Sunday, 28 April 2013

Bells And Whistles

After eight years and almost 30,000 photos our main digital camera, a Sony DSC-F828, has finally died. It had been suffering for a while from randomly misbehaving pixels, but the more recent problems are rather more fatal. It will still take photos but only if you don't try zooming in. Once you get past a zoom level of x3 (which isn't really very much) then pressing the shutter doesn't result in any mechanical sounds and the photo is highly over exposed. If you turn the camera on when zoomed in then you can feel the motor inside the lens buzzing rather than doing anything useful. So while I might continue to use it for close up macro work (especially given that I own a macro lens adaptor for it) it isn't going to see much use.

Given that we've had no problems (until recently) with the Sony camera and have found it easy to use we have replaced it with another Sony bridge camera; specifically the DSC-HX200V. This camera, while costing half what the old one cost, has a x30 optical zoom compared with x7 and an 18 megapixel sensor compared to the 8 megapixel sensor in the old camera. It's the number of new features though that amazes me, and these are just the ones I've found so far:
  • sweep panorama
  • 3D still images
  • 3D panoramas
  • HDR still images
  • tracking focus
  • background defocus
  • face/smile detection
  • GPS tagging
I'm assuming that some of these are more of a gimmick than truly useful (I don't see how you can do true 3D photography with a single non-moving lens), but others, like the GPS (which will mean I don't need to carry my GPS track logger around), might turn out to be really useful. It is also supposed to support full HD quality video recording, although any video recording would be better than that supported by the DSC-F828 (very poor quality VGA resolution), so I might start doing some video work as well.

So far it looks like a really good replacement for the old camera, what we need now is a holiday to give it a really good test!
28 April 2013 at 11:23 , GB said...

I'm on my second Sony DSC series (the HX100V) and am well pleased. It's taken well over 20,000 images in the last 11 or so months. The GPS is invaluable and the resolution at 30X is very good indeed. I hope that the partnership will be very happy for you.

28 April 2013 at 12:22 , ADRIAN said...

It will be interesting to see how many of the filters you use. The 3D sounds interesting and face recognition will be fun if it works. I had it in PS Elements but disabled it as I got sick of it highlighting bits of tree and building and enquiring who is this?

Have fun with it.

28 April 2013 at 13:18 , Mark said...

As far as I can tell the 3D stuff is based on changing the focus depth in order to work out what items are at what depth from the camera and then post-processing the image to shift the background accordingly. I'm guessing it will only really work with two depth levels, but I'll have to give it a proper play to find out.

29 April 2013 at 16:42 , Scriptor Senex said...

Thanks to GB I'm on my third Sony DSC but only have x20 and no GPS. (Fancy saying 'only' 20x! Shows how things have moved on.)

Post a Comment