View Full Version : Advice on Digital Cameras
12-20-2002, 06:16 PM
Bruja, my wife is thinking about buying a digital camera. Since we are both cheap bastards who don't like to spend more than $150 on something like this, does any one have any recommendations. We also aren't planning on taking pictures much larger than the standard 5 by 6.
I also have a few questions.
1. What is the smallest number of megapixels I can get away with?
2. What brands are better?
3. Any specific model recommendations.
Thanks in advance
12-20-2002, 06:22 PM
I just researched this to buy my wife one for Christmas. I was looking at higher end $500 4 megapixel cameras, so I don't have much advice about specific models.
1. Go to http://www.dpreview.com and http://www.dcresource.com and read their reviews before you buy anything.
2. Don't forget to factor in the cost of extra memory.
3. Check what type of batteries the camera uses and whether or not they are included. (Some use custom rechargables others use AA. If AA, you'll want to buy some of the nice rechargable AAs, which can add to the cost.)
12-20-2002, 08:04 PM
Spend a little more and make sure you get at least a 2 Megapixel. It just takes better pictures. Make sure you get 3X optical zoom as well. I think the Fugi 2650 series is a good place to start in that price range. Here is one link (http://www.dealtime.com/dt-app/SE/FN-Digital_Cameras/KW-2650/CR-1/Product.html) to some online deals for the 2650. Other good brands are Olympus, Canon and Nikon.
12-20-2002, 09:37 PM
Fairly reputable 2-megapixel cameras can be had for under $150. I saw an Olympus over on Overstock.com for US$149.00.
12-20-2002, 09:43 PM
Shop around. Not strictly "On Topic" since you didn't ask, but I paid too much for my Sony FD87. Five Hundred bucks at Wal-Mart. I was thinking Wally World would surely have the best prices*. Not long after I bought it, I saw the same thing in a magazine ad for 80 bucks less. What a chump.
*cut me some slack, I had been out of the country for several years.
12-20-2002, 10:01 PM
I don't have advice on the camera, but if you want to print photos, Polaroid makes a portable digital photo printer that uses polaroid film, requires no batteries, and is only $25. I just got one today; my test print came out pretty nice, considering the digital camera I have is nothing impressive.
12-20-2002, 10:23 PM
Any advice is appreciated.
12-20-2002, 10:28 PM
I just bought someone an Olympus D-380 as an Xmas gift. It's 2 megapixel, which is fine for 4x6 prints that you can't tell are digital. No optical zoom though. Probably the one Intaglio saw.
If you're really as cheap as you say, and you also need a photo printer, look on Officemax.com for the Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX printer. You can get it for $25 bucks (after rebates) if you buy an Olympus camera within 30 days. Deal is dead after 12/21 though.
12-21-2002, 09:18 AM
I use a Fuji Finepix 1.3. Takes the most wonderful digital pictures. You need rechargable batteries (all digital cameras eat them up quickly) & a memory card too.... they have some Fujifinepix on ebay.com
You know how you know your camera takes great photos? You run your photo processing program & select auto fix & the photo stays the same. That Fuji is like that.
12-21-2002, 11:27 AM
Another thing to ask yourselves is; are you going to print a lot of your photos? When I first got a digital camera back in 98, I was thinking I would print most of them so I got a photo printer, which I used a little bit, but not really enough to justify the cost of buying one. Ink is expensive, and I ended up not looking at the 4" x 6" prints as much as I look at pictures on my computer - so they got shuffled off to boxes like the rest of my old-fashioned photos.
Most of my family and friends have computers, so I stopped thinking along the lines that everything has to be printed. I would buy a CD burner before I bought another photo printer now. Photos are much cheaper and easier to share on CD-R.
If you aren't planning on printing many, you don't need a gazillion pixels. I do print out my photos that I think are exceptional (for framing and hanging on my walll), but the majority are preserved on CD-R instead of paper.
12-21-2002, 03:50 PM
I'm not sure if I am going to be printing a lot of pictures or viewing them primarily on the computer. My wife has organized our pictures into photo albums so we may be printing our pictures. That leads me into another question. Can I print pictures on my picture using my Deskjet or do I have to buy some fancy printer?
By the way SmackFu, I am cheapness personified. ;)
12-21-2002, 09:53 PM
Try to get at least 2 megapixels.
The only feature I recommend not being cheap about is Optical Zoom. Get as high a zoom factor as you can afford (digital zoom doesn't count).
12-21-2002, 10:38 PM
Don't let the salesperson dazzle you with stats, do research on the net at places like dpreview.
Optical zoom is what counts, digital zoom is meaningless (you can digitally zoom on the computer and get the same result - it's basically just cropping)
1.3 Megapixels used to be the standard, now it's 2.1 (I think) which is more than adequate for snapshots that'll be printed domestically.
Memory cards matter. You want to be able to hold as many pics as you can in there at your chosen resolution, it's part of the joys of digital cameras. So get as large a memory stick as you can afford, and look for a brand that's well supported in memory stick options.
Rechargeable batteries with a charger is also important. In a similar way as above, you want a battery that will last as long as it can without a recharge, and can be recharged in the car, look for as many options as you can for rechargeable batteries.
That may mean you'll need a respectable brand name. I know we use Sony and Canon at our studio, and as far as support and flexibility goes, they're great.
But as you say you're looking for cheap, you may end up with something that you'll regret further down the track. Go carefully.
12-22-2002, 07:52 AM
Just bought an Olympus Camedia digital camera and love it. I'd suggest finding a camera you want then waiting until it is upgraded. When they clearance your model, you can save a bundle. (As an analogy, buy the 2002 Camry after the 2003 Camrys are introduced.) I did this and saved 40% off retail.
I don't own a fancy color printer. However there are places where you can go to on the web (e.g. WalMart.com's photo center and Kodak's Ofoto.com) where you download your images and they'll print them out and mail them back to you. Price: ~$.50 for a 4x6; $4 for 8x10 print. I've used both services and the print quality is excellent.
Enjoy your new toy!
12-22-2002, 10:01 AM
FYI, Walmart is $0.26 for 4x6 prints now. Almost comparable to film prints. And I will vouch for the quality of all these services. They gave very good results even with a 1.3 megapixel camera, although the details were a bit iffy.
12-22-2002, 03:54 PM
My wife and I are leaning towards getting a FujiFilm A200 (http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_reviews/fuji_a200.html), we found one of them on sale for about $139. It doesn't have an optical zoom but we don't take in the way of pictures.
I will definitely buy the rechargeable batteries.
Has anyone had any success with printing their own pictures on their home printer? I have an HP Inkjet which has worked for some stuff but I've never tried to use it to print pictures.
12-22-2002, 04:12 PM
Yep - as I said I bought a photo printer a few years ago (an HP PhotoSmart) and barely used it. Last year I bought a regular HP 940c and IMHO, the photo prints that come out of it are just as good as the prints my PhotoSmart printer makes. Use the good photo paper. And printing photos sucks up a lot of $$ ink, so be prepared for that.
12-22-2002, 08:00 PM
I print my photos at home. You will need to get photo glossy paper for the best results. I have an HP 952 which works good. I would still recommend that you get an optical zoom camera though,you will not regret it one bit. You can always find good replacement inks that have been refilled. It makes things cheaper.
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