Digital Cameras. What to know when buying one?

Discussion in 'Art, Media & Photography' started by Scott, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. Scott

    Scott Aye. Contributor

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    Well, as the weeks move on, and moving day quickly approaches, it's time to get a digital camera of my own to make picstories with. Seriously, this will be my main focus with a camera. Get it? focus! ahaha...moving on.


    What does everyone recommend? I don't care if it has all these extra features. I know a bunch of digital cameras now have a video capturing feature, and I don't need that because I already have a video camera. What about megapixels? How high should I go to get quality pictures?

    I also want something compact. Not small like an ipod nano or anything, but I don't need a big clunky camera either.


    Go.
     
  2. rogue

    rogue metal is forever

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    i suggest you go to a shop with a price you can afford in mind and just ask what they've got and what they reccomend. make sure it has a decend sized memory card or buy one with it. and i duno around 5 mega pixeles it pretty average these days i would say.
     
  3. Scott

    Scott Aye. Contributor

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    I'd rather not go to a shop and ask. I'd rather hear from those who own cameras, as opposed to those who sell them ;)
     
  4. D-EJ915

    D-EJ915 Forum MVP

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    Buy a Canon G6, it's big but waaaay better than any other point-and-shoot. It's a shame Canon discontinued the G series because it owned.

    The A series is a very good 'bang for the buck' purchase, they're not quite as large but hardly as awesome.
     
  5. Leon

    Leon {##[====:::. Contributor

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    i got an HP 320 for $100 a few years back. it's 2.1 megapixels, and has digital zoom. it's perfectly fine for picstories :)

    now, if you want better quality, of course, go for more pixels. also, you'd want optical zoom, and not digital zoom. a camera with digital zoom, well, you can do that on your computer :)
     
  6. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

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    Good lens, metal casing. You are going to drop it, so go for something sturdy. the same thing with digital cameras applies like old cameras, you really are paying for the lens itsself.

    Personally I love Sony, on my second one, and the first one survived being doused in liquorice vodka when a bottle broke in my bag. Still worked afterwards.

    Currently i have the 7.2MP Cybershot one, bought it for 500$ 2 years ago, so I am sure it'll be cheaper now. To be honest, 7.2 is huge and waaaaaaaaay more than adequate, 3.2 is a minimum i'd say, 5-6 a happy medium
    .
    Also don't forget to budget for a memory card, but those things are so cheap nowadays, i picked up a 2gig SD card for less than half what i paid for a 256Mb 2 years ago 9and that's US vs UK prices, so that's an even bigger difference)

    Also, it won't hurt to invest a few £/$ in a floppy drive with buiklt in memory card reader. Saves having to fuck around with the USB cables. Untill you accidentally slot the memory card into the floppy drive... Easy to install though, just plug it into a spare set of USB pins on the motherboard.
     
  7. Scott

    Scott Aye. Contributor

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    Thanks :yesway: I'll look into the sony. The canon g6 is way too expensive for me.

    And my laptop has a built in card reader, so im good to go :yesway:
     
  8. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

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    Also, the sony happily fits in my pocket quite nicely too :)
     
  9. rogue

    rogue metal is forever

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    mines a canon powershot A400 perfectly good, does the job, just make sure you get a bigger memory stick than it comes with
     
  10. Buzz762

    Buzz762 Destroyer of Worlds Contributor

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    I have a FujiFilm FinePix S3100.

    6x Optical Zoom
    4.0MP which is more than enough for just taking the average snapshots.
    It's got a few extra features and offers a bit more control than just point and click if you want to use it.
    It comes with an adapter ring so you can use 35mm attatchments if you wanted.

    It's a fairly good camera for someone just getting into artistic photography and offers enough for just average use. I however am going to be getting a different camera when I can afford to since I require much more control than this camera allows me to use. I require something that will let me output to a RAW format since filters are somewhat pointless if you can do this and have photoshop.

    Here's a link to one of those... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16830122078

    It's just a suggestion. Seems like it would do what you want with no problem, although it is a little large. I have also had a pleasant experiance with the two Vivitar cameras I had owned which were both decently compact (fit easily in a pocket and took great pictures) so you may want to look at some of those.

    Here's some other things to keep in mind though...

