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View Full Version : Looking for a digital camera (My first one), But I'm a photography newbie



Azure
07-13-2004, 01:52 PM
I currently own a Sony CCD-TRV67 camcorder, and I usually use it to take pictures, but the thing is, it wasn't ment to take pictures, so I have to do this:
1. Remove camcorder from case, along with AC adapter, and plug into outlet. (Really annoying because the AC adapter cable is usually very tangled)
2. Record video of the object that I want to take a picture of.
3. Turn camera off, remove AC adapter, move camera to PC, plug AC adapter into outlet near computer, plug in video cable.
4. Run InterVideo, push play on camcorder, and take as many snap shots as possible.
5. Check to see how many actually worked (The majority of them have a white bar in the middle and some don't refresh and just take a blurred picture of the first snapshot taken).
6. Keep taking snapshots and checking them (Usually ~15 mins)

This is just too much for me. And when I actually do get a picture taken properly, it's going to be in poor quality:
http://img17.photobucket.com/albums/v50/Azure326g/Set_Up.jpg
http://img17.photobucket.com/albums/v50/Azure326g/Games.jpg
http://img17.photobucket.com/albums/v50/Azure326g/Gap.jpg

So, I definetly need a digital camera, but the thing is, I don't know much about them. I've only used 1 digital camera before, the Olympus D380, and that was only for the Computer Club. I don't know much about some of the terms, like "CCD."

I was watching HSN recently and they had this (http://www.hsn.com/cnt/prod/default.aspx?webp_id=1546212&web_id=1546212&sz=0&sf=&dept=&cat=&subcat=&gs=&attr=&ocm=sekw#) camera up. It seemed real nice, and they kept raving about it being "super ccd," and that that would make it the equivalent of a 6 Megapixel camera. What do you guys think of this camera? Is it decent? The only downside I see in it is that the video mode doesn't feature audio, which I really want.

If that's not a good camera, what should I get? Here's what I'm looking for:
- 3 Megapixels
- Capable of shooting video (at least 2 minutes worth at 320x240 and preferrably with the ability to go at 30fps) with audio.
- Photography software included (Like the HSN one, but I could do without this one if it doesn't come with any)
- Decent Optical Zoom (3x)
- Fast start up time, low shutter lag, and good cycle times
- <$250 (Not retail price, but for how much I can get it for at a reliable web site)

I'm thinking the Canon A75, but I'm not so sure about this one because it takes 4 AA batteries, which sounds like A LOT. And in the review, the reviewer mentioned that the movie mode in it was "not so hot in 2004." What camera, that meets my requirements, has a movie mode "hot in 2004?" And last, how does a video at 320x240 at 15fps look with some movement on the screen? Thanks.

D70FAN
07-13-2004, 03:12 PM
I'm thinking the Canon A75, but I'm not so sure about this one because it takes 4 AA batteries, which sounds like A LOT. And in the review, the reviewer mentioned that the movie mode in it was "not so hot in 2004." What camera, that meets my requirements, has a movie mode "hot in 2004?" And last, how does a video at 320x240 at 15fps look with some movement on the screen? Thanks.

Probably a good choice, especially with your $250 budget. 4 AA battereis means you are not stuck with proprietary batteries and that in an emergency you could find AA alkalines, almost anywhere, to get you through.

We always recommend buying 2 sets (in this case 8) of rechargeable NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries, with a capacity of at least 2000 mAh and a good charger like the Maha C204. For reference:

http://www.nimhbattery.com/

What Jeff means is that many newer mid range cameras have a video resolution of 640 x 480 @ 30fps, so 320 x 240 @ 15fps is not very up-to-date.

If you just want a handy point-n-shoot with good performance at a reasonable cost then the A75 is a good compromise. If you want a "dream machine" it's gonna cost you about 2x you current budget.

Azure
07-13-2004, 03:46 PM
Oh, so do you think I would be able to purchase a camera that can shoot video at 320x240 at 30 fps within my budget? Or is that too out of the question?

About batteries, can a rechargeable battery with too much mAH be dangerous? Or is it the more you have the better it will always be? Another thing, I heard that rechargeable batteries will die quickly if you don't deplete them completly (usually with a button on the charger) and then charge them to max without overcharging. Is this true? What do you think of this (http://www.nimhbattery.com/maha-powerex-mh-c204w-nimh-battery-charger.htm) charger?

D70FAN
07-13-2004, 04:04 PM
Oh, so do you think I would be able to purchase a camera that can shoot video at 320x240 at 30 fps within my budget? Or is that too out of the question?

