Digital Cameras

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[NME]Myth
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Digital Cameras

Post by [NME]Myth » Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:34 pm

Any of you know anything about digital cameras? I am going on an Alaskan cruise in May and would like to buy one before I go.

I'm pretty much clueless when it comes to cameras. I'm willing to spend somewhere around 300. Looking at them, what is a good megapixel amount? It seems 4 is common for the price range I'm looking at. How about shutter speed? Anything to worry about for an amateur?

I'm also curious about compatibility and ease of finding memory cards for them. Is there a standard type for all digital cameras or do you have to get different kinds for every brand of camera? What's a good size for good quality pictures? 256? 512? Or is this dependent on the megapixel stuff?

Any help's appreciated. After looking briefly the Kodak Easyshare LS743 looks like it might suit my needs. I'm assuming Kodak gear would be easy to find anywhere.
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Post by Paradroid » Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:33 am

I'm a bit fan of Canon. They make real good camera's and digital camera's.
Alaska is pretty far north, and in May that means lots of light. So you'd want something with a fast shutterspeed. And a wide angle lens would be good for landscape photography. But also the abiltiy to zoom in to a different composition, or feature.
i think you should check out the Canon S410, or else the cheaper Canon SD200, which has less pixels and works with SD memory cards. (which are also cheaper, than the CompactFlash cards) Both with about the same focal length. They are very similar.
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Post by Cochise » Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:07 pm

Each Camera Has Its own type card, SD, MMX ETC. A 128MB card should be plenty. I have an older Kodak Easy Share and it does a good job, at 3.0 Megapixel. Now a-days the 4-6 range is most common and is fine if you are going to just use it for amateur photography.

Check what type of batteries a camera uses too. Most can use multiple types of batteries. Some can use standard AA akaline or AA Lithium but the Lithium's last much longer. Some others can not even use standard akaline batteries and there are certian cameras that use their own specialty type batteries which are not as easy to find. For my Kodak, I bought a kit of 4- AA Lithium plus 1-1/2 hr charger at Walmart for about 16 bucks so that I always have a spare set ready.

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Post by [NME]Myth » Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:59 pm

Thanks for the replies! :okay1:

It looks like most of the ones I check on have proprietary rechargeable which probably makes it more expensive and painful to find new ones, but I don't think I'll use it that much for it to be an issue.

Are memory cards pretty easy to find (in person) despite the type? Or are some types much more common and therefore easier to find in stores?
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Post by KaptainSkitzo » Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:44 pm

We've got the Kodak Easy-Share 7430, 4.0 Mega Pixel...and we don't even use the 4.0MP setting. The 3.0 setting takes an incredible picture! Definitely get the extra ram-card. We need one of those, but the camera is great.
I highly recommend it.
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Post by Cochise » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:21 am

[NME]Myth wrote:Thanks for the replies! :okay1:

It looks like most of the ones I check on have proprietary rechargeable which probably makes it more expensive and painful to find new ones, but I don't think I'll use it that much for it to be an issue.

Are memory cards pretty easy to find (in person) despite the type? Or are some types much more common and therefore easier to find in stores?


The memory cards are sold pretty much everywhere and are easy to pick up. The 128 Mb allows me on the Hi Res setting to take about 133 pics which is about 4 standard rolls of film but on med and low(e-mail) I can get 300/1071. I have always brought my mem card to the local walmart to get my pics developed and very seldom print them out.

If you are going to actually print the photos on photo paper or have them developed, use the high res setting. If you are going to just keep them saved on your pc to look at and e-mail friends, just use a low setting so you can get the max amount of pics on your vacation.

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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:22 am

here is a decent beginners guide to digital cameras. you can probably skip over most stuff. the important thing is pixels and how large a photo you can print from it. most peeps think having a 4 mexgapixel camera or higher is better, but if you never print anything larger than 5x7's than the extra resolution is a waste of money and memory.

oh, and optical zoom is always better than digital zoom.

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Post by Drewbacca » Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:51 am

... what is a good megapixel amount?
4 MP is great, but go for 5 MP if you can get deal and/or want to print larger size formats for framing.

... shutter speed?
Generally, a fast shutter speed can freeze action while slow speed can blur your image. Other than freezing a fast action scene, a slow shutter speed can also put to good use in portraying movement (waterfall, ice falling)

Anything to worry about for an amateur?
In the sense of usability and features, the cameras in your price range are point-and-shoot with various options that should be easy to figure out (i.e. portrait mode, night mode, etc.) Some cameras have more manual controls than others that you can learn to use later. Otherwise, basically you can just turn in on and shoot away.

