Sub $200 Digital Camera Suggestions Please

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike V, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. Mike V

    Mike V Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi All,

    Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

    As the title says, I am in the market for a digital camera(my first)in the under $200.00 category. Anyone have one that they are happy with? Kodak seems to have several along wityh HP. Are there any opinions on either of these companies?

    Thanks
     
  2. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    HPs lower end stuff just plain sucks. I even went to an HP seminar were they admitted this.

    No matter what you get though, make sure your camera has at least 2 megapixels. You can find them cheap and they are a vast improvement over 1 megapixel.
     
  3. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I was just in your shoes, but wanted to spend about 2-3 hundred for a digital as a Christmas present to one of my daughters. I ended up searching the internet for good sites to guide my purchase. The one linked below is great and has individual discussion threads on different cameras, recommendations for cameras for different purposes and price ranges, and shows sample photographs taken by each of the multitude of cameras reviewed.
    Digital Camera Review Site
     
  4. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    By the way, if you bump up your price a little bit, you might check out the Canon A40 which goes for about $249 everywhere and gets really nice write ups. You should be able to get it for less if you shop around. That's the one that I got for my 10 year old, soon to be little photographer.
     
  5. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    It's tough to get something you'll want to keep and use for a long time for under $200, but a very good choice for "close" to $200 would be the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC20S. It has a Leica lens and can be had for $230 from the reputable J&R.com (www.jandr.com) with free shipping for a limited time. Right now they're also including a rebate for two 16MB SD Memory Cards worth about $40. This camera also comes with rechargeable batteries + a charger worth about another $20, so that sweetens the deal quite a bit. This is a fine camera and has been well received by the various camera review sites.
    The Canon S40 is also an excellent camera and J & R has it for the same price of $229, however shipping and extra memory cards are not included nor are rechargeable batteries + charger. The Canon has received slightly better reviews across the board, but the Panasonic is much closer to the price you had in mind when all is said and done. It really comes with everything you'd need to get started whereas the basic accessories one must purchase for many other cameras right away can jack up the price rather quickly.
    I would stay away from Kodak digicams due to what many consider oversaturated colors and a jerky LCD display. I bought a DX-4900 recently and took it back after only one day, however many do like that "Kodak look" in their color shots. I don't know anything about the HP's.
    Good luck!
     
  6. Chad Ellinger

    Chad Ellinger Second Unit

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    OfficeMax.com carries the Canon A40 (a highly rated 2MP camera) for $249. But there is a $50 off $250 purchase coupon that will bring the total down to $200!
     
  7. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    I like my Fuji Finepix A201. For sample piccies, just visit:
    http://communities.msn.ca/lafamigliadisusilo and go to "Dukey's Canadiana" picture section. For comparison, you can go to "Dukey's Australia" section where the pictures were taken using a 35mm SLR.
     
  8. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    How good is an image on a digital camcorder compared to one on a digital camera of the same price?

    ~T
     
  9. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Second Unit

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    The only ones I have seen for $200 or less, that also include 2 megapixels and optical zoom, are a Kodak, Fuji FinePix 2650 and a Toshiba PDR2300. Are these a complete waste of time? I have found very few reviews on the Toshiba.
     
  10. Dave_Gib

    Dave_Gib Stunt Coordinator

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    well, $200 is just a start, make sure you get something where you can upgrade the memory, compact flash or whatever, and plan on spending about $20 for some nimh rechargable batteries and charger
     
  11. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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  12. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    although in theory the piccie quality between camcorder of 1 megapixel should be the same as regular digicam's 1 megapixel, it's not always the case for the following reasons:

    1. some digicam, when switched to digicam mode, take pictures in interlaced mode instead of progressive

    2. some digicam, when switched to digicam mode, take picture in reduced resolution (can be interlaced or progressive)

    US$200, honestly, can't get you much of a digicam, but it's a minimum starting point. I personally still cringe at the colour depth of lower end digicam up to around US$800.

