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onetoughcookie

Food-Friendly Camera?

48 posts in this topic

He says: "The point of this is to show the difference in kinds of pictures you get with a digital SLR vs a normal digital. The first one represents what you'd get with a non-slr -- full depth of field and almost no bokeh -- the blurring effect seen in the 2nd picture.

However, you do not necessarily need a DSLR to control depth of field. You simple need a camera, either point and shoot or DSLR, with manual controls and the ability to shoot in aperture priority mode.

An example of a point and shoot camera with aperture priority mode (and full shutter/aperture manual control) is the Canon PowerShot A570IS, which is available for the paltry sum of around US$150 or cheaper. Yes, own this camera and would recommend it someone on a budget (and not concerned about small form factor).


Edited by sanrensho (log)

Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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Most of the Olympus point and shoot cameras have the "Cuisine" setting. I have the Olympus Stylus 500 which I mostly used for shooting photos in restaurants. I generally took a picture with the auto setting and the Cuisine setting and it was about 50-50 as to what was the better picture. It just depended a lot on lighting. I recently upgraded to a Canon SD850 IS camera and it takes much better pictures. Bottom line. The Cuisine feature might help in instances but is not a sure fire solution.


Davydd

It is just an Anglicized Welsh spelling for David to celebrate my English/Welsh ancestry. The Welsh have no "v" in their alphabet or it would be spelled Dafydd.

I must warn you. My passion is the Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

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However, you do not necessarily need a DSLR to control depth of field. You simple need a camera, either point and shoot or DSLR, with manual controls and the ability to shoot in aperture priority mode.

An example of a point and shoot camera with aperture priority mode (and full shutter/aperture manual control) is the Canon PowerShot A570IS, which is available for the paltry sum of around US$150 or cheaper. Yes, own this camera and would recommend it someone on a budget (and not concerned about small form factor).

I'm not so sure about that. I use my Canon PowerShot S3 IS in aperture priority mode pretty much exclusively, and I can tell you that I can only achieve that kind of depth of field by zooming in all the way; I'd be surprised if the A570 IS could do it. I love my camera, and did suggest it upthread, but if someone is looking to get that small depth of field, it's not going to come with the S3 IS. It's one of the reasons that, when I have the money, I'm going to get a DSLR. I'd keep the S3 IS because it's a great camera with the added convenience of not having to change lenses for zoom and macro and such. But it does have some limitations.

Now, if a shallow depth of field isn't desired, there's no reason to buy a DSLR - I agree with that. If the pictures are straight on, for example... well, DOF isn't going to matter much, now is it?

Now, if you're interested, here's the boyfriend's "technical" response: "Such is unfortunately not quite the case. Digital SLRs have sensors that are slightly smaller than 35mm, whereas non-slr digitals ("digicams") have sensors that tend to be around 10% of the size of 35mm. What this means is that the focal length needed to achieve the standard range of zoom for digicams is a very low number -- usually 6mm corresponds to 35mm. As depth of field (area of subject in focus) scales inversely with focal length, digicams have difficulty reducing it as shown above in any but the highest levels of zoom on the ultra-zoom models.

In fact, the highest focal length of the S3 IS -- which has a ton of zoom -- is physically only 72mm. It corresponds to 432mm in the 35mm world, which is enough to take pictures of birds 40 feet away. FWIW, the example shots given above are from a roughly 72mm equivalent. Thus, to get the (lack of) DOF above with the S3, you would need to be zoomed in so much that you'd need to stand 50 feet away just to get the whole cake in the frame. Not very practical.

It should also be noted that very, very few digicams get even down to f2.8 at full zoom, let alone f1.4. The lower the number, the less DOF/more blurring you have."


"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

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I'm not so sure about that. I use my Canon PowerShot S3 IS in aperture priority mode pretty much exclusively, and I can tell you that I can only achieve that kind of depth of field by zooming in all the way; I'd be surprised if the A570 IS could do it. I love my camera, and did suggest it upthread, but if someone is looking to get that small depth of field, it's not going to come with the S3 IS. It's one of the reasons that, when I have the money, I'm going to get a DSLR...

