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June 17, 2004

Comments

A Recovering Liberal

Are you strictly a Nikon fellow or willing to put a Nikon lens (is the 17mm a Nikon?) on a Canon body?

Any namebrands that you'll outright reject?

Sam

Howdy Jim,

I like simple stuff that works like Linux. Seriously.

Anyway, for my blog stuff, I use a Nikon Coolpix 4300. Does everything I want, is relatively inexpensive, and most importantly...has a master reset function, in case you fuck up.

Data from camera to PC is seemless.

My puppy can drive that'un.

Russ

I've used a Kodak DC3400 for the past couple years, and have been very happy with it. When the time comes to replace it, I'll go back to Kodak.

Given the parameters you list, I would consider the Kodak DX6340.

As for software suitable for resizing and cropping, I'd recommend the freely-downloadable GIMP (for Windows, I presume). Very photoshoppish.

Seppo

I'm a SONY man myself. The DSC-707 runs about $500 retail these days, and you can probably get one cheaper on Ebay. You'll enjoy the camera far longer than you will remember what you paid for it. I bought mine when they just came out. I had intended to get a 3 Megapixel, 3x zoom, and then just fell in love with the 707. The best thing about it is the Carl-Zeiss lens. It is nearly completely idiot proof and about 80% of what you snap will come out looking very professional. The downside is that it can be a bit of a pain to carry out on the town.

Mark Curtin

My wife bought a Canon elph in 2000 (tech is SO much better now) that seems indespensable. Went to DC for the WWII Memorial dedication. I brought my completely manual rig, flash, three lenses, etc. Took some pretty good pictures. But the convenience of a camera the size of a pack of cigarettes is astounding. Photos in restaurants, at a spectacular sporting clays layout in upstate PA.


I'm still partial to full control of film speed, f-stop, exposure, flash, etc. One day I'll break down and buy the digital body with lenses galore camera. Just not yet. Manual film is still MUCH cheaper than shelling out several grand.

Jim

So far, so good, and thanks for every bit of the input. The choices out there are truly overwhelming, and I'm really wanting to find out what works out there in the real world.

Not just in some advertising copywriters wet dreams.

Anyone else out there with some input, please keep 'em coming!

Jim
Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Geoffrey

I just ventured into the digital world myself. I picked up an Olympus Stylus 400 for right around 300 bucks. It's 4 megapixel and 3X optical zoom.

I've had it about 6 months now. It's small, easy to use, and (here's the best part for us sailors) ALLWEATHER. It's not waterproof, but more than once I've wiped off spray and rain with absolutely no adverse affects.

I can't remember exactly what I paid, but if it ends up being to pricey, they have a 3.0 megapixel model that has basically the same other good points for less money.

Here's a Steve's Review

Beth

I have a Kodak DC4900. It's a 4 megapixel (not sure about the zoom). It's been in the shop 2 times, but it has worked overtime for me.

If I was going to get a new one, I'd spend the $ for even more megapixels. I photograph my kids' football team during practices and at games (for the coaches and for an end-of-the-season presentation). Sometimes I can't get close to the guys, so I need to edit the shots on the laptop. If I had a higher resolution, I could zoom in even closer during editting.

Also, my husband said he wouldn't get another Kodak again because of some of the problems we've had with it. His thinking is that Kodak is great with print photography, but they don't have a lot of know-how with technology. He'd probably recommend Sony or another company with more tech knowledge.

just our $.02

homebru


I put my Nikon FM on the shelf last Christmas and started using a (digital) Fuji S3000. So far, so good. There are abundant reviews on the net so I'll mention only a couple of points.

First, it's small. Smaller than the FM, smaller than an EM or FG. I have to think about where I put my hands. Second, it's plastic so I shudder to think what is going to happen when (not if) I drop it. Third, it takes lovely pictures of what is happening a full second after I push the button. I need to better anticipate my grand-niece's random acts of cuteness.

It does have a very nice optical zoom and I love that, via the USB port, it appears as another drive on my laptop. Cost wise, it is in your ball park. A shame that the Nikon D70 is out of price range.

Cheers.

El Capitan

We just bought my mother a Minolta DiMage S414. 4.0 megapixel, and 3x optical zoom. It came with rechargeable batteries and a charger. It's got so many features, I'm still learning after a month. ( So I can explain it to her... I'm the family's designated hi-tech guy) I haven't tried the video feature yet, but it'll capture 30 seconds of audio/video.

We paid $300 for the camera, a 256MB memory card, and a one year warranty, so you can probably drop the warranty and hit your target. Also, the guy at Wolf Camera was extremely helpful, even as he kept trying to steer us to a higher-priced model. (He's on commission, I can't blame him for that)

El Capitan

Damn, don't know how that happened... I swear I only pushed the Submit button once!

