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  1. #26
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enine View Post
    But did you use good NiMH, if you use those crappy ones from a store that come with a 15 minute cooker/charger then you won't get good life.

    The model the OP mentioned has one fatal flaw: "Power Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-5L "
    When you start to own more than on or two electronic items you have to standardize on power. For example, we have more than one digicam now, wife's big S3IS, the 1100IS I carry on bike rides, kids each have digicams, leapters, radios, etc. All those take AA's and we have one good charger (MAHA C9000) so I can just take a couple spares on bike rides. If we used lithium ion based electronics we would have to buy a lot of different spare batteries and worry about the tangle of chargers. Then factor in the cost of new lithium ion batteries about every three years for each.
    The biggest problem with NiMH is crappy chargers, as you say. Most chargers sold in big stores are junk. I have always used Maha chargers, and recently switched to a LaCrosse, they're both good. Almost all of the batteries you can buy, even the big name ones (which I consider the worst batteries) or generics bought from China, will work fine if you have a good charger.

    I don't have a problem with LiIon for cameras. My point and shoot takes AAs but LiIon is OK too. I have never bought a name-brand (Canon) battery for my Canon cameras; from my cheap point and shoots to my two SLRs, I buy aftermarket batteries; they're about $10 each normally and work at least as well as the Canon battery in my experience.

    I do have an extra 2 chargers, but OTOH I don't have to charge them as much. I do have a battery holder that allows me to use AA NiMH in my SLR if I wanted to, but 6 AA cells will give me maybe 200 shots, whereas a single LiIon that is as big as two AAs gives me about 800 shots. Two of them will fit in the same holder as the 6 AA cells and gives me on the order of 8 times as many shots, so many that I'd have to be on a really long vacation to someplace spectacular to come close to running them dead. I don't even bother packing a charger unless I'm going to be gone a week or more.

    Even in a point-and-shoot, I get 400+ frames out of LiIons.

    And I don't mind using the LiIon and its separate charger for my bike headlight either, even though it's another charger, because the performance is absolutely worth it.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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    I get 400 shots off a a pair of eneloops in my little P&S Canon, the performance is about the same as the equivalent lithium ion based, Canon is good about having the same model available either way. The first could rides I took with my handlebar mount I ran through 400 shots and had to change batteries in the middle, I carry a spare pair since my Garmin used a pair of A's also. This is where AA's have the advantage, multiple devices. I'd have to carry two different spare batteries for the camera and gps where one set works for either with AA's. It gets even more cost effective with more devices, $10 for 4 AA's that can go in any of 10 different devices, or 10 different lithium ion batteries at $10 each.
    Plus remember lithium ion looses 10-20% of its life per year so after 3-4 years you should replace your battery and spare $20. I have AA NiMH that are 10 years old and tested at 80% capacity when I moved the to kids toys and bought eneloops. So when you consider lifespan you need to replace lithium ion 2-3 times as often as NiMH. Then consider you typically need a dedicated charger for each lithium ion device, i.e. can't share the camera charger with the gps charger etc. I have one charger for my 10 devices so the $60 to buy that one charger gets divided between 10. Also no more getting somewhere and realizing I packed the camera but packed the GPS charger.

  3. #28
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    If I ever think of a reason I'd want GPS on my bike, it'd make sense a little I guess.

    I don't have any camera batteries that cost $20; even the SLR LiIon batteries are only about $10 each. The AA NiMHs that I have that are more than 6 years old are indeed working well, but since they were only 1600 mAH to start with, they're still getting thrown out as the new cells are pushing around 2600mAH on actual tests.

    The big win on LiIon up until recently was that the NiMHs self-discharged so badly that I had to charge my camera batteries every 3 or 4 weeks even if I didn't use the camera, or it'd be showing low battery after just a dozen shots or so. With the new low-self-discharge cells that's not much of a problem, but hey, guess what, that means I'm replacing all my batteries again.

