Print Story On the Never-Never
By TheophileEscargot (Sun May 13, 2007 at 08:39:55 PM EST) Reading, Me, Ask Husi, Consumerism (all tags)
Me. Digital camera advice? Reading: "Three Days to Never".

Disaster on the train! Thought I'd brought enough books, but stupidly packed volume 1 instead of 2 of "Time's Tapestry", so ended up with nearly two hours to kill. Hence a long rambling handwritten blog entry to type up.

Digital camera advice
So teenage cousin I mentioned before is interested in photography, has been to a workshop or two, but doesn't have a camera of his own. Can anyone recommend a digital camera, around the £100 mark, suitable for a beginner, but who might get interested in the more advanced stuff?

Don't really want to spend too much money as he has a pretty chaotic life: suspect it's not likely to last too long without being lost or stolen. Ideally should be available on

What I'm Reading
Finished "Globalization and its Discontents" by Joseph Stiglitz Be another long review, so all you global macroecononics fans will just have to contain your suspense.

What I'm Reading 2
Finished Three Days to Never by Tim Powers. Cleverly done, features a carefully worked out supernatural system. Magic-using spies and secret societies compete for a McGuffin and a father-daughter family in the 1980s (there's some time travel as well). Also features a classically disturbing Tim Powers touch, an embittered, alcoholic older version of the father, journeying back in time to kill the daughter he thinks has ruined his life.

Should have been really good, but for some reason couldn't get into it. Found it hard to remember which of the psychic heavies was which. Could maybe have done with a bit of trimming too.

Met up with yet another cousin I hadn't seen for years: this time with a better excuse since he's emigrated to Melbourne, Australia. Seems to have gone pretty native: has picked up some of the accent and talks about Australians as "us" and "we". Also has an odd belief that single malt whisky is more pretentious than wine. Hah, bloody spitter-outers. Seems to be having a great time over there though: he's into fishing and all that nature stuff they seem to have out there.

Got slightly too drunk with the guys though. Dammit, they sell alcohol-free beer: can't they sell de-veritased vino?

On the train back found myself turning even more into Victor Meldrew. Badgered a two-seat hogger, and ended up asking a girl who was using her phone in the Quiet Carriage not too. Mind you, lots of other people were glaring, sighing and fidgeting; just not saying anything. I think if I'm going to do this I ought to get rewarded for it. Maybe they could give me a complementary Acting Over Sixty-Five Bus Pass?

< 2007.05.13: Broken toasters, or Sylar vs. Cylons | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
On the Never-Never | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden)
Canon PowerShot A550 for £112 by chuckles (4.00 / 1) #1 Sun May 13, 2007 at 09:44:55 PM EST
Here. I have the older A530 and am quite pleased with it, *except* it takes too long to charge the flash.

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
I've been keeping an eye on... by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #4 Mon May 14, 2007 at 01:42:06 AM EST

This Fujifilm at 115 quid.

[ Parent ]
iawtp- nice cheap camera. by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #11 Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:29:21 PM EST
I bought the A530 at xmas on chuckles' advice.

[ Parent ]
£100 is pretty low by BadDoggie (4.00 / 1) #2 Sun May 13, 2007 at 11:54:18 PM EST
The little cameras are for parties and vacations. And automobile accident reports. I recommend Canon's Ixus series but you really should look around and see if you can't find some second-hand DSLR kit like the Canon "Digital Rebel" 300/350D. Both of these have been supplanted by the new 400D so they should be pretty cheap. It's an entry-level digital SLR which gives excellent pictures for its price and class. Furthermore, if the kid's interest increases, most of the lenses for the DR series work in most of the higher-end Canon cameras as well.

Pocket cameras simply don't give you many options: aperture, shutter speed, white balance, focal length, various fine tuning. It also shoots in RAW format. About 25 years ago my father gave me his older SLR when he got a new one because my Kodak 126 Instamatic, while good enough for parties and vacations, wasn't going to do a damned bit of good for me when it came to anything more creative.


OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

300D by Phage (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon May 14, 2007 at 12:37:42 AM EST
IANAP. But an acqaintance of mine has done a good article on DSLRs in this range that might be worth a quick look.

[ Parent ]
That's kinda my point by BadDoggie (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:15:54 AM EST
The Digital Rebel series cameras aren't really for professional use but offer comparable results to the pro (1D, 1D[S], 5D) and "prosumer" (20D, 30D) series. And like all DSLRs, they actually take the picture when you press the button and not a few seconds later. Used, the older Canons are cheaper than new high-end pocket cameras (bodies, not lenses). Resale values are pretty steady and slow to drop, doing so only when an improved model comes out. That the 400D is better than the 350 and 300 doesn't change the fact that the 300 was and is still a good camera.


OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
I have the US version of the 300 by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon May 14, 2007 at 04:00:24 AM EST
i.e. Digital Rebel. Good camera, as good as any 35mm I ever used.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
For what it's worth by stark (4.00 / 2) #7 Mon May 14, 2007 at 03:01:26 AM EST
All my photos that I put on HuSi are taken with a 300D. It's a pretty good camera.
U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
[ Parent ]
Still expensive by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue May 15, 2007 at 12:47:35 AM EST
You're looking at at least £300. Second hand film SLR is the best option for a beginner IMHO - you can get them for about £70.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
You're forgetting developing costs by BadDoggie (4.00 / 2) #14 Tue May 15, 2007 at 05:14:34 AM EST
I burnt through many, many rolls of film just to learn a bit about F-stop or lighting. Worse, the time it took to get the rolls back was more than sufficient for me to forget what most of my chicken-scratch notes about shooting meant.

How much is one roll of film and developing? A fiver? So every 20 rolls is another £100. And if he does take an interest he's going to start shooting more and more. And more. Digital has an almost finite cost. Kodak only made the original Brownie in order to sell more of their damned film.


OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
The world needs more Victor Meldrews by cam (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:59:24 AM EST

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

Quiet car by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #9 Mon May 14, 2007 at 07:16:01 AM EST
That would be nice. Trains around here have no concept of a "quiet car", though the morning trains are almost always silent.

A month a go, a group of foreign tourists were having an animated conversation on the morning commute. A woman across the way gave a loud "ssh!", and when they ignored her, left in a huff for another car. At the time I thought it was odd as while the morning cars generally are quiet, there's no expectation of it.

Which is why I always have headphones.

Load cell phone talkers will attract glares, as they always will in public, but people talking at a reasonable volume generally won't.

Seat hoggers piss me off, especially the guys on the morning commute that take the aisle seat and glare a lot, thinking that it'll make a damn bit of difference on a train that always ends up standing room only. Then there's the homeless guys who sneak on to use a seat to sleep off the last-night's binging. They generally get left alone.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Quiet carriages by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon May 14, 2007 at 08:35:29 AM EST
They only have them on long-distance trains here as far as I know: I've never seen them on a commuter train.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
If cousin is actually interested in photography by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue May 15, 2007 at 12:42:02 AM EST
A second hand film SLR camera (loads of very decent ones for under £100) is going to be of much more use than a £100 digital comapct, which isn't going to be very good at all.

It's political correctness gone mad!

On the Never-Never | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden)