View Full Version : which digital camera for xmas?
i was thinking about a $250 song digital camera. the pics don't have to be super high quality or anything, but it should store a lot before having to dump them on my computer. one question about those sony's too: they use those sony memory sticks - do i need anything special like a memory stick reader or can i just transfer them via USB? any thoughts on the matter would be great.
12-6-02, 10:01 PM
What I've looked at, " newer models", have either USB, or firewire connectors.... but if you have an old Memory stick reader, you can use those as well....
I'm looking at the Sony with the CD burner built in... had the one that saves to floppies for years.... Still use it all the time... but it can only hold about 6 HIGH RES images per disk.... 20+ LOW RES & about 30 LOW LOW Res......
12-7-02, 11:44 AM
There's lots of times when a digital camera is super-handy, but let me put weigh in here with a vote for those low-tech film based cameras - especially if you were considering one as a gift for a technically challenged parent or sibling.
For personal, family photos conventional cameras are still miles ahead of digital in terms of picture quality and ease of use. Digital cameras have come a long way in the past 3 or 4 years, but the pictures are still of limited quality - the sharpness and detail are barely acceptable until you get into the 2+ megapixel true (not interpolated) resolution range, and in general they aren't capable of reproducing a scene with a high range of brightness differences (for example, indoor pictures taken with a flash - backgrounds fade to black or highlights wash out to white). And even though most of us can cope with all of these limitations, one thing about digital cameras that really hurts them for family pictures is that you have to wait at least 10 to 30 seconds between pictures. If the new grandbaby makes a funny face, or the puppy starts to play in the wrapping paper remnants, you have to wait until your digital camera digests the previous picture before you can take another one.
On the other hand, for $80-$130.00 you can get a very nice 35mm rangefinder-style autofocus camera with a zoom lens (that will run rings around most digital's) and built-in flash that will take excellent pictures in very difficult situations. I've never been thrilled with the prints I've made on my inkjet printer. They're OK, but they don't have the depth of color of regular photos and they certainly don't have the resolution. Admittedly my printer is a dinosaur, but I don't just take pictures of fashion models or bouquets of flowers - which is about all you see in the demo prints in computer stores. I take pictures of people. The pictures look pretty good on my monitor, but they're always disappointing on paper. And I have good HP glossy photo paper.
These days its easier than ever to have the best of both worlds. Your basic Walgreens, Wal-Mart, or Target's Photofinishing Dept. will process your film and give you a set of prints and a nice CD-ROM with digitized images in about an hour and a half for under $20.00. Or save the extra $10/roll and scan the "keepers" yourself. You'll have pictures you can easily EMail or post on your web site, or even enlarge to 16x20 if you want.
12-7-02, 12:26 PM
For personal, family photos conventional cameras are still miles ahead of digital in terms of picture quality and ease of use
100% true. Unless you get a digital camera in the $1500 range that is.
I have a Olypus Camedia C-700 I bought last year. It does take fairly good pictures, however the time delay is rather annoying. For fast action I would suggest gettting the DVD Cam which you can then take digital stills off the downloaded movie. That is if digital is what your goal is. Those are now getting to be fairly inexpensive.
If your are looking for a camera just for family outing the standard non-digital is still the way to go.
12-7-02, 11:13 PM
there are some good sites here especially " steves digicams"
cam links (http://www.black-and-white-to-color.com/links/onlinemagazines.html)
I have an Olympus as well (the 3020) and it is WONDERFUL.. it's the 3 (or 3.2) megapixel w/glass lens (GET GLASS LENS IF YOU CAN), this camera takes pix that look better than some 4megapx camera's. It utilizes smart media, which I prefer over CD's as they are re-usable and easy to throw in a pocket (just don't sit down! <G>).. memory stick would be the same. I'd suggest getting a couple extra's so you don't have to go download quickly.. just change out the stick.. has worked well for me :)
there is a bit of a delay when I'm working in SHQ or TIFF (4-10 seconds) mode's.. but the lower res shots are hardly any delay at all.
Circuit City.. check their site.. they have a ratings portion.. hopefully they'll carry any camera you are planning to get.. and you can see what others had to say about it.
Love my digital.. and unless I'm taking shots of fast moving things (rare), I prefer it.. and when I want a 'developed' photo.. I run over to shutterfly.com for my prints.
Brad, I'm not familiar with the Sony's but I know that with other brands of digi-cams, you can add more and/or larger memory recording media. My Minolta Dimage 7 (5.2 mega-pixel) uses Compact Flash media. I have 4-128 meg memory cards. If I shoot at max resolution (2560X1920), I can store about 200 images before needing to find a PC to download to. If I shoot at 1600X1200 resolution (same as a 2.1 megapixel camera), I can carry about 1000 images. :D
The camera is not limited on how many images it can store. The only question is how many memory sticks (or flash cards in my case) you carry with you when you go shooting.
I switched to digital cameras about 5 years ago, and will NEVER go back to film!! Digital cameras, IMO, is absolutely the best thing that has happened to photography in the last 20 years.
If you'd like to see some of my digital pics, feel free to visit my site at:
All the images are downsized to 800X600 or less, and have lowered resolution for faster loading. If you'd like to see what an original 2560X1920 high res digital camera image can look like, let me know and I'll send you a few. :p
BTW, nearly all newer digi-cams have USB and/or firewire connectivity, as SBGlasby said. You can download quickly, with no problems.
I don't have the "waiting 10-30 seconds" issue that rainbore spoke of. There is about a 1-2 second delay while the camera focuses and sets the exposure before taking the shot. But... if you know a "Kodak moment" is about to unfold, you can set the exposure and focus ahead of time, making the shot instantaneous. And.... most digi-cams have a mode where they can shoot about 2 images per second for 10-20 shots, so that you can capture quick sports action.
