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Seeking experienced advice:

 
 
cmyk
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-12-2008
Hi Ken,

For what you've described, you really don't need 10-12 megapixels. 4 megapixels is all you'll need for prints of that size - 5
megapixels will easily give prints up to 6*8in or 6*9in @ 300ppi (depends on the camera's sensor format). The number of megapixels
has little to do with needing to take photos at close range - that's what the *optical* zoom is for. Ignore digital zoom - it's a
waste of time.

Some digital cameras take AA batteries, which gives you a choice of disposable or rechargeable, but most use proprietary
rechargeable batteries - get a spare.

Refurbished = 2nd hand. It's your choice. You may get a camera with better resolution/features for a fewer $ that way, but it
probably won't perform as well as the newer models.

If you're getting a point&shoot camera (and for $250 that's all you're likely to get), then image stabilisation is almost a
necessity.

Storage is cheap - get the largest capacity card you can afford - and a card reader so that you can download the images to your
computer.

Cheers
--
cmyk


"Ken" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> I am planning on purchasing my first digital camera, and since I am neither a photography expert nor intend to become one, I
> thought I would see what others thought I should buy. All comments are welcome:
>
> I would hope to purchase the camera for less than $250. Any suggested merchants?
>
> I believe I want an optical resolution of 10 or 12 since I feel I would be unhappy with only taking photos at close range.
>
> I do not intend to do anything other than family type photos and possibly some landscape shots. Based upon this, I don't THINK I
> need a lot of mega pixels. Most would never be printed larger than 5x7.
>
> I do not intend to print my own photos. If I wanted a print I would probably have a service print them.
>
> I have read some reviews about digital cameras and it appears some cameras "eat batteries." If this is an issue, and one brand or
> model is better than another, this would be helpful to know.
>
> The majority of comments seem to suggest that rechargeable batteries are the way to go. Any comments?
>
> I see some models for sale that are refurbished. Is there a downside to buying such a camera?
>
> Are there other issues I should be considering such as image stabilization? Or is that feature just for pros?
>
> Brand reliability? Needed memory card size? Please feel free to suggest anything I did not mention. I just don't want to buy a
> camera and find out I should have asked more questions. Thanks.


 
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Ken
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-12-2008
I am planning on purchasing my first digital camera, and since I am
neither a photography expert nor intend to become one, I thought I would
see what others thought I should buy. All comments are welcome:

I would hope to purchase the camera for less than $250. Any
suggested merchants?

I believe I want an optical resolution of 10 or 12 since I feel I would
be unhappy with only taking photos at close range.

I do not intend to do anything other than family type photos and
possibly some landscape shots. Based upon this, I don't THINK I need a
lot of mega pixels. Most would never be printed larger than 5x7.

I do not intend to print my own photos. If I wanted a print I would
probably have a service print them.

I have read some reviews about digital cameras and it appears some
cameras "eat batteries." If this is an issue, and one brand or model is
better than another, this would be helpful to know.

The majority of comments seem to suggest that rechargeable batteries are
the way to go. Any comments?

I see some models for sale that are refurbished. Is there a downside to
buying such a camera?

Are there other issues I should be considering such as image
stabilization? Or is that feature just for pros?

Brand reliability? Needed memory card size? Please feel free to
suggest anything I did not mention. I just don't want to buy a camera
and find out I should have asked more questions. Thanks.
 
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ray
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-12-2008
On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 19:11:13 -0600, Ken wrote:

> I am planning on purchasing my first digital camera, and since I am
> neither a photography expert nor intend to become one, I thought I would
> see what others thought I should buy. All comments are welcome:
>
> I would hope to purchase the camera for less than $250. Any
> suggested merchants?
>
> I believe I want an optical resolution of 10 or 12 since I feel I would
> be unhappy with only taking photos at close range.


I'm unfamiliar with that terminology - do you mean that you'd like a 10x
or 12x optical zoom?