    No charger that I know of costs $60 unless you're really getting ripped off. I paid $36 for my LaCrosse NiMH, and there are no really better chargers around; the Maha high end costs more, but it's not really better. LiIon based devices all come with one battery and a charger so I rarely buy a charger for them, and even if I do, aftermarket chargers for LiIon are VERY cheap - turns out LiIon cells are trivial to build charge circuits for; I pay < $10 for any LiIon charger I've bought recently and had no problems.

    I actually really like AA NiMH and have been a proponent of them for a long time, but at the end of the day I don't find it a big deal to manage multiple batteries. I have two things that take AA NiMHs, my Dinotte taillight and my camera flash. My SLR takes one LiIon cell, my headlight takes another, that's it. The headlight needs charging daily, so I just have a charger under the desk at work. As a bonus, a LiIon cell charger costs $8; they're simple. The SLR lasts on the order of 800 shots on a charge, so except for vacations I go through one charge a month or so, and I have three packs so I could get away with digging our the charger every 3 months if I wanted (because with LiIon, the charge DOES last that long).

    Bottom line is that yes, there are multiple chargers, but the batteries last so long that I honestly don't usually even bother packing a charger unless I'm going to be gone quite a while (like more than a week) and expect to use the camera a lot.

    At one time I think everything I had used AA NiMH cells, but I don't allow battery type to cause me to buy a device with inferior features, and in the case of my headlight, that was the case, and SLRs really aren't available that take AA cells (except with a battery grip, and even then, they're ridiculous, getting very few shots per set of cells).

    Honestly, my point-and-shoot takes AAs, but I only shoot 30 frames a month or so with it, so I load it with Lithium AA cells. So far I've been going a year on the same 2 batteries, and they weren't new when I put them in. It's still not complaining about low batteries.
    Last edited by ItsJustMe; 02-15-10 at 09:38 PM.
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  4. #29
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    The GPS is my logging system, just put it on the display that shows mileage/mph/etc to see how far I've gone and when I get home I can pull the log file. I also geotag all my pictures now.
    And no, I didn't get ripped off on my charger, the maha ones are higher end than lacross, it lets me test capacity, refresh, etc.
    There is no reason a lithium ion powered device has better features than AA powered other than the device maker deciding to do it that way to lock you into their batteries and chargers, there are many people that won't buy non OEM stuff so they make extra $ there. Canon isa good example, most of their models can be bought either way.
    With only a couple devices you don't have too much hassle with lithium ion, but imagine if you had more, you need that many more chargers and spare batteries. For example my work issues pagers and the old ones ran from an AA, I used my old 1600mAh nimh and they lasted two weeks. They replaced them with the exact same pager but they have a lithium ion battery which needs charged once a week. They told us to work remote today due to the snow and my pager is almost dead and the charger it needs is at work. My cell phone at least charges from USB so I can plug it into any computer but other lithium ion devices I've had all need their own charger. So you have to have one at home, one at work, then make sure you take the right ones when traveling, had to label some of the ones that didn't have any markings on them, etc.

  5. #30
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Get Maha MH-C801D AA/AAA charger and Maha Imedion 2100 mAh batteries. You won't be disappointed. I use these in all my gadgets. The good thing about these batteries is long shelf life and no memory affect, they'll maintain nearly 100% charge for a year. That's a problem with cheaper NiMH batteries that will often die in a week or two if not used. The charger has two modes: regular recharge and reconditioning and LCD status display.

    There is simply nothing better than Maha batteries. All the brands you see in drugstores and electronics stores including Duracell and Energizer, etc. are garbage compared to Maha. Get them here.

    Adam

  6. #31
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enine View Post
    And no, I didn't get ripped off on my charger, the maha ones are higher end than lacross, it lets me test capacity, refresh, etc.
    I just bought my LaCrosse about 3 weeks ago, and when I looked, it had all the features of the MAHA high end charger except it couldn't charge at the really high currents that I didn't want to use anyway (it can only charge 4 cells at 700mA - I rarely use over 500 and try to only use 200 usually).

