Digital Cameras

I need the Straight Dope on Digital cameras. I’ve read the reviews, but I’m hoping for some first hand experience. I currently use a Casio QV10- I got it when they first came out. Problems? Bad resolution, bad printed photos. The quality is just not good, and you have to hook up a cable to the PC and download the pics. I’m primarily interested in:
Quality (very sharp-real photo like resolution)
Convenience (either the pics come out on a disk or are very easily downloaded)

I want to do digital photography as a hobby, but I don’t see the point if you can’t print out nice pictures. I’m willing to spend around $1000 at the most.
any ideas?

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

Zette, I used a Sony Mavica at the last place I worked and it seemed to work pretty well. It stored stuff on 3-1/2" floppies, you could stick them right in to your computer and play away with them, which was nice. I’m NOT an expert on resolution or anything but it seemed fine for what me mostly used it for. Our ad agency told us the resolution wasn’t that great for newspaper stuff but I don’t think it looked too bad when it was actually printed in the paper. Hope this helps. I don’t know the model number though!

My wife and I have a Kodak DC210+, it has megal pixel resolution and does a very good job. It does not store to a disk (Sony is the main/only one that does), but the newer cameras (my sister has the Kodak DC 260 I believe) you can get it with a USB port and it is very fast to download or use a picture card reader for an additional $50 or so.

The Kodak cameras do a very good job IMHO and if you spend to get one of the better ones I sure it will look great. Ours was around $450 last Christmas. I have heard that the Sony is also good, but I am not sure how many high quality pictures you can store on a 1.44MB disk (my 8MB card stores about 20 high res. pictures, so if the Sony is comparable, it would only store 2 or 3 on a disk.) I believe the Casio and the Nikon are also good cameras, but the only ones I have used are the Kodaks.


We also have a Sony Mavica here at work. I absolutely love the thing. As BunnyGirl said it does store images on a 3.5" floppy. We can usually get about 16 images at 1024x768 on one disk at standard resolution. You also have an option to take your shots at what Sony calls “fine resolution.” I think this enables you to basically double the number of pixels in an image. The model we have also stores up to a minute of video and audio.

I find the printed resolution to be excellent, whether shooting in standard or fine mode, especially on our color laser printer. It looks pretty damn good on the ink jets too if you use a nice high quality paper.

It has a very nice bright LCD viewfinder. I think it is about 2" diagonal. I still find myself putting it right up to my eye like you would use and SLR

I think it would be great if it used a 100M zip disk instead of the floppy though. The only real drawback of this puppy is the price; I think we spent about $850.

I was gonna add a link to the Mavica page but is has about 200 characters and I hate when I have to scroll left and right to read the posts. How about just the Sony homepage.

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
- Ambrose Bierce

I have a Mavica FD-900, at least I think that’s the model number, it was the high end one six months ago. I like it, but there’s some problems, too. I’m no photographer, but I like taking nice pictures.

The resolution is GREAT. 1024x768, great lens, great zoom, etc. I’ve taken some of the best pictures of my life with this camera. At 1024x768, it fits between 6-10 pictures on a disk.

I bought the Sony mainly because I thought it would be nice and convenient to use floppies. After using it for a while, I question that. Say you take 10 disks full of pictures on a trip - to look at 'em, you have to put the disks one by one into your floppy drive and copy them to your hard disk. My understanding is that other cameras come with a memory cartridge that you download to your computer via the serial port or whatever. For large numbers of pictures, this would be more convenient than copying 10 disks.

It also has problems in low light conditions. I’ve had a lot of pictures turn out black because I forgot to adjust the camera. I’m pretty sure, though, that someone who knew what they were doing could adjust the camera so that this wasn’t an issue.

You can also use it to record 10-15 second movies, with sound. I think this is a neat feature, not really useful but sorta whiz-bang. Not the greatest resolution, but OK.

My one single biggest complaint, though, is the thing is HUGE. The 14x zoom lens is big. Some of the lower end Sonys are smaller, but none are tiny. I find myself leaving it in the car because I don’t want to lug it around, while my boyfriend has a tiny camera (non digital) that he puts in his pocket and snaps pictures all the time. Humph.