    -DigitalZoom is irrelevant. It would be no different than taking the image you just took and zooming in on it on your computer. It would distort just as much. Optical zoom is much better and, as a result, costs more but is well worth it.

    -Megapixels. As James said, 3.2MP will be adequate for taking pictures as long as you are not wanting to blow them up much.

    -Resolution. This comes in handy if you want to make a photo you took into a desktop background without stretching the shit out of it (or if you want to print it, for that matter..)

    -Camera Size. Do you need something small you could easily carry around in your pocket? If so, look into cameras intended for this sort of use. That camera I had suggested is quite large and wouldn't fit in a normal pocket. This isn't something I really reccomend doing, by the way. It can easily get broken this way, or perhaps I'm just clumbsy. Also note that the smaller cameras tend to cost a bit more and tend to sacrafice other features to accomplish smaller sizes.

    -Battery Life. If you're going to be out taking pictures keep in mind that battery life is a bitch. Some cameras are complete battery hogs, and using your viewfinder rather than the screen will really help cut down on this (obviously) Most cameras will turn themselves off if you haven't taken a picture for a certain ammount of time as a way to conserve energy. This can be annoying but I suppose they meant well.

    -Memory. It's been covered but I'll repeat it. Get a memory card with the camera. You can store so many more pictures and have the convieniece of taking the card to one of those instant photo development machines and getting a print right there if you desire. If the camera has internal storage, you can turn down the capture quality to fit more on it, but that is sort of dumb when you can find a large amount of memory very cheaply.


    This is pretty irrelevant although could be used to easily make a picstory since there would be no resizing involved. It's just plain cool.
    http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/cameras/7886/
     
  11. darren

    darren Decibel Guitars Forum MVP

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    All great advice so far. There are also good independent reviews at

    http://www.dcresrource.com

    http://www.dpreview.com and

    http://www.steves-digicams.com

    Personally, i like Canon for their features, their great interface, and the fantastic bundled software they include. Nikon and Sony also have great optics, but i've found Nikon's interface to be less than intuitive in the past and Sony really pushes their MemoryStick media, which are generally smaller in capacity and more expensive than CF or SD cards.
     
  12. Buzz762

    Buzz762 Destroyer of Worlds Contributor

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    I used to have a Nikon 35mm. I fucking loved that thing.

    And yeah, Sony always has to go with their propreitary stuff.
     
  13. Popsyche

    Popsyche Contributor

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    I have a Paentax Optio S5z, which I love. It is a point and shoot with many advanced features that I don't use! It's about 5 megapixels, and with the resolution set to webpage size, will hold more than 4oo pictures on the 256 memory card I have. It has a recargable battery that lasts for a lot of pix,and charges quickly. It is very small, but still has a 2.5" screen on the back. It has an acceptable optical zoom, as well. Be warned! It is NOT syrup proof!:nono:

    Here be da link!

    http://www.pentaximaging.com/produc...a--Optio_S5z/reqID--6533532/subsection--optio

    I guess we haven't asked what your price range is, have we?
     
  14. Mykie

    Mykie Fatal Havoc

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    Since we dont have a price range, I suggest you check out the Olympus Stylus 800 8.0 MEGAPIXEL, it is what I use for everything, taking shots a live shows (I used it for Seether and Shinedown), doing shots for websites I do, and tons of other shit.

    I would have to say it is one of the best on the market for 8MP Cameras...

    It can go underwater since it is all weather...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The video on it is just amazing, it has 3 sizes of video, the pics can be 3264x2448 to 640x480, pretty dam cool.

    http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1173
     
  15. Scott

    Scott Aye. Contributor

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    Well, I ended up buying a new olympus stylus 800 off ebay. Brand new, and within Canada for approx 300 CAD. :yesway:
     
  16. Scott

    Scott Aye. Contributor

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    Well I got my olympus today. Im at work so I didn't even get to turn it on yet.

    Damn this thing is a lot smaller than I thought it would be with a 2.5" screen.
     
  17. Mykie

    Mykie Fatal Havoc

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    Tell me how you like it, it's a bad ass camera. I love mines.

    I shot this with mine... singer of Shinedown @ the HOB in ChiTown w/Seether on Valentines Day...
    [​IMG]
    copyright 2006 The Chicago Music Riot
     

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