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Old 06-16-2006, 10:31 PM   #1
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2007 23' Safari SE
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Your favorite digital camera and why

I am about to buy my first digital camera and would like to know what camera you chose and why, and/or what you like about your camera. I am looking for a camera that can fit in a jacket pocket and still take good quality pictures (for posting on the forum or sending to magazines), have good battery life (and use AAA batteries), and easy to use.

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Old 06-16-2006, 11:09 PM   #2
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I have the perfect camera for meeting all you parameters except one. Why the AAA batteries? They don't last in most digitals...and make they make a camera bigger and heavier than it needs to be.

I absolutely L-O-V-E my Canon PowerShot S500. 5.0 mega pixal. The models have changed as mine is a couple of years old now, the similar current model would be the PowerShot SD450 Digital ELPH. Mine was about $500 when new, I know the new current model is about half that price.

It fits in a shirt pocket easily, very easy to use, has zoom & all the features of a larger camera. It take wonderful photos and the battery goes forever...I would say it lasts for at least 100 shots between recharges. I have two batteries so I can take as many photos as I want recharging one battery while using the other. I have it in my purse 24/7 always at the ready. It's very intuitive, I never read manuals...unless I have to. It is no muss, no fuss. Check out my photo gallery or website to see some shots ~

This is my third digital camera and it's been my favorite.

Here's an older thread to get you started until others chime in here


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Old 06-17-2006, 01:24 AM   #3
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Thank you, Shari, for detailing why you love your Canon PowerShot. It has shown up at or near the top of the list in a variety of current review magazines and in Consumer Reports. I meant to say AA batteries in my initial post. Consumer Reports said it might be more convenient to have a camera that can accept AA batteries that can be dropped in when the more expensive rechargeable batteries run down during a shoot. I found the older message thread that you mentioned helpful and I enjoyed your wonderful photos of your shiny 1964 Globetrotter.
Thank you!
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Old 06-17-2006, 02:02 AM   #4
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I just recently bought a Canon Powershot S2 IS. 5 megapixels, 4 AAs (we use rechargables), and a fantastic zoom function and super close-up mode (I use it mostly for taking pictures of my fish). It works great for our business use (website) and for just taking family pictures. Lots of functions, the batteries last like crazy, I just adore it! Oh, and it takes movies with sound, which is very cool!

My previous camera was a Kodak, and I would never buy one again, it was inferior in every way. It was so expensive we had to put up with it just to get our money's worth out of it, but it had focussing problems, blurring, slow response when you pushed the button, short battery life, and frequently just locked up - I hated it! I am so in love with our new Canon!

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Old 06-17-2006, 02:58 AM   #5
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Nikon Coolpix-

I had a Coolpix 2100 that was great, it got stolen and I just replaced it with the current model which seemed equal, and was about $130- the Coolpix 4600.

I was shooting professionally in a part of the industry that Nikon was the way to go, and I used Hasselblad 2.5's and some large format Pentax stuff, but know that the lense is important and stuck with Nikon mostly out of habit. Canon was really popular with action and sports, and Minolta was the best for metering- I'd use either of those 3 and be totally confident that I was getting good results. Canon was the lowest on my list with its auto focus in that type work, and it was because it reacted very fast and was too "jumpy" for what I was doing, but if you're shooting your kids running after your dog- probably the Canon is the one you definitely want.

If you want to spend about $550 for a great step up- try out that Minolta Maxxum 5D- it looks like its a fool proof way to get awesome pix in a variety of situations- night photos have always been better with Minoltas metering ability. Its equal to the Nikon D70 in my opinion, and costs a lot less. Ain't gonna fit in your pocket, and I never looked into the small Minoltas that will.

I also chose a Nikon because thats what my Apple likes, so base part of it on compatibilty with your computer. Sony and HP aren't camera companies, but in that size range, I'd take whatever went with my computer the best.

You're gonna enjoy it- I remember the first thing that struck me was that I could shoot over and over without wasting film- we used to go through over $1000 of film and processing in a day. Have fun and good luck!
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Old 06-17-2006, 03:23 AM   #6
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The important thing is to determine how you are going to use the camera and the features that are the most important to you in these usages. If you are only going to use it to post pictures or ebay then low resolution cheap camera is all you need. If you are going to chase kids, reaction time is most important. 3x optical zoom seems a necesity if you are going to do nature or sports work. 5meg is required to get good 8x10 enlargements. Two rechargeable batteries are needed, if you are on the road alot and shoot alot. It takes some time and 110 volt source to recharge them. Movie function is of marginal use unless you keep and view all your pics at your home computer. There are many photo forums with more knowledgeable people.
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Old 06-17-2006, 03:27 AM   #7
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Don't overlook some of the 'last generation' equipment. It's still very competent equipment, and you can get some real steals. It's a little larger than you had in mind, but I bought a Canon G5 for $200. It's a 5mp with an f/1.8 Canon lens and all the bells and whistles. I bought it because it uses Compact Flash cards as do my pro Olympus cameras, but it's less than half the size and weight for snapshots. My only complaint is that it doesn't have manual focus... but other than that it's an amazing point & shoot!

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Old 06-17-2006, 04:39 AM   #8
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Canon Powershot A530

I needed a "small" camera in a hurry a couple of months ago.

I arbitrarily set my purchase price at "around" $200.

