Digital Cameras [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Digital Cameras

02-12-2002, 10:06 AM
I have been looking at Digital cameras and am settling on one which is at Circuit City and will want to pick it up Thursday or Friday.... I am wondering if I can get any reactions from those in the know about these type of Cameras. From What I am told the one I have picked is a good one.. it is the Sony.. 3.3 (or 3.2) pixel.. Digital and optical Zoom... very small... which was key for carring around. I could get the higher pixels but was told this would do... Please let me know if I am missing some key points here.. the Camera goes for $600. The memory is ample but I would buy additional cards as I need them. Thanks

02-12-2002, 11:21 AM

As I understand it for web work, you don't need anything more than 1.3, but if you ever want to get the images printed or use them for posters or glossies, etc - the extra pixels are important.

Not sure if the extra means better pics to start with or not... (anyone?)

I know one thing, when you take pics with any megapixel digital camera on high res you will need to drastically reduce the image and resolution before anyone can view it on a dial-up modem.

90% or more of my digital images are reduced for use on a webpage.

BTW - which model number?

02-12-2002, 01:29 PM

I really like my Olympus. The model I have has been updated & replaced by newer generation stuff. Look at the D-490 or the D-5xx series.

Another tip. Look around, do your research, & use the salespeople, then check BJ's (if you have a membership), they sometimes beat the "best" price around by $50-$100 & you can save an extra 5% if you go to NH.

A good place to go & see a lot of different stuff is Hunt Camera in Malden.

Also, you need not Rush to buy. As the technology gets better, they get cheaper (like computers). Personally, I'm waiting for an "all weather" model before I upgrade!

02-12-2002, 01:56 PM
John, I bought my wife (good strategy?) a Canon Powershot S300 model. Works great on" automatic". I'm still learning but it looks like this could be a lot of fun. I can even shoot mini mpegs on it.

Dble Haul
02-12-2002, 02:32 PM
I asked about this a while back and got some very good feedback. I'm probably going to pick up a Nikon Coolpix 8500 at the end of the month. It's got a lot of nice features for the price (about $500 at Best Buy). I look forward to using it as much as my wife will.

02-12-2002, 05:59 PM
Research I have done on digital cameras came up with a couple of things. Stay away from memory sticks or cards, internal chip memory is the way to go. Also, the more optical zoom the better. Digital zoom lowers resolution quality rapidly as you enlarge the image.
I found an Olympus that was nice- good optical zoom, good resolution and ample memory. I don't remember the model but Park Square Camera probably has the catalogue on it. They're in your work neighborhood aren't they. Maybe not the best prices but good info source anyway. Also, It had a water proof enclosure that is a great accessory in our avocation. It is a hard case that you take can photos with it on the camera.

02-12-2002, 06:49 PM
I am also thinking about getting a digital camera. Most of my knowledge about them is based upon what I read in Consumer Reports. (November 2001 and January 2002, I think). They said that the high megapixel cameras (3 or higher) are really only necessary if you want to print high quality 8x10 or larger photos, or if you need to crop and enlarge a portion of the image. They said the 1 and 2 megapixel cameras are fine otherwise, especially if you do not intend to print the photos and only want to store and display them electronically.

Other considerations include amount & type of memory, viewing screen size (bigger is better), battery usage, ac adapter/battery charger, time between shots (some are as quick as 2 seconds, others somewhat longer), features and functions, ease of use, size & weight, etc. Check the flash, focus and exposure modes to make sure it has the settings that you will need (e.g., fill flash, macro mode, auto or point focus, shutter release timer, etc.)

The camera at the top of my list (right now anyway) is the Kodak DX3600. It's about $300 and is a 2.2 megapixel camera with 2x optical and 3x digital zoom, 8MB internal memory plus a slot for a memory card. Also records video and sound (fair quality at best, I've heard). It's a little bigger than some of the other digital cameras, but it's still smaller and lighter than the 35mm camera I carry now.


02-12-2002, 07:08 PM

I am also in the process of looking for a digital camera. Here is one site that has a lot of simplified information regarding the purchase of a digital camera:

Do not drool over the digital zoom capabilities of most digital cameras. In essence, all the digital zoom does is "zoom in" on an image by cropping the image and magnifying the remaining, un-cropped portion of the image. This may sound OK but realize that a digital zoom effectively magnifies each pixel and therefore makes each pixel more obvious. With the digital zoom you will not be using all of the camera's megapixels to capture an image. Optical zooms are the real deal. At the maximum optical zoom the camera's resolution (in megapixels if you wish) is still working for you. With the optical zoom you zoom in on the image first and then spend all of your hard earned megapixels on capturing the image in question.

I want to be able to shoot some wildlife shots with my camera so I am looking for an optical zoom of 6x or greater. I am being a bit picky but for a good reason - at least in my case. If you want a small camera (that is not my top priority) then a large optical zoom is out of the question.

The only other thing to worry about concerns the resolution and/or number of megapixels for your camera. There is a great chart on the site that I mention above. For a given number of megapixels the chart indicates how big a corresponding digital image can be (either when viewed on your computer or when printed on a decent printer) if the digital image is to retain analog photo quality resolution. If you do not plan on printing any pictures that are larger than 8" x 10" then a 3 megapixel camera is all that you will ever need.

