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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 10:40 pm 
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Hi Jason, thanks for posting some photos! I look forward to seeing your Vegas shots, especially some in the evening when it gets dark... low light is a good test for any camera. If you can, try and avoid the digital zoom, to ensure you're only using the full resolution of the sensor.

By the way, nice one on the Nikonos shot! I remember reading about this dedicated underwater camera when I was younger and thinking it was a really serious piece of kit. I wonder if Nikon will ever do a digital version?

Did you own a Nikonos? I'm sure there'd be many people here who'd be interested in reading about underwater photography, especially using those housings for digital cameras. if you have any tips, the Technical photography tips section is ready and waiting!

Cheers!

Gordon

PS - good luck on the tables or slots if you play them! Me? I'm just happy watching those fountains at Bellagio or checking out the Venetian canals when I'm visiting Vegas! Well, and maybe a couple of slots...


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 3:53 pm 
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I got my hands on a H9. It's a very impressive digicam. This is the fastest focusing digicam to date. It performs almost like a Rebel XT. The 3" screen is very nice too.

However I didn't overall see any advantages over my G7, except for speed and I can live with that. Also the G7 is much thinner and easier to carry. And the difference between 230K 3" and 2.5" screens aren't much.

So, basically I really liked the H9, but not enough to swap my G7 for. Also, G7 of course has better image quality anyway and a bigger chip.

Look forward to your review of it Gordon... :) S

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 Post subject: H9 in Vegas
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 10:51 pm 
I am now back from Vegas.
I am in the process of uploading the pics.
You can see the first ones at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonkaye/
After you get to the above page, just click on "Vegas with a H9"
Some are at 80 ISO and some at 3200 ISO.
These are taken from a Scooter as I used it in Vegas.
I took over 100 pics and it will take me some time to get them online.

Enjoy!!!

Jason


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 11:16 pm 
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Nice shots Jason, especially if you were scootering along and stopped to grab them - I look forward to seeing the rest when you upload them!

May I ask why you only shot at the extremes of the ISO range? At 80 or 3200 ISO and not inbetween? Did you force these settings, or did the H9 choose them for you?

I'm guessing you forced 80 ISO for your daytime shots to ensure the best quality and set it to High Sensitivity (3200 ISO) for the indoor ones.

And do you have any further opinions on the camera, especially handling and battery life?

Gordon


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 Post subject: H9
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 12:06 am 
I tried a few modes and found that it was so bright the lower ISO gave me a better F stop as the camera only goes from 2.7-8 so it is very limited that way and did set the ISO to Auto and shot in Shutter Priority.
As for handling, it is very light and easy to pack around, but if you have big hands or fingures you may have some trouble with the controls.
I did forget my mini tripod so it was hard to take good Waterfall shots.
The Lense is great, no more Gaget Bags to lug around, I did loose my subject while zooming a couple times. But have a second Battery handy as the 3" screen draws a crowd and you will spend quite a bit of time reviewing your pics and doing Slide Shows for the crowds.
If you accept some of the limitations you will have a lot of fun.
I am still learning the Digital side of things as I still think like Film Guy.


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 11:43 am 
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Hi guys, we've just completed our review of the Sony H9 - you can read about it at the following link and of course there's also a video tour to go with it. Hope you enjoy it!

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/SonyH9/

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 2:36 pm 
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thanks gordon, nice job as usual. :) and I think, you are the first to offer a pro review on this camera. good for you.

I hope you don't mind if I ask you, how's the image quality of the H9 vs. canon's G7?

lastly, it's pretty amazing how fast the H9 focuses, I hope it's the sign of things to come for digicams... cheers, :) S

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 10:24 pm 
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Hi Shiva, thanks! Yeah, I think we were one of the first out there!

I didn't have the G7 and H9 side by side, but since our outdoor samples in the results sections are taken from the same spots, you can do some rough comparisons by opening pages from both reviews...

H9: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/SonyH ... oise.shtml

G7: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/CanonG7/page4ca.shtml

I think the G7 image quality looks much better - there's a lot of detail at 100% where the H9 tends to smear even at low ISOs - just look at the foliage. I also prefer the way the G7 lets you tweak the settings, although again it's very annoying Canon removed the RAW functionality. This is an area where Panasonic and Olympus are taking the lead...

But ultimately in terms of image quality, I'd say the G7 is superior. But of course the H9 has a much longer zoom, faster focusing and a massive flip-out screen, so as always it's a case of weighing up the pros and cons...

I take it you're sticking with your G7 then?!

The H9 does however once again illustrate that a camera which looks perfect on paper doesn't deliver all the results in practice. The thing I can't understand though is how easily a lot of these cameras could have been improved with very little effort.

Give the G7 and H9 RAW recording facilities for example and they could have been greatly enhanced. Is it really that clear-cut to Canon and Sony that if a customer wants RAW, they must buy a DSLR?

It seems to me it is possible to build an incredible super-zoom but the manufacturers are deliberately leaving out features, perhaps in a misguided attempt for us to upgrade to the next model or to a DSLR.

Then again I look at models like the H9, Oly 550 and Pana FZ50 and think 'blimey, a massive optical zoom with stabilisation in a relatively pocketable package for about 450 bucks' - they really are quite remarkable. And the Panasonic FZ8 for less than $300 US? That's got to be one of the best value cameras around right now...

It'll be interesting to see if Sony releases a firmware update for the H9, but even if they did, I wouldn't expect miracles in terms of IQ.

Gordon


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 1:40 am 
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thanks for those links. I should have just researched this myself, but I wanted to hear your take on this too.