>
> I do not intend to do anything other than family type photos and
> possibly some landscape shots. Based upon this, I don't THINK I need a
> lot of mega pixels. Most would never be printed larger than 5x7.
>
> I do not intend to print my own photos. If I wanted a print I would
> probably have a service print them.
>
> I have read some reviews about digital cameras and it appears some
> cameras "eat batteries." If this is an issue, and one brand or model is
> better than another, this would be helpful to know.
>
> The majority of comments seem to suggest that rechargeable batteries are
> the way to go. Any comments?


In my experience, if your camera uses AA batteries, then Lithium non-
rechargeables are the way to go - they last a LONG time.

>
> I see some models for sale that are refurbished. Is there a downside to
> buying such a camera?


None that I've ever found. I've had three refurbished digital cameras
(including my current one) several refurbished scanners and printers, and
never had a problem. The only reason you see 'several' is that I've
upgraded - every one of them is still functional - in fact I did a shoot
at the local library for Halowe'en using my old Kodak DC210+ (1.0MP -
about 10 years old) and it did fine. I've had folks 'in' electronics tell
me that refurbished is better than new - because when they refurbish they
totally check out everything.

>
> Are there other issues I should be considering such as image
> stabilization? Or is that feature just for pros?


It's good to have with a long zoom.

>
> Brand reliability? Needed memory card size? Please feel free to
> suggest anything I did not mention. I just don't want to buy a camera
> and find out I should have asked more questions. Thanks.


Suggest you look at the Kodak online store. I'm quite happy with my
refurb P850 - they are no longer in production, but they show up refurb
for around $225. You could go a long way with it - it has full manual
mode as well as full auto, and saves in jpeg, raw, tiff. Nice 12x zoom
and Electronic ViewFinder with adequate resolution.

I suggest several one and two gb memory cards - they are quite cheap now
and a USB card reader.
 
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Dudley Hanks
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-12-2008

"Ken" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> I am planning on purchasing my first digital camera, and since I am
> neither a photography expert nor intend to become one, I thought I would
> see what others thought I should buy. All comments are welcome:
>
> I would hope to purchase the camera for less than $250. Any suggested
> merchants?
>
> I believe I want an optical resolution of 10 or 12 since I feel I would be
> unhappy with only taking photos at close range.
>
> I do not intend to do anything other than family type photos and possibly
> some landscape shots. Based upon this, I don't THINK I need a lot of mega
> pixels. Most would never be printed larger than 5x7.
>
> I do not intend to print my own photos. If I wanted a print I would
> probably have a service print them.
>
> I have read some reviews about digital cameras and it appears some cameras
> "eat batteries." If this is an issue, and one brand or model is better
> than another, this would be helpful to know.
>
> The majority of comments seem to suggest that rechargeable batteries are
> the way to go. Any comments?
>
> I see some models for sale that are refurbished. Is there a downside to
> buying such a camera?
>
> Are there other issues I should be considering such as image
> stabilization? Or is that feature just for pros?
>
> Brand reliability? Needed memory card size? Please feel free to suggest
> anything I did not mention. I just don't want to buy a camera and find
> out I should have asked more questions. Thanks.


From what you say, a resolution of 6 megapixels or higher will do quite
nicely -- no need to get up into the 10 - 12 Mp range.

Given your budget limits, I'd recommend any of the Canon 'A' series cameras
you can find in that range -- with the exception of the A460. The A570,
A580 or A720 in particular are good cameras, and I can give you the thumbs
up based on my own personal experience.

As for eating up batteries, they all do. I like the Canon 'A' series
because 'AA' batteries are used, and rechargeables are readily available, as
are non-rechargeable alkalines.

Image stabilization is definitely a good thing, not just for pros.

Good Luck,
Dudley


 
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Jürgen Exner
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-12-2008
Ken <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I am planning on purchasing my first digital camera, and since I am
>neither a photography expert nor intend to become one, I thought I would
>see what others thought I should buy. All comments are welcome:
>
> I would hope to purchase the camera for less than $250. Any
>suggested merchants?


You didn't say where you are living, but B&H in New York will ship worldwide
expect to Iran, Sudan, or Cuba.

>I believe I want an optical resolution of 10 or 12 since I feel I would
>be unhappy with only taking photos at close range.


No idea what an optical resolution of 10 is supposed to mean.

