Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 8/22/2004 11:05:39 AM EST
OK, I went to Wally World to get a digital camera, my first, and simply don't know diddly squat about them so I am hoping some of you can guide me towards a good purchase.

I want to stay at or about $300, only need to take say 10 to 15 photos at a time before needeing to "download" or "dump" pictues (what ever the correct term is), and I want something that is simple to take the phots and put them on my computer or to a mini-disk. Lastly, I would like a camera that comes with what it needed to accomplish this, you know, I don't want to have to buy a bunch of crap that does not come with the camera.

Now... what brands and modles should I be looking at. I did see what I believe was a Sony and it opened up and appeared to take 3" disks and it was right at $400.

I just want a camera that I can take a good photo with, put the phots on a disk, and them share them here on AR15.com.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:22:16 AM EST
I would not buy any camera that uses a "disk". Go to Circuit City and you can find a good Sony that uses a Memory Stick. Here is a link to a good 3.2 megapixel model and you would have enough left to buy a 256 MB memory stick. The camera comes with a 16MB memory stick.
Remember you can change the resolution; you don't have to use the full 3.2 megapixel to get a picture, but I would leave it at that and you can resize your pictures to post on the Web.

Sony Cyber-shot® 3.2-Megapixel 3x Optical Zoom Digital Camera
Sony 256MB Memory Stick PRO™
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:28:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2004 11:30:46 AM EST by JarheadChiro]
Buy all the Megapixels you can afford.
Memory cards in the 128mb range are more common these day's so, you'll get quite a few photos, (100's, or depending on settings).

My Cannon digital Elph is great camera.
Small, compact, lots of features, easy software...
Takes movie with audio too, length depends on card size.
The 3.2 megapixel version is $300 last I checked.

Hope this helps.



Semper Fi
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:28:43 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:29:16 AM EST
Canon A75.

$250.

I just got one. My first digicam and I love it.

You can even take short movies (3 minutes or so) with this thing. Everything can download to your PC. The software that comes with it is great also.

I highly reccomend a Canon A75.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:31:47 AM EST
I have a Sony that uses a disk...It works well and you can store hundreds of pix (is a small size) or lotsa 5 megapixel shots. That said it is large.

I just bought the wife a Kycera at Radioshack for 300...big as a deck of cards 3.1 megapixels! You can but SD memory cards CHEAP these days so storage is not a big issue.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:40:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:
Go to www.dpreview.com



I couldn't have said it better myself. That site is a wonderful resource, and helped me in my decision making process.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:52:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2004 11:55:15 AM EST by Lazyshooter]

Originally Posted By BigJ491:

Originally Posted By Paul:
Go to www.dpreview.com



I couldn't have said it better myself. That site is a wonderful resource, and helped me in my decision making process.



Me too. They have extensive reviews of the popular models at that site.
If you get one that takes Compactflash cards, the cards are about the cheapest out there, on sale or with rebates all the time, at Amazon and elsewhere.


A quality lens with more than 3x optical zoom, and the most megapixels you can get, and good low light shooting are things you have to look at. It has to be ergonomic too. Most aren't and your fingers don't have much to grab on the left side of most compact models and sometimes your fingers can get in front of the lens or flash.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:52:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2004 11:55:51 AM EST by hydroshok]
Igot a 4 mp kodak easyshare for 250$ and i would put it up against any other in that price range




here is a pic from it
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 12:32:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lazyshooter:

Originally Posted By BigJ491:

Originally Posted By Paul:
Go to www.dpreview.com



I couldn't have said it better myself. That site is a wonderful resource, and helped me in my decision making process.



Me too. They have extensive reviews of the popular models at that site.
If you get one that takes Compactflash cards, the cards are about the cheapest out there, on sale or with rebates all the time, at Amazon and elsewhere.


A quality lens with more than 3x optical zoom, and the most megapixels you can get, and good low light shooting are things you have to look at. It has to be ergonomic too. Most aren't and your fingers don't have much to grab on the left side of most compact models and sometimes your fingers can get in front of the lens or flash.



It's all about the lens..
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 3:13:34 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 3:30:56 PM EST
I have a Nikon Coolpix 3100, really happy with that camera. They have a better model out now a 3200 priced around $250. I've never had any problems with it and can make really nice 8 x 10 pictures.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 3:33:58 PM EST
MY first digital was a Sony Mavica FD87. Just got it for stuff I need to put online. I normally used my Canon AE1P 35mm film. Until Nikon brought out the D1H digital SLR, I never seen a digital pic that was anywheres near 35mm film quality (when you've done film photography for 23 yrs and developing your own prints, you get very good at seeing the differences). This spring I finally retired my AE1P after 23 yrs of perfectly reliable use, and bought a Nikon D70 Digital SLR. Lets just say its FASTER than my AE1P during action shots, gets 1000 pics at 1500X1000 (med jpeg) on a 512mb CF card (256 @ 3000X2000 on med jpeg). Has teh ability to use Microdrive cards (actual miniature hard drives) up to at least 4GB. Gets 5 fps and doesnt write to the card until its buffer gets full during full auto shooting.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 3:39:42 PM EST
Two things...

