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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    2

    Which camera should I buy?

    Hi

    I'm new to the digital camera world, it seems I'm one of the few still taking photos the old fashioned way!

    Anyway, I need some advice on buying a digital camera, so here's a list of what I'll use it for and what features I need, maybe you experts can help me based on that. And yes, I did read the buyer's guide, there are just too many cameras to choose from!

    - I take photos spontaneously of street scenes and street art
    - A zoom feature would be useful
    - I don't want anything too heavy or big
    - I need a medium sized memory
    - I don't have that much money to spend, but am willing to pay for a good quality camera that will last me a long time

    I hope you guys have some ideas!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Thailand
    Posts
    30
    I recommend Canon A95. Good lense, using AA battery, flipable LCD but no so compact.

    http://pairojvej.fotopic.net

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    538
    Quote Originally Posted by Olivia
    - I take photos spontaneously of street scenes and street art

    Daytime? Nighttime w/flash?

    - A zoom feature would be useful

    A little bit of zoom? A lot of zoom? Most cameras have zoom to some extent - how much zoom you want can determine the overall size of the camera

    - I don't want anything too heavy or big

    Highly subjective - some like the size of a Panasonic FZ20 - I think it's huge. Can you be a bit more specific?

    - I need a medium sized memory

    Memory is purchased separately, so the amount doesn't need to be considered when deciding on a camera.

    - I don't have that much money to spend, but am willing to pay for a good quality camera that will last me a long time

    Good quality cameras that will last a long time can be had in all price ranges. You can get a good quality $100 camera, and you can get a good quality $1000 camera. If you can be a bit more specific, one can narrow down the choices.

    I hope you guys have some ideas!

    At this point, there are about 500 different cameras out there that will potentially satisfy your requirements. Certainly the A95 is one of them, but there are many others. Your requirements are a bit subjective, so if you care to, by being a bit more specific you will get many more good suggestions.
    Not trying to be picky - just trying to get you to help us help you...

    PhilR.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Segovia
    Posts
    2
    Hi !!!

    I would suggest the Canon 20D, no very expensive and excellent performance.
    Jaime
    www.jmraso.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Olivia
    Hi

    I'm new to the digital camera world, it seems I'm one of the few still taking photos the old fashioned way!

    Anyway, I need some advice on buying a digital camera, so here's a list of what I'll use it for and what features I need, maybe you experts can help me based on that. And yes, I did read the buyer's guide, there are just too many cameras to choose from!

    - I take photos spontaneously of street scenes and street art
    - A zoom feature would be useful
    - I don't want anything too heavy or big
    - I need a medium sized memory
    - I don't have that much money to spend, but am willing to pay for a good quality camera that will last me a long time

    I hope you guys have some ideas!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Well, inexpensive and compact rule out the 20D. I suggest one of the 3 megapixel compacts. The Nikon 3100/ Nikon 3200 are good choices as they're both compact. The 3100 takes Compact Flash memory. The 3200 takes Secure Digital memory. Each has its own advantage. I own a Nikon 3100 and find it excellent.

    You won't get a terribly wide angle from a digital camera unless you go for the Olympus wide zoom camera or the Nikon wide zoom.

    In terms of longevity, I reckon a digital camera will probably last 5 years. By then it'll be pretty much out of date.

    I suggest a 3 megapixel camera on the grounds that you can do a very nice 8 1/2 x 11 or A4 print from it. You don't say what size print you want to make but I'd say 3 megapixels should be fine for most things.

    The Canon A75 offers more options in a slightly bigger package but it's still lightwieght and portable.

    All of the cameras I've mentioned will fit into a pocket - teh Nikons fit in my shirt pocket. The Canon's a bit big for my shirt pocket though.

    I'd say go for Nikon or Canon - other manufacturer's cameras tend to look more fragile.

    All have a 3 x zoom, which gives the equivalent of 38 - 90 on a 35mm camera. Remember to budget for a bigger memory card than that supplied with the camera and for a card reader for you computer. I suggest for a 3mp camera you should buy a 256mb card. That should allow enough for you to take 150 - 200 photos.

