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Digital Camera Suggestions - $500 Budget

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65 replies to this topic

#1 of 66 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted March 29 2004 - 03:29 PM

The Canon PowerShot S400 Digital ELPH is looking good, and if I decide on getting that, I'm probably going to wait for the S410 upgrade that comes out in late April. $500 also has to cover memory, and I'm aiming towards either 256MB or 512MB. My parents may help out with the memory, so $600 would probably be max, but I'm going for $500 to be safe. Any suggestions?

#2 of 66 OFFLINE   Pamela


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Posted March 29 2004 - 03:56 PM

The Nikon Coolpix 5700 now has a $150 rebate. It is a 5 megapixel camera with a 8x zoom. Very nice camera. We just ordered one for work. You can get it for $664 at Buydig.com with no tax or shipping.
After rebate that's $514. A great price for a great camera.

#3 of 66 OFFLINE   Jim_F



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Posted March 29 2004 - 05:09 PM

I just got the S400 new from Amazon for <$320. 256MB is what, $50? I picked up a 512MB for a little over $100, so ~$500 covered camera, CF card, leather case and extra Canon battery. Amazing little toy, I've only begun to dabble with it, but I'm very pleased so far.
"Always tell the truth. It's the easiest thing to remember."

#4 of 66 OFFLINE   Don Black

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Posted March 29 2004 - 05:17 PM

Just picked up a Sony DSC-T1 for < $450. Memory will put you just north of your budget (damn Sony's prices) but you can't beat the performance of such a small camera.

#5 of 66 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted March 29 2004 - 09:44 PM

I just picked up the Canon A80 from Amazon for 324.00 (see the "Deals" section of HTF). Add 256MB for ~50.00 and you are way under budget for a great camera. Check DPReview.Com

#6 of 66 OFFLINE   Tom Keels

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Posted March 30 2004 - 12:30 AM

Got my wife the Nikon Coolpix 4300 and a 128 Mb CF card for right at $350 after rebates. It is a sweet 4MP camera.

#7 of 66 OFFLINE   John Chow

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Posted March 30 2004 - 12:32 AM

What is important to you other than cost? I just picked up a Panasonic FZ10 which MSRPs for $600, so you should be able to find it cheaper. The keypoints for this camera is: 4.0 Megapixel 12X Optical Zoom Image Stablization Full manual settings SD Memory Proprietary Rechargeable Li-ion battery Larger than most models No RAW picture quality mode Strengths are towards outdoor photogrphy The main thing for high zoom cameras is if you don't have image stabilization, a lot of pictures will end up blurry due to camera shake. Not a whole lot of cameras right now have image stablization. Canon just came out with a 3.0 MP one, but it's gotten some bad reviews for image quality. Minolta makes one that is more expensive, and maybe some older models have it. There's also the older Panasonic FZ1 or FZ2, which is a 2.0 MP version with the same lens. The FZ2 is actually just a firmware upgraded version of the FZ1 to add manual controls and some other stuff. Some guys have the firmware online that you can use to upgrade the FZ1. Anyways, you really need to give more information on what you want the camera for, size requirements, MPixel requirements, zoom requirements, etc.

#8 of 66 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted March 30 2004 - 12:38 AM

I'm looking for a pocket-sized point-and-shoot with at least 3X zoom, and I think 4MP is good enough for me. This will be used indoors and outdoors. Image stabilization would be nice, but not necessary.

#9 of 66 OFFLINE   Angelo.M



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Posted March 30 2004 - 02:32 AM

Canon A80

#10 of 66 OFFLINE   Claude M

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Posted March 30 2004 - 08:29 AM

I 2nd the 5700 nikon

#11 of 66 OFFLINE   DaveBB


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Posted March 30 2004 - 11:50 AM

The upcoming Sony DSC-W1 (out in May) looks to be a great camera in the $400 price range. Here's a link:


What's nice about the W1 is that it's about the same size as the very good Canon S### and SD### Elph cameras but there's a lot more flexibility with shutter priority/appeture priority and other modes. Plus the 2.5" LCD is a lot bigger than the Canon's 1.5".

The T1 is a smaller camera but there are some issues. Plus it uses the Memory Stick Duo which is more expensive on a $ per MB basis. Plus the 512MB size in the Duo cannot be found anywhere.

IMHO I would only wait for the S410 over the S400 if they've made the camera quicker.

#12 of 66 OFFLINE   DaveBB


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Posted March 31 2004 - 02:24 AM

Here's a link to a Czech site that has some good photos of the Sony DCS-W1 from a recent convention.


Note that the camera uses AA and not some expensize proprietary battery.

#13 of 66 OFFLINE   Drew Bethel

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Posted March 31 2004 - 11:05 AM

The Olympus 5060 will stomp all of the cameras recommended so far.
"The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life." Muhammed Ali, (Cassius Clay)

#14 of 66 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted March 31 2004 - 11:09 AM

Steve's Digicams gave it a rave review, and who knows, I may be able to stretch my budget a bit further. How much did you get it for, Drew?

#15 of 66 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted April 01 2004 - 12:27 AM

I got my wife a Canon Digital Elph 2 megapixel last year and we love it. The most important things on any camera, digital or film, are the optics, and Canon does a good job with that. Plus the small size is perfect for my wife who can slip the camrea in her purse. For more critical photography I pull out my old AE-1 Program SLR.
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#16 of 66 OFFLINE   Tim K

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Posted April 02 2004 - 07:09 AM

I just got the Canon S410 last week. It is an awesome camera. The images are outstanding, and you won't find a better mini digital camera. Canon makes great lenses so you won't go wrong with any canon. The question is, do you want something you can stick in your pocket or do you not care? I wanted something I could take with me anywhere I went, with 3x zoom and rechargeable batteries. However, there is no advantage to getting the s410 over the s400 as the only real difference is the direct print feature which allows you to hook the camera up to select canon printers directly. No use to me. Get the s400 online and save $100.

#17 of 66 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted April 02 2004 - 08:44 AM

Then why don't you return it and get the S400 and save $100 yourself? Posted Image Amazon has the S410 going for $399 and the S400 for $349, did you find a reliable place that has it for cheaper?

#18 of 66 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted May 03 2004 - 08:45 AM

I've almost come to a decision, and now I need your help again. I can't decide between the Canon A80 and the S410. Can anyone steer me in either direction?

#19 of 66 OFFLINE   Brandon_S


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Posted May 03 2004 - 11:19 AM

Thomas, I could be wrong, but I think the A80 offers more manual modes over the S410. I am not familiar with the S410 at all, but my brother owns the A80 and absolutley loves it. It takes great shots, has almost unlimited functionallity, and is fairly light despite being larger in dimensions than the S410. For the record, I own a Canon 2MP camera (the A40) from a couple of years ago. I find the A80 to be quite a good jump in quality over my older A40. Hope this all helps.

#20 of 66 OFFLINE   Jed M

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Posted May 03 2004 - 12:01 PM

I own the S400 and I chose it over the A80 for the size. I am more of a point and shoot type guy, but the S400 does provide quite a bit of manual adjustments if you want more control. In the end, I felt the A80 slightly edged the S400 in picture quality, but with Automatic point and shoot I couldn't really see a difference, so I went with the S400 mainly because it was more portable. I honestly don't think you could go wrong with either. I am a big fan of Canon's optics.
Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.
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