>I do not intend to do anything other than family type photos and
>possibly some landscape shots. Based upon this, I don't THINK I need a
>lot of mega pixels. Most would never be printed larger than 5x7.


Anyting in the 6-10MP range will be fine.

>I have read some reviews about digital cameras and it appears some
>cameras "eat batteries." If this is an issue, and one brand or model is
>better than another, this would be helpful to know.


Impossible to answer without narrowing down the field first. But yes,
digital cameras, in particular when used carelessly like not turning off the
LCD, permanent zooming just for fun, using lots of flash ... can eat
batteries like crazy. I have heard reports that some people had to switch
batteries after as few as 50 shots. On average of course they can easily
last 10-20 times as long, in some cameras with considerate use even much
longer than that.
You may also want to check out http://dpreview.com.

>The majority of comments seem to suggest that rechargeable batteries are
>the way to go. Any comments?


Well, non-rechargables are great as backup (they don't self-discharge), but
used as the main power source will soon cost you more than the camera
itself.

>Are there other issues I should be considering such as image
>stabilization? Or is that feature just for pros?


Rather the opposite. "Pros" know how to hold a camera steady.
Aside of that there are many religious believes, like e.g. view finder,
digital zoom, lens attachments, memory card format, proprietary battery
format, included software, ..
..
jue
 
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Ken
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-12-2008
cmyk wrote:
> Hi Ken,
>
> For what you've described, you really don't need 10-12 megapixels. 4
> megapixels is all you'll need for prints of that size - 5 megapixels
> will easily give prints up to 6*8in or 6*9in @ 300ppi (depends on the
> camera's sensor format). The number of megapixels has little to do with
> needing to take photos at close range - that's what the *optical* zoom
> is for. Ignore digital zoom - it's a waste of time.


Thanks for your comments. I was thinking the same thing about the
Megapixels. I thought 5 or 6 should be enough.
>
> Some digital cameras take AA batteries, which gives you a choice of
> disposable or rechargeable, but most use proprietary rechargeable
> batteries - get a spare.
>
> Refurbished = 2nd hand. It's your choice. You may get a camera with
> better resolution/features for a fewer $ that way, but it probably won't
> perform as well as the newer models.


Have you heard of bad experiences with a refurbished one? When you
talk of "newer ones" I assume you mean newer models? Or did you mean a
brand new one of the same model?
>
> If you're getting a point&shoot camera (and for $250 that's all you're
> likely to get), then image stabilisation is almost a necessity.


Any opinion of the Canon SX100? I do not yet have a preference, but it
seems to fit in the budget and some of the things I THINK I want.
>
> Storage is cheap - get the largest capacity card you can afford - and a
> card reader so that you can download the images to your computer.
>
> Cheers

Thanks for your comments.
 
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Ken
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-12-2008
ray wrote:
> On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 19:11:13 -0600, Ken wrote:
>
>> I am planning on purchasing my first digital camera, and since I am
>> neither a photography expert nor intend to become one, I thought I would
>> see what others thought I should buy. All comments are welcome:
>>
>> I would hope to purchase the camera for less than $250. Any
>> suggested merchants?
>>
>> I believe I want an optical resolution of 10 or 12 since I feel I would
>> be unhappy with only taking photos at close range.

>
> I'm unfamiliar with that terminology - do you mean that you'd like a 10x
> or 12x optical zoom?


Yes, I should have said optical zoom I guess. That shows you how much
I know about cameras.

>
>> I do not intend to do anything other than family type photos and
>> possibly some landscape shots. Based upon this, I don't THINK I need a
>> lot of mega pixels. Most would never be printed larger than 5x7.
>>
>> I do not intend to print my own photos. If I wanted a print I would
>> probably have a service print them.
>>
>> I have read some reviews about digital cameras and it appears some
>> cameras "eat batteries." If this is an issue, and one brand or model is
>> better than another, this would be helpful to know.
>>
>> The majority of comments seem to suggest that rechargeable batteries are
>> the way to go. Any comments?

>
> In my experience, if your camera uses AA batteries, then Lithium non-
> rechargeables are the way to go - they last a LONG time.


