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Old Jan 30, 2006, 11:46 AM   #1
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I'm in the process of getting a "business loan" to get better computer stuff (computer, camera, printer for now). What I'm doing, and plan to do is, take pictures, maybe do something with them (or not) in PhotoShop, and use them to print notecards. Or, maybe flyers, booklets, business cards (I've been learning this, using MS Publisher, doing a little of various things, starting to have people ask me to do this for them- thinking maybe I can print notecards and put them on ebay, somethihg I can do from a rural (scenic) area) I'm still not really sure where this will end up, but giving a background, as to the best camera.

What I've had (used, 4-5 years old from ebay) so far is Epson PhotoPC 650 (got beause I knew people who had them, bought new, and I think Epson seems to have good lenses, the little I know about this) and then an Epson 750Z because I wanted the zoom (again, older, used) Ive had that one a year and it doesn't seem to work good with the rechargeable AA batteries, even powerful, new, charged ones. Maybe the camera is getting tired. The point, I'd much rather have a recharge in camera battery than AA ones.

I borrowed my daughter's Sony Mavica 350, she was having problems not getting pictures on the mini CDs and having disc errors, (using cheap CD-Rs) I got Sony CD- RWs (expensive!) and this seemed to work better. Again, going by this, I am leaning towards memory/flash cards instead of mini CDs (I think the Mavica may be discontinued anyway, at least new)

What I'd like is, a camera similar to the Mavica (I like the battery, it lasts a long time and takes the picture everytime) but with a memory card. I know megapixels are the big point (selling) but I also know enough about cameras (going from 35mm in my past) that the lens, too makes a big difference.

I'd like to have ZOOM, too (maybe they all have this now)

I'm thinking around $500 price range, or maybe one that cost more new, but someone is now selling for that, after a few years.

I have decided on a Canon, mainly from recommendations and looking online (I have been looking at pictures people have posted, to see what they used, but I have dialup and it's slow)

I have a rough list, and add and take off it, as I find out more. Maybe they work great with rechargabel AA batteries but I've had it with them (LOL) Too many pictures missed because the camera wouldn't take, or had to "recover" just when I wanted to use it.

I did have the Nikon Coolpix 8800 on my list, I saw a lot of shots from it that looked REALLY good. But, just a quirk, I don't like the looks of it. Same with the tiny, thin cameras, now. Don't need big and bulky, but I like a camera that somewhat resembles a camera and not a credit card or book of matches.

In no real order (and I haven't looked at prices on some, or found NEW prices and haven't looked for deals)


S215- this looked good but it takes 4 AA batteries? (maybe I'm just burned out on this, after using the Mavica that takes every shot, for up to 2 hours and plugs in and recharges)

Powershot S80 (8 megapixels and 4X zoom - I have written on my notes. But, AA batteries?) (other models like Pro 1, PS G5-G6, S70- rechargeable lithium-ion battery, price I saw without shopping for deals $599)

Canon 200 and 300D (saw some pictures on this site taken with this, said it was with a Canon 100-500 lens, maybe telephoto. Ive seen some cameras where the lens was more than the camera (LOL)

Maybe a better question with this would be what NOT to get? What problems and drawbacks has anyone found with any of these cameras, and what models am I maybe missing in my searching and taking notes?

I've had good luck buying cameras from ebay (all I could afford at the time to get something halfway good) even though they were both around 5 years old. People buy new and better and sell their previous one. Or, maybe there's something about it they don't like or doesn't work right for them. But, I've noticed there is a BIG difference in prices from different companies online- selling new. There's also Amazon sellers (new) that seem to have lower prices.

I should say I'm a great grandmother, on a limited income (as I said getting a loan to get better stuff since I'm frustrated and held back trying to use what I now have. Not to say I haven't learned a lot with it) who got into computers later in life- like so many have, and realize it's what I love. Photography (I've always loved but couldn't afford much with film cameras) computer art/ graphic design, printing . I have an idea what I want, but don't have the experience (with digital cameras) to really pinpoint it for sure. LIke someone who knows cameras and has used them might.

I knew the lens is important from 35mm ones, and now with digital, I've seen some are advertised as lots of megapixels, BUT they still don't seem to take big, clear pictures. One camera I think of about this, and have seen pictures from (people in my family have several models of them, $200-300 price range) are the Kodak EasyShare. Even though they are fairly expensive and 5 or so megapixels, to me they don't take big clear (enlargable and printable) pictures.

I was in Radio Shack yesterday (where everything seems to be 4 times as much as other stores) and they tried to sell me some of the cameras thay have, $149 or so so (thin ones) using the selling point "it's 5 megapixels".

Thanks (for those who have taken the time to read this)

~ Carrie

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Old Jan 30, 2006, 1:03 PM   #2
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I think you're still in the looking/learning stages.

Here's a few recommendations:

- I'm a big fan of cameras with lithium, not proprietary, batteries. They have a higher capacity and hold their charge a long time. I've never been left out to dry using lithiums.

- It's difficult to understand, based on your potential uses, what quality of camera you are looking for. For instance, the S80 is an excellent camera, but I wouldn't assume it could take greeting card quality photos.

- Focal length. You mention have a long zoom lens. This could narrow your search to a "superzoom" camera, not a point and shoot.

