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Digital Camera recommendations

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by Fuzzy, May 28, 2007.

  1. Could anyone recommend a good quality, but not too expensive digital camera that is worth looking at?

    My daughter would like a camera for her 16th birthday, but there are so many out there and most of the spec's mean jack to me :? So I thought I'd tap into the wealth of knowledge that is Netrider :grin:

    Basically, I want something that:
    • is easy for her to carry around
    • takes a good pic even in low light (for the odd occasion she's allowed out to party :wink: )
    • looks cool (naturally)
    • comes with decent software that is easy to use
    She's basically wanting something just to take happy snaps of her friends, touristy shots and the like so I wouldn't really want to spend much more than $200. Hopefully, that's not too unrealistic.

    Anyhoo, any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, guys :grin:
  2. Avoid the cheap Kodak cameras, the image quality isn't as good as the entry level Canon or entry level Fuji cameras. Panasonic and Samsung are also an option.

    Sony use proprietry memory stick technology which is more expensive so avoid them at this price point (even if you see run out models advertised around this price).

    Teds Cameras (as an example) have a number of cameras on special at $199 and most of these would be suitable.

    Look for a camera that has optical zoom (3x) and takes SD expansion memory and is a well known brand.

    You can google for reviews on any of the cameras that meet that criteria after you have made a short list.
  3. I'd recommend anything by Olympus. I have just bought the MJU775 (too dear for your daughter) and know plenty of people with other Olympus cameras - no complaints.

    The only negative is many of them you have to remove the battery to charge and the fairly unique XD memory card - but excellent screens and very good battery life.

  4. You sure?

    I bought a 2GB Sony Memory Stick for $40 delivered off ebay. It is an original Sony and came in sealed Sony packaging.

    May I suggest http://www.shopbot.com.au/p-15309.html
    I have that camera and love it.

  5. I won't get into specific makes and such, but I will say don't be sucked in by the resolution in Mega pixels. A 3.5Mp camera with a fast distortion free lens will produce a vastly superior image to an 8Mp camera with a piece of plastic crap as a lens. The market is 'pixel driven' because CCD chips in production quantities are cheap as err, chips, but good quality lenses are not.
  6. +1 Vic.

    I love my Sony cybershot.
    I've got the DSC-T50 and it's fantastic.
    Good photo's, slim design [for bike jacket pockets!], and it takes standard jpg photo's, and standard mpg video's.

    Comes with software, but you don't need it - you can throw the card or hook the camera up to any computer and you can grab the photos/video.

    The screen on the back is massive too, so it's easy to show everyone the awful drunk photo you just took of them :grin:
  7. Are you positive, Vic?


    At that price point, it is probably a fake. Even using the above guide, I found it incredibly difficult to tell.

    In the end, the packaging (heat seals) gave it away.

    I've had no problems with my card, and kept it despite discovering I'd been duped. It works perfectly. There is, however, a danger that the next one won't, and I'll lose everything on it.

    Unless you're willing to gamble, or you're pedantic about backing up your photos/files, I'd be very careful about purchasing memory cards on ebay.
  8. Digital Camera Warehouse is a pretty good site where you can easily compare cameras, and the pricing is reasonably competetive [camera's are such a cut-throat industry these days anyway].

    Look at Canon, Nikon, Sony and Olympus.
    They're all decent cameras - the Sony's are little bit more camera for your dollars IMO.
    This one is same zoom, same mega-pixel, and same lens as my camera, which sells for nearly twice as much :eek:

    Mine's touch-screen though, which is one of the larger reasons I bought it :)

    I do like the cybershot range: they're all regular and rectangular when switched off so they slide into and out of bags, pockets, etc. easily without catching or annoying the hell out of you.
  9. Thanks for all the advice :grin: In a few short posts, you've increased my knowledge by about 150%

    Budget really limits me, I could probably stretch to $250 but that's about it. And I realise now that I'll have to include a memory stick in that price as well :roll:

    The Cybershots sound like a great camera, but maybe a bit too pricey for what I'm looking for?? I'll check them out though, I like the idea of a large display and a touch screen...mmmmm. Thanks Christulu and Vic :grin: (Might put one of these on MY present list instead :wink: )

    I'm definitely a traditional, buy over the counter kind of gal. I've never bought anything of Ebay or online and I've left my run a bit late anyway, birthday's on Thursday. So I need to cram knowledge and do a one-stop shop in the next couple of days.

    Inci, thanks for the heads up on lens quality vs megapixels. Something I'll keep in mind when I'm shopping around.

    Toecutter, is there a disadvantage in the Olympus XD memory card over the SD? Or is it just about availability and price?