Excellent post, and I absolutely agree that a DSLR gives a different level of control over depth of field, among other advantages.

I just don't want beginners to come away with the impression that DSLR = Control over depth of field (Point and shoot = No control over DOF). :smile:


Edited by sanrensho (log)

Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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However, you do not necessarily need a DSLR to control depth of field. You simple need a camera, either point and shoot or DSLR, with manual controls and the ability to shoot in aperture priority mode. ...

I'm not so sure about that. I use my Canon PowerShot S3 IS in aperture priority mode pretty much exclusively, and I can tell you that I can only achieve that kind of depth of field by zooming in all the way; I'd be surprised if the A570 IS could do it. I love my camera, and did suggest it upthread, but if someone is looking to get that small depth of field, it's not going to come with the S3 IS. It's one of the reasons that, when I have the money, I'm going to get a DSLR. I'd keep the S3 IS because it's a great camera with the added convenience of not having to change lenses for zoom and macro and such. But it does have some limitations.

Now, if a shallow depth of field isn't desired, there's no reason to buy a DSLR - I agree with that. If the pictures are straight on, for example... well, DOF isn't going to matter much, now is it?

Now, if you're interested, here's the boyfriend's "technical" response: "Such is unfortunately not quite the case. Digital SLRs have sensors that are slightly smaller than 35mm, whereas non-slr digitals ("digicams") have sensors that tend to be around 10% of the size of 35mm. What this means is that the focal length needed to achieve the standard range of zoom for digicams is a very low number -- usually 6mm corresponds to 35mm. As depth of field (area of subject in focus) scales inversely with focal length, digicams have difficulty reducing it as shown above in any but the highest levels of zoom on the ultra-zoom models.

In fact, the highest focal length of the S3 IS -- which has a ton of zoom -- is physically only 72mm. It corresponds to 432mm in the 35mm world, which is enough to take pictures of birds 40 feet away. FWIW, the example shots given above are from a roughly 72mm equivalent. Thus, to get the (lack of) DOF above with the S3, you would need to be zoomed in so much that you'd need to stand 50 feet away just to get the whole cake in the frame. Not very practical.

It should also be noted that very, very few digicams get even down to f2.8 at full zoom, let alone f1.4. The lower the number, the less DOF/more blurring you have."

Yes, focal length influences depth of field.

BUT it gets much more complicated when considering different image sizes (such as 35mm film full frame vs different image chips in different cameras).

The effect of out of focus blurring is actually measured in terms of the size of the "Circle of Confusion" (COC), which is usually thought of as being a simply measurable size.

However, when dealing with different *image* sizes, one has to think of the size of the COC as a proportion of the image size!

Simply put, I believe that putting a 35mm camera and a digital camera (whatever chip size) side by side on tripods, focused identically and then zooming their lenses so that their frames were filled identically (same focal length to image size ratio giving the exact same field of view) and set both to the same aperture (in f-stop terms, which is used specifically to relate it to focal length) - and - I think that you'd get identical out-of-focus blurring (as a proportion of the whole picture) with both.

In short:

-- I agree absolutely that the wider ("faster") the lens is set (in f-stop terms, thus the lower the f-stop number), the shallower will be the depth of field, and the better that detail can be made to stand apart from its background. Naturally the wider the lens' maximum aperture, the more potential there is for this. And so an f1.8 lens (as attached to a dSLR) will be able to better isolate stuff in this way than a 'compact' with only an f3.5 lens.

-- I also agree that changing the lens focal length (on the same camera) makes a difference. In this way, zooming the compact towards telephoto (longer focal length) will narrow the depth of field - but, to retain the same field of view, the camera will need to be moved away. This may make slightly less difference than hoped because most modern zoom lenses have smaller effective apertures at longer focal lengths, which is why they are quoted as, for example "f/2.7 - f/3.5" for the Powershot S3.

-- But I must disagree, utterly, that the small image chip size of a compact camera comes into play at all. Rather, its the other factors discussed above that are limiting. One should not rule out a camera on the basis of the physical size of its image chip. Pixel resolution perhaps, but physical size is simply irrelevant.

