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New Digital Camera....

New Digital Camera....
07 Jan 2010 18:26:17

Yesterday I received the digital camera I ordered over the XMas/New Year holiday. It’s a $200 Fujifilm FinePix S1500. Not the highest quality camera I could have bought, but I’m trying to keep myself on a budget until I get a new job and I figured this would satisfy my needs for now. Well, the first few pictures I took (using the auto setting) just looked horrible, extremely grainy and pixelated. After looking up information online I started adjusting the ISO, shutter speed and other settings until I was finally able to get something that was presentable:


This is the newest picture I’ve added to the Photo spot. It looks really good compared to some of the other pictures I’ve taken with this camera, but it is noticeably not as good as this:


It’s one of the two last pictures I took before I left to be with my family for the holidays. I was using my roommate’s Kodak EasyShare Z710 to take it just like I did for all of my other pictures on the site, all of which I was using the auto setting to take. It has been very frustrating dealing with how different the two cameras are in quality and trying to fix the issues with my new camera. But then just to put the icing on the cake, this morning I discovered something else about the camera while I was finally starting to get the hang of using it:


Notice something wrong with this picture? See something directly below Taiga’s wrist, about an inch or so down? I believe it’s called a dead or stuck pixel? Yeah, I was pretty annoyed when I noticed this. It’s three pixels long and discolors the pixels directly surrounding it and is in every picture I’ve taken all in the same spot. So not only is this camera much more difficult to get quality, clear pictures with but it is also a little defective. This is cropped out from the original version of the same picture I submitted today. I edited the version I put on the site in Photoshop to cover up the bad pixels before I uploaded it. I really don’t want to deal with doing that every time I take a picture so I’ll most likely be returning this camera and see if I can get a refund or a replacement. I’d prefer a refund so I could try getting a different camera.

So has anyone else had issues like these with their cameras? Any suggestions for a good digital camera between $200 and $300? Any suggestions for a higher quality one I might want to check out after I’m back in a more stable financial situation?
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Vallefor
Vallefor (Russia)
07 Jan 2010, 11:25:29
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Another option of crappy quality is my mistake in resizing script. Today we tested several quality parameters in image resizing script and... maybe I was without glasses or maybe because of something else... but we set it to 75 T_T

And.. after reading your blog post we tried to upload more pictures with quality value 75 and baaah - the quality of resized photos turned to become really bad. I've immediately changed it to 95, it should be ok now.

I am really sorry about it!
And if you have some time - please re-upload your last pictures (those which were used in this post) T_T

But I'm sure that you checked the quality before uploading stuff. So.. I can advise you to set ISO between 100 and 400 and try make some photos of smaller size (5-7 Megapixels instead of 10). Maybe it will help, but "dead pixels" in each photo... I think your camera matrix is defective.

A do not know what to advise you for $200-300 (mb something made by Canon or NIKON?).. but if you are going to save money - pay attention to DSLR KIT (KIT means that camera comes with lens). NIKON D60 kit AF-S 18-55 DX VR is one of the cheapest (in Russia it costs ~$655, I guess it will be cheaper in USA) DSLR cameras but I'm pleased with it.
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pluvia33
pluvia33 (USA)
07 Jan 2010, 12:00:05
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Oops, meant to make the below post an answer to you. Guess that's my computer's way of letting you know we all make mistakes. ^_^"

Oh, and I really can't tell any quality difference between the picture on the site and the one I uploaded from, it's just at a different resolution.
pluvia33
pluvia33 (USA)
07 Jan 2010, 11:57:42
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Hmmm, is the limit 1500x1500 resolution now?? No offense, but I've always resized my photos within 2000x2000 myself because I don't really trust web based auto resizing things. I just tried to re-upload my Super Glue picture but it resized it to 1500x1500 again....

Aside from that, thanks for the tips! ^_^
Vallefor
Vallefor (Russia)
07 Jan 2010, 12:38:19
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Yes. Big pictures will be resized to 1500x1500 from now. Hm... Is it too small for you? Btw, belive me, you can thrust our script! Test it!

But it was a hard decision.... with victims.
On the left side of scales were "low quality + bigger size" and on the right - "smaller size + very good quality". We decided in favour of quality. I think that we won't change our mind anymore. Although we can permit pictures of bigger size if we buy our own server... one (sunny) day :P
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pluvia33
pluvia33 (USA)
07 Jan 2010, 13:03:32
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No, 1500x1500 is big enough. I was just a little confused by it since I didn't know the change was made and it still says 2000 x 2000 pixels on the photo upload form. And yes, I do see that your resize script does work well just from that picture I uploaded. It was just a general statement, something about my personality. I try to control whatever is in my own power to do so or something. I don't know, just a mild compulsion I guess. =P
Glory
Glory (Russia)
07 Jan 2010, 13:22:38
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Yap, sorry for that mass with quality and sizes. We decided to limit our users a bit cos we don't want to run out of space tomorrow :P

Ahh ;( I feel sorry for this camera incident. I would be quite upset if I were you. In my opinion, you should ask for the refund.

As to camera I use - I got pretty lucky. I bought it before I became interested in making pics of my figurines. Actually it's Nikon D60 Vallefor is talking about (we share it now). The story is I was passing through Singapore... you know, electronics is a good deal cheaper there? So it was like... necessary to buy something. Anything!... Well, imagine my happiness when Nikon came in handy with figurines!

I also remember we were choosing a cheap camera for my roommate in Japan. We settled on CANON Digital IXUS 100 IS. About 200$ I guess.



I uploaded one of the pics taken with her camera. You can check it, here. It wasn't resized or photoshoped.
The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
pluvia33
pluvia33 (USA)
07 Jan 2010, 13:38:59
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Yeah, the new size limit is perfectly reasonable. Actually, when I saw the 2000x2000 limit my first thought was, "are they going to be able to maintain that??" I mean, that can be as much as 1mb per picture. That can add up really fast when the collection of pictures on the site starts to reach numbers in the 1000's or even 10000's.

And yes, the camera issue is pretty upsetting. I was really looking forward to getting my own decent digital camera. It really ended up being a major letdown, and then with it also having a defect was just a big slap in the face. Now I need to deal with returning the thing and getting a refund and trying to find something better. Maybe I'll have better luck shopping in a physical story and checking things out in person I'll keep an eye out for Canon and Nikon cameras. That picture is very amusing. XD
Glory
Glory (Russia)
11 Jan 2010, 00:36:57
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So, how is returning going? Successfully, I hope...
The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
pluvia33
pluvia33 (USA)
11 Jan 2010, 02:15:07
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Well, I had it all boxed up and ready to send back Saturday, but I didn't get to the post office in time to ship it out (they close at 1pm on Saturday). So I'll be sending it back today and hopefully everything goes well from there. ^_^"

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