Like was said

dpreview.com



and



Fuji S5000.

Link Posted: 8/22/2004 3:41:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:

Originally Posted By BigJ491:
It's all about the lens..



True that's why I didn't buy one of those tiny little toy cameras. I bough the first camera designed around a real lens. It's only 4 megabytes but I often see the professionals still using it. Quality. It makes nice 11 x 17 prints when I'm willing to drop the scratch for the outside printing. The external flash is one of the most powerful (and expensive) ones made. It uses both SM and CF memory chips which was good as a couple of my old cameras used each one. Solid magnesium body is a nice touch too.



Well..............what is it?

How much?
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 3:46:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2004 3:47:16 PM EST by twonami]
Minimum of 4Mb and a real glass lens is mandatory. I have a Sony F-707 and a Canon Digital Rebel
DPreview.com is a must for research and reviews
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:27:36 PM EST
Thanks folks!!
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:35:00 PM EST
Don't get anything less than 5 Mega Pixels.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 5:41:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By JThompson:
Don't get anything less than 5 Mega Pixels.



Also good advice. Anything above 5 megapixels, and actually closer to 6 megapixels, will get you a quality shot. IIRC, 6 megapixels is where it reaches the same quality obtainable with 35mm film. You won't see pixels until you exeed the quality that you would have had with 35mm. 5 megapixels will suffice, unless you're making large posters and billboards. With 5 megapixels, you can make a perfect 8X10, provided, your lens can capture a quality image with good color quality, light, and little grain.

Link Posted: 8/22/2004 5:46:55 PM EST
Tagged, I'm looking to buy also.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 5:49:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bailey:
I would not buy any camera that uses a "disk". Go to Circuit City and you can find a good Sony that uses a Memory Stick. Here is a link to a good 3.2 megapixel model and you would have enough left to buy a 256 MB memory stick. The camera comes with a 16MB memory stick.
Remember you can change the resolution; you don't have to use the full 3.2 megapixel to get a picture, but I would leave it at that and you can resize your pictures to post on the Web.

Sony Cyber-shot® 3.2-Megapixel 3x Optical Zoom Digital Camera
Sony 256MB Memory Stick PRO™


Thats the one I just got. It does a really good job.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 5:53:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 5:54:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2004 5:55:38 PM EST by sterling18]

Originally Posted By Paul:

Originally Posted By BigJ491:
It's all about the lens..



True that's why I didn't buy one of those tiny little toy cameras. I bough the first camera designed around a real lens. It's only 4 megabytes but I often see the professionals still using it. Quality. It makes nice 11 x 17 prints when I'm willing to drop the scratch for the outside printing. The external flash is one of the most powerful (and expensive) ones made. It uses both SM and CF memory chips which was good as a couple of my old cameras used each one. Solid magnesium body is a nice touch too.

I do like the little cameras and might get the new Canon A-60 but it's getting flamed for bad images and a weak construction. I have the Elp and it's alright for snap shots but nothing serious.




Nice
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 5:58:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By BigJ491:

Originally Posted By JThompson:
Don't get anything less than 5 Mega Pixels.



Also good advice. Anything above 5 megapixels, and actually closer to 6 megapixels, will get you a quality shot. IIRC, 6 megapixels is where it reaches the same quality obtainable with 35mm film. You won't see pixels until you exeed the quality that you would have had with 35mm. 5 megapixels will suffice, unless you're making large posters and billboards. With 5 megapixels, you can make a perfect 8X10, provided, your lens can capture a quality image with good color quality, light, and little grain.




I thought for true 35mm at 8X10, you need close to 10 megapixels and no compression. Just someone from Canon onced mentioned.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 6:02:38 PM EST
I borrowed my brothers this weekend . I had never used one in my life and in no time I had figured everything out by trial and error it is sooooooo simple and user friendly ! 3.1 Mega pixelsKODAK EasyShare cx6330 ............................................something else he told me was it wasn't as bad on batteries as the last one he had .
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 6:06:57 PM EST
Fuji Finepix S3000 or S5000.

