Are there any good low-end cameras?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mike Henley, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    It seems a lot harder to find a good, delightful digital cheapo than it
    was for film. Even when I had expensive film cameras I still enjoyed
    picking up a good, inexpensive simple camera. There's some zen quality
    to shooting with one, and shooting within its limitations, that I find
    dififcult to describe but you'd know if you had the experience. I guess
    the lomo craze of a couple of years ago was like that, but I had that
    craze since the 80s.

    Are there any such digital ones?
     
    Mike Henley, Mar 14, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Mike Henley

    Bill Funk Guest

    Define "good."
    Then check the review sites to see which low price cameras meet that
    definition.
     
    Bill Funk, Mar 14, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. You bet. The Nikon Coolpix 4600. About $150 brand new from various online
    sellers and it's great. I have several much more expensive and elaborate
    digital cameras too, but the 4600 is great fun and its capabilities are
    amazing.

    I'm afraid it, uh, doesn't have the limitations of the Lomo, though, so if
    it's really crudeness you want you'll have to look elsewhere. ;-)
     
    John Falstaff, Mar 14, 2006
    #3
  4. Mike Henley

    SMS Guest

    Yeah, well it was a lot different when even the cheapest camera could
    use the best "sensor."
    I still like my old range-finder Olympus XA. I had no idea when I bought
    it that it would become a classic, or even what a range-finder camera
    was! It was the standard camera to buy for backpacking.

    As to the low end, the megapixel wars have really taken a toll on good
    low-end cameras. What might have been a good low-end camera with a 4
    megapixel sensor, and manual controls, such as the Samsung V700 or V800,
    has become a noisy piece of junk with a 7-9 megapixel sensor.
     
    SMS, Mar 14, 2006
    #4
  5. Here's just what you need.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/funkeycam.shtml

    Michael Reichmann at Luminous Landscape likes it and he's a
    photographer who put together the ultimate digital camera system.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/digital-view.shtml


    *****************************************************

    "Vietnam is what we had instead of happy childhoods."

    Tim Page in
    "Dispatches"
    by Michael Herr
     
    John A. Stovall, Mar 14, 2006
    #5
  6. Yep. A '50s Rolleiflex TLR still beats out all but the best dSLRs in image
    quality. (Of course, you need a US$2000 scanner and lots of time.)
    It's harder with digital. With a film camera, all you need is a half-way
    decent lens and a mechanically solid body, and you're home free, since
    someone else makes the "sensor". And since the cheap film cameras always
    have fixed-focus lenses, the lens design is much easier; a 4-element Tessar
    design performs quite well stopped down. So a cheap film camera is just as
    good as a Leica.

    You can get pretty close to a cheap film camera by putting either a 24/2.8
    or a 35/2.0 lens on a Canon Rebel XT, giving you a fairly compact,
    reasonably light weight, fixed-focus camera that produces quality images.
    But it's not cheap.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Mar 15, 2006
    #6
  7. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    Interesting. Sounds like he indulged in my little joy.

    I'm quite tempted to get a Praktica Mini. I have very fond memories of
    Praktica. I had a cheap but very fun 35mm Praktica during the 90s. It
    was my favourite at the time eventhough I could've used much more
    expensive cameras.

    http://211.78.161.52/gdpageimg/miniLL.jpg
    http://www.praktica-uk.com/assets/datasheets/D00326.pdf

    It's 3mp fixed lens. I really want one of those tiny, inexpensive
    digital cameras, especially one that takes SD cards and AAA batteries.

    Another choice would be the HP M22. A little more than the Praktica
    mini in size and price but it's an all metal, weather resistant camera
    which would make good sense for a pocketable. This one takes AA.
     
    Mike Henley, Mar 15, 2006
    #7
  8. Mike Henley

    Stacey Guest

    SMS wrote:

    Wow, something we agree on! :)
     
    Stacey, Mar 15, 2006
    #8
  9. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    Forget the HP. I'm going tomorrow to look for the Praktica Mini. The HP
    has an autofocus which I bet won't be good. The Praktica mini has a
    fixed focus with two step manual adjustment which should be a lot more
    fun (I'm already giggling!) and perhaps more reliable at that. The HP
    is also 2cms longer, 1cm wider, and is at least 30gms heavier. It's
    also at least £20 more expensive.

