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Hi... here is a link to some photos that I enjoy looking at from time to time.

http://tinyurl.com/zsdac

Now.... I still haven't taken the plunge and spent my $100 I have allocated for a digtal point and shoot camera and I was wondering if a decent P&S digital would enable me to shoot images of a similar quality as MOST of these pictures?

It has been suggested to me that if you don't plan on printing your photos and merely want to use them for web and email purposes then a camera about a hundred bucks with a modest zoom and megapixel profile would be enough for the task.

Do you guys agree with that? Can you tell (I sure can't) how good some of the cameras were used to shoot these pics? Again, I won't be doing any printing and will only be using them for web and email uses.

Thanks in advance

Melissa
 

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I loked at a couple of those pictures- 600 X 800 pix
That definition is well within the ability of a cheap camera-perhaps less then your budget
but
Those were chosen for their content and are great subject matter and choices of lighting. The animal pix were likely shot with magnifying lenses from a distance from a tripod. Probably that same camera took several pictures far less suitable and the cameraman chose only the one best to submit.
Can a cheap camera take a good closeup picture of a buterfly or a mountain? sure
Can a cheap camera take a great picture of a squirel scampering up a tree 50 feet away? not likely
By the way-I had the most fun and took the most pictures with my first digital camera-I believe it was 3.2 megapix (way tinier then cheap cameras now available) and still find those entertaining to look at. It was perfect for snapshots and for viewing on a PC.
 

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I think a good zoom lens is more important than many pixels.
The advantage of more pixels than you need .. Is the ability to Crop down to a small Area.. (zoom in) ..
and still have enough pixels left over for a good picture.

I'd agree .. But a hundred bucks might be a little low
 

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Given the shutter lag of P&S cameras, no, you probably won't be able to take those animal photos. The landscape images, maybe. Those were likely taken with care to manual f-stop and shutter settings, on a tripod, which a P&S doesn't do. You get "modes" with a P&S, and that's not really going to help much.

Put it like this...
P&S cameras take "pictures"
SLR cameras take "photographs"

Use the right tool for the right task.

For $115, this is the P&S camera I'd get: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00328HR58
It can't do everything that an SLR will, but it can still give you some nice images.
Sony easily makes the best quality P&S cameras in the sub-$200 range.

I shoot some of the kinds of photos you're wanting to take.
This is the Nikon body I use: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002SQKVD0
And with about a dozen lenses.
 

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There is 'excellent', there is 'good' and there is 'good enough'.

I use several inexpensive point and shoot cameras, one which did cost ~$100. It is small and easy to carry where ever I go. Nice when motorcycling.
Sure, I toss away more than half of what I shoot with it.....so I shoot a lot ( :D )
Since I don't take pictures for a living, I've kept this camera ( Fuji FinePix A700 ) because it's handy to carry and it's 'good enough' for me.

I suspect many photography buffs here wouldn't bother with it. My standards aren't as high ...not a criticism...just reality. :)
 

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Speaking of "Fun" ...
It takes some Software to have fun with pictures .. The Camera doesn't really matter here.
Gma almost lost her Baby siting privileges .. When the daughter saw the second Picture :D
 

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Or perhaps like this ...
Tourists take "pictures"
Photographers take "photographs"
Don't forget what Rembrandt could do with a pencil or a piece of chalk.
Yes and no. The tools still matter. Give me a good SLR, I can take great images. Give me a P&S, and I might as well have a broken arm and one blind eye. It's inadequate and isn't the proper tool for the job. Like using a hammer to drive in a screw. Yeah, it works, but it sucks.

On the other hand, a fancy SLR doesn't make you a photographer. It goes both ways.
 

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no need to be guessing about what cameras were used, most of them are listed below the picture

Sangre De Chri...8
Camera Type: A950

Winter landsca...4
Camera Type: Sony DSC-H2

Lacey contrast9
Camera Type: Panasonic FZ5

Unicoi Range3
Camera Type: NIKON D70

Snowy Sunday3
Camera Type: Canon EOS 40D

Secret Life of...10
[none listed]

South Haven L...12
Camera Type: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS

Little Visitor...
Camera Type: Nikon D90

Driving Squirr...
Camera Type: Canon 350D

Colors of Paci...2
Camera Type: DMC-ZS3

just put the "camera type: xxx" into google, voila, almost instant results of what they used and the price they paid, and read the reviews to see what was liked / disliked about it ;)

Don't forget what Rembrandt could do with a pencil or a piece of chalk.
There is 'excellent', there is 'good' and there is 'good enough'.

I use several inexpensive point and shoot cameras, one which did cost ~$100. It is small and easy to carry where ever I go. Nice when motorcycling.
Sure, I toss away more than half of what I shoot with it.....so I shoot a lot ( :D )
Since I don't take pictures for a living, I've kept this camera ( Fuji FinePix A700 ) because it's handy to carry and it's 'good enough' for me.

