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Digital Cameras

Posted by dotcom 3a AB (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 12, 06 at 16:29

I am feeling like I own one of the first digital cameras invented. It is 8 years old and very tired so I will soon be in the the market for an upgrade (I hope Santa is listening...). Since everyone has been posting such fantastic photos in the gallery I was hoping to get some input from all of you to help me with my decision on what to choose. There's nothing like first hand experience and the photos are such great examples of what can be done.

I would be interested to know your:

1. Camera make and model
2. Resolution (megapixels)
3. Zoom range/power (eg. 4X zoom)
4. Zoom type (optical vs digital)
5. Is it fully automatic or does it have any manual features like manual focus or exposure settings?

Do you have any other comments about your model? Anything specific you like or dislike? Features you wish it had? Good/bad battery life? Can you get good quality close-ups as well as wide shots? LCD display size/quality? Does it have video capability and do you use it?

No need to answer all those questions :-) I was just thinking out loud... The choices and considerations are quite overwhelming so thanks for your help.

Susan


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Digital Cameras

I have a Fujifilm S3000. It has a 6x optical zoom and is 3.2 mega pixels. The LCD screen is about an inch and a half. I would go with an optical zoom as you aren't loosing any mega pixels that way. Digital zoom isn't as good as it just zooms in on what you've taken and your computer can do that. I do use the video part of my camera, not alot but enough to warrant having it. Although I wish it had sound.

For the most part I am happy with my camera although next time I'm getting more features. Anti-shake is a must, I have so many blurry pictures it isn't funny. Plus a camera that takes faster shots, mine is too slow so lots of things (i.e. action shots) are out of the picture by the time the picture is taken. Plus I would go with a higher zoom. 10x or higher as we take lots of wildlife photos and I'd like to zoom in just that little bit more.

Hope I've helped with what you're looking for. Just remember to ask lots of questions, talk to people and have fun looking. :)

Syreeta


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RE: Digital Cameras

Here's a link to a thread that we had going last year, Susan, when I was asking much the same questions. I still love my Olympus C-5500 - it's a 5.1 megapixels and has too many features for me to learn. But it has the supermacro and I love it. I find I can get really good detail, when I take my time. I do agree that the anti-shake feature would be great, Syreeta. I just helped my disabled BIL buy one a few months ago. He bought a Sony cybershot with the anti-shake feature because he really needs it. It really helped him a lot. However, he just phoned me the other day and asked if we could go get a new one. He dropped his in the lake! Whoops!

Shauna


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RE: Dig. Camera

Sorry, forgot the link.

Shauna

Here is a link that might be useful: What kind of digital cameras . . .


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RE: Digital Cameras

I have a Canon Power Shot A520, 4 megapixel camera. It has a 4x zoom that can be manually used to bring up the object being photographed closer. It also has setting on the back that I really like. It is the icon of a flower that when pushed can be used to get really close to a object without it getting blurry. I also use a small tri-pod to take pictures. I position it over the flower and then use the zoom to bring it to the size that I want. We got it last year for Christmas and I am still learning how to use it. It will also take movies that my wife really likes to use on our grandchildren. Hope this helps!!

Cheers Al


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RE: Digital Cameras

I have an Olympus Stylus 500. The thread from last year helped me choose Olympus for quality vs. price, but I couldn't find the C-5500 so I bought this. It's pretty good.
- 5.0 megapixel
- 3x Optical zoom (digital zoom is actually kind of misleading and should basically be ignored)
- Has a videocam I don't use because I have a digital videocam.
- Has a built-in rechargeable battery which I would highly recommend because a camera will go through double-a's like candy. This one lasts a long time, I think I have only charged it 3 times in a year.
- LCD screen is 2" square in fact it has no other viewfinder. This was weird at first but I got used to it.

It's fully automatic with lots of settings (night, motion, candlelight, etc.) which aren't bad but I would like it to have a manual focus and manual exposure options. The auto focus gets it wrong a lot of the time.

It's also got a macro and super macro (that's Al's little flower) which are great for photographing flowers.

I think it was in the $400 range but I know cameras have been coming steadily down in price so you might get a better deal.


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RE: Digital Cameras

Thanks everyone for the input. I forgot about this discussion last year and will definitely re-read the thread. Since then it seems we have a few more shutterbugs at the FN forum and I would love to hear their experiences also.

Anti-shake sounds like a great idea. If the wind isn't moving the plants around it's me moving the camera around...

