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Camera Troubles

Travel Forums Travel Photography Camera Troubles

1. Posted by Sam2000 (Full Member, 121 posts) 25 Nov '07 02:21

I have an Olympus SP-500UZ, I think. It wasn't cheap, well, it probably was compared to some of your cameras but I've got the best I could afford!

However, I'm having trouble taking "action shots" as it were. It takes too long to take photographs. Taking a photo of something static is no problem...But anything moving, or if I'm moving just doesn't work. You sort of have to press the button, focus it, then it spends a couple of seconds doing something, then you get a photo!? The first time I realised this was a problem was when trying to take photo's of the Skelligs in Ireland from a boat, I saw the most incredible shot and I wanted it, but by the time the camera had fuffed around it was lost and it was just a useless blur...Which is no good!

Why does this happen and how can I rectify it?! Its really annoying!

Thanks for any replies,

Sam.

2. Posted by kymar1 (Full Member, 12 posts) 25 Nov '07 02:44

Hi Sam.

Yours is probably one of the most common "problems" with non-SLR digital cameras. That is, the shutter lag, or time delay between pressing the button, and the camera actually taking the photo.

Olympus and Canon are probably some of the slower cameras around and Fuji and Ricoh some of the fastest with almost instant shutter response.

In your case one thing you could try is switching to the camera's Sport or Action mode. This sometimes speeds things up a bit. Another trick if you are expecting action in a certain spot is to get ready, frame the shot, half press the shutter button so that the camera is already focussed and the exposure is set, then take the shot when ready.

Unfortunately there is no perfect solution to your problem which would work every time...

3. Posted by Sam2000 (Full Member, 121 posts) 25 Nov '07 02:56

It is incredibly frustrating. My uncle once got this amazing photo of my sister in the sea with a wave looming up behind her. It was brilliant, I want to get one like that, but I can't!

I've got a good artistic brain for photographs, I know what would look good, and what wouldn't.

The SLR ones are expensive, my friend has an SLR and she refused to tell me the price! I simply couldn't afford one. My camera is great for normal photographs, but again, another example, it was an electric storm and I was in my room and I noticed the lightning was sort of "balling", I don't know the real term but it was like a ball and it just went behind some houses and I couldn't get one of that either!

You say Canon and Olympus are the slower ones? But in the National Geographic all the photographs tend to be taken with a Canon? And they all come out really well!

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 25, 2007, at 3:01 AM by Sam2000 ]

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4381 posts) 25 Nov '07 03:59

Quoting Sam2000

The SLR ones are expensive, my friend has an SLR and she refused to tell me the price! I simply couldn't afford one.

Googling a bit, I see that the Nikon D40 (entry-level DSLR; the smallest, simplest, most lightweight and cheapest one out there - but still quite powerful and with all the benefits of a DSLR) costs £300 at Jacobs and £350 at Jessops (after a rebate). I don't know how much you paid for your Olympus, but dpreview lists its price as £280, so I imagine it's not that far out of the ballpark.

You say Canon and Olympus are the slower ones? But in the National Geographic all the photographs tend to be taken with a Canon? And they all come out really well!

No photograph ever shown in the National Geographic was taken with a point 'n shoot camera. Personally I think kymar is generalizing too much with his slow and fast brands categorization (there's a huge difference between certain models), but what he was talking about was purely the point 'n shoot cameras from those brands. DSLR cameras simply do not have shutter lag, and it'll always be high-end DSLR cameras which take the photos you see in magazines.

But of course, having that Olympus now, I imagine you're not too keen on already shelling out for a replacement. So yeah, the only 'solution' which has any chance of working is to get really good at predicting the future. Be more aware of what's happening in the world around you, anticipate, and click just a second too early.
I remember back when I was walking around with my Canon powershot (another compact point 'n shoot) that I always was infinitely frustrated with this. I did have some luck over time in getting the really rare shots (I remember this one time when I saw a duck take off over a near mirror-like lake in the early dawn light; In a mere second I framed the shot, waited until he was almost where I wanted him, and clicked - and it actually came out the way I'd hoped!), but that took many months of painful experience. Together with the abysmal battery life, this was the main reason for me blowing all my savings on a DSLR (the Nikon D70, back then), which I've never regretted. It's a different way of taking photos - but (imo), it's an infinitely superior way.

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 25, 2007, at 4:04 AM by Sander ]

5. Posted by Sam2000 (Full Member, 121 posts) 25 Nov '07 07:25

Thanks for the replies!

To be honest, my dad paid for it, I just chose it...Its a brilliant camera for everything else, I've got some fantastic landscape photographs and sunsets but I'd love to get one of something moving that I can be really proud of getting.

Actually if I get good at predicting the future I guess that would improve my photography technique. Its like if a violinst can make a rubbish violin sound good then s/he can make a good one sound amazing.