    Also the reviews said that if you wanted to do something like change the charge current on all the cells you just inserted, it was about 3 button presses on the LaCrosse, and about 27 for the MAHA.

    The LaCrosse does do everything you mentioned, and for $36 came with good quality batteries, four AAs, four AAAs, plus four AA to C adaptors and four AA to D adaptors and a nice carry case. It also has a very good build quality to it.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  7. #32
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    Read some of the threads on CPF lately about the lacross failures.
    I actually have two maha's, C401FS for a small travel charger and the 9000 for the main charger at home, I was thinking of getting an 801 or 808 in a couple years as the kids get old enough to charge their own.
    Each kid now has a vtech kidzoom digicam with runs on 4 aa's, my son has a leapster 2 which takes 4, then 4 wiimotes that take two each.
    I use the imedions for the kids stuff and eneloops for mine and my wife's just so we can keep ours apart.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cia dog View Post
    Yeah crazy huh, except the optically the zoom is only about 8 the rest is digital and at 14 it's pixilated.
    Looking at the article, it says 14x optical zoom. According to Canon's page on the SX210, the first feature listed is "Powerful 14x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer."

    Quote Originally Posted by cia dog View Post
    I like my Canon SureShot AS1000IS, it's very small yet takes great pics. Problem I hate with digital cameras is that they eat batteries like crazy. I like my old 35mm's the best, I have a Pentax K1000 that is entirely mechanical with no need for a battery thus no worry about a battery freezing or dying and thus no pictures; I also love my Canon Eos Elan; but both of those are too big to fit in a seat bag, though I do take the Pentax and put it in a handlebar bag on occasion.
    The problem I have with non-digital cameras is that they eat film like crazy. I can't ever seem to get more than about 36 shots before I have to put in fresh film. And you can't recharge that stuff! You have to keep buying more.



    Keith
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by enine View Post
    But did you use good NiMH, if you use those crappy ones from a store that come with a 15 minute cooker/charger then you won't get good life.
    .
    I've used several different kinds...howbeit from Walmart, but none that came with any sort of charger and all were NiMh's. The first set were Duracell 2000mAh, thinking those weren't strong enough bought a set of Kodak 2500mAh; thinking that brand was junk bought a set of Energizer 2500mAh (2500mAh is the highest capacity Walmart or even Radio Shack carries). Thinking my battery charger wasn't working properly I checked the bats with a battery checker and they were fine. Thinking well maybe the charger is not working to full snuff since it was old so I bought a new Rayovac PS3 which were highly rated on the internet. These bats just won't shoot more then a dozen pictures, but with alkys I can shoot around 40 or 50.

    Any battery and or charger you recommend?

  10. #35
    Senior Member Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khearn View Post
    The problem I have with non-digital cameras is that they eat film like crazy. I can't ever seem to get more than about 36 shots before I have to put in fresh film. And you can't recharge that stuff! You have to keep buying more.
    Yeah, but the image quality makes you wonder if the digital and its 2k shots was really worth it

    ...Also, I did take my DSLR with me once on my bike...in the pannier, wrapped in a pair of pants.

    I resorted to my parents ancient Fujifilm 6mp P&S for a few months because of that idiotic move.

    But my D70 lives again! At a cost of $119....Had I used my bloody camera bag, it probably would have been fine too...
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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cia dog View Post
    I've used several different kinds...howbeit from Walmart, but none that came with any sort of charger and all were NiMh's. The first set were Duracell 2000mAh, thinking those weren't strong enough bought a set of Kodak 2500mAh; thinking that brand was junk bought a set of Energizer 2500mAh (2500mAh is the highest capacity Walmart or even Radio Shack carries). Thinking my battery charger wasn't working properly I checked the bats with a battery checker and they were fine. Thinking well maybe the charger is not working to full snuff since it was old so I bought a new Rayovac PS3 which were highly rated on the internet. These bats just won't shoot more then a dozen pictures, but with alkys I can shoot around 40 or 50.

