First digital camera for meteorologist? (Christmas shopping early...)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cynthia P, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    I want to get my meteorologist husband his first digital camera for
    Christmas! (The man has been good all year and deserves it...)

    I took him over to Wal-Mart and had him play with the cameras to see
    what felt comfy in his hand... and how well he could work with the
    digital menus.

    He found the Nikon Coolpix series a bit small, with the Canon
    PowerShot A series better. He was quite surprised by the small size of
    the cameras! He has large hands.


    There was a Kodak he really liked the menus on, but the model was a
    bit more expensive than I liked, around $400. I'm looking for
    something $300 and under if possible, from 3-5 megapixels.


    At any rate, Wal-Mart listed a Canon PS A85 for $298+.... but having
    looked around, I see that Buydig.com has the A95 for similar price.
    I'm leaning towards the A95. The camera would also serve as a possible
    backup to my Olympus C3030.


    Question, are there any downsides to this Canon model?

    I was concerned by the fact that the A85 had a larger LCD screen than
    the A75... but that the larger LCD on the A85 was NOT as sharp and
    clear as on the smaller A75! Of course, this is a display camera, so
    it's possible that it has just been mishandled. But I'd want to know,
    as I found the display on the A85 much harder to read, like it was
    soft and out of focus. (The latter being my husband's words.)


    Does the swivel and twist LCD on the A95 have sharp and clear menus?
    Is it STURDY?

    Should I be worried about these E18 errors I've read about on Canons?


    Also, how sturdy is the camera in general? Hubby doesn't always take
    quite the same kind of care of things I do, so it could get banged
    around some, hopefully not too bad. He might be taking it back and
    forth to work with him.

    And, is it, or is any digital camera somewhat weather resistant? Or,
    is there some kind of all-weather housing available as an option?

    My husband would really like to keep it handy at work (National
    Weather Service) for taking pictures of weather phenomenon. Hence the
    above question!


    I'm also open to suggestions of other cameras. I saw that the Olympus
    Stylus 410 is supposedly weather resistant, but some reviews led me to
    believe that the image quality wasn't sterling.


    Thanks for advice and help! I want him to have a nice camera he can
    grow with. I'm willing to investigate other possibilities.

    Cynthia
    Cynthia P, Nov 3, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Cynthia P wrote:
    > I want to get my meteorologist husband his first digital camera for
    > Christmas! (The man has been good all year and deserves it...)
    >


    > I'm leaning towards the A95. The camera would also serve as a possible
    > backup to my Olympus C3030.
    >
    >
    >
    > My husband would really like to keep it handy at work (National
    > Weather Service) for taking pictures of weather phenomenon. Hence the
    > above question!
    >
    >


    I can't address many of your questions, but I can make one suggestion

    I am going to guess that a meteorologist taking pictures of weather
    phenomenon will want a wide angle lens. That A95 have a noticeably less
    wide angle capability than your C3030 and it is not very wide itself.

    For a number of reasons, both mechanical and sales, the manufacturers
    tend to lean towards the telephoto end for cameras. I suggest you look at
    the wide angle issue before you buy. Look at the short end of the 35mm
    equivalent specifications. 28mm or less would be good.

    >
    > Cynthia


    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 3, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. "Cynthia P" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > I want to get my meteorologist husband his first digital camera for
    > Christmas! (The man has been good all year and deserves it...)


    Get him a Nikon D70, he'll love it. Then again you'll both love it and he
    might not get a chance to use it.

    Rita
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Nov 3, 2004
    #3
  4. Joseph Meehan wrote:
    []
    > I am going to guess that a meteorologist taking pictures of weather
    > phenomenon will want a wide angle lens. That A95 have a noticeably
    > less wide angle capability than your C3030 and it is not very wide
    > itself.
    > For a number of reasons, both mechanical and sales, the
    > manufacturers tend to lean towards the telephoto end for cameras. I
    > suggest you look at the wide angle issue before you buy. Look at the
    > short end of the 35mm equivalent specifications. 28mm or less would
    > be good.


    Or even the Nikon 8400 with its 24mm (eqv.) lens. A little bigger and
    easier to hold than the ultra-compacts as well.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Nov 3, 2004
    #4
  5. Cynthia P

    Bruce Lewis Guest

    Cynthia P <> writes:

    > I was concerned by the fact that the A85 had a larger LCD screen than
    > the A75... but that the larger LCD on the A85 was NOT as sharp and
    > clear as on the smaller A75!