The G7 image quality at 100ISO rivals that of a DSLR with a kit lens and that says a lot for this digicam.

I liked the H9, but I can use the G7 for some light pro use, which I would never be able to do with the H9. Also the G7 takes external flash--a huge plus. And lastly, granted the H9's screen is awesome, but is there that much of a difference between 2.5 and 3? I am not too sure.

As for the camera industry in general, there is an agenda being exercised by the big boys (Canon, Sony and so on).

If you recall before the digital photography revolution, taking snap shots was a dying hobby. People where basically buying disposable cams and that was it. Then came the digicams. As people got hooked and the industry boomed and continue to boom, the idea of expansion must be on these big companies mind. Nothing wrong with it, nor do I see it as a conspiracy. Basically they want to grab more market share and sell more products, and make larger profits. Enter DSLR and the attack of the cell cam.

Now that we are all seem to be hooked on digicams and are buying them by the millions every year, and with the help of sites like yourself and DPreview and a few others, we are being educated to discern between good and not so good images and good and not so good cameras. As we become educated about digital photography we'll become more demanding and of course for the demanding photographer only a good DSLR will do.

So, we are being educated (pulled) by the 'Net and pushed by marketing to buy DSLRs. And we are doing it, as the public, because we know how much better they are in practice.

So culturally we are going back to the time when people carried film SLR's on their shoulders and the big camera companies couldn't be more giddy about it. Since there is greater profit in DSLR's with lenses and accessories.

Lastly as cell phone cams become more powerful and are able to provide better images and video at higher resolutions, they'll severely eat in at the digicam market. However, they can't ever touch the DSLR market. So, IMO that's another reason for the push of the consumer to the low-end DSLRs, because cell cams are getting serious.

:) S

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 12:32 pm 
I bought my H9 two weeks ago. I've been using the H1 before for more than 2 years. I'm not what you guys would call a pro, I'm just enjoying features like the massive zoom, antishake, flip display, and the good flash. So I'm using the auto-mode most of the time.
I've got a problem, that I nobody else seems to have, so I'd like to hear about your experience in that issue.
When capturing pictures at home in the evening, the H9 automatically selects 400 ISO, no matter if I'm 1m (3ft) or 5m away. Under the same conditions my H1 uses ISO 64. I guess you can imagine that an ISO 400 picture looks much worse than ISO 64 considerung the noise.
Of course I can set the ISO manually in the P mode, but first, I like to use the face recognition which is not available in the P mode, and second, I think that a modern state-of-the-art camera should be able to deliver (in the automatic mode) pictures that are at least as good as those of my little 5-year old Olympus party-cam.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 7:40 pm 
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Hi Fozzy, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

You've come across a very good point and one for which I suspect there's no solution.

As you say, the Face Detection is only available in full Auto and Portrait modes, and as far as I understand, neither of these modes allows you to set the ISO manually.

So unless you can greatly increase the brightness of the room to allow the H9 to automatically select a slower ISO, it sounds like you'll have to trade off face detection with auto ISO against manual ISO and no face detection. I agree, that's a bit of a pain...

Gordon


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 8:19 pm 
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Face detection, hmmmm...
Is it really worth to forgo ISO control for it?

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:59 am 
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Shiva, they sure are interesting times... If you'd asked me a few years back to predict where it was all going, I'd have said DSLRs for those who want decent pics and camera-phones for pretty much everyone else.

But the quality of camera phones just hasn't improved - and can't really given their form factor - and apart from Japan where they're used constantly, I just don't see people using them much. What's it like where you are? Are people taking many pics with their phones?

The whole pro-sumer digital camera category is interesting though and I genuinely believe if a manufacturer actually put together an uncompromised product rather than always leaving out features to up-sell you, people would be more than willing to pay a premium price for it.

So that opens an interesting question: if you could get a manufacturer to design the perfect pro-sumer digital camera, what would it have? Lets be realistic though and realise you're not going to get the low noise of a DSLR without a big sensor and the big lens required to address it... although it does beg the question what happened to the Sony R1...

I'm gonna start a new thread about this in the General section!

Cheers!

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:27 pm 
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well gordon, camera phones in the US just got to 2mp. so, they're still in their infantile period, but I think in 4-5 years, things would look very different for camera phones.

we all carry cell phones, however, we don't always carry digicams, no matter how slim. that's the key. 40% of US public carry a camera phone today... wow!

I agree that cell cams aren't there yet. I fully agree, but I think the market in the next 5 - 10 years, will be divided into DSLR and cell cams. It just takes time.

I think our cell phones will become like one of those gadgets in sci-fi movies, with video to video connection and so on. it just takes time...

PERFECT DIGICAM FOR ME:

Brand: Canon
Lens: 28-200 F2.8
Chip: 2/3" (8.80 x 6.60 mm) - 10MP
LCD: 3.0" 230,000 pixels (I don't care for full articulation, although it would be nice)
Features: Basically like the current G7, full manual, dial control, external flash, plus RAW.
Focusing speed: Like a Canon XT series.
Frames: 3 FPS up to 50.
Slim like the G7, so it's easily carry able.
Image quality: At ISO 100 to match that of a consumer DSLR. Also usable images up to ISO 400.
Viewfinder: Either clear optical or good electronic, with diopter.
Price: MSRP US$599, Street 500.

That's all, easy right? ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:37 pm 
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Nice spec Shiva! Could you possibly post it again in the Perfect super-zoom thread in the General category?

http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=479

Cheers!

Gordon


Last edited by Gordon Laing on Fri May 25, 2007 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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