[long] Re: [clug] OT: digital cameras

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Sun Jun 13 00:37:05 GMT 2004

On 11 Jun 2004, at 10:39, Pietro Abate wrote:

> I want to buy a DC and after browsing the web and reading review I
> decided to get a panasonic dmc FZ-10 (it's a 4MP with a 12x optical).

I have to wonder about the utility of anything higher than 6x optical 
zoom. At 4x optical zoom, the shaking of your hands makes impossible to 
take a sharp, focussed photo without the assistance of a tripod. I've 
not yet seen a digital image stabiliser that works - but at least the 
Panasonic has good quality optics, so the lack of focus/image quality 
will be entirely attributable to the shaking hand and the image 
stabilising software.

> Now I want to buy it, but it seems that the DC shops in civic decided 
> to
> have exactly the same deal ( -/+ 50 cents). This doesn't help the
> consumer and it's not really fare in terms of free market.

I'm sure I've missed something - a bunch of competitors in the market 
are selling exactly the same thing for nearly the same price? What's 
your concern, since that's pretty much the ideal situation in the "free 
market"?  It's only of interest to drop the profit margin significantly 
if the rise in sales will result in more net profit. The market for 
$1000 digital cameras isn't big enough for that kind of sales drive to 
work. If you're concerned about price fixing, complain to the ACCC.

> ps: this camera works with Linux as usbstorage device :)

Most digital cameras will show up as a usb storage device. Many cameras 
have special drivers because Windows uses the USB vendor/product code 
in preference to the USB device class/protocol code.

> camera : 999$
> 512Mb sd card: 249$ (256Mb -> 129$)
> spare battery: 89$

Don't forget a tripod! You want to get yourself into group photos too! 
I have two tripods - one mini tripod (bendy-legged thing) which is 
great for taking landscape shots while out walking. The other is a 
full-size foldup with collapsible legs. It's useless now, because the 
little locking plate that holds the camera has gone missing. My next 
tripod will not have removable vital parts (ie: camera-holding screw 
built in) :)

A word of advice - while you're in the shop, get the camera out and try 
taking 10 photos at maximum resolution as fast as possible. Try 
different SD cards. If the shop doesn't stock multiple brands of cards, 
buy the camera from a different shop!  A crappy flash card will turn 
your $999 camera to a $999 pain in the rear. I have three CF cards for 
my Nikon - One is SANDisk (16MB), one is PQI (128MB), one is Apacer 
(64MB). The Apacer is brilliant - I can fill the card with photos twice 
as fast as the other two CF cards. The PQI is terrible - not only is it 
slow, but after a few quick (subjective term) photos, it starts either 
corrupting my pictures (random pixel changes) or locking up, meaning I 
have to power-cycle the camera to get back into action. The SANDisk CF 
is the 16MB one that came with the camera, so not even worth talking 
about (10-15 frames at full resolution, minimum compression), I use it 
for storing SSH keys and the like. Based on my experience, go for 
SANDisk or Apacer. Based on reports I've heard, Transcend make decent 
quality flash products too.

Best wishes
Alex Satrapa

Windows 98, n.: 32 bit extensions and graphical shell for a 16 bit hack 
on a 8 bit operating system originally written for a 4 bit 
microprocessor, by a 2 bit company that can't stand 1 bit of 
competition and has not a bit of respect for its customers.
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