I'm also curious about compatibility and ease of finding memory cards for them. Is there a standard type for all digital cameras or do you have to get different kinds for every brand of camera?
Most cameras use either Secure Digital (SD) or Compact Flash (CF) cards. There are even some that take two kinds. I saw one that used SD and Sony Memory Sticks. You can buy them in many places. I can buy them at my local drug store, Wal-Mart, Best Buy. Though the first two are not as cheap.
Continuning on memory, think about where you would use the memory card. For instance I use SD cards because they are smaller compared to Sony MS and CF, and also they work with my printer, video camera, and laptop. Walla! I can easily transfer and print. I don't know what you have, but I based my purchases on SD so I could use the same media.

What's a good size for good quality pictures? 256? 512? Or is this dependent on the megapixel stuff?
The size of the card depends on how many pics you want to save. More memory, more storage space. The greater the megapixels, the greater the size of photo you can take (detail, too, for smaller sizes) I have a 256MB card with my 4 MP camera and it holds a lot. Definitely over 140 pics at the highest settings. I think a 3 MP camera at the highest setting produces pics around 700kB and 2048x1536 pixels. My 4 MP camera maxes out at 2304x1728 pixels and around 1.4MB per pic. This info is just to give you an idea of the approx. pixel size and memory used.
128 is great because you can always use the camera itself to delete pics you don't like , but if you're a trigger happy photographer, try a 256. You can never have too much memory. You may want to use the card to store other things from your PC, handheld, laptop. etc.

Here's a plug for my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC70.

Description: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC70 is a 4.2-megapixel, point-and-shoot digital camera. Compared to other point-and-shoot cameras on the market, it is relatively inexpensive at around $265 US. Includes Ulead Photo Explorer software.

Pros: Has 4.2-megapixel resolution. Also, this camera weighs just 5.7 ounces weight. Weighing in at only 5.7 ounces, this camera is rather light even among compacts.

Cons: Has only a 1.5 inch viewscreen, which is smaller than some similarly priced cameras.

Suitability: A point-and-shoot camera, suited for casual use. A recommended use, based on key features, is framed photos for the home. The largest recommend print size, estimated from the camera's resolution, is 8x10.

Value: In general, this camera's features are as expected for this price.

So basically, it's a small, lightweight, yet sturdy point and shoot, 4 MP camera with a inexpensive price. It uses SD cards, has a 3X optical zoom, has manual control settings, too and a quality Leica lens. Oh, and it takes movies with sound. Great for posting on the web. Camera is suitable for 8x10 pics for framing.

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Post by [NME]Myth » Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:57 am

Thanks for the replies, all! :okay1:

I don't plan on printing much but the Tim the Toolman Taylor in me says stick with 4. :lol:

I'd like to get a camera that takes regular AA's, but the ones I've seen mostly have proprietary lithium so I'm not sure if that will be a driving force in my choice.

I think the next thing I'll do is simply go out to the stores and check them out in person. I'll let you all know what I end up getting!

Thanks again.
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Post by [NME]T-Bone » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:53 pm

depending on your usage, regualar AA batteries will last 1-3 days if even. ni-mh (nickel metal hydride) batteries are the same size/shape as AA batteries but last much longer. also, most ni-mh and lithium batteries are rechargable thus saving $$$ on batteries.

like cochise said, he paid 16 bux for 4 lithium batteries & charger. i guarantee you'll spend more than that on regular AA batteries in a month.

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Post by [NME]Myth » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:28 pm

Well that would be fine, but like I said most of them take "proprietary" batteries. So I'd be stuck paying Kodak's (or whoever) prices for an extra battery. Pretty much a one-time expense in a sense (they will go bad eventually), but not that big a deal to me. So long as the batteries are still available when I do need one.
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Post by [NME]Myth » Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:49 pm

Just got back from Sams club where I picked up this baby for $282 bundled with the docking station.

The picture there is almost actual size. It's a pretty small camera that will fit in pocket easily!

Got a 1 Gb stick of memory for $71 with it so I shouldn't have to worry about that. Since it takes a proprietary battery I will probably get an extra one down the road. Thanks for all the input everybody!
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Post by Drewbacca » Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:43 am

Sweet! That's cool you got the docking station bundled with it. I dig SD cards, too. 1Gig is awesome. So now you can share a bunch of pics after your vacation, but more importantly you can take and store tons of pics/short movies. Sure beats buying film, eh? Enjoy!

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