Shopping for a DIGITAL CAMERA.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Darren Mortensen, Oct 1, 2002.

  1. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

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    I would appreciate some help with a digital camera purchase. I really don't know good from bad about these cameras. I don't need a "loaded" model. Just something decent, affordable and reliable. Can this be had for under $200.00 new?

    I am tired of expensive ADVANCE cartridge film and developing. My HT will be done soon, so I want a nice camera to photograph it with, as well as travel pics and possible EBAY use.

    Thank you in advance,
     
  2. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Darren:
    I made the jump to digital about a year ago (from APS) and could never go back. My 1st digital camera was a Kodak DX3600 (2.1 MP). To my horror, I had an "accident" with this one (slipped out of my hands at an amusement park) and was forced to find a replacement last month. Since I was so pleased with the performance of Kodak digital cameras, I found a great deal on a DX3900 refirb (3.1 MP). I just looked and the deal is still running. The camera is $220. plus they had a $15 digital coupon (Code: LSC851, expires 1-Nov-02). delivered cost to me was like $215. In addition to the step-up to 3.1 MP, the 3900 also has exposure controls for speed, aperture, etc. (it also looks sleeker) Please be aware that the DX3900 is a discontinued model, but the replacement runs around $350.
    Kodak DX3900 --> [​IMG]
    Not the optional docking station (~$75) is not included
    An alternative is the Kodak DX3700 (3.1 MP), a refirb can be had for $160 right now here. Major differences include NO Optical zoom and no exposure controls ... still a great deal for a point & shoot.
    Kodak DX3700 --> [​IMG]
    You know, there are so many of these refirbs out there it makes me wonder if theryre not really refirbs at all, but rather Kodak's way of unloading older unmoved inventory.
     
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I would look at the nikons, the coolpix 775 can probably be had for under or around $200 and it's a great little camera.
     
  4. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    Check Canon!!!
     
  5. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    Oh, this is a dangerous thread. You are going to get 100 opinions on 100 different cameras. I guess the truth is, there really aren't any BAD digital cameras. You just gotta read some reviews and decide for yourself.
    http://www.dpreview.com
    My own personal opinion is that you can't bet Kodak for entry level cameras. They are easy to use and take great pictures. I am still using my DC280 (which is the same internally as the 3600 was) and it takes REALLY nice pictures.
    If I had some extra cashola, I'd move up into the Prosumer cameras like the Nikon Coolpix 5700 or the Minolta DImage 7i
     
  6. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

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    I would give the Canon cameras a serious lookover. I own a Canon S30 right now, but will be taking it back to upgrade to a G2 or G3. The S30 is great, and has incredible picture quality, not to mention it is incredibley small for having such a large amount of options. Canon makes other lower priced models like the A20/A40, just go over to www.DPreview.com and look at some reviews.
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    ??? NO?
     
  8. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    Check out dcresource.com for excellent reviews. I purchased a Canon Powershot A40 about a half year ago and I love it. Good for the money.
    I'd recommend Nikon, but they're more than you're willing to spend.
    By the way, get NiMH rechargeables! They last much longer than alkalines and they're nice on the wallet! [​IMG]
     
  9. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Kodaks have the problem of requiring an extra-cost docking station to attach to your PC. Fuji had the best deal when I was shopping for my nephew about 6 months ago. $200 on-line gets you a nice complete outfit with cable and software.
     
  10. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  11. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  12. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    like Adam said, check out dcresource.com. if you click on the "buyers guide" link, it asks you questions about your needs and then narrows down to three or four models that it recommends you check out. i thought it worked pretty well, i ended up purchasing one of the cameras on the list.
     
  13. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Darren, it sounds like you need advice on what features to look for, not what camera to buy. So here is a list of features that I think are important in an entry-level camera that’s decent enough to print up to 5x7 prints.
    2 MegaPixels, Minimum – With 2MP, you’ll be able to print 4x6 prints that most people won’t be able to distinguish from film, and 5x7 prints will look quite decent. 3MP will give you 5x7 prints that most people won’t be able to distinguish from film, and fairly decent 8x10 prints.
    Optical Zoom – A camera without optical zoom is too limiting, even for a beginner. Having a digital zoom over and above the optical is nice, but a camera with only digital (and no optical) zoom is just as bad as a camera with no zoom at all.
    AA Batteries – I’m done buying equipment with proprietary form-factor batteries. Proprietary batteries are expensive and are often no longer manufactured when your camera is three years old – just the time it will need that new set of rechargeable batteries. It is much better to get a camera that uses AA batteries and get a couple of sets of NiMH AA batteries with a charger. Even if you find yourself in a situation with all your batteries depleted, you can get your camera going with a set of alkaline AAs from the nearest corner drugstore.
    USB or FireWire Connection – Amazingly, some cameras still come with serial (RS232) connections. Despite their attractive price, these cameras should be avoided.
    Optical Viewfinder – Others will probably disagree with me on this, but I think an optical viewfinder is important in an entry-level camera. It doesn’t give you “through-the-lens” viewing (and thus shouldn’t be used in macro mode), but it works better than the LCD viewfinder in bright sunlight. Of course, this assumes that you’re not considering an expensive professional camera that would totally suck if it had an optical viewfinder.
    Integrated Lens Cover – Since we’re probably talking about point-and-shoot cameras here, there’s no need to get one with a detachable lens cover that you could possibly lose. Most such cameras come with integrated lens covers, so don’t get a camera without one. (The exception to this, of course, would be if you were to get a digital SLR with interchangeable lenses, which starts at about ten times your stated price.)
    The Kodak cameras are very nice and take good pictures. Fuji cameras are well known for their color accuracy (at least the 2MP ones – the 3MP cameras will fudge the colors in a couple of modes), and both manufacturers’ cameras have excellent optics. I believe that both manufacturers make cameras with all the above features. It’s up to you to decide what features you want. After that, it should be easy to select one in the price you’re willing to spend.
    Good luck!
     
  14. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    The cost factor is true. If you do it all your own, the cost of getting photos as good as a processor shop, you will have to buy a good printer and the ink cost will make you poor if you decide you want to make 8x10s. I made a couple of 8x10s on my printer before I realized it was so much cheaper to have them done at Costco. If you are a Costco member, it is better to stick with film. Even their Kodak processing is priced well, and enlargements are also a good deal.
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  16. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

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  17. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess it is sorta hit and miss. Thak you Brian for the great features itemization.

    What I have found in my personal experience is that with a regular camera I take TOO many pics...this is either because I want the best shot and take several photos at different angles...or just shoot some random shots to use up a roll. So then I end up with a few quality shots and a bunch of really unneccessary photos.

    I figured with a digital camera I could shoot a subject and then check the image before saving it. I mean do I really need 24 or 48 pics of a B-Day party, when 6 or 12 will do?

    Thanks you all!
     
  18. Rob Tenniswood

    Rob Tenniswood Stunt Coordinator

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    Get the Canon Elph S200 if you can. Or the S110. They're durable, relatively simply, and tiny - you can take it with you anywhere you can. I have the S110, and I love it.

    -Rob
     
  19. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  20. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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