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Digital Cameras for college

Discuss various technical topics not related to Mozilla.
theflinger
 
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Post Posted April 25th, 2004, 3:15 pm

My mother and I are looking for a present for my sister's graduation. She needs a small, easy to use, ~3 megapixel digital camera.

Our budget would probably be around 300 US. I was looking at a few small Canons and an Olympus model. I currently have the G5 and its great.

Thanks for the advice

wget

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Post Posted April 25th, 2004, 3:32 pm

Definitely go with a Canon.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.asp

(Select your pricerange and press Compare. It's a really thorough review-site).
To the cast and crew of Arrested Development: Thanks for the many great laughs.

theflinger
 
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Post Posted April 25th, 2004, 3:46 pm

thanks wget.
This should help a lot, that site looks good!

johann_p

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Post Posted April 26th, 2004, 12:38 am

Unfortunately the comparison does not include the most important criteria for a useful camera:
*) time needed from turning on until the camera is ready to take a photo - for some cameras this is in the seconds range and until the camera is ready, your motive has disappeared
*) time needed from pressing exposure button to actually taking the picture - with digital cameras, especially cheap ones, this can take extremely long (~0.5 seconds or more). It is nearly impossible to take a good planned snapshot picture with that delay.
*) time the camera needs to focus in bad litghting conditions, whether the camera manages to do this at all or keeps "pumping" endlessly: autofocus in cheap digital cameras often sucks and there is often no manual focus, and if there is, you have no way to really find out if the picture is sharp on a tiny LCD.

All these things are fundamental for taking good pictures, and IMO, more important even that resolution or white balance.

Strangely, these issues are nearly never discussed in comparisons, while much less important stuff are endlessly discussed. One should be aware of these things which are often not a problem with conventional cameras or you are in for a disappointment.
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.”

wget

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Post Posted April 26th, 2004, 5:17 am

Johann_P wrote:Unfortunately the comparison does not include the most important criteria for a useful camera

There are plenty of user submitted opinions. Read those if hard numbers aren't your thing.

theflinger
 
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Post Posted April 26th, 2004, 4:30 pm

Johann, that's true. however, wget's site is extremely useful for giving me 2-5 choices, and then I can get indepth reviews about those, including the facts you have stated.

johann_p

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Post Posted April 27th, 2004, 12:14 am

That was never meant as a critic of the site you gave. I just wanted to point out something that is missing in practically any site or review that discusses digital cameras but really IS important IMO. And all these things ARE properties of a camera that can and should be measured and compared using "hard numbers". So wget, it is not that hard numbers are not my thing, on the contrary: I am missing the hard numbers for time to operate, time to exposure, time to focus under minimal light etc.
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.”

Allenz

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Post Posted April 27th, 2004, 4:13 am

I don't know your sister's level of expertise, but I just got a Fuji s5000. It has preprogrammed modes that make it easy to use, but also supports more advanced features. And, it has a 10X optical zoom which is very rare in that price range. I found it on pricewatch for right at $300.

old Harry Waldron
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Post Posted April 27th, 2004, 5:07 am

I've seen some incredible bargains lately. When I bought my Kodak 4MP model two years, I searched google using digital+camera+evaluations and found some good articles.

It's truly a buyers market now, as Cannon, Nikon, Olympus, Fuji, and Sony all have great models. If you have a little $ to share buy a battery recharging kit (or hint to another relative to do so - lol). Also, I'd go for a great quality optical lens, easy-to-use system, and avoid things like the capability to record short movie clips as a camcorder is more suited for that task.

My Kodak 4900 has really held up well and I'm almost up to 25,000 photos now as it's wonderful hobby. While, I got this for $399 two years ago, I noticed that Kodak has 5MP models for $299 advertised with fairly decent optics that might make a good starter camera, although the others I named are most likely superior in optical capability.

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