Any ideas on a new camera?

oldrk May 24, 2011

  1. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am thinking of getting a new digital camera. I would like one that also takes vido and sound. Of course I dont have an unlimited budget so something under $400
     
  2. mikelhh

    mikelhh TrainBoard Member

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    You'll probably get a load of suggestions here, but if your budget is tight, as I posted in weekend photo fun my vote goes to this camera Olympus C750 UltraZoom Digital Camera | eBay
    assuming it's in good condition. I have two of them, one of which was purchased secondhand through ebay for about $70.
    They have plenty of manual controls including red-blue colour adjustment and in-camera sharpening of images. Can take images in tif too.
    They have video with sound but to be fair it's not up to modern day standards. But the still images are.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    This could be an interesting topic. I am daydreaming of a better camera. My old Fuji S5100 is a good trooper. Most of the time at 4MP, it's almost excellent, if not that for stills. Action can be a bit iffy at times and the flash just does not come out decently, no matter what setting is tried.

    I was talking with a friend who is a reall big time train chaser. He just got a Pentax K-r and is really happy. But I know little about them. Seems a good number of fans talk about such as Nikon or Canon. I know those are not cheap.

    Boxcab E50
     
  4. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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  5. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    For shooting miniature trains, the #1 thing you should look for is a camera that has manual control, or at the very least aperture priority mode. The best way to tell is if the camera has the selectable mode wheel (as seen on the one Darren and Mikelhh linked).

    If the camera has that wheel, you can pretty much do anything (except video on cheaper models).

    Video is available on cheaper non-manual point and shoot cameras, but it's kind of a trade off. You'll either get video options, or you'll get manual control options, or as Mikelhh said, video quality will be far outdated. To get both, you're looking at a starting price of 500+

    A better option may be to get a good still camera and a separate video device, like a flip video or something. You could get two great separate devices for well under 400 in total. :)
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Do the "flip" videos have a thread for tripod mount? Is the memory all internal/built in, not expandable? Can you plug in an external microphone?

    Boxcab E50
     
  7. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    For the Flip brand:
    Tripod Mount - Yes,
    Expandable memory - No, but comes in 4, 8, or 16 gig options. 4gigs =~ 1 hour of video.
    External Mic - unspecified. :/

    RBrodzinsky has a similar "video stick" as I've often heard theses devices referred to. He used it to record this video of Thunder Ridge. I believe his is a Kodak brand.
     
  8. Flashwave

    Flashwave TrainBoard Member

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    Red banner there Mark. Kodak's Easyshare cams have a function wheel on them, and do video for the 130-190MSRP range. Ebay for less. Mine was a great little camera for 1:87 all the way up to 1:1 trains. A DSLR it was not, but a great camera and you could play with F-stop. Then, best I can figure, the stupid thing tured on in my jacket pocket and banged against the vestibule of a 1937 Budd-built Stainless steel coach of Santa Fe lineage, and that was all she wrote for the zoom lens, but it was otherwise a great little camera.

    For real trains, I've been iusing Dad's Konica Minolta. (Hey, he's donew with it, right?) audio's lousy on it, but it takes good pictures. Even better if you know something about taking pictures. I still want a pocket cam that'll work better for models, and I'm looking at Panasonic's Lumix FP8. Amazon lists 46 5 star ratings...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2011
  9. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    For 20 some-odd years, I used an old Pentax K-1000 film camera body with a so-so not-brand-name normal lens. Manual focus through SLR viewer- the focus I see is the focus I get (not considering greater depth-of-field at smaller azpertures...). Needle-match exposure meeting. Do it without hardly thinking, or vary it over or under if there's a reason. If meters goes out, go ahead and take the picture by guess and by golly.

    But camera was getting clunky, had a chunk of something in the SLR viewfinder that did not show up in picture but frustrated pitchertaking. And I waited forever to use up roll of film and get processed. So some 30 months ago, I got an inexpensive digital model.
    Nikon Coolpix.

    It has autofocus which is great for a lot of photographers and a lot of photographs.
    I wish, wish, wish it had manual focus, for two train-hobby-specific reasons.
    1. When I am taking a photo of a prototype train rushing past, I want to be able to select the exact split-second I trigger the shutter, not have it mess around a second or two jockeying focus back and forth and then firing when IT is ready, and train has passed the optimal picture point. (Sports photographers must face the same situation.)
    2. For closeup model photos, I have heard there are great digital photo manipulation programs for combining a series of photos with different focus to make one photo with great depth of field. But how can I get a series of shots with differing focus distances when the auotofocus camera always decides what IT wants to focus on?
    (Anybody know how to get around this on a Nikon Coolpix?)

    One might naively think it would be cheaper to make a camera with less auto stuff on it. But you wouldn't have as many buyers I guess and economy-of-scale makes an economic difference. Plus camera would need to be built stronger to deal with heavy-handed hands.
    I guess I wish a lotta things. Just like I would like a custom car exactly for my unique prototype at a Trainman price...
     
  10. baldylox

    baldylox TrainBoard Member

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    FYI - cisco is stopping production on FLIPs. They are still available, can be put on a tripod and do fantastic video for dirt cheap.
    Flip Video Store
     
  11. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mine is a Kodak EIS, which can be found very reasonably priced. Uses a standard SD-RAM card. Supports tripod, external mic, etc. Full 1080p HD capability, but I am not as pleased with its ability to auto focus as with my old Sony DVR (using mini-DV cassettes). Another video I did with the Kodak.

    For stills, I have a Nikon D50. Selecting between Nikon and Canon is a "features" selection vs price point, unless you already have lenses for one. The kit lenses are very good these days, but for any serious shooting, better/faster lenses can cost lots of money.
     
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Is it too slow to react? Or simply not sharp enough, overall?

    Boxcab E50
     
  13. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

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    The FLIP is extremely impressive. I just have to learn how to put some of my video on here. Nikon D50 was an "entry level" DSLR. I love mine and am still using it. All the recent photos I have posted on here were taken with the D50. Can't beat DSLRs for NO shutter delay, necessary for trains in motion. :tb-biggrin:
     
  14. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just not sharp enough. Especially at HD, when played back on an HDTV, it is apparent.
     
  15. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree with mark that you want control over the aperture, either aperture priority (Av) or manual selection of f-stop. This is more important to sharp photos of scale models than the megapixel race. A camera that insists on taking over and shooting the fastest photo no matter what the situation will thwart many an otherwise decent modeling shot.

    Adam
     
  16. Flashwave

    Flashwave TrainBoard Member

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    Trick I was taught, more for long focus shots like planes than close-ups, but you might be able to get it to work for our isdea of differing distances. Hold the shutter button down enough for it to autofocus on something else the way you want it, then move the camera to the layout while still holding the button down and shoot.
     

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