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#1 owatagal

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 11:46 AM

What digital cameras are people using for every day, touristy sort of photography? I definitely do not need a top of the line professional camera--I don't know what half those settings do. But I am thinking about getting a take-anywhere camera. My current (film) camera has zoom + day/night/panoramic/closeup/red eye control. I'm ready to go beyond that, but I am still pretty much a point and click shooter--maybe I just need more settings? ha!

I have looked at review sites, and I have a couple cameras in mind, but I'd be interested in hearing what people here are using.

#2 Striver

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 12:13 PM

I use a Canon Powershot A40, 2 megapixel with a 3x optical zoom (digital zoom is worthless). I prefer Canon because of the high quality of the lenses, which is as important as the megapixels. I have also used Canon cameras for several decades.

This camera is a bit dated (I am looking at upgrading to the Powershot S70), but it easily fits in my shirt pocket and I used it for all the pictures on this page:

Animals

The A40 is really a pretty simple camera. I don't like a lot of fancy options and I like something that is easy to carry. There are several newer cameras in the powershot A line that aren't too expensive and most of them are better and smaller than the A40.

Lee

#3 TCH-Bruce

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 12:18 PM

Before buying a digital camera you need to ask yourself what you intend to do with it. If you are going to want to print photos what size photos are you going to want to print. If it's just for web images then you don't need much more than VGA quality.

I feel the more megapixels the better. Optical zoom is better than digital zoom so look for a camera with a good optical zoom too.

What camera am I using? I have a Sony DSC-W1 whiich is a 5.1 megapixel with 3X optical zoom and Carl Zeiss optics. It has a programmable mode that will allow you to control most features as well as having many pre-programmed settings for different types of shooting. Plus it has a 2.5 inch LCD screen.

My wife uses a Sony DSP-P150 which is a 7MP camera but has a smaller LCD screen than the W1.

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#4 TCH-Don

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 12:42 PM

We picked out our digital camera in the store.
Selecting the one that seemed the easiest to use.

It is a Sony dsc50
It is only a 2 mega pixel camera, but more than enough for photos.

the one feature that has become the most important is the spot meter mode.
It is worth the time to read all the instructions to get the most from your camera.

I always tell friends to visit many stores to see what feels right for them.

What I love most is not paying hundreds of dollars for double prints of bad photos :)
And the convince for web photos.

#5 Striver

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 12:52 PM

If it's just for web images then you don't need much more than VGA quality.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I have heard many camera salespersons say that but I don't agree at all because it assumes that every picture you take will be exactly what you want without cropping. The last photo on this page is a perfect example:

Into the Sun

I took that at the highest quality setting with my 2 megapixal, 3x optical Canon A40. The resulting picture is cropped down so far it is only useful for posting on the web. What you see here is full size, but if I hadn't taken it in as high a resolution possible I wouldn't even have that.

(the rest of the pictures on that page I took with a Canon A1 35mm)

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#6 TCH-Bruce

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 12:58 PM

If it's just for web images then you don't need much more than VGA quality.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I have heard many camera salespersons say that but I don't agree at all because it assumes that every picture you take will be exactly what you want without cropping. The last photo on this page is a perfect example:

That's true. And also why I said this.

I feel the more megapixels the better. Optical zoom is better than digital zoom so look for a camera with a good optical zoom too.


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#7 TCH-Rick

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 01:04 PM

I have been using a Pentax Optio s5i for a few months now and love it for every day use. It is a 5 megapixel camera and is tiny so I can keep it with me. I used it at my daughter's wedding and got some great shots.

I agree with Striver on the issue of cropping. My brother had a nicer Olympus at the wedding but it was a 3 megapixel camera. The full sized shots were great but I was able to get better prints from cropped images.

I also highly recommend Picasa 2 for handling your photos. It makes it real easy to make quick corrections in lighting, crop for various sizes, and even upload photos to be printed at several different stores. My daughter and I looked through the wedding photos, picked out 100 of them, cropped them, and uploaded to Walmart. We went out to lunch and then picked up the pictures.

#8 Striver

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 01:08 PM

I feel the more megapixels the better. Optical zoom is better than digital zoom so look for a camera with a good optical zoom too.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yeah...the problem I keep running into is that, when you get much past 3x optical the camera no longer fits easily into your shirt pocket. The S70 I am looking at has 3.6x with about 7 megapixel. That seems to be the best Canon has in a shirtpocket camera. I am thinking of checking out some of the other brands but I like Canon.

#9 TCH-Bruce

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 01:09 PM

Rick, Picasa 2 is a great program.

I have recently bought a new Samsung SPH-A800 cellphone that has a 2MP camera. So now I have a decent camera with me at all times.

Only take the Sony when I know I will be taking pictures.