I will agree with some of the others in this thread that you can get a film camera cheaper than a digital. But.... once you buy a digital camera, a few memory cards, and a couple of sets of rechargeable batteries..... you never buy anything again!! No film to purchase, no processing to pay for (and wait for), no enlargements or second set of prints. The images are instantaneously available for you to view, e-mail, print, or whatever. The only revolving costs in digi-cams is printing. When I print 8X10 images on my Epson Photo Stylus printer, it costs me about $2 per image between paper and ink. When was the last time you walked into a photo processing store, and saw a sign that offered 8X10 enlargements for $2? But.... taking pictures is free, and e-mailing or posting them on a website is quick and simple. Go Digital!!
I have an Olympus C-4040 Zoom...it is just great...however it is double your budget!
I'm using the Fuji FinePix F601Z. Love the camera. I don't want to take up time here, but checkout a couple of sites...
http://www.dpreview.com/ if you want to know about digital equipment this it the site.
Whew, just went there and I was going to give you some other sites, but the aforementioned http://www.dpreview.com/ is the place to go to find that special digital camera for you.
Hope this helps.
12-9-02, 09:13 PM
FUGIFILM FinePix 2600Zoom.
3X Optical Zoom.
Good for the price.
But first play with it a little @ your nearest BestBuy's.
Then buy it @ CompUSA for a good sale price!
so many choices, so little time! argghhh
thanks for all the replies though, i just have to go to circuit city for an hour and play around i guess.
I have the Sony CyberShot 1.3 megapixel camera, it works great but they don't sell it anymore. I got gouged on the price but the prices are better for better cameras now. I would recommend a Sony CyberShot 2 megapixel or CyberShot 3.3 megapixel (I think its 3.3, its 3 something). I paid $299 for my camera but I've seen the 2 megapixel CyberShot for sale for $219 now, and the 8 MB memory stick that comes with it is plenty. CyberShot cameras all have the movie mode but there is no audio on them and the resolution on movies isn't great and the picture is small on them.
The CyberShot has been really easy for me to use. It uses a usb cable, I just open windows explorer and cut all the pics off the camera and paste them to a folder I created.
The picture is usually great on my camera, I have it set at 640 x 480 normal resolution and they are usually about 61 kb in file size. I bought the 64 MB memory stick, but I didn't need it.
I just thot the memory stick was a good price at the time, now I've seen the 128 MB memory stick for the same price - $79.
I like my camera because its easy to use and works good.
Just remember to turn the flash on if its kind of dark.
Oh and don't even try to put alkaline batteries in a digital camera, they last about 10 minutes. Get the rechargeable battery pack.
Oh, and I don't use a memory stick reader, don't need one.
ok i played around in the store and came up with 3 choices
1) Fuji FinePix 3800 (http://www.ritzcamera.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=13035192&location=STVDIG&storeId=10001&capture=TRUE&processRequest=10002&prp=541243283&langId=-1&catalogId=10001)
2) Sony - DSC-P7 Cyber-shot (http://www.ritzcamera.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=13035169&location=STVDIG&storeId=10001&capture=TRUE&processRequest=10002&prp=542080890&langId=-1&catalogId=10001)
3) Olympus Camedia C-3020 Zoom (http://www.dealtime.com/dt-app/GS/PartnerId-2681/BEFID-7185/Keyword-Olympus%20C3020Z/IsPrd-0/LinkinId-2072595/)
and in that order too. if someone has anything good to say about the Fuji, then i'll get that. otherwise i'll settle for the sony.
the olympus 3020 rocks.. love mine.. willing to show some amatuer photo's from it. If you're interested.. email me ;)
By God My Sony will whip your Olympus! Just kidding but I'm partial to the Sony cameras. I think they're well made, easy to use and give a good quality photo. And thats just my 1.3 megapixel Sony. I can just imagine what a 3.3 megapixel Sony must look like, probably the stuff.
You ought to try Circuit City or Best Buy or some big computer store, I don't think Ritz Camera is the cheapest out there.
Heck I even know people who buy new stuff from Ebay.
hey Laurey and yzxc, how's the video capabilities of your respective cameras? every now and then i wanna catch a 30 second clip of something. convert it to wmv and post it on my site.
don't know, haven't used it <G> I have a digital camcorder for that purpose.. and often have both camera's with me.
Suppose I could test it out to see.. let me know, and if so.. I'll see if my kitty is in an active mood this weekend to be filmed...
Really want to post the site again:
These people have ALL the user reviews about ALL the cameras :)
I agree that it will take about 2 weeks to work youself through the site, but if you want to know about a camera, including feedback from users, this is the site.
Hope this helps (and I still vote for the FinePix)
Video on the CyberShot isn't the selling point of the camera.
For one there is no audio on any CyberShot that I know of. As far as I know all mpeg clips on any CyberShot are 240x320, a small screen.
The resolution on mpg's isn't that good. I've only seen mpgs on MY camera, its only 1.3 megapixels, the ones I've seen on the web I don't know what they were made on. And unless the sun shines in your house don't make an mpg indoors with this camera. Mpgs require quite a bit more light, even outdoors the ones I made came out almost too dark. If making mpgs indoors I guess you could use floodlights. But still photos on the Sony CyberShots are great. Yeah for digital video, a digital camcorder would be a better choice.
Anyway this has been my experience with MY CyberShot.
Its still a fine camera though but I didn't get mine for mpegs.
ok after looking through www.dpreview.com, i found that canon was actually the way to go. so i looked further and fell in love with the Canon S230. go that's my final answer. thanks for the link.
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