Help w/ a camera decision

DouglasE

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Recently, a little bit of extra money came my way. So now I'm considering making a new purchase. I'm seriously considering buying a digital camera.

Here is where you come in.

Tell me about your experiences with digital cameras.

What kind do you have?
How many pixels?
How would you characterize the quality of the pictures?
Is it easy to operate?
Do you like it/would you recommend it?
 

JackSkellington

Active Member
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I am also looking at DC too. I would advise you look at Sam's Club, Costco, Best Buy and or Target for price and high quality cameras.
 

DouglasE

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks for the tip. Even with that in mind, I find it's best to go in prepared with knowledge and information. That's why I made this post. Maybe this can help us both out. :D
 

popkid

New Member
hey DouglasE,

first a few questions for you:

1. what features are you looking for in a digital camera?
do you want lots of manual controls over your exposure, or just a simple point and shoot? do you want the ability to take video clips as well? is camera size important? and what price range are you considering

as far as my opinions on digital cameras:

i have a canon 10D and acanon s400

the 10D is 6.3MP and the s400 is 4.0MP

i would characterize the quality of the pictures as outstanding. you can check out my photo galleries to see for yourself - though keep in mind, the photos have been heavily compressed from their original sizes.

is it easy to operate, well - this is up for interpritation. anytime i get a new toy i spend a good deal of time with the manual, learning the device inside and out. with that said, i would say using the s400 as a point and shoot camera is extremely easy. just point, and... well, shoot :)

once you start getting into the more manual settings or cameras, then there is definately a higher degree of knowledge involved. both in the operation of the camera (navigating it's menu's and settings) and in photographic know-how.

any camera is going to require a bit of learning, but the great thing about digital photography is that the learning curve is made alot easier by the fact that you can shoot, review, adjust, and repeat on the spot. allot yourself some play time with your new camera and it's manual, and you should have it down pat no problem...

would i recommend these cameras? well, for point and shoots i would highly recommend the s400. i carry mine with me all day every day. it's a tiny the price has come down quite a bit lately as canon as released new models.

the 10D i would only recommend to someone looking to take their digital photography further than the point and shoot world. it offers loads more features than the s400, but also

anyhow,
 

popkid

New Member
oh, and when shopping for digital cameras - dont be fooled by 'digital zoom' - only concern yourself with 'optical zoom'. digital zoom in my opinion is just horrible, and has always been disabled instantly on any digital camera that ever offered it.
 

DouglasE

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Popkid,

Thanks so much for all of your input. You remind me of myself in that you keep on remembering things to add after the fact. Made me chuckle.

Here are some answers to your questions:

I'm looking for a point and shoot.
Video clips are not necessary.
Camera size is not that crucial to me.
Budget? I'm going to leave that open because you never know what kind of deal I'll be able to discover. I don't want to limit people's input that much.

Here are the features that I'd be interested in:

Zoom capability. I am quite proud of myself that I actually was aware of the difference between optical and digital zoom :)

Picture quality sharp, clear and able to produce 8x10 prints, if desired.

Strong performance in low light conditions

Thanks for the url on the helpful websites.
 

JackSkellington

Active Member
I was looking for a camera, and found that camcorders might be the better deal. I personally love all kinds of multimedia and making movies, etc. Some camcorders have a great picture taking ability and a awesome zoom range. But only use optical zoom as popkid said. Otherwise your picture won't be recognizable. Be warned these camcorders are not cheap, but they get the job done. And this thread will help us both out, agreed.:wave:
 

DouglasE

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
JackSkellington,

Thanks for the idea about purchasing a camcorder, but I'm going to stick with a digital camera. Why don't we have two posts? We can use this one for digital cameras and you could make a post regarding camcorders. Does that work for you?
 

cloudboy

Active Member
I used to spec out digital cameras at my last job. The big issues are: Do you want the ability to do manual exposure and such (do you know ehough about manual shutter speeds and such); what is the most you plan to do with the pictures (how big do you expect to ever enlarge them); how "gadget literate" are you, because it makes a big difference for how much you enjoy working with the camera; and finally how do you want to transfer and edit the pictures. This last point is important - if you use Compact Flash already you will want to get one copatible with Compact flash.

The models have changed since I last speced them, but we pretty much had settled on the Canons. Particulalry the s400s. They were well built and got good pictures, but some people were quite bewildered by all the buttons. I personally liked the Nikons, too.

