PDA

View Full Version : Are $30 to $50 cameras worth considering?



genxsis
07-14-2008, 02:38 PM
I'm considering my first digital camera. I don't want to spend alot, but don't want junk either. My present camera is a 35mm point and shoot type (not an SLR). I'd like something digital that takes at least as good pictures as my 35mm does, but I don't know what price range that would fall into. I've been considering something at Walmart like the Nikon L-16 which is about $100. But then I noticed on a pegged display there some other DC's that cost much less. Here is a link to such a one:

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=9604831#ShortReviewTitleBar

I am wondering why cameras like this are put on display in a different place and if they are even worth considering. I would like to have a camera that is easy and fun to use. Nothing fancy, but not junk. Are these cheaper cameras like this one ok for that purpose, or are they just junk that aren't worth consideration?

Rhys
07-14-2008, 02:43 PM
You pay for what you get with digital cameras. I don't think there's much worth having below about $200.

tkbslc
07-14-2008, 04:51 PM
You won't like a $50 new camera, I promise. They are "toy" cameras and won't take print worthy pictures.

For basic snapshot use, stick with a name brand, 7 MP, 3x optical zoom as a minimum. That will get you your standard "good" pictures that will look like 35mm film prints at 4x6 or 5x7 size. The Canon A590IS is well reviewed on this site and it is often on sale for about $140. The Casio Z80 would be another good choice at about $160 if you want something really compact. I disagree with Rhys' statement about the $200 mark. For general snapshot usage there are a lot of cameras in the $125-$175 range that do well.

robbobo
07-14-2008, 07:45 PM
There are sometimes special deals on cameras for about $100. I recommend looking at the Canon A580. You can get it for less than $150 and it has lots of features and settings that would prepare you for a moe expensive, more powerful camera later on.

Those cameras that go for less than $50 new are ok as gifts for kids but I think you would be very disappointed in their picture quality

surfstar
07-14-2008, 08:23 PM
You pay for what you get with digital cameras. I don't think there's much worth having below about $200.

I got my Fuji F20 for about ~$100 after rebate last year and a Panasonic FZ7 for ~$170 on closeout too. You can get an "older" model for a great price.

check fatwallet.com and/or slickdeals.net and keep on eye out for a good deal

just picked up my first dSLR (e510 w/ 2 lens) for $540 :cool:

Rhys
07-14-2008, 09:08 PM
I must be out of date with prices. I remember my last compact cost me about $500. I've not bought a compact since 2004. No need - they're all 3mp which is more than adequate for on-screen displays and 8.5x11 prints.

genxsis
07-15-2008, 12:18 PM
I must be out of date with prices. I remember my last compact cost me about $500. I've not bought a compact since 2004. No need - they're all 3mp which is more than adequate for on-screen displays and 8.5x11 prints.

3.2 MP is what that $40 camera is that I made reference to. Would that mean it is just as good as what you paid $500 for in 2004? Or are they made in a cheaper way now than they used to be?

David Metsky
07-15-2008, 12:30 PM
3.2 MP is what that $40 camera is that I made reference to. Would that mean it is just as good as what you paid $500 for in 2004? Or are they made in a cheaper way now than they used to be?
At current market prices, $30-50 will get you basically crap. It'll be all plastic, a lousy lens and focusing mechanism, a lousy LCD, and the most basic of features. Image quality in anything but ideal lighting will be mediocre at best.

For $100-120 you can get a reasonable camera that will take acceptable images in fair to good lighting. It will be better assembled, much better quality lens and electronics, a good feature set, and reasonable support and service.

For $200 you can get a very nice compact camera.

robbobo
07-15-2008, 03:04 PM
Dell is selling the very capable Canon A590 for $139 today.

Some people take great pride it getting a used ok camera for bargain basement prices. However, if image quality and fun in picture taking is important for you, I hope you will consider spending a little more money (100 to 200 bucks) and getting a new, much more capable camera even if it means you have to save for another month or two.

Five years ago, the pickings were slim in the compact 100 to 200 dollar range. Now they are many and varied. You are lucky.

If you got a compact camera for $500 five years ago, it was one heckuva good camera, maybe not resolution-wise compared to today, but build-quality wise and lens wise. The cheapo cameras of today may have more megapixels in their sensors, and probably bigger LCD screens, but I doubt they come anywhere near the quality of that first class camera of 2003.

tkbslc
07-15-2008, 03:53 PM
3.2 MP is what that $40 camera is that I made reference to. Would that mean it is just as good as what you paid $500 for in 2004? Or are they made in a cheaper way now than they used to be?

MP is just a measurement of how many dots the sensor can use to create a picture. It means almost nothing for image quality. It is like saying all 1500 sq ft. houses are the same quality. They have one equal measurement, but that is all. It doesn't tell you what kind of lens or materials or features or anything are housed within the camera. Some High quality 2 or 3 MP cameras from 6 years ago can produce a better looking picture than the new low end 10 MP cameras of today.

bascom
07-16-2008, 09:21 AM
How about a Canon refurb? http://estore.usa.canon.com/SearchResults.asp?PARENTOID=7413

A630 - $150
A560 - $120

AndyfromVA
07-16-2008, 09:34 AM
Here's a decent camera for $60.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0288856

KCook
07-16-2008, 10:31 AM
I had a very low $ bubble pack Vivitar. The images were NOT junk at all. But the camera was, it simply didn't hold up very long. So I would say the $100 camera is worthwhile, compared to a $50 camera. Slim pickins at that price however. Samsung never gets put on a pedestal, but their S85 is not all that bad. Of course lots of older models end up at the $100 level on final closeout. The problem with recommending any of these is that they are sold out in a matter of weeks. So this mix is in very rapid change. Right now, for example, the Kodak V803 is being closed out at $100. But will likely be all gone next month.

I agree with the other posts that a near-$150 camera will give you some nice choices. In fact, several. Here are links to some more threads on low price cameras -

Second camera choice (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38953)

cheapest or cheapish? (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39531)

Kelly Cook