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Best CHDK Camera for roughly $100?

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Re: Best CHDK Camera for roughly $100?
« Reply #10 on: 09 / January / 2011, 21:17:59 »
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I absolutely must have full manual control, which is why I became interested in CHDK, for the amount of control it has.

But I was under the impression that CHDK gives full manual control, and beyond, to any compatible camera, whether it natively has manual controls or not.  Or am I wrong about that?


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Offline reyalp

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Re: Best CHDK Camera for roughly $100?
« Reply #11 on: 09 / January / 2011, 21:36:48 »
I absolutely must have full manual control, which is why I became interested in CHDK, for the amount of control it has.

But I was under the impression that CHDK gives full manual control, and beyond, to any compatible camera, whether it natively has manual controls or not.  Or am I wrong about that?
CHDK gives you control over just about everything, but it isn't always as convenient as the controls in the canon UI. Given a choice, I would go for a camera that already has manual controls. This advice is for a general purpose camera you intend to carry around and use for all different kinds of shooting. If you have some specific application in mind, it might not matter. For example, a dedicated timelapse camera would be fine without canon manual controls.

Also, CHDK only gives you control of hardware that physically exists on your camera. If the camera doesn't have an iris (like most ixus and current A series), then CHDK can't add aperture control.  We're good, but not that good  :-[
Don't forget what the H stands for.

Re: Best CHDK Camera for roughly $100?
« Reply #12 on: 10 / January / 2011, 13:46:06 »
No, the A590 will not do 30 fps video, but, oddly enough, the A570 will, probably because it just has fewer pixels to deal with.

I have used the A590 pretty extensively for time lapse, and found the camera's manual controls to be very useful - not having to use CHDK for that part.  But it's also a pretty capable camera for general shooting, as long as you have enough light.  I used it to take photos of an artist friend's paintings, and those pics turned out really well - one was even used on the poster for his exhibit blown up to something like 11x14, and it looked great.

And using the A590 in Av, Tv, and Manual, I think I learned a lot about the craft of photography, so when I got my DSLR, it was pretty easy going to get up to speed.

But, objectively, for many purposes the SD780 is a better camera - it cost twice as much intially, has 12mp vs 8mp, 720p 30fps video, etc., etc.    It just depends on the relative cost now, and which features or shortcomings are important to you.

It contiinues to amaze me how much you get for your money these days for pretty much any camera.  I recently got to play with a friend's new Canon T2i DSLR, and the low-light (high ISO) capability is just amazing.  You can take good low-noise pics of scenes you can hardly see with the naked eye.  It used to be anything over ISO 400 was pushing your luck on noise, but ISO 1600, or even 3200, looks really good.

Well, whatever you decide to do, let us know what choice you made, and why.

Re: Best CHDK Camera for roughly $100?
« Reply #13 on: 10 / January / 2011, 15:15:37 »
Thanks so much for all the help so far.  I'm somewhat leaning towards the SD780is, since it is newer, higher resolution, etc.  And although size usually isn't a big deal for me, I might want to use this for aerial photography with rc planes/helis, so it would help. 

However since it has no Iris, does that mean I will not be able to adjust apeture?  That would be kind of a dissappointment, however not necessarily a dealbreaker, since the only time I ever use a small apeture is for a larger depth of field, usually I'm more concerned with letting in as much light as possible.

Also aside from simply the megapixel count alone, is one likely to take higher quality photos from the other (like it has a better sensor, lens, processor etc).  Example: I'd rather have high quality beautiful 8mp photos than mediocre 12mp ones.

One more thing that would help me decide.  Are there examples anywhere of just what the chdk manual controls are like?  I've tried searching all over youtube and other places for demonstrations.  If its only is just slightly more difficult to adjust, and just takes a couple more seconds, then I might not care as much, but if its a huge pain, and you have to take 5 minutes to set up your shot then I might not.  I have another primary camera with full manual controls I use for most stuff, this camera will be mainly only for specialty shots that my other camera isn't capable of (like with remote shutter, motion shutter, and extremely fast and slow shutter speeds)


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Offline reyalp

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Re: Best CHDK Camera for roughly $100?
« Reply #14 on: 10 / January / 2011, 16:07:06 »
However since it has no Iris, does that mean I will not be able to adjust apeture?
Correct aperture will depend only on zoom.

