Monday March 7, 2005

Catching the Shutterbug.

The time has come, my webby friends. I am going to purchase a digital camera.

Sadly, I am sort of a dope when it comes to digital photography. I haven’t ever really paid much attention to all the advances in digital camera technology, so I could use some help as I investigate my options. I do, however, know what I want, so here’s what I’m looking for in a camera:

  • Easy point ‘n’ click use. I’m not too keen on adjusting shutter speeds and such, so it would be nice to have a camera that automatically detects light levels and does all the dirty work for me. Still, I’d like the option of tweaking said speeds and such as I advance in photographic virtuosity.
  • Low light/outdoor quality. Good image quality in varied lighting conditions.
  • Autofocus on/off toggle.
  • Removeable media storage. I’d like to be able to plug in a USB key, or something, and back up all the data on the camera.
  • Decent resolution. I’d probably be making physical prints of some of my pictures, so a camera that translates well up to 8×10 prints would be swell. Bigger is better.
  • Generous viewfinder/photo browser. I’m not looking for a humongous LCD display, just something I don’t need a magnifying glass to see the picture I just took. Also, it would be gravy to be able to scroll through all photos on the camera.
  • Reasonably tough. I’m not going to to take this thing spelunking or scuba diving, but a reasonable level of durability is a plus.
  • Budget. Let’s keep it below $450, but I’d be willing to consider more pricey options if it’s a great product.

Let me know if I’m ignoring some important factors, too. As I said before, I’m kinda clueless here.

If you’ve got links to the product at the manufacturer’s website, that would be really cool.

I’ve seen some great photographers out there. I know I can count on your advice. Thank you in advance!

Commentary


Feaverish » 4546 days ago #

I have a Canon PowerShot A80, and I love it. The A80 is 4 megapixel, but there’s a newer version of the same camera called the A95 that has 5 megapixels. It’s a great camera, and seems to fit all your needs. It’s about $350. It has a metal body. The screen flips out and rotates completely around. It has a very intuitive dial that lets you switch easily between fully automatic, partially automatic (i.e. shutter- or aperture-priority modes), and fully manual. Also, you can set a couple of custom presets that you use a lot and that can be accessible via that main dial. It takes Compact Flash cards, which are cheap and available in very large sizes. Best of all, it runs on regular old AA batteries. You can pick up a set of rechargables for $10 that’ll last for well over 100 shots. And when your batteries die on vacation, you can find AAs anywhere. Steve’s Digicams has a pretty complimentary review here. Good luck!

Feaverish » 4546 days ago #

er, here are those links again:

Canon PowerShot A95

Steve’s Digicams Review

Sorry about that…

Jared » 4546 days ago #

Oh yeah, that looks like a nice camera. Thanks, Feaverish!

Anyone else?

rob » 4545 days ago #

Canon PowerShot SD400

(Digital IXUS 50)

5.0 million effective pixels
5.2 million sensor photo detectors
35 mm – 105 mm (3x) zoom lens

This camera is amazing small and great for point and shoot. not to mention just all in all nice to work with. I have the sister of this model the sd200 and this has better resolution and they fixed a couple of usability errors on it. It is a great camera and its nice to take with you dosen’t weigh a ton and is easy to handel.

Hope that helps.

Jared » 4545 days ago #

Awesome, Rob. Looks like Canon is getting a lot of love. Any other suggestions?

Justin » 4545 days ago #

I’ve got the Canon powershot S500 digital elph. It’s 5.0 megapixels and cost me $450. I also purchased a 256mb compact flash card which was 50 bucks I believe. I’ve had zero problems with it. It has a automatic mode, which I use the most, and a manual mode for getting that tweaked perfect shot. All I have to do when im done is plug it into the USB and iphoto automatically opens and downloads all the new photos, then deletes the originals on the card. I would never buy a sony or HP digicam just because they don’t specialize in the product. Canon and Nikon have been making cams forever.

Mat » 4545 days ago #

This bad boy aint too shabby.

Nooky Monster » 4545 days ago #

Consumer Reports voted the Olympus C-60 Zoom a sweet deal for a 6-megapixel camera (which I have to agree with!) Only $300.

Also top marks for the Canon PowerShot A95 (5 mpxl – $320) and the PowerShot S60 (5 mpxl – $399).

Anything Canon is a good choice, they kick ass.

You can also do some comparisons at reviews.cnet.com. Great site for any tech buying.

Good luck!

Steve » 4545 days ago #

Don’t forget Sony. They make GREAT cameras. I have two of them, and there is a new one that I think will fill the bill for you. It’s the Sony DSC-V3. A little bit above your price range, but may be worth it ($550.00) Just go read the review:
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/v3.html

Jared » 4545 days ago #

Thanks, guys. You’ve helped point me in the right direction!

Nathan Smith » 4543 days ago #

I have a Samsung DigiMax 530. It’s not professional or anything, but I like it. It keeps your file naming sequence going, so that you don’t overwrite pre-existing files when copying to the hard drive.

blue » 4505 days ago #

Olympus C5050Z
Olympus AZ-1

I have and use both of these for print and web work, and they’re quality cameras with easy programmed shooting,plus plenty of manual control, and my favourite feature, spotmetering.

Oly C8080 is excellent too, but costs more, I’m thinking of upgrading to this one.

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