Anyone here a budding photographer?

I'm bee researching and spyed the Fuji S9500 or Cannon S3-IS.

Any views?
Dexter Sinister
Not budding, exactly, I've been using a Canon AE-1 since 1976 and recently acquired a Nikon D70s; I'd call myself an advanced amateur. I went with Nikon rather than Canon for the digital SLR because the Nikon comes with a better standard lens: 18-75mm zoom rather than Canon's 18-55mm.

In general, I think you're probably better off sticking with the traditional camera manufacturers, not the electronics firms that have jumped into the digital camera business. You'll get better lenses, better expertise at the dealers', and a wider selection of accessories. Check out this (external - login to view)
show off


the cheap **** that I am, I'll stick for my pretend dSLR :P

like the your name btw
Just a word about digital cameras.

My son and I have been amateur astronomers for twenty five years and digital cameras are a Godsend. Timed exposure shots that used to take up to hours of painstaking, hand correcting now can be done in seconds. Amateurs are now taking digital telescopic photos of deep sky objects that were once limited to telescopes on Kit Peak or Mount Palomar. I won't say digital cameras are better than real cameras yet, but the rate at which the traditional camera, and film people are bailing out of film cameras and film, they must be getting close.
February 16th, 2006

Snapping up the market
Craig Silverman

Digital cameras have almost completely taken over the camera market in Canada, according to new data from an industry group. Are the days of overexposed shots and buying film really coming to an end?

Explainer takes a snapshot of Canadian camera sales.

1. This old puppy, which uses film, is on its way out, even among many professionals. According to the latest information from the Canadian Imaging Trade Association (CITA), "Conventional film camera sales declined significantly in 2005 and are expected to continue to drop this year." Sales of camera film also took a major dive in 2005. "Total sales of film closed out the year at 20.6 million rolls," reports CITA, "...a decline of about 34 per cent compared to 2004." And it gets worse: The organization predicts film sales will drop another 30 per cent in 2006, bringing sales down to 14.5 million rolls. Sales of professional film also saw a drop, with sales of colour reversal film declining 40 per cent and professional colour negative film sales dropping 44 per cent. "Digital cameras have completely, completely taken over," says Brian Redstone, 33, a Montreal photographer. "The beauty of digital is you can take endless photos and not be charged more for film."

2. This be the digital scallywag that's killing off film. So how dominant are digital cameras today? "Canada's switchover from film-based picture-taking to digital picture-taking is close to being complete," according to CITA. In 2002, approximately 880,000 digital cameras were shipped
to Canadian retailers. Last year there were 2.5 million, nearly enough to outfit one in every 10 Canadians. Along with causing a decline in film camera (and film) sales, the rise of digital photography has put a dent in sales of disposable cameras. "Unit shipments in 2005 were 5.8 million, representing slightly less than a 23 per cent decline compared to 2004," according to CITA. If you're one of the remaining film lovers, Redstone has a bit of advice for you. "The truth is you rarely need to use anything beyond 4 or even 3.2 megapixels," he says. "You should have a 4 megapixel camera to print decent 8-by-10 photographs, which is all most people need it for." As for Redstone, he uses an 8.2 megapixel Canon EOS 20D digital camera that cost between $2,500 and $3,000 when it first came out. A top of the line professional digital camera can cost as much as $15,000, according to Redstone.

Is digital zoom worth anything at all, and are the camera people dishonest when they promote this gimmick? Any image editor will do a better job.
Dexter Sinister
Naw, I think the digital zoom is worth nothing. I've tried it a few times on one of those little Canon point and shoot things, and all it does is crop the picture and blow it up to be the same size as the original, with consequent loss of resolution. I don't think the vendors are being quite dishonest as long as they specify it's digital zoom, unless they pretend it's the same as/better than optical zoom, but the onus is on the consumer to know the difference between digital and optical zoom.
I've heard that some manufacturers are advertising "total zoom", presumable the total of digital and optical. I haven't seen it, but I think that would qualify as at least underhanded.

I see Nikon has a new camera out with 10.2 megapixels (D-200?) Sigh...Unfortunately there are two or three things ahead of a new camera at the moment.
It is the third time that I read the name of this topic as Pornorgraphy
There must be something seriously wrong with me...
Dexter Sinister
And you came in here three times, hoping for... ?
Do you wan feelthy pichers senor?
Dexter Sinister
Got any dirty pictures of your wife? No? You want some?
Dexter Sinister
Back to serious matters...

#jaun, would you be wanting that 10.2 Mp Nikon mostly for astrophotography? The D70s, like the D70, has 6.1 Mp, which is more than enough for anything I thought I was likely to do with it. Photography through a telescope isn't something I've ever tried, though I've been curious about it for years. I'm a binocular-using backyard astronomer, I've never had time to get into it seriously enough to justify the cost of the telescope I'd really like, and I'd rather have no telescope than a cheap one that frustrates me 'cause it won't do what I want. But all kinds of possibilities are opening up to me since I retired a year ago, around the hobbies I used to have in my youth but didn't have enough money (kids, cars, mortgages, you know...) to properly indulge. I had a cheap 'scope as a teenager, a 2" refractor with a hopelessly unstable mount. It was good for looking at the moon and Jupiter's Galilean satellites, and not much else.