I suspect many photography buffs here wouldn't bother with it. My standards aren't as high ...not a criticism...just reality. :)
both of the above some very good advice!! :)

in that you are here asking about cameras, maybe a better idea than buying a NEW camera would be to buy USED, something from craigslist, or where-ever, something say like $15 - $25, [it's kind of like anything else a person buys, the bottom drops out after the purchase], so you could maybe get something nicer than you're expecting

or even see if a friend or relative will let you borrow theirs to play with, [maybe NOT their really nice one], take a few pictures, post a couple to the website, then do a critique, [be honest with yourself], how do you think they compare? WHY? take a few more pictures, post them, how do they compare?

photography is like any other hobby, some people seem to be 'naturals' at something, others sometimes just never seem to 'get it' - no matter how hard they work at it :eek:

another part of that is also complexity - how much fun is it to have something and not be able to use it? :eek: :mad:
try this, download the manual for one of those hi $$$ cameras, can you understand it? - or is it that they already expect you to have a knowledge of the terminology they're using to explain what may seem to be a very simple function just a little beyond normal conversational english? - like i said, not much fun, especially if you have to put the thing on "auto" just to take a picture!!! :down:
if you get something "cheap" and can READ the manual, you can LEARN to use it, do the same thing, download a manual, ahaa! :D, see, they don't expect you to know ALL the fancy terminology!!! ;)

attend a workshop at one of the larger local camera shops, some of them are very informative, sometimes you even get to use one of their cameras

or even take a course at your local community college, you'll 'build-up' your 'jargon library' - so some of the terminology won't be so foreign sounding, even learn many of the things that take a picture from being just 'okay' to WOW!!!

example: learn to SEE what the camera sees - discarded micky d trash and beer cans can ruin a great shot - yet at first look, most of our EYES won't see what the camera LENS will :(

i think my wife and i have some rather nice cameras, but for all the time i played with the older film type, she was never interested, then a number of years ago i bought her two intel 630 web-cams for Christmas, [so she and her brother could "see & speak" on the net], it unplugged and you could take 'pitchers' with it, now, well, she has a pretty fancy fuji, and has never looked back, loves what she does! :) :)

the main thing to remember is for YOU to figure out where YOU want to go and how much to spend! - NOT where I'VE told you to go! :cool:

and remember. this is just MY opinion!!! :up:
 

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When I press the shutter button, I expect an image to be taken. On a point and shoot, that doesn't happen. There's a delay. Well, I'm sorry, but the world doesn't wait around for your cheap crap camera. You miss the shot. Hence my statement that I'd be photographically handicapped. I don't use a Nikon D3s because I like to blow money -- I use it because it's the tool that doesn't hold me back.

I suggest you re-read the definition of non sequitor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur
I take it you've never beaten a screw with a hammer? I have. It works, but it's really half-assed.
As is a point-and-shoot camera trying to do the job of a real camera.

I agree with the used camera idea from daniel_b2380.
 

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I'd be photographically handicapped.
It isn't all about you. Not everyone has your talents; by the very same token, not everyone has your limitations. That is the root of your non sequitur. You assume that if you can't get good results with a P&S in some circumstances, it must be the fault of the camera.

I can't take a pencil and produce a great portrait or even a good portrait. Should I conclude that the pencil isn't up to the job? Isn't the right tool? No. Remember Rembrandt...... ;)
 

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it must be the fault of the camera.
Shutter lag is the fault of the camera.
And therefore it WILL afflict every user. Everybody will have this limitation.
In fact, it's a common complaint.

I love my cheap crap camera
I have a cheap crap camera, too.
It takes great pikshures: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0011E4N5C
Fat chance on it taking some of the photos in that gallery, however.

..... but back to the original question.
Can you expect this? No, you cannot.
I don't see the point in lying or otherwise giving false hope. Not ethical.
 

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.................................

..... but back to the original question.
Can you expect this? No, you cannot.
I don't see the point in lying or otherwise giving false hope. Not ethical.
I think I qualified my comments earlier that focus on the question.
A better camera in the hands of a pro will do a better job than a lesser camera in the hands of a pro.
It's what's acceptable to the photographer that's important and their abilities.

The photos in question were likely resized smaller....and that hides a lot of possible faults on a monitor..
Could a cheap camera duplicate what I saw at Melissa's link?
http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/viewimages.html?gallery=EDITORSPICK
Some maybe, maybe not.
Having seen some of Guyzer's photos in the photo forum, taken with a decent camera, I know my A700 or my Olympus C725 couldn't come close to his quality.
But his weren't reduced in size.