    The HP feels too much like a real camera (that's a negative), the
    Praktica like a toy one (that's a positive).

    Does anyone know other cameras I should consider before I get the Mini?
     
    Mike Henley, Mar 15, 2006
    #9
  10. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    I am smitten, look at this cutie
    http://empiredirect.co.uk/images/products/3D/index3.asp?modelcode=PRA-MINI

    I particularly like the manual switch for the focus. I can't wait to
    get it.
     
    Mike Henley, Mar 15, 2006
    #10
  11. Mike Henley

    RobG Guest

    "Traffic" is an awesome image... gotta get me a FunkyCam. And a bucketful
    of artistic ability...

    RobG
     
    RobG, Mar 15, 2006
    #11
  12. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    I just sold mine. :-/
     
    Mike Henley, Mar 15, 2006
    #12
  13. Intriguing! I didn't even know they still made Prakticas of any kind.

    Actually made by Pentax, according to this site:
    http://www.epcbuyer.com/products.asp?recnumber=2015

    Says the lens is f/3.5 but doesn't mention any smaller apertures. Maybe it
    always shoots wide open like the old Minox? Shutter speeds are given as 1/4
    to 1/2000, so I suppose always wide open would present no problem as far as
    exposure goes.

    I think you have a neat idea there.
     
    John Falstaff, Mar 15, 2006
    #13
  14. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    Hi. Thanks. I went to the store yesterday and they didn't have any
    Praktica Mini's, so I ordered one online. What they had though were the
    Praktica DC slim 5. A tiny little thing, I think it was the tiniest
    camera they had of any make.
    Width 9.2cm
    Depth 2.7cm
    Height 5.8cm
    Amazingly, the Praktica Mini is even tinier.
    Width 7.9cm
    Depth 2.7cm
    Height 4cm

    I took some pictures with it and compared it to the Canon A410. It's
    not the mini, but it should be similar, it uses a similar CMOS sensor,
    a fixed lens, a fixes focus with a manual switch between normal and
    macro, and is a tiny AAA camera by Praktica.

    Here's its picture
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/2571381400055416418wXvMGV

    Then the Canon's
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/548612686/2064882080055416418srLgBz

    In the store, where they had an LCD monitor, I decided that the Canon
    image was better and the Praktica was not worth buying, especially that
    it was the smaller, prettier and cheaper Praktica Mini, not the DC slim
    5, that I wanted. I then got home, having decided I won't be buying a
    praktica, put the pictures on my CRT, and played a little with the
    channel mixer to convert to B&W. I realised that the Praktica's image
    was not that bad after all. It was contrasy, and not too graceful with
    the exposure, but hey, that can be fun too.

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/548612686/2376531530055416418aFcqUy

    I even applied some neat image and then realised that I don't like neat
    image anymore.

    I then ordered a Praktica Mini, which I found online for £49 from M&S.
    Delivery in 4-7 days, I can't wait!

    I think I know how I'll be using it. I'll put a couple of AA batteries
    and an SD card, and it'll always be on me. I usually view images on a
    21' CRT slideshow and rarely ever print, so 3mp should be enough. As
    it's a fixed focus camera it won't need focusing, in fact, the DC slim
    5 seemed quite responsive (I tried another Praktica they had with an AF
    and it was slow!), I hope the mini will be the same. I can also use it
    as a smaller backup for my F810. If it turns out to be way too slow
    I'll try to return it and get the DC slim 5. What I didn't like about
    the DC slim 5 was that it's ~£30 more expensive, it's 13mmx18mm
    larger, and it's not as good looking in its design (the mini is plain
    and nice, the DC 5 got some geeky fonts and lines like an early 80s
    digital watch).

    If you look at other pages in that folder you'll see I had a minox and
    an XA. I really like those small, basic cameras. I took my best
    pictures with a basic camera. There's something about it that removes
    distractions, you're no longer thinking about the camera, are at least,
    when you are thinking of it you are thinking of it creatively, as in
    how to overcome its limitations.
     
