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genome_loki
07-11-2005, 01:08 PM
What is the best digital camera to use for taking cosplay pictures?

ZiggyB
07-11-2005, 01:46 PM
There is no "best" digital camera for taking any photo, cosplay or other wise. I've seen people take amazing, stylish photos using a 2 year old, 3mp digital camera. On the other hand I've seen people take terrible pictures with a $1,000 camera set up, with expensive digital camera and external flash.

So basically go to any camera review site, I happen to like dpreview.com. Research the camera with the needs that you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend.

I'd say at a minimum, get something that has a 3x or more optical zoom. Built in flash for night pictures and something with at least 4 megapixels. But that's what I suggest for anyone that's looking to buying a digital camera, not just one for cosplay pictures.

genome_loki
07-11-2005, 07:48 PM
I've used this one digital camera that was about $200 (not mine) and the pictures always came out pixelated and messed up. I also used a really nice disposable camera... it came out pretty much the same way. I had good lighting and used flash when necessary. They only look messed up when I put them on the computer. On the digital camera's little view screen they look good, and with the disposable the prints come out well. What am I doing wrong?

edokun
07-11-2005, 10:50 PM
Try the Canon PowerShot A400. I recently bought it on sale at Foley's.

It has a 7.0x zoom, flash, can record like a camcorder (but it depends on how much space you have on your memory card), you can do black and white, it has a decent sized LCD screen......PM me to know more!

Finding Beauty
07-12-2005, 12:01 AM
I have a Konica Minolta DiMAGE X31. It's an excellent camera for my needs, which are fairly basic -- it's 3.1 MP, and only cost me about $150. It has fun built-in features that allow you to change the effects of your photos: soft filter, posterization, black and white, sepia, etc., and it takes really great night shots with or without flash. (Though clearly, without flash you need adequate lighting.) It's also easily transportable, being small enough to be pocket-sized ... and what really won me over between the DiMAGE and the Canon PowerShot was the fact that the DiMAGE has a tiny mirror on the front to aid you in taking pictures of yourself. xD

To me, the pixelization sounds like a focus issue, which can happen with any camera. When you look at things such as zoom, in particular, I agree on the 3X optical zoom. Just watch out that a camera you choose doesn't have just a digital zoom ... or, as mine, it has an optical zoom to a certain point, then it goes digital. Digital zoom reduces picture quality.

But again, I agree with Ziggy ... you can have a hugely expensive camera and still not be able to take pictures. Whereas I feel I've taken some more than adequate ones with my little $150 pocket-sized digicam. It's not necessarily the camera so much as who wields it. Kinda like the One Ring. ;)

jtnishi
07-12-2005, 01:00 AM
Just going to chime in agreement with everyone above. Arguably the best photographer in our group happens to be the one with the cheapest camera: a very average Sony compact digicam. The camera matters much much less than the photographer does.

One thing I'll suggest is that there's no good substitute for trying out any camera model you wish to buy yourself. DPReview is a good start, but once you have a model in mind, go down to a good consumer electronics store that lets you try out equipment, and seriously try it out. For many people, the important thing isn't so much tech features, but more of the little things, like the way the camera feels in your hand, the ability to use an LCD, perhaps the ability to tilt said LCD, etc.

The only other thing I'd suggest is that if you do want a digital camera, it probably does pay to think a little seriously about it, and not to jump automatically on the cheapest model available. Find some reviews, try out a model, and if it feels right for you, take the plunge and have fun!

heki-chan
07-12-2005, 01:59 AM
I have a Canon 4.0 S410, an old 3.2 Olympus and a Panasonic 2.0

Canon's colours are the most "real", Olympus' lenses usually take in a tad more red.
However i find that my Olympus is easier to focus than my Canon.

the panasonic is just s superslim for con-pics

Overall...i dunno, i like Canon S-series and Sony Cybershots the most for cosplay purposes. ^_^

shiro_hikaru
07-12-2005, 03:06 AM
I use Casio Exilim Z55. It's 5.0 megapixels, with a rather large screen (approx. 4x5.5cm) The resolution is great, when you know how to change the settings (if required). The colours are very close to what you took the picture of although for some reason the screen will have red eye but when I upload to the pc the red eye disappears. It's a rather small camera too about 5.5x8cm, so it pretty handy. It uses an average san disk so you can change how many photos can be taken, although the camera it self with the internal memory is pretty low.
the camera is around $500, and with the cameras I've worked with it's actually really good for it's price.