S3000 can be had for about $250, 6X optical zoom, 3.2 MP

S5000 can be had for about $350, 10X optical zoom, 3.2 MP

Both use the xD memory card. Cost is in the neighborhood of $90 for a 256 MB card, which will hold 330 photos at 3.2MP. Both come with a 16MB card that will hold around 22 photos @ 3.2MP.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 6:07:51 PM EST
I know you said $300, but at $400 I got a kodak DX6490 with a computer dock. The camera has a 10X optical zoom lens and 4 megapixels. That zoom is worth the money. Most of the cameras I looked at at 2X or 3X optical zoom and a 3X internal zoom. That internal zoom is an electronic trick and not worth anything. the controls on the camera are laid out well and easy to use. The Kodak package with the computer dock is easy to use. You hook the the dock to your computer with the supplied USB cable and to an electrical outlet. To download pictures and recharge the batery, you just put the camera on the dock and press a button. I'm no photographer, but this camera makes me believe I could be one. The pictures are really good.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 6:21:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:
Olympus E-10 about $1250 new, can be found for about $400 now or $800 new if you can find one.

They're over four years old at this point and both the Olympus E-20 and E-1 are better camera. Read www.dpreview.com and the Olympus was one of the very few highly recommended cameras. I like the fact that it's one of the fastest cameras - from push of the button to the snap of the picture - very little lag. It's not about resolution but how you use it. Just beautiful glass. The controls are sweet - you can control the zoom manually, the controls are double touch - you can't finger fcuk the thing - and the view finder is glass TTL (thru the lens). The external flash is huge and has a built-in motor that zooms the flash to follow the lens.



The HK91 of digital cameras. I'll probably be buried with mine!

Link Posted: 8/22/2004 6:31:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By sterling18:
... I thought for true 35mm at 8X10, you need close to 10 megapixels and no compression. Just someone from Canon onced mentioned.


Don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard about 8 Meg for 35MM quality.

Admittedly, that figure’s probably a bit subjective to begin with.

Plus I’ve got to think other issues such as lens and software quality can enter into the equation. I’ve also read that some chips are better than others.

Personally, I think for regular snapshots - and certainly for photos for the web - 3 Meg is fine.

Another source for reviews: www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 6:33:25 PM EST
I forgot to add that one thing you should look at is what kind of batteries it takes. The LCD can use up battery fairly fast in some cameras. Mine takes AAs and came with a charger, but is out of your price range and a couple model years old. Proprietary batteries suck, and can get expensive if you want to have a spare around. AA cameras can sometimes be a little bigger, especially the ones that take four batteries like mine, but being able to get batteries anywhere if the rechargeable ones fail, is a nice feature.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 6:35:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:
Sorry.

www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse10/images/specsview-001.jpg

Olympus E-10 about $1250 new, can be found for about $400 now or $800 new if you can find one.

They're over four years old at this point and both the Olympus E-20 and E-1 are better camera. Read www.dpreview.com and the Olympus was one of the very few highly recommended cameras. I like the fact that it's one of the fastest cameras - from push of the button to the snap of the picture - very little lag. It's not about resolution but how you use it. Just beautiful glass. The controls are sweet - you can control the zoom manually, the controls are double touch - you can't finger fcuk the thing - and the view finder is glass TTL (thru the lens). The external flash is huge and has a built-in motor that zooms the flash to follow the lens.

It's my sixth or seventh digital camera.



ARRRRRRRRRG! LAG! I hate that about digital cameras! So they do make them with less lag?! On mine it seems like you push the button and a few minutes later the camera gets off it's backside and actually snaps the shot. At least that's what it feels like when you are trying to get a picture of the kids.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 8:49:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2004 8:57:55 PM EST by Xer0]
For slower digital cameras and kids, you have to learn the art of prefocusing on a set point and then actually firing the shot when the kid is in the frame. Usually this is done by partially depressing the button so that it focuses to a set distance and then taking the shot. After taking the shot only release thefinger half way so that it retains the focus distance and then you can get faster repeat shots without the lag.

It's faster with the repeat shots (as long as you aren't using the flash) doing it this way because the camera is not trying to focus again, which is causing the initial lag. The hardest part is getting the kids at close to the distance from where you focused.

You can also turn off auto preview for faster shots. Getting the image from the flash memory to the screen takes a lot of camera processing time.

With my A80 I have one of the permanent settings prefocused to about 5 meters, preview off, and no flash. Because of the depth of field, as long as the objects are past the 5 meter mark, everything will pretty much be in very good focus. I can do on-the-fly instantaneous snap shots at about 3 per second upto about 8 shots. Here's the very good article on it:
albert.achtung.com/cameras/A80/index7.html#SNAP
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 9:14:36 PM EST
I think the best bang for your buck, and at or below your price requirements is the Olympus C-4000. I think they're $250 or less now.

