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Old 09-27-2005, 07:57 AM   #1
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Talking Need to buy a digital camera

Believe it or not I haven't gotten a digital camera yet. My memory bank contains an 8 track tape deck when they were new and expensive, Coleco video games which were superceded by Atari, a Beta VCR (back when that was a $1300 investment), etc ad nauseum. You don't even want to hear about the computer network that was Xenix based.

I've since decided to wait for the technology to gain wide acceptance and get cheap before I buy. I think it's safe to say that has happened with video and digital cameras.

It's time. Let the techie's come out of the woodwork with good advice on a nice easy to use video/digital camera. I'm not filthy rich but I don't have to buy the cheapest thing on the market either.

Why do we modify perfectly usable Airstreams?

A) The devil made me do it?
B) In a world of mass manufactured goods, we personalize.
C) Some people love Airstreams for what they are,
others love them for what they can be.

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Old 09-27-2005, 06:27 PM   #2
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You won't go wrong with one of the Kodak' wife is electronically challenged...I am suprised we have a phone without a rotary dial and she had no problems with the Kodak cameras. My personal preference are the FujiFilm models...I have 3 of them and they have all performed well. BTW still have a Beta and an Atari game system...the good news is the game cartridges are real cheap at the flea markets


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Old 09-27-2005, 08:46 PM   #3
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Paula - whatever you choose... be sure that it takes AA batteries.
Digital cameras are battery hogs - most especially when you use a flash.

Many digital cameras require proprietary batteries or at the very least, very expensive specialized batteries. Double A's are cheap and easily found. If you travel you may not be able to find those high tech jobs at the country store...

Next thing to consider is the data storage media. There are a lot of choices, some more spendy than others. Stay away from proprietary formats - again. Most cameras now, have a usb interface so you can dump photos directly to your computer. Be sure your choice does as well.

Other stuff to consider:

How will you carry it?
Do you want the lens covered?
Resolution - higher quality/vs cost

I like to carry mine in my tiny purse - my newest camera is just a little too big to do that comfortably.

Auto lens cover? YES! particularly if you are going to be dropping camera into back packs etc...

I have a Fuji and an older lower res olypmus - like em both...
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:11 PM   #4
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Here's a link to a camera that may meet your needs. It's relatively inexpensive and has all of the features that Janet suggested.I know an individual who bought a similar unit (previous model) specifically for a trip he took on his motorcycle. If it was lost/stolen/broken, not a great loss. The pictures turned out pretty good.His only negative comment was that it didn't do too well in low-light situations.Here's the link.
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Old 09-29-2005, 06:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PaulaFord
I've since decided to wait for the technology to gain wide acceptance and get cheap before I buy. I think it's safe to say that has happened with video and digital cameras.

It's time. Let the techie's come out of the woodwork with good advice on a nice easy to use video/digital camera. I'm not filthy rich but I don't have to buy the cheapest thing on the market either.
We have an HP Photosmart 320, 2.1 MegaPixel, with a digital zoom. It is point and shoot, and we do not use the zoom, under any circumstances. It was relatively inexpensive, too. If you are technologically challenged, a point-and-shoot camera is for you. This one has two buttons, one changes the pixels from low to high, the low one will post to the forums without resizing. The other button turns the flash on and off. All the photos I have posted here on the forums have come from this camera, and it takes 4 AA batteries.
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Old 09-29-2005, 06:35 PM   #6
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Hi, PaulaFord,

I haven't kept up recently, but I think I can recommend a brand instead of a model. I have had GREAT LUCK with Olympus cameras. These are the only cameras I have bought or given as presents in the last ten years, and as far as I know, they are all still working. My own camera, a DL-360, has worked for me for three years, and it's still going great guns. In fact, all the shots in the gallery of my trailers were done with it.

The Olympus models that I'm familiar with have been advancements on the original little 35mm "Stylus" model that my family ended up with three of. They continue to be "open and shoot" models of the utmost simplicity and I always manage to get a finger in at least one shot.

These things are pretty goof-proof and make a good picture despite not krnowing what the heck you're doing.


