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November 26, 2006

DIGITAL CAMERA CARNIVAL, PART THREE: I wasn't going to do a new installment of this, but people keep sending me stuff! Follow the links for Part One and Part Two if you happened to miss those earlier installments.

Reader Roger Baumgarten emails:

I'm a thrilled owner of the Canon Digital Rebel XT. Have produced amazing pix with this body coupled with the Canon 70-200 f/4L, Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, and my new Canon 85 f/1.8. Here's a sample gallery, shot hand-held, no flash, ISO 1600!!! The lack of noise at high ISO is astonishing.

For general browsing of my XT photos: www.kodakgallery.com/baumgarten.

Yes, you get much lower noise at high ISO's with digital SLRs than with pocket cameras, because of the larger sensor sizes and better noise-reduction circuitry.

Jonathan Gewirtz emails:

Once you get that neat new digital camera you will need to organize and edit the many photos that you will make. The right software makes doing this a lot easier. Photoshop is great, but for quick image adjustments, batch editing and organizing, as well as super-easy photo emailing and other features (slideshow making, print ordering), Google's Picasa is hard to beat. It's free, very well designed and the latest version allows you (finally!) to use your own directory hierarchy for organizing images. Because Picasa is so easy to use and doesn't cost anything it's worth trying even if you already have photo software that you like.

I've been meaning to give it a try. I use Photoshop CS for serious editing, and Photoshop Elements -- or, on my laptop, the extremely elderly but still adequate Micrografx Picture Publisher -- for lighter duty. I haven't upgraded to the latest Photoshop Elements though. Maybe I should give Picasa a try. You can't beat free.

Bill Hobbs emails with a question:

I have a Canon Digital Rebel with a 28-135mm image-stabilized zoom that I absolutely love - although I do crave the higher mega-pixel of the 30D.

My question is: My daughter, age 9, wants to start taking pictures, and I'm not wanting to hang my thousand-dollar camera around her neck, what the best point-and-shoot digital camera under $200 or even under $150?

I'd go with the Ken Rockwell-recommended Canon Powershot A530 -- at $149 it hits the under-150 price point, and Rockwell loves it.

Reader Andrew K emails:

I was wondering if you are into scuba at all. If so, any recommendations on a decent digital camera and case for underwater photography (down to recreational limits of about 120 ft.)?

I'm very much into scuba, and I generally rent my cameras from Cathy Church's underwater photo center. You can see some of the stuff they use here. The pictures -- and underwater video -- for my Popular Mechanics rebreather piece were taken with the housed Olympus. It worked fine.

You can buy underwater housings -- mostly designed for particular cameras -- from Ikelite and other companies. I'd recommend renting, though, unless you plan to do a lot of photography over an extended period.

Reader Karen Baker emails:

I have a photoblog called Photos by Seawitch.

I'm including a couple of photos. Both of these were taken with my Nikon D50. I've been experimenting with a number of the settings to see what works best when. At my blog, the photos are from my HP Photosmart M407 and the Nikon D50. I switched to the Nikon D50 because I wanted to be able to use telephoto and macro lenses. I don't have a macro lens yet, but very soon. A lot of my shots are of brown pelicans, least terns, and osprey. There's also a lot that are of the damage done to my hometown of Gulfport and other cities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

I created three videos with some of the pictures I've taken.

Link This was done at the start of the hurricane season for 2006. It has before, during, and after shots of Hurricane Katrina

Link I did this one to thank all the volunteers, military, local, state, and federal officials, the utility companies, and the police and fire departments.

Link I did this for the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and it shows the progress that has been made.

The photos are a mix from both cameras and each one is set to music. The are between 4 1/2 to just under 5 minutes long.

I hope you'll consider watching the videos and possibly linking to my photo blog. I realize you must receive many e-mails.

I sure have gotten a lot here! That's it for this series, though. I'm carnivalled-out!