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#10 TCH-Don

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 01:09 PM

When we got our camera, 2 mega pixels was all you could get.
I agree get more resolution and alway shoot at the hi res.
I tend to crop as I shoot, but that is not always possible.

#11 TCH-Rob

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 01:14 PM

Hey Don, I have that camera. I like it, works well. I am a big fan of the Nikon CoolPix series but my pocketbook doesn't like it as much as I do. If I could, this is what I would get, the Coolpix 8800. The MSRP of $999 is out of my reach and even the Internet rates of just under $500 are a bit much for me as I do not take that many pictures.

For me, when I buy a camera I look for what feels comfortable and can give me the most camera for my money.

#12 TCH-Don

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 01:18 PM

I like the flip up display :)
Great for pet pics :group:

#13 TCH-Dick

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 01:53 PM

Hey Don, I have that camera.  I like it, works well.  I am a big fan of the Nikon CoolPix series but my pocketbook doesn't like it as much as I do.  If I could, this is what I would get, the Coolpix 8800.  The MSRP of $999 is out of my reach and even the Internet rates of just under $500 are a bit much for me as I do not take that many pictures.

For me, when I buy a camera I look for what feels comfortable and can give me the most camera for my money.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I own nothing but Nikon and I love my 35mm SLR but the size is a pain. Anyway my current digital is a CoolPix 4300 and recently got my mother a CoolPix 4600. They are not always as small as some but I really like the features. I can set it to Auto for point and shoot or Manual if I want to get fancy. One thing you might take into consideration is addons. I believe all of the CoolPix series (mine does) are threaded for and offer options such as wide angle, fisheye, and a converter for slides/negatives.

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#14 owatagal

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 03:08 PM

For the most part I'm just using the camera for web photos. I don't like prints, much. But I do see the argument for the more pixels the better. The features I'm starting to settle on look like the cameras will have 4-5 megpx. I think that's plenty for me.

Thanks for the tip on Optical vs. digital zoom, too. I hadn't sorted that out yet.

I looked at a couple of the photos. I don't think I could buy the CoolPix 8800. Someone would think I know what I'm doing! But the CoolPix line does look nice. So do some of the Sonys. I'll keep looking into the others.

Striver, if you don't mind me asking, why are you switching from the Canon A line to the S line? I was looking at the A95-- I'm a little wary about its durability but the A line seems nice over all. What's the advantage to the S line?

Don, I will make it into stores eventually, but salesmen love to try and steamroll me on products. I must look innocent or naive or something. :group: I just want to make sure I know what all the specs are before the salesmen try to sell me the CoolPix 8800 and I get carried away by my love of gadgetry.

Picasa looks interesting, but I think it's PC only. I have a decent setup with my files and Fireworks, though, so I'll survive until Google decides to acknowledge the existence of Macs.

#15 Striver

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 03:47 PM

The reason I am looking at the S70 is that it has a 3.6x optical zoom as well as 7 megapix. I think everything else from Canon in that size is 3x. I have often found myself stretching the limits of my A40, especially when trying to get good boat pictures from the shore. .6x may not seem like much but every little bit helps.

The A line is good, though. I really have been happy with the A40. But I am going to check out the Nikon line before I decide. I'm sure they have something competitive and Nikons are good quality.

One thing that is important that often isn't stressed enough. I had a 5 megapixel gateway camera. I sold it and kept my 2 megapixel Canon. The reason was that the Canon has very high quality lenses and that can often mean more than the megapixels. Some cameras have plastic lenses and some have glass. Glass is much better and more durable.

#16 TCH-Rob

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 03:58 PM

I only buy glass as well. I think it holds up better in the dishwasher than plastic. Ever drink from a warped cup? :group:

#17 Striver

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 04:11 PM

I only buy glass as well.  I think it holds up better in the dishwasher than plastic.  Ever drink from a warped cup? :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yeah...and it's really hard to smash plastic in the fireplace after a toast... :group:

#18 Samrc

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 06:01 PM

Bruce, I have your camera Sony DSC-W1 whiich is a maximum 5.1 megapixel with 3X optical zoom and Carl Zeiss optics. (don't know if it is glass or plastic, but it is wonderfully clear)

Love the large view screen and the red sensor for testing distance in low light so focusing is clearer than other digitals I have used. Flash images are not grainy.

And I use regular rechargeable batteries - cheap. If they go dead, I can pick up batteries anywhere. A great benefit to me. Used to have to charge the battery pack and when it was dead, I had to wait for it to recharge.

Considered several when I got it. Once I got the basic components covered (how much pixel, optical zoom, large view screen, optional settings, etc) it came down to three cameras with similar functions. The deciding factor was how comfortable it was to hold! Even though I have small hands, holding the credit card thin style cameras were not comfortable.

