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Thread: DigiCam help (Disruptivehair?)

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    Elite Member Algernon's Avatar
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    Default DigiCam help (Disruptivehair?)

    I know you are a photographer, and use a digicam.

    I just bought one (Fuji FinePix E550) at a deep discount. It has 6.3 MP.

    I need help! I'm reading the manual, but it's not making sense. I just want to know the best settings to have it on for NORMAL, CANDID pictures. Nothing fancy at this point, just casual indoor/outdoor pics of the family. What is ISO? What is AF/AE? My mind can't comprehend the camera language.

    Thanks if DH or anyone can help!
    Value the future on a timescale longer than your own. -Richard Dawkins

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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Algernon View Post
    I know you are a photographer, and use a digicam.

    I just bought one (Fuji FinePix E550) at a deep discount. It has 6.3 MP.

    I need help! I'm reading the manual, but it's not making sense. I just want to know the best settings to have it on for NORMAL, CANDID pictures. Nothing fancy at this point, just casual indoor/outdoor pics of the family. What is ISO? What is AF/AE? My mind can't comprehend the camera language.

    Thanks if DH or anyone can help!

    I'll try, but I've never used a Fuji camera before. I use Canon and Rollei pretty much exclusively.

    ISO refers to your film speed and its sensitivity to light. If a digital camera has an ISO feature, it probably means that the camera can simulate different film speeds. The ISO speeds you're most likely to see will range between 25/15 and 3200/36. 100/21 and 200/24 are the ones that most people will use, with 100/21 more suitable for outdoor photography and 200/24 best suited for all-around use. The higher the ISO number, the more "noise" (aka "grain") you can expect, i.e. the lower the picture quality will be, though few people can tell the difference between 100/21 and 200/24 unless they're pros.

    AF stands for autofocus. I'm assuming AE stands for auto exposure.

    Autofocus is a good thing, but I prefer to manually focus when I'm close to a subject or when I'm taking a picture of a person. AF cameras sometimes focus on the wrong part of a person's face, i.e. the nose or forehead, instead of the eyes, which have to be in razor-sharp focus for a good portrait. I don't know if your camera will allow you to manually focus or not; my Canon EOS Elan can do AF or manual focus, and I hardly ever turn on the AF switch on the lens because I prefer to focus manually.

    Most cameras now have different programmed "modes" that you can use for photography. If you want to take a portrait of someone, use the mode that looks like a tulip; if you want to photograph a landscape, use the mode that looks like a mountain. There should be a "normal" mode for general use. The portrait mode usually will simulate a large aperture (to blur the background) and warm skin tones, while the landscape will simulate as wide an angle as possible and good depth of field.

    Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask!

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    SVZ
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    Do fish have boogers? SVZ's Avatar
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    I heard something that you should be a certain distance away from a person when taking a photo of their face, because the lense can cause it to "bloat". Is this true? I have noticed in some pics, my mid-face looks huge.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVZ View Post
    I heard something that you should be a certain distance away from a person when taking a photo of their face, because the lense can cause it to "bloat". Is this true? I have noticed in some pics, my mid-face looks huge.

    That is probably caused by perspective distortion and lens focal length. I like to use a fixed focal length lens for photographing people less than 100mm. Some people swear by telephotos. A lot of point-and-shoot cameras have zoom lenses that go from 20-something to about 70-something. 20-something is a pretty wide angle, which can cause distortion...so if you're using a point-and-shoot, zoom that lens out a bit.
    Last edited by DisruptiveHair; October 10th, 2005 at 04:48 AM.

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    I don't think I like digi cams anymore. My hubby erased 100+ pics by accident yesterday. My grad pics, pics of me and my dad in Van...sooooo sad.
    If it was an conventional film camera, the quality might have been shitty but this wouldn't have happened....unless I messed up or lost the film somehow.
    Be careful when uploading the pics, always make sure they are loaded properly and know where you stored them. Make double copies...

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    SVZ
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    kill him!!!!!

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    Elite Member Algernon's Avatar
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    moomies, I'm not totally sold on this digicam thing either. I have yet to see a pic look as good coming from a digi as from my trusty old 35mm. I told the salesman that if I'm not 100% happy with the prints, the camera is coming back.

    Thank you for the help, Disruptive! My camera does have a manual focus, but I'm not going to try it until I have everything else down pat. I'm going to get a test print today to even see if I'm happy with the quality.

    I wouldn't even have bought the camera if my 35mm hadn't taken an absolute dump last week. I was SO sad. That camera and I have been through 7 wonderful years and it took beautiful pics for only being a 200 dollar camera.

    BUT...I'm trying to get with the times and try digi. Since it has 6.3 mp I'm really hoping the quality is good on print.
    Value the future on a timescale longer than your own. -Richard Dawkins

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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moomies View Post
    I don't think I like digi cams anymore. My hubby erased 100+ pics by accident yesterday. My grad pics, pics of me and my dad in Van...sooooo sad.
    If it was an conventional film camera, the quality might have been shitty but this wouldn't have happened....unless I messed up or lost the film somehow.
    Be careful when uploading the pics, always make sure they are loaded properly and know where you stored them. Make double copies...

    That may just be the digital camera's design. It is difficult to erase everything on my Canon unless you really want to.

    With conventional film cameras, there is much more that can go wrong. Your film can be double-exposed, it can fail to wind through the camera, meaning all your photographs are on one negative or you have nothing at all (a "naked" roll), the film can be damaged by the heat in your car, it can be ruined by water, or it can be ruined by the people you take it to to have it processed. I've seen all of that before.

