Cameras Unobscuring

Get the right tool for the job!

(a) Decide what kind of pictures you really want to take.

(b) Talk to someone who knows photography, or study up on it (read articles, books, etc.) to find out what specifications the camera MUST have to do the job.

© Carefully read the specs of cameras to find one that matches your needs.

I don’t want to be seeing any more “one star” type postings with people whining that “wah-wah, I dun bought this here camera and the pitchers are all BLURRY!”

There ain’t no free lunch, do your homework. Success is 10% aspiration and 90% perspiration.

If not, use a cellphone camera.

Good luck and have fun shopping!

Bought the Samsung camera with android operating system for my wife (the $180 one listed here) for Christmas this last year. It is a SOLID camera. Fantastic quality pictures with lots of great camera options. I love the “best face” and “best picture” options. There are other cameras that use that technology, but it is still a new technology that most don’t have. It takes multiple pictures at once, then you go through after the fact and choose the best ones (or just choose the best face for each person, and it “photoshops” each best face into one picture.) I can imagine it doesn’t work perfectly, but we haven’t had it not work yet (after a handful of big family pictures at a birthday party)

It also has several “auto” camera modes for whatever you want to take pictures of and it’s easy to switch between the settings. If you’re into photography, it does have a fully manual option, but honestly, if you’re into photography that much, you probably already have a better camera.

Of course, I haven’t even mentioned the best part: it’s all on the android operating system, so it acts exactly like a phone…with wifi, you can instantly upload all your pictures to Facebook, Instagram, dropbox, etc… You can also download any app that you would on a phone/tablet. (yes, even play angry birds while not taking pictures) I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m pretty sure you can even download skype and use the camera just like a phone (whenever you have wifi, that is)…I don’t know why you would if you already have a phone and all…but Anything is possible.

No official tests, but battery life seems decent enough for a camera, and when you account for the fact that it’s a camera with that huge of a screen and a full android operating system, the battery seems quite exceptional.

You can get a brand new D5300 kit from Rakuten (Zeemo-Digital) for $589

Try adding it to the cart and the price jumps up. Something at Zeemo is very fishy.

Well of course the castle the lady is taking in the illustration turned out out of focus. It IS out of focus!

I did do my homework,
radi0j0hn, on the Samsung camera with Jellybean, and not only were the reviews very favorable, but this appears to be a very good price. It’s not the newest Android camera, but it first listed for about $600 and now lists for $399 on the Samsung website, currently $309 on Amazon. Almost all the reviewers seem very happy with it, unless you are a professional photographer and need a camera suited for just about every condition. It’s been a long time since I bought a new camera, so I decided to give it a try.

I probably didn’t do as much homework as I should’ve.

I bought the Galaxy Camera as well the last time it was up for this price, mostly because of the great reviews (though, to be fair, there are definitely some negative ones out there I should’ve looked at beforehand too).

I’m still impressed with it as a gadget, but I haven’t found it to be as useful as I was hoping as a camera.

Essentially, I wanted a camera for three things:

1.) Shooting the sky (kind of want to collect cool sunsets, moonshots, and the like, to use as desktop wallpapers on a 1440p display.

2.) Shooting in dark/indoor/party type stuff, without any grain or fuzz.

3.) Capture some decent video in varying situations.

Ideally, said camera would do all of these in auto mode, or at least have a simple preset that can be selected quickly, so that when something catches my eye, I can just point-and-shoot.

I still don’t have the first idea what sort of a camera I should have for something like this. But after a few weeks of playing with it, I’m starting to think the Galaxy Camera isn’t it.

Perhaps I can squeeze a little more out of it if I learn how to use the manual mode settings, but I haven’t been able to get the shots I want using what appear to be the appropriate presets as yet. Almost every photo I take seems to come out softer/fuzzier than what I’m after.

It’s better than the camera in my Nexus 5, certainly (not for a panorama, though, surprisingly enough), but not by so much that it’s worth pulling out instead of the Nexus 5, which works much better as a post-processing/publishing/sharing device for two reasons:

1.) It has LTE connectivity, while this version of the Galaxy Camera requires Wi-Fi, or a tether to the phone for data connectivity.

2.) The hardware in the camera is way underpowered for running the OS they’ve crammed into it. On paper, it looks like it should all run just fine, if not quite so fast as something like a Nexus 5. In practice, however, it’s lag, lag, lag; unnoticed swipe/kypress; lag, lag, lag; odd inconsistencies with moving content between apps via the share button; lag, lag, lag; inconsistent behavior when trying to use non-stock camera apps to make up for some of the weaknesses of the stock one; and it really tends to lag a lot, at least as soon as you start doing something with it other than using it as a camera.

I’m still playing with it, though. It’s a fun gadget, and it always seems to make for a conversation piece whenever someone sees me using it. For what I spent on it, it was worth the gamble to see what it was like.

This is one of the hardest things for a small camera to do.

The two things that would help most are lenses with a bigger maximum aperture (more light) and a bigger sensor. Something like the Sony NEX cameras that show up here frequently would be an improvement, especially if you can afford to put a decent lens on the front.

[alternate approach: bring a big flash]

If you’re going to keep the camera you have, try to shoot at a lower sensitivity (ISO). See if you can find a way to limit the maximum ISO the camera will use even if you’re in auto mode. I’d stay at 400 or even lower.

Yeah, it does sound rather cool. Since I write/teach camera stuff, I have waaaay too many cameras. Can’t resist cameras that are several years old and drop from $700 to $10 like a Sony I found with night vision! Found an $8,000 Canon DSLR for $1. Of course it was only 2MP.

Wish I could see the best shot head photoshop-type thing!

If everybody would read what is in my book on cameras (a) you would make great, informed purchases and (b) I could buy all the Dysons, robot vacuums and other cool stuff on Woot that I want!

But, seriously, low-light photos require a LARGE aperture (lens-hole) and/or HIGH ISO to perform up to what you want. Anything less will be slow focusing with slow shutter speeds that result in what some call “blurry” pictures from camera shake and subject movement.

A Canon DSLR with the 50mm 1.8 (non-zooming) lens and a body with a high ISO may be one way to go.

ILC cameras have some “fast” lenses too.

Eventually, when we have ISO 1/2 million or 1 million, any old lens will do. It’ coming, but not quite yet.

While lower ISO will improve quality, it will likely require the camera to use some really slow shutter speed.

Looks like everyone either:

(a) has a camera they like
(b) gave up and used a smart phone
© is waiting for the new post-CES models to come out.

Hrm, yeah that 5300 price is iffy for a refurb.
Amazon often has kit deals at very similar prices, not only for refurbs, but often custom based so you can choose your lenses too, meaning if you intended to buy more lenses at the same time, you’ll save so much money bundling that you can essentially purchase a new camera for the refurb price.

I did in fact buy mine with the 18-55 as well as additional lenses, as I wanted to have it as the generic all rounder.
The 70-300mm lens had a huge rebate when purchasing them as a bundle through amazon, and it’s of such higher quality, I kind of regret the 18mm lens and try to avoid using it.
I’m not saying the 70mm is as user friendly for closer shots, but the difference in quality soured the 18mm for me, and taught me that lens quality is your number one priority when diving in to the DSLR marketplace.

Still a great kit, but, this price and that lens…I’d look elsewhere knowing what I do.

My 2 cents :slight_smile: