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Need Camera advice/help

Posted by Dr. Z on 9/21/03 at 17:58 (130634)

Hi everyone,

I am interested in purchasing a digital camera for under $400. Can anyone give me advice which camera to buy.? There are so many out there my head is swimming. Any help is appreciated.

Re: Need Camera advice/help

Peter R on 9/21/03 at 18:08 (130638)

I have a Kodak 3500- don't like it- pictures not clear at max telephoto( not optical tele-it's digital) and battery life is poor. What use are you buying it for?

Re: Need Camera advice/help

Peter R on 9/21/03 at 18:19 (130641)

It may be a Kodak DC3400 that I have

go to: http://www.reviewcentre.com/products19.html?ref=adwordsReviewcentre
or
http://google-zdnet.com.com/Digital_cameras/2001-6501_16-0.html?tag=glnav
or

http://www.digitalcamera-hq.com/?source=overture&kw=digital+camera+review

for info

Re: Need Camera advice/help

marie on 9/21/03 at 18:43 (130642)

I suggest a Sony product. The link below will take you to a camera listed at 399.95. I am purchasing several of them for my multi-media class. They have CDRW storage. I only use Sony products for most digital photography. They are user friendly. If you like the photos I take I use a Sony Cyber-shot.

My hubby is a professional photographer he likes his Nikon......if you have $2-3 thousand.

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_BrowseCatalog-Start;sid=ksct5LhZ1_Atroc3pzMn7_dJ_737DOO8x9I=?CategoryName=pr_p_campricedropDI_dcc&Dept=dcc

good luck, marie

Re: Need Camera advice/help

John H on 9/21/03 at 18:58 (130644)

I use an Olympus C-4000 which has been rated a best buy in Mac Addict and Consumers Report. The battery life is really long. 4 MP. I think they are still out there but may have been replaced by a later model. $400 although you can find most any camera on eBay at a good price. I have never been bitten on eBay yet and have made many purchases and sales including computers.

Re: Need Camera advice/help

marie on 9/21/03 at 19:29 (130646)

I purchased Olympus Digital cameras for my sons. I think Olympus is an excellent choice as well. C-4000 is a nice one.

marie

Re: Need Camera advice/help

Dr. Z on 9/21/03 at 20:17 (130651)

I want to take still pictures and when needed close of feet.

Re: Need Camera advice/help

Dr. Z on 9/21/03 at 20:18 (130652)

thanks

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

Max K on 9/22/03 at 04:09 (130665)

http://www.epinions.com/buyers_guide/Digital_Cameras_buyers_guide_p1.html

Max

Re: Need Camera advice/help

Richard, C.Ped on 9/22/03 at 08:01 (130675)

I'm glad you asked that question Dr. Z. We have been searching for a digital camera for the same reason.
Richard

Re: Need Camera advice/help

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 09:34 (130680)

Dr. Z:
Sony has a model which captures the images directly to CD-ROM -- several docs have it, take it to the OR and like it. It is a bit bulkier that the cameras that use the other, more compact digital media but if it is for office use , it is ideal -- just got back but will look up the model number for you tonight.
Ed

Re: Need Camera advice/help

john h on 9/22/03 at 09:48 (130681)

Dr. Z most of the modern digital cameras will zoom in or have close up capability that will get you as close as you need to be. Do not forget to buy a card reader which will make it very easy to use the camera card with your computer. Belkin makes excellent readers that reads several different types of camera memory cards. You just pop the camera card into the reader which is connected to your computer and presto you can open each picture and copy to your computer or print.. A good reader will cost less than $50 and are very small. Battery life is real important as cameras really vary on how long they will function. If a recharger does not come with your camera buy one and start using rechareable batteries as regular batteries can eat you up. .

Re: Sony MVC-CD500 for Dr. Z

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 13:58 (130691)

Hi Marie and Dr. Z:
I like small cameras for personal use. You get some of the best shots of family during unexpected times and I am likely to have a small camera on my belt or in my pocket. That is where to consider one of the tiny high quality Sony's that use digital media sticks.

When it comes to the office, you want a decent telephoto so you get get detail without having to get too close (important in an O.R.) and ease of storage. There are much better professional models as Marie has mentioned but camera a lot of docs are happy with is the MVC-CD500 (actually the cheaper CD350 which has less pixels and has been out longer is more tha adequate for most office use -- I still own one of the older 2.0 megapixel Mavicas that uses a 3.5 floppy disc -- very convenient due to the disc but most are going to CD-ROM technology anyway).

