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the right camera for you

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by sponsor, Sep 6, 2004.

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  1. sponsor

    sponsor Thread Starter

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    what should I consider before buying a digital camera ?
     
  2. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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  3. jjb

    jjb

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    One rule of thumb I have heard for a long time is to avoid anything less the 2MP. Anything less and there is a good chance you will find yourself disapointed more times then not.

    If you look at cameras with zoom only consider the optical zoom as far as quality of the pictures go. Digital zoom is basically the camera enlarging the image, something you can do later with most basic picture programs. Any time you enlarge you lose quality.

    Batteries should be a big consideration and one that is often overlooked. Digital cameras are very demanding on batteries so this is very important, rechargeables are a must.
    Personally I am happy with the lithium ion batteries. They are compact and in my opinion inexpensive for the performance received (about $21-25 for my camera). They hold their charge well for long periods of non use. Expected life is about 500 charges. Depending on how much the flash and other power cunsuming features like the viewscreen are used I can take 200-300 pics on a full charge. I carry one extra with me in my camera bag and that easily gets me thru a weeks vacation without having to recharge.

    Another thing that I think is important, especially for someone new to digital cameras........................DON'T be taken in or let a salesman sell you on the bells and whistles or multiple features of a camera.
    For example: When comparing 2 camera models that are both $300, one is loaded with features and the other seems very basic. You may have the feeling you are getting more camera for the dollar with the one with more features, most likely you are not. The manufacturer had to sacrifice quality elsewhere, most likely in lens quality or megapixels to offer the additional features. A larger lcd viewscreen may be nice, but do I want to sacrifice quality for it? NO.
    Do I want to pay for 10x digital zoom with a 1x optical lense? NO.

    Last from my perspective, which I have mostly formed based on what I have read in threads here. Don't place much stock on the software that comes with the camera or how the camera connects to the computer.
    It seems most of the photo software programs that come with the cameras are quite basic and most prefer and opt for others. Problems with connection software also seems to top the list of threads here and for that reason many recommend the use of inexpensive card readers.

    :confused: Hope I helped more then I confused :eek:
    After you have made your decision, as always, someone here will be more then happy to help :D

    jjb
     
  4. sponsor

    sponsor Thread Starter

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    thanks both,
    I will basically use it for taking good quality photographs, and finaly to publish them. I was wondering what MP means and now I know that I should not go for a one less than 2MPs.
    I realy do not want to ask the salesman because they are just salesman.
    A good zooming capability is a must. I already knew that I must not choose autozoom.

    and finaly I am looking for something less than $ 400.
     
  5. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    The above advice is good.

    I am now on my 4th Digital Camera.
    Even though its a 6 Megapixel one, I seldom ever use it above 3 Megapixel setting. Quality is excellent.

    On the subject of batteries, I have evolved to one rule. It MUST use AA cells.
    I do use AA rechargeables, but the ability to stick in AA Alkalines in an emergency has been a saviour, when you are away from the power source. Particularly when travelling.

    I also evolved to a larger capacity card, presently use a 1 GB memory card.
     
  6. firewalker69

    firewalker69

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    I would not get one that used AA batteries because it will cost you more than film would. Get one that used a battery you can recharge.
     
  7. Guyzer

    Guyzer

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    You can recharge AA's and a kit is cheap like borscht ! BTW I get over 125 shots on recharged AA's when I use my Canon A70 and yes I always keep a fully charged spare set with me.

    Follow the advice of jjb & kiwiguy cuz they have pinned it on the head. Only thing I would emphasize is get on no less than 3 mp's. Check this site out and I recommend you pay close attn to the Canon A75. It's priced right and has just the amount of features a newbie could want. I have it's predecessor the A70 and am very pleased.

    One more tidbit.... I use a 256 meg card and store about 150 shots at my cameras highest setting. Kept my cost down instead of having to mortgage to get a 1 gig card.

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/a75.html
     
  8. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    Plainly firewalker69 has not read the posts.

    AA rechargeables are not only cheap, they are now up to 2300 mAh capacity, so they last very well.

    The point being that IF they go flat or you forget to charge them, then you can drop in a set of ordinary AA Alkalines which are available at any shop. You cannot do that with LiOn batteries.

    I learnt by experience. Subsequently I bought with that experience in mind. I was caught too often with flat LiOn non-standard batteries before the photography was finished. I require lots of images for my work.

    Rechargeables (all types, including LiOn) self discharge, so they will lose their charge just being stored. So keeping a spare set charged is fine, but I now take 1 spare set of charged and 1 set of Alkaline. The Alkaline could sit in the bag for a year or more, they are fine.
     
  9. Guyzer

    Guyzer

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    (y)
     
  10. sponsor

    sponsor Thread Starter

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    excellent advices, anything to add ?

    what about zooming ?
     
  11. Guyzer

    Guyzer

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    Depends how far you want to zoom. If you take a look at the url I posted for the review of the Canon A75 and follow it to the end you should see examples of pic's that were taken. I personally use the 3x optical to the max and wouldn't use the digital zoom feature as it distorts the pic somewhat. I have been considering buying the add-on telephoto lens as it is supposed to do an acceptable job. Someday when I have time I will drive into the big city to try it out.

    You could also investigate the Canon S1 IS...It has a 10x optical zoom. Been getting great reviews. A bit more money but still worth it... ( cheap if you live in the USA ) Check it out here......................
    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/s1is.html
     
  12. MSM Hobbes

    MSM Hobbes

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    All great advice in the above posts; as is the link to steves-digicams site is very helpful on many different models.

    I bought a Kodak DX6490 a few weeks ago, and so far am very pleased w/ it - a 4MP [megapixel], w/ a 10x optical zoom [higher the optical zoom, in general, the better - please ignore, for the most part, the digital zoom; it will sacrifice quality very much faster than the gain in "zooming"].

    Another positive w/ this one is the choice between normal viewfinder [similar to a film camera] or the large screen - comes in handy at times. Also, there are many manual & auto settings that am still getting a feel for on this - which based upon your own desires, may influence you on your purchase too...

    However, one big disappointment I do have w/ this Kodak model is the lack of a macro setting... :( Very hard to find a quality camera, ease of use, that has both a high optical zoom and a macro, so... had to choose the opt zoom over the macro feature.

    Oh, another thing... be ready to wait more between shots, for the most part, than what you may have been used to w/ film cameras... One cool part about this Kodak camera is that it actually makes a "snapping" sound to seem like there is a shutter closing... ;) Ok, silly, but kinda neat... :)

    Some other sites besides those mentioned above, that I've used for info include:
    www.epinions.com
    reviews.cnet.com/Digital_cameras/2001-6501_7-0.html?tag=dir
    and
    www.ephotozine.com

    For another guide, try: http://www.consumerreports.org/main...ASSORTMENT<>ast_id=333133&bmUID=1094616353069

    Good luck and enjoy!
     
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