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Old 18th of May 2011 (Wed)   #1
dixonbruce
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Default Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

Hello

Facing the realisation that my camera isn't good for anything other than of people at parties (despite spending quite an amount on it) I would really like advice on the best camera for mostly outdoor landscapes. I spent around three hours on Sunday taking photos of local beaches (not as fun as it sounds) only to find that the vast majority of them were utterly useless due to perspective and focus.

What would be a good camera to buy for such generally outdoor work? I would hope not to spend more than four hundred (ish) euros ($560) and would be willing to maybe buy a book and learn if need be. My experience is pretty much nil apart from point and click.

Thanks in advance. Advice is much appreciated.
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Old 18th of May 2011 (Wed)   #2
gjl711
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

What are you shooting with now? Usually shooting landscapes in bright light is a task any camera can perform as light is plentiful. So when you say useless due to perspective and focus, what do you mean by that? Focus issues can many times be caused by technique and I'm not sure what you mean by perspective.
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Old 18th of May 2011 (Wed)   #3
dixonbruce
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

My camera is a Canon IXUS 220 HS so beginners stuff but a pretty good pocket camera. What I mean about perspective is taking a picture of a long beach along the water line the results were consistently unusable. I guess this is would be a difficult shot to take but I'm really beginning to get interested in learning. I seriously walked for miles on Sunday taking what I thought would be great photos and couldn't use most of them.

Hope it's ok to post a link, if not let me know, but here are some photos which were ok. You get an idea of the location:

http://www.tugrancanaria.com/en/play...s-beach/photos
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Old 18th of May 2011 (Wed)   #4
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

Looking at this model online and seeing your images tells me it is not the camera, it is the person behind the camera that may be having some difficulty.

Remember, this camera is only a 5X camera, so zooming is not the specialty of this camera.
I think you need to read the manual, look online for some info on taking beach photos and practice some more before giving up on this camera.
Remember this camera has some limits, but your results can be better if you practice some more.
Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 18th of May 2011 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

What is it about your photographs that makes them "useless"? You must, of course, live within the limits of the technology you own, but what are you not able to do that you think buying a camera will fix? Can you link to a picture that is similar to what you are trying to accomplish?

I am inclined to agree that the limitations may be your own as much as the camera you are using.
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Old 18th of May 2011 (Wed)   #6
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

As previously mentioned don't give up on your camera just yet. Just because your camera isn't an expensive DSLR doesn't mean you shouldn't consider a few rules of composition, that perhaps if followed can help.
First thing I would recommend is to slow down a bit taking your time to compose the shot before you snap the picture. First imagine the picture in your mind and how you want other people to see it.

Here are some links that might help regarding some of the rules/guidelines to follow.

http://www.digital-photography-schoo...pe-photography

http://www.digital-photography-schoo...pe-photography
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Old 18th of May 2011 (Wed)   #7
dixonbruce
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

Of course you're all right, the problem really is with my approach. I guess what I need is to learn more about photography and of course I immediately assume I need to throw money at it.

The problem seems to come from taking photos on a beach where one side of the image is busier than the other, that is one is full of people sunbathing the other of ocean. I'll read up those links, thanks tkerr.
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Old 18th of May 2011 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

Quote:
Originally Posted by dixonbruce View Post

The problem seems to come from taking photos on a beach where one side of the image is busier than the other, that is one is full of people sunbathing the other of ocean. I'll read up those links, thanks tkerr.
That's when you need to decide how you want to frame/compose the picture. What do you want people to focus their attention on when they look at the final picture.
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Old 18th of May 2011 (Wed)   #9
dixonbruce
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

Thanks for your advice, tkerr. This is the problem, I never considered those things. What I want people to focus on is, well, the length of the beach with activity way off into the distance. Of course what happens is it focuses on any person who is closest and everything else is out of focus. The more I write about it the more I realise that this is likely to be really difficult thing to do.
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Old 18th of May 2011 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

Page 94 of the user manual, Focusing or Far Away Subjects. That should help prevent it from focusing on something too close to you.
http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/6/030000..._CUG_EN_02.pdf

Then read on to page 102.

However, if you feel you are ready for, and really want a DSLR which can give you much more control over everything, then within your budget range take a look at the EOS Digital Rebel Series Cameras.
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Old 19th of May 2011 (Thu)   #11
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

What Software came with the camera, or what do you personally use?

Canon DSLR include a Digital Camera Solutions CD with a variety of software. If I am not mistaken it is also included with their P&S digital cameras also. Does yours have PhotoStitch?
If not you can find all kinds of Photo Stitching software around the Internet.
Anyways, If you want to give it a go to get as much into a single image as you can, try shooting a panorama.
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...g-software.htm
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Old 19th of May 2011 (Thu)   #12
dixonbruce
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

That's really helpful of you, thank you so much. I feel pretty silly that I didn't read the manual now.

I am getting really interested in photography now so will look into the cameras you recommended.

Thank you so much for all your help!

edit:

Wow what a coincidence that we posted at the same time. I'm running for lunch but will look at that later.
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Old 19th of May 2011 (Thu)   #13
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

Best landscape camera for your budget would be a used Canon Rebel or 20D or 30D plus a decent tripod. However, as a writer stated upthread, there is a lot you can do with the camera you have.

Look at landscape photos that impress you and you will see that generally there is one element that dominates the photo. "If your photo is not good enough, get closer." -- Robert Capa. That applies even to landscapes. There is a temptation to try to stuff the photo full of everything at the location. Go the other way. Make ten photos, but each photo should be of one thing.

If bathers are the point, get close to one or a few bathers. If the sweep of the beach is the thing, make it dominate the photo (you have one thumbnail that looks like that).

One of the hardest things about photography that most beginners miss is that you should always ask yourself "What is this photo about?" Then you bring all the skills of composition, lighting, timing, colour, exposure, perspective, etc. to make the photo only about that one thing or that one concept.
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Old 19th of May 2011 (Thu)   #14
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

One suggestion that I have for you is to use the Rule of Thirds. If you applied the Rule of Thirds to your pictures then you can instantly have better pictures. I have a tutorial on my blog http://cmpickle.blogspot.com/2011/01...of-thirds.html that talks about it and covers using rule of thirds in landscape setting such and the beach. Also if you are interested you can check out my tutorial on how to take a great photograph http://cmpickle.blogspot.com/2011/03...hotograph.html which includes everything from compostition to basic editing. I hope that this will help you to achieve the results that you are looking for! If you have any questions let me know either here or email me at pickledigitalphotography@gmail.com
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Old 19th of May 2011 (Thu)   #15
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Default Re: Best digital camera landscape for beaches, landscapes of sunny island

Quote:
Originally Posted by dixonbruce View Post
The problem seems to come from taking photos on a beach where one side of the image is busier than the other, that is one is full of people sunbathing the other of ocean.
huh?...How is using a different camera going to change that?
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