    Mike Henley, Mar 16, 2006
    #14
  15. I used to have an Olympus XA too -- that must have been about 20 years ago.
    I was sorry I sold it, but now it doesn't matter since I never use film
    anymore anyway.

    Never had a Minox, but I did have a Minolta 16 (the original model) and that
    was great fun. That was back around 1960, I think. Ultraminiatures
    fascinated me at that time. The Minolta 16 made 10x14 frames on 16mm film. I
    bought a 50-foot roll of 16mm B&W negative (a lifetime supply, and then
    some) and handloaded my own cassettes, even had a little Minolta enlarger
    for it (cutest thing you ever saw, nice sharp lens, but it got hot as hell).
    That camera was fixed focus, depended on depth of field obviously but it did
    have an adjustable aperture. Still have some of my best prints from that
    little thing. Pretty grainy, but I never printed larger than 4x5 with it and
    always thought the grain added a nice kind of unique character to them.

    Now you've got me interested in these cheapo digicams. As far as I know none
    of the Prakticas are sold here in the U.S. at all, but I'll keep an eye open
    for what else is out there.

    Jack




    Hi. Thanks. I went to the store yesterday and they didn't have any
    Praktica Mini's, so I ordered one online. What they had though were the
    Praktica DC slim 5. A tiny little thing, I think it was the tiniest
    camera they had of any make.
    Width 9.2cm
    Depth 2.7cm
    Height 5.8cm
    Amazingly, the Praktica Mini is even tinier.
    Width 7.9cm
    Depth 2.7cm
    Height 4cm

    I took some pictures with it and compared it to the Canon A410. It's
    not the mini, but it should be similar, it uses a similar CMOS sensor,
    a fixed lens, a fixes focus with a manual switch between normal and
    macro, and is a tiny AAA camera by Praktica.

    Here's its picture
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/2571381400055416418wXvMGV

    Then the Canon's
    http://community.webshots.com/photo/548612686/2064882080055416418srLgBz

    In the store, where they had an LCD monitor, I decided that the Canon
    image was better and the Praktica was not worth buying, especially that
    it was the smaller, prettier and cheaper Praktica Mini, not the DC slim
    5, that I wanted. I then got home, having decided I won't be buying a
    praktica, put the pictures on my CRT, and played a little with the
    channel mixer to convert to B&W. I realised that the Praktica's image
    was not that bad after all. It was contrasy, and not too graceful with
    the exposure, but hey, that can be fun too.

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/548612686/2376531530055416418aFcqUy

    I even applied some neat image and then realised that I don't like neat
    image anymore.

    I then ordered a Praktica Mini, which I found online for £49 from M&S.
    Delivery in 4-7 days, I can't wait!

    I think I know how I'll be using it. I'll put a couple of AA batteries
    and an SD card, and it'll always be on me. I usually view images on a
    21' CRT slideshow and rarely ever print, so 3mp should be enough. As
    it's a fixed focus camera it won't need focusing, in fact, the DC slim
    5 seemed quite responsive (I tried another Praktica they had with an AF
    and it was slow!), I hope the mini will be the same. I can also use it
    as a smaller backup for my F810. If it turns out to be way too slow
    I'll try to return it and get the DC slim 5. What I didn't like about
    the DC slim 5 was that it's ~£30 more expensive, it's 13mmx18mm
    larger, and it's not as good looking in its design (the mini is plain
    and nice, the DC 5 got some geeky fonts and lines like an early 80s
    digital watch).

    If you look at other pages in that folder you'll see I had a minox and
    an XA. I really like those small, basic cameras. I took my best
    pictures with a basic camera. There's something about it that removes
    distractions, you're no longer thinking about the camera, are at least,
    when you are thinking of it you are thinking of it creatively, as in
    how to overcome its limitations.
     
    John Falstaff, Mar 16, 2006
    #15
  16. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    Jack, the Praktica Mini arrived. I love it! It's tiny, I'm gushing. I
    posted about it with pictures (of it, and from it).
    http://tinyurl.com/ghc8f
     
    Mike Henley, Mar 26, 2006
    #16
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.