And I must echo Sanrensho's comment that you don't need a dSLR to control depth of field!

For a "still life" subject, like food, one will benefit from having control, and then understanding and using the control.

But the typical dSLR advantages of changeable lenses and much better (ie less) shutter release 'latency' barely come into play.

Control is the important attribute. And extending control to artificial lighting is where a flash attachment (rather than built-in) starts to matter.

BUT as to just what excellent results can be obtained with a "compact" digital camera and daylight illumination, (with a little software assist maybe), have a look at the really splendid photos posted on eGullet by 'Chufi'. Skill matters more than equipment!

One recent example -

gallery_21505_1968_31859.jpg

and if you check the EXIF metadata, you'll see that it was taken on a humble Canon A620 compact...

And returning to Fibilou's original £250-ish budget, the 50mm f1.4 Canon EF lens (for the 350d), as mentioned in the quote above, would blow the entire budget on the lens, leaving nothing for the camera!

The f1.8 is however generally considered excellent value at 1/4 of the price of the f1.4 ...


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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BUT as to just what excellent results can be obtained with a "compact" digital camera and daylight illumination, (with a little software assist maybe), have a look at the really splendid photos posted on eGullet by 'Chufi'. Skill matters more than equipment!

One recent example -

gallery_21505_1968_31859.jpg

and if you check the EXIF metadata, you'll see that it was taken on a humble Canon A620 compact...

I'll return to respond to the rest later, but I keep forgetting to say this and it's important, so I'll say it now.

First, that's not really so different from what I was saying originally. I was criticized for suggesting my "compact" digital camera as not worth the money. Having a good eye for detail and framing is more important than anything else.

Secondly, if you're using that picture as an example of depth of field using a "compact", keep in mind that that's in macro mode. Which wouldn't really help much for taking pictures of cakes, unless they're reaaaaaaaaaally small and cute. Mmmm, small cute cakes.

Anyway, more on the other things later. I'm tired and lazy. :raz:


"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

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Sorry I didn't catch this before, onetoughtcookie, but Patrick S uses a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, price range from $395.00 to $784.95. :smile:


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Would anyone recommend a good point and shoot type digital camera that takes good pictures under a typical restarant setting -- low light, flash-less, close-up shots?

The camera shop recommended a digital SLR type camera, but it is too bulky and conspicuous to use in restaurants to take quick food shots. I am wondering if the new compact models with high iso settings and steady shot feature will result in better pictures.

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Would anyone recommend a good point and shoot type digital camera that takes good pictures under a typical restarant setting -- low light, flash-less, close-up shots?

The camera shop recommended a digital SLR type camera, but it is too bulky and conspicuous to use in restaurants to take quick food shots.  I am wondering if the new compact models with high iso settings and steady shot feature will result in better pictures.

The answer, in short, is no.

Sorry, but a DSLR (with a good macro lens) is really the only way to get what you want (a camera for low light and flash-less conditions, especially hand-held). To answer your specific question about ISO, high ISO settings on compacts are really grainy - I have a Canon Powershot S3 IS and don't go over 400... and 400 is the maximum I'll go, and I try to avoid that at all costs. The sensor size is much too small to produce quality pictures at those settings.

If you just want a good camera in general, check Digital Camera Resource Page . But, as I said, a compact is not going to give you very good pictures. Passable, maybe. But not good. And doubtfully any better than an older compact. And I say that as someone who owns one of the "higher end" compacts, one which is hardly "compact" anymore (the Powershot S5 IS listed is the successor to my camera).


Edited by feedmec00kies (log)

"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

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Fuji seems to be the brand that has the best reputation for low light, high ISO settings in a point and shoot. The F31 in particular is well regarded.

But they dropped it in favour of an "upgraded" model that doubled the megapixel count at the expense of picture quality, especially in low light. Sigh. They have a new one, the F100, that I'm strongly considering - basically the upgrade to the upgrade of the F31. Oh - the F31s are selling for astronomical sums on ebay. Folks, it ain't a cure for cancer, it's just a camera.