Eriol
07-12-2005, 10:39 AM
I would say that before you buy the camera, read up on the subject of photography. An experienced photographer can get decent images from even mediocre cameras. What good is buying a pricey camera if you don't understand some photography techniques?

There are a lot of nuances in photography and the camera manufacturers tout such aspects in their specifications. If you don't know the photography lingo and what a particular lingo is used for in photography, you won't be able to make a good buying decision.

If none of this matters to you, and you are looking for a camera that takes "good enough" photos, many 3 Megapixel cameras will do the job. Those can be had for around $100-$250.

Canon and Nikon are widely considered by photographers to have the best high-end and middle-range cameras. Olympus is a good middle-range camera manufacturer. Fuji, Kodak, and Casio seem to push for affordable low-end and middle-end cameras. I think Sony models are overpriced for their feature sets, and I would not recommend them.

Vicky
07-12-2005, 11:47 AM
I used to sell cameras, and have owned all the major names.

The best advice I can give you is to stay away from Fuji, ESPECIALLY if it's "Super CCD". I don't care how good the salesman is, they produce bad quality photos! Especially at cons.

Don't be afraid to leave the store without a camera. It pays to research.
I recommend http://www.stevesdigicams.com/ for honest camera reviews.

And be careful where you buy it.
- Stores that're sponsored by certain companies will lie to sell you their sponsor. I know this because my previous employer was sponsored by Fuji, and the stuff that came out of their mouths was ridiculous.
- Avoid WalMart if you have questions or concerns. Walmart does not train their staff on cameras. If they know anything, it's their own opinions and may not have solid support for it.
- Be honest. Some people in the camera sales business only care about what they have to do to sell you that camera. If you don't like it for whatever reason, don't just settle with it!
I went to BLACKs to buy cameras that my store didn't have access to. Right away the salesguy was trying to sell me crap, even after I told him I sold cameras myself and knew exactly what I wanted.
Apparently "I'm not interested in this," means "please, tell me more about this shitty camera!"
I ended up having to ask for the manager, who thankfully spoke to me like I wasn't an idiot, and actually helped me find the camera of my dreams ^_^

Expect to pay around $200 for a good starter-end digital camera ^^
I recommend at least 3.0 megapixels. Avoid digital zoom.
My favourite brand is Sony, but they're not for everyone. Especially if price is a concern.
Good luck!

stefaniecat
07-12-2005, 01:47 PM
Photographer here, who recently upgraded from a Vivitar 2.3 megapixel camera with 3x optical zoom to the Cannon Rebel Digital SLR (and that was one big quality and price jump). My nickel's worth of input:

When I was looking to move up in camera models I was examining high-zoom cameras with at least 4 megapixels because I wanted to do at least 8x10 sized prints. From that, and previous camera experience, I can give you a bit of general advice...

If all you want is 4x6 photos, 3 megapixels is fine. If you want to go to 5x7s, you'll manage fine as well. If you want 8x10s I'd say go 4-5 (five being better). Because once you exceed your megapixels to sizing, you get pixelated photos.

Since you're going to a con to take photos, size may be an issue. A compact camera with no detatchable lenses and gear that you can do quick snaps with is probably more what you want than my monster of an SRL (which I carried for Anime Expo with no regrets)

I'll address basic zoom by echoing what has already been mentioned: Ignore digital zoom, it stinks. Optical zoom 3x is probably good for basic needs and comes on many small-sized cameras.

And the main thing I recomend is: research! Find out what kind of features you MUST have in a camera, and then find out which kind of features are nice but you can live without. And go hold the things - Best Buy, Fry's, Circuit City, etc. all have cameras out on display that you can hold in your hand and get a feel for their grip, heft, and button placement.... and those are a bigger deal than you might think. Some places will let you also take shots with the camera when its on with a memory card... that does help to see your recycle time (big issue for larger zoom cameras).

Memory Cards: While its not as important as the camera itself, what type of memory card your camera will require will up the price of your picture taking gear. Compact Flash memory is a lot cheaper than XD memory, to the point that a 1 GB CF card can cost as much as a 528 XD... And different brands of camera use different types of memory cards.

- Avoid WalMart if you have questions or concerns. Walmart does not train their staff on cameras. If they know anything, it's their own opinions and may not have solid support for it.

Avoid them for photo developing too. Their colors are horrid, and their prints come out fuzzy. Black and white photos = green and white or blue and white depending on your color views... never again.

Oh, and genome_loki

They only look messed up when I put them on the computer. On the digital camera's little view screen they look good, and with the disposable the prints come out well. What am I doing wrong?