    This could be an optical illusion based on when your brain's
    auto-smoothing kicks in. To get a good comparison you probably need to
    place the larger LCD far enough away that it appears about the same size
    as the smaller one, then see if either looks sharper.

    > Also, how sturdy is the camera in general? Hubby doesn't always take
    > quite the same kind of care of things I do, so it could get banged
    > around some, hopefully not too bad.


    In August our Canon Powershot S45 slipped from my wife's lap onto
    concrete. The display and all photos came out black after that. I was
    concerned this might fall under "abuse" and void the warranty, but when
    I called they said to send it in, that the techs would determine if it
    was abuse or not, and they wouldn't make any repairs without our consent
    unless they were free.

    Even with noticeable scratches on the corners where it hit the concrete,
    they went ahead and repaired it under warranty. Chalk up one positive
    experience with Canon.

    --
    Make that pile of digital photos presentable: http://ourdoings.com/
    It's quicker and easier than you think.
    Bruce Lewis, Nov 3, 2004
    #5
  6. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    On Wed, 03 Nov 2004 15:26:00 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"
    <> wrote:

    >Cynthia P wrote:
    >> I want to get my meteorologist husband his first digital camera for
    >> Christmas! (The man has been good all year and deserves it...)
    >>

    >
    >> I'm leaning towards the A95. The camera would also serve as a possible
    >> backup to my Olympus C3030.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> My husband would really like to keep it handy at work (National
    >> Weather Service) for taking pictures of weather phenomenon. Hence the
    >> above question!
    >>
    >>

    >
    > I can't address many of your questions, but I can make one suggestion
    >
    > I am going to guess that a meteorologist taking pictures of weather
    >phenomenon will want a wide angle lens. That A95 have a noticeably less
    >wide angle capability than your C3030 and it is not very wide itself.
    >
    > For a number of reasons, both mechanical and sales, the manufacturers
    >tend to lean towards the telephoto end for cameras. I suggest you look at
    >the wide angle issue before you buy. Look at the short end of the 35mm
    >equivalent specifications. 28mm or less would be good.
    >



    Very good advice! I'd kind of thought about it, and I guess one can
    get an attachment wide angle lens for it... but in my experience, NOT
    very convenient. (Got a 1.45x telephoto adapter lens for my Oly
    C-3030, never use it.)


    Thanks! I will look into that, though I haven't seen much for 28 mm.


    Cynthia
    Cynthia P, Nov 3, 2004
    #6
  7. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    On Wed, 3 Nov 2004 10:32:01 -0500, "Rita Ä Berkowitz"
    <> wrote:

    >"Cynthia P" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >>
    >> I want to get my meteorologist husband his first digital camera for
    >> Christmas! (The man has been good all year and deserves it...)

    >
    >Get him a Nikon D70, he'll love it. Then again you'll both love it and he
    >might not get a chance to use it.
    >
    >Rita
    >



    I thought those were, well, a *bit* more than $300?

    Not that I wouldn't LIKE one... and no, he would never get the chance
    to use it! Totally and completely out of my current budget though! The
    $300 is a stretch...

    Cynthia
    Cynthia P, Nov 3, 2004
    #7
  8. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    On Wed, 3 Nov 2004 16:14:32 -0000, "David J Taylor"
    <> wrote:

    >Joseph Meehan wrote:
    >[]
    >> I am going to guess that a meteorologist taking pictures of weather
    >> phenomenon will want a wide angle lens. That A95 have a noticeably
    >> less wide angle capability than your C3030 and it is not very wide
    >> itself.
    >> For a number of reasons, both mechanical and sales, the
    >> manufacturers tend to lean towards the telephoto end for cameras. I
    >> suggest you look at the wide angle issue before you buy. Look at the
    >> short end of the 35mm equivalent specifications. 28mm or less would
    >> be good.