But, I think I've read everything out there just about on the F100. There are some issues - not a whole lot of manual control if that matters to you. A bit of a clunky interface compared to the competition. No viewfinder. There may be some issues with a bit of a pinkish band running down the side of the picture in some circumstances for some users (erm, the photo folks are worse than foodies I think in their obsessiveness). Oh, they're in the over $300 range as well - so getting up near the top of the P&S price point.

I haven't actually even seen one yet, let alone used one though. What I know is purely word of mouth. But, overall, if low light shooting is important, definitely check out the Fuji.

Cheers,

Geoff

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High ISOs will allow you to take photos under dim lighting situations, but they do not result in better pictures. They will, however, allow you to capture usable images that would be okay for email and web use. Just don't expect to make 8x10 prints of any quality. Keep in mind the higher the ISO, the "noisier" the resulting image. Although cameras vary in their ability to suppress noise, it starts becoming bothersome at ISO 400.

I'd suggest going with a camera that feels good in your hands and isn't too heavy. For the type of shooting you describe, you want a camera that can not only take a half-decent photo, but one that feels ergonomically good (and fits in your pocket or bag of whatever) so you'll take it along and use it. A "compact" point and shoot would probably work best, but if "pocketability" is paramount, go for a "subcompact". The former, however, will usually offer the best combination of features and picture quality for the dollar, and can still fit in many pockets; to get similar features and quality in the smaller subcompact, you'll pay more.

You will also want a camera whose autofocus system works well in dim light. (Most can, but some can't.)

If restaurant food photos is the primary way you intend to use this camera, make sure it can focus as close as two feet (most compacts can).

Some point-and-shoots don't offer shutter speeds of less than 1/60 of a second (slower shutters are when camera shake becomes pronounced, causing blurry photos); but that usually means they'll automatically increase the ISO to a level where it encourages noise. Other point-and-shoots will offer slower shutter speeds so you can shoot at a lower ISO. For those, you want the camera with image stabilization (IS) which allows you to shoot at 1/30 or even 1/15 without a tripod, which you obviously will not have available while dining. (Image stabilization is probably what you meant when you used the term "steady shot".)

You also don't need a camera with extreme zoom, since you won't be using the telephoto focal length. Something with a 35mm equivalent range of 35-105mm would be more than adequate. And don't worry about megapixels; just about any point-and-shot built today has as many as needed, given the sensor size, to produce very good photos.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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At some point I'm going to have to upgrade my camera to something more technologically advanced. The one I have now is a Nikon Coolpix L3.

It's barely passable when I use it in a low-light setting. Take Tailor for example. Given Chef Mason's insistence that flash photography not be used, I had to request an early seating in order to take advantage of the natural light that was still available when the restaurant opened last autumn. There's no way I'd be able to go past a 7 pm one top.

Lighting is everything.

edit: not sure about the actual ISO speed. great. one more thing to educate myself regarding digital photography. :angry::huh:


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)

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But, I think I've read everything out there just about on the F100. There are some issues - not a whole lot of manual control if that matters to you. A bit of a clunky interface compared to the competition. No viewfinder. There may be some issues with a bit of a pinkish band running down the side of the picture in some circumstances for some users (erm, the photo folks are worse than foodies I think in their obsessiveness).  Oh, they're in the over $300 range as well - so getting up near the top of the P&S price point.

You and me both! I've gone through all the forums, etc. etc., and I've even played with one (until I was set upon by a Fuji salesman). One guy on the dpreview forums (or maybe is was another website) has his F100 shots up on Flickr, and the close-ups are beautiful. However, they're in full daylight, not in dim restaurants. If you do a search on "Fuji F100fd" and other permutations on flickr, you can find some low-light shots, but no close-up ones sans flash.

Apparently Fuji is coming out with a firmware fix for the pink band problem (which I barely notice), so I'm thinking of getting it after that happens. Just thinking, though. I'd like the price to go down a little, too!

