Old 29th May 2008, 17:27   #761
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They threw in a 2 gig sd card too. I like how cheap it is - all together with shipping it was $309. I don't think I'm a serious enough photographer for anything more expensive, especially considering how fast cameras get outdated or in my case, damaged.

The old A540 will not zoom any more. If I try, it says "lense error restart camera" and then just die. Autofocus won't work either any more on it - pics come out blurry, but manual and macro manual still work, and video still comes out alright. Canon said they'd take the camera and give me a reconditioned A560 for $85 with a 6 month replacement guarantee. Should I take the offer?

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Old 29th May 2008, 17:28   #762
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I got myself a Canon EOS 450D last week and loving it.

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Old 29th May 2008, 17:46   #763
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Something tells me that the camera isn't the only thing you're loving.

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Old 29th May 2008, 22:54   #764
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Quote:
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And you're forgetting the Sigma DP1.
The Sigma DP1 is a great camera, and I like their sensor, but I don't think it would make a great p&s for swingdjted. The main thing I don't like about it is that its lens is fixed at a pretty wide focal length of 16mm. It does have 3x digital zoom, but you'd probably get a better image if you cropped it yourself. Also the DP1 costs about $800, for that price you could buy an entry-level DSLR with a kit lens and maybe even a second lens.
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Old 30th May 2008, 17:06   #765
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The DP1 is only an f/4 lens with a less than great ISO range. If they'd made it a 7MP sensor instead of 14 then it's probably have decent ISO performace, match that with at least a f/2.8, preferably a f/2, lens and it'd be a great camera.

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Old 30th May 2008, 18:54   #766
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Quote:
Originally posted by swingdjted
Something tells me that the camera isn't the only thing you're loving.
I love a lot of things
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Old 6th June 2008, 04:22   #767
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Much better pic of this strange bug:



I didn't have a tripod or patience to attempt manual settings at the time as it was raining, cold, and windy, but for a point-and-shoot it seems to be ok.

I don't understand why I have to not only chose "macro" but "super macro" before I can take a macro shot. Regular "macro" mode on this camera doesn't seem to have much of a purpose.

Anyone know what kind of bug this is? it's far smaller than any dragonfly I've seen, and I've never seen anything else like it - just found it on my screen door not long after opening the camera box.

Front:



Back:



That's my last point-and-shoot in the new camera's screen.



This rabbit shot was taken hand-held from about 70-100 feet away. The built in zoom lens seems to be pretty handy and the camera has some weight and image stabilization to keep me relatively steady. Overall it seems like a pretty good choice for an easy to use inexpensive point-and-shoot.

Shooting action shots while recording stereo-sound video seems very handy and the camera does a nice job of auto focusing for them. I'll post more when I get some less boring things to shoot.

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Old 6th June 2008, 10:26   #768
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Quote:
Originally posted by fwgx
The DP1 is only an f/4 lens with a less than great ISO range. If they'd made it a 7MP sensor instead of 14 then it's probably have decent ISO performace, match that with at least a f/2.8, preferably a f/2, lens and it'd be a great camera.
A "7mp" Foveon would only output 2.3mp images though, and I'm not sure it would even be that much less noisy, so far all Foveons sucked at high ISO.

The camera's also extremely slow, AF won't work in low light at all, and the screen is crap.
But, in the right conditions, its pictures do look much better than those from any small sensor digicam.
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Old 14th December 2008, 15:34   #769
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*bump*

So I now find myself in this same boat. I've had plenty of point-and-shoot cameras over the years along with an Olympus 2100UZ, which is what I am looking to replace as I want better control over the pictures (though that 2100UZ though technically a point-and-shoot itself can take much better pictures than the newer compact digital campers I have).

Naturally, I am looking at a dSLR and would hope to be able to keep this as long as, if not longer, than my Olympus 2100. I am by no means a photographer and thus do not want to get too complicated with anything ... which also means I probably would not be taking shots of overly complicated things.

I've been looking at a Canon Rebel XS and an Olympus E-420. Only major differences between the two that I have found is 11 point auto focus versus 3 point; and the Olympus may have issues with white balance, but it seems as if the operator can correct for that.

Anything else I should be aware of or looking at?
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Old 14th December 2008, 18:01   #770
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Both don't have particularly comfortable grips, apart from that:

Canon:
better quality at high ISO (less noise)
less highlight clipping
stabilized kit lens (under NO circumstances buy the non-IS version, it's total crap)
bigger viewfinder (the Olympus one is really tiny)
bigger and more future-proof system

Olympus:
smaller
kit lens is slightly sharper and much better built

er, that's it I think

I'd try them in a shop, and also take a look at the Nikon D40/40x/60 and Pentax K-M (and if money isn't too important the Panasonic G-1), and then pick the one you get along with best, the differences in technical quality aren't that huge.
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Old 14th December 2008, 19:04   #771
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Gakewad thanks for the very informative reply!

