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    1. #1
      Member wombing's Avatar
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      digital camera....

      thinking of getting one.

      it will be taken on many hiking expeditions, and generally used outdoors moreso than indoors. decent zoom is desired, and good resolution, along with the ability to take a tiny bit of incidental beating.

      price range of 200-500 bones.

      any advice would be much appreciated, as i know virtually nothing about cameras (digital or otherwise), but want to get into photography for personal enjoyment, as i've always loved still scenes.

      any links, recommendations, or sources of information would be much appreciated...


      “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” (or better yet: three...)
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      No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world. I cleave to no system. I am a true seeker. - Mikhail Bakunin

    2. #2
      moderator emeritus jacobo's Avatar
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      go canon or nikon. i think their most expensive point-and-shoot digitals are still under (or close to) $500.

      i have a nikon 885 coolpix that i bought for $400 about 4 years ago and it still works for point and click. however the canon seems to hold up in the harsher conditions though. find something that retracts into the body of the camera.

      i've not heard good things about sony.

      other than that... good hunting.
      clear eyes. strong hands.

    3. #3
      Member Gwendolyn's Avatar
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      Canons are sooo good. I have one, and it always works like a dream, and takes great pictures.
      Shine on, you crazy diamond!

      Raised: The Blue Meanie, Exobyte

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    4. #4
      pj
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      Re: digital camera....

      Originally posted by wombing

      *price range of 200-500 bones.
      Add $100 to your budget and get yourself a Canon 350D, also known as the Digital Rebel. (Make sure it's the 350D and not the earlier 300D - though that's an excellent camera too.)

      I spent months researching before getting my camera. I've had it now for 5 months, and am still in awe of it. It is a true SLR that takes Canon EF compatable lenses. You can do everything from full manual to full auto. For that $600, you also get a Canon 18 - 55mm lens - a very nice "street lens."

      After five months, I cannot imagine outgrowing this camera. It is essentially a Canon 20D in a "consumer body." There are some minor compromises in the controls, but not in the functionality.

      It is a splended pro-sumer camera. I could talk about it all day.

      http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controll...9&modelid=11154
      On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur, l'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
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    5. #5
      Crazy Cat Lady Burns's Avatar
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      Originally posted by adidas
      i've not heard good things about sony.
      I LOVE my Sony CyberShot camera. Here's the link - though I wouldn't buy it from Best Buy (nazis).

      I didn't think I wanted to spend that much for a camera bought I'm so glad I did! I took it on vacation with me and I got some really awesome shots - they look professional. I love the 12x optical zoom on it, and the 2" LCD display.

    6. #6
      pj
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      Originally posted by Burns

      I didn't think I wanted to spend that much for a camera bought I'm so glad I did! I took it on vacation with me and I got some really awesome shots - they look professional. I love the 12x optical zoom on it, and the 2" LCD display.
      Wow... Zeiss lens and image stabilization! That looks like a very sweet camera. AND manual white balance!
      On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur, l'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
      --Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.
      --Chinese Proverb

      Raised Jdeadevil
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    7. #7
      Crazy Cat Lady Burns's Avatar
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      Originally posted by pj
      Wow... Zeiss lens and image stabilization! *That looks like a very sweet camera. *AND manual white balance!
      Here's a photo I took while I was on a walk one day. It's so clear and the colors are so vibrant. I have this pic set as my desktop background - it looks better before I had to resize it to post it. You could see every last pebble of skin on the salamander.


    8. #8
      Member Peregrinus's Avatar
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      I've been through this same process about a half dozen times in the past couple of years in researching digital cameras for myself and family and friends, so I’ve collected a fair number resources with thorough reviews that have helped me make purchase decisions and hopefully can help you, too.

      What's best for one person isn't best for another, but that said, if you really want to get into photography as art, I recommend seriously considering PJ's suggestion of springing for an SLR that can grow with your skills as a photographer or at least a "point-and-shoot" that has good manual options for aperture, shutter speed, exposure, ISO, etc. Also, whatever you do, do not buy a camera without an auto-focus assist lamp. In low light situations, not having the AF assist is just asking for unfocussed, poorly-exposed pictures. And when you're looking at zooms, all you care about is the "optical zoom" - "digital zoom” is just marketing BS for digitally cropping the image while it's still in-camera. If you max out your optical zoom and start going into digital zoom, all you'll get are pixelated images.

      You'll also need to purchase a memory card, as most cameras only come w/ a 16MB card. Depending on the quality of images you're taking and how frequently you plan to upload them, I'd suggest 256MB - 512MB. You can go for 1GB if you want, but unless you plan to take a summer-long safari with no computer access, that's probably overkill.

