Buying a digi cam

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ND, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. ND

    ND Guest

    Hi All,

    I intend to buy a digi cam but am not sure what all things needs to be
    considered before the buy should be made. In particular, what are the
    benefits of having a higher optical zoom as compared to a digital zoom
    and/or vise versa. The importance of resolution, how big is big
    enough. And the practical aspects of storage space and battery life.
    Can someone give me some idea!?

    Thanks a lot..

    the-siN
    ND, Dec 1, 2003
    #1
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  2. ND

    mark herring Guest

    Digital zoom is useless---you can always crop after the picture is taken.
    The ONLY benefit I can think of is the ability to take LOTS of reduced
    resolution pix without changing memory cards.

    How much resolution is enough?? Think about print size---a good print needs
    250ppi (pixels per inch)
    example: 4 x 6 = 1000x1500 = 1.5 Mpixels
    8x10 = 2000x2500 = 5 Mpixels

    This said, I have some pictures form my 2Mp camera that look good almost up
    to 8x10.

    Even though I am doing good things with 2Mp, I would start at 3 if I was
    doing it over

    --
    ******************
    Mark Herring
    Pasadena, CA, USA
    private e-mail: just say no to "No"

    *
    "ND" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I intend to buy a digi cam but am not sure what all things needs to be
    > considered before the buy should be made. In particular, what are the
    > benefits of having a higher optical zoom as compared to a digital zoom
    > and/or vise versa. The importance of resolution, how big is big
    > enough. And the practical aspects of storage space and battery life.
    > Can someone give me some idea!?
    >
    > Thanks a lot..
    >
    > the-siN
    mark herring, Dec 1, 2003
    #2
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  3. ND

    Dave Guest

    On 1 Dec 2003 08:10:54 -0800, (ND) wrote:

    >Hi All,
    >
    >I intend to buy a digi cam but am not sure what all things needs to be
    >considered before the buy should be made. In particular, what are the
    >benefits of having a higher optical zoom as compared to a digital zoom
    >and/or vise versa. The importance of resolution, how big is big
    >enough. And the practical aspects of storage space and battery life.
    >Can someone give me some idea!?
    >


    Some of your questions are "religious wars", but here is my opinion:

    Forget digital zoom entirely, it's a marketing gimmick. Any "digital zoom" you
    might want can be done on the computer afterwards. Optical zoom is your only
    real zoom.

    How big is big enough is dependent on many factors, including taste and
    expertise. You'll find any number of people that will claim they can blow
    their 1,2,3... megapixel image up to the size of the goodyear blimp and it
    looks good. My guideline is to assume that you are going to have your image
    printed on a Fuji Frontier system at 300 dpi. This will be pretty close to
    indistinguishable from a film print. 300 dpi in both dimensions is close
    enough to the square root of 100K to provide us with a convenient rule of
    thumb. Take the size of picture you want in inches, multiply the dimensions
    and divide by 10 to get megapixels. Thus a 4x5 print calls for 2.0 megapixels.
    A 5x7 print needs 3.5 megapixels. An 8x10 needs 8 megapixels. This is not to
    say you can't get excellent pictures with less resolution, but if your target
    is the Fuji Frontier, you will have to scale up the pixel count and you cannot
    create detail that isn't there. You can however, sharpen and create the
    impression of detail that is generally acceptable. So how big of a picture do
    you expect to print? If you want the typical 4x6 Ritz Big Print, then a 2-3
    megapixel camera should meet your needs.

    Storage space has become really cheap. 128MB flash cards can be had for less
    than $30. A 4 megapixel camera such as the Canon G3 set to its highest
    resolution, (short of RAW), can still put about 80-90 pictures on the card.

    Battery life may still be a minor problem depending upon conditions. Check the
    camera specifications.

    Decide what you want to do with it and select your conveniences. Pocket size
    for easy travel? Full manual overrides for control? Replaceable lenses? Movie
    modes? Sound?

    Good Luck and have fun!


    Dave
    Dave, Dec 1, 2003
    #3
  4. ND

    CR Optiker Guest

    On 1 Dec 2003 08:10:54 -0800, ND wrote:

    > Hi All,
    >
    > I intend to buy a digi cam but am not sure what all things needs to be
    > considered before the buy should be made. In particular, what are the
    > benefits of having a higher optical zoom as compared to a digital zoom
    > and/or vise versa. The importance of resolution, how big is big
    > enough. And the practical aspects of storage space and battery life.
    > Can someone give me some idea!?


    When people ask me for a computer recommendation, I generally tell them to
    first decide what they are willing to spend and don't budge from that
    decision. Then, go out and buy as high up on the curve as possible while
    still getting the things you want and minimizing adding features and
    capability you don't want or need. Don't buy what you might need in a
    couple of years since what you buy now will be obsolete and you'll probably
    want to replace it by then. The same applies to digital cameras.

    A couple of resources to get you going...

    1. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.asp - take a look at this list
    of features to consider. I will give you some ideas of what you might need
    to be making decisions on. You may not be in a position yet to answer them,
    but it will acquaint you with at least one set of salient features.

    2. http://www.imaging-resource.com/GETSTART.HTM#digcams - take a look at
    some of these articles. Depending on how much you want to educate yourself,
    this can be a pretty fair start at getting acquainted with the technology.
    The first article under "Guest Authors on Going Digital" entitled "Choosing
    a Camera: Training the Inner Child" is not a bad start. Read others as they
    grab your interest.

    After you've read as much as you choose, try...

    3. http://www.imaging-resource.com/WB/WB.HTM - in the left sidebar, look
    over the choices under "Cameras For:" Click on the one that looks like it
    fits your needs and browse the description of that category and the cameras
    described under that section. Try a few that sound like you since one may
    be a better fit than another but not your obvious first choice. This will
    give you some feel for what is considered normal for the various kinds of
    uses. Some categories may be obvious misfits. These selections will group
    cameras that are judged to fit the categories shown.

    Once you get some possibilities, go our to Best Buy or any other
    electronics store near you that has a good selection and try some of those
    you thought were a good fit for your needs. In my area, I found that Best
    Buy had the best selection among those with digital cameras which included:
    Best Buy, Costco, Walmart, Staples, Circuit City, Office Max, Office Depot.
    There, I was able to get my hands on most of the ones I was interested in.

    If you want harder comparsion data, test data, sample pictures, etc., take
    a look at http://www.dpreview.com/. In the left sidebar, click on "Cameras"
    and find the cameras you are interested in and read the reviews. If you're
    finding it hard to choose between two or three, one feature of that site
    will let you compare side-by-side, and that may help. This is considered to
    be probably the best of the several digital camera review sites.

    When all is said and done, it comes down to what you want to do with it,
    what you don't want to do with it, and subjectively how it feels to you.
    Holding it in your hands and going through the motions will help a lot
    since subjectively, some just won't feel right, and some will.

    Don't be afraid to come back here and ask for clarifications, but don't
    come back and ask for somebody to tell you what to get. Somebody, no doubt,
    will tell you, but the chances it will be right will be slim.

    Enjoy the hunt and the camera you end up with!
    Optiker
    CR Optiker, Dec 1, 2003
    #4
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