I think the macro is a must have. It's the only feature that my ancient relic has and it takes pretty good shots. Unfortunately when I use it, what I see in the view finder is not what picture is being taken. I have learned to adjust to the right to get the picture framed correctly : (

It sounds like batteries have come a long way. I don't even use my LCD screen because as northspruce said it sucks the life out of those double A's in no time.

And optical zoom it will be.

Decisions, decisions...
Susan


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RE: Digital Cameras

I'm glad this topic came up...I'm also hoping for a digital from Santa...right now I only have a cheap film camera, that has really no features (besides the flash). I find that with my little one I'm going through rolls of film and still not getting half the shots I want. My big concern with the digitals is the delay. I hunt, but I'd also like to get camo'd up and sit in the blinds and take pictures. You only get one chance usually, and with a delay I think it would be too easy to miss it.
A little mouse told me that I would have gotten a Digital SLR last year, but a 'meddling MIL' (*MY* mom) disuaded Santa...LOL...maybe this year...
It's a *little* more money, so if I end up with one I'll likely take some photography courses and then start doing weddings, etc.

The camera I'm looking at is a Canon 8.0 Megapixel Digital SLR (Digital Rebel XT) with an 18-55mm lens. No lag time, and then in future years Santa can get me zoom lenses and such. It's kind of overkill (and pricey at $999), but I think I can justify it if I turn it into a HBB. There's also a Pentax that I really like...We'll see how Santa feels after the white stuff starts to fall (Oooohhh...I didn't just type that...please don't send me hate mail... ;-) LOL!


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RE: Digital Cameras

verenap - I hope Santa can steer clear of any outside influences this year and put that SLR in your stocking. The SLR cameras are too professional for my experience and the price is steep. I would however like to find a bit more advanced point and shoot with some manual functionality to play with.

Susan


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RE: Digital Cameras

Oh yeah, I also forgot to mention, I agree with Al about the tripod - you get the best colours out of a lot of flowers if you take the pic in slightly dim light, and if you get a tripod you don't have to wreck it with the flash. With gazanias, I am sorry to say you have no choice but to photograph them in full sun. LOL. Otherwise they are closed.

I got a little telescoping tripod at Walmart for $16 and it works really well if you can figure out how to get all the legs the same length. The first time I tried to set it up, I would have one leg shorter than the others, then I would pull it and it would be longer than the others, and so on, they just kept getting longer & longer. My brother was in fits of laughter at me. >:(


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RE: Digital Cameras

Sorry Gil.....but you cracked me up too...LOL!

There is another piece of equipment that you can purchase to put on the top of your tri-pod. Its called a ball head. I highly recommend one with a quick release plate....as you won't have to stop and un-screw your camera to get it off. The ball head allows free movement of your camera and you can level the horizon of your photo, without having to worry if your tri-pod legs are perfectly level.

signed geeky Sierra...just mostly trying to look in the other direction. LOL!!!!! :-))


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ooopppsss forgot

forgot to mention that you can use umbrellas to shade your flowers or subjects so you don't get the full sun effect. This will work for flowers that close up when not in full sun. If you take your pics either in the very early morning when the sun is just comming up or in the early evening or on over cast days.....the lighting will be much better.

Gil what do you mean wreck it with flash? If you are taking pics of flowers in full sun...the sun can cause some heavy shadowing......I often use the on camera flash as a fill flash in these instances. If you find that the flash on your camera is too bright.....separate a kleanex into a single layer and put that single layer over the flash...this should tone it down some....if not enough try a second layer.

Sierra


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RE: Digital Cameras

Yeah what I meant by wrecking it with the flash is if the light is just nice like on a cloudy day, and you want to go for a longer exposure and get good colour saturation, you need a tripod and to turn off the flash. I have had troubles using the flash and you get bad glare especially if the petals are a little sparkly like on some daylilies. Like this one really sucked because the flash was too close.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The Kleenex idea is a good one, I never thought of that.

Some of my daylilies photograph better in full sun. I was pretty happy with this one because it's sparkly and I couldn't get the colour right in dimmer light.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I have also had good success using the optical zoom and backing up from the flower, to tone down the flash.

Anyway this is evolving into a photography how-to, sorry Susan. But to keep on track, the ball hitch thingy sounds like a great idea too, I'm always afraid of dropping my camera screwing it onto the tripod.


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RE: Digital Cameras

northspruce - That would have been a sight to see you wrangling that tripod. Some days I have similar fights with the garden hose on my watering rounds. And thanks to you and Sierra both for the good photo tips.