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But, I think I've read everything out there just about on the F100. There are some issues - not a whole lot of manual control if that matters to you. A bit of a clunky interface compared to the competition. No viewfinder. There may be some issues with a bit of a pinkish band running down the side of the picture in some circumstances for some users (erm, the photo folks are worse than foodies I think in their obsessiveness).  Oh, they're in the over $300 range as well - so getting up near the top of the P&S price point.

You and me both! I've gone through all the forums, etc. etc., and I've even played with one (until I was set upon by a Fuji salesman). One guy on the dpreview forums (or maybe is was another website) has his F100 shots up on Flickr, and the close-ups are beautiful. However, they're in full daylight, not in dim restaurants. If you do a search on "Fuji F100fd" and other permutations on flickr, you can find some low-light shots, but no close-up ones sans flash.

Apparently Fuji is coming out with a firmware fix for the pink band problem (which I barely notice), so I'm thinking of getting it after that happens. Just thinking, though. I'd like the price to go down a little, too!

I've read that the pink banding thing is caused by heat from the battery (and thus not fixable) or that it is easily fixable with the new firmware update. Who knows? From everything I've read, it's still a step ahead of the competition in the low light category, and holds its weight otherwise. Once again, if a P&S is what you're looking for in low light situations, check out the Fujis.I'm not even a customer (yet), just a dude going in that direction.

Cheers,

Geoff

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Would anyone recommend a good point and shoot type digital camera that takes good pictures under a typical restarant setting -- low light, flash-less, close-up shots?

The camera shop recommended a digital SLR type camera, but it is too bulky and conspicuous to use in restaurants to take quick food shots.  I am wondering if the new compact models with high iso settings and steady shot feature will result in better pictures.

The answer, in short, is no.

feedmec00kies isn't asking for a camera that will shoot as well as a digital SLR, but a camera that will take better low light, flash-less, close-up pictures than what most point and shoots currently available will take.

This shot was taken in a low-light (though not very low-light) setting, was flashless, and was a macro shot. ISO was 400.

Here's another one.

And I think this picture is a pretty good example of what a point and shoot can do (unfortunately, the properties of the picture aren't available for viewing).

Are they as good as what you can get with a digital SLR? No. But are they good enough for what most people are using their digital cameras? I think so.


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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feedmec00kies isn't asking for a camera that will shoot as well as a digital SLR, but a camera that will take better low light, flash-less, close-up pictures than what most point and shoots currently available will take. 

This shot was taken in a low-light (though not very low-light) setting, was flashless, and was a macro shot.  ISO was 400. 

Here's another one.

And I think this picture is a pretty good example of what a point and shoot can do (unfortunately, the properties of the picture aren't available for viewing).

Are they as good as what you can get with a digital SLR?  No.  But are they good enough for what most people are using their digital cameras?  I think so.

(Err, assuming you were saying that to me, and not that I was the poster talking about looking for a camera...)

I looked at the photographs, though, and did some calculations for shutter speed because I doubted they were hand-held. Take the first photo, for example. Looking at the EXIF data, it says the shutter speed is "529/100". I used the explanation from this page to convert the value to the shutter speed in seconds...

Shutter speed by APEX value. To convert this value to ordinary 'Shutter Speed'; calculate this value's power of 2, then reciprocal. For example, if the ShutterSpeedValue is '4', shutter speed is 1/(24)=1/16 second.

...Using my meager math skills, I found that the shutter speed is 0.0357 seconds.

The second photo has a longer shutter speed: 0.0692 seconds.

I decided to compare it to the the only macro+low light photo I have, which happens to be in a similar lighting condition as the first two. The shutter speed is 1/13 seconds (0.0769 seconds). I know that photo was taken in ISO 800, because it was taken when I first got my Canon Powershot S3 before I realized how much grainier photos became in the higher ISOs. I can see particularly in the bottom left corner. Maybe it is good enough for the usual user. I probably have very high standards. But I still see it as problematic. For photos of food for your own records, or for a 72dpi photo on the web, it's probably fine.

(BTW, there was no EXIF data for the third, but I'm not sure whether or not it was taken with the camera hand-held.)