A few questions:

1. Is the three point auto focus not as big of a deal the tech reviews make it out to be?

2. I ruled out the D40 due to lack of image stabilization. I know you can buy Nikon lenses with the IS. If I got a D40, is that what should be done?

Thanks again!
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Old 14th December 2008, 19:29   #772
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Nikon has a new kit lens with stabilization (they call it VR), no idea if it's available with the D40 though.

If you ruled it out due to lack of stabilization then what about the E420? It isn't stabilized either (the E520 is though, and features a proper grip and better controls) and Olympus offers no stabilized lenses (since they (as Pentax and Sony) go with in-body IS).

Personally, the only thing I use multiple AF points for is manually selecting an off-center point (to avoid having to recompose), and in that aspect no slr can compete with a good digicam (or the G-1).
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Old 14th December 2008, 20:56   #773
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Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
Anything else I should be aware of or looking at?
The best way for you or anyone else to answer this question is to predict what kind of pictures you'll be taking. After figuring that out, you'll be able to figure out what features are available to suit those needs, which will lead you to decide what is most important and right for you.

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Old 15th December 2008, 01:44   #774
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Swingsjted: very true. I did not specify because it is truly a little bit of everything. Though I would say very little macro pics.

Gakewad: my mistake. I must have missed the fact that the Olympus did not have IS. having realized that, I'm now guessing the Canon or the D60.
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Old 15th December 2008, 02:28   #775
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Between those the Nikon has better ergonomics (for most, though that's always a question of taste), the Canon better high ISO (though limited to 1600 unless you shoot raw and use exposure compensation) and a slightly better kit lens.

Detailed reviews:
Canon
Nikon
(heh, apparently both aren't great when it comes to white balance either)
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Old 16th December 2008, 03:36   #776
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Hey, on another thread I was talking about the extreme cold we have here - how cold can it get before I should worry about bad pictures or damage to the camera?

It's -13F (-25C) without windchill, -40F (-40C) with wind chill factor

Strange how the temperature scales match at -40

Should I take caution with the camera, or is it fine?

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Old 16th December 2008, 03:43   #777
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Afaik the biggest danger is freezing the lcd.
Apart from that your main problem will be getting enough power from the battery (at least I think it'll crap out before mechanical parts (including the shutter, if the S5 doesn't use an electronic one) start slowing down because the lubricant gets sticky).
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Old 16th December 2008, 03:54   #778
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Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
having realized that, I'm now guessing the Canon or the D60.
The Canon pwns the Nikon, especially in the small matter of ultimate picture quality. I speak from experience not from what I've read on the interwebs.
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Old 17th December 2008, 02:34   #779
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I don't have any real experience with Nikon cameras in general, but I love my Canon. I've played with a few Nikons in different retail stores, but I've always put them down to pick up the Canons displayed next to them. I messed around with a 50D a couple days ago in a Best Buy for a few minutes, and I must say that I'm very impressed. When I get more money saved up, I'll probably end up getting one (or whatever model ends up replacing it) as an upgrade from my current 350D. Also... the one and only time I've ever had to deal with Canon customer service was a very pleasant experience.
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Old 17th December 2008, 03:27   #780
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I somehow doubt Mr B has much experience with them either. It's just too tempting to try to incite a C vs N fanboy flamewar amirite?
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Old 17th December 2008, 03:43   #781
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Very tempting. But that's ok. I respect others' reasons for choosing N over C. I chose Canon for the same reasons that millions of other people have as well, but Nikon is really the only manufacturer that gives Canon any serious competition in this respect. Gotta give them props for that.
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Old 17th December 2008, 13:31   #782
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Thanks to all for your valuable input.

I decided to go with the Nikon. I took Gakewad's advice, went to a store that sold both and personally liked the ergonomics of the Nikon better. Though I'll admit that Canon Rebel is a great camera as well --- just not as comfortable for me to use.
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Old 18th December 2008, 05:17   #783
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When you get it, post some shots.

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Old 20th December 2008, 00:35   #784
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Quote:
Originally posted by swingdjted
When you get it, post some shots.
Got it. Will post shots when I figure out how to take one worth while posting. It's really different than anything that I have ever used ... which I was expecting.
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Old 20th December 2008, 07:13   #785
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Aw, come on, I didn't have anything good to shoot either, other than a 5-legged bug and a rabbit. The pic of the rabbit wasn't so hot mostly because it was a crop from simple autofocus shot while hand-held at full 12x zoom.

