Tag Archives: digital-camera

How to Buy a Digital Camera


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Mark called in the other night with questions about cameras. He’s looking for a digital camera that will record in 720p. I tend to do a lot of reviews on different cameras and camcorders. Mark knows there are several I have recommended in the past, but is still unsure which he should buy.

I jokingly told him to wait for the next iPhone because it will allegedly record in 720p. More than just features, you need to look at output with camera purchases. When you see a beautiful photo, find out what kind of camera was used to take it. You can get anything from a pocket camera to an SLR. It’s the quality of what comes out of the camera that you need to be on the watch for.

Sure, you need to decide what features are important to you. If you consistently shoot in one type of setting more than others, make sure you look for something that works well in those conditions. The camera I use to record the HD videos with was chosen because it has extremely sharp, crisp and clear output. However, it sometimes has problems focusing on a specific item. Every once in awhile, you’ll see it go in and out of focus in the middle of the video. That’s because it just doesn’t like to stay focused.

It all comes down to research – just like I’ve said in the past. Decide what things are the most important to you. Read reviews online that other people have done. Don’t just read marketing hype… all companies will claim their product is the best! It’s the people just like you who are going to tell the truth about the purchases they have made.

It seems as though every six months a whole new set of digital cameras comes out. Don’t fall for megapixels or zoom. At the end of the day, it’s the quality of the lens, processor and everything inside the camera that will mean the most to you.

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Sony Bloggie Camera Review


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I’m very glad that Sony sent along the new Bloggie PM5 and CM5 for me to review. I decided to record half of the video using one of these little devices, and half using the other one! They can take still shots, and record in full 1080p format! They support a media stick, or SD media, which is impressive to see. Both cameras are capable of creating very nice YouTube videos!

The great thing about the PM5 is the swivel screen. The camera features a unique lens that swivels up to 270 degrees and, when rotated, instantly powers on the camera so you can start recording video or taking still shots immediately.

SteadyShot image stabilization helps reduce blur caused by camera shake. It boasts 4x Digital zoom that lets you move in close and capture the action in crisp detail. Face Detection technology recognizes faces and optimizes camera settings for both video and still images, so faces are captured more clearly and skin tones look more natural.

Both the PM5 and CM5, much like the Kodak Zi6, suffer from blurring during low-light recording. This is something I’ve repeatedly tried to tell companies about in the past. However, it looks as though not many of them have figured out an answer yet.

Once I switched recording devices to the PM5, I noticed a few things immediately. The CM5 Bloggie is all about simplicity and ease of use. Simply push the video button to shoot a movie, and the photo button to snap a picture.

The CM5 definitely handles close-up video better than this PM5 does. You can see in the video how far out of focus this thing is, and I’m not happy about that. I definitely recommend the CM5, as long as you are not planning to shoot in low-light situations.

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What’s The World’s Most Flexible Camera Tripod?


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What am I supposed to do when I need my tripod to be flexible, or to shorten it? Most of them are not flexible in any way. However, the Gorillapod will allow me to wrap it around something if I need to!!

The Gorillapod firmly secures your camera to just about anything — anywhere and everywhere! Unlike traditional tripods, Gorillapods do not require a level or elevated surface for you to take the perfect shot. Each Gorillapod is made up of 30 or more fully articulating ball-and-socket joints. You can bend and twist them into any shape, and they’ll always keep your camera steady! Soft rings and rubberized feet prevent your Gorillapod from slipping in even the toughest environments.

Not only is this thing cool looking, it really works well. I can bend the legs any way I might need to. It will still hold the camera steady. What’s so unique about the Gorillapod is that the legs are completely flexible. They are made of a series of spheres that are tightly interconnected. No matter how many times you rearrange them, they’re still going to be solid and not break. You can make this tripod go into the oddest shapes, and fit into the oddest spaces.

Try doing any of these things with a regular tripod – you can’t! You can have a regular tripod, AND this one. Who says you can’t have more than one? So, if you’re looking for a second tripod (or even a first!), or maybe a travel one – this is definitely for you. It works well, it’s compact, and it’s completely flexible. You can even mount the Gorillapod to your dog’s back and have a doggy cam!

Don’t worry – Wicket got a nice doggy treat at the end of this video.

You can purchase the GorillaPod at ThinkGeek.com and don’t forget to use these ThinkGeek coupons:

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How to Take a Neon Crayon Photo: Shutter Priority

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The Panasonic Lumix G1 camera was sent to me to test, and I’m definitely having a lot of fun with it. There are some very cool features to this camera, which can turn your boring old photos into treasured fun memories.

The LUMIX G1 is as easy to use as a compact digital camera,
with the stunning photo quality of a digital SLR camera. It’s a new-generation digital interchangeable lens camera that does away
with the mirror box and complies with the new Micro Four Thirds System standard. In short, the G1 writes an entirely new chapter in the evolution of the digital interchangeable lens camera.

One of the coolest things about this camera is the “Live View”. It will let you frame a shot, and then shows you what the shot would look like as you change the settings on your camera. With most cameras, you’ll be looking through the lens and seeing the same thing, no matter what setting you use. With Live View, you’ll see the shot exactly as it would look once you take it off your camera!

