Any advice for buying a digital camera?

Hello all,

I’m in the market for a digital camera. I want something good, but I don’t have a ton of money to spend. Basically, I’d like to keep it under $250. I’m looking for a good point-and-shoot camera that could conceivably replace my film camera, or at least be interchangeable. I’m not a professional photographer and don’t need anything too high-end.

Most importantly, I need it to take very detailed close-ups, so a good zoom is a must. I sell a lot of items on eBay (mainly comic books and action figures), so I need the camera to take pictures of these items to list with my auctions. I used to lay my items flat on a flatbed scanner, and the resulting images were of surprisingly great quality. My scanner recently died, and rather than replace it, I think I’d rather just bite the bullet and get a digital camera that can take equally good close-up pictures of my collectibles and collections.

Any advice is appreciated! Megapixels, brands, technical specs, anything I should AVOID… let me know! And thanks in advance.

Get the latest Consumers Reports and read the extensive report on their tests of digital cameras. A good deal of information, and unbiased tests.

You can probably find a copy for free at your local library.

Also try the Deal Forum at & opinions on, & Daily deals are also posted at

Digital Photography Review has a lot of exhaustive reviews, although they tend to go for the more higher-end stuff.

Personally, I’ve been using a Sony Cybershot DP-71 and it’s great, wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. The only thing I can possibly complain about with it is that it’s a little big, but they’ve already come out with a smaller version.

I have a Sony Cybershot U30, with which I am thorougly impressed.

it is only 2 MP, but I have blown up some shots to near-A4 size with no noticeable degradation in quality - ordinarily I wouldn’t enlarge them this far though - it is a more than adequate replacement for a 35mm pocket camera.

My advice (and this is personal opnion, of course) is to go for the smallest camera you can; you’re much more likely to take it places with you if you can just slip it in a pocket and once you are divorced from the expense of printing every frame you shoot, you can and will take a lot more photos.

How much is the Olympus D-560 in $USD these days?
I second the Consumer Reports idea. Also check out this thread from last month.

I use a Sony Mavica for my Ebay photos.

You slide a floppy into the slot and basically point and shoot.

For close-ups, you press the focus button until a little flower appears on the screen.

No messing with memory sticks, uploading, etc…

The whole thing cost me about $250.

I love it. Easiest thing to use ever.