kid pictures

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by nbs2, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #1
    With Lori being pregnant, I've been thinking more about being able to take pictures. I have my old point and shoot that works great (Canon A70), but at 3.2MP, I'm sort of limited in how much I cropping/enlarging I can do.

    I'm looking for a fairly affordable DSLR, but knowledge of what lenses I would need and what brands to look at is non-existant. I know that my dad has the lenses from his broken 30yo Nikon, but I don't know if they would fit a newer body. I've heard of the Nikon D50 and the Canon 30d and the Pentax *ist DL (my sister-in-law loves hers). Other than that, I'm lost.

    I was wondering if anybody has suggestions for what I should look for. I figure most prints will be 4x6-8x10, but I am planning on doing a lot of cropping with kids squirming/running/etc and not getting much with them sitting on one place.

    Maybe I should stick with a newer point/shoot, maybe I should look for a cheap DSLR. Any thoughts on which way, any thoughts on a brand?
     
  2. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

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    #2
    I recently just purchased a Panasonic DMC-TZ1. So far I love it, but it has it's faults (noise in low-light). The biggest features worth mentioning here is the 10x optical zoom fit inside a compact form-factor. It's just 1.5in thick, and fits in my pocket. As most long zoom cameras, it has image stabilization, so the long shots should still be focused. It also has a big, bright 2.5in LCD on the back as a viewfinder.

    I would suggest that you search around for the reviews, etc, to make sure it's a proper fit.

    And check out my Flickr account to see if you like the shots.
     
  3. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #3
    A couple of comments on this front - first, you won't regret getting a reasonably nice camera, like a Canon 350D or Nikon or whatever. They're nice in that you can get different lenses, they're fast for action shots, etc.

    But they're also bigger and more difficult to carry around "just in case". They key with kids is that you often want to take a picture when you weren't planning on it, and it can be nice to have a smaller, more portable camera with you.

    Several people I know have the Canon PowerShot series of cameras, which are roughly the size of a deck of cards, and they're great for several reasons - small (easy to carry in a purse or pocket), good battery life, and they take movies. One thing I've noticed is that since we got our digital SLR, I haven't taken many movies of the kids. I think my present to myself for the third child will be a decent smaller camera.
     
  4. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #4
    I agree with emw, completely. You'll love a DSLR, and the pictures you can take with, and if you're patient and listen to advice around here for lenses to buy, you'll love the lenses, too! :)D)

    But you'll lose out on the small factor of some of these newer, powerful P&S cams. My friend has one of the newer Canon Powershots, and it's awesome, takes 6 or 7MP shots, as well as TV (maybe higher?) resolution video. Lots of features, including full manual control and slow-motion video.. He used two 1GB cards to make sure he has plenty of space.

    It's all up to you, I don't think you could go wrong either way, but personally for your needs, I would look into the higher-up Canon Powershots.. Let me find a link.

    Here you go, my two picks for you to check out.
    For the tiny factor, this one is awesome- http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=145&modelid=13019

    And for more manual options, and DSLR-like quality (8MP, too)- http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=144&modelid=9823

    Those are just links to the Canon site, though, so I would look them up elsewhere for reviews.
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #5
    The pros to the DSLR are: picture quality & response speed (turn on and shot-to-shot), flexibility (# of setting, options...)
    The disadvantages of DSLRs are: size, size and size.

    There'll be plenty of times you want to take pictures of the little one where carrying a DSLR around will be inconvenient. So you might want to consider one of the smaller P&S cameras as well and keep it on your belt/in your pocket.

    That said I've found the Canon Powershot S series to be a good compromise of form fit and function. Until the most recent models they've supported RAW mode output and have far more settings than the smaller ELPH/SD series P&S and are also pretty fast.

    I'm seriously looking at switching from my Canon S45 to one of the smaller P&S models that seenew was mentioning, for the added speed and a better mini movie mode, since we seem to use that more and more and drag out the camcorder less and less....