FWIW, though, there is actually a pretty small degree of variation between the compact cameras on the market. A lot of it has to do with sensor size. Buy one that is generally highly recommended within the price range you're looking for, with the features (like manual settings, view finder, optical zoom capabilities) that you want. The previously-mentioned Fujifilm seems to be highly recommended specifically for it's low-light features, but I don't know much about it because I prefer to own a very well-rounded camera that allows for full manual control, rather than just something with more low-light capabilities.


"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

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(Err, assuming you were saying that to me, and not that I was the poster talking about looking for a camera...)

Sorry...when I replied I was careless with the attributions.

I looked at the photographs, though, and did some calculations for shutter speed because I doubted they were hand-held. Take the first photo, for example. Looking at the EXIF data, it says the shutter speed is "529/100". I used the explanation from this page to convert the value to the shutter speed in seconds...
Shutter speed by APEX value. To convert this value to ordinary 'Shutter Speed'; calculate this value's power of 2, then reciprocal. For example, if the ShutterSpeedValue is '4', shutter speed is 1/(24)=1/16 second.

...Using my meager math skills, I found that the shutter speed is 0.0357 seconds.

Interesting--that's faster than they've calculated (right at the top of the EXIF page, they've got 0.026 seconds or 1/38.

Maybe it is good enough for the usual user. I probably have very high standards. But I still see it as problematic.

But wouldn't you be using film rather than digital, then? Some of the professional photographers I know only use film when they want their shots to meet their "very high standards." When they, or their clients, aren't as particular about a particular job, they go with digital.

The previously-mentioned Fujifilm seems to be highly recommended specifically for it's low-light features, but I don't know much about it because I prefer to own a very well-rounded camera that allows for full manual control, rather than just something with more low-light capabilities.

Low-light features were highlighted (at least by me) only because the OP mentioned those specifically.

I have to admit, however, my desire for the Fuji F100fd was based on these shots, few if any of which were low light shots. Granted, this guy is a far better photographer than I ever will be, but his comments about the camera, along his comparisons of it to other point and shoot cameras, led me to believe this was a very good camera. He also has a digital SLR, of course, but when you travel to dodgy places or when you need to travel lightly or discretely (which was part of the reason the OP was looking at point and shoots), having a small point and shoot is preferable.

The camera also has aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes, giving one more control than usual for most point and shoots. I've read they're a bit of a pain to use with this camera, but if a person is in one location for a lengthy period of time (like a restaurant, for example), it's not too much trouble to set the camera at the beginning of the night, then leave the settings for the rest of the evening.

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I looked at the photographs, though, and did some calculations for shutter speed because I doubted they were hand-held. Take the first photo, for example. Looking at the EXIF data, it says the shutter speed is "529/100". I used the explanation from this page to convert the value to the shutter speed in seconds...
Shutter speed by APEX value. To convert this value to ordinary 'Shutter Speed'; calculate this value's power of 2, then reciprocal. For example, if the ShutterSpeedValue is '4', shutter speed is 1/(24)=1/16 second.

...Using my meager math skills, I found that the shutter speed is 0.0357 seconds.

Interesting--that's faster than they've calculated (right at the top of the EXIF page, they've got 0.026 seconds or 1/38.

Uh yeah... I think I described my math skills as "meager" for a reason. :raz:

Maybe it is good enough for the usual user. I probably have very high standards. But I still see it as problematic.

But wouldn't you be using film rather than digital, then? Some of the professional photographers I know only use film when they want their shots to meet their "very high standards." When they, or their clients, aren't as particular about a particular job, they go with digital.

Here's a point of reference I found for digital vs. film... except it's about 6 years old. Based on this article, the point is obviously that one is not purely better than the other, especially when you're dealing with 35mm film (and the equivalent in DSLRs). Large format probably still needs to be done with film. There really hasn't really been much in recent years, though, and it's because digital technology has kept improving and I think it's becoming more of an non-issue.

