Camera question... upgrade?

Caboose302

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I'm finally getting down to unpacking the last few moving boxes and I found our camera that I thought was lost. It's an old camera. Not as old as my 2 1970's Pentax cameras, but it's a 2004 Sony DSC-F828.

My questions are:

I'm getting ready to take my two pentax cameras to a specialty store and maybe selling one and having the other gone though, but with the Sony, is it worth keeping or should I just upgrade?

Is it worth even getting different lenses like a CP filter for it? I was reading the post by [MENTION=16788]Darhawk[/MENTION] and made me want to try it.

My wife used it for photography class way back when and really only used the Macro filter for flowers and girly stuff. Just not sure how it would work for big items like cars.

When it comes to these types of cameras does Megapixel size really count?

I know new cameras kick ass but are they really THAT much better to spend $600-1000 bucks?



Don't laugh, But here are the specs ( I don't know what half this stuff means):

Cyber-shot F828 features:
  • [SIZE=-1][/SIZE][SIZE=-1]
  • 2/3-inch 8-megapixel, 4-color Super HAD CCD imager
  • 7x (28-200mm) all-glass Carl Zeiss F2-2.8 zoom lens
  • Manual zoom and focus rings on lens
  • TTL autofocus with hologram laser AF assist
  • 5-zone Auto Focus area, auto or manual selection
  • RAW, TIFF uncompressed and JPEG in Fine or Normal quality
  • 1.8" 134,000 pixel color LCD monitor
  • High-resolution eyelevel TTL color viewfinder with 235,000 pixels
  • Program AE w/Shift and four Scene modes
  • Shutter speed priority (30 secs. to 1/2000 sec. in 30 steps)
  • Aperture priority (F2 to F8 in 13 steps) with 7-blade iris diaphram
  • Full Manual exposure with EV indicator
  • Exclusive Night Shot and Night Framing exposure modes
  • Auto Exposure Bracketing with +/- 0.3, 0.7 or 1.0 steps
  • Speed burst, Framing Burst and Multi Burst drive modes
  • Multi-pattern, Center-weighted or Spot metering
  • Five white balance presets and one-push custom;
  • Selectable ISO sensitivity (Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800)
  • In-camera saturation, contrast and sharpening (Normal, +/- 1)
  • Picture Effects: Negative Art, Solarize, Sepia
  • 14-bit A/D conversion for wider dynamic range from highlight to shadow
  • Adjustable TTL flash with Red Eye reduction
  • Hot shoe and connector for optional external flash
  • 3:2 image ratio for making "perfect" 4x6 prints
  • MPEG-VX Fine 640x480 video at 30fps w/audio; limited only by memory
  • Voice Memo Mode to add narration to still images
  • Memory Stick/Memory Stick Pro and CompactFlash Type I/II storage
  • A/V output for displaying images and movies on TV sets
  • USB 2.0 connectivity for fast downloading to PC
  • Sony InfoLITHIUM NP-FM50 battery with longer runtime
  • Exif 2.2 compatible and direct USB printing via PictBridge[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]

[/SIZE]
 

Burninrock24

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Before you do anything, get to know the settings on your camera and get good with taking pictures with it. If you still don't like the quality, then time to upgrade. You can buy a $3000 camera and still take crap pictures if you don't know what you're doing.

Your camera isn't that bad to be honest. It just isnt competitive anymore in comparison. It has a real optical lens, adjustable ISO and shutter speed, so it's already ahead of most point and shoots.

Get yourself a tripod from the local pawn or thrift shop and try playing with your settings I can give you quick tips to taking good pictures with just *okay* cameras.

Keep your ISO as low as possible. This is essentially the sensitivity setting of your cameras sensor (on film cameras it references to film speed of exposure).

The problem with a low ISO is that it needs one of the two: an extremely well lit subject, or a longer exposure time. Higher ISOs are more sensitive but introduce more noise, distortion, and artifacts.

With your ISO set as low as it will go, now play with your shutter speed to limit the time of exposure. The longer you have the shutter open, the more light will be exposed to the sensor. This is where the tripod comes in. You need to be extremely still if youre shooting anything at longer than like a 1/6 second. Otherwise the tremors in your hands WILL blur the image. Guaranteed.

Take a few different shots of the same object but with different zoom levels. Try to have it fill the same amount of screen, you will see what different zoom levels do to the image. I usually shoot my car at as true (zoomed in) levels of zoom possible, it flattens the car out a bit, where as the real wide zooms (zoomed out) causes a bit of fish-eye effect.

