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shoot the moon

Tomorrow (if Circuit City has it) I will be picking up an Olympus SP-320 digital camera. It is time to retire the old D-535 and go with something better.

Initially I was going to stick with Olympus because I really like the interface on the LCD screen, but on closer inspection there really isn't anything else out there that packs as much features for the price (for what I intend to use it for).

Here are some things I'm looking forward to with the new SP-320:

Manual Focus

The majority of digital cameras out there are in a perpetual "nanny mode" that you can't turn off - and this includes the focus. Everything is automatic. You can't manually adjust focus for anything. The 320 has a manual focus option.

My first real test of this will be shooting the moon, as in the moon that orbits Earth. I have never been able to get a decent shot of the moon with the 535 because of the nanny mode.

Large LCD

The 535 has a small-ish screen. One point eight inches I believe. The 320 has a 2.5" screen. Much larger.

"Raw" mode

All JPEG images from most digital cameras are compressed. With the 320 you have the option of fully uncompressed photos. No compression = higher image quality.

Digital stabilization

This is best explained by hypothetical situation. Say you're a passenger in a car traveling on a bumpy cobblestone road. You see something and snap a photo of it. The photo comes out terrible because all the shaking from the car puts everything out of focus. With the stabilization, your photo will stay in focus.

Where this works for me is when zooming in very tight on a subject. The tighter you zoom, the more difficult it is to keep a steady shot. Stabilization is supposed to take care of this.

Better macro mode

The 320 touts that you can get to within two centimeters of a subject and it will still have outstanding detail. I'm looking forward to trying that out.

Selective and Spot AF

My 535 is an "all or nothing" type of auto focus. The 320 has an AF mode that's selectable. What this should mean is that a little rectangle or box should appear on the LCD screen and allow me to select the exact spot I want focus to concentrate on.

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There are tons of other features, but hopefully this cam will allow me to get the shots that I simply couldn't get with the 535, such as the aforementioned moon, "streaking" tail lights from cars (on purpose), close-up shots and so on.

I'll write more about it once I get it.

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