    B
     
  6. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #6
    That's what I'm trying to figure out with this decision.

    If I understand right, you are suggesting that I get a new Powershot to replace my "aging" PS, or get the DSLR to use on specific occasions and use the A70 for more general use. Or am I wrong?

    It sounds like you would recommend the former.

    Regarding video, we have a fairly cheap camcorder (the midgrade Panasonic consumer DV - nothing special), so I figure we will replace the still for this kid and the camcorder for the next (hopefully not for a few years after)...
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #7
    Oh, and on the 30 y.o. Nikon lenses, I have a Nikon SLR of that vintage, and my experience has been that I have been able to get some newer lenses to work with it, but the other way is difficult since the new lenses generally require auto-focus features and the like...

    B
     
  8. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #8
    Remember the old adage "the best laid plans of mice and men..."? Well, that's how it is when picking out a camera/camcorder for taking pictures and movies of your kids.

    If I'm correct, this is your first child. You're thinking "I'm going to be taking so many great shots of the baby, and movies, and we'll share them on the web and print them out for photo albums, and it's gonna be fantastic, especially if I have a kick-ass camera."

    In reality, for the first couple of months, this might work - heck, the kid can hardly move so it won't be running away from you while you try to take pictures, and most shots will be posed to some degree, so the bulky DSLR will be nice. Assuming, of course, that you're awake enough to find it/use it. ;)

    However, after awhile, especially when you realize that in order to go to grandma and grandpa's house you have to practically pack up everything the baby owns, you're going to wish you had a smaller camera so you can carry one less bag. You'll also find that they do funny things for about 2 minutes, and you need to capture those moments quickly.

    The nice thing about the PowerShots, in my limited (I don't own one) experience, is that they are fairly quick to take a picture. We have an old Minolta and by the time the camera would actually focus and decide to snap the shot, the kids would be halfway across the room, or picking their nose, or some other shot-ruining thing would happen. So we got the DSLR. That, and I like it because it mounts to my telescope, but that's a whole different thread.

    Anyway, my recommendation is that unless you're a professional photographer and really need a wide array of lenses and such, you're better off getting one of the newer PowerShots, like the 700 linked above, which will give you fast pictures, good zoom, reasonable movies, etc. An all-in-one package that you can throw in your shirt pocket and have with you when you need it.

    In fact, I think I've really just convinced myself to get one as my "having a third baby" present.
     
  9. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #9
    In my experience the DLSR will win in the speed front. (I don't own one, but my S45 is pretty fast (compared to the Canon G3 I also own)). I've just often been to events and found the DSLRs boot up faster, focus faster and have much faster shot-to-shot rates than the fastest P&S.

    I should be getting my new compact in a week or so and will report back on how I like it. I'm on the fence between the Canon SD600 or the Lumix Z1.

    B
     
  10. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #10
    I'd agree - but for most kid shots, especially early on, super-speed isn't such a big deal ;)
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #11
    Yeah, but once they're mobile.... You need every millisecond to capture them just at the right moment. ;)

    Right now, I wish that my two boys would be able to both look at the camera for more than a fraction of a second. We get all kinds of snapshots where one kid looks great and the other is looking off into space... ;)

    B
     
  12. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #12
    That's where Photoshop comes in handy. :D
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #13
    I'm not that adept, but I'll admit to occasionally having just cropped out the other kid. Even iPhoto can do that.

    B
     
  14. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

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    #14
    One thing to consider is how well the camera will take pictures in low light.

    A lot of point and shoot cameras won't get a high enough shutter speed indoors (unless you use the flash)... and since kids move quickly, the pictures you get will often show your child as a blur.

    With a DSLR and a fast lens (like an inexpensive 50mm f1.8 lens) you'll be able to take nice pictures indoors without using the flash at all - and get shutter speeds fast enough to stop the motion of your child. Plus you can buy an external flash and bounce the light off of the ceiling (which usually looks better than the flash pointing straight at your subject, like most point and shoot cameras do).