Regardless if the facts the article cites are still as relevant now as they were in 2002, I have to say that, for my uses, I prefer digital. A large part of is that I can exercise a great amount of control with post-processing - resizing, cropping, editing colors, etc. in ways I wouldn't be able to with film.. both financially and skillwise (particularly in the dark room). Digital technology has had a huge effect on democratizing the art of photography.

With the cost of a darkroom and its supplies, and the time and money needed to learn the intricacies of chemical developers and such, I would argue that my use of digital is actually about trying to meet my high standards, regardless if I am right or wrong in saying that there is no difference between digital and film.

Now, if I can only get enough money together for a DSLR and a few good lenses, I'll be very happy... :sigh: I can't get any real depth-of-field (which, IMHO, is actually pretty important in food photography, but I digress...) for the life of me, due to the small issue of a small sensor.


"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

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Fuji seems to be the brand that has the best reputation for low light, high ISO settings in a point and shoot. The F31 in particular is well regarded.

But they dropped it in favour of an "upgraded" model that doubled the megapixel count at the expense of picture quality, especially in low light. Sigh. They have a new one, the F100, that I'm strongly considering - basically the upgrade to the upgrade of the F31. Oh - the F31s are selling for astronomical sums on ebay. Folks, it ain't a cure for cancer, it's just a camera.

I did a quick internet search on the F31 model and there appears to be a lot of positive reviews for this camera. It appears to have achieved an almost cult status among users. Is this a good point and shoot digital camera in general?

The camera is still being sold in my part of the world for about $250 new. I am wondering if I should go ahead and take the plunge...

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Fuji seems to be the brand that has the best reputation for low light, high ISO settings in a point and shoot. The F31 in particular is well regarded.

But they dropped it in favour of an "upgraded" model that doubled the megapixel count at the expense of picture quality, especially in low light. Sigh. They have a new one, the F100, that I'm strongly considering - basically the upgrade to the upgrade of the F31. Oh - the F31s are selling for astronomical sums on ebay. Folks, it ain't a cure for cancer, it's just a camera.

I did a quick internet search on the F31 model and there appears to be a lot of positive reviews for this camera. It appears to have achieved an almost cult status among users. Is this a good point and shoot digital camera in general?

The camera is still being sold in my part of the world for about $250 new. I am wondering if I should go ahead and take the plunge...

Well, looking at some reviews for the models that replaced it, one reviewer stated that the F31 was perhaps the best reviewed P&S ever.

So, the reviews are generally (quite) positive. I think I'd probably go for one if I could find one for that price. The newer ones do have twice the megapixel count, the F100 has a 5x optical zoom instead of 3x, the face detection and/or image stabilization have undergone upgrades (I think). So, there are plusses and minuses, as always. But, the F31 does seem to be pretty much the best regarded P & S in low light conditions, as far as I can determine. And, they seem to be holding their own and then some in the resale market. (So, if you bought it and didn't like it, you might even be able to sell it at a profit on ebay.)

Is it possible for you to buy it and return it within 24 (or 72 or whatever) hours if it doesn't meet your needs?

Not having used one myself, I can't really tell you to go for it, but ...

Cheers,

Geoff

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Fuji seems to be the brand that has the best The camera is still being sold in my part of the world for about $250 new.  I am wondering if I should go ahead and take the plunge...

Well, if this helps...

DPReview comparison of the Fujifilm F31 and F100... clicky

No review for the F100, but here's one for the F31.


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Fuji seems to be the brand that has the best The camera is still being sold in my part of the world for about $250 new.  I am wondering if I should go ahead and take the plunge...

Well, if this helps...

DPReview comparison of the Fujifilm F31 and F100... clicky

No review for the F100, but here's one for the F31.

Just going to add that in the comparison chart, it lists the F100 as having aperture and shutter priority. It does not.

Cheers,

Geoff

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Canon G9/G10.

They have a hotshoe and full manual modes. But for the price you pay, you can get a used DSLR. Then again, P&S vs. DSLR kit.

I've seen some photos taken by a professional photographer with his G9 and you couldn't tell the difference between the photos taken with that and the photos taken with his Nikon kit until he told you.

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