1- the view screen on a digital always looks good: they're no bigger than 2 inch screens after all. Those are useful IMO to see if you cropped a head off, and if they have their eyes open (sometimes too small to tell) but not to see if focus is off.

2- Printing from the disposable prints is the film itself, and if you take it somewhere to develop your film then yeah, they come out good 'cause they got the developing equipment to make it that way.

3- It was suggested that the pics might be out of focus if they're blurry. But I can't tell you what is making them 'messed up' because I don't know the specifics of the 'mess up' on the computer screen. Are they out of focus and blurry? Do they look pixellated? Were you scanning prints or doing a direct transfer?

Vicky
07-12-2005, 02:16 PM
Avoid them for photo developing too. Their colors are horrid, and their prints come out fuzzy. Black and white photos = green and white or blue and white depending on your color views... never again.
amen! I used to work in one of those photo specialized processing shops, you'd be AMAZED at how poorly their printing can be. The stuff customers would bring to us in hopes we could do better was ridiculous. Mind you, not every one of their prints suck, just the majority ^^;
Never take your film there either! about 2/5ths of the time they ruin negatives!! We had a couple who brought in 9 rolls of wedding photos... ALLLLL RUINED!! And I mean, the negatives were beyond repair ruined T-T They looked like beautiful photos too. Apparently they cant mix chemicals either ~_~

Your post was really good!
I am SO jealous of your Digial Rebel!! I wanted that camera the day it came out XD It's a lot cheaper now, but I'm looking at other SLRs as well.

stefaniecat
07-12-2005, 03:02 PM
I'm thrilled with my Rebel (got it in Feb). I got it with a kit promotion: the body, and two lenses, the 1gb card, a tripod and camera bag too! The tripod is so-so and the bag is decent, but the rest of the package was top notch ^^

Still, the bulk of the Rebel (and all Digital SLRs) and the lens and such that you hae to take with you, as well as the manual zoom and other features that make me love it - NO RECYCLE TIME! AND A REAL VIEW FINDER! NONE OF THAT DIGITAL VIEWFINDER CRUD! - might make it undesireable for a lot of convention goers... but keep it one of my 'no regrets' purchases.

I looked into the Nikon before I chose the Cannon - I liked the grip and the weight balance on the Cannon better. I have small hands and the Nikon extra heft and balance was even harder to get my hands about. And, all their Cannon lenses and external flashes are so interchangable that Sunday another CAnnon camera user was able to loan me his flash and we knew it would fit and work perfectly. ^^

Eriol
07-12-2005, 03:48 PM
You can also find good camera shops by asking local photographers where they shop. Usually the smaller shops have more knowledgeable staff.

jade_dincht
07-12-2005, 04:28 PM
just to add my 2 cents as long as it's 3.0 mega pixles and above then it's fine.

kaishaku
07-12-2005, 05:44 PM
Here is my obscure and probably irrelevant-to-you points on digital cameras:
* Kodak is Good because all of their stuff uses PTP (and is thus very easy to use in Un*x)
* Most of the time I only take pictures to post on web sites or e-mail to friends. For this purpose my 2.3 megapixel Kodak DC3400 was more than sufficient, in fact, I usually kept it on the lowest size and quality settings (and it still looked great)

I'll probably replace it with another Kodak.

Miyu
07-12-2005, 09:38 PM
Here is my obscure and probably irrelevant-to-you points on digital cameras:
* Kodak is Good because all of their stuff uses PTP (and is thus very easy to use in Un*x)
* Most of the time I only take pictures to post on web sites or e-mail to friends. For this purpose my 2.3 megapixel Kodak DC3400 was more than sufficient, in fact, I usually kept it on the lowest size and quality settings (and it still looked great)

I'll probably replace it with another Kodak.


i would say the best camera for the money and quality would be the canon 20D. i've heard that fujifilm is good as well.

Shania_Nowhere
07-12-2005, 10:37 PM
Two words: optical zoom. O_O Do NOT buy one with digital, your pictures will come out pixilated and don't focus long distances. Case and point -

Digital zoom: http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=291601

Optical zoom: http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=387581

^_^ Hope that helps, good luck!

Okitasan
07-13-2005, 12:21 AM
My old camera was a 4 mp Casio Exilim EX-Z4. It wasnt too good, it took good shots while on a tripod, but on other occasions it was mostly lacking.. (not to mention it always gave a horrible blue haze which I couldn't get rid of even after adjusting white balance, etc.)
While in Japan I just bought a Sony Cybershop 7.2 mp DSC-W7 and it is a frickin awesome camera. Great clear shots. I just wish I had it from the start of my trip :\ Its a little expensive, but very awesome.