    >
    >Or even the Nikon 8400 with its 24mm (eqv.) lens. A little bigger and
    >easier to hold than the ultra-compacts as well.
    >


    Looks great... but out of my budget right now. $300 is about the upper
    limit. For one thing... I'm not sure just how often he'll *really* use
    it for weather pictures. He likes the idea of a camera being available
    but he is not like a storm chaser type... too much effort. <G>


    Cynthia
    Cynthia P, Nov 3, 2004
    #8
  9. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    On 03 Nov 2004 11:26:01 -0500, Bruce Lewis <> wrote:

    >Cynthia P <> writes:
    >
    >> I was concerned by the fact that the A85 had a larger LCD screen than
    >> the A75... but that the larger LCD on the A85 was NOT as sharp and
    >> clear as on the smaller A75!

    >
    >This could be an optical illusion based on when your brain's
    >auto-smoothing kicks in. To get a good comparison you probably need to
    >place the larger LCD far enough away that it appears about the same size
    >as the smaller one, then see if either looks sharper.


    I can go back and look at them both... but I don't think it was an
    illusion. But I'm willing to experiment!

    I was probably looking at both of them close up and at arm's length...
    and the lettering of the menus in the larger LCD always looked
    fuzzy/out of focus.


    >
    >> Also, how sturdy is the camera in general? Hubby doesn't always take
    >> quite the same kind of care of things I do, so it could get banged
    >> around some, hopefully not too bad.

    >
    >In August our Canon Powershot S45 slipped from my wife's lap onto
    >concrete. The display and all photos came out black after that. I was
    >concerned this might fall under "abuse" and void the warranty, but when
    >I called they said to send it in, that the techs would determine if it
    >was abuse or not, and they wouldn't make any repairs without our consent
    >unless they were free.
    >
    >Even with noticeable scratches on the corners where it hit the concrete,
    >they went ahead and repaired it under warranty. Chalk up one positive
    >experience with Canon.



    Good to know! I told him that dropping it would be a bad plan... and
    likewise for getting it wet.

    These cameras aren't built quite like the 35mm metal body *tanks* of
    my father's day. Still have his old Mamiya-Sekor 35 mm.

    Cynthia
    Cynthia P, Nov 3, 2004
    #9
  10. Cynthia P wrote:
    []
    >> Or even the Nikon 8400 with its 24mm (eqv.) lens. A little bigger
    >> and easier to hold than the ultra-compacts as well.
    >>

    >
    > Looks great... but out of my budget right now. $300 is about the upper
    > limit. For one thing... I'm not sure just how often he'll *really* use
    > it for weather pictures. He likes the idea of a camera being available
    > but he is not like a storm chaser type... too much effort. <G>


    Well - perhaps something for next year's shopping list as an upgrade when
    (a) it will be cheaper and (b) you'll know if the camera is being used or
    just collecting dust!

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Nov 3, 2004
    #10
  11. Cynthia P wrote:
    > On Wed, 3 Nov 2004 16:14:32 -0000, "David J Taylor"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> Joseph Meehan wrote:
    >> []
    >>> I am going to guess that a meteorologist taking pictures of weather
    >>> phenomenon will want a wide angle lens. That A95 have a noticeably
    >>> less wide angle capability than your C3030 and it is not very wide
    >>> itself.
    >>> For a number of reasons, both mechanical and sales, the
    >>> manufacturers tend to lean towards the telephoto end for cameras. I
    >>> suggest you look at the wide angle issue before you buy. Look at the
    >>> short end of the 35mm equivalent specifications. 28mm or less would
    >>> be good.

    >>
    >> Or even the Nikon 8400 with its 24mm (eqv.) lens. A little bigger and
    >> easier to hold than the ultra-compacts as well.
    >>

    >
    > Looks great... but out of my budget right now. $300 is about the upper
    > limit. For one thing... I'm not sure just how often he'll *really* use
    > it for weather pictures. He likes the idea of a camera being available
    > but he is not like a storm chaser type... too much effort. <G>


    Frankly after years of selling cameras and encouraging people to get
    wide angle capability before telephoto and having them come back and think
    me, I believe most people will do better with the wide angle end of the
    range. Just consider how often you want to take a photo of everyone at a
    party and can't get everyone in, or at a table, or the interior of a
    building or that great sunset or that mountain and many more.