The Canon came out on top for several reasons - not the least of which the "controls" bore some semblance to the old Canon 35mm "A" series - I owned a string of these cameras and have taken a BUNCH of photos and slides with them in the last 30 years.

I tend to take a lot of action shots, and the PowerShot A530 has an acceptable "capture" time for a small autofocus camera.

I also like the 4X lens zoom - digital zoom just does not cut it, in my opinion.

I also purchased a 1 gig chip for around 40 bucks - total for camera, digital storage, and a protective case was less than $300 including tax.

2 gig chips are also available.

I need to relate an experience similar to "Stefroberts" tale of her Kodak. I tried to use a Kodak pocket digital - took it along on an excursion on the Cumbres and Toltec steam railroad from Charma, New Mexico to Antonito, Colorado during the Forums Lake Heron rally a few years ago - what a disaster. Not ONE photo came out - the focus was totally inoperable - both in the regular and macro modes. I very seldom return items after purchase, but that Kodak was one that went back to the retail seller.

Take your time on the purchase, get a camera that you are comfortable with - both in handling and understanding the controls...paying a bit more and purchasing from a true camera shop as opposed to a big box has the advantage of being able to draw on knowledgable employees expertise in explaining the operation of the camera.

The huge storage capability of the chips make it easy to take high definition shots all of the time - also invest in a good editing program - you will need one to resize the pictures for posting here in the Forum. Adult education centers often run minicourses in the operation and selection of both cameras and editing programs.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 06-17-2006, 06:48 AM   #9
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We have an older Canon A40. What a tough camera.

A couple years ago I ran up some wooden steps with Camera in hand. Slipped, and went airbourne. My hand came town first to stop my fall and the camera got slammed on to the wooden step with the open lens digging into the wet wood. Spent some time cleaning damp wood and dirt off the lens and the camera still works like new today.

Besides that crash the A40 has been dropped many times with no ill effects.

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Old 06-17-2006, 07:25 AM   #10
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cannon A40, easy software, anvil dependibility... i've dropped mine too with no ill effect.

was reccomended to me by a state trooper buddy, works in complete darkness and will survive years of riding around on the dashboard of a squad car.

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Old 06-17-2006, 07:40 AM   #11
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I have 2 Sonys. My old 3.3 MPel DSC-S70 lives in the Airstream. It is reasonably compact and has long since earned its keep.

My 8 MPel F-828 is big and heavy, but I do a lot of photography for the Wildflower Center ranging from flowers to art to gift shop items to be put on the web. The F-828 does it all with aplomb. I like the digital viewfinder on the F-828 that the older DSC-S70 does not have. I do take the F-828 on longer Airstream trips where I may want to take realy high quality images.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:33 AM   #12
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I'm completely biased towards Canon digitals. I have on occasion used friends' Nikons (cool pix, D series) but I'm used the canon features and can't comment on which one is 'better'.

I used a Canon S30 for about 5 years before it finally gave up on me and died. The thing took amazing pictures for the size.

I purchased the Canon S80 as I quite liked the size, weight, lens, and features of the S series. It also takes great photos.

great points:

- very quick shutter and startup, especially on the newer models.
- great battery life comparative to the S30
- excellent lens
- multiple pre-set functions, and manual capabilities

not so great:

- the disc for setting the functions is not sturdy and you can inadvertently change your photo settings without knowing
- the gloss black shroud tends to show finger prints, scratches etc very quickly.

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Old 06-17-2006, 08:37 AM   #13
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I use a Nikon Coolpix 885 when it matters, and an Olympus pocket size ( don't know the model number off hand) when it has to be small. the Olympus has a dock with charger, which is nice. Slide the camera in the dock, and it immediately charges and pulls up iphoto on my mac computers.
I prefer the Nikon because it has a slightly larger body, more comfortable for holding steady. I have a hard time with the mini cams, as they are light and small, making it easy to blur a picture just my pressing the shutter button.
The Nikon has an added advantage of having a tripod thread on the bottom, which is important to me when we do glamour shots of my business products, or artists etc. Both my cameras have rechargeable power packs, which have been flawless so far. The Nikon can also take a disposable camera battery ($$) in case the batts run low.
Tip: Digital cameras are "power primadonnas", giving you a low battery icon when the voltage drops just below full. You can use supposedly empty camera batteries in a flashlight, and they will work fine for quite white still.
I do believe that by now most reputable digital camera brands are very very good, and it's a matter of use, as suggested in another post.
3-4 megapixel is more than enough for casual photography, even if you want hard copies printed in normal photo size.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:44 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by 85MH325
Don't overlook some of the 'last generation' equipment. It's still very competent equipment, and you can get some real steals. It's a little larger than you had in mind, but I bought a Canon G5 for $200. It's a 5mp with an f/1.8 Canon lens and all the bells and whistles. I bought it because it uses Compact Flash cards as do my pro Olympus cameras, but it's less than half the size and weight for snapshots. My only complaint is that it doesn't have manual focus... but other than that it's an amazing point & shoot!

I've had a Canon G5 for 6 years now and it's everything I had been looking for. A fast lens that has a filter adapter, a Aux. flash hot shoe, Full manual controls, remote control and the list goes on... , all in a reasonably compact size.


For manual focus, press the MF button on the right side of the viewfinder,then adjust focus with the finger wheel below the shutter button.
If you need an Owners Manual, contact Canon and they will send you one.

The Canon A95 lacks the hot shoe, but has almost all the other features in a compact package. A very nice camera.


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