Beginner questions - Hello, I'm a NEWBIE - HELP!! (Newbies assistance, User Guides and thank you notes) - CHDK Forum supplierdeeply

Beginner questions

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Beginner questions
« on: 15 / May / 2012, 15:31:24 »
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Hi everybody!

I have been lurking here for a while.  Now I am ready to take the plunge.  I am neither a huge photography nut, nor a computer programmer but I think I can make this work.  However, I need some initial guidance.

First, I don't have a Canon camera yet.  I have been through a lot of the wiki and FAQs.  I read the "What camera should I buy?" section of the CHDK for Dummies.  Interestingly enough, it doesn't answer that particular questons.

Using my new Canon camera and CHDK I want to:

1. Use the MD to take pictures of lightning and fireworks
2. Basic time lapse photographs

Can someone recommend a camera?  I am on a fairly limited budget ($~250) and I prefer not to buy used or reconditioned.  I want something that will work well for my intended uses and is a stable platform.

Thanks!   :D
G12

Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #1 on: 15 / May / 2012, 21:22:39 »
First, I don't have a Canon camera yet.  I have been through a lot of the wiki and FAQs.  I read the "What camera should I buy?" section of the CHDK for Dummies.  Interestingly enough, it doesn't answer that particular questons.
That's because there is no right answer to that question.  It all depends on your budget,  needs and expectations.

Quote
Using my new Canon camera and CHDK I want to:
1. Use the MD to take pictures of lightning and fireworks
2. Basic time lapse photographs
Every camera with CHDK ported to it will be able to do this.   And a lot more.

Quote
Can someone recommend a camera?  I am on a fairly limited budget ($~250) and I prefer not to buy used or reconditioned.  I want something that will work well for my intended uses and is a stable platform.
For $250 you get a wide range of choices from Canon.   However,  the challenge with CHDK is that it takes time to do a port and longer for it to be stable.   Canon usually updates the camera models in the stores faster than this process can complete so its not unusual not to be able to find a CHDK support camera in the "Big Box" retailers.  And quite franky,  nobody on this forum is an expert about more than one or two cameras - usually the ones we own.  So getting advice here is going to be pretty much "hit or miss".

Probably the best thing to do is look at the Canon models from the last year,  pick a few you like based on price and features and then read the porting forums for those cameras to gage their level of support. Then look online for reputable retailers ( hit : avoid discounters with New York City addresses)  with stock of the model you like.



Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #2 on: 16 / May / 2012, 10:45:46 »
waterwingz - thanks for your prompt reply!


Quote
Using my new Canon camera and CHDK I want to:
1. Use the MD to take pictures of lightning and fireworks
2. Basic time lapse photographs
Every camera with CHDK ported to it will be able to do this.   And a lot more.

This makes me much more comfortable with choosing a camera!  I was worried that some of the cameras would not be fast enough.

Quote
Can someone recommend a camera?  I am on a fairly limited budget ($~250) and I prefer not to buy used or reconditioned.  I want something that will work well for my intended uses and is a stable platform.
For $250 you get a wide range of choices from Canon.   However,  the challenge with CHDK is that it takes time to do a port and longer for it to be stable.   Canon usually updates the camera models in the stores faster than this process can complete so its not unusual not to be able to find a CHDK support camera in the "Big Box" retailers.  And quite franky,  nobody on this forum is an expert about more than one or two cameras - usually the ones we own.  So getting advice here is going to be pretty much "hit or miss".

Probably the best thing to do is look at the Canon models from the last year,  pick a few you like based on price and features and then read the porting forums for those cameras to gage their level of support. Then look online for reputable retailers ( hit : avoid discounters with New York City addresses)  with stock of the model you like.

In my price range, I am leaning toward the SX230HS.  I see it is very close to the SD940 in price.  Is there any reason I should choose one over the other?  I think the SX230HS is newer and has a bigger zoom but those are the only differences I can find.


Thanks for all the help getting started!
G12

Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #3 on: 16 / May / 2012, 11:37:50 »
Speed performance varies somewhat between camera models but any of them should be alright for your needs.

The 230 is a much newer camera.   I can't speak to whether all the firmware versions have a CHDK port though.   The SD940 does.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16


Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #4 on: 16 / May / 2012, 19:33:12 »
Whatalesyou1,
I found this site very helpful for choosing a camera the past two times.
http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon-SX230-HS-vs-Canon_PowerShot_SD940_IS

It allows you to compare almost every aspect of a camera and even suggests others to compare it to. 
I would definitely select a camera that already has CHDK in at least an Beta phase and not wait for it to get developed.  It looks like both of those do already.  Happy shopping.

Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #5 on: 16 / May / 2012, 20:26:43 »
I would definitely select a camera that already has CHDK in at least an Beta phase and not wait for it to get developed.
Beta phase is a very arbitrary designation.  Many fully functional cameras never graduate from that state because once they are working,  their devs move on and never getting around to changing the status.  The best way to understand where a particular camera port sits is to study the porting thread.

Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #6 on: 17 / May / 2012, 08:30:10 »
I would definitely select a camera that already has CHDK in at least an Beta phase and not wait for it to get developed.
Beta phase is a very arbitrary designation.  Many fully functional cameras never graduate from that state because once they are working,  their devs move on and never getting around to changing the status.  The best way to understand where a particular camera port sits is to study the porting thread.

LOL!!! 

The porting thread for the SX230 is 37 pages long  :o
and most of it is WAY over my head.  :-[
G12

Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #7 on: 17 / May / 2012, 08:38:47 »
The porting thread for the SX230 is 37 pages long  :o  and most of it is WAY over my head.  :-[
That's a good sign - means it is (or was) under active development.   Read backwards from the end - you should get the jist of whether its substantially complete or not even if you don't understand all the details yet.

Hint :  there is a "Print" button at the top of each forum page on the right.  Use that to give you all the 37 pages in a compressed format that's a lot easier to read through.

Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16


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Offline reyalp

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #8 on: 18 / May / 2012, 01:33:33 »
waterwingz - thanks for your prompt reply!
Quote
Using my new Canon camera and CHDK I want to:
1. Use the MD to take pictures of lightning and fireworks
2. Basic time lapse photographs
Every camera with CHDK ported to it will be able to do this.   And a lot more.

This makes me much more comfortable with choosing a camera!  I was worried that some of the cameras would not be fast enough.
Your concern is well founded. Ports without the fastest MD implemented correctly will not capture lighting very reliably. Unfortunately, there is no list as to which ones have this outside of the source code, and even if it is in the source, that doesn't actually mean it's implemented correctly.

This does appear to be implemented on sx230.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

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Offline philmoz

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #9 on: 18 / May / 2012, 03:20:53 »
waterwingz - thanks for your prompt reply!
Quote
Using my new Canon camera and CHDK I want to:
1. Use the MD to take pictures of lightning and fireworks
2. Basic time lapse photographs
Every camera with CHDK ported to it will be able to do this.   And a lot more.

This makes me much more comfortable with choosing a camera!  I was worried that some of the cameras would not be fast enough.
Your concern is well founded. Ports without the fastest MD implemented correctly will not capture lighting very reliably. Unfortunately, there is no list as to which ones have this outside of the source code, and even if it is in the source, that doesn't actually mean it's implemented correctly.

This does appear to be implemented on sx230.

In addition the cameras from 2010 onwards appear to have longer shutter lag before the shot is taken - even if everything is set to manual.

None of the cameras I have ported can get under 140 - 150 milliseconds for MD response time.
I'm reasonably sure the viewport code is correct for the MD detect.

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)

 

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