4 Megapixel
3x OPTICAL zoom
10X digital zoom (basically worthless though IMO)
Has the capability to use external flash

I take pictures of very small items for a living. Here's an example of what I attain on a "medium quality setting"

Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:58:54 PM EST
The Olympus C-4000 is an EXCELLENT 4 meg camera. Got one for a relative. Of course I had to "test" it out. As good in functionality and quality as the Canon A80 (both cameras give and take a little in whats better). The only thing I did not like about it is that it uses Smartmedia memory, which is only available in 128meg max.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 12:15:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By BigJ491:
It's all about the lens..



Definitely, quality is the glass the image/light pass through. A camera is just a lightbox. And I second dpreview
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 5:15:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By Xer0:
For slower digital cameras and kids, you have to learn the art of prefocusing on a set point and then actually firing the shot when the kid is in the frame. Usually this is done by partially depressing the button so that it focuses to a set distance and then taking the shot. After taking the shot only release thefinger half way so that it retains the focus distance and then you can get faster repeat shots without the lag.

It's faster with the repeat shots (as long as you aren't using the flash) doing it this way because the camera is not trying to focus again, which is causing the initial lag. The hardest part is getting the kids at close to the distance from where you focused.

You can also turn off auto preview for faster shots. Getting the image from the flash memory to the screen takes a lot of camera processing time.

With my A80 I have one of the permanent settings prefocused to about 5 meters, preview off, and no flash. Because of the depth of field, as long as the objects are past the 5 meter mark, everything will pretty much be in very good focus. I can do on-the-fly instantaneous snap shots at about 3 per second upto about 8 shots. Here's the very good article on it:
albert.achtung.com/cameras/A80/index7.html#SNAP



THANK YOU SO MUCH! I'm going to have to give that a try. I read my owner's manual cover to cover and it didn't say anything about this. It's a Sony Cyber-shot 3.3MP w/6x zoom. I bought it years ago and like it for my purposes except taking shots of the toddler.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 6:51:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 6:53:02 AM EST by BigJ491]

Originally Posted By 199:

Originally Posted By sterling18:
... I thought for true 35mm at 8X10, you need close to 10 megapixels and no compression. Just someone from Canon onced mentioned.


Don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard about 8 Meg for 35MM quality.

Admittedly, that figure’s probably a bit subjective to begin with.

Plus I’ve got to think other issues such as lens and software quality can enter into the equation. I’ve also read that some chips are better than others.

Personally, I think for regular snapshots - and certainly for photos for the web - 3 Meg is fine.

Another source for reviews: www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html



Subjective, well, maybe. Again, lens quality is going to effect this. But generally, a good 6 Mega Pixel camera is going to get you quality that is normally obtainable with 35mm. Don't foret though, that 6 Mega Pixel is the bottom of that barrier. That's where it starts to equal 35mm...higher Mega Pixels and a great lens will no doubt be better than 35mm.


The equivalent of grain in digital images are the pixels, which are uniformly square.

In general, a high-quality 35mm transparency contains between 15 and 20 megabytes of RGB information. Scanning the slide at more than about 20MB usually results in more apparent film grain without increase in picture detail. Applying approximate maths to this example, a 15-20MB image equates to about a 6 megapixel image.

Since colour negative film has much less detail than slide film we can assume that a camera of slightly less than 6MP (megapixel) can offer an image with a level of data roughly equal to 35mm colour prints.



Quote Reference
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 12:24:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By BigJ491:

Originally Posted By 199:

Originally Posted By sterling18:
... I thought for true 35mm at 8X10, you need close to 10 megapixels and no compression. Just someone from Canon onced mentioned.


Don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard about 8 Meg for 35MM quality.

Admittedly, that figure’s probably a bit subjective to begin with.

Plus I’ve got to think other issues such as lens and software quality can enter into the equation. I’ve also read that some chips are better than others.

Personally, I think for regular snapshots - and certainly for photos for the web - 3 Meg is fine.

Another source for reviews: www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html



Subjective, well, maybe. Again, lens quality is going to effect this. But generally, a good 6 Mega Pixel camera is going to get you quality that is normally obtainable with 35mm. Don't foret though, that 6 Mega Pixel is the bottom of that barrier. That's where it starts to equal 35mm...higher Mega Pixels and a great lens will no doubt be better than 35mm.


The equivalent of grain in digital images are the pixels, which are uniformly square.

In general, a high-quality 35mm transparency contains between 15 and 20 megabytes of RGB information. Scanning the slide at more than about 20MB usually results in more apparent film grain without increase in picture detail. Applying approximate maths to this example, a 15-20MB image equates to about a 6 megapixel image.

Since colour negative film has much less detail than slide film we can assume that a camera of slightly less than 6MP (megapixel) can offer an image with a level of data roughly equal to 35mm colour prints.




Quote Reference



Remember though you will eventually run into film which may not be fine enough to utilize all those pixels. Eventually the grain of the film will determine how many pixels are practically useful.
Top Top