    There is however one point and shoot camera I'd consider now, which is the Fuji F30. This camera has a sensor in it that performs decently in low light:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/FujifilmF30/
     
  15. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #15
    GAA!...that is almost a direct quote of what I told Lori the other day :D I always thought I would be different from everybody else...

    Anyway, based on the advice from all of you and my preference for Canon cameras (I really have had a great experience with my current camera), I think I have gotten my list narrowed to 5 cameras (Pro 1, G6, S3 IS, S80, and SD700 IS). Looking at Amazon, only the S3 and the SD700 are still active models. They all look like they have fairly similar specs and pretty good reviews.

    If anybody has time or experience, would you be willing to give me a bit of a comparison. Alternatively, if you know of a site that has good review/comparisons, that would be great (Amazon reviews are nice, but a lot are longwinded)

    EDIT: I should mention that like balamw, Photoshop, me and adept will never ever be found in the same sentence (of course, maybe if I went out and got a copy, that might change someday;))
     
  16. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

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    #16
    The Pro 1 and G6 are both discontinued, and while they are nice cameras would probably be hard to find at this point.

    The S3 IS is probably the most versatile camera of the bunch... with a big zoom range from 36mm - 432mm. I owned the previous version (the S2) and liked the camera a lot... but was disappointed in it for not taking great pictures indoors, so sold it to buy a DSLR. Outdoor pics were generally very good though. If you're interested in a camera like this, you may also want to look at the Sony H2 or H5, or the Panasonic DMC-FZ7.

    I've heard the S80 is nice, but I don't know much about it... or about the SD700IS.

    dpreview.com is great place for camera reviews, and you can get some advice from people in their forums too
     
  17. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #17
    Canon S2 IS

    Hi - I have a Canon S2 IS and I assume the S3 IS is the update for this camera. It is a great camera you can read the nitty-gritty on the web. Go here for digital camera reviews and side-by-side comparisons:

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html

    Really an excellent site.

    My $0.02:

    I *love* the S2 IS for a few reasons. 1) It should 640x480 30FPS stereo video and has a dedicated button to shoot video. Why is this important? The video quality is good enough and you can leave the camcoder behind (or simply not buy one, as was the case with me). 2) At 5MP you can shoot a crop all you need and still get good prints. 3) You can take full quality digital photos *while* you are shooting video. It simply leaves a breif blank in the video, but still records audio. Very cool. 4) Good flash and good size lense. This is important for shooting indoors. Which you will do a lot of with a <6 month old. 5) Plenty of long exposure options for shooting the baby while sleeping even when the bedroom light isn't on, but the hall light is. Keep that camera steady on the crib, my man. 6) Reasonably compact. Not a deck of cards, but not as big as a DSLR. 7) Good zoom capability. Nice for catching baby and mom from across the room without interrupting...and the digital image stabilization helps out the telephoto shots.

    All in all I really like this camera and I bet the S3 IS is just a bit better, but I haven't looked at the specs.

    Hope that helps.

    Happy fatherhood.

     
  18. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #18
    The S80 seemed like a step back from the earlier S series cameras (which were essentially the G series in a smaller box) since it removed RAW mode and a couple other features. Several reviewers complained about the controls.

    The one thing keeping me away from the 700IS is many reports that the mini movie mode is rendered useless by the noisy IS, and all you end up hearing is a whine. :( Which is why I am only considering the SD600 (I prefer to have an optical viewfinder so the 630 is useless).

    I do get a lot of use out of PhotoShop Elements. I couldn't take pictures without resorting to PS to remove color casts, flash fill, dodge and burn, and the occasional clone stamp to eliminate minor features, but I've just never been good at pasting people's heads on others bodies, etc...

    EDIT: hayduke, your post on the S2 is making me reconsider... I must say that one feature I miss from my G3 is the swivel screen (also on the S3 IS) which allows you to take "periscope" shots from perspectives you can't get your eye to.