There is quite a bit more, but start with that.

Also, never shoot with flash on EVER unless you are going for that kind of effect, but cars hate direct flashes in 99% of scenarios.

Your macro lenses are cool and will look sweet with taking close up shots of stuff like your gauges, emblems, engine goodies. But shouldn't be used to frame a whole car, I doubt the camera would even be able to focus right with a subject that big.
 

Caboose302

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If I were in your shoes I would pick up a base model Canon or Nikon SLR. Like this:

http://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/c...al_SLRs-_-G_Canon_Product Listing Ads-_-22064

I might be interested in that once I get better at taking pictures.

Before you do anything, get to know the settings on your camera and get good with taking pictures with it. If you still don't like the quality, then time to upgrade. You can buy a $3000 camera and still take crap pictures if you don't know what you're doing.

Your camera isn't that bad to be honest. It just isnt competitive anymore in comparison. It has a real optical lens, adjustable ISO and shutter speed, so it's already ahead of most point and shoots.

Get yourself a tripod from the local pawn or thrift shop and try playing with your settings I can give you quick tips to taking good pictures with just *okay* cameras.

Keep your ISO as low as possible. This is essentially the sensitivity setting of your cameras sensor (on film cameras it references to film speed of exposure).

The problem with a low ISO is that it needs one of the two: an extremely well lit subject, or a longer exposure time. Higher ISOs are more sensitive but introduce more noise, distortion, and artifacts.

With your ISO set as low as it will go, now play with your shutter speed to limit the time of exposure. The longer you have the shutter open, the more light will be exposed to the sensor. This is where the tripod comes in. You need to be extremely still if youre shooting anything at longer than like a 1/6 second. Otherwise the tremors in your hands WILL blur the image. Guaranteed.

Take a few different shots of the same object but with different zoom levels. Try to have it fill the same amount of screen, you will see what different zoom levels do to the image. I usually shoot my car at as true (zoomed in) levels of zoom possible, it flattens the car out a bit, where as the real wide zooms (zoomed out) causes a bit of fish-eye effect.

There is quite a bit more, but start with that.

Also, never shoot with flash on EVER unless you are going for that kind of effect, but cars hate direct flashes in 99% of scenarios.

Your macro lenses are cool and will look sweet with taking close up shots of stuff like your gauges, emblems, engine goodies. But shouldn't be used to frame a whole car, I doubt the camera would even be able to focus right with a subject that big.

I had an 8hr car ride one time and was reading the owners manual trying to get to know it. I need to play around with it more. I'll try playing with the ISO and shutter speeds and start from there.
Thank you!



Sent from mah Obamafone
 

Darhawk

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Burninrock24 has some great tips!!! I'd really suggest learning your settings too. Yet, I'd sell it on Ebay and then use the money to get a DSLR, you could even buy a nice used DSLR and then you can grow with the camera. I don't think a camera store will give you beans for it. Yes, you may still learning, but you will always be learning if you choose to grow in the hobby. I have been shooting for over 14 years and still find myself trying to learn stuff. Spend some time to learn what the terms mean in Photography and watch videos on YouTube. It shouldn't take too long to learn what terms mean, but practicing them and getting good results will.

If you plan on printing small images, like a 4X6 to 5x7 then the Sony is pretty good for that. If you want to print bigger you will need a higher resolution camera and good glass. If you are just an occasional shooter and haven't touch a camera in months, I'd keep the Sony. You don't need to spend an arm and a leg to get a nice DSLR that can print images up to 11X17 and that is plenty big for the time being.

You can read a review on your camera here::
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydscf828
Read it's flaw and Pros and then you also be able to find out what you like and dislike about your camera and then you can search for something that fits your needs.

Here is a pic of a bird I took yesterday and it's not an expensive camera Body, but the glass is high dollar. There is no way I could get this type an image with the Sony.

Say's Phoebe by Darhawk, on Flickr
 

Caboose302

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That's awesome. I'm just wanting something I can take decent pictures of my car with once I finally get it painted or figure out a way to make it look good. I wasn't thinking about selling the Sony just yet. Maybe one of my old Pentax cameras. My wife used it mainly with the macro lens for taking close up pictures of stuff but never really leaned how to use all the settings. I'll study the owners manual again and see if I can learn the basics and start taking decent pictures and then when I feel confident I'll jump up to a DSLR. That will give me time to get my car done and ready for that type of quality picture.

Sent from mah Obamafone
 

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