Sierra - I'm sure it's more than I would ever need (or know how to use), but I am curious - what camera are you using? And what software do you use to create your cool photo manipulations?

Thanks - Susan


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RE: Digital Cameras

My digital is an HP Photosmart - R607 with 4.1 MP, 21x zoom (digital zoom - rarely use it though) and 3x optical zoom. My favourite feature is the Supermacro setting. It also has a 1 minute video feature but I rarely use that, but it did come in handy once or twice. It also has some other interesting features that I played with more when we first got it! Now I just use the auto setting! LOL

I love this camera for the pictures of the garden, etc, but it really does suck that there is so much lag time especially when taking pics of the kids... DH keeps talking about getting a film SLR (my SIL picked one up recently for $200) but I keep telling DH I'd rather wait and get a digital SLR some day!

Ang


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RE: Digital Cameras

Susan, I mostly use a film SLR for the photos you see here. I use several image editors....but for the quick frames I use on photos here, I mostly use photoshop elements 3.

Sierra


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RE: Digital Cameras

I went to the store a year ago and asked for a camera that was user friendly, had the ability to take really close pictures of my flowers and was under $1000.

I purchased the S21S Powershot camera by Canon. I don't know all the ins and outs of it yet but I get some great pictures. It is a 5mp and has a 12 optical zoom and an image stabilizer. When I bought it they said that it was the only camera that had the image stabilizer that was priced at under $1000. It uses 4 double A batteries and since I have the double A recharger and 3 sets of batteries around here, I never run out of battery power. The 12 optical zoom means that I can stand and zoom in to something small, I don't have to get really close to it like I would if I had a 3 optical. The image stabilizer enables me not to have to use a tripod when using the optical zoom. It steadies my picture for me. There are many features it has that I am still learning how to use.

It was out last June as the newer version of S1 1S. I have taken many many pictures with it, I think somewhere around 9500 already. But I quite often take 3 or 4 pictures of the same daylily or lily or whatever to see which one is the best and then delete the ones I don't want. Picture taking is getting quite addictive. I would like to take some photography classes sometime to learn more about the digital cameras and what else I can do with them.

Brenda


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RE: Digital Cameras

You might want to add one of these light diffusers to your photography tickle trunk - they are small and lightweight and relatively inexpensive. They help diffuse harsh mid-day lighting & prevent 'blown out hightlights' by reducing the contrast of the scene (although it's no substitute for the warm glow of morning or evening light). They are also available with silver or gold surfaces for bouncing light onto your subject.

They're even more useful if you have a willing assistant - lol.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photoflex light disc


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RE: Digital Cameras

Thanks everyone for the great feedback and helpful tips!

garden_chicken - The light diffuser sounds like a nice little item. I am always surprised what bright sunlight can do to a picture...

Brenda - I checked out your Canon and the latest model is an S31S Powershot. It sounds like it could be along the lines of what I am looking for. It has fantastic zoom and macro capabilties and the image stabilizer is something I want as well. It also offers the option to use manual settings. I am definitely an amateur shutterbug but would like to learn more and it seems like this type of camera would give me more than a basic point and shoot to play around with.

In my on-line research I found the site below with some very in-depth reviews and information.

Susan

Here is a link that might be useful: Steve's Digicams


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RE: Digital Cameras

I checked in the Air Miles web site and for just over 5000 air miles you can purchase my Canon camera (S2 1S). So, I phoned my sister who is also looking for a digital camera and so we'll see whether they have enough air miles or not.

I really like my camera. I like the way I can stand and zoom into the flower. When the camera is on and I am zooming in, the camera is already focusing and adjusting for any shakey movements I have.

The 12 optical zoom means that I do not have to be close to the flower to get a great closeup picture of it. I stand and zoom in. My niece has a camera with a 3 optical zoom and she has to get about 1 - 1 1/2 feet away from the flower to get a closeup of it. Plus she does not have the image stabilizer and so she then also gets a lot of fuzzy pictures.

Before I bought my camera I readup on it. One site that I looked at was Steve's Digicams. Excellent site to browse through.

Brenda


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RE: Digital Cameras

Susan, check out Ebay Canada, lots of good deals on digitals.

Sharon


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RE: Digital Cameras

For sure Sharon - I love eBay... Once I have decided on what I want I will be checking it out. I generally shop (or even just price check) on eBay first before handing over my loot at a retail store. Not everything is a better deal and you need to stick with reputable sellers. I have found that there are a few of things that I just won't buy anywhere else (perfume, printer ink and cellular accessories). Even with shipping charges I easily save 30-50%.