    I experimented using my uncle's 4 megapixel digital camera versus 35mm SLR taking the very same object with the very same lighting (controlled environment, indoor, with properly adjusted and measured lights). The 35mm negative is being scanned using a film scanner at the same resolution as the digicam finest resolution.

    Then I print both of them (from digital source) and I can tell which one was taken using the 4 Megapixel and which using 35mm negative that's digitally scanned.
     
  13. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    Chad, nice find on the Office Max deal. They do have a nice selection of cameras there including the Panasonic DMC-LC20S I had mentioned earlier which comes with the extra memory cards, rechargeable batteries and charger. $200 for this total package is a steal, but there are other nice cameras there worth considering like the Canon A40 or the Nikon CoolPix 2000 if you can raise your price limit for memory and rechargeable batteries.
     
  14. Steve Mudie

    Steve Mudie Auditioning

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    After doing hours of research both on and off the web I decided upon the Olympus D-380. It is a fixed focus (ie: point and shoot) camera with no optical zoom but I am very pleased with the quality of the pictures it takes.
    Wal-Mart has it now for only $178 but before you jump, take some time and check out the review below for actual pictures (in full resolution) taken with the D-380.
    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_reviews/d380.html
    For more information to guide you, read on...
    Regardless of which camera you settle upon there are really only a few considerations you need to make.
    • Picture quality in your eyes. After all you are the one taking/using the pictures.
    • Battery life (how many pictures can you take before they die)
      and
    • What do you plan to do with the pictures (print them, web publish, browse/view them on your PC etc.)
    The D-380 I own is a 2 megapixel camera (1600x1200) that makes outstanding prints when done at any local photo lab that accepts digital "film" that you want prints of. The 1600x1200 resolution is more than large enough to completely fill my computer monitor for viewing and as such can be resized easily for use in web pages if needed.
    And (last but not least) the battery life is phenomenal. On a fully charged set of NiMH batteries I can take 100's of pictures with and without the built in flash and download same to my PC with no trouble at all. In fact I haven't recharged them in nearly a month and I've taken over 300 pictures in that time.
    Sorry this is so long. But I hope it helps.
    Good luck,
    Steve
     
  15. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    My own personal camera is an Olympus C3040Z which is an incredible camera. I am buying a camera for my son and have settled on the Fuji Finepix 2650. It's a very good value and I expect to get it for around $150 (waiting for call back from J&R salesperson). Fuji camera's in general are a good value. Good quality and features at an attractive price. The 2650 is a 2 meg camera with a 3x optical zoom. I think it's a very solid choice for around $150. If you're looking under 200. it's worth taking a look at this one. It's widely available at B&M places to look at, but the best deals will be mail order. As been said before, J&R is a very reputable authorized dealer.
     
  16. Mike V

    Mike V Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for the info, opinions, and websites. I have done some comparisons and I think I like the Canon A40 at OfficeMax. They indeed have the $50 off a $250 purchase, and as a bonus, they have a special with the Canon A40 for an additional 64MB card free! Total order would be $211.12. That seems to be a very reasonable price. I will have to buy some pencils to reach the $250 threshold for the $50 coupon but spending another $1.09 to get $50 off seems fair.

    Now, can I hear some of the downside of either the Canon or digital cameras in general.........
     
  17. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    Smoking deal, Mike. Take lotsa pictures!
     
  18. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Second Unit

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  19. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    Has anyone purchased from BuyDigitalDirect? They have a good price on the Olympus C-4000. Any cameras similar to that model I should consider instead?

    ~T
     
  20. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    I've been checking out a new digital cam to upgrade from an old 1st gen Panasonic that has seerved me for the past three years. I brought home a Canon A40 but for a few bucks more, I upgraded it to a Fuji 3800 (buydig.com). Superb camera and is definitely a keeper... that is if I don't upgrade it to the 601z!!!
     

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