But let me be clear.......I have taken cameras where they risk being destroyed.....and I have destroyed several.
So a +$5K camera for me, is not a consideration.......which is why I love my A700 crap camera.
It takes reasonable pictures for me and it would be no great economic loss if destroyed.
Melissa needs to determine the level of quality she finds acceptable....neither you nor I can speak to that.

daniel has posted the best advice.....try out a cheap camera and see if photography is a hobby that's enjoyed.
And go from there.
 

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Maybe I can wade in here with something that might help Melissa.

Let's forget the birds and wild animal stuff. That takes expensive lenses and patience to sit out there in the woods with wet socks. I submit most of those glorious landscapes in Melissa's link could be copied by a knowledgeable photographer using a compact camera if he was alongside the original shooter. The key is being there at the same time when the light was perfect for the shot. Sometimes a pro will wait days and perhaps weeks for the right conditions.

We're not talking about an image that will survive being taken to a gallery, We're talking about the composition and general colors. The genius was in the composition. That can be copied.

The camera doesn't make those sun beams trace thru the clouds, the ice freeze on the twigs. and the shadows on the waves. The photographer sees that and adjusts the camera to capture it. I will allow that in many cases some PC work is done to enhance colors and exposure.

You want a compact camera with some level of control over the exposure, and it can be done without full manual control. Spend about $125-150 though, and stay away from them $70 Kodaks.

Meanwhile, when you're not out on the plains and shores making landscapes, and just taking shots of your friends, get close and in their faces. No one wants to see their shoes too. As you get more experience in composition, you will see.
 

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about 90% of those images can be done with a point and shoot, (Some may just be really hard to do, due to lack of a decent lens)

PS if you get a point and shoot camera that supports firmware mods such as chdk which allow you to unlock the camera raw abilities of the camera, you can vastly improve your image quality.

For example, these images were taken with a 7.1 megapixel Canon Powershot A560, using CHDk to unlock the raw functionality. I took a single raw image at a slightly overexposed setting then using the camera raw utility in photoshop, I cranked up the recovery and color and contrast corrected. (nothing even close to what a DSLR can do but it is better than what the stock a560 can do)

Full sized: https://flic.kr/p/4266676873


Full sized: https://flic.kr/p/3205729344


Full sized: https://flic.kr/p/4590237501


Since the raw images have a lot more info, I can bring out more shadow and highlight detail. Since the raw images from a point and shoot camera still will not contain as much as you would get from a DSLR, you are better off going a little overexposed then using recovery in order to minimize how much shadow detail you want to bring out since shadows are quick to show noise problems.

Go for a cheap camera that offers a decent amount of manual controls but most importantly, get sample images so you know what kind of noise you will get at higher ISO settings (I soot about 90% of my photos at ISO 80, and around 5% at ISO 200 and the rest at 800 (which is the highest this camera can go before the images look like total crap).

While it is nearly impossible to get a good lens on a point and shoot, try to avoid cameras which lens that look smaller than normal. The smaller the lens, and image sensor, the higher ISO you need to get a bright image.

This is why cellphone cameras have so much image noise and lack of detail, they have to use such a high sensitivity for the sensor that you get a ton of noise, and in order to combat some of the noise, the phone does a very strong and destructive noise reduction process.

PS megapixels don't mean much, when most point and shoot cameras ranging from 5 megapixels to 14 megapixels+ are tested using a resolution chart, their effective resolution for the entire range generally ranges around 2-3 megapixels worth of detail.

New cameras may be high resolution but that resolution is nor adding much more detail as the numbers may seem to show. even worst, a cheap 12 megapixel+ camera will actually give worst image quality than a old/ cheap 7-8 megapixel camera.

I have been looking at some new cameras and i will eventually make the jump to a digital SLR. When looking at the samples at dpreview, many of the new point and shoot camera that are really expensive only offer slightly more image quality than my current camera, not enough of an improvement to justify the cost, even worst, on many of then the vignetting problem has gotten worst (especially when it comes to the vignette also having a little blur
 

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inuyasha320

All very interesting but...

[1] Melissa ... if she didn't get scared away... asked about a $100 camera, your example is atleast 4x that.

[2] Do you realy think that given her budget for a camera she is going to buy Photoshop or something similar and mess with raw files?
 

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Not sure, but my camera is a low end $100 camera in which I was able to improve the image quality by enabling camera raw by using the chdk mod

there should be some free programs also, which can handle raw images. camera raw is a good feature to have since you start off with better quality and you have more data to work with in post production, especially when it comes to overexposure and underexposure, it also allows for more color correction and other edits than would be possible from a standard jpeg image

Once you have unlocked a cheap point and shoot camera, you will have a lot of trouble going back to a non modded point and shoot.

especially when there are a ton of apps available for your firmware mod, such as auto timelapse, motion detection, and more advanced features such as focus bracketing, and manual controls over things like focus, aperture and many other parts of the camera (great for reducing shutter lag, especially if you want to use motion detection to snap a picture of a fast moving objects)
 
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