it uses Sony's proprietary memory format, not a standard card like compact flash. There's not much chance of them discontinuing it, but there is always that possibility. On the good side, I like the monual modes, that allows for more control on your part if you want it, a lot of consumer level cameras don't have that. The 35mm equivalent focal range of 36-423mm is pretty impressive, and should suit most shooting situations. Also the ISO range of 80-1,000 is pretty nice.

All in all I'd say it looks like a winner.
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Postby AL » Thu Sep 28, 2006 3:26 pm


Barry, I think the wide end on this camera is not wide enough for LH shots, especially interiors.

You may want to check out this:

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/contr ... elid=12074
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Postby Gary Martin » Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:30 pm


Some aspects of the description are pretty reasonable. Some of them are better left forever unused IMHO! Personally, I think Sony would do their users a favor by omitting the "Smart Zoom" feature entirely. Using a digital zoom, (comments based on playing with one of my wife's pocket digitals) left more than a lot to be desired. As an aside, none of the higher end DSLR's offer this feature. Granted, you may get an image of something, and that's OK if that's all you want, but said image likely won't be usable for much -- the quality degrades quickly as you go beyond the optical zoom range in my experience.

The ISO range isn't bad but keep in mind that you'll add noise as you go up on the ISO setting. You'll probably do best to shoot at the lowest ISO setting you can get away with for whatever you're shooting.

I would suggest getting one or more spare batteries with the camera when you order it. I've never found the batters in any of my digitals to make it to the number of exposures that the manf claims if you're doing anything other than shooting jpegs in normal daylight.

If you turn on the NR feature when you're shooting at high iso or in low light, keep in mind that it will take longer to process the images and get them written to memory. Under most circumstances this won't be a problem unless you're doing something like shooting a flash signature or something like that.

Hope some of these thoughts help.
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Postby Hersh » Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:30 pm


With the Canon you gain a little bit on the wide end, which is great, but you lose a ton on the telephoto end.
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Postby Gary Martin » Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:32 pm


IMO, losing on the telephoto end, if its from not using the digital zoom, isn't necessarily a bad thing, Hersh.
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Postby AL » Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:35 pm


With the higher pixels on the Canon - wouldn't cropping compensate for the quality loss of the digital zoom on the Sony?
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Postby Hersh » Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:34 pm


Not really Al, digital zoom is never going to give you any kind of quality, getting decent images with high optical zooms is tough enough.

And Gary's absolutely correct on the zoom, I didn't notice that the Sony was using digital zoom for that high end (though I should have guessed), so with that in mind my recommendation goes down on that camera.

Regarding ISO, I have done some research and also found that with my digital, noise is much less dependent on ISO than on light levels hitting the sensor. I can underexpose an image at 200 ISO and have terrible noise, but expose properly or just a little over at 1600 and the image usually looks pretty good. Why you usually see a correlation is when light levels are low, you will usually crank up the ISO to compensate and give you a usable shutter speed. And in these low light situations the frame isn't fully exposed and you start to see grain.

All things being equal, there will be more some grain at 1600 ISO than 200, no matter what you do, but it's better than not getting the shot at all, and if you do it right the difference will be negligible.
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Postby AL » Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:52 pm


Mike,
I didn't explain myself clearly. I meant cropping a photo taken with the Canon would compensate for a shot taken with the digital zoom on the Sony. The 100mm tele at 8 MP on the Canon should give better results then the digital reach of the Sony.

(does that make sense :?: )
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Postby Hersh » Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:08 pm


I think I see what you're saying Al, but I don't believe you'd see a huge difference. The smaller an object is in the frame, the less detail it will have. Blowing it up will just enhance that lack of detail. That's pretty much how digital zoom works, it crops down the image the sensor records and blows it back up to fill the screen.

(As I understand it, someone correct me if I'm wrong)
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Postby AL » Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:13 pm


What you are saying is correct. The Canon's lens has a 100 mm tele which is NOT digital zoom.

(optical vs digital zoom)
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Postby Grover1 » Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:02 pm


Are you all saying if I am in a tight spot the Canon might be best ... if I need a longer zoom the Sony might be better?
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Postby AL » Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:15 pm


I think that is close. Maybe you can find a shop that has a few models that you can play with. See how they feel in your hands and take a few pics with each.
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Postby Hersh » Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:30 am


You can't go wrong with Al's advice, go to a camera shop and try some on for size... See how they feel, see how they function, ask a lot of questions. If the person doesn't know what they're doing, go somewhere else. Bottom line is you need to have a camera that you're comfortable with and that functions well for you.

Try to keep in mind some of what was discussed here when you go and you should be ok.
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Postby Lighthouse Joe » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:54 am


When anyone asks me for advice on a camera, I always tell them:

"Do your research, then go to a reputable camera shop and play with them." Put the camera in your hand, feel its weight and the location of the controls. If it feels like a toy or cheaply built, that will never change. As for the proprietary memory stick, I wouldn't be too concerned. Sony uses them in everything they make, including their TVs. I would pick up a 1 Gig card to start. Believe me, at 7.2 mpxls/shot, you will need it.

As for the wide vs. tele issue, I always lean to tele. There are some lights you just can't get close to. Usually you can always take a step back to get wider.

With the digital zoom, Gary is right, only use it as a last resort. You might actually be better off shooting at max optical zoom and cropping it yourself.
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