This is probably one of the best digital cameras I’ve ever had. Even with a higher ISO setting indoors, the amount of noise is minimal. Even the automatic mode is perfect for people like me. The quality of the pictures is just amazing, and I’m seriously impressed. I definitely don’t want to give this up!

You may have seen the neon crayon trick before. It looks like I signed my name in the air, and that’s pretty much what I did using the digital camera.

  • Place your camera on a tripod (or flat surface where it won’t move).
  • Set the camera to the highest possible shutter priority (15″ – fifteen seconds – is sufficient).
  • Set the camera on a timer, so it won’t move when the shutter opens.
  • Stand in front of the camera, turn down the lights, and turn on the flashlight (or LED). Hold it in the starting position.
  • Start the countdown. When the shutter opens, start spelling your name backwards.
  • When you’re finished writing your name, pause a moment until the shutter closes. It may take a while for your camera to process everything.

That’s all there is to it! Now you can write your name in neon right in thin air!

Camera Glow Stick Trick

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My New Canon PowerShot Digital Camera: Review is Here


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What digital camera are you using, and how long have you had it? I’m curious, because I just bought a new digital camera. I played with it pretty much all day when I brought it home. My new one is a Canon PowerShot SD880IS.

It’s so easy to capture the magic of every moment when SD880 IS Digital ELPH comes along for the ride. There’s a terrific sense of creative options for your photographic sense with a wide range of shooting modes and a wide-angle 28mm lens–all because your camera sees the world without limits. Of course, it’s a stylish point of view from a camera that merges up-to-the-moment performance with the art of impeccable design.

With the PowerShot SD880 IS Digital ELPH camera’s 10.0 megapixels of imaging power, you’ve got a passport to unsurpassed image quality and versatility. Go ahead, enlarge pictures bigger than ever before without worrying about the image quality. And look forward to much more creative flexibility when you’re cropping and printing. The SD880 IS Digital ELPH may be ultra-slim and sculpture-sleek, but its focus is on the power of visual impact.

When it’s time to take a closer look, the PowerShot SD880 IS Digital ELPH features a 4x Optical Zoom and advanced Optical Image Stabilizer, greatly minimizing camera shake and maximizing the brilliance of every detail. And Canon’s precision 28mm wide-angle lens lets you capture more in every frame, so everyone fits in a family gathering shot. The PowerShot SD880 IS Digital ELPH gives you a large 3.0-inch LCD screen for excellent control when framing your shots. Canon’s PureColor LCD II offers spectacular color, resolution and contrast even when viewed at an angle. The screen is highly durable and easy to see in any light with a scratch-resistant, antireflective coating. It also features Night Display for easy viewing in low light–a perfect feature for gathering friends and family around to see your images.

Prior to using this, I used a Canon PowerShot SD700IS. That’s a good camera. It stays in my car, because inevitably I’ll be out and about and need to shoot a picture or video. I’ve been watching digital photography news, and found that Canon just released these. I can’t say this is an awesome camera, but it is very good. It has its pros and cons, as any product does.

My pros include the on-camera software, first and foremost. I often dislike the software that comes with any gadget like this, but I love this one. It’s easy to use, and does what I need. It’s solid, and well put together. It has a mini-USB connector, which I love. There’s the ability to shoot video, of course. It’s very fast. You click the power button, and it’s just ready to go. There are a ton of features on this camera, which absolutely rocks.

Another very VERY cool thing is the new “Face Self-Timer”. You set the timer, and aim. It will not take a photo until it detects a face! Also, it takes three photos in rapid succession, so you can choose the best one. Think about it, you’re on vacation, and want a picture of yourself with something in the background. This makes it SO much easier to get that great shot.

In theory, most everything is good with this camera. The thing I don’t like about it is that it seems to be “over .JPGd”. Yes, I’ve set it super-fine with max resolution. But, unfortunately, I get some artifacting, such as something had been softened in software. I believe Canon may have done this to soften the noise that may have been in a picture. It comes out too smooth though. It’s a small frustration, though.

Overall, this is a very good camera. You can get good images, despite the amount of light in a room. It will pass many tests in terms of image quality for most people. I’d definitely recommend it.

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What Kind of Digital Camera do You Prefer to Buy?


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I’m not a photographer, but I have owned several different digital cameras. I usually buy a new one every year. I love to play around with taking pictures, and shooting videos. Someone who works with Casio decided to send me the newest model to try out. The Exilim S10 looks really nice, out of the box.

Casio’s EXILIM series was born with the appearance in 2002 of a “wearable card camera”— a digital camera with a very slim form. The new EXILIM Card EX-S10 maintains all of the powerful functionality of the cameras that were later developed in that line (high pixel count, zoom functionality, LCD monitor, photo functions, etc.) but it also embodies a return to a stylish thin form and a strong design presence.

So what do I like about this new Exilim after using it for a few days? It’s very slim and lightweight, which is nice. It has a bright 2.7″ screen on the back. Boot up time is extremely fast for a digital camera. I love the fact that I can get a live histogram right in the screen. I like the fact that it has support for SDHC, which is the removable media format I’ve been using in my cameras as of late. Video quality is ok, it’s good enough for things like YouTube. I also like that you can set contrast and brightness right on the camera.