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Old 09-29-2005, 07:13 PM   #7
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Consumer Reports

Just received this month's Consumer Report magazine and it had ratings on digital cameras. Good resource.
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Old 09-29-2005, 07:24 PM   #8
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GREAT camera

NOTHING beats the older Sony Mavica FD-51 or 71.

Mine is almost 7 years old and I LOVE it still.

You actually pop a DISK in and don't need to worry about anything else, no memeory cards or problems.

My battery runs about an hour; it's good to have a spare.
I'm just a pink flamingo on the great lawn of life :-)
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Old 09-29-2005, 07:26 PM   #9
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Product DescriptionThe Sony Digital Mavica MVC-FD71 qualifies as a Best Buy largely on the basis of user-friendliness, as well as the ease with which its images can be incorporated into many applications. The camera uses 3.5-inch floppy disks as its image storage media, the same used in your personal computer. This allows you to take your pictures, then remove the floppy from the camera and insert it directly into your computer, without the need for any auxiliary cables or equipment. Once in the computer, you can view the pictures on your monitor; incorporate them into letters, presentations, and other documents; or email the images to friends, relatives, or business associates. The universal JPEG compression format is used, making the camera compatible with Windows systems. A Whole Disk Copy feature lets you copy and save images in the camera's temporary memory. A Progressive Scan CCD enhances picture clarity. A bitmap mode allows saving images in a non compressed format, for even sharper images; the cost is less pictures per disk. You can view and play back images on the 2.5-inch color LCD screen. You can also apply special effects such as monotone, sepia, negative art, and pastel.
DetailsAverage Battery Run Time: 150Weight: 0.6 kg
Lens FeaturesDisplay: LCD 2.5"
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Old 09-29-2005, 07:33 PM   #10
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I own and use a Sony Mavica. Easy for the technology challenged (me!) to use.

Media used is CR-R or CD-RW, the small ones. Makes changing media on the fly possible, and quick to do! Pull the media, slip into pc, and go. Or store. Or whatever.

Does use a proprietory battery. BUT. I have NEVER run out of charge!

The Mavica uses Carl Zeiss lenses. That impressed my husband a bunch!! He was also impressed I could buy different filters and lenses for one. Too, Mavica is the only mid market camera (Not a seven thousand dollar professional model!) that is setup to use a hot shoe flash like on 35mm's.

I have been extremely satisfied with mine!

The largest factor in my even thinking Sony Mavica was the size of the viewscreen..... I have a visual handicap.... it has the largest available! Second largest was cost, and ease, of media. Those small cd's are readily available and cheap. The CD-RW's do cost more but can be used over a hundred times before beginning to degrade.

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Old 09-29-2005, 08:15 PM   #11
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Need to buy digital camera

Greetings Tin Lizzie!

I have two digital cameras. My first was purchased in 1998 -- a Sony Digital Mavica FD91, and the second a Canon Digital Rebel SLR that I purchased in May of this year. The initial cost for both cameras was comparable, but the Canon offered so many of the features that I wanted but weren't available when I purchased the Digital Mavica -- seven years certainly made a tremendous difference in the camera technology available at the $1,000 to $1,500 price point.

The Canon utilizes memory sticks (Compact Flash 1.0 GB), and due to its SLR body it also has a wide selection of optional lenses -- I bought a good general lense for snapshots (18-55 mm) and a wonderful Zoom Lense (75-300 mm). In addition, there is a built-in flash, but I chose to go with the optional Speedlite 420EX flash attachment. After more than four months with the camera, I am absolutely satisfied with every feature as well as its functionality -- its batteries are also far easier to obtain (at least in my area) than the Sony batteries have been (particularly since Wal Mart quit handling them about two years ago). Its one shortfall is the size of its display screen -- it is quite small, but I rarely ever utilize the display screens on either of my digital cameras.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
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Old 09-29-2005, 08:29 PM   #12
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Digital cameras are usually very light, and can be made very small.
That certainly has it's advantages, but:
Due to the small size and little weight, it is very easyt to blur a picture when using the regular push button shutter.
A physically larger camera is more confortable to use, and will sit in your hands better, often eliminating the need for a tripod to take a decent picture.
Also, some cameras have a rechargeaable battery available, which is a great deal, in my opinion. Digital devices are "primadonna" battery users, taking only the top 20% of battery power, then shutting down due to alleged low battery voltage. Used batteries from a digital camera often still work fine in a flashlight, for example.
Another plus when loking for a camera is a CF card for memory. One can remove the memory (digital film) card from the camera, and plug it straight into a CF card reader ( less than $ 20.00) and not have to deal with quirky camera software.