There is also an ND filter, which can be turned on or off to change amount of light entering the sensor, but not the DOF.
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Also aside from simply the megapixel count alone, is one likely to take higher quality photos from the other (like it has a better sensor, lens, processor etc).  Example: I'd rather have high quality beautiful 8mp photos than mediocre 12mp ones.
I'm sure you can find representative image samples from these cameras (or similar models) online. Try dpreview.com or similar sites. In general, cameras with small, high megapixel sensors have worse image quality when viewed at 1:1 zoom, but you have more pixels to work with so which one wins ends up depending a lot on what you want to do with the image.

In general, the smaller cameras have more compromised lenses.
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One more thing that would help me decide.  Are there examples anywhere of just what the chdk manual controls are like?  I've tried searching all over youtube and other places for demonstrations. 
You can look at the CHDK users manual to get an idea how it works http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK_User_Manual the section on "Extra Photo Operations" covers most of the things that you would use for manual control.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

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Offline fudgey

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Re: Best CHDK Camera for roughly $100?
« Reply #15 on: 10 / January / 2011, 16:11:33 »
However since it has no Iris, does that mean I will not be able to adjust apeture?  That would be kind of a dissappointment, however not necessarily a dealbreaker, since the only time I ever use a small apeture is for a larger depth of field, usually I'm more concerned with letting in as much light as possible.

It does. No adjustable aperture. When it gets too bright, the camera will swing in an ND filter to get rid of excess light. So the only way to change the aperture is by zooming in. But do note that P&S camera sensors & lenses are rather tiny, and in practice infinity is pretty close by. So, for regular P&S cameras with 4x zoom lenses the iris is (IMO!) really only a requirement for shooting closeups in sufficient light or on a tripod.

Also aside from simply the megapixel count alone, is one likely to take higher quality photos from the other (like it has a better sensor, lens, processor etc).  Example: I'd rather have high quality beautiful 8mp photos than mediocre 12mp ones.

I simply hate the low light performance of my a570. I've taken some indoor photos with a a3000 and they do look better to me.

Re: Best CHDK Camera for roughly $100?
« Reply #16 on: 10 / January / 2011, 17:59:58 »
Well I've done a bunch more reading, comparing, studying etc, and it seems like the more I read, and learn the more confusing everything becomes.

Right now, with size and price aside, I think the most important thing it will come down to is going to be...

-Image quality (including low light performance since I plan to do lots of high speed and fast moving shots which require lots of light)

-Quickness of use (as in minimal shutter lag, shot to shot, etc.)

I've been reading tons of reviews, sample pictures, etc.  But its all so subjective and I havent' been able to find a direct comparison.  I look at the specs and supposedly the a590 has a slightly smaller sensor, however since its only 8mp it has lower pixel density, and also a wider apeture lens.  In theory it seems like it would be better quality, reviews give such mixed results that don't necessarily match the specs.  The SD780 has a bigger sensor, but more densely packed, it is newer though if that makes any difference.  Its just so hard for me to figure out which will have better quality.

As far as speed of use that is a very tough one too.  The specs seem like they indicate the a590 being faster.  It can also take burst shots at 1.4fps, compared to .8fps of the sd780.  Yet it seems like in reviews I've read people seem to consider the a590 slow, while people have said the sd780 is pretty snappy, despite it conflicting with the specs.  Actual shutter lag is a figure I haven't really been able to find.

Any help sorting through all this mess?

PS: One other question I have to check.  When using a remote control shutter, am I able to use the remote for both half and full click?  So that I can have everything dialed in with the half press and fire off the shot with no delay?

Thanks for the help

 

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