I want pictures!!! Take a picture of a pile of office supplies or the back side of a business building or something. Anything. [internet cliche]Pictures or it didn't happen![/internet cliche]

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Old 20th December 2008, 21:45   #786
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Take pictures of yourself taking pictures of yourself in a mirror, myspace style.
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Old 21st December 2008, 00:12   #787
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I was so pathetic and excited (and lacking of good things to shoot) that during the first day of having it, I shot a picture of:

the new camera

with the back of the old camera in it's display

with the new camera in it's display

with the front of the old camera in it's display.

http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/3019/img1844ac9.jpg

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Old 21st December 2008, 06:27   #788
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Old 21st December 2008, 20:13   #789
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As promised:





I tried the take pictures of myself taking pictures of myself in the mirror ... all of the rooms that I have a suitable mirror in have shite for lighting. So, the pictures turned out to be quite crap ...
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Old 21st December 2008, 23:01   #790
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There's very nice detail on the high res shot of the white cat. I look forward to seeing some more when you get a chance.

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Old 21st December 2008, 23:59   #791
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Ditto. Did you use in-camera compression, or did you put that picture (the first one) through an image editor to bring the file size down? The reason I ask is because the unfocused areas are a bit grainy. Looks good, though. I'll check out the second picture later because my current connection has bandwidth limits, and I haven't checked my usage today.

And speaking of new cameras... I seem to have misplaced my beloved Fuji E550 recently (I think it's grown legs and walked away). If it doesn't turn up in the near future, I might be in the market for a new P+S camera. I've kinda been searching a little bit, and so far I'm liking the Canon PowerShot A2000 IS. It's got pretty much everything I want/need in a pocket P+S, so I might end up getting one. I'm still going to look around some more, though.

I'll miss my Fuji. It's been good to me for four years.
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Old 22nd December 2008, 00:44   #792
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Fuji killed the E series after the E900, but if a full-auto p&s is ok you could also look at the F100. Its 28-140mm zoom range is slightly wider in both direction than the E550's but it's a lot smaller and better in low light (and still a bit better than other compacts even though the difference isn't as big as it used to be.
The recent Panasonics aren't bad either (they now often do less smearing than p&s Canons). The most interesting imo is the TZ5. Its image quality isn't amazing but there's something to be said about having a 10x zoom (plus selectable aspect ratio that doesn't simply crop top and bottom but actually gives you a wider image) and HD video (only 1280x720 but still) in a camera the same size as the E550.

The A2000 is good too (even though it lacks the manual controls, viewfinder and articulated screen of previous A series models, turning it basically into a plastic SD with AA cells) but - it most likely contains a Sony sensor.
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Old 22nd December 2008, 02:15   #793
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Quote:
Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
Ditto. Did you use in-camera compression, or did you put that picture (the first one) through an image editor to bring the file size down? The reason I ask is because the unfocused areas are a bit grainy.
Interesting. I never really noticed too much of the grainyness of the unfocused areas (especially the chair) until you brought it up.

Both images were shot in raw and processed through an image editor to bring the size down (raw files look much less grainy than the jpegs). Image editor was Nikon's View NX program, which I am not all that impressed with. Through microscopic imaging that I do at work occasionally, I have Photoshop CS on my work laptop ... however, that old of a version of PS does not support the version of Camera Raw I would need for the D60.

It would be nice to come up with a better way to do post processing on the images but for now I do believe that I am stuck (dunno if gimp can do this, it is something I plan on looking into).

For what its worth, I've also got a Canon PowerShot 700 IS, which is obviously a little older than the one you are looking at. For what it does, it is great at it. I've got no complaints with the camera.

Quote:
Originally posted by swingdjted
I look forward to seeing some more when you get a chance.
Will do when I find more interesting subjects. I actually plan on going out to a Christams lights thing in Dearborn, Mi, within the next few days so I should be able to come up with something interesting.
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Old 22nd December 2008, 03:03   #794
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Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
It would be nice to come up with a better way to do post processing on the images but for now I do believe that I am stuck (dunno if gimp can do this, it is something I plan on looking into).
The UFRaw Gimp plugin should be able to process D60 raws or you could try Raw Therapee, both are based on dcraw but the interface and afaik also some added functionality are different.

