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Old Nov 17, 2003, 7:25 PM   #1
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Default Should I exchange my new camera?

I've been interested in purchasing a digital camera for about a year since my 35mm Olympus died on me. I've looked at several websites and reviews, but still feel lost. I decided that I preferred the 10x optical zoom after experimenting with various cameras in a Penn Camera store whose salesperson recommended the Olympus C-750. While at Best Buy, the salesperson recommended the Nikon 5400(which only has a 4X zoom lens). I purchased a Kodak DX6490 much to his dismay. I figured out most of the features on my own as I was waiting for assistance. He said the SD card wasn't as good as cameras that used Compact Flash cards. I'm afraid to open the box bceause I'm wondering if I made the wrong choice. Please help! :?
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 9:00 PM   #2
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I wouldn't let a salesperson influence me too much. Chances are, they know little more about camera models than you do, and are just as swayed by the "marketing hype" as anyone else.

Also, salespeople have been known to "push" the models they make more commissions on.

As far as Secure Digital, it has been growing in popularity since it was first introduced.

You can now find Secure Digital Media in sizes up to 512mb (current, I expect larger sizes in the future), at transfer speeds of up to 10MB/Second with some manufacturers cards, like Panasonics (much faster than current camera models can take advantage of).

As an added bonus, Secure Digital is very small ("postage stamp" size, as some people like to say), requiring less power than larger form factor memory types like CompactFlash.

Because of the popularity of smaller cameras, PDA's, Digital Cameras, and other devices using Flash Memory, Secure Digital is an emerging format (thanks in no small part to the advantages of less power draw, and more memory in a smaller footprint).

While it's true that the cost/MB is still lower with CompactFlash (with larger sizes available now), the prices of Secure Digital should continue to decline, as more and more devices begin using this memory type.

As far as the differences between the camera models, there are pros and cons to all of them.

Between the 3 models you considered (Kodak DX-6490, Olympus C-750UZ, Nikon Coolpix 5400), I would personally prefer the Olympus (more control over JPEG compression, relatively fast lens for it's focal length, slightly better metering in more conditions, etc.).

However, many other users may prefer the Nikon (because of it's "wider" wide angle), and others may prefer the Kodak (it's Hybrid Focus System works in very low light, without the need for a focus assist lamp).

Also, Kodak has a good reputation for providing firmware upgrades for it's cameras, so if there are any major "quirks", chances are, they'll come out with a user installable fix for it.

There are pros and cons to any camera choice, with no camera being "perfect" for everyone.

Each user will have their own preferences in a camera.

My latest digital camera, the Konica Revio KD-510z (a.k.a., Minolta DiMAGE G500) also uses Secure Digital (actually, it can use both Secure Digital and Sony Memory Stick Media).

I have no problems at all with this media type.

For my needs, this camera is great. For someone wanting to take lots of outdoor photos of wildlife, your Kodak would be a better choice (with it's much longer zoom). For an architect, the Nikon 5400 (with it's 28mm equivalent wide angle) may have been the best choice.

Buying a new camera, is liking buying a new car. You'll find many models in the same price range. No one vehicle is perfect for everyone's needs. The same applies to a new camera.

If you're not sure about your choice, read some more reviews of the models available, and think about how you'll use the camera.

There are many good review sites. Here are some of my favorites:






I'd also "test drive" the cameras in the store, to see which model you are more comfortable with (menus, control layout, autofocus/shutter lag, LCD Display, Viewfinder, Camera Speed, etc.).

BTW, unlike a film camera, Digital Cameras tend to have much more autofocus/shutter lag (time between when you press the shutter button, and when the camera actually takes the photo).

Dave Etchells (owner/editor of imaging-resource.com) measures a camera's performace in his reviews. See the "picky details" section of each cameras review for these tests.

He also includes a "comparometer", that lets you view images taken in similiar conditions from more than one camera model "side by side".
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 10:41 PM   #3
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The SD card in the Kodak is more practical than the xD card in the Oly. You are pretty much stuck with buying an Oly xD card if you want all the features to work.

I find that I use the wide angle more on my Minolta than the long telephoto, but it has a lot to do with what you normally take pictures of. Hand holding either of the 10X cameras at full zoom requires good light.

One of the biggest frustrations of consumer level digicams is low light focus. Your Kodak is one of the few which are excellent at that. And the large LCD is much nicer for menu selections. Iím not crazy about the aggressive JPG compression of the Kodak, but the test pictures donít look bad at all.

If you looked at all of the cameras and liked the Kodak best then go with it. It has some nice features. I agree with JimC that a salesperson at Best Buy probably doesnít know enough about cameras in depth to worry that much about going against his recommendation.
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Old Nov 18, 2003, 8:33 AM   #4
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The SD card should not be a problem. The technology is sound and will be around for some time to come. The 6490 is a good camera and will provide you with quality pics. My sis has one and loves it. Sales people at Best Buy will not always provide you with sound advice.
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Old Nov 18, 2003, 10:31 AM   #5
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Thanks to everyone for all your help. This whole world of digital photography is new to me. Just in case anyone needs to know what I want in a camera in ordert o offer their opinion, here it goes:
1.take pictures of my family at gatherings
2.take landscape photos while on vacation( Caribbean, skiing)
3.Zoom in on subjects( i.e. at sporting events)
4. priced around $500
5. durability
6. ease of use

Thanks again
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Old Nov 18, 2003, 10:37 AM   #6
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I concur with the others. If you like the way the camera feels, keep it!

SD memory is actually growing in popularity every day. The salesperson was not well informed (typical).

You'll be much better off with a camera like the DX6490 for zooming in on distant subjects, when circumstances require it, versus a camera like the Nikon 5400.

Also, your camera will be a MUCH better peformer in low light conditions, thanks to it's state-of-the-art Hybrid Focus System.

Enjoy your new camera!
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