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Old 03-25-2008, 12:56 PM   #1
msnovtue
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Question Question re: photo equipment...?

I'm not sure where to post this, so I put it in here.... I have a slight problem, and am looking for solutions.

I typically use a small digital point & shoot camera when travelling (HP Photosmart R607, if you're curious), and a larger, older film camera for special purposes*. My problem is this: when I get tired, my hands shake slightly. Nothing major, and with a day's rest it goes away, but it's more than enough to blur otherwise good pictures. The effect can be minor () or major.

Those two pics were taken within minutes of each other, so you can see how it ruins good pics.

My ultimate question: Is there some sort of small, light tripod or monopod type-thing that people would recommend? I think if I have something to rest on, that will stabilize things and help get better pics. I've seen things like the quikpod & gorrilapod, but I'm not sure that's what I need. I also don't want to haul around something large & heavy-- I'd like to be able to put it in a backpack, if possible...

Ideas???

(all help is much, much appreciated-- this has plagued me for years...




*I 'inherited' a 1980 Canon AE-1 from my parents-- It's tricky, but if you can get everything right, it takes the best pics I've ever seen...
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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There are three ways to go which I can think of which you might want to consider.
  1. A new P&S camera such as the Canon Power Shots which have Image Stabilization. These work great in eliminating blurring due to shaky hands, according to how bad the shake is.
  2. A tripod such as the Velbon Max i 347GB ($90) would probably do it for you. It weights about 3 pounds or so, and folds up to about 18".
  3. A monopod such as the Manfrotto 679B with a Manfrotto 3232 head ($66) would work. It weighs about 2.5 pounds or so, and retracts to about 28".
Between the tripod and the monopod, it's a matter of personal preference and situation. I use both kinds of units in my work as a photographer. If I could afford it, however, I'd go for the camera with image stabilization, then you don't have to carry around either a tripod or monopod for shots which just don't normally need it.
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:02 PM   #3
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Also - even if it's not a particularly shaky day, look around the area for something you can brace your hands or elbow on...
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msnovtue View Post
*I 'inherited' a 1980 Canon AE-1 from my parents-- It's tricky, but if you can get everything right, it takes the best pics I've ever seen...
I've got one of those!! It was my college graduation present from my mom. It's not working currently and I've debated whether it is worth having it looked at in this digital age... But it did take gorgeous pictures. I had it outfitted with a Soligar 30-200 lens. Loved it. I also have an Agfa from the 50s that was my mom's. Never used it much as it is a lot of work...
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:37 PM   #5
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Ann, I've never been a Canon person for a variety of reasons which have nothing to do with the quality of their cameras. You're right, those AE-1's took excellent photos.

I have taken photos professionally for years with Nikon SLRs. Five years ago I began taking digital photos, and three years ago I made the big switch to only digital photography with Nikon DSLRs.

Even today, there is still nothing which can exactly substitute for film, but the difference is now so small in 35mm format photography, that it's not worth talking about, in my opinion.

The advantages of digital photography are vast, especially from a cost and convenience standpoint. Today's digital cameras have evolved quickly in the last three years. They produce very high quality photographs. Now for me, the quality of today's photo printers has clinched making it a "no-brainer" for almost anyone who uses Point and Shoot and SRL cameras to go digital.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:46 PM   #6
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ANother suggestion---go to a photography store (not a big box) and explain the situation and then test run a few cameras to see which image stabilization system works for you. I am sure you can approximate or exaggerate your shakiness and get a good idea if it is going to work for you BEFORE you spend the bucks.

I too had an AE1 and I believe it was an A-1. I also had an Olympus (forget the model but it was a bit more compact than the Canons).

Like Ned, I am a Nikon guy now, although right now I am a little miffed at them as my D70S decided to show a CHR Error in the window and will not read any cards. It is just over 18 months old and not used very heavily--it just happened and now they want like $250 to repair it. I have re-pleaded my case with them telling them about all my other Nikons!
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:43 PM   #7
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John, have you reset the camera? In fact try this, and if it doesn't work, then try resetting the camera.
  1. Turn the camera off.
  2. Remove the battery.
  3. Wait 5 minutes and replace the battery.
  4. Turn the camera back on.
  5. Try formatting the card through the menu system, not via the top controls.
If that doesn't work:
  1. Turn the camera off.
  2. On the bottom of the camera, as you look at it from the front, toward the right there should be a reset switch on the D70s.
  3. Press and hold the reset switch for a second or two.
  4. Check the calendar and clock. If the camera reset the calendar and clock should now be incorrect.
  5. Set the calendar and clock to the correct date and time.
  6. Try formatting the card through the menu system, not via the top controls.
If that doesn't work, it does have to go back to Nikon. By the way, have you been formatting your CF cards in the camera or the computer? I can tell you that you should reformat the CF cards only in the camera, and they should be formatted after each and every time you copy your photos into your computer. To other important things to note. Never delete photos from your card either via the camera or the computer. Never move photos from the card to the computer; only copy them to the computer.

Let me know what happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrenaye View Post
ANother suggestion---go to a photography store (not a big box) and explain the situation and then test run a few cameras to see which image stabilization system works for you. I am sure you can approximate or exaggerate your shakiness and get a good idea if it is going to work for you BEFORE you spend the bucks.

I too had an AE1 and I believe it was an A-1. I also had an Olympus (forget the model but it was a bit more compact than the Canons).

Like Ned, I am a Nikon guy now, although right now I am a little miffed at them as my D70S decided to show a CHR Error in the window and will not read any cards. It is just over 18 months old and not used very heavily--it just happened and now they want like $250 to repair it. I have re-pleaded my case with them telling them about all my other Nikons!
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned View Post
By the way, have you been formatting your CF cards in the camera or the computer? I can tell you that you should reformat the CF cards only in the camera, and they should be formatted after each and every time you copy your photos into your computer. To other important things to note. Never delete photos from your card either via the camera or the computer. Never move photos from the card to the computer; only copy them to the computer.
Why? Is this just with this particular camera, or other digitals? How do you clear a card, if you don't delete photos via camera/computer? I'm confused.... Is a "CF" card particular to Nikon?
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:23 AM   #9
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I'm also a Nikon guy here (D40), but I learned with a Canon A-1 and later owned a T70.

My experience has been that when you manipulate the images too much on the card itself (by movying them to the computer, deleting them, etc.), some images may get corrupted on the card. Formatting it is a good way to reset the card to its initial state. Just prevents problems you may have otherwise with constant use of the same card.
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:31 AM   #10
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Wow! thanks for all the advice... Unfortunately, I just bought a new camera, and the HP point & shoot I have has a few features on it I really love. (The best is the panorama setting, which allows you to 'stitch' together up to 5 pics to make a panorama shot.) I'm definetly going to try out some of the suggestions.


As for the old AE-1, I've always had the thought to try photography as a hobby, so I'm hanging on to it. Something minor broke on it a few years ago, so when I took it to a repair shop, I asked about the camera. The guy at the shop told me it was one of the last all-manual cameras made and it's still kind of sought-after. He also mentioned that if I wanted to replace it, it'd run me around $500. Considering I got it for free, with an extra telephoto lens, I thought I'd hang on to it.

I do prefer digital cameras for most things, tho. For the casual picture-taker like me, it's great to have a video & still camera in one small package (even if the video isn't the best quality). Also, it's much more cost effective for me, as I tend to mess up about 40% of the pics I take. When you're talking film, that gets very, very expensive.....
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