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Old 10-23-2008, 11:37 AM   #21
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Barbara L has the right idea. KISS - keep it simple, silly. I've been a pro photographer, a talented amateur and am now a duffer. In other words, I don't want to go to all the work to get a good photo. If you're looking for something to give good results without a lot of book learning and time-comsuming adjustments, not to mention $$$$ add-ons - take Barb's advice.

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Old 10-23-2008, 12:12 PM   #22
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Have your wife go look at some with you and decide on which size will work out best.

I have a few different cameras and I take the one appropiate for the activity that I will be attending. Some cameras today can get pretty small and some people will like this others do not. If you are not comfortable using the camera you will not bring it along as often as one you enjoy using.

You have gotten good advice here in other posts, now go pick them up and handle them and see what fits YOU best.

Good luck, let us know what you get.


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Old 10-23-2008, 02:27 PM   #23
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Lots of great advice here, smoke king. I'll add my 2 cents. The things I think are most important when deciding on which camera are:

Image stabilization - this is an awesome feature! It lets you capture more non-blurry pictures under more conditions. I have a friend who's dad has Parkinson's (very pronounced shaking), and he is taking pictures again because of this feature.

Optical zoom - the only way to go. Don't settle for a camera that only has digital zoom.

Battery - some cameras use AA and some have their own proprietary battery that can be recharged. I personally like mine, which uses AA. I use rechargeable batteries so that I am never caught with a dead battery. One of my sons prefers the proprietary battery because he can recharge without having to open up the battery compartment and keep up with batteries.

Camera size and shape - will your wife want to carry it in her purse? A pocket? There are some excellent pocket-sized cameras and for those that want to take their camera everywhere, they are fantastic!

Storage media - there are lots of different types of storage cards. I personally prefer SD because it's very easy to find high capacity SD cards on the net at a heavy discount. My husband has a Fuji Finepix, which is a great camera but it takes XD cards, which aren't as readily available at a deep discount.

Optical viewfinder - lots of cameras are being made now without an optical viewfinder - only an LCD screen. These can be hard to see in bright sunlight.

Camera layout - sometimes the buttons are in very awkward places that can become really annoying after a while. The same thing with the camera menus. The best way to check this out is to hold one in your hand and actually use the menu navigation.

Good luck with this. I know your wife will be thrilled. Oh, and be sure to check out the digital camera review sites. There are several that have in-depth reviews that are extremely helpful. I always check those out before buying a new camera.
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:16 PM   #24
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I have a Kodak Easyshare M763 7.2 megapixel and I love it. Has all kinds of neat features. Very easy to use and to transfer pics onto the computer. If I can do it..... ANYBODY can do it. We paid $120 for it.
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:05 AM   #25
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Again, thank you all. Lots of useful stuff here for me to process.

Did a cursory check on some of the brands/models mentioned, and while she is very good with techno type stuff, some may be waaaaaay above and beyond what we'll be using it for...I think!!

A couple of them,priced at, or maybe a little over 1000.00$$, mentioned that the price included only the camera body....I'm not sure what that doesn't include, but I'm guessig whatever it is, you need it, and its expensive too-yikes!!

Sounds like a few hundred bones will buy a camera that will suit our needs. I will report back after some more comparison shoppin'!!

Thanks everybody!
Mess with me and you mess with the whole trailer park!!!
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:10 AM   #26
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SK, let me know what you decide upon. I have a digital that is very outdated and I expect that sometime in the near future, I will be upgrading as well!!!
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:04 AM   #27
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I would stay away from the point and shoot cameras. They my work well for snap shots posted to the web but if you ever want to do more your basically out of luck. More pretty much includes printing.

I suggest a basic DSLR with a basic kit lens. Should run you mid $400 to low $500 range.

I have a Nikon D40 6.1, GREAT Camera. When I'm feeling lazy I set it to AUTO and it's a darned good Point and Shoot. I rarely feel lazy, though. I usually use my lenses that are 20 to 30+ years old. It means I have to manually focus and expose but, Hey, I'm old school, plus the camera has tools built in that help me get it right even when using my old manual lenses.

To those who grew up with film, shoot and review is super cool.

Some issues that have been brought up:

Batteries. Many cameras use proprietary batteries that can cost an arm and leg. On sale I can get a battery for the D40 for $50~$60. BUT I mail ordered a higher capacity battery for $20.

Storage: Some cameras use storage thats costly. I like the SD card. A 2 gig card that holds over 200 pictures in RAW format cost me $18. It's not the fastest card, but a fast card is only needed when shooting continuous frames.

Image stabilization: My Mavica had a stabilization feature, I didn't much care for it. The picture sort of floated around in the viewfinder. I have a slew of tripods. Come to think of it I shoot about everything from a tripod.

MENUS Don't let the menus freak you out. No matter what camera you get whether it's a cheap point and shoot or $2000 camera body the menus are going to be scary. And Confusing. After a while they are no big deal.


Oh Boy ....

The camera should come with basic image editing software. It's usually junk.

You don't need fancy and expensive software, So many people get a digital then get talked into thinking they need Photoshop ... No.

Gimps free(?), I use PaintShopPro X, got it for $40 out of the bargain bin.

I should post some pictures ... Oops, its 0300. Not tonight.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:41 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Wart View Post
I would stay away from the point and shoot cameras.
I don't agree.

I like to take my camera with me when I go travelling, hiking, or bike riding. That means a good quality, simple point & shoot camera that is compact that I can carry in my jersey pocket. I can't have a camera hanging around my neck. My SLR film camera days are over when I used to be a photo geek.
My suggestion for a first digital camera is a simple point & shoot. I don't think you can go wrong with them with the quality and features they come with these days.
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:01 AM   #29
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Mine fits nicely in my pocket, which I love. It also takes video--not movie quality by any means, but decent enough to at least capture a moment. I bought a couple extra rechargable batteries on ebay and make sure I always have at least one ready. The batteries seem to last pretty long on a charge. I have a couple memory cards, which I bought on ebay. I also bought a card reader (it works with my camera's memory cards as well as on James's) at WalMart. It makes it super simple to transfer the pictures to my computer. The camera, batteries, battery charger, memory cards, and card reader all fit nicely in my little camera bag, with a little room to spare.

I use my camera for recreational use and will soon start using it for ebay, and it suits my needs perfectly. The only thing I wish were different is that the on/off button is near the shutter button and I have accidentally turned it off a couple times when trying to take a picture (I was in a hurry and didn't pay attention). Two things I love about it (besides the pictures it takes) is that it is shock resistant (it was knocked off a table once and out of the car once--not while driving!--and it didn't hurt it), and it is weather resistant.

I mentioned some of the different settings it has. It also has an automatic setting, if you don't want to fool with the settings.

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Old 10-24-2008, 05:30 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Wart View Post
I would stay away from the point and shoot cameras. They my work well for snap shots posted to the web but if you ever want to do more your basically out of luck. More pretty much includes printing...

While I am sure the Nikon D40 is a very good camera, I disagree that photos taken with a point and shoot camera are only good for snapshots. My PS produces very crisp, sharp prints up to 8x10. I have several mounted and framed in my home.

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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