Got some good Web references I could go to to find out about things like telescopes, photographic attachments, exposure calculations, things of that nature? I've got some useful books on some of that stuff, like Terence Dickinson's NightWatch, but it doesn't tell me everything I want to know. For instance, I know that about 4 Mp in a digital camera is good enough to print an 8x10 image from, of the sorts of things most people usually photograph, but I have not a clue about any analogous information regarding photography through a telescope. Except for the obvious: more pixels means more information in the image. I assume my D70s would be at least adequate for astrophotography; am I right?
First, I just drool over any new toys I see. If I were buying a dedicated digital camera for astrophotography, I would probably buy the latest version of the Canon Digital Rebel for half the money. Not because it is particularly superior to other cameras, but because it has a few built-in features that make it easy to use for astronomers.. It makes image stacking, and time exposures fairly simple.

When my son(Eric) was around ten years old, I bought him a little 2" Tasco refractor on probably the crappiest alt/azimuth mount in existance. If memory serves, I think I paid about a hundred and fifty dollars for the damn thing. However bad that telescope was, it was good enough to get both of us hooked. A couple years later Eric(Eric saved his summer job money to pay half) and I bought a used, 8'' cassigrain reflector. Good optics, f-14, but a primitive motor drive. We have in the twenty five years since, invested quite a few thousand dollars in telescopes, to learn that bigger is not always better.

Your D70s is a great camera and a lot more than just adequate for astrophotography. Here is a link that will show you a little about what that camera can do. link (external - login to view) You will notice that the guy has a pretty decent mount and drive.

The mount is at least as important as the telescope. If I were advising someone on what telescope to buy for astrophotography, I would recommend a Celestron C-8 on the fork mount with the goto feature. The C-8 is an 8'' Schmidt/cass telescope. The goto feature is a little computer that will automatically swing the telescope to a new object when you enter it's number on the keypad.

I've got a few more things for you that I'll try to get to you brfore the day is out.

Bump, oops
Hi Dexter

I'm off to Victoria for a couple of days. Will be back on Friday.
Dexter Sinister
Have a good time. Though how can you not in Victoria? Love the place.

Thanks for that link, that was very interesting stuff there, especially the bit about the default filtering the D70s does on its .RAW files. I didn't know that, the manual that came with the camera says nothing about it.
Back a day earlier than we expected.

The weather turned a bit foul so we had a nice, leasurely, breakfast, and a nice, leasurely, drive back to Nanaimo.

I have to go to the store to get something for dinner. Back in a jif.
Here is a few more links (external - login to view) (external - login to view) (external - login to view)
On the Galaxy photo page

you will notice reference to a Jason Ware. This guy produces a lot of excellent photos on both film and digital cameras. The shot of the aircraft in front of the moon is one of my favorites.
Dexter Sinister
Great sites #juan, thanks a lot. I've bookmarked all three.

Did you notice there's one of those reversing optical illusions in the photo of the plane in front of the moon? Because it's a photograph taken from the ground I presume the view is from below and ahead on the aircraft's starboard side as it approaches the airport, but it can also be visualized as a view from above and behind.
This is a shot of jupiter taken through a 4" achromatic refractor.

Jupiter, 2005 April. Quickcam Pro4000, 100mm f/12.5 achromat, 2x barlow. Images were acquired with IRIS, aligned, stacked and processed with Registax.

Quickcam Pro4000, is a simple web cam.

Registax is a freeware tool that registers, stacks and processes image sequences.

About the telescope: I wanted to buy Eric a telescope for his birthday that was light, easily transportable, had respectable optics, and didn't cost an arm and a leg.

I did some hunting and found a 4" f12.5 doublet and cell (a doublet is a 2 element objective lens and a cell is the adjustable carrier for that lens.)at the Vancouver Telescope Center. They also had a rack and pinion focuser, and a finder scope. I got everything for under $250.00.
I just had to put it together in a piece of thin-wall aluminium tubing.(another $30) Eric already had a second hand, German equatorial mount and tripod that we adapted.. After twenty years, this telescope is still one of his favourites.

As you can see, it works pretty well

Yes, I did notice that optical illusion.

It's like watching a baby's mobile spinning slowly on a string. Sometimes it appears to be turning clockwise and occasionally it seems to change and turn the other way while you are watching.
I don't think you can get a much better shot of Saturn with a 4" telescope.

the caracal kid
interesting work, juan.

One of the concerns arising from the rapid switch to digital is long term archival of the images. Many fear that images taken today will be lost either due to the failure of storage media or format changes that leave old formats with no operational equipment capable of reading them.

I concur with juan and dex that digital zoom is not of much worth. The exception to that is if you are using the image in a reduced resolution scenario and want the expediency granted from not having to edit the picture (think snap and send for example).

I've been wondering about the storage of digital material as well. Some people are now saying that movies burned onto DVDs could start to deteriorate in three or four years. This is a little depressing since I'm just putting together a system to convert my old VHS tapes to DVD. Some of the older tapes are thirty years old. I'll have to do some more research.....****

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