Note on image resolution... Larger resolution images take up tons of space on the computer and print well, but can be dummied down for websites. Lower resolution images can not be made BETTER to print clearer. So if you ever intend to print, take at higher. The camera I have has a nice setting that is a midrange setting for decent printing (3.2) but not so heavy on the storage.

-Samantha

Edited by Samrc, 11 June 2005 - 06:06 PM.

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#19 TCH-Bruce

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 06:12 PM

Have you seen the W7? Same camera as the W1 but 7.2 megapixels and 32MB of built in flash memory.

Oh, and the lens are glass.

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#20 bellringr

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 06:41 PM

I have the same 5.1 mp Sony that Bruce does and I love it! It's simple enough for point and shoot, but has a ton of features if you want to get into more intricate setups.

While I swore I'd never get a Sony again (not a fan of the company and my Mavica didn't hold up worth a darn), this was a present from hubby and I'm very glad he got it. :group:
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#21 Samrc

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 08:27 AM

Our office Sony (Mavica) is still working fine, if you are willing to carry around floppy disks to feed it. The battery lasted a long time, but the second one didn't. Taught me a valuable lesson to make sure that any camera I got had nimh rechargeable batteries so I was not dependent on their proprietary batteries.

7.2 megapixel! I would need a hard drive that is 500G to hold photos and far more MEMORY to effectively edit them!
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#22 carbonize

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 01:47 PM

After reading many a site on this the professionals say this.

3.1 Megapixels take a picture that is equal in quality to a standard film camera. You only need more pixels IF you plan on printing the picture out larger than say 8"x6". With most cameras these days being atleast 3million pixels or over this is no longer the deciding factor. One good thing some cameras have that is becoming more common is image stabalizing. Optical zoom is better than digital zoom and is worth having but it will eat up the batteries quicker. If you plan on printing the pictures you take then ask for the shop to take a picture on some of the cameras you are looking at and print them out for you so you can compare the results. The quality of the lens is one of the main factors that will affect this.

On a slightly different note you can get canon to print out a photo of your choice on one of their printers by visiting http://www.yourprint....com/index.html (Would take a good guess that it's Europe only).
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#23 kellybellydotnet

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 06:21 PM

I have looked at review sites, and I have a couple cameras in mind, but I'd be interested in hearing what people here are using.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've been using a Nikon CoolPix 4500 for the past three years. I love it; the auto mode is good for quick snapshots and there are all sorts of things to mess around with to do things more manually. It's not really geared for point-and-shoot photos as much (IMO), so if that is all the camera would be used for I'd suggest looking into one of the lower end cameras in the CoolPix line.

You say you looked at review sites: was DPReview.com one of them? I love that site -- excellent (and detailed) reviews and there are plenty of "sample" shots that people post in the forums.

#24 Striver

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 11:39 AM

Just an update. I did buy the Canon S70. I got it on ebay for $350 and I got a 1GB Ultra II CF card at Costco for $75. Here is a good example of why you may want more than 3MP for posting on the web. This is full size at the camera's highest quality and resolution, 3072 x 2304, cropped, not reduced, to web size. These Water Forget-me-not blossoms are less than 1/4 inch across. (Valid referer required to view)

Posted Image

The S70 still lacks in telephoto capabilites, but you will not get any better in that regard and still be able to carry the camera in your shirt pocket. I have posted more pictures from the S70 in my blog. (verchi.com).

#25 WowPicture

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 03:08 PM

you guys said were true... now days camera (over 500 mp)are all fine for taking everyday's pictures,

... but if you want present more attractive picture works, you may need to have a little bit more knowledge on photography and digital darkroom. :huh:

Kate

#26 billyleeWPI

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 03:43 PM

I like the Canon Powershot G line - other good choices are the Canon SD400 or A85. Panasonic Lumix FZ10 or a Konica Minolta DiMage are good too - the DiMage line has cameras that offer 10x optical zoom (no digital zoom interpolation, yay).

Wherever I go though, I bring an SLR. To each his own.

#27 owatagal

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 05:16 PM

kellybelly I think that site was on my list at one point, but I'll go back and look again. I just got stranded overseas for an extra week (poor me, I know. It's rough... not!) so I'm still waiting to buy and have time to keep looking.

Striver, that resolution would probably be fine for me, because I generally don't take close ups like that. But I think all the cameras that are making it on my short list are 4 or 5 mgpx+. One day I'll make it up to the SLR cameras... just not quite yet.

Off to add more to the list... thanks again everyone!

#28 owatagal

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 09:21 PM

For anyone wondering, I finally bought a Nikon CoolPix 5900. There are enough features for me to play around with, but no so many I've messed up anything too much (yet). Plus it fits in a jacket pocket-- perfect! There are some pictures up on my site (millertarized.com/photos/ -- the Delaware and Assateague groups. The quality is actually better than what's posted, because I erred on the side of download time when compressing the files. So far, it seems like a great little camera for what I need it to do.




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