Need opinions on buying a good digital camera.

We are in the first steps of buying a digital camera.

I am the ( and I use this term loosely) yearbook photographer for my daughter’s preschool. I have to take the majority of the pictures of the kids and am responsible for the costs of film and developing. Since I will be doing this job this year and next , I decided to get a Digital camera to save on overall film developing costs and wear and tear on trying to remember to pick up film ( and more importantly, not buying impulse items at said store when picking up the film.)

I have a regular 35mm Canon Rebel right now and like the bigger zoom for getting nice tight face shots.

I know zero about digital cameras. The ones I looked at today at Best Buy, I liked the Olympus Cavera (?) which was about $469. Mr. Ujest was trying to get me down to a $250 every day man’s camera.

If you have one, tell me the pro/con of it.

If you know any good places online for learning or purchasing said stuff, please put it here.

Most of these pictures will be indoors, but personal use I take alot of outdoor shots.

I have an Olympus Camedia C-700, which has a resolution of 2.11 megapixels. This means that I can enlarge photos electronically up to about 8x10 without distortion, which may be a plus for what you are doing. Higher resolution may not be of use to you unless you are going to be cropping photos or enlarging to poster art size.

It also has 10x optical zoom. This works like the zoom lens on your 35mm. Do NOT buy a digital camera based upon digital zoom. This is a fairly useless feature, particularly if you need to edit or enlarge photos.

I paid under $500 for mine, but prices are dropping like stones. The PHD (push here dummy) cameras may not be adequate for what you are doing. Spend a little exta and get something that will serve you for most applications.

Having just recently stepped lightly into the pixel world after years and years and years of 35 mm photography, darkrooms, etc., all I can offer is this link to Digital Photo Review. It’s the site where I did ALL of my serious research before I bought my first digital cam.

What is my first digital cam? Nuttin’ special - a little Nikon Coolpix 2100 P&S camera. The first task it needs to handle is the “TVGuy 8000 Grande Tour of America” which begins in just under two weeks. It needed to be small, light and cheap - I paid about $215 for it.

Good luck!

I got myself a Fuji 2800, I’m not a photo buff, so the HIGHEST picture quality doesn’t affect me. Attractive features, after having previously used a sony somthing or other. AA batteries, if you in the middle of nowhere, battery dies, buy new ones, no fancy expensive camera specific batteries to deal with. It doesn’t use the sony whatever stick, it uses smart media, which is A) cheaper B) other cameras use it if I ever care to upgrade. Stuff I like, works great, takes beautiful pictures and video clips, the audio is surprisingly good, getting cheaper about 3 bills maybe less now. Stuff I hate, seems slow now, kinda fat and its tough to fit in my pocket, can’t hook it straight to a TV like the sony (this is wonderful on vaca).

Take it for whats its worth, but I’m very happy with it.

Rather than spending ages typing the same comments again, can i direct you to a post that i made on another message board some time back?

It gives you my take on the subject, and provides a bunch of links.


If you have any specific questions, i’d be happy to try and answer them.

The important thing is that if they need to be printed in a traditional way for framing, then you need a fairly high resolution. Most entry level cameras these days do, so that’s not a big problem.

However, if they aren’t going to be professionally printed, and you’re just going to use their digital versions (say to put on the internet, or into a DTP program for the school newsletter) then any camera will achieve that fine.

In other words, you probably won’t have any problem with most digital cameras these days.

I believe you are incorrect here. At 200 dpi (and I really recommend 300 for best results) an 8x10 would require 3.2 megapixels.

I still think the 2.1 megapixel camera is a good recommendation. You can pick a good one up for under US$250 and make some nice quality 4x6 prints. Drop another US$150 into a printer (eg an HP Photosmart), and I’m sure you will be happy with the results. Just be sure to save about 40% of your weekly earnings to put toward photo paper and ink cartridges. :wink:

I just took delivery of my Sony DSC U30 and I am in fits of delight with it. The resolution is only 2 megapixels and there’s no zoom at all, but the thing is about half the size of a bar of soap and the picture quality is out of this world.

The thing I like most about digital photography is that (In most cases) the bit that is examining the scene to calculate the metering etc is the selfsame bit that will be capturing the actual image (as opposed to conventional film, where the camera must sense and calculate how it think s the film will respond, but independently of the actual film medium).

Anyway, Sony certainly got it right with this little machine - yesterday we went on a picnic and my kids went to play by a small stream; I took a photo of them, shooting into the light, with the sun’s reflection off the water directly behind them - the exposure, focus, colour saturation are perfect and when printed to A4 size, the results are better than anything I have ever taken using a 35mm compact camera.

Thanks for the input and the links.

This is a whole new world for learning.

The other thing I like about my Sony camera (actually only one of the many other things I like) is that you slide back the lens cover, the camera turns on and you are ready to shoot within one second; when the insectoid aliens zoom past in their saucerhives (hail ants!), you don’t want to be fumbling with a tiny ‘on’ button, then waiting for the camera to boot up.

Mangetout, My Kodak works the same way, but you reminded me of one of the real shortcomings of any digital camera: There is a long second or two of time needed to capture each image. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is very noticeable when taking action shots.

Well… {salesperson mode}… The Sony has an ‘action’ setting, which enables a much shorter interval between click and shoot.

So this action setting is so powerful it can magically overcome the physical limitations of an SD card / memory stick? Vunderbar. :wink:

What’s so difficult about that? All you need is enough cache memory to store the picture. The delay in taking a picture is usually due to the autofocus.

I was looking for a new digital camera about 6 months ago.

A lot of good recommendations came up in this thread. Maybe you can use some of the info?

I’m looking at a copy of May 2003’s Consumer Reports. Kodak EasyShare DX4330 looks like a pretty good buy. You’d have to see all the comparisons yourself, but it has 3.1 megapixels and you can get 900 pictures before changing batteries. I’m in the market myself, so I’m going to read about this stuff in more detail.

I print 8x10s with this all the time and they come out just fine. Now, if you have to do any serious editing or cropping, then the higher resolution is needed (as I stated in my original post). I agree with the HP Photosmart suggestion.

I would recommend at least a 2 Megapixel camera. Get a 3 megapixel if you can afford it. You will not regret it. Fuji, Olympus and Canon make some nice cameras. I have a Fuji 2800 and it has a great 6X optical zoom which is real useful. They also make a 3800 that is a 3 megapixel. You can take your digital files and have them printed like film using a local camera shop or one of the online sites. This works pretty well because my prints wash out after a time if they are in sunlight or flourescent lighting. A good site is Steves Digicam for reviews and previews of what cameras will do. You also may need some graphic oftware for editing in the future.

punha and I got a Kodak CX6330 Easy Share the other day and I am pleased as punch with it. It has 3.1 resolution and 3X optical zoom. We also got the Kodak Easy Share 6000 Printer Dock to print pictures with and the pictures we’ve printed so far look like 35mm pictures. It only prints 4X6’s but that’s all I need anyway. If I want a bigger picture I can always go blow it up at some Kodak picture blower upper at Wal-Mart.

We caught the camera on sale for 249 which was 50 dollars cheaper than the other Kodak we were lookin’ at. The only difference between the two I think was the other one had more optical zoom.

Exactly right; the ‘action’ setting locks the focus at (I think) 4 metres > infinity and circumvents some of the clever flash metering, so the delay between pressing the button and capturing the frame is minimal (probably around 1/10 sec). There is still a 1-second or so delay while it records the image to the memory stick, but that’s after the photo is taken and it is not dissimilar to the wind-on delay experienced with conventional film cameras.