I am also looking for one and in all my research I have decided to go with a digital camcorder. you can take stills and video.
Cost- They are running around $800-$1,000.

  • Go with USB the transfer rate is 1.5 mg.
  • Serial port .113 mg

Wow, great response…I really appreciate it. I like the idea of the floppy disks, because if you’re out at a party, say- and you take pics, you can give them to people right away. I see what is meant by copying each disk, though. What a pain. The main thing I’m worried about is how good they look printed, and if the Maciva prints nice, I’ll likely go with that one. Thanks a lot for all the advice gang. :slight_smile:

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

I have Ricoh camera and it saves to a SmartMedia card, which can hold 8 megs. I have a floppy converter for it, which is the size of a 3.5" floppy and you stick the SmartMedia card into it and stick it in your floppy drive. It’s pretty cool :slight_smile:

“Cluemobile? You’ve got a pickup…”
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I bought a vivitar 2000 new for $40 after rebate. The quality of the pictures are horrendous for anything but the web.

The Mavica is very nice, lots of dollars for it though.

I do really nice pictures using a camcorder and a ATI video capture card. Great pictures, nice resolution.

Zette, I’m going to take our Mavica from work home for the weekend. I can email you some sample shots if you’re interested. It might be nice to test them on your printer.

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
- Ambrose Bierce

You’re my favorite uncle! I would love that…if you can take a sample at regular and high resolution (if you cam has that feature) That would be just awesome. Thanks a bunch!

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

No sweat, Zette. You got any specific subjects ya want?

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
- Ambrose Bierce

Zette, I guess I should tell you what’s happening in Toledo this weekend.

Friday/Saturday - A Toledo tradition is the Annual Greek Festival. I’m probably headed over there Saturday afternoon for beer, spinach pies and baclava.

Sunday - Classic car show at the GM plant. I’m certain I be at that one.

I’ll take shots at both places and try to get anything else you suggest.

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
- Ambrose Bierce

Zette, you can check out my web page at if you want. The “Party” and “San Antonio” sections have tons o’ pics taken with the Mavica, and the last page of the San Antonio one has a movie I took with it.

Athena- thanks for the link- I’m checking them out right now…I’m going to try printing a few…
Does anyone else have digital photos on the web that I could check out?

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

I went through the digital camera thing earlier this summer. You do have to accept that you’ll always be behind the technological curve (new cameras come out every week). That said, the two contenders at the high consumer end are the Nikon 750 and the Olympus C2000. Endless discussion on the news groups as to which is better – both are good. I’ve got the OM 2000 and like it a lot. It makes very acceptable 8x10’s printed on an Epson 750. These are 2.1 Megapixel cameras 1600 * 1200 pixels, so forget the floppy route. Get one of the card readers that plugs into the serial port or USB port of your computer.

Warning -- once you have a digital camera, you start wanting other things. Like a good color printer, more memory cards, rechargeable batteries, and maybe even a CD ROM writer so you can send pictures to friends. So expect to eventually go over budget...

Can you e-mail me a pic from your cam? I would really appreciate it a lot. Also, I’m not that familiar with all the models- which one do you have exactly? Thanks a whole lot :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

I’ve got a Minolta D’image V, 640 x 480 res, movable/detachable zoom lens. My main gripe with it is the viewing screen. In bright sunlight (which will be behind you in most shots)you can’t see the image unless you hold your hand over the screen. In dark shots, like inside at night with just a table light on, you can’t see anything on the screen then either until after you take the shot. I’d go for something that lets you turn off the screen display, thereby saving the batteries, and that has a conventional viewer on top of the camera. Also, downloading the images sucks. Get one that uses floppy disks. The higher resolution cameras (1240 x 768) won’t get you any more quality unless you’re going to be making enlargements (5x7 - 8x10). Also, your printer should be at least 1200 dpi or greater with an optional photo print cartridge.

Thanks for the review, Toymaker…That’s exactly what I was looking for. I’m leaning toward the Sony Maciva Hi-Res. I’m also looking at the Epson Stylus 1200 Photo printer…Thanks for the info! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

It was dark all around.
There was frost in the ground
When the tigers broke free-

Zette, don’t know if you know of deja web site or not. They apparently have consumers rate products, here is the link to digital cameras.

Let us hope that works.