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Old 10-23-2008, 01:02 AM   #1
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(Help!) Shopping for digital camera

Judging by some of the beautiful pictures y'all post, a lot of you must be pretty knowledgable about digital cameras.

I'd like to get Mrs SK a new one for Christmas, but I'm a little under-informed. Let me list what I do know about them;

1) "Megapixel" - I know this is a word that is, or at least can be applied regarding digital cameras

And thats really about it.

So what do you use? Shes not Ansell Adams, nor does she aspire to be, but I'm sure she would appreciate nice, usable features. What is a reasonable price point? Since we already have a "photo" printer, is there a compatability issue? What other "considerations" need to be addressed?

Thanks everyone-as always, I do appreciate your input!!!


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Old 10-23-2008, 02:23 AM   #2
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I have an Olympus 7.1 megapixel Stylus 780. We paid about $170 on ebay (new). I really love it. It is simple to use and has a lot of easy to use settings (portrait, sport, indoor, cuisine, sunset, just to name a few. I don't have a tripod yet, so the night scene and night portrait settings don't work too well. I used the sport setting when on vacation and was taking pictures from the car. It worked great for that. It also has a few underwater settings, but I haven't tried them (you have to put it inside something water-tight). If you go to the advanced settings you can set it on macro-closeups, and it works well.

I use a memory card in the camera (it will only take 7 or 9--can't remember--pictures without a memory card) and a card reader to transfer pictures to the computer. It is very simple to do. All the pictures I have posted in the last couple months, and the pictures in my vacation albums, were all taken with this camera.


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Old 10-23-2008, 04:06 AM   #3
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This is a great little camera which we won at a trade show which #2 son has confiscated for his fishing photos. It's a point and click camera that does most things itself but I have no idea of the price.
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Here's an action photo he snapped of a Black Marlin that he recently caught
There could be newer models out by now but this one takes great photos
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:34 AM   #4
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Good Morning Smoke King - Yesterday, I bought a Cannon Power Shot A1000 IS. I spent $199.00 for it. It came with a memory card that will take 11 pictures. I bought ($24.00) a card that will store 1,100 pix.

It is basically a point and shoot, but if you want to get creative, there are a host of settings as Barbara L suggested. You can even go fully manual if you like. It has image stabilization in case your hand is not steady and a 4 X power zoom ( To bring you closer without moving).

I got it for work, and like it so much I will be trying to condition myself to carry it always.

BTW - Pixels are dots on the screen. The more pixels the sharper and clearer the image.

A cable is supplied to connect to a computer. They give you software to edit pix. Also windows will read the memory card like a hard drive.

Hope this helps.

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Old 10-23-2008, 04:41 AM   #5
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I have a Nikon D80 and I love it. It's 10.2 mp and I even use it to shoot an occasional wedding once in a while. A good lens is neccesary also. I use a 18mm - 125mm most of the time. Here's some samples.
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And here's the quality I get for weddings.

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Old 10-23-2008, 05:50 AM   #6
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I use a Sigma SD10, DSLR, with the Foveon X3 sensor.
I`v won a few local competitions with it also, they`re quite rare now but if you can get one it`s worth it.
there`s also the new SD14 and DP1 however, they use the Foveon X3 technology as well ;)

So long and Thanks for all the Fish ;)

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Old 10-23-2008, 07:39 AM   #7
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I am a semi-professional photographer. I have been using digital cameras before most people even knew what they were. I have learned quite a bit about them. Here is the advice I will give to you.

1. Have Mrs. SK handle whichever camera it is you are thinking of buying her. Just like a knife or shoes, a camera needs to fit. If someone has large hands then a credit card sized camera with small buttons might be very difficult to use. If they have small hands then a large camera with spaced out buttons might be just as difficult.

2. Have her try the menus. All digital cameras have menus to access features. Some cameras are set up logically and you can access the most used features very easily and without thinking. Others bury needed items deep in then menus in places it might be difficult to remember where they are. if you have to go digging for them then you will not use them.

3. More megapixels does not equal a better camera just as more expensive does not always equal better. There was a time when you wanted more megapixels, but cameras are at the point now that for amateur photgraphers, every digital camera on the market has more than enough (and sometimes too many) megapixels. Do not shop by megapixels alone.

4. Do not fall into the trap of digital zoom. Digital zoom is a useless feature. most point and shoot cameras have this feature. Do not base your buying decision how how many times digital zoom it has. Ignore this feature altogether. Optical zoom is a different story. You want to get the largest optical zoom possible in most cases. Most come with at least a 3x optical zoom. That is great. if you can get higher than that in a camera you like then that would be even better.

5. The brands I recommend are the well known camera companies such as Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax, etc. Companies that make cameras as their main business will have a much better product then a company that makes other things plus makes cameras (such as Hewlett Packard, Samsung, GE, etc.). The exception to this is Sony. Sony actually does make a very good digital camera line.

That is all I can think out now, but that will at least get you started.

Oh and to answer your question about price (assuming you are talking point and shoot and not DSLR) I would say $200 is around the bottom of what you would be spending. You could get a very nice camera for that price. You could get something with a few more bells and whistles for a bit more. $200 should get you a very good camera though.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:52 AM   #8
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That was pretty good indo, GB. Especially looking for an intuitive menu.

One thing I look for is a viewfinder. They are harder and harder to find on point and shoots, but are indespensible as far as I'm concerned in bright daylight conditions, when it can be all but impossible to view the display.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:15 AM   #9
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GB is right on with his advice.

I would add, look for a camera with a large dispolay window on the back for easier picture viewing.

Look at battery life - how many pictures you can take on one charge of the battery(s). There are some significant differences there.

Plan on buying a memory stick separately. Most cameras don't come with one. Don't skimp here. Get one that will hold a couple of hundred photos or more.

Shop online, that's where you'll find the best prices.

Read the online reviews of the cameras you are interested in. they have a lot of good info.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:36 AM   #10
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i love my nikkon d40 .. seems like a good camera for me ..
what i like the most .. besdes the best pics i have
ever taken .. is the speed .. if i do not have to wait
for the flash .. it takes at about 2.3 per second i believe ..
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