    All the cameras mentioned take AA batteries. They prefer NiMh rechargable but will run off alkaline too. I would not suggest cameras that use funky little batteries made by the manufacturer because:
    • The batteries will only be available as long as the manufacturer makes them. (which in the life of mobile phones isn't as long as a battery lasts before it fails)
    • It's impossible to use a store-bought battery in an emergency.
    • They're expensive - often too expensive to buy a spare.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    9
    I recommend the canon powershot A75

    Read some reviews on it, it's supposed to be the best in its class, you can find it for under $200 (mine @ walmart for $189)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    2
    Thanks PhilR! (and everybody else who replied)

    - I do need a flash
    - A mid-range zoom would do it
    - As far as size goes, I guess I want something like a point-and-click camera. But I can't be too specific here because I'm more concerned about the features and quality of the camera, so if those things dictate the size, then so be it. To be clear, however, I do not need or want a professional camera that might require a large carrying case.
    - Certainly I would like to spend less money if possible, but I'll say
    max 500$
    - And as one guy mentioned farther down, I would prefer a camera that takes AA batteries

    PhilR, I really appreciate you taking time to help me, I get the impression that you are very knowledgeable. I hope you can continue to help me out! Let me know if you need more specifics.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    538
    Hello again Olivia,

    Thanks for the kind words. It seems that the majority of digicams are 3x, but since it seems that you want more zoom than that, I will try to suggest cameras in the upper half of the commonly seen range. The AA requirement will cut out a lot of potentials however.
    Take a look at the Minolta Z10, which has an 8x zoom. This mid-sized camera has 3.2mp, so you wouldn't want to make prints above 8x10 with it. This camera is very affordable. For more money however (but still under your cap) is the 4mp Minolta Z3, which has a great 12x (!) zoom with image stabilisation technology. It is probably the most advanced high-zoom cam w/AA's.

    Although I greatly respect Rhys' opinions, I would have to disagree with his comments about batteries. Proprietary batteries can be found from manufacturers other than the original maker, and typically at much lower prices as well. Also, if your camera is discontinued, the maker will often continue using the same battery type in subsequent models, as evidenced by the Panasonic FZ line. It is true that you wouldn't be able to buy a proprietary battery at a moment's notice, but consider that a proprietary will last anywhere between 100 and 300 shots (depending on the model), and having a spare (always a good idea, no matter the battery type) will double that. What are the odds that you will shoot that many pictures in one day? Sure, there are a few who might do so, but the average person will not. I will sometimes take quite a few shots in one day, but I've yet to run through a single battery's charge, and have never had need to go to the spare. I would say however that if you do get a camera w/a proprietary battery, that you get one that recharges in a separate recharger, and not in the camera. That way, if you run out of juice, you can pop out the old battery, put in a new one, and continue shooting while the old battery is recharging.

    We all have our preferences, and I would not criticize someone who wants a particular battery type. However, I personally feel that unless you will be away from an electrical outlet for a few days, that battery type should be a secondary consideration when choosing a digicam. If you decide that battery type can be changed, then read on....

    A camera that might be perfect for you is the 4mp Nikon 4800, which has an 8x zoom. Nikon's are also known for their macro capability, which may or may not be important to you. Nikon is a very well-respected manufacturer of cameras, so you wouldn't go wrong with one.

    If you want even more zoom, you can look at the 4mp Olympus 765, which has a 10x zoom in a compact package. Many consider this camera to have excellent image quality, but then again I can't tell the difference. I do love Olympus products though. And lastly, you should consider the Panasonic FZ3. This camera is the one I chose because of it's size to zoom ratio. It has a 12x zoom with image stabilisation, which is incredible given the price which lately has been just under $300. This lens is also one of the faster zoom lenses you will find, being f2.8 across the entire zoom range. This camera has all the shooting modes you would ever need, and also has a focus assist lamp for low light situations. The only potential downside is that it is 3.2mp, which is good for up to 8x10, but not much more.

    Keep in mind that while all of the suggestions above are tidy in dimension, they will not fit in a shirtpocket. They will however fit in a purse or jacket pocket without problems, and I think that this size category best fits the compromise between being too small and fidgety and being too large to take with you on a regular basis. Big hands or small should be able to do just fine with any of the suggestions above.

    hth,
    PhilR.

    addendum: Just read a small blurb about a 5mp compact camera from Ricoh that has a 5x zoom. It is called the Caplio R1V. Looks interesting. I wouldn't get excited by a 5x zoom, but you might want to check it out....
    Last edited by PhilR.; 12-28-2004 at 08:00 PM.

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