Susan


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RE: Digital Cameras

Today on MSN there is an article on the best 10 5mp cameras. Just for curiosity I looked and what did I see but my camera listed as getting the best review!!! Of course they gave the US prices which is a lot lower than what I paid a year ago when I bought my camera here in Brandon.

This is the address...

http://msn-cnet.com.com/4323-6530_7-6509037.html?part=msn-cnet&subj=re_7-6509037&tag=tg_home

Brenda


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RE: Digital Cameras

Brenda - Thanks for the link. I have read many good reviews on your camera as well as other Canon's. In fact when I looked at the 6MP camera list in that link, the top 6 were all Canon.

Susan


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RE: Digital Cameras

Susan, the way the camera guy explained it to me was that the 5 mp or 6 mp feature on the camera doesn't make that much difference unless you want to blow up the pictures to make posters. Rather, he emphasized the optical zoom and the image stabilizer as being so important for me when taking pictures of flowers. The optical zoom being as high as you can get it...that way you do not have to be 'sitting on' the flower in order to take a picture of it. That's why I went for this camera.

Canon cameras are great in that they use regular double A batteries and not special lithium batteries. That way if your batteries run down and you do not have any others along, chances are that someone else will have batteries or the little local store, even 7-11 would have some.

Brenda


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RE: Digital Cameras

A little present I bought myself for all the hard work I've done this past year ;)

We got our contract settled, therefore retro pay/ raise and I decided to buy a new digital camera since my old Canon Powershot A520 is getting out of date, as well the LCD screen in the back is scratched.

I bought myself a Canon PowerShot S5IS, 8.0MP with 12x Optical Zoom, Optical Image Stabilization, yeah no more blurry/ shakey photos. LOL
And I really love the Super Macro closeup option, focus to 0 inches!

I don't have it yet, shipping takes about a week, hopefully its not too confusing to learn.

Sharon

Here is a link that might be useful: Canon PowerShot S5IS


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RE: Digital Cameras

It was nice to see an email from GW in my mailbox since I initiated this thread way back when. Hi to everyone - it's been a crazy and busy year for us. Just trying to keep up to life & the garden and playing with my camera seems to occupy most of my time. I am spending more time on-line at Facebook and Flickr where I keep in touch with family & friends. I hope all my on-line garden pals have been keeping well.

Congrats Sharon and great choice! Based on this thread and Brenda's recommendation I got the S3 IS which was the model after her S2 IS and before your S5. You will love it!

The zoom and the 2 macro modes are fabulous (I think I am a macro addict...). One thing that I have found invaluable is the movable LCD screen for assisting when taking shots from all kinds of angles. I was helping a friend shop for a camera recently and was surpised that there weren't more cameras with this option.

Another great thing is that you can use it easily in Automatic mode just as you would your point and shoot but have many (and I mean many...) options for expanding and experimenting when you want to.

Have fun!
Susan
(dotcom aka durtcom on most other websites)

Here is a link that might be useful: durtcom's Photos on Flickr


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RE: Digital Cameras

Hi Susan, I think the last time we talked was early spring when you showed me your transplanted trees. How are those coming along?

Oh good, I'm glad to hear I will love my new camera. I hoping to learn to get some good photos of my birds that come to visit this winter. I can't get good photos with this old camera. I might even invest in a telescope some day like Konrad has. LOL

Wow, I'm speechless, your photos look professional!
I really love the closeups of the sunflowers and Kirby's framed photo, how'd you do that? LOL

You sure have a beautiful scenery acreage!

Hey, Congrats on the Mentzelia decapetala (Giant Evening Star) photo, did you get seed from me on a trade....if yours is seeding can you save me some? Mine died for unknown reason this year. ;)

Sharon


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RE: Digital Cameras

btw....Susan, your unknown butterfly is a White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis).

Here is a link that might be useful: White Admiral


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RE: Digital Cameras

Hey Sharon - Thanks for visiting my photos and thanks so much for the compliments. Also, thanks for the ID on the butterflies. I have enjoyed Flickr a lot - it is great for sharing photos with others but it is much more of a community than I knew. It has thousands of groups on any topic you can imagine. Some of them are focused on the photography aspects but some are interactive with like-minded people discussing and sharing what interests them. I have found it to be a valuable reference for photography and cameras. I like to go to the "Explore" menu option at the top and view was are deemed to be the most "interesting" photos on Flickr - many just knock my socks off!