    Any battery and or charger you recommend?
    Energizer 2500's are known bad ones, they usually self discharge at a much higher rate than others, ut generally any of the higher capacity will self discharge pretty fast so their only benefit is if your really needing that extra capacity, and most are marketed at 2500mAh but test around 2300 or lower. I use the low self discharge since I can put them in a camera, lightm, gps, radio, whatever and leave them there and use it when needed, Sanyo eneloop, rayovac hybrid, maha/powerex imedion, etc.
    MAHA is the top of the line chargers, you probably never heard of them unless you were into the R/C hobby I beleive they started there. Lacross makes a decent charger but I've been reading about some issues with them burning up the power transistors.
    Charging NiMH has to be done properly but there are plenty of cheap ways to improperly charge them. Companies sell those 15minute chargers that cook the batteries and burn them up so you get less than 50 cycles, other chargers trickly charge too slow and miss the charge termination point and overcharge (think home cordless phones that slowly charge as long as the phone is on the base).
    I've tested Sanyo eneloops and the imedions against even lithums and get nearly the same number of shots on a digacam from a NiMh thats been sitting for 6 months. Out S3IS will take about 500 pictures on energizer lithium's and 450+ on eneloops that were charged 6 months prior.
    Search for candle power forums and then go into the flashlight electronics forum there and look at some of the recomendations. Some do recommend the rayovac but I've been burned too many times by them (had their PS1, PS3, PS4 chargers) that I just don't trust them myself. There is one duracell mobile charger that can be fund in retail stores that is recommened on CPF, I can't recall the model, there are also some duracell "pre-charged" they call them that are low self discharge, either relaeled eneloops or ROV hybrids that can be found in retail stores. Radio shack also has some of the worst and at higher prices while claiming to be better to justfy the price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oscuro View Post
    Yeah, but the image quality makes you wonder if the digital and its 2k shots was really worth it

    ...Also, I did take my DSLR with me once on my bike...in the pannier, wrapped in a pair of pants.

    I resorted to my parents ancient Fujifilm 6mp P&S for a few months because of that idiotic move.

    But my D70 lives again! At a cost of $119....Had I used my bloody camera bag, it probably would have been fine too...
    I always wondered about this comparison, exactly how is the image qulaity of film that much better. looking back at olf film pictures I took myself, they are terrible compared to even a low end digital camera or even a cell phone camera. Even pro film (our wedding photographer for example) doesn't look ay better than a mid range digicam now a days.

  13. #38
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Personally I buy nothing but low-self-discharge cells anymore. Sanyo Eneloops are the premiere brand in this category, but I have found perfectly good house brands too - I buy Meijer brand "pre-charged" NiMHs - anything labeled "pre-charged" is low-self-discharge.

    As for chargers, the main thing is to make sure you get a charger with a "negative-delta-v" charging scheme, NOT a timed charger. Also get one with a separate charging channel for each cell - usually cells are slightly different resistance each, and that results in them NOT discharging or charging at the same rate, so if you put them in in pairs, one will get more charged than the other, which may damage one or both.

    For specific recommendations: go to Thomas Distributing and get either a Maha charger or the LaCrosse charger - the latter is what I wound up with eventually. For $36 it seems like a lot but it allowed me to find some previously undetected bad cells in my collection and get them out of the loop. Also it comes with 4 AAs, 4 AAAs and some adapters to use AA cells as C or D cells.

    The MAHA high end charger is very good too, but the reviews I've read say that the LaCrosse is really about as good and is 1/2 the cost. The MAHA lower end chargers are also good but without the digital readout.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by enine View Post
    Sanyo eneloop, rayovac hybrid, maha/powerex imedion, etc.
    MAHA is the top of the line chargers, you probably never heard of them unless you were into the R/C hobby I beleive they started there.

    I've tested Sanyo eneloops and the imedions against even lithums and get nearly the same number of shots on a digacam from a NiMh thats been sitting for 6 months. Out S3IS will take about 500 pictures on energizer lithium's and 450+ on eneloops that were charged 6 months prior.
    Thanks for the info.