Mollbot

Looks like there might be a comments issue here.

Dumb Redneck

Denny said you needed help.

CAMERA
I just sold all my film-based photography stuff on Ebay and switched over to digital. My clients want their stuff NOW so I just bill them accordingly.

I bought two digital cameras, a Sony DSC-717 ($1,000.) for me and the DSC-P72 ($350.) for the wife. I use the P72 is for general family-oriented occassions, county fairs, etc. due to its small size, ease of use and one-handed operation. The MPEG movie mode is a great feature to capture those moments that you can't appreciate in a digital still frame.

The Sony 717 strengths lie in the lens and superior optical zoom. The macro mode is great- .75" from the subject matter! The body is made of magnesium and will put those pocket-camera buddies to shame! Unfortunately it is a two-handed model and a little bulky to carry around but much less than an. SLR for sure!. The LCD panel rotates which is great when shooting in low or high positions. There are some other features- you get what you pay for! If you buy used product get it cheap as I like a warranty when something goes wrong!

MEGAPIXELS
Watch out for "advertised" megapixels as some cameras interpolate their images (exp. 3.0mp + interpoltion = 5.0mp). Go to CNET and do some research. Optical zoom is a better judge of lens strength than Digital zoom.

BATTERIES
Just watch out for batteries! I got the model that uses either AA akaline, NiCad or NMhyd so batteries are never a prob. just keep an extra set with you at all times. If you buy a camera with a proprietary battery (exp. Info-Lithium) expect to pay $50. for a replacement or backup and they always go dead at the wrong moment.

Normally an SLR camera has a separate battery pack for the flash so the batteries will go down at a faster rate when using the flash.

PRINTER
Bought their SV77 dye-sub photo printer for on-demand 4"x6" prints. Kodak is retooling the company and have a new dye-sub photo printer similar to the Sony but I'm not a big fan of Kodak. There are other quality ink-jet printers from Epson right now. I went to Best Buy and Circuit City for hands-on demos.

BIGGER MEMORY STICK
Immediately buy a Lexar 128mb Memory stick at a mail-order outlet (MacMall, PCMall, etc.) but don't ever remove it from the camera- always use the included USB cable to upload images to your computer! Why? the memory is delicate and if you drop it there is a high probability is will become damaged. The access door(s) on any of the camera(s) are not built for continued use. Sony has some good pricing on their cameras right now with CREATIVE financing!

ARCHIVING
No one has really covered the area of ARCHIVING your images for the future. When upload image files keep watch on the size of the directory- until it reaches close to 700mb then burn two CDR- one for your immediate use and one for the safe deposit box. I change the name to the directories for each photo session I upload so I will remember what's in the directory at a glance (exp. Countyfair_FathDay). If you accoumulate your photos and don't offload them you run the risk of losing everything WHEN your hard drive goes down. At least with film you still had the negatives....wherever they are.

MEDIA
Also don't use that on-sale, cheap CDR disks you can see light through. Use either Sony, TDK or maybe Memorex brands. Buy the special CD pens for $5.00 as Sharpie markers will eat right through the surface over time. (Had to reburn my ENTIRE archive ok!). Whenever there is a fire in a home you always here "about the lost pictures (memories)".

But hey, I'm just a dumb redneck!

A Recovering Liberal

Just saw the Nikon Coolpix 4300 on sale at Staples for $280. Sweet little camera.

http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=2&productNr=25507

Denita TwoDragons

Sorry I'm late to the party! Been WAY busy here in TinyVille! :-)

Advice to prospective camera buyers--We've always had good experience with Olympus. I have a slightly aged digital camera (about 5 years old) that is still as reliable and trusty as it was the day it came out of the package. We still use it faithfully. It's taken some mild abuse with no problems. I'm pretty confident you'd find just as much to like about a new Olympus as we've found in our old one!

--TwoDragons

Starhawk

I have to chime in with DR's comments above.
I bought my camera (sony dsc-P50) several years ago and even though I have want to get an SLR at some point I am quite happy with it. Whatever is their current model is probably in your price range. I am not anywhere near as careful with the memory sticks as DR is and I have never had a problem. Since I have a Sony desktop I regularly take the stick out and put it in the slot Sony has for that purpose. I have a Sony 64, a Lexar 64 and 128. I also use the memory sticks in a little device I picked up at Microcenter for $20 called the Lexar Trio which allows you to use memory sticks in a USB drive and replace them when you want. I take it to work with me everyday, use it often and have never had a problem.

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