I like the Kirby portrait in the museum too... I have found a few fun sites to use with your photos:
http://www.dumpr.net/ (museum frames and more)
http://www.krazydad.com/kaleido/ (make your photos in kaleidoscopes)
http://www.bighugelabs.com/ (tons of stuff to play with here and interacts with Flickr)

The transplanted trees are doing well. We were lucky that it rained for about 2 weeks immediately after moving them. I can't believe I just said those words but it saved us from dragging miles of hose around the acreage to water 14 mature spruce trees...

I didn't get the Mentzelia decapetala from you but I did copy you... When I first joined GW I saw your picture and ordered from JL Hudson. My first one died as well. I could be wrong but I thought I read somewhere that it was biennial? Anyway, I love this flower so much that I have wintersown it every year since. I think I will be able to collect seed and will definitely save you some.


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RE: Digital Cameras

Hee, hee, hee, I joined Flickr yesterday, I spent a couple of hours browsing the most interesting photos last night. Amazing photos alright! I really love the close-ups in the macro bugs. See link below.

Thanks for those fun sites, should be entertaining. LOL

Yes, it was a good year for planting trees this year. I have already a wish list for next year.

You're right, the Mentzelia is a biennial or short-lived perennial. That would be great if you can save some seed.

I got a email saying my camera is on its way. I might need your help Susan/ Brenda when it gets here ;)

Sharon

Here is a link that might be useful: Common Darter


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RE: Digital Cameras

I got a Canon Rebel XTi a few months ago and I've been playing around with it a fair bit but haven't had much time to post pics lately. I feel like I need a serious photography course to get all the benefit outta that baby!


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RE: Digital Cameras

I touched something, how to I get rid of the grid lines?


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grid lines

I figured it out, I must of had it on movie mode ;)

Lots to learn eh Ang!


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RE: Digital Cameras

Oh yeah, lots to learn for sure! I've been hitting the photography books and magazines alot since I had time off this summer. DH also got me a TTL flash (for my B-Day) that also has a manual the size of a novel with it! Even more to learn! 8^) I've always been fascinated with photography so this is totally perfect even though its intimidating still at this point!


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RE: Digital Cameras

Enjoy your knew cameras ladies. Looking forward to seeing your pics in the gallery.

Sierra


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RE: Digital Cameras..correction and tip. lol!

Hmmmmm, I must have typed that really fast. LOL! Knew....errrrr NEW. Doh!

Now for the tip. This past weekend I went on a photo expedition. Of course I took my little p&s camera along as well. My p&s takes 4AA batteries. Now I buy batteries by the case for this camera....and I always have 4 to 6 sets in my camera bag....but do you think that I remembered to check before I left. Dohhhhhhhhhhh Remember to take extra batteries. If your camera has a rechargable, remember to take the charger and at least one spare battery. I did remember to bring the charger and spare battery for the camera I use the most. Whew!!!!

Sierra


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RE: Digital Cameras

It has been a while since I have been on the conversation side of the FN. So, I totally was missing this thread.

Congrats Sharon and Susan on getting Canon cameras like mine. You both will love them!!! Good choices you made!

I bought two sets of 4 AA rechargeable batteries in 2005 when I got my camera and kept recharging them over and over again. I just threw out one of the sets about a month ago. They sure lasted a long time! The other set is still going. The third set I used at the start were batteries I found at home but I misplaced one or two of the batteries and so, never used that set much. Now, everytime I go somewhere with my camera, I throw the recharger in my purse with the 4 freshly recharged batteries in it. It is amazing how often I will be in the middle of the Westman Gardeners meeting taking pictures and the batteries will die then or in the midst of another function and they die. Just taking the few extra seconds to throw in the freshly recharged batteries in the purse sure has been a lifesaver.

I have now taken about 25,000 pictures with my camera...it rolls over at the 9999 number to 0 again....of course, I haven't kept all of them but have a lot in the computer though!

Thanks Susan for the fun sites to explore this winter. I have all the pictures I took this summer to label, crop, adjust lighting on, etc etc. this winter when I can't work outside anymore. It will be fun to work with some of the pictures with the fun techniques.

I was given a Manfrotto tripod with a joystick head (pistol grip) for my birthday in June to use along with my camera and haven't taken the time to experiment with it and my camera. I am hoping for time this winter. Just wait...that will be the next thing on your wish list, Sharon and Susan.

Brenda


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RE: Digital Cameras

If you're in the market for a digital camera stay away from Pentax. They do not service their own product nor do they stand behind it. I am being charged $65.00 plus shipping for a firm wear download that tey offer for free on their web sit and on top of that they will not warranty the work. Get a Nikon


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