    >
    >
    > Cynthia


    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 3, 2004
    #11
  12. Cynthia P

    Aerticus Guest

    FZ20

    See it, believe it or settle for the FZ15

    Aerticus

    "Cynthia P" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > I want to get my meteorologist husband his first digital camera for
    > Christmas! (The man has been good all year and deserves it...)
    >
    > I took him over to Wal-Mart and had him play with the cameras to see
    > what felt comfy in his hand... and how well he could work with the
    > digital menus.
    >
    > He found the Nikon Coolpix series a bit small, with the Canon
    > PowerShot A series better. He was quite surprised by the small size of
    > the cameras! He has large hands.
    >
    >
    > There was a Kodak he really liked the menus on, but the model was a
    > bit more expensive than I liked, around $400. I'm looking for
    > something $300 and under if possible, from 3-5 megapixels.
    >
    >
    > At any rate, Wal-Mart listed a Canon PS A85 for $298+.... but having
    > looked around, I see that Buydig.com has the A95 for similar price.
    > I'm leaning towards the A95. The camera would also serve as a possible
    > backup to my Olympus C3030.
    >
    >
    > Question, are there any downsides to this Canon model?
    >
    > I was concerned by the fact that the A85 had a larger LCD screen than
    > the A75... but that the larger LCD on the A85 was NOT as sharp and
    > clear as on the smaller A75! Of course, this is a display camera, so
    > it's possible that it has just been mishandled. But I'd want to know,
    > as I found the display on the A85 much harder to read, like it was
    > soft and out of focus. (The latter being my husband's words.)
    >
    >
    > Does the swivel and twist LCD on the A95 have sharp and clear menus?
    > Is it STURDY?
    >
    > Should I be worried about these E18 errors I've read about on Canons?
    >
    >
    > Also, how sturdy is the camera in general? Hubby doesn't always take
    > quite the same kind of care of things I do, so it could get banged
    > around some, hopefully not too bad. He might be taking it back and
    > forth to work with him.
    >
    > And, is it, or is any digital camera somewhat weather resistant? Or,
    > is there some kind of all-weather housing available as an option?
    >
    > My husband would really like to keep it handy at work (National
    > Weather Service) for taking pictures of weather phenomenon. Hence the
    > above question!
    >
    >
    > I'm also open to suggestions of other cameras. I saw that the Olympus
    > Stylus 410 is supposedly weather resistant, but some reviews led me to
    > believe that the image quality wasn't sterling.
    >
    >
    > Thanks for advice and help! I want him to have a nice camera he can
    > grow with. I'm willing to investigate other possibilities.
    >
    > Cynthia
    Aerticus, Nov 3, 2004
    #12
  13. Cynthia P

    MBOSCHERT Guest

    >Good to know! I told him that dropping it would be a bad plan... and
    >likewise for getting it wet


    Get an insurance rider through your home owner insurance for replacement value.
    I just replaced my Canon S100 because the lens jamed and wouldn't power up.
    They let me up grade to the A95 for the difference in there price ($100). This
    policy is only $50 a year for over $6000 worth of camera equipment and jewelry.
    MBOSCHERT, Nov 4, 2004
    #13
  14. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    On Wed, 3 Nov 2004 18:40:26 -0000, "David J Taylor"
    <> wrote:

    >Cynthia P wrote:
    >[]
    >>> Or even the Nikon 8400 with its 24mm (eqv.) lens. A little bigger
    >>> and easier to hold than the ultra-compacts as well.
    >>>

    >>
    >> Looks great... but out of my budget right now. $300 is about the upper
    >> limit. For one thing... I'm not sure just how often he'll *really* use
    >> it for weather pictures. He likes the idea of a camera being available
    >> but he is not like a storm chaser type... too much effort. <G>

    >
    >Well - perhaps something for next year's shopping list as an upgrade when
    >(a) it will be cheaper and (b) you'll know if the camera is being used or
    >just collecting dust!
    >



    Yes, if he really uses it... he may well get an upgrade in a couple
    years. I wish I could just go out and drop lots of money on a camera,
    but right now, no.



    Cynthia
    Cynthia P, Nov 5, 2004
    #14
  15. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    On Wed, 03 Nov 2004 19:45:43 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"
    <> wrote:

    >Cynthia P wrote:
    >> On Wed, 3 Nov 2004 16:14:32 -0000, "David J Taylor"
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Joseph Meehan wrote:
    >>> []
    >>>> I am going to guess that a meteorologist taking pictures of weather
    >>>> phenomenon will want a wide angle lens. That A95 have a noticeably
    >>>> less wide angle capability than your C3030 and it is not very wide
    >>>> itself.
    >>>> For a number of reasons, both mechanical and sales, the
    >>>> manufacturers tend to lean towards the telephoto end for cameras. I
    >>>> suggest you look at the wide angle issue before you buy. Look at the
    >>>> short end of the 35mm equivalent specifications. 28mm or less would
    >>>> be good.
    >>>
    >>> Or even the Nikon 8400 with its 24mm (eqv.) lens. A little bigger and
    >>> easier to hold than the ultra-compacts as well.
    >>>