    B
     
  19. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #19
    I didn't realize they'd put the Core Duo chip into a camera :p

    Also, are you saying that the SD630 doesn't have an optical viewfinder? I'll have to check that out, since that's now become a necessity for me.
     
  20. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #20
    Yeah, the SD630 eliminates the SD600's viewfinder for a larger screen. (2.5" vs. 3.0") the whole back is the LCD.

    B
     
  21. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #21
    Hmmm.....so it sounds like the S3, SD600 and the S70 (if I can find it and if it has RAW support), in that order, are my best bets?

    That S3 sounds really nice....and the $430 pricepoint on amazon seems rather reasonable....
     
  22. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #22
    If you and Photoshop don't have a good relationship, RAW may not be a big selling point for you.

    Otherwise, note the dimensions.

    S3 - Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 3.1 x 3.0 inches ; 14.6 ounces

    SD600 - Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 2.1 x 0.9 inches ; 5.0 ounces

    The S3 is nearly 7 times larger (volume) and 3 times heavier. It may not seem like alot, but something to consider.
     
  23. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #23
    I was going to recommend the S3 IS as I started at the top and read down. Go to a circuit city or Best Buy and you can try one that is teathered via a cable to the display table - also try the Elph SD 700 IS. I've heard great things about the S2 and S3 from friends. The Elph is well reviewed and I love my older one, but not my newer one.

    I loved my S400 Elph (4 MP, compact flash) that is now discontinued. The newer SD400 is no where near as good in terms of image quality, or auto white balance, so I'm not as keen on the newer Elphs. That said, I haven't tried the newest of the new - the new SD600 and SD 700IS. The latter may do very well - if so, I can tell you that the form factor of that camera (the Elph) made it an always with me camera. This was great because I ended up shooting most of my pictures with it and many more of our movies than with our dedicated Sony video DV video camera. It's a camera and a video camera that can fit in your front pocket - very usable.

    Either one will be easy to take into the delivery room or operating room if it's a C-Section.

    See photographs of my second daughter's birth - last week - at my web site. The first were shot with the SD400 (notice the yellow white balance issue). The second part were shot with my 30D and a nice lens, a 24-105 f4 L IS. No post processing (meaning changing exposure or saturation levels, etc. after the fact, (although I do shoot RAW + JPEG Fine just in case wiht my 30D) for any of these. http://web.mac.com/tjparadise/iWeb/Paradise Cannon Family Website/Amelia's First Photos.html - The white balance issue with the first could have been solved by specifying a white balance on the Elph and over riding the auto. (for a comparison of how much better the older S400 Elph did, see my first daughter's birth in the same sort of O.R. setting three years ago at: http://homepage.mac.com/tjparadise/2003_Photographs/PhotoAlbum47.html - all of those shots were with that older Elph (which was so good it was the main snap shot camera I used for a long while, using my film Nikon SLR more rarely) - nicer image quality, white balance is right on. I sometimes wonder if that older model was too good and Canon knew it. Again, it would be great if the new SD700 IS performed at that level.

    Congratulations and good luck!
     
  24. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #24
    Maybe this is the earlier bravado speaking, but I am hoping to get familiar with Photoshop, eventually. I figure after this and then convincing Lori that we need a desktop, I can start spending time on figuring out how to make Photoshop Miracles™.

    Yeah, the S3 is relatively a lot bigger, but, I'd like to see how it fells in absolute terms. If the SD is a good deal more convenient, I may fall back on it, but there is something comforting about having that grip (I have a tendency to be just a little off kilter when taking pictures freehand).
     
  25. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #25
    Whatever you do, I would consult dpreview for in-depth reviews beforehand. You might find something in there that you don't want in your camera, and might find too late otherwise. I used it a while back when deciding between a Canon Powershot Pro1 and Nikon Coolpix 8800.
     

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