    Once when I was working at Fox Photo, a customer brought in a single roll of film. We put it into the processor and didn't think any more of it. In the meantime, a severe thunderstorm rolled in and a very close lightning strike took out the power. We had to wind the film manually through the machine so it would not be ruined by sitting in one chemical for too long, but when the leader card came out the film was not attached; this tends to happen when you wind film manually. We had to open the machine with a light bag attached, meaning we couldn't see what we were doing, and pull each rack out of the machine to find the film. By the time we found it, it had been sitting in the developer for far too long. We reattached it to the leader card, started winding it manually again, and hoped for the best. The power was out for a good long time...at least a couple of hours. Since the power was out the processor's dryer wasn't working, so we had to hang the film in the doorway with a weight attached to the bottom to prevent it curling, and we crossed our fingers. Any lint that found its way onto the film could scratch the emulsion, leaving permanent damage, so we had to be extremely careful with it until it dried.

    After it dried, we could see that it was hideously overdeveloped but there were still images on the film. After the power came back on, we printed it and did get usable images. The customer was extremely pissed off with us but we did more than many stores would have done. Many places would have simply left his film in the machine to fry and be completely ruined. So...even when you have the best intentions, things like this can happen.

    Also, some cameras do not wind the film's leader all the way back into the canister; they leave a tiny bit of it sticking out to help the people processing it (otherwise we have to use a special instrument to extract the leader which can scratch the emulsion...it's also a pain in the ass). Unfortunately, some people are used to the leader being wound all the way back in and they pick up the same roll, assuming it's new, and shoot with it. You can't tell by looking at a roll whether it has been exposed or not. I developed dozens of double-exposed rolls like that every single week; I had to teach the customers how to roll the leaders back into the canisters after they finished shooting so they wouldn't mix up new rolls with shot ones, since weren't able to charge them for developing ruined rolls.

    So...lots can go wrong. Lots lots lots!

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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Algernon View Post
    moomies, I'm not totally sold on this digicam thing either. I have yet to see a pic look as good coming from a digi as from my trusty old 35mm. I told the salesman that if I'm not 100% happy with the prints, the camera is coming back.

    Thank you for the help, Disruptive! My camera does have a manual focus, but I'm not going to try it until I have everything else down pat. I'm going to get a test print today to even see if I'm happy with the quality.

    I wouldn't even have bought the camera if my 35mm hadn't taken an absolute dump last week. I was SO sad. That camera and I have been through 7 wonderful years and it took beautiful pics for only being a 200 dollar camera.

    BUT...I'm trying to get with the times and try digi. Since it has 6.3 mp I'm really hoping the quality is good on print.

    6.3 MP is good quality, but there are very few digital cameras out there that can match the quality of 35mm film, and those are way out of our price range! I think some of the better professional digital SLRs are up to 12-18 MP, but I think 100 ISO film is the equivalent of 41 MP.

    For most purposes, it doesn't really matter; 6.3 is good enough. My digital camera is only 5MP. My first one was less than 2 MP.

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    I'm not really a tech kinda person so I don't know exactly what went wrong with his camera. It might have been our comp cuz it seems it's virused and is acting weird or my hubby only thought he uploaded the pics but he maybe didn't and erased the pics from the memory card. Ours is also Cannon but he told me he can't retrieve the pics cuz the card is already "formatted."

    We are really upset over this but nothing can be done...

    If you are taking pics for an important occasion (like my grad...) have at least 3 ppl taking pics!!!

    Another reason I sometimes don't like digi cams is that they take too good of a pic Like you can see ppl's pores and imperfections so clearly. I like some cheap disposable cameras for this reason cuz the pics come out kinda fuzzy but hides such imperfections

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    Elite Member Algernon's Avatar
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    Moomies, I know what it's like to lose important pictures...it sucks!!! My beloved 35mm started acting up about a year ago. I had a roll full of pics of my son taking his first steps and his first birthday, with the wonderful cake-in-the-face pics. Well, my camera wouldn't rewind the film, and when I opened it I grabbed the roll out not realizing it hadn't rolled back in. The whole roll...gone in an instant.

    I was so sick about it. I called people who had been at my son's party to see if anyone had taken pics..nope.

    That was the first time I thought, well, maybe a digicam would be better.

    There's pros and cons to both, I guess! Sorry you lost all those important pics, and I understand!
    Value the future on a timescale longer than your own. -Richard Dawkins

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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moomies View Post
    I'm not really a tech kinda person so I don't know exactly what went wrong with his camera. It might have been our comp cuz it seems it's virused and is acting weird or my hubby only thought he uploaded the pics but he maybe didn't and erased the pics from the memory card. Ours is also Cannon but he told me he can't retrieve the pics cuz the card is already "formatted."

    We are really upset over this but nothing can be done...

    If you are taking pics for an important occasion (like my grad...) have at least 3 ppl taking pics!!!

    Another reason I sometimes don't like digi cams is that they take too good of a pic Like you can see ppl's pores and imperfections so clearly. I like some cheap disposable cameras for this reason cuz the pics come out kinda fuzzy but hides such imperfections

    The photos are fuzzy because the lenses are shit and the cameras are usually loaded with ISO 400 film, which is crap for normal day-to-day use. You can always digitally erase pores and imperfections in a decent graphics program.

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