I will, hopefully, be going to a paperless office before the end of the year and at that time will get the MVC-CD500. One thing you may be pleasantly surprised about is that you can take very decent digital photos of x-rays, perhaps panning in to an area of interest (an intermediate step before we all move away from developer/fixer/film to completely digital x-rays.
Ed

Re: Sony MVC-CD500 for Dr. Z ps

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 14:05 (130693)

ps
The other thing I forgot to mention is that for personal use, watch out for cameras with long capture times because they are bad for action shots (ie. sports or kids that don't hold still). I found that it is a bit hard to get reliable data on that subject. My home camera is a Panasonic Lumix -- sort of a medium small camera in the middle price range but with very fast image capture. The Sony's are reported to be decent in that ara but a major drawback of Nikon, unless that has gotten better in the last two years.

That is not an important issue in the office as most images are 'posed.'
Could be an issue if you are into using the camera in some gait analysis applications.
Ed

Re: Need Camera advice/help

Dr. Z on 9/22/03 at 14:06 (130694)

Thanks

Re: Need Camera advice/help

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 14:06 (130695)

See my comments on the Sony Mavica to Dr. Z above.
Ed

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 14:23 (130697)

Max:
I have seen a number of similar articles but they all fail to mention the one thing that I have found is a major problem with most digital cameras --- the time it takes the camera to capture the image from the time you press the shutter button. I was convinced to buy an overpriced Nikon a couple of years ago and found it virtually unusable for anything but nature photography. It was so slow that taking pictures of my kids was almost impossible. I beleive that the parameter I am talking about is called 'burst speed.' Hopefully , Marie may have some more info on that.
Ed

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

Max K on 9/22/03 at 14:41 (130700)

Ed, that is a good point. I just bought my first digital camera a few days ago, along with a 512 MB CompactFlash card and an extra battery (total paid: $533). It seems to be okay in the aspect under discussion, but I am still learning how to use it and getting familiar with it. Here is one webpage out of an exhaustively thorough review of this camera. This webpage deals mainly with the 'timing and performance' aspect of this camera. The camera is the 5 megabyte Canon PowerShot S 50.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons50/page10.asp

Max

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

Max K on 9/22/03 at 15:25 (130705)

If anybody is interested, here are some of the links I used in researching this camera:

Canon S50 reviews:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons50/

http://steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/s50.html

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/CS50/CS50A.HTM

http://luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/canon-s50.shtml

User reviews (rather than professional reviews) of the Canon S 50:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00008OE5I/ref=cm_cr_dp_2_1/104-9600259-2547958?v=glance&s=photo&n=507846&vi=customer-reviews

http://www.epinions.com/pr-Digital_Cameras-Canon_PowerShot_S50/display_~reviews

Lengthy discussion thread of the camera by users:

http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?(email removed)a2rYXIw.0@.ee9133b/0

Max

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

johnh on 9/22/03 at 18:12 (130713)

If you look at whatever camera you are interested in on Amazon.Com they always have viewer reviews and sometimes professional reviews.

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

johnh on 9/22/03 at 18:20 (130715)

Ed: Some of the newer cameras are almost like an SLR in time lag. They of course are more expensive. Having used a Nikon pro model SLR for many years when it comes to taking pictures, sharing them, instant gratification, their is nothing like a digital. The resolution of digital cameras is now approaching if not already caught up with SLR's. When you get into the $1500 range a digital I think is the equal of an SLR and probably professional journalist use them extensively. These are not those shirt pocket size digitals but have the look and feel of a professional SLR with the capability to set speed aperature and all the other good stuff. I am not sure where digtals are now in megapixels but 5mp is very common if not almost the standard so I bet the professional digitals must be in the 8 or 9 mp range.

Re: Sony MVC-CD500 for Dr. Z

johnh on 9/22/03 at 18:28 (130716)

I think most of the newer cameras also have Firewire capability for your computer connection and are moving always from USB. Cameras like computers are changing faster than you can keep up with. My Mac G-5 now is running at 1.6 MH and has 1.2GB ram. My first computer had 2 mb of ram and probably ran as fast I can now walk. Not many years ago Ram sold for $50 per MB. Today that would equate to $51,200.00 for my RAM memory.

Re: Sony MVC-CD500 for Dr. Z

marie on 9/22/03 at 18:36 (130717)

Hi John,
My hubby and kids surprised me (of course I've been whining for a year) with a new Dell. I'm really happy with it. It was a mere 700.00 and has everything I need for graphics. So now I will have to save for a new G5 that my hubby wants. My Imac has been retired to the photo studio so that my hubby can load his photos from the studio and so folks can look at a shot right away.

I hate to think about what we have spent over the years on computers. We have to update about every 3 years. I remember when the Mac classic was a couple grand. We have everything and then some. I got Photoshop elements with the Dell and I have to say for my purposes I am pretty impressed.