Whatever you do, make a trip to Best Buy or Circus City to check them out - the best thing you can do is get a feel for them in the stopre before you buy.

P.S. if you are not going more than 8x10, don't bother with more than 3 or 4 megapixels.
 

DouglasE

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Cloudboy,

Thanks for the advice. I definitely would not be producing prints larger than 8x10. In fact, I would hardly be making prints of that size. Only once in a blue moon. But I definitely will be making 4x6 prints.

As far as my "technology quotient" goes, I would classify myself as not intimidated by technology, but definitely not thoroughly versed in all the ins and outs. So I don't think all the buttons on a Canon would bewilder me.

Thanks for being specific in naming the Canon S400. Canon has a large array of options. It's nice to know what we are talking about.

I definitely will take your advice and go to a few stores to play with all of the new doohickeys and whatnots! :lol:
 

JackSkellington

Active Member
Originally posted by DouglasE
JackSkellington,

Thanks for the idea about purchasing a camcorder, but I'm going to stick with a digital camera. Why don't we have two posts? We can use this one for digital cameras and you could make a post regarding camcorders. Does that work for you?


Hey that is a good idea. I have to go to lunch. But when I return it should be there. :sohappy:
 

FanofDinsey1981

Active Member
I have a really cool feature on my digital camcorder, where you can take still pictures too. so if you are wanting a 2 in one, the canon x60 is good (or anything in that line) and I got it at Best Buy.

my Canon elf 110 is great (it is 4 years old now, so there are newer viersions) and the picture quality is amazing. I use it for black and whites that now are decorating my house, and I even won a local contest with one of the pictures. but it does take some getting used to with all of the features.

good luck finding something!
 

Woody13

New Member
I just finished doing extensive research on this very subject. I bought a very nice point and shoot digital camera for my daughter. I bought the Nikon Coolpix 4300. Nikon if offering a $50.00 rebate on this camera if you buy it before 03/31/2004.

Check out Steve's Digicams for a review here; http://www.steves-digicams.com and follow his advice to find the lowest price.

P.S. Buy an extra battery and a bigger CF card for the Nikon. You'll be glad you did! Good luck!:wave:
 

pilka214

Active Member
i just got the kodak dx 6490 easy share and it is bigger than a few but small than others. it has a great zoom for its size. 10 optical and 3 digital equalling bout 30x zoom and has 4 megapixels and is easy to use so i say its one of the best and if not kodak are alwasy the easiest to use
 

mkt

I Demand a Snackrifice
Premium Member
Kodaks controls are easy to use if you've never used a camera much. The Nikon controls, imo, are the most user friendly
 

DouglasE

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sound the trumpets!!!! The purchase has been made!

Thank you to all who responded to this post. This post really helped me pick out the camera that would give me the best bang for my buck. It was a big learning experience. Not only did I get to learn all different things about cameras, but I learned about business pracitices of sellers of cameras.

The biggest lesson I learned is that while there may be oodles of companies that will deeply discount the camera, their business practices leave something to be desired. The big common practice is that they hook you in with advertising a VERY low rate on a camera. You place your order. Then you receive a message that they want you to call them to confirm the billing. When you call the company back they try to sell you accessories such as memory media and batteries. These accessories are always way over priced. You could get the same stuff at Wal-mart for less than half they want to sell this stuff for. When you refuse to buy the accessories all of a sudden the item you ordered is out of stock or there is some other problem. If you decide to buy accessories in addition to your camera from these companies normally it is smooth sailing. So by the time I would find what I would consider a reputable company my camera of choice would have gone up in price to a level I couldn't afford.

Finally, after much searching, I found a seller with whom I could do business.

I ended up narrowing my choices to about four different groups of cameras:

Kodak Easy Share DX 6440 or 6490 Zoom
Olympus C-4000, C-5000, C-5050 Zoom
Nikon Coolpix 4300, 4500, 5400
Canon Power Shot S50, S400

My decision between these cameras came down to seeing what kind of offer can I find from what I would consider a reputable dealer?

Drum roll ..... open the envelope.....
and you'll have to wait for my next post to see what camera I picked.

Btw, I got it through a seller at half.com. She even threw in added memory beyond what ordinarily comes with the camera!
 
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