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Digital camera for serious amateur in the $200-400 range

 
 
Barry Bean
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      04-15-2004
I'm a luddite film guy who's deeply invested in the Olympus OM series and
Tri-X. My wife is a textile artist and graphic artist with a couple of
decades experience in publishing and design. Neither of us has any
experience with digital cameras, but we're thinking of dipping our little
toe in.

Our budget is a paltry $200-$400 (preferably including all necessary
accesories). At the moment, we're looking At the Camedia C-740.

Any thoughts on that camera or comparable competitors?
 
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David J Taylor
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      04-15-2004
"Barry Bean" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:Xns94CBE1FDB119Eeatmorecotton@207.14.113.17.. .
[]
> Our budget is a paltry $200-$400 (preferably including all necessary
> accesories). At the moment, we're looking At the Camedia C-740.
>
> Any thoughts on that camera or comparable competitors?


Second-hand Nikon Coolpix 995? The swivel body makes all sorts of photos
possible which are difficult with a conventional camera.

Cheers,
David


 
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zbzbzb
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      04-15-2004
>> Our budget is a paltry $200-$400 (preferably including all necessary
>> accesories). At the moment, we're looking At the Camedia C-740.
>>
>> Any thoughts on that camera or comparable competitors?

>
>Second-hand Nikon Coolpix 995? The swivel body makes all sorts of photos
>possible which are difficult with a conventional camera.
>
>Cheers,
>David



A Canon A80 would be a much better option than the Nikon 995. Bigger image and
much sharper. The Canon has the swivel lcd.







 
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Lindyhop
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      04-15-2004
I really like my FujiFilm S3000. Specs: 6X optical zoom, 3 megapixel, electronic view finder. Can be had from CircuitCity for $279 US. You should be able to stay under $400 after adding rechargeable batteries, a larger memory card, and a case.


"Barry Bean" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:Xns94CBE1FDB119Eeatmorecotton@207.14.113.17.. .
> I'm a luddite film guy who's deeply invested in the Olympus OM series and
> Tri-X. My wife is a textile artist and graphic artist with a couple of
> decades experience in publishing and design. Neither of us has any
> experience with digital cameras, but we're thinking of dipping our little
> toe in.
>
> Our budget is a paltry $200-$400 (preferably including all necessary
> accesories). At the moment, we're looking At the Camedia C-740.
>
> Any thoughts on that camera or comparable competitors?

 
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Stefan Patric
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      04-15-2004
On Wednesday 14 April 2004 08:12 pm, Barry Bean wrote:

> I'm a luddite film guy who's deeply invested in the Olympus OM series
> and Tri-X. My wife is a textile artist and graphic artist with a
> couple of decades experience in publishing and design. Neither of us
> has any
> experience with digital cameras, but we're thinking of dipping our
> little toe in.
>
> Our budget is a paltry $200-$400 (preferably including all necessary
> accesories). At the moment, we're looking At the Camedia C-740.
>
> Any thoughts on that camera or comparable competitors?


What type of pictures do you want to take mostly -- portraits,
landscapes, industrial, architectural, etc?

How will those shots be mostly used -- inkjet prints, "real" prints,
web?

How big will the prints be on average?

Or, do you want a one-size-fits-all camera?


I suggest that you go to www.steves-digicams.com and peruse the reviews
for the 3 or 4 megapixel cameras. 1 or 2 MP cameras are more for
snapshots. 5 MP ones, even used, will usually fall outside your
budget; however, there are exceptions. A friend of mine just bought a
Nikon factory refurbished Coolpix 5000, complete with manual,
accessories, and 90 day Nikon warranty, off eBay for about $325.
Excellent camera. 5 MP. 28-85 equivalent zoom, which should cover
about 85 to 90% of the average shooters needs. Has Nikon made wide
angle and tele accessory lenses available, if you need more range.

I myself bought a used, Mint condition, Olympus C-3030 complete off eBay
last summer for about $250. They're now going for about $125 to $170.
Might fit your needs for getting your digital feet wet.

--
Stefan Patric
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
 
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Barry Bean
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      04-15-2004
Stefan Patric <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:bCBfc.6879$DM5.3578@okepread04:

> What type of pictures do you want to take mostly -- portraits,
> landscapes, industrial, architectural, etc?


