Digital Cameras

Why do they cost so much? I want one but the price puts me off.

I feel the same way about yachts.

A yacht is a lot bigger and more 'spensive to make you fool!

Well, I’ll put it in basic terms. You know what a scanner is, right? Big things, flat piece of glass, converts whatever you put on top of it into a digital image… a good one costs at least a hundred dollars.

Now, a digital camera… for all intents and purposes, it’s a scanner - a very, very tiny, very, very fast scanner - attached to a lens at one end and some form of digital media storage at the other. This insane miniaturization and extreme speed is where the extra cost comes from.

Of course, that’s only the general concept put into layman’s terms.

That’s always how things go. Right now, I wouldn’t recomment spending anything less than $300 for a digital camera (and another $50 for at least 64mb of digital media).

Actually, there are a few pretty good cameras in the $200 range. Look at the Fuji A101 and A201, the Olympus Brio cameras, and the Cannon A100. You won’t get a top of the line camera, most have 1.3 megapixels, or a for a few bux more 2.1. You’ll also get no zoom or at most 2x.

Still, for web use and printing out 4x6 images, they will work fine. You’ll probably also have to buy more memory cards, rechargable batteries, and maybe a card reader, but prices on all of them are pretty low these days.

<photo snob>

REAL images come from REAL cameras

</photo snob>

Another cheap model is the Kodak DC215. I’m looking to buy one on Ebay and they usually go for $300 AUD ($150 US) which is well within my price range.

I am quite enjoying the Olympus C-700 that I recently got. At $450, you get a 10X zoom (good enough that I have taken sports action photos for my newspaper), and the camera is small enough to fit into a jacket pocket.

It’s more accurate to say that a digital camera is a self-contained computer system. A microprocessor controls the CCD, processes the data, displays it on a color LCD, compresses the image and writes it onto a storage device. Users these days demand a 1-shot/second speed, which gives you less than a second to compress the image. I’m sure the digital camera in my pocket has a far faster processor than my first 386 PC. I have a 128MB CF card in it, which is triple the capacity of the hard drive on that 386. A scanner by comparison is a much simpler machine - all it has to do is operate the detector and send raw data to the host computer.

Film cameras are cheaper, of course, but you need to pay extra for film and development. Those really add up. Digital cameras have reusable batteries and memories.

I’ll remember this if I ever sell my DC215. Can’t see it happening, though. It’s a pretty good model that used to be worth about $400. I won mine in a sweepstakes, actually, then only had to purchase the accessories.
And scr4 is right. The rechargeable batteries and the memory cards will more than make up for the cost of the camera. I’d say it’s a sound investment.

There are some dirt cheap digital cameras about.

Unfortunately they take dirt quality photos.

Have you thought about getting a second-hand one, eg from a pawnbrokers or something?

We looked at this one last night:

Anyone have any experience with this particular camera?

A friend who spends way too much time and money on digital photography sent me this link:

Digital Photo Review[sup]TM[/sup]

It has great reviews of all different types of digital cameras. You can search by your price range which is a very nice feature. It also has a comprehensive glossary to explain all the terms which will initially befuddle most mortals.

Here is a page with reviews and details on the Fuji 2800.

I recommend this site for people with Digital Camera questions. They have reviews and an excellent message board chock full of information.