Eriol
07-13-2005, 11:08 AM
Two words: optical zoom. O_O Do NOT buy one with digital, your pictures will come out pixilated and don't focus long distances. Case and point -

Digital zoom: http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=291601

Optical zoom: http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=387581

^_^ Hope that helps, good luck!

Digital zoom is software manipulation to enlarge the image. It is no different than using Photoshop or other image editor program and using its zoom function.

Optical zoom is using the lenses. However, having a better optical zoom makes the camera more expensive (i.e. better lenses and mechanics).

Read the camera specifications very carefully. Manufacturers often obscure the optical and digital zoom values into a single zoom number, in order to sell the camera better. You should research what the camera's optical zoom is.

Vicky
07-13-2005, 11:20 AM
Yes Kodak are good cameras now ^_^
When I bought one 2 (3?) years ago, they were horrible XD But now they're great!

engrish
07-13-2005, 01:37 PM
The only advice I can give is don't spend all your photography budget on the camera. You need to also set aside some money for other things like maybe an extra battery, memory sticks, software, inkjet toner for the printer, ect...

Lily-chan
07-13-2005, 01:40 PM
I have an Argus DC3640, 3.1 Megs with a 4x Digital zoom, internal flash, and can take video, uses SD cards. I love it, its great for everyday photography, and cons as well, especially for what I paid (and I lucked into a free bag, cleaner kit and all sorts of other accessories). It cost about $100 which is fair, and its digital zoom is amazing. Surprizingly enough, I haven't had a pixelated picture from it. Ever. Even at max zoom. Half the time they come out blurry but that's operator error, since the blurry ones come from other people taking pictures with it.

Its a good starter. You can adjust sharpness and some other things of the sort. Its lightweight, and fits nicely in my hands (I have small fraile hands mind you.) I only plan to buy another one because I want sepia/black and white features and stuff like that.

Though Kodak Easyshares are also really good. They are however, larger and a bit fumbly for those who aren't use to them.

edokun
07-13-2005, 01:51 PM
After August 21, I'll have posted pics I took from Realms-con.

~Yukiko~
07-13-2005, 08:02 PM
OMG, digital camera thread. I actually LOST MINE on a friggin' taxi!!
So I'll be getting another for my birthday... Maybe you guys can help me? I want a camera that is cheap-ish ($300 the most because I suck at getting money) but takes GOOD QUALITY photos. You know what I mean? Like for example, a cybershot with and without flash, even though it's clear, it just looks like crap. Flash makes things all shiney and weird. They almost look as bad as disposable camera pictures. Then some other digital cameras take pictures that look like photographer-quality... THAT'S the kind I want.

I was thinking Canon PowerShot A75? What do you suggest?

edokun
07-13-2005, 10:59 PM
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0408/04081904canon_a400.asp

-points to given link-

Go there, it tells you all about the cam that I have. It gives more info than I could.

Hikaruchan
07-14-2005, 01:27 AM
I love my Sony Cybershot S85, its one of the better cameras I have used (including friends more expensive cameras) - it just needs a better zoom. My sister has a fujifilm, its a piece of junk.

genome_loki
07-14-2005, 08:44 AM
What is a good store to buy a good digital camera?

!*Jessi-Chan*!
07-14-2005, 03:15 PM
Two Cents from a person who doesn't know all the tech. stuff about cameras

About the whole Wal*Mart issue, don't avoid it all together...just avoid the staff. They have some pretty good cameras there if you know what you're looking for. I took a gamble and brought a Samsung for about $137...with 4 megapixels. It's the best digital camera I've ever used. About their photo developing: I don't know...I never GO to Wally World for that. Usually head over to CVS..Wait..I did go with some wedding photos before. Yeah, they ARE horrible! Except for that little Kodak machine...It does pretty good MOST of the time, but your picture could come out a different color from the original. I had orange teeth in my senior pics....

Finding Beauty
07-14-2005, 03:20 PM
What is a good store to buy a good digital camera?

Look around and comparison shop. I bought mine off Walmart.com, because it was what I wanted and it was on clearance ... and I was able to get a replacement agreement through their website. However, in an actual Wal-Mart store, they do not offer the protection plan!

I would definitely recommend a replacement agreement, no matter where you go (as long as the place offers it, at least), because they're only about $15-20 extra, and you never know when you'll get jostled around in a crowd at a con and drop your camera. I almost dropped mine several times at Animazement!

ZiggyB
07-14-2005, 10:31 PM
Ok, I think that this thread has run it's course. This thread is no longer about photography techniques. So it's going to be closed.