I use and prefer Nikon digital cameras.
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Old 09-29-2005, 08:38 PM   #13
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Thumbs up Mavica's

flamingo and cedars,
We use the Sony Mavica's at work, in a commercial roofer setting, they are just about indestructible. The only drawbacks are the older mavicas take the floppy discs...these are fast becoming obsolete My only other dislike is the bulky size of the camera. I prefer something a little more svelte like the FujiFilm 2600. One thing I did spring for was the multi card reader, it allows me to pop about 6 different types of digital media cards in and download them pronto. All of my Fuji Film and Kodak cameras use the AA batteries.

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Old 09-29-2005, 10:03 PM   #14
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hi paula

i moved from film to digital media many years ago......but hung on to all the traditional film items (lens, camera bodies, adapters and so on) until a home theft left me fully digital.

i haven't looked back....except when i think about buying a vintage camera for old times sake.....or to work an old trailer.

regardless of which models are suggested here.....they'll be obsolete or superceded by next weeks "upgrade"......models now change yearly at least....

i own nikon and pentax but any of the major brands will offer great digital photos and more features than most folks ever use......sort of like microsoft powerpoint, excel or word.....i mean NO ONE knows or uses 1/10th of the features.....

your post suggest that you don't have other digital devices that already utilize specific formats that some brands this i mean you don't own things that use compact flash, secure/smart digital, memory sticks; or have a set of nikon/canon lens that can be used with a digital camera, or use photo software like adobe, epson, microsoft or others, or have a photo printer .......right?

in other words you are free to choose/buy any of the formats......

if this is a correct assumption.....

then rather than suggest a specific camera.....

i'd suggest you decide how much money will be spent on ALL of your camera equipment.....

the camera
the digital least 512-1 gb of storage (skip the cameras that take a disc....go with any of the flash card media.
the extra batteries
the lens accessories
the case and tripod
a new printer
cable connections for computer or printer or telev
photo software beyond what comes with the camera
and other things.....

so figure your total budget......let's say it's 500 or 1000 bucks....

70-80% will be for the camera and 20-30% for accessories...

proprietary batteries are really fine, just budget/buy an extra and make sure you have the charger...if you do decide on a model with aa a charger and 3 extra sets......since they don't last nearly as long as camera specific batteries.

so this means you'll be looking at cameras in the 300$ range or the 700$ and this price differential means good "point/shoot" models or "enthusiasts" models.....3-5 mpixels vs 4-8 mpixels... so really good normal sized shots or really good enlargements....and as a reference point the photos we upload here are 0.1 any good photos need to be reduced for most web sites...

now go to the bookstore an buy a "digital camera" magazine and visit 3-5 of the big digital camera websites......where they explain the technology and review cameras.....

next visit a real camera store (not an electronics store) tell them you're a rookie and want to buy a digi camera.....
tell them your price limit.....
and play with as many models as you can.......
yes play with them......

take pictures right there in the store!!!

all the shots taken can be erased instantly and if they don't have cameras ready to try (loaded with batteries/media) go some place that does. some stores will even loan overnight some cameras.....if you look responsible....

make notes on each camera...what did you like (size, buttons, menus, screen, zoom and so on) and what didn't work like they said it would.

now go home and look up each model on the about it but don't get hung up on technical reviews....

go back to the same store or to another store and repeat the "play with it" step.

revisit your will likely have moved up a few bucks so do you really want to spend more now? really?

buy a camera....whichever one selected can be had online, ebay, discount store, electronics store or the camera shop.....but where will you go with problems, questions or other issues? does the store have a training class/workshop for free that you can attend? does 50-100 bucks price differential really matter?

congrats you are now a digi camera owner/user!!

post pictures here soon.


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