Camera equipment

Nikon Coolpix 900, Coolpix 950, Coolpix 995

All of these are "jointed" cameras... the lens and optical viewfinder are on one side of the joint, and the LCD, batteries, and flash card are on the other side of the joint. I was so delighted with the 900, that when I had opportunity to sell it and upgrade to the 950, and then again to the 995, each of which got higher resolution, and the 995 a longer optical zoom, I did so, and was not disappointed. The current model in this series, which unfortunately seems to be the last, in the Coolpix 4500. I really, really like the joint. The 995 has a 4X optical zoom, which combined with the lens doubler I had, gives 8X magnification. A great line of cameras for still photography. Some shutter lag, but you get used to that--but it is annoying for action photography, if the action isn't predictable. A somewhat puny flash makes night photography limited, but low-light photography of still subjects can often be done without the flash, by using a tripod, and would turn out well. One could jam this camera into a large pocket on loose-fitting pants, and I often did, but it was still a conscious decision to be burdened with the camera, so it didn't go everywhere.

I seldom used the 30fps QVGA video on these cameras, the results are tiny (especially if displayed on a high-resolution monitor) and if you magnify them to a decent size, they quickly get grainy, and motion artifacts are extremely visible.

The Nikon lens has a filter ring, which supports not only filters, but also wide-angle and telephoto lens attachments, such as the doubler (2X) telephoto lens attachment I had.

Casio Exilim EX-Z750

This little fellow is my current sidekick. It is small, rides in my pocket or on my belt any time I leave the house. It is an early technology leader for speed in this size camera... most previous non-pro digital cameras have a noticable shutter lag. The flash is even punier than the flash on the Coolpix 9xx cameras, so an auxiliary flash is necessary for flash pictures except when you can get really close to the subject (6' or so). So large group pictures at night, without an auxiliary flash, generally don't work. I bought this camera before a recent 2 month trip, and I was delighted with the 4000 or so pictures it took.

Another technology plus for this camera is the 60fps VGA video. While most video cameras have a much longer optical zoom range (which also requires them to be significantly larger), their picture quality isn't any better, unless they take HDTV video. For this camera, the optical zoom is not active during video shoots, but you can compose your shot to the widest zoom you wish for the video before starting to shoot, and then use the digital zoom while shooting. Since the video is only 640x480 (or 0.3 megapixel), and the image sensor is 7.1 megapixel, digital zoom is actually OK to use for video on this camera. I have really enjoyed some of the videos I've taken with this camera.

This camera, like most that have fully retractable lenses, does not support lens attachments of any kind. Because it is so small, and can always be carried, it enables pictures within its limits, that would otherwise be missed because of "Oh, I wish I had my camera with me"-itis.


Flash Card Reader

SanDisk ImageMate 12-in-1 flash card reader -- handles xD and about everything else. Most of the newer card sizes are compatible with one of the older card sizes, so the ImageMate, when I bought one, was called 8-in-1! I don't think it has changed, though! Marketing!

External Flash

Phoenix D92-BZS Syncs from the cameras flash, needs no wires


Costco stores cameras, flash cards, supplies
Costco.cem cameras, prints, posters
B&H Photo Videocameras, equipment, supplies
Club Photoprints, posters, gifts