    And I'll definitely be on the look out for fakes and charlatans :wink: :p

    Edit: The one you linked to looks good for the price, Ktulu. It just occurred to me that my daughter might want to chip in some of her own money to get the better camera, I'll have a chat to her tonight. The memory stick thing worries me though, does the camera come with one at all? And how much would I have to pay for one with decent storage if I bought over the counter?
  10. Hmmm, so many cameras around these days. All good advice here though, but. . .

    My next camera will be something like the Olympus μ77SW, because it is indestructable. Does your daughter look after stuff? Could be cheaper to buy one camera that will last, rather than replace it after damage. Unfortunately it is about $500 street price. I am waiting for one that has better video as well, as it only does 15 Frames per second at the moment.

    I agree with Inci as well. A 4 Mega Pixel camera is fine for happy snaps and most other photo opportunities, especially if they will be shared on the web.

    Does she have a mobile phone, and if so, would an upgrade to one with a decent camera in it make sense?
  11. At the $200 price point a $40 Memory Stick (even if one gets an original one which off Ebay is a big risk) is a 20% extra cost.

    It's possible to buy 1gb SD cards for under $20.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Sony cameras, I bought Jodz one... but memory sticks are still more expensive than SD cards which makes the camera package more expensive.

    At $200 every $ counts *shrug*.
  12. I paid $16 for my last Sandisk 1GB, and that was from a real live camera shop, not e-bay. You can now get 2GB SD for under $40, and 8GB for $149.
  13. +1 for lower pixels and better lens.

    especially if your unlikely to print a lot of photos, and more likely to upload photos. Less pixels means smaller files, less storage space, and faster to upload. That is if you're not planning to resize photos before uploading.

    Good luck finding something less than 5 Megapixels
  14. The OP says some low light shots for parties and clubs, I suggest get a digicam with the highest ISO manual setting you can find in your budget, also make sure it has an anti-blur feature so u can still take a good shot if your smashed.
  15. Why the statement on prints? 35mm film is capable of professional prints to 550x780mm, full size 35mm film is equivalent to 3,120 x 4,680 dpi or about 14Mp. A professional 10x8" print is about 178 x 127mm and therefore only needs about a third of that resolution to match 35mmm film, i.e. about 4.5Mp. Unless you are going to crop the hell out of your image, or print posters, a 4.5Mp camera with a good quality lens is capable of a true 10x8" print. The camera industry has become like the Hi Fi business, selling frequency response well beyond the range of human hearing in order to 'product differentiate'. Unless you are using Pro Quality optics (equivalent to around f1.2 at 55mm or equivalent speed/focal length ratio), in genuine image terms anything more than about 4.5Mp is a total wank. Now I know that we are being sold much higher CCD densities than that as the baseline, but if you buy last years camera with top optics and lower resolution, you are getting a better deal than this years spurious megapixels and a mediocre lens. A 3yo DSLR with Pro optics at (say) 5Mp, will totally blow away an 8Mp compact snapper.
  16. Yeah I got stung on a card from eBay. Had to reformat it quite a few times before it would sort of work.

    Can thoroughly recommend www.cheapchips.com.au - fantastic service, reasonably priced, good communicators for asking questions (ask them about SanDisk and who is actually allowed to sell them) and you get them next day as opposed to eBay's lottery.
  17. Yep.

  18. Now that the Sandisk ExtremeIII 16.0GB CF card is out, CF cards are super cheap :)

    Many compact cameras these days are moving to SD rather than CF.

    SD/CF are fairly cheap cards these days.

    I don't use my cards to "store" my photos. Once shot, I dump them onto my Xdrive and store them there.
    $99 for the housing and it just takes a normal laptop HD for storage.
  19. Yup, that the way to do it. I do something similar with an old 2nd Gen 15GB iPod and a cheap 3rd party adapter. When that gets full I just dock the iPod and dump to a 500GB HDD (mirrored for security).
  20. the issue lies with your daugther wanting a camera that take good pics in low light (at parties i assume). most compacts have weak pathetic flashes that do nothing but give redeye. without flash, most cameras boost the iso sensitivity, which makes photos noisy (they look grainy, and details are lost), and the cheapies dont handle high iso shooting very well. in short, if the budget could be boosted to $300, a range of far superior cameras is available. go to www.dcresource.com for some great reviews of pretty much every camera available.

    i actually happen to work at a place that sells cameras, so if you know what camera you want, pm me and i can try to tell you a good price, so you know what price to haggle at. i'd have to say that at $200 you arent going to be looking at anything too flash (pun not intended), but for taking the odd happy snap some are acceptable. just keep in mind that if you spend a bit more (wisely), you can get a far superior camera.