    >>
    >> Looks great... but out of my budget right now. $300 is about the upper
    >> limit. For one thing... I'm not sure just how often he'll *really* use
    >> it for weather pictures. He likes the idea of a camera being available
    >> but he is not like a storm chaser type... too much effort. <G>

    >
    > Frankly after years of selling cameras and encouraging people to get
    >wide angle capability before telephoto and having them come back and think
    >me, I believe most people will do better with the wide angle end of the
    >range. Just consider how often you want to take a photo of everyone at a
    >party and can't get everyone in, or at a table, or the interior of a
    >building or that great sunset or that mountain and many more.
    >


    True! I'm not questioning the value of it at all, but I really can't
    spend more right now. Frankly, $300 is pushing the limits. If you know
    of something in that range that has the capability, let me know.
    Otherwise, we may have to put up with the available converter lens.
    Perhaps for his birthday in Feb.

    Cynthia
    Cynthia P, Nov 5, 2004
    #15
  16. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    On 04 Nov 2004 17:49:42 GMT, ospam (MBOSCHERT)
    wrote:

    >>Good to know! I told him that dropping it would be a bad plan... and
    >>likewise for getting it wet

    >
    >Get an insurance rider through your home owner insurance for replacement value.
    > I just replaced my Canon S100 because the lens jamed and wouldn't power up.
    >They let me up grade to the A95 for the difference in there price ($100). This
    >policy is only $50 a year for over $6000 worth of camera equipment and jewelry.



    Great idea! I might well do that! Insurance so far has been pretty
    reasonable up here.

    Cynthia
    Cynthia P, Nov 5, 2004
    #16
  17. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    On Wed, 03 Nov 2004 19:57:40 GMT, "Aerticus" <>
    wrote:

    >FZ20
    >
    >See it, believe it or settle for the FZ15
    >



    I'll check it out!

    Cynthia
    Cynthia P, Nov 5, 2004
    #17
  18. Cynthia P wrote:
    >>

    >
    > True! I'm not questioning the value of it at all, but I really can't
    > spend more right now. Frankly, $300 is pushing the limits.


    We all have that problem.

    > If you know
    > of something in that range that has the capability, let me know.
    > Otherwise, we may have to put up with the available converter lens.
    > Perhaps for his birthday in Feb.
    >
    > Cynthia


    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 5, 2004
    #18
  19. Cynthia P wrote:
    []
    > True! I'm not questioning the value of it at all, but I really can't
    > spend more right now. Frankly, $300 is pushing the limits. If you know
    > of something in that range that has the capability, let me know.
    > Otherwise, we may have to put up with the available converter lens.
    > Perhaps for his birthday in Feb.


    If you don't mind correcting a little barrel distortion in software, a
    cheaper convertor lens /may/ do the trick, although many are really poor.
    For a second-hand quality item you could look at the Nikon Coolpix
    990/995/4500 with the WC-E24 wide-angle adapter. It provides coverage
    about equal to a 24mm lens. Don't know about the price, though.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Nov 6, 2004
    #19
  20. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    On Sat, 6 Nov 2004 00:31:09 -0000, "David J Taylor"
    <> wrote:

    >Cynthia P wrote:
    >[]
    >> True! I'm not questioning the value of it at all, but I really can't
    >> spend more right now. Frankly, $300 is pushing the limits. If you know
    >> of something in that range that has the capability, let me know.
    >> Otherwise, we may have to put up with the available converter lens.
    >> Perhaps for his birthday in Feb.

    >
    >If you don't mind correcting a little barrel distortion in software, a
    >cheaper convertor lens /may/ do the trick, although many are really poor.
    >For a second-hand quality item you could look at the Nikon Coolpix
    >990/995/4500 with the WC-E24 wide-angle adapter. It provides coverage
    >about equal to a 24mm lens. Don't know about the price, though.
    >


    Good idea, thanks!


    Cynthia
    Cynthia P, Nov 7, 2004
    #20
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