Toms Thoughts on Digital Photography

version 3.0 July 2005

Please keep in mind that this is a general story there are, just as with the normal cameras, good ones and bad ones. And finally I've updated this article... Happy now Ton? :-)

Well.... Lets get started with the Pro's and Cons

What are the Pro's of a digital Camera?

  • no development cost (this gets more and more important to me)
  • pictures can be transferred straight to the PC
  • bad pictures can be deleted on most models
  • high resolution (now up to 8.4 megapixels in consumer DSLR's) and up to 24.8 megapixels in the newest studiomodels!)
  • you can experiment al lot more and don't have to wait days to see how your photos turned out.

And the Cons.....

  • they can still eat batteries
  • some cameras have terrible lenses
  • expensive (some cost more than a SLR)
  • you have to own a computer or laptop
  • no hardcopy (you have to have a color printer)
  • most cameras do not come with interchangeable lenses (make that 85 %!!)
  • some models are slow to record a picture or are slow at taking one
  • can't see the LCD in sunlight (some models use this as a viewfinder
  • Lenses sometimes have distortions (barrel distorion)
  • some camera can have a green or other primary color glow to their shots
  • Not much in ultra wide angle lenses

It's been a while since I've updated this article and since may 2001 when I first wrote it a lot has happened. The DSLR has finally taken off in the consumer end. And thanks to Canons pricebreaking 300D a 6.4 megapixel is affordable for the prosumer. And this is not all. Since Canon was smart enough to equip the 300D with an EOS mount you can buy a simple adaptor ring (YES a ring, not an optical element) and use all of your oldies but goodies M42 stuff. And why not? M42 may have gone the way of the dodo but it still is very good glass. For instance I own several photosniper. The glass on the photosniper is the heavy but good Tair 3ph(xx) a very good 300mm lens. So now I have as one of the few people in the world a digital Sniper with a prime lens of 480mm since the Canon 300D turns a 300 into a 480....this is like wow...

Another advantage is the exceptional speed, I take my shots and I can have them in my computer and ready for webpublication in minutes. With my old slr I had to wait 3 days or more. And memory is cheap.... an SD card of 512 mb can cost between 30 and 40 euros. This is very very cheap for lots of shots.

But it is not all good. Some camera's still eat batteries. A grim comparison is a Minolta of a friend of mine which is very new (2004 introduction in september) and he needs three batteries (he even want another one so he will have four) if he wants to shoot all day. This was at the Paris airshow, we shot from about 9:30 to about 17:00 and he was out of batteries. I shot untill 15:30 on my first pack (the standard BP511 1100mah) and the rest of the day with a 3rd party batterypack (1300mah Unomat) I've even got about the same resolution (maybe 1 megapixel more) as him and I switched lenses a couple of times during the day and still my Canon outlasted that other cam.

Having said that.... it seems that everyone wants to sell you a digital camera nowadays and the worst thing is... they don't care about the quality. Some have simply horrible lenses (Which idiot came up with the plastic lens we will never know but we hate him...) some have totally unbalanced firmware. I've seen camera's with a horrible greenish or reddish hue to it.... or how about a camera that fades to blue in shots.... mind you these are the cheapo consumer models but even the big brands can produce some real dogs....

Another friend of mine did it the right way. He wanted another digicam. He used to own a Trust, not fancy it simply took shots. So he went to the internet and came up with several option. Now before he simply bought what looked good, he looked up user reviews. This is the smartest thing to do. With the overwhelming amount of digicams now produced you simply have to look up user reviews. What good is a state of the art camera with 8 megapixels if the lens turns into a fisheye? Or that the colors are all messed up? Or a whitebalanceproblem that turns blue sky with fluffy white clouds into one big white mess?

No... the keyword today when buying a digital camera is REVIEW.

You want a new digicam... read reviews..

So... go visit these guys.

Steves Digicams
Digital Photography Review