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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    17

    Are $30 to $50 cameras worth considering?

    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/produ...ReviewTitleBar

    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?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    You pay for what you get with digital cameras. I don't think there's much worth having below about $200.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    158
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    21

    100 bucks and above, ok, but below 50, not much

    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    22

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys View Post
    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
    FujiFilm F20
    Panasonic DMC-FZ7
    Oly e510 14-42 40-150 (for now)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys View Post
    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?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    Quote Originally Posted by genxsis View Post
    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    21

    You can get a cheap ok used camera cheaply but ...

    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.
    Last edited by robbobo; 07-15-2008 at 02:08 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    158
    Quote Originally Posted by genxsis View Post
    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.

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