About batteries, can a rechargeable battery with too much mAH be dangerous? Or is it the more you have the better it will always be? Another thing, I heard that rechargeable batteries will die quickly if you don't deplete them completly (usually with a button on the charger) and then charge them to max without overcharging. Is this true? What do you think of this (http://www.nimhbattery.com/maha-powerex-mh-c204w-nimh-battery-charger.htm) charger?

Nope. 320 x 240 @ 30fps is do-able. The A75 actually has a 640 x 480 mode, but the videos are limited to 30 Seconds in 640 x 480 to 3 minutes in 320 x 240, regardless of memory size.

About batteries. No. mAh stands for "mili Ampere hours" this is the capacity of the battery. The more, the better. NiMH batteries do not have the "memory" problem of older Nickle Cadmium (NiCad) cells, so you can fully recharge anytime in the discharge cycle.

The Maha/Powerex combo will work fine.

Azure
07-13-2004, 04:10 PM
What camera would you recommend that's similar to the A75 that can shoot at 30fps? Oh yeah, and, does the a75 and most of the other cameras that shoot video allow you to record video without holding onto the record button so that you can just set it down on a table or something and have it record? What about the whole overcharging/depletion thing?

hari
07-13-2004, 09:15 PM
You can try Nikon 3700. It is similar to A75 except that it uses Lithium Battery and it does not have manual controls.

You can shoot movies with 640 x 480 mode @30 fps and there is no limitation on the time. You can shoot as long as you want but it is limited by the memory card capacity.

All other features of Nikon 3700 are similar to A75 ( except the battery type and manual controls). One more - Nikon 3700 uses SD memory and A75 uses Compact Flash.

Best of luck.

D70FAN
07-13-2004, 09:20 PM
The 3700 also sells for $100 more.

I don't remember if the video function is push on-push off. Most are.

Go down to the camera store and try them both.

Azure
07-13-2004, 09:23 PM
Um...what exactly are "manual controls?"

D70FAN
07-13-2004, 09:28 PM
Things like: Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and manual control of both, plus other things that make photography more fun.

Don't worry all cameras have an automatic setting that makes them a point-and-shoot. Even my digital SLR has that feature. When you want to experiment down-the-road the manual settings allow you to change settings to get professional type effects.

Azure
07-13-2004, 09:41 PM
Hmm...I think I'm going to stick with the A75 becuase it's cheaper and hopefully, 15fps won't be that bad (I also don't like those "mini" camera, like the 3700, I, for some reason, would rather prefer the A75 because it seems more like a camera, unlike the 3700, which looks really weird).

Jake Conner
07-13-2004, 10:16 PM
Also... you've already got a camcorder. No still camera in your price range is going to be much better at video than the camcorder is at stills. So use the camcorder for video, the still camera for stills.

Jake

Azure
07-13-2004, 10:19 PM
Yeah, but the camcorder is still VERY annoying. It wasn't even meant to import video onto a computer. So, I have to go through a lot of stuff to get it to work right, and most of the time, I get a white bar in the middle of the video that lasts the whole lenght.

Jake Conner
07-13-2004, 10:21 PM
I assume you mean, "It wasn't even meant to import video onto a computer." What are you using to import?

Jake

Azure
07-13-2004, 10:25 PM
I'm using InterVideo WinProducer (came with my graphics card).

Jake Conner
07-13-2004, 10:26 PM
A dedicated video capture device from a company like Dazzle might give better results, I think these start under $100 now...

Jake

Azure
07-13-2004, 10:32 PM
I don't want to shell out that much $ to import video better. The snapshot feature also wouldn't be as good as a camcorder, so I might as well get a digital camera, and the video feature would just be a bonus.

Azure
07-17-2004, 08:39 PM
So, does anybody else have any other recommendations or tips? I'm currently thinking about the Canon Powershot A75. Also, what do you guys think are the chances of a price drop in the A75 by Christmas?

Azure
07-20-2004, 02:06 PM
Could anybody else help me out?

Azure
07-25-2004, 01:31 AM
So, should I just get the A75? How do people feel about it having a plastic case instead of a metal one?

Azure
07-27-2004, 06:52 PM
Bumping the thread

D70FAN
07-27-2004, 06:56 PM
So, should I just get the A75? How do people feel about it having a plastic case instead of a metal one?

When you are talking consumer digicams, it just doesn't matter. The A75 should work well.