Comparing Digital Cameras- Comparing Digital Cameras introduction.
Comparing Digital Cameras
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While we are in the digital age, we vastly enjoy the ease and functionality of our digital accessories, appliances and machines. This paper reviews top-of-the-line digital cameras to see which of the featured point-and-shoot cameras is best for educational use to assist students and teachers in school activities, projects and other endeavors.
Comparing Digital Cameras
In this age of advancement, almost everything has gone digital. Take cameras for example. Gone are the days when you had to scour the tourist shop for that impossibly expensive camera film while vacationing in an exotic island. Now you only have to bring your charger, make sure that you have enough memory in it and instantly, you begin your never-ending clicking and flashing. And if something did not come out right, you can delete it immediately and retake the photo.
Digital cameras now also play an important world in education. Top-of-the-line digital cameras are a vital tool in heading or in writing for the school paper. Because photos can easily be uploaded to the computer, these can be immediately incorporated in the layout. If a writer wrote an article that needs photos to capture his thoughts, he can easily do it with a digital camera. Some cameras even allow you to connect it to the LCD projector and make a slideshow straight from the camera, so that students can instantly see the photos taken from an activity, for example. For faster processing of Identification Cards (ID), digital cameras are also used to capture the faces of the students, teachers and staff alike, and the ID gets printed immediately after the photo has been taken. Students will also be able to facilitate the making of their own yearbook with the right digital camera, because they can just point, shoot, upload and edit the photos almost instantaneously. The list can go on, but before that happens, let this paper present five top-of-the-line digital cameras of the present time.
Canon Powershot A640 is a 10 megapixel camera with 4x optical zoom. It has an advanced TTL AiAF 9-point auto-focus system that allows the camera to automatically select the primary subject even when off-center. Another good point of this camera is that it is capable of accommodating optional auxiliary Canon lenses, such as the Canon WC-DC58N 0.7x wide converter lens, TC-DC58N 1.75x tele-converter lens, or 250D 58mm close-up lens. This camera is good for budding point-and-shoot photographer or the more experimental ones. For ease in connectivity, the camera connects to USB 2.0 (high-speed) port of the computer. This USB utility makes image downloading a breeze, and while connected, ZoomBrowser EX program lets you organize, edit, print and email your images. The digital port also connects to camera control with the Remote Capture software. This allows you to take photos while the camera is connected to the computer, with the monitor serving as your large viewfinder. This is very practical when taking group photos, a self-portrait or if you need to see the details of your shoot on big screen. It also connects to any PictBridge compatible printer, Canon Card Photo Printer or BubbleJet Direct photo printers for direct printing (Canon Powershot A640, 2006).
Casio Exilim EX-1050 is another 10-megapixel camera that is so small, it easily fits on the palm of your hand. Developed from the previously successful EX-1000, this new model is even smaller but features a bigger and brighter 2.6-inch Wide and Bright LCD display. Its lightweight aluminum body makes it easy to carry it everywhere. It has 3x optical zoom and is capable of taking maximum 7 shots per second high-speed continuous shooting. Its “Auto Tracking AF” function follows objects in motion, keeping them continuously in focus until the photo is taken. With its blur-reduction technology (anti-shake DSP which reduces blur due to shaky hands and movement of subject), users are assured of crisp photos in a snap. It can be connected to the PC through USB for downloading of photos(Casio Exilim Zoom EX-1050, 2007). This camera is good for the no-fuss user who wants high-quality images in simple buttons.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 derives a lot of features from the earlier model, LX1. This camera is packed with a 10-megapixel capability with Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 4x optical zoom. The joy of using this camera comes from its capability to allow creative shooting by its full manual controllability including manual focus via joystick. With its Mega Optical Image Stabilizer technology, its built-in gyro sensor detects any hand movement and relays a signal to a microchip inside, instantly calculating the adjustment needed. The camera is mass storage compliant, enabling plug and play once connected to the computer (Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2, 2006).
Olympus Stylus 1000 boasts of a 10-megapixel resolution and 3x optical zoom. What sets it apart from other digital cameras in the market is it is weather-proof, so a sudden rain downpour will not leave you running away. The camera is not submersible, though.
It utilizes USB 2.0 full speed connection to download files. It is also capable of in-camera editing of red eye, blur and underexposure. It has a Help GUIDE function which enables novice users to access images and brief descriptions of each functions and scene modes. The Shooting Guide serves as a quick reference for users who are at a loss in photography. PictBridge capability is also a standard feature in this model (Pansini, 2007).
Nikon CoolPix P5000 features Zoom-Nikkor glass lens with 3x optical zoom and 10-megapixel resolution. It allows users to set manual controls, which makes it a gap-bridging camera between point-and-shoot and the more advanced DSLRs. A hot shoe enables it to use Nikon speedlights, it accepts conversion lenses and has an interval shooting function. It has in-camera red-eye fix and Face Priority AF – which automatically finds and focuses on faces when shooting, and D-lighting to improve brightness of images (Nikon CoolPix P5000 , 2007) . The camera kit comes with PictureProject organizational and editing software, which works with Nikon Capture or Adobe Photoshop (Nikon CoolPix P5000, 2007).
All of the digital cameras reviewed for this paper have a 10-megapixel resolution. However, the similarity ends there. Each camera has its own good finds and bad quirks, and because of this, the camera may not work for a particular use or purpose.
Due to its versatility and advanced features, Canon Powershot A640 seems to be the best buy for school purposes. It has simple features that can be easily understood by novice students or teachers using it, but is capable of accommodating advanced functions as well for the more pro user. The auto-focus system, for example, is good to be used by a budding photojournalist. Experimenting on the settings can be easily done. ISO settings (especially 400 and above) are to be used outdoors during sports fairs, or in capturing “action” moments during field trips. With its USB utility, the whole class can watch the photos on an LCD projector connected to the computer. With its Remote Capture software, class photos and other group pictures can easily be taken while seeing the photo results on the computer monitor even before capturing it. This can be also used in capturing IDs of students, teachers and administrators, seeing right away how the picture would look like before even printing it directly on the identification card. Because of its high resolution output, the photos taken with this camera can be used in materials that require high resolution images like school paper, yearbook, newsletter and the like. Its USB connectivity allows for easy downloads of images, which can then be used right away in laying-out the school paper or yearbook. Students and teachers alike can easily set up their own team of photographers for the yearbook without the need for professional ones.
The fun part for the more pro users of this camera is its capability to use auxiliary Canon lenses. This is very handy for the student or teacher journalists who need to use high power lenses for crisper shooting. This also enables the users to enjoy DSLR-like features without the need for acquiring expensive DSLR cameras.
Canon Powershot A640. (2006). Retrieved May 2, 2007 from http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/a640.html.
Casio Exilim Zoom EX-1050. (2007). Retrieved May 2, 2007 from http://www.dpreview.com/news/0701/07013002casioexz1050.asp#specs.
Nikon CoolPix P5000. 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2007 from http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=2&productNr=25565
Nikon CoolPix P5000 . 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2007 from http://www.dphotojournal.com/nikon-coolpix-p5000-review-samples-photos/
Panasonic LumixDMC-LX2. (2006). Retrieved May 2, 2007 from http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/PanasonicLX2/
Pasini, Mike. (2007). Olympus Stylus 1000. The Imaging Resource. Retrieved May 2, 2007 from http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/OS1000/OS1000A.HTM