On to what I think of as cons, now. Despite spending two hours trying to take photos and get the colors right, trying different angles and positions… I cold never get a good, clear photo. They were never sharp or in focus, and were full of noise. It was frustrating because I couldn’t point-and-shoot and take a good photo. Isn’t that the whole idea of point-and-shoot? The Exilim also doesn’t have a mini-USB connector, which stinks. I have tons of mini USBs, but cannot use them. Another thing I didn’t like was that I cannot set the white balance from the top menu.

Some camera settings are optimized, yes. But picture quality is just not that great. Video quality is good. It’s good enough for YouTube or a Podcast feed. If anything, taking good still photos is what you should be looking for.

Those are my ideas of the pros and cons of the Casio Exilim S10

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DIY Digital Camera Repair

Joseph Manchor gives hope to those of us who have run into problems with our digital cameras, which are increasingly becoming disposable. That is to say, it’s often more affordable to buy a newer version of a digicam rather than repairing the broken one!

Many people have unused digital cameras hidden from view in a drawer somewhere. Their only fault that for whatever reason, they stopped working. They may have been ineligible for warranty repair, and professional repair was usually found to cost more than the value of the camera. But most people don’t realize though that almost half of these hidden cameras can be easily and quickly repaired at home. Most repairs do not even require opening the camera’s case. All that’s required is a little patience, and background knowledge.

I collect Canon digital cameras. This could be an expensive hobby, except most of mine were previously broken and acquired at very little cost from ebay. To make this work, I had to become proficient at camera repair. But having no background or knowledge in this area, you guessed it, a blog was started http://camerarepair.blogspot.com. The hope was that camera repair hobbyists would contribute to the blog, thus enhancing my reader’s (and my own) knowledge in the subject to help fix an ever expanding inventory of broken cameras.

Unfortunately, it turned out that most repair experts were rather secretive on this subject, viewing it as trade secrets. But thanks to Google, was able to find little tidbits here and there. Whatever gems were found were collected and shared on the blog. Have focused the blog on dealing with the most common problems that might be experienced. Have also tried to focus on the simplest of fixes that would work for these problems, hopefully without requiring the reader to even open their camera’s case. Happily about half the readers have reported success with the fixes listed in the blog. Noticed that you have mentioned in previous videos that you have a few Canon’s yourself. If any of them are hidden from view (they were dropped, or just stopped working), stop by the blog. Who knows, you might get lucky with one of the listed fixes.

Thanks, Joseph – you’re a hero! I’m more than happy to pass your resource along to my friends.

How to Turn Yourself into a Cartoon


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Have you ever wanted to be a cartoon? Wouldn’t it be great to live in cartoon-land? Well, now you can… even if it is just in pictures.

At befunky.com you can turn yourself, your friends, or any picture of your choosing into a cartoon! There are two separate parts of this great site. The “Cartoonizer” is where the user re-creates images/videos by turning them into digital paintings, cartoons and comics in just a few seconds without downloading any tool. The second one was Uvatar (coming from avatar where u represents “You”) which features an exact illustrated representation of its owner, including facial expressions!

Right now, Befunky is still in testing phase. You can join for free and help test by entering your email, and receiving an invite. Try it out! With just a few mouse clicks, you too can be a cartoon.

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How to Resize Photos on the Web


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Why install a program to do simple picture resizing and cropping? Instead, try the free and excellent resizr.com!

Resizr.com may lack a bit as far as layout design, but you cannot get any better with functionality. Simply upload a picture from your computer, or enter a direct URL, and you can then resize and crop your photos. There are preset resizing options, or you can customize them. It’s also a snap to check the size ratio of your project.

You can share your pictures once they are resized in many different ways: on the web, with MySpace codes, via E-Mail, and even send to your mobile phone!

All this for one low price… FREE!

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How to Get the Best Digital Camera

http://live.pirillo.com/ – AndrewsGirl wants to know which digital camera is the best. The problem with this question is that "best" is very subjective.

What exactly are you looking for in a camera? We'd recommend making a checklist of what you want your digital camera to do, and then purchasing a camera based on those specifications. Here are some things you may want to consider:

  • How does it perform in low-light/nighttime conditions? Will You be taking a lot of photos indoors or at night?
  • Do you want a camera that can also take video? How much video do you want to be sable to store? Does it need to be high-definition video?
  • What storage medium do you use? SD Card? Smart Media? Compact Flash?
  • Go into a store like Best Buy, which has a digital camera display, and try playing with those cameras. How is the user interface? Is the camera really easy to use?
  • Is battery life really important to you? Are you comfortable with buying rechargeable AA batteries or do you want the camera to come with a rechargeable battery?
  • What is your budget? Professional cameras can cost thousands of dollars, while high-end consumer cameras can cost around $500, mid range around $300, and low range below $300.

We also recommend going to your favorite photo sharing website, like Flickr, and doing a search for the camera you're interested in, and then determine if you think the camera takes good photos.

Do you have any suggestions for searching for the perfect digital camera?

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