Having trouble finding the ideal camera - General Help and Assistance on using CHDK stable releases - CHDK Forum

Having trouble finding the ideal camera

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Having trouble finding the ideal camera
« on: 20 / December / 2011, 23:52:51 »
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Hi everybody, this is my first post on this forum, but I have used many other forums before and was an administrator on a few. I have been using the CHDK firmware for quite easily over a year now and have greatly enjoyed the work others have put into generating the firmware. I use my camera mainly for time-lapses, and have made some lengthy interesting time lapses. Some as lengthy as about 1 month and a half (sunflowers growing from seed to 10 foot high stalks. The time lapse would've lasted much longer but hurricane Irene decided to put an end to that.), and some just tough to shoot (pool being installed in backyard. Needed a wide angle lens attachment and had to jerry-rig it to my camera). I'm hoping to make some better time lapses and figured the best place to summon up answers to my questions would be here.

Currently I use an a460 (purchased from ebay for $8) to make my time lapses. I very much enjoy astronomy and so I like to make time lapses of the night sky. My only problem is that since the sensor on the a460 is 1/3in, and the DIGIC processor is very outdated, I can't push the ISO past 80 (bare minimum) without so much ridiculous noise. My hope is to make my time lapses a little bit more respectable (like this: ESO ALMA Antenna Time Lapse #1 [720p]). Obviously I won't be able to reach a level quite like that because they are using DSLRs.

So my question is, what camera can you recommend to me. I would like one with a sensor that is at least larger than 1/3", and has the capabilities to shoot at least ISO 400 without unbearable graininess. I've been looking around but I haven't quite found the answer I'm looking for. I was considering the A570IS, which I could get inexpensively on eBay (big factor), and it seems to handle noise much better than the A460.

Here is what I have shot so far, hope you enjoy it. (Watch in 1080p please!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RA5IBAJOIpY

Also, another problem I have with an ISO of 80 is that I have the drag the shutter to 20 seconds, and the rotation of the earth causes problems there too, with stars showing up as lines instead of dots, as they should.

And as a little payment (if you will) for my pestering you with this question, here are my startrails! As uncompressed and unresized as imageshack would let me upload it! http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/1451/startrails.jpg

Re: Having trouble finding the ideal camera
« Reply #1 on: 21 / December / 2011, 01:22:11 »
Maybe you will get lucky with your post here but I've observed that most of the people who follow this forum are reluctant to  recommend cameras - possibly because most of us only have experience with one or two.  I enjoyed your timelapse mashup though - thanks.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: Having trouble finding the ideal camera
« Reply #2 on: 21 / December / 2011, 14:41:21 »
Glad to hear you enjoyed the time lapses. And I'm hoping somebody has an opinion on the cameras, but I figured that nobody would suggest any ideas. This is kind of a controversial thing to ask for...

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Offline philmoz

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Re: Having trouble finding the ideal camera
« Reply #3 on: 21 / December / 2011, 15:34:31 »
I don't have a A460 so I can't compare directly; but based on my experience this is what I would suggest looking at. You don't mention your budget so it's hard to make recommendations.

In my opinion, the HS system cameras released this year with the 1/2.3" BSI-CMOS sensor would probably give you the good results. This new sensor has much lower noise at higher ISO's.

The ELPH 500 HS (IXUS 310 HS), SX220 HS, SX230 HS, and SX40 HS have working ports of CHDK, some others are in progress like the ELPH 300 HS. Battery life on the ELPH 500 HS is not great; but I assume you are using a separate battery pack or AC adapter for timelapse.

Last years G12 and S95 both have stable CHDK ports and also have a larger 1/1.7" sensor. The S95 seems to have come down in price with the release of the S100; but the G12 is still fairly expensive. The G12 has the advantage of manual controls.

A good resource to compare models is http://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/cameras

Phil.
CHDK ports:
  sx30is (1.00c, 1.00h, 1.00l, 1.00n & 1.00p)
  g12 (1.00c, 1.00e, 1.00f & 1.00g)
  sx130is (1.01d & 1.01f)
  ixus310hs (1.00a & 1.01a)
  sx40hs (1.00d, 1.00g & 1.00i)
  g1x (1.00e, 1.00f & 1.00g)
  g5x (1.00c, 1.01a, 1.01b)
  g7x2 (1.01a, 1.01b, 1.10b)


Re: Having trouble finding the ideal camera
« Reply #4 on: 21 / December / 2011, 16:07:56 »
The only technical differences s95 from s90 are 720p and increased continuous shooting speed.
For asked purpose this have no matter. But looks like low budget is very important. So 100$ difference of used camera cost could be valuable (249$ s95 - 155$ s90).

And this cameras are really good for lowlight - large low-noise sensor, bright lenses.

Re: Having trouble finding the ideal camera
« Reply #5 on: 22 / December / 2011, 12:01:34 »
Well these cameras would be used only for time lapses, so I am looking for something a little more inexpensive. Basically, these "ELPH 500 HS (IXUS 310 HS), SX220 HS, SX230 HS, and SX40 HS" are too expensive. I like the S90 and could get one on eBay for around $60-80, but I have to think about it. I was also looking at larger sensor cameras, which would handle noise nicely.

I'll just keep my eye out on eBay for an old, beat up S90 and try to get my hands on it for little to nothing.

Thanks for the recommendations everyone!

PS. If anyone is looking to get rid of their S90, I might know somebody who might want it...

Re: Having trouble finding the ideal camera
« Reply #6 on: 22 / December / 2011, 12:03:02 »
I don't see the S90 on the Camera Features chart on the CHDK website. Am I missing something?

EDIT: Oops, I just realized its in beta testing. Haha, answered my own question!

Re: Having trouble finding the ideal camera
« Reply #7 on: 22 / December / 2011, 15:40:35 »
Oops, I just realized its in beta testing.
I think you will find that many CHDK cameras are in permanent Beta testing mode.  What you see on the wiki is largely a function of what somebody cared enough about to take the time to put there.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16


Re: Having trouble finding the ideal camera
« Reply #8 on: 22 / December / 2011, 20:28:00 »
Good to know, thanks!

 

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