    I looked at the Maha PowerEx MH-C401FS Smart Pulse Charger, it seemed to be the best deal; but none of the Maha's will recharge anything but AA and AAA bats, and I have some C a D rechargeable bats. The odd thing is that the Rayovac charger charges up the the AAA, C and D's just fine-or at least they seem fine, but for some reason I don't get much use in AA in the camera.

    I'll try buying the Sanyo eneloop AA's first and see how they last and charge with the Rayovac but they don't charge right then I'll have to get the Maha and charge the other bats I have with the Rayovac.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enine View Post
    Sanyo eneloop, rayovac hybrid, maha/powerex imedion, etc.
    MAHA is the top of the line chargers, you probably never heard of them unless you were into the R/C hobby I beleive they started there.

    I've tested Sanyo eneloops and the imedions against even lithums and get nearly the same number of shots on a digacam from a NiMh thats been sitting for 6 months. Out S3IS will take about 500 pictures on energizer lithium's and 450+ on eneloops that were charged 6 months prior.
    Thanks for the info.

    I looked at the Maha PowerEx MH-C401FS Smart Pulse Charger, it seemed to be the best deal; but none of the Maha's will recharge anything but AA and AAA bats, and I have some C a D rechargeable bats. The odd thing is that the Rayovac charger charges up the the AAA, C and D's just fine-or at least they seem fine, but for some reason I don't get much use in AA in the camera.

    I'll try buying the Sanyo eneloop AA's first and see how they last and charge with the Rayovac but they don't charge right then I'll have to get the Maha and charge the other bats I have with the Rayovac.

    Is the Sanyo battery recharger made for eneloop batteries any good? They sell a kit with batteries and charger and their charger charges C and D.

    Edit; upon closer reading the Sanyo charger only charges in pairs, and the C and D are adapters that you slip AA's into?! weird...too weird for me and I need the capability of charging odd number of bats.
    Last edited by cia dog; 02-18-10 at 09:39 PM.

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    The reason you don't get many shots with the ROV is premature termination (sounds like a personal problem). My Rayovac ps4 was the only one still working when I got my big maha so I took a battery the ROV said was charged and put it in the maha and discharged it and it had about 70% capacity, charged it on the maha and it tested around 95% capacity so the ROV wasn't putting in a full charge. Then the batteries self discharge (this was pre eneloop days) is highest right at the beginning so it loose a good bit within the first couple days so you put it in the camera and its already down to 60% and then any damage caused by poorly being charged it would voltage drop early so the camera would shut off sooner.

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    I don't recall seeing a sayno charger that charges in pairs, I hear the sanyo are decent but somewhat slower chargers. The c401 has a fast setting which is almost too fast, it does make some heat, but I use it as my travel charger, figure if were out someplace and take a lot of pictures i can pop the spares in the 401 and recharge in and be ready to go again.
    Some of the maha 80x series do c and d. You will notice that most c and d that are inexpensive have the same capacity of an AA, got find one in a store and read the fine print. True C and D size are around $20 each. You'll even find a lot of alkaline C and D which are just big AA's.
    There are some fancy D adapters out there which will let you parallel 2 or 3 AA's for 4000 or 6000mAh capacity.
    I switched to eneloops in Jan of 2007 so I've just finished three years with them. Have some 1600mAh Sanyos from 1999 that still get use in kid toys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enine View Post
    The reason you don't get many shots with the ROV is premature termination (sounds like a personal problem). .
    Hey, I didn't talk about your "personal" problem you had last night so don't talk about mine!

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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    FWIW, check out the LaCrosse charger too. Thomas Distributing carries both the full line of MAHA chargers and the LaCrosse. The reviews pretty uniformly rate the LaCrosse as an excellent charger - it's possible the MAHA highest end charger (the $60 one) is a little better, but it's also about twice the money and I doubt it's significantly better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    That's why I said that I'm wondering about the quality and noise levels of this little camera. Most small cameras I have tried have unacceptable noise at anything above ISO200. However, sensors are constantly improved and noise levels are lower with each generation.