Since this is our first foray into digital cameras (To date, I'm simply
shot film and scanned negs/slides), we'll have a broad range of
applications, although her primary interest is in shooting shots of her
artwork for web use or gallery promos.

> How will those shots be mostly used -- inkjet prints, "real" prints,
> web?
>
> How big will the prints be on average?


Primarily for on -screen viewing, but she'll want to print the
occasional 11x14.

> Or, do you want a one-size-fits-all camera?


Ultimately, yes.

> I suggest that you go to www.steves-digicams.com and peruse the
> reviews for the 3 or 4 megapixel cameras. 1 or 2 MP cameras are more
> for snapshots. 5 MP ones, even used, will usually fall outside your
> budget; however, there are exceptions.


That helps - that's exactly the sort of info we need.


> A friend of mine just bought a
> Nikon factory refurbished Coolpix 5000, complete with manual,
> accessories, and 90 day Nikon warranty, off eBay for about $325.
> Excellent camera. 5 MP. 28-85 equivalent zoom, which should cover
> about 85 to 90% of the average shooters needs. Has Nikon made wide
> angle and tele accessory lenses available, if you need more range.


Sounds great, but until we have a little more experience, I'm wary of
eBay. At this point I don't really know what I'm looking for in
used/rebuilt deals.

> I myself bought a used, Mint condition, Olympus C-3030 complete off
> eBay last summer for about $250. They're now going for about $125 to
> $170. Might fit your needs for getting your digital feet wet.



Thanks again for the concrete suggestions. You've been a big help.
 
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Steven M. Scharf
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      04-16-2004
"Barry Bean" <(E-Mail Removed) <(E-Mail Removed)>> wrote in
message <news:Xns94CBE1FDB119Eeatmorecotton@207.14.113.17> ...

> I'm a luddite film guy who's deeply invested in the Olympus OM series and

Tri-X. My wife is a textile artist and graphic artist with a couple of
decades experience in publishing and design. Neither of us has any
experience with digital cameras, but we're thinking of dipping our little
toe in.
>
> Our budget is a paltry $200-$400 (preferably including all necessary

accesories). At the moment, we're looking At the Camedia C-740.

The 4Mp Canon A80 is probably your best choice. $325. Add $20 for a charger
with batteries (Panasonic BQ-390 from Costco), and $50 for 256MB compact
flash card. You're right at $400. 11"x14" may be pushing it a bit with a
4Mp.

The Canon G5 is a much better choice for what you want to do, but it's $520
(including Li-Ion battery), with a 32MB CF card. Again, you'll have to buy
at least a 256MB CF card for about $40-50. My advice: dip your big toe in,
and go for the G5. The extra $170 is money well spent. The ability to use a
hotshoe flash is very valuable.

Ensure that whatever you choose has an AF assist beam. This is a feature
that is included on most higher end models, but Canon includes it even on
their lower cost models.

Steve
http://nordicgroup.us/digicam


 
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Lindyhop
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      04-16-2004
One of the features I really wanted when I upgraded to the Fuji S3000 was greater optical zoom. The Sony Cybershot I had only had a 2X zoom which I found very limited. I also looked at the Olympus C-740 since it has a 10X optical zoom. I decided against it as the extra zoom seemed like it would require a tripod to eliminate the increased "shake" (I can zoom the full 6X on the S3000 and still get a clear picture without a tripod). The Fuji S3000 does not have an AF illuminator which is supposed to help the camera auto-focus properly in low light situations. So far this hasn't been a problem. My Cybershot had an AF illuminator (a thin laser-like red beam) and my subjects found it very annoying, so I turned it off with no resulting problems.

Regarding printing, my 3 megapixel images produce excellent 5x7 inkjet prints on glossy paper. To be able to print 11x14 some would say you need a higher megapixel image, but I think this is worth experimenting with. I thought the 8x10's I printed with my Cybershot were quite good and they were made from only 2 megapixel images.

I have had good luck buying things on EBay, however I've never bought something as expensive and fragile as a digicam. I decided to buy the S3000 at a local Circuit City since they have a "no questions asked" 14 day return policy. I appreciated having two weeks during which I could return the camera if I determined it didn't meet my needs.