You recommend Lithium non-rechargeable? Doesn't it get expensive
versus a rechargeable battery? Again, I do NOT know. I am simply
seeking advice from someone who does.

>
>> I see some models for sale that are refurbished. Is there a downside to
>> buying such a camera?

>
> None that I've ever found. I've had three refurbished digital cameras
> (including my current one) several refurbished scanners and printers, and
> never had a problem. The only reason you see 'several' is that I've
> upgraded - every one of them is still functional - in fact I did a shoot
> at the local library for Halowe'en using my old Kodak DC210+ (1.0MP -
> about 10 years old) and it did fine. I've had folks 'in' electronics tell
> me that refurbished is better than new - because when they refurbish they
> totally check out everything.


Interesting. I shall keep that in mind.
>
>> Are there other issues I should be considering such as image
>> stabilization? Or is that feature just for pros?

>
> It's good to have with a long zoom.


So the greater magnification makes this more useful? Good to know.
>
>> Brand reliability? Needed memory card size? Please feel free to
>> suggest anything I did not mention. I just don't want to buy a camera
>> and find out I should have asked more questions. Thanks.

>
> Suggest you look at the Kodak online store. I'm quite happy with my
> refurb P850 - they are no longer in production, but they show up refurb
> for around $225. You could go a long way with it - it has full manual
> mode as well as full auto, and saves in jpeg, raw, tiff. Nice 12x zoom
> and Electronic ViewFinder with adequate resolution.


Is it difficult to use the LCD for a viewfinder? Or is a camera with a
true viewfinder a worthwhile feature?
>
> I suggest several one and two gb memory cards - they are quite cheap now
> and a USB card reader.


Thanks.
 
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Ken
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-12-2008
Dudley Hanks wrote:
> "Ken" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> I am planning on purchasing my first digital camera, and since I am
>> neither a photography expert nor intend to become one, I thought I would
>> see what others thought I should buy. All comments are welcome:
>>
>> I would hope to purchase the camera for less than $250. Any suggested
>> merchants?
>>
>> I believe I want an optical resolution of 10 or 12 since I feel I would be
>> unhappy with only taking photos at close range.
>>
>> I do not intend to do anything other than family type photos and possibly
>> some landscape shots. Based upon this, I don't THINK I need a lot of mega
>> pixels. Most would never be printed larger than 5x7.
>>
>> I do not intend to print my own photos. If I wanted a print I would
>> probably have a service print them.
>>
>> I have read some reviews about digital cameras and it appears some cameras
>> "eat batteries." If this is an issue, and one brand or model is better
>> than another, this would be helpful to know.
>>
>> The majority of comments seem to suggest that rechargeable batteries are
>> the way to go. Any comments?
>>
>> I see some models for sale that are refurbished. Is there a downside to
>> buying such a camera?
>>
>> Are there other issues I should be considering such as image
>> stabilization? Or is that feature just for pros?
>>
>> Brand reliability? Needed memory card size? Please feel free to suggest
>> anything I did not mention. I just don't want to buy a camera and find
>> out I should have asked more questions. Thanks.

>
> From what you say, a resolution of 6 megapixels or higher will do quite
> nicely -- no need to get up into the 10 - 12 Mp range.
>
> Given your budget limits, I'd recommend any of the Canon 'A' series cameras
> you can find in that range -- with the exception of the A460. The A570,
> A580 or A720 in particular are good cameras, and I can give you the thumbs
> up based on my own personal experience.
>
> As for eating up batteries, they all do. I like the Canon 'A' series
> because 'AA' batteries are used, and rechargeables are readily available, as
> are non-rechargeable alkalines.


Good to know. I shall look at that series and watch for the AA batteries.

>
> Image stabilization is definitely a good thing, not just for pros.
>
> Good Luck,
> Dudley
>
>

Thanks.
 
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Ken
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-12-2008
Jürgen Exner wrote:
> Ken <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> I am planning on purchasing my first digital camera, and since I am
>> neither a photography expert nor intend to become one, I thought I would
>> see what others thought I should buy. All comments are welcome:
>>
>> I would hope to purchase the camera for less than $250. Any
>> suggested merchants?

