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Old 07-06-2004, 11:48 PM
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Digital Cameras and Fishing


OK, I may be finally giving in and giving up.
I do not currently own a digital camera and am not considered by anyone who knows me as a computer genius. If it wasn't for the FFF and Xmas shopping online, I wouldn't ever touch one at home. I have carried a Canon ELF camera for the past several years and have taken tons of outdoor shots. I am quite satisfied with the quality of the photos. But, when I scan the photos and save them as jpegs, the file size is too large for me to attach onto any of my forum posts. I am also guilty of shutting down friends' inboxes when I send them too many large picture files.
I have an opportunity to pick up a new digital camera (a panasonic) with 4.0 megapixel CCD( there are other features such a zoom and megaburst, but I think the megapixel is what may matters here).
My questions are:
Will this camera allow me to post onto the forum?
Will the "file size" of the saved photos be smaller than a "scanned" photo (assuming the pictures were similar)?
When you use a digital camera, how are the pictures saved and how do you load them onto something like the FFF?
How does the digital camera adjust to bright sun light and darkness?
Lastly, any suggestions, tips, experiences from guys who have used the digitals in the outdoors are appreciated.
Cheers,
Rooster
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2004, 12:16 AM
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Hi Dennis -

Typically the 4.0 mp will create images that are even larger than standard CD processing, but the good news you will never have to pay for processing!

The solution is not in the camera but in the software you use. If you have Windows XP on your computer, go to the powertoys page on the microsoft site and download the image resizer. Very nice little program that will make a whole folder of too-big images become usable on the forum.

talk soon
Juro
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Old 07-07-2004, 12:33 PM
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Dennis,

I own the 3.2 mp Panasonic and that's more then enough. The files will be very large but there is a setting on the camera to change the image quality when taking shots. Even on the lowest setting the quality is great. The only time you really need the 4 mp's and the highest quality images is if you are planning on really blowing these images up. Juro is right as well. The Panasonic comes with imaging software that can reduce the file size on any picture so you can take them at the highest quality and then reduce them to put on the forum. As for loading the images it couldn't be simpler. There is a USB cable that connects to the computer. The camera is plug and play, the pictures come right up and you can click and drag them into the folders that you want on your hard drive.

One thing to consider with Panasonic. My flash on my camera is very weak. I knew this before I bought it. The camera is known for outdoor quality due to the high quality lense but the flash is very weak. If you are planning on using this at weddings or in dark rooms the flash can be problematic but for outdoor use the quality can't be beat.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions

Dave
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Old 07-07-2004, 03:57 PM
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The Penguin has a great camera and his images are superior. I think he has a Cannon. FishHawk
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Old 07-07-2004, 04:31 PM
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Lightbulb

Thanks Guys,
Our computer does have XP, so I will play with the file size thing this evening.
I am not planning on taking wedding photos, but is the panasonic flash good enough to get decent "outdoors" fishing pictures at night?
Dave, you said something about hooking up a USB cable and downloading right onto the forum, do you have to pick a certain "resolution" or file size? You mentioned that you had "options" regarding this, when you take the picture.
Also, when would you use 4 megapixel vs less?
I realize this is not a "consumer affairs" webpage, but do want to get something that I can use in the "great outdoors".
Thanks for the help.
Cheers,
DK
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Old 07-07-2004, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooster
Thanks Guys,
Our computer does have XP, so I will play with the file size thing this evening.
I am not planning on taking wedding photos, but is the panasonic flash good enough to get decent "outdoors" fishing pictures at night?
Dave, you said something about hooking up a USB cable and downloading right onto the forum, do you have to pick a certain "resolution" or file size? You mentioned that you had "options" regarding this, when you take the picture.
Also, when would you use 4 megapixel vs less?
I realize this is not a "consumer affairs" webpage, but do want to get something that I can use in the "great outdoors".
Thanks for the help.
Cheers,
DK
I use a Canon A series and can't say enough good things about it. More settings than I can learn, but some of them are really useful.

Flash is adequate but I prefer ambient light over flash if you can get the subject to stay very still. Just use manual mode over auto flash.

Downloading is better done with a seperate card reader, for two reasons: (a) faster and (b) does not eat your batteries.

Regardless of what people think, the new nimh rechargeables are awesome and I find myself charging them ver infrequently. Beats the crap out of throwing batteries away into landfills and much more economical over the long run.

Having the high res is a good thing, although you will not need it for web use. HOWEVER you will be glad when you are asked to make a paper print of that special family moment on photo paper or decide that a shot you have is good enough for a poster.

If you are going to publish articles in magazines they usually want 6.0 mp or slides.

You should look into prices of the memory cards as well. Some types cost more than others and I fill 256 mb cards all the time (I own three).

MOVIE mode is very nice, especially when catching casting, fish or sports sequences. This is why I fill my cards all the time.

Ability to use filters is key. The Canon A-70 and 80 accepts an adapter and polarization, magnification (closeup), UV and other filters that improve picture quality in certain situations... like photos of approaching pods!

Most importantly resistance to salt air and moisture is very important for fishermen.