"Barry Bean" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:Xns94CC979B84BD8eatmorecotton@207.14.113.17.. .
> Stefan Patric <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
> news:bCBfc.6879$DM5.3578@okepread04:
>
> > What type of pictures do you want to take mostly -- portraits,
> > landscapes, industrial, architectural, etc?

>
> Since this is our first foray into digital cameras (To date, I'm simply
> shot film and scanned negs/slides), we'll have a broad range of
> applications, although her primary interest is in shooting shots of her
> artwork for web use or gallery promos.
>
> > How will those shots be mostly used -- inkjet prints, "real" prints,
> > web?
> >
> > How big will the prints be on average?

>
> Primarily for on -screen viewing, but she'll want to print the
> occasional 11x14.
>
> > Or, do you want a one-size-fits-all camera?

>
> Ultimately, yes.
>
> > I suggest that you go to www.steves-digicams.com and peruse the
> > reviews for the 3 or 4 megapixel cameras. 1 or 2 MP cameras are more
> > for snapshots. 5 MP ones, even used, will usually fall outside your
> > budget; however, there are exceptions.

>
> That helps - that's exactly the sort of info we need.
>
>
> > A friend of mine just bought a
> > Nikon factory refurbished Coolpix 5000, complete with manual,
> > accessories, and 90 day Nikon warranty, off eBay for about $325.
> > Excellent camera. 5 MP. 28-85 equivalent zoom, which should cover
> > about 85 to 90% of the average shooters needs. Has Nikon made wide
> > angle and tele accessory lenses available, if you need more range.

>
> Sounds great, but until we have a little more experience, I'm wary of
> eBay. At this point I don't really know what I'm looking for in
> used/rebuilt deals.
>
> > I myself bought a used, Mint condition, Olympus C-3030 complete off
> > eBay last summer for about $250. They're now going for about $125 to
> > $170. Might fit your needs for getting your digital feet wet.

>
>
> Thanks again for the concrete suggestions. You've been a big help.

 
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amh
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-16-2004
Barry Bean <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<Xns94CBE1FDB119Eeatmorecotton@207.14.113.17> ...
> I'm a luddite film guy who's deeply invested in the Olympus OM series and
> Tri-X. My wife is a textile artist and graphic artist with a couple of
> decades experience in publishing and design. Neither of us has any
> experience with digital cameras, but we're thinking of dipping our little
> toe in.
>
> Our budget is a paltry $200-$400 (preferably including all necessary
> accesories). At the moment, we're looking At the Camedia C-740.
>
> Any thoughts on that camera or comparable competitors?


I like my Cannon Powershot A70. For $300 you get everything from auto
everything to manual control everything and all combinations in
between. It has various settings for portrait, scenic and you also
have the ability to adjust the strength of the flash.

Add to that all the functions that are fun to have in a digital (movie
mode, panaromic stitch mode, continous shutter).

And if that isn't enough it also has an adapter so you can use
different filters. I've gotten a polarizer, haze and star filter.

I've got nice shots enlarged to 8x10 and have been very pleased with
the results.

You may opt for the 4 mp A80 but it may break your bank a bit (you'll
need a larger card since my A70 came with a 16mg flash card). Don't
know about the A80.

my $0.02
Andy
 
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Stanley Krute
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      04-16-2004
Hi Barry

I recommend either a Canon A70
or A80, gettable online at B&H or
Adorama for $250 and $350 respectively.

A 256 MB memory card can be had for
another $60.

Then a nice NiMH charger and 2 sets of
batteries for another $60.

Then a 7-in-1 card reader for about $30.

Then a nice case to put it all into: say $30.

That gives you a $430 or $530 total.

Great pix from either camera. Print nicely
at 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10.

Best,

Stan

"Barry Bean" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:Xns94CBE1FDB119Eeatmorecotton@207.14.113.17.. .
> I'm a luddite film guy who's deeply invested in the Olympus OM series and
> Tri-X. My wife is a textile artist and graphic artist with a couple of
> decades experience in publishing and design. Neither of us has any
> experience with digital cameras, but we're thinking of dipping our little
> toe in.
>
> Our budget is a paltry $200-$400 (preferably including all necessary
> accesories). At the moment, we're looking At the Camedia C-740.
>
> Any thoughts on that camera or comparable competitors?



 
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