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Old Dec 23, 2003, 7:19 AM   #1
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Default From camera to computer

Hi! I am thinking of buying a smallish digital camera but would need some advice, mainly on this first question:

I have a computer with windows XP home edition. What camera brands work with direct USB cable, much the same way as I understand (all?) Minolta cameras do? I would prefer no additional software on my computer, but to be able to copy and then paste into various folders on my computer...

I would also want the camera to use normal AA batteries, as I do travel quite a lot and don't always know where to charge my camera batteries. Any suggestions that comply with the above?

2 MP minimum, video with sound, yes, I'd also like those two things... Will never make photos bigger than size A4-paper, if even that... More suggestions?

Are there any + and - with different kinds of memory cards? Can anybody give a good answer to this? Or is it just a matter of money for the "average amateur"?

Will mostly be taking portraits and landscapes, the typical holiday pictures, etc...

Very thankful for all advice I can get
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Old Dec 23, 2003, 9:30 AM   #2
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Any camera made within the last two years will use USB to connect to your computer. As far as I know, XP will recognize any of these cameras as a removable drive. You will not need any extra software. A4 printing would be better with a 3mp camera. How much control over the camera do you want? Do you just want a point and shoot style of camera? How much optical zoom? Cameras that I have used and like are the following:

Olympus 750, 10X optical zoom, 4mp
Olympus 740, 10X optical zoom, 3mp
Fuji S5000, 10X optical zoom, 3mp
Fuji S7000, 6X optical zoom, 6mp
Nikon 5700, 8X optical zoom, 5mp
Olympus C5050, 3X optical zoom, 5mp
Olympus C4040, 3X optical zoom, 4mp
Kodak 6490, 10X optical zoom, 4mp

The Olympus C5050 and 4040 are the best low light cameras among this group. The ultra zoom cameras will not perform as well in low light conditions at full zoom. The ultra zoom also require a steady hand or tripod (monopod) when shooting at long zoom. Two cameras (3mp or larger) with stablization for the long zoom are the Minolta A1 and the Panasonic FZ10. I have not had the chance to shoot with either of these cameras.
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Old Dec 23, 2003, 10:52 AM   #3
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Just to follow up on Phil's comments I've seen some PC equipment where you can plug the memory card in either directly or via a PCMCIA adaptor.

Again, in either case, XP will see this as a removable drive and allow you to copy from it.

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Old Dec 23, 2003, 4:07 PM   #4
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Thank you both of you! So any camera will comply as an external harddrive with XP, OK... Well, then it's just a matter of MP and zoom and batteries. I guess 3 times optical, minimum, 3 MP, with movie-possibilities incl. sound... Yes, I want an amateurs choise of descent picture taking with (mostly) fully automatic functions. Once again, thank you for taking your time giving your advice. Any more suggestions, please feel free to write again!
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Old Dec 23, 2003, 10:17 PM   #5
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You may want to consider another option. Buy a cheap USB card reader and leave it hooked to your computer. Take the card out of your camera, insert it in the reader, and XP's Picture Transfer Wizard works great! An added advantage to this method is that you won't burn up batteries or require an AC adapter to power your camera during picture transfer.

Using a card reader will allow you to expand your selection of cameras to those that don't support Auto-USB transfer. I use this setup on my camera, and it works great!
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