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

marie on 9/22/03 at 18:45 (130718)

If you want something close to a SLR you will need to plan on spending at least $2-$3 thousand. My hubby mostly uses an Olympus E-20. It's pretty darn close to an SLR. He is shooting weddings almost totally digital anymore. He still uses a format camera and keeps a SLR for a few shots. Prices are coming down all the time so $1500.00 may be ok.

This is a good time to buy because they are coming out with new models and the prices will drop.

Re: Hubby suggests this site!

marie on 9/22/03 at 18:51 (130719)

With all you guys buying digital cameras I'm sure you'll be posting pictures right and left!

There is a buying guide at this site.

http://www.dpreview.com

Re: Sony MVC-CD500 for Dr. Z

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 19:03 (130721)

john:
It not so much the transfer speed from the camera to the computer that I have found to be a problem but the time it takes for digital cameras to capture the image, ie. from the time one pushes the shutter button to the time the image is taken. I believe that parameter is called 'burst speed' and am hoping to hear more about that from marie or her husband.
Ed

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 19:06 (130722)

Max:
Interesting. I was looking at the various figures for 'lag' which I assume is the relevant issue. Have you tried any action shots yet?
Ed

Re: Hubby suggests this site!

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 19:10 (130723)

marie:
Tell you hubby 'thank you.' It seems like the best site on this I've seen.
Ed

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 19:13 (130725)

johnh:
The number of megapixels aside, a year or two ago, it seemed like a $200 compact 35mm could go faster than a $900 digital. That must have changed considerably in the last year.
Ed

Re: ~~~~~TO : DR. Z ~~~~~~Re: Need Camera advice/help

Necee on 9/22/03 at 21:05 (130740)

I use a Sony Mavica at work, it's the best camera I've ever used. I take approx 200 pictures a day and I'm tellin ya, I can't wear that camera out!
It's user friendly, takes great pictures, light weight, etc.....
I've even dropped the thing on the concrete floor and it's keeps right on working, so......I'd highly recommend a Sony product.
I have an Olympus Camedia that I use at home, I HATE IT !!!

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: ~~~~~TO : DR. Z ~~~~~~Re: Need Camera advice/help

Dr. Z on 9/22/03 at 23:41 (130776)

thanks. Ok now that we have the camera who wants to buy if for Z. Just joking.

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

Max K on 9/23/03 at 02:07 (130784)

Dr Ed said:

'Max:
Interesting. I was looking at the various figures for 'lag' which I assume is the relevant issue. Have you tried any action shots yet?
Ed'

No I haven't tried any action shots yet. Regarding 'lag', there seem to be several types of lag. The most obvious would be the autofocus lag, where you depress the shutter button halfway and hold it there so that the camera can do its autofocus and/or autoexposure thing. Then there is the so-called shutter lag, which I guess is how long it takes the camera to get ready for the next picure after you fully depress the shutter. I think that one is not about the shutter, but about 'writing to storage media.'

I did notice that my camera has a 'continuous mode', in which it is possible to shoot a number of shots in quick sucsession, in a manner which somehow bypasses the otherwise normal lag times. Apparently, there is some kind of special buffer, which the shots are sent to, and further essential processing is delayed until the whole batch (several shots) is completed. Something like 15 shots in 10 seconds, that's what the manual says, haven't tried it yet. This sounds useful, with regard to action shots.

Max

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/23/03 at 09:03 (130790)

Max:
My personal camera also has the continuous mode. Some picture quality is lost on that mode -- my Panasonic Lumix is a 3.0 megapixel camera. I suppose that if the drop off is a percentage loss of megapixels, the newer camera with 4 or 5 megapixels would show better picture quality on 'continuous' mode.
Ed

Re: Digital camera buyer's guide (3 pages)

john h on 9/23/03 at 10:13 (130792)

It is unbelievable how the digitals are dropping in price and changing over night. I saw a 10mp last night. You can find the Olympus C4000 probably for around $300-$350 now at 4mp. A couple of years ago a 4mp camera would probably have cost $1000. I do not have but would sure like a digital video camera. A good one (non professional) cost in the $600-$900 range. Standard cameras and film are going the way of a VCR. Some of the new rapid fire digitals have software that comes with them that piece together the pictures for one large picture. In my business I send pictures all over the country attached to email. As said a picture is worth a thousand words..

Re: Sony MVC-CD500 for Dr. Z

john h on 9/23/03 at 10:19 (130793)

Marie the dual G-5 is advertised as the fastest desktop in the world. some people meaure speed or productivity in MH which is not correct when it comes to production. Computers with an advertised speed of say 2GB can be much slower than one running at 1.8GB. Of course with these very fast speeds they are probably without merit for the average home user and mostly needed for scientific applications or for graphics,audio and video.
That is unless you are like me and just have to have one.