For denoising (and sharpening, unless you have some smart sharpening method that works better) high ISO shots you can use the free versions of Neat Image and Noiseware. They're somewhat limited but generally work well enough. Only the fact that you can only save as jpeg with fixed quality can be a problem if you want to do much further processing.
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Old 22nd December 2008, 23:38   #795
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Quote:
For what its worth, I've also got a Canon PowerShot 700 IS, which is obviously a little older than the one you are looking at. For what it does, it is great at it. I've got no complaints with the camera.
I've been pretty impressed with Canon's PowerShot line, and Canon as a whole. They're my first choice when it comes to optics/imaging. One of these days, I'll get myself a 50D (or 60D or whatever model is out at the time that's between the entry-level and professional SLRs). I looked at a 50D again today, and it gave me an erection.

Quote:
it most likely contains a Sony sensor.
Canon makes awesome sensors. Why would they get sensors from a company that they're supposed to be competing with? My brain hurts...

Well, I went to Best Buy and Circuit City today to just browse through their camera selections. I was thinking about Canon's A590 IS and A1000 IS models as well, but they just lack one of the most important features: manual control. [edit] My bad. The A590 IS does have manual controls. [/edit] Most of the cameras that I've looked at in the sub-$150 range lack even basic manual controls (like shutter and aperture settings). I looked at several of Canon's less expensive models, a couple Fuji models, one or two Panasonic models, and a couple Kodak models... and I didn't see anything that really caught my eye for under $200. I really wasn't aiming to spend a lot of money on a compact camera, but I absolutely have to have manual controls. I can even deal without a real viewfinder as long as I can control the camera's settings myself.

After doing a little more research online, the Canon PowerShot SX110 IS looks really nice (even though it's a little more expensive than I had hoped). It's got a great zoom range (but not quite as wide on the low end as I'd like), large hi-res LCD screen, decent sized sensor and image resolution, full manual controls, optical image stabalization, pop-up flash, USB-HiSpeed port, SDHC compatible, and it runs on standard AA-sized batteries (big plus for me). Seriously considering it. B+H has it for $200. I'm still open for more suggestions, though. I'm not sure when I'd actually be ready to buy a new camera, but I'm sure it'll be after the holidays are over. I do appreciate all the input.
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Old 23rd December 2008, 00:16   #796
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The A2000 has no manual controls (as said), neither do the TZ5 and F100. You could try to get some of the older A series models (not sure what they go for now) such as the A720IS or the A650 (same lens and sensor as the G-9) but none of them have more than 35mm wideangle. The only Powershot with 28mm and manual controls is the G-10.

Quote:
Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
Canon makes awesome sensors. Why would they get sensors from a company that they're supposed to be competing with? My brain hurts...
Canon has until recently only made large CMOS sensors for their DSLRs, not the small CCDs used in the Powershot models.
They recently built a plant for small CMOS sensors but so far the only model that uses one is the (afaik Japan-only) SX1IS.
Sony dominates the market for high quality (cheap no-name and OEM cameras probably use chinese chips) compact CCDs.
Most name-brand p&s models use them, the main exceptions being Panasonic, Fuji (only the SuperCCD models), Samsung (crap) and Kodak (doesn't even really count anymore since they outsourced the camera division to one of China's biggest cheapo cam makers).
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Old 23rd December 2008, 00:25   #797
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I see. Even though I don't care for Sony as a company all that much, they do make pretty good quality hardware. I wouldn't be as opposed to buying a camera with a Sony sensor in it, but I don't think I'd buy a whole Sony camera. Do they even make a camera that uses AA batteries?

For right now, I've got the SX110 IS bookmarked. I'll keep looking, too.
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Old 23rd December 2008, 00:45   #798
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If you don't need the long zoom, the A590IS offers more or less the same features and image quality for almost half the price, and it even has an optical viewfinder (the screen is smaller and quite grainy though).
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Old 23rd December 2008, 01:23   #799
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I didn't look really closely at the A590 IS when I was at the store, but I looked at it briefly. It looks nice for the price, but yes, the screen is very grainy. I wish it had a better zoom range, but it's on par with my old Fuji. Does the A590 IS have full manual controls? That would make it or break it in my opinion. If it's got full manual controls, I'd probably get it rather than the SX110 IS despite the limited zoom and low-res screen.

[edit]
Looks like it's got most of the manual controls I would want. I'll have to check it out in more detail next time I'm at the store. Too bad it doesn't have exposure bracketing.
[/edit]
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Old 23rd December 2008, 01:45   #800
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You can have bracketing (and raw mode, histogram,...) with CHDK.
I've got no idea how well it works in practice though.
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