Last but not least you should make sure that any megapixel numbers that salesmen throw at you are not "interpolated" megapixel numbers. The interpolation is a software trick. I only say this because a camera with 3.3 interpolated megapixels is inferior to a camera with 3.3 actual megapixels. For your money, you want to be comparing apples to apples as you choose the camera that is right for you.

I am no expert on this matter. All of the info is well presented in the URL that I mentioned.



02-12-2002, 07:20 PM
Think Cam Corder! You get the best of both worlds. Love mine... wouldn't do without it. The size is just a little bit bigger than a typical camera.

Has 1.550,000 pixels MEGA pixel CCD and 1,360 x 1,020 size still pictures if you need it. Enough to do an 8 1/2 x 11 print and get great results.

02-12-2002, 09:09 PM
Thanks for all the info ,guys... I guess I need to do more research.. Thanks again for all you help.

02-12-2002, 11:31 PM

That's a nice camera.

Today's digital cameras use mosaic color filters and require complex mathematical algorithms to estimate the red, green and blue value of pixel, since only one color per pixel is being truly measured. To accomplish this interpolation, dedicated processing hardware and software are required inside the camera. Color interpolation adds cost and complexity to a camera while increasing delays between clicking the shutter button and capturing a picture, which can result in the difference between capturing a great picture or missing an important moment.

FWIW Here's the latest and greatest in digital photography.

02-13-2002, 05:28 AM
John think of megapixels as film size on a conventional camera. The higher the megapixels the better the image will be.
If you intend to make prints with a camera lower than 4.1 megapixels you will not be able to get a very large print size.
I am a professional photographer and do pre-press work. Both Sony and Cannon make very good 4.1 mega pixel cameras. I have seen and work on images taken with low mega pixel cameras and they are not very good. Another consideration would be to buya very good film scanner. Now you have the best of both worlds. Shoot your images on a high quality film camera and scan the images yourself on a quality scanner.

02-13-2002, 06:45 AM

That X3 technology is killing me. I read an article about it yesterday and it seemed decent. It poses the age old question - do I wait for the latest and greatest technology or do I just bite the bullet on an entirely adequate camera right now.

I personally don't know!


02-13-2002, 08:13 AM
Same dilemma here Mike,

"Hmmm . . ., should I just get an inexpensive one that *works* and wait until the *good* ones come down in price? Or should I shell out the bucks for the one I really want now?" (Knowing full well of course that the cameras will keep getting better and cheaper and that the expensive *good* cameras today will be the cheap *ok* cameras tomorrow.)

I still believe that if your primary intent is to get photos printed on paper then you're much better off with a standard film camera. I think it will be a while before digital cameras will be good/cheap enough to totally replace film cameras.

Of course, when I finally do get my digital camera I will have another dilemma: "Hmm . . ., which camera should I bring?"

Hey, does anyone know if they have (or are working on) a dual purpose camera that can take digital and standard photos? Seems like all you would need to do is build a digital camera with a film winder, and then have some way for the camera to divert the image coming through the lens to either the film or the digital image sensors (or both!). Get the convenience of digital and the quality of film!


02-13-2002, 11:36 AM
You may want to wait a little. Either National or Fairchild Semiconductor-can't remember which- is near to releasing a new chip for digital cameras that is supposed to many times over improve the resolution capabilities of digital cameras. Just a thought, heard it on a local news show yesterday, Both co.'s headquarters are in So. Portland.

02-15-2002, 02:15 PM
I recently purchased a Fuji Finepix 2400 for $490 Canadian in Montreal. It's 2.0 pixels and I absolutely love it. I like taking high res pics and then reduce/crop, etc to achieve desired effect. Has a decent macro lens that allows me to photograph flies, even small ones. The lens is superb. Quite small to carry in a shirt pocket.
I've attached a pic of one of my size #16 red ass ants

02-15-2002, 03:06 PM
trutta.. could you give me a quick lesson on the steps you did to post a photo. I have 100 plus bonefish flies I want to put on the bonefish archive thread and need to know. Thanks in advance

02-16-2002, 06:27 PM

when you reply to any message you can scroll down to almost the end of the reply section to find "attach file" right after "options". attach files allows you to attach any pic from your computer by providing a path and uploading said photo. I think the maximum is 30k for size. Hope this helps.



02-18-2002, 11:07 PM
John, as a computer professional I do use digital cameras often and I do like the Sony cameras. I would ask what are you looking to do with the camera. If your looking to take photos of your fishing trips to record on the web or on your computer then the lower pixels are great. If your looking for professional photographs then you need more pixels but also then you need a printer that can also handle the job. Also, most photos from color inkjet type printers do fade over time. I use a 1.3 megapixel camera myself for routine photos. I also like the Sony's that use a 3 1/2" floppy disk to record. Floppies are cheap and easily available. When I want those everlasting professional quality photos, I pull out the 35mm camera. My 1.3 megapixel Panasonic digital camera that uses 3 1/2' floppy discs takes great photos that I do print out with a inkjet printer.