Re: Sony MVC-CD500 for Dr. Z

marie on 9/23/03 at 10:57 (130796)

Unfortunately we have to have it for business.....darn it. :D

Re: ~~~~~TO : DR. Z ~~~~~~Re: Need Camera advice/help

marie on 9/23/03 at 19:23 (130838)

Dr. Z

Best of luck to you! I am hooked on the Sony cameras myself!

PS: I just got approved for a computer graphics lab. I can't believe this school district it is a dream come true. It'll cost about 18,000.00 to do the lab right. I am so grateful for this job. I have such nice kids. I don't have to beg for money. I am purchasing software and graphire pads this year and we'll use it the main lab. We'll be able to do a little animation and web pages this year. Next year we'll be making films, digital photography, 3D animations. We'll be in a new school next year and I'll have 10 computers in my room. I'm just a little excited. Can you tell?

Re: Need Camera advice/help

Lorinda N on 9/23/03 at 23:39 (130857)

I loved my Olympus... over the others I tried/had. I would tell anyone thinking of purchasing a digital camera to go for an Olympus. The pictures they produce are outstanding.

Re: ~~~~~TO : DR. Z ~~~~~~Re: Need Camera advice/help

john h on 9/24/03 at 09:24 (130868)

Marie: I hope they are Mac's---

Re: ~~~~~TO : DR. Z ~~~~~~Re: Need Camera advice/help

marie on 9/24/03 at 11:06 (130875)

They will probably be PCs as we are on a budget. Computer Graphics labs require alot of fancy stuff other than just computers. I am pushing for Imacs so we'll see. Realistically PCs can be easily distributed to other classrooms as new computers come in. Aside from that we only have PCs in the main lab so I will have to order ten licenses of Photoshop and photoshop is an either Mac or PC. I won't be ordering computers until this spring. so if I want to do a little training this year I won't have a choice.

marie

Re: ~~~~~TO : DR. Z ~~~~~~Re: Need Camera advice/help

john h on 9/24/03 at 11:28 (130877)

Marie: I do not know if you have used Adobe Photo Elements II but it is just a scaled down version of the very expensive Photoshop. It retails for under $100 and for a school I am sure much less. It is really a very extensive program.that can do way more than I need to do.

Re: Need Camera advice/help

Kathy G on 9/24/03 at 15:22 (130908)

That lag time is a real problem if you're taking pictures of someone like me. I drove everyone with a digital crazy at my son's wedding as I moved (or more likely talked!) before the picture was actually taken. Lots of shots out there of me talking or moving. That's just one more reason why I hate to have my picture taken and avoid it at all costs!:D

Re: John

marie on 9/24/03 at 17:35 (130925)

Thanks for the input but I have really good purchasing resources. I am a very savy tech shopper. I do appreciate your advice.
If you purchase a Intuos Graphire pad with pen and wireless mouse for $84.00 you get Adobe Photo Elements II and Metacreations Painter Classic free. I am ordering 10 graphire pads and am ordering Adobe Photoshop 7.0 in a lab pack of 10 user licenses for $1500.00. The Photo Elements that we get bundled free will go to the yearbook staff. Painter Classic will be used for grades 4-12. Next year we will order digital cameras, camcorders, scanners, photo printers, Adobe Premiere, Bryce 5, and computers with DVD-RW because I have to be able to submit a VCR or a DVD for film and animation competitions. Aside from that the kids really need a good copy of their animations and films for portfolio competitions for scholarships.

Bryce is a 3D animation software. The kids actually work in about 4-6 miles of virtual reality. Once they learn how to use it they have a blast and wow are their animations cool. Here are some links that have Bryce and some Poser animations. I teach a little Poser but am not an advanced in it. I have some students who excel. Actually my students have better animations than the internet examples I have posted. My students have to make 5-10 animations, edit them together and edit in sound. It's work but they love it.

http://www.petersharpe.com/index.html
http://www.bilat.ch/eng/index-e.htm
http://www.chez.com/philippesudre/
http://www.desdanova.com/bryce/popup.html
http://www.the-forge.ie/images/homepage/homepage.htm

PS: I am going over to the local university bookstore were I can buy a full version of Photoshop for $30.00. It's not publicized but they always let us know because we're the token artist computer geeks in town.

chow, marie

Re: Need Camera advice/help

Dr. Z on 9/24/03 at 17:35 (130926)

Ok. So what is important is the resolution, the capture time or delay, the battery time, the memory card. Is that a good summary? . I am ready to buy.

Re: John

john h on 9/25/03 at 08:31 (130966)

Wow! Photoshop for $30! With the software you and equipment you are getting you must have a group of very advanced students. I think Photoshop on the retail market is around $250 or so. It is not an easy program to master unless you work with it every day. I am very supprised schools are so deep into the computer graphics and photo world.