A diving case is a nice option, most of the Canon A series have a diving case option but they can cost as much as the camera.

Good luck.
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Old 07-07-2004, 05:37 PM
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Thanks for the info, it is alittle overwhelming, but I am sure I can figure it out with some assistance from friends and kids!
If anyone is looking for a good waterproof (really waterproof) camera case, I have used the Pelican 1010 micro case series for the past several years. I have put my Cannon ELF in them and taken them down a bunch of rivers and salt water trips. I have dropped the case in the salt and never had a leak yet. They are also relatively boyant. The cases go for about $15-$25, depending on the size. I got mine in the kayak section of the local REI, but think that EMS and other camping stores should carry them.
Cheers,
DK
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Old 07-07-2004, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooster
Dave, you said something about hooking up a USB cable and downloading right onto the forum, do you have to pick a certain "resolution" or file size? You mentioned that you had "options" regarding this, when you take the picture. Also, when would you use 4 megapixel vs less?DK
Within 15 - 20 seconds of plugging in your camera, your computer should show it as just another storage device: it should appear by name in the My Computer directory list, just like your C: drive. If you click on it, the list of pictures in the camera should appear as a list of files, and if you click on "View" and pick "Thumbnails," you should see the pictures you took. Regardless, you just copy them over into your computer in the same way that you copy other files form one spot to another. Once you've done that and you know they're safely stored on your computer's hard disk, you can delete them from the camera's storage, if you want, or do it later using the camera's own menus.

I would always take all pictures at the best resolution available to you as long as you have a decent amount of memory on the camera. You can always reduce them later. But there is always the possibility that you will want to crop one, or print it in a larger than standard size. It then helps to have used the higher reslolution.

One thing regarding resolution you should be aware of: on various cameras you can set original resolution of the shot AND the storage mode and the latter will also have an effect on the quality of the result. In some cases you can store a photo in a "raw" mode as well as several levels of jpeg compression. The greater the compression the more the photo will be degraded, often in ways that may not seem obvious on a screen. For example, I have a 4 MP Canon Elf that does not support raw format but offers 3 levels of jpeg storage: superfine, fine, and normal. Superfine takes the most space but the quality of the stored picture is highest. I try to use that almost all of the time.

Good luck.
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2004, 11:48 AM
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I had the same problem

Rooster,
I was having the same problem with up loading my JPEG's. I just google search "JPEG Editor Free" and came up with Vicman's Photo editor. Just open the image and use the edit fuction to resize to the size limit. It worked for me and it was quick and easy.

Aaron
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Old 07-08-2004, 02:04 PM
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Thumbs up Interesting option...

I've got a Canon and it's just phine but I hesitate using it ontheboat, with fish slime on my hands and/or near the water...
I've been looking into the Pentax 33WR...3.0 pixels and water proof to 3' for 30 minutes (I'm only water proof at 3' for about 50 seconds!)...2.something zoom and slightly wide angle 37mm...armour clad and begging for a ride to the beach!
It's about $250 but there's a $50 rebate...$200 sounds like it may happen...
The Pentax 43WR (4.0 pixels) is the next step up but there's no rebate just yet.
I think the small size and water/fishing friendly design makes the 33WR & 43WR worth a look.
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Old 07-08-2004, 02:10 PM
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Suggestion for the Penguin, why not buy a waterproof housing for the Cannon. With the quality of the shots your getting I wouldn't change cameras. Just my .02. FishHawk
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Old 07-08-2004, 02:22 PM
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The case for my camera...

MegaBuck$...
'Makes the $200 (after rebate) for the 33WR seem cheap...
And besides that, the images that I've posted were way downsized anyway.
The 3 or 4 mega-pixel models are overkill for sharing shotz on the web...and the waterproof design makes them VERY interesting!
IMHO I feel another toy/tool coming on...(no wife/no kids/what the hey!?)
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Old 07-08-2004, 04:59 PM
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Thanks Guys,
If you start to see photos of "yours truly" shortly....., you will realize that I figured out how to downsize the photos....,
I will check out the jpeg resizer and the other camera options....,
Cheers,
DK
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Old 07-08-2004, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin
...
I've been looking into the Pentax 33WR...3.0 pixels and water proof to 3' for 30 minutes (I'm only water proof at 3' for about 50 seconds!)...2.something zoom and slightly wide angle 37mm...armour clad and begging for a ride to the beach!
It's about $250 but there's a $50 rebate...$200 sounds like it may happen...
The Pentax 43WR (4.0 pixels) is the next step up but there's no rebate just yet.
I think the small size and water/fishing friendly design makes the 33WR & 43WR worth a look.
Pete, I have a 35mm Pentax 90WR that has served me well. I paid $250 for it several years ago. If the WR digitals are any good then $200 is a great price.
Do you know if they float? Mine doesn't float, but I heard that the newer 110WR (also 35mm) does float. That would be another great feature!

Q
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Old 07-09-2004, 12:24 PM
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Bought an Olympus at Office Max for #$175 with rebates.

Very happy with the quality and ease of use.

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