    I crop images or resize them to 3000x2000 for keeping. A someone said once: "Give me a 1000 Megapixel camera and I will never need a telephoto lens!"

    Adam
    Superzoom cameras always seem to have a tiny sensor. I believe directly related to the zoom somehow - when they put a lot of glass (lens) in the camera, something about the optics requires the sensor to be small. The 30x zooms that are the size of a digital slr also have tiny sensors in them...

    If you're looking for a near digital-slr experience, you should definitely check out the Canon s90. In addition to full manual controls and an F2.0 lens, it's claim to fame is it's high iso performance. It has one of the largest sensors you can find on a compact. It's "only" 10MP for better low light performance. It's pretty clean at ISO400, very usable at ISO800, and still usable at ISO1600 and ISO3200.
    http://www.ecovelo.info/2009/12/18/canon-s90/

    You can read the reviews for noise performance:
    http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/d...ewsID=4157&p=2

    It's discussed *constantly* at the dpreview (canon) forums, lol

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    Sometimes I wonder if camera companies feel they-the camera-needs to make noise in order for people to think it's working?? My Canon Eos Elan, a 35mm, is quieter then my Canon digital, and way quieter then another digital camera a friend of mine has that makes a shutter noise? completely unnecessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    Canon PowerShot SX210: 14MP, 14x optical zoom, DIGIC4 processor, optical IS, f3.8, 720p HD video, full manual mode!

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/1002/10...rshotsx210.asp

    I think that in good lighting conditions the quality won't be far off from an entry level DSLR in particular if you use the full manual mode to get nice depth of field. I just wonder about noise levels and macro abilities.

    It is difficult to carry a DSLR and couple of lenses on a bike, not to mention risky, that's few $k worth of hardware. So far though I haven't seen a compact camera with quality and level of control that was anywhere close to DSLR even under good light conditions. So I hardly take pictures while cycling

    Adam
    I should add that even the largest compact cameras don't let you get much depth of field. Depth of field seems to be based on 2 factors - aperture (lower numbers have smaller depth of field) and sensor size. I can get the "blurry background" effect with my s90 with someone standing 3 feet away from me, but not standing 10 feet away. The sensor is just to small - though I find this really much easier, as never take a picture and find someone's out of focus who I meant to include in the picture.

    I think getting a shallow depth of field is difficult on anything smaller than the micro 4/3rds cameras.

  23. #48
    mosquito rancher adamrice's Avatar
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    Samsung has announced a new model, the TL500 that is evidently being touted as a Canon S90 competitor. f1.8 lens on a compact camera—pretty sweet. "Shallow depth of field" at last!

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    Quote Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
    Samsung has announced a new model, the TL500 that is evidently being touted as a Canon S90 competitor. f1.8 lens on a compact camera—pretty sweet. "Shallow depth of field" at last!
    You didn't really read my last post huh? :-P

    The camera is rumored to use the same sensor as the s90, but be larger. On a bike perhaps not a big deal. However, note that the listed dimensions - the depth at least, are believed to be inaccurate (or to put it another way, a blatant lie, being based on the shallowest part of the camera).

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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cia dog View Post
    Sometimes I wonder if camera companies feel they-the camera-needs to make noise in order for people to think it's working?? My Canon Eos Elan, a 35mm, is quieter then my Canon digital, and way quieter then another digital camera a friend of mine has that makes a shutter noise? completely unnecessary.
    Sometimes the cameras intentionally make noise from a speaker, in which case, turn it off.

    But in other cases, like with DSLRs, they may be noisier because they are capable of shooting more frames per second. A camera that can shoot 5 FPS is going to be noisy, because it's engineered to slap the mirror up out of the way fast, trigger the shutter, slap the mirror back down fast so you've got minimal blackout between shots, wind the shutter back up fast for the next shot. All that "fast" equals "noise".

    My old manual (thumb advance) film SLR is VERY quiet. I can't manage more than a shot every 1.5 seconds or so though.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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