>
> You didn't say where you are living, but B&H in New York will ship worldwide
> expect to Iran, Sudan, or Cuba.


Fly-over country. USA.
>
>> I believe I want an optical resolution of 10 or 12 since I feel I would
>> be unhappy with only taking photos at close range.

>
> No idea what an optical resolution of 10 is supposed to mean.


Magnification is what I meant I guess.
>
>> I do not intend to do anything other than family type photos and
>> possibly some landscape shots. Based upon this, I don't THINK I need a
>> lot of mega pixels. Most would never be printed larger than 5x7.

>
> Anyting in the 6-10MP range will be fine.
>
>> I have read some reviews about digital cameras and it appears some
>> cameras "eat batteries." If this is an issue, and one brand or model is
>> better than another, this would be helpful to know.

>
> Impossible to answer without narrowing down the field first. But yes,
> digital cameras, in particular when used carelessly like not turning off the
> LCD, permanent zooming just for fun, using lots of flash ... can eat
> batteries like crazy. I have heard reports that some people had to switch
> batteries after as few as 50 shots. On average of course they can easily
> last 10-20 times as long, in some cameras with considerate use even much
> longer than that.


So it is more the how the person uses the camera rather than how the
camera is made that determines battery life?

> You may also want to check out http://dpreview.com.


Thanks for the link, I shall review it.
>
>> The majority of comments seem to suggest that rechargeable batteries are
>> the way to go. Any comments?

>
> Well, non-rechargables are great as backup (they don't self-discharge), but
> used as the main power source will soon cost you more than the camera
> itself.
>
>> Are there other issues I should be considering such as image
>> stabilization? Or is that feature just for pros?

>
> Rather the opposite. "Pros" know how to hold a camera steady.
> Aside of that there are many religious believes, like e.g. view finder,
> digital zoom, lens attachments, memory card format, proprietary battery
> format, included software, ..
> .
> jue

 
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cmyk
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-12-2008
"Ken" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:(E-Mail Removed). ..
> cmyk wrote:
>> Hi Ken,
>>
>> For what you've described, you really don't need 10-12 megapixels. 4 megapixels is all you'll need for prints of that size - 5
>> megapixels will easily give prints up to 6*8in or 6*9in @ 300ppi (depends on the camera's sensor format). The number of
>> megapixels has little to do with needing to take photos at close range - that's what the *optical* zoom is for. Ignore digital
>> zoom - it's a waste of time.

>
> Thanks for your comments. I was thinking the same thing about the Megapixels. I thought 5 or 6 should be enough.


In that case, I suppose the 10-12 referred to the amount of zoom. That limits your choices quite a bit and, to some extent, getting
a camera with more megapixels can make up for a lack of zoom (you can simple crop away more of what you want to exclude).

>>
>> Some digital cameras take AA batteries, which gives you a choice of disposable or rechargeable, but most use proprietary
>> rechargeable batteries - get a spare.


With the proprietary batteries, they're almost always of the Li-on type. In my experience these are much better performers than the
NiMh or alkaline AA batteries, and they recharge much faster than NiMh batteries too.

>>
>> Refurbished = 2nd hand. It's your choice. You may get a camera with better resolution/features for a fewer $ that way, but it
>> probably won't perform as well as the newer models.

>
> Have you heard of bad experiences with a refurbished one? When you talk of "newer ones" I assume you mean newer models? Or did
> you mean a brand new one of the same model?


I've no experience with refurbished cameras. And yes, I was referring to newer models.

>>
>> If you're getting a point&shoot camera (and for $250 that's all you're likely to get), then image stabilisation is almost a
>> necessity.

>
> Any opinion of the Canon SX100? I do not yet have a preference, but it seems to fit in the budget and some of the things I THINK
> I want.


No idea. My wife has a Ricoh Caplio R7 (8MP, &X Optical zoom and stabilisation). It takes great pics and is so small you can carry
it around in a shirt pocket.

>>
>> Storage is cheap - get the largest capacity card you can afford - and a card reader so that you can download the images to your
>> computer.
>>
>> Cheers

> Thanks for your comments.


You're welcome.

Cheers
--
cmyk

 
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