      And buy rechargeable batteries. A good set will run you anywhere from $25-$50 US, but not only are they more environmentally friendly, but they'll last a hell of a lot longer on a single charge than alkaline AA. I bought a set of 4 AA and 4 AAA 2000mAh NiMH with a charger w/ multiple functions and ability to recover "dead" batteries, converters so that those AA's will work in devices that require C and D batteries, and a carrying case for under $50 (La Crosse NiMH). You may not want to go that far, though, so just check around and make sure you're buying a reliable and durable battery.

      Also, some cameras come with proprietary, included batteries which are not interchangeable with AAs. That's got its pros and cons. Pro: You don't have to buy your own rechargeables. Con: You can't have one battery charging while the other's in the camera, and if you run out of charge in the field, you can't run to the local Quik-E-Mart and grab some alkaline AA to hold you over.

      Those review resources I mentioned:
      Steve's Digicams- Camera Reviews
      Digital Camera Resource Page
      Digital Photography Review
      Steve's Digicams - Rechargeable Batteries

      And from personal research and experience, the Canon PowerShot A610 or higher resolution A620 are both good non-SLR cameras. You can take manual control of your pictures, and the menus are quick to learn and intuitive. The color and quality of images are also very nice. Most of the Canon PowerShot's are solid performers, but check the reviews before buying anything. I've got a Nikon film SLR that I love and have had for a while; I can't personally vouch for their digital cameras, but if the company maintains the same quality across all of their lines, those would also be good to look into. I've also been very impressed with my Dad's Olympus Camedia C-5060 Zoom, PC World Review. It has excellent picture quality, quick processing, saves images in TIFF, JPEG, and RAW formats, has tons of terrific features to take manual control of almost all aspects of your photos (and includes the handy-dandy point-and-shoot mode as well), as well as a shoe for an external flash, optional wide angle and telephoto conversion lenses, and a sturdy magnesium alloy body (i.e. it can take a bit of a beating). I can't remember what he bought it for last summer, but I think it was around $550. The price has probably gone down a bit since then.

      Those are cameras that I can personally vouch for, but really, check out those links and find a camera that fits your needs. Good luck!
      “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
      - Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

      The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.
      - Mohandas Gandhi

    9. #9
      Member wombing's Avatar
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      been away

      heartfelts thanks to all who replied, particularly PJ and peregrinus (great links thus far)... the 350D looks very promising actually...unless something else jumps out at me during my research, i'll likely go with it (or something similar).

      thanks again


      “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” (or better yet: three...)
      George Bernard Shaw

      No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world. I cleave to no system. I am a true seeker. - Mikhail Bakunin

    10. #10
      Member Courtney Mae's Avatar
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      I have a Canon Powershot A520

      Someday, I'm gonna get me an SLR.

      I'd recommend Canon's though, they seem to hold up well.

    11. #11
      Member Hate's Avatar
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      One more thing. Don't stare at megapixels. Every point&shoot camera has enough pixels for the purpose they're made for, and usually the optics is the more limiting factor of the image quality. Besides, the more pixels there are in a small censor, the more noise is likely to appear in the images. One important thing is the viewfinder - or the lack of it. LCD display is usually useless in very bright conditions, and the camera stays much more stable when you support it with your hands and you eye corner.

      I'd also recommend not to stare at the brand. Every serious camera producer make decent cameras. People just recommend Canon because it's the most popular. I'm not saying Canon is bad, but it isn't really any different from other brands like Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic etc. Just stay away from HP

      I bought a camera some months ago, and did some research beforehand. After visiting the local camera dealer I decided to go for SLR because of the much more professional and precise feeling of the operations. Autofocus is virtually instant compared to compact cameras, there's no such a thing as shutter lag, and zooming, manual focusing and such things are so much easier to do. I also like the idea of system cameras, that you have different lenses for different purposes, ans so you don't have to make so many compromises. One really important thing was also that with SLR you get good control over the depth of field so that you can get the background blurred, which isn't possible with compacts.

      But as said, do some research and think what you want from your camera. For the purpose of a hiking compact you might also desire some water resistence. Pentax and Olympus have some water resistant compact cameras, and I think they can also take a tiny bit of incidental beating, so I'd recommend at least taking a look at them.
      Don't think about those damn kangaroos.

    12. #12
      Member dudesuperior's Avatar
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      I bought the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 recently. It takes great looking photos and looks pretty good too. 12x optical zoom, 2.5'' LCD screen and viewfinder, and tons of features like 'exposure historgrams', etc.

      http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?sk...d=1140392366969


      The marco setting is pretty good

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