- How much complexity can you deal with? A DSLR is a full blown camera where you can change lens, but is more complex than a point and shoot or a superzoom.

-- Terry
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 1:18 PM   #3
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Yes, the lithium battery I've had it with rechargeable AAs

Sort of in the middle- not the simple $150 or so point and shoot, take pictures of the kids and holidays, etc. but not the $1200+ full blown SLR(digital).

I've had 35mm SLRs in the past, one a Pentex K1000 and one a Minolta, both had changable lenses (to zoom) Manual and auto settings.

I probably won't be using manual settings too much (maybe in low light, special effects)and like a built in Zoom.

As to greeting cards, more like "notecards" I've been using my Epson and cheapy Lexmark printer, with fair results (more like to learn with). I'm using plain cardstock and think it might help to have a semi gloss coating on one side to print on.

I know someone who makes notecards with an HP injet printer on prefolded (not coated) cards, that come out nice. But, he uses art (either colored on the computer or with markers- clear and bright)

I've been compensating for lack of quality with my previous digital cameras by learning PhotoShop. Turning them into art, or designs, etc.

I'm not really sure what I need and what's best, within my price range, also.

I've been using my daughters's Mavica 350 and I like how that works (and has a zoom, though not too much) but don't want to mess with the mini cds. But, that's a good example. I was told elsewhere Canon and Nikon have the best lenses (in someone's opinon) and I know from my 35mms that lens are important, too, not just how many megapixels.

In my notes I have Canon S215 powershot, up to 1/3200 shutter (if manual) and 12X ZOOM. But, it uses 4AA batteries. Price I have (without shopping around, and from the review, probably on this site) is $499.

This would be good, except for the batteries. But, an idea to go by.

Mainly, I think what I'm looking for is someone who knows the various cameras, in this case the Canons who might also know drawbacks to some of them. Like, if I were looking at the Sony Mavica (which I believe is no longer being made) the problems with the mini CDs would be a consideration.

Also, I like having the option of showing the pictures on my TV (maybe most of the digitals have this?) With my Epsons, I've gotten into the habit of showing them through my VCR and tapiing them (like a slide show) and looking at them on the t.v. screen, picking out ones I like (on a larger screen) before taking them off the camera.

But, this is just a plus, and the new computer I'm getting has a 19" monitor, so as big as my t.v.

I probably won't be actually getting a camera till the end of this week, or next week (and not really a hurry I can look around)

I love technology!

~ Carrie

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Old Jan 30, 2006, 5:01 PM   #4
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starchild wrote:
I know megapixels are the big point (selling) but I also know enough about cameras (going from 35mm in my past) that the lens, too makes a big difference.

I'd like to have ZOOM, too (maybe they all have this now)
Then you should also remember that zoom doesn't mean anything solid and that today it's just used similarly as selling point like megapixels... both 10-100mm and 100-1000mm are 10x zooms.
What matters are focal lengths and intended use.

Basing to two of cameras you've used you should well know how narrow those standard "wide" angles can be in landscape/scenery photography. (41mm in that Mavica... yack) Those super/ultrazooms (like Canon S2 IS) aren't really any better.
That's one of the reasons why I'm not going to touch any of those after using two cameras with 28-200mm for three years. (lack of manual/mechanical zoom as one other)

Also remember digital zoom is just 100% pure fraud if some seller starts to tout it.

And then processing settings camera uses have huge effect to look of photos, most cameras do literally "Disneyland"-filtering at default settings which means oversaturated colors, hard sharpening (which doesn't have anything to do with accuracy of details) and cranking contrast out of the scale which easily leads to clipped highlights and dark shadows. All those can be made better in computer afterwards, also all cameras (not toycameras) allowchanging these processing settings.
(as example of importance of good processing not so good incamera processing can make high quality lens look not so sharp)

Canon 200 and 300D...
Ive seen some cameras where the lens was more than the camera (LOL)
Considering DSLRs high quality lenses can actually cost way more than camera body itself... and for getting equal versatility as in good non-SLRs you'll need more than one lens.

Here's good handling/features comparison between SLR and high end non-SLR:

I was in Radio Shack yesterday (where everything seems to be 4 times as much as other stores) and they tried to sell me some of the cameras thay have, $149 or so so (thin ones) using the selling point "it's 5 megapixels".
I bet that camera actually has something more like couple megapixels and rest are just interpolated which is politically correct way for saying rest of pixels are just guessed mathematically.

and the new computer I'm getting has a 19" monitor, so as big as my t.v.
Regardless of general glorifying of TFTs I would keep good CRT as better, especially for photos... many TFTs have dynamic range (bright/dark shades differentiation) problems so you should definitely test model in question if you're going for such.

terry@softreq.com wrote:
- Focal length.* You mention have a long zoom lens.* This could narrow your search to a "superzoom" camera, not a point and shoot.
And now that "superzoom" doesn't really guarantee any more useful controls, generally just more "morse code" tapping of 4-way controller.
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 11:22 AM   #5
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I think there are many 'AA' benefits.. Ie: cheaper to replace.. You can get (as I have), rechargables. I got a charger with car adapter and 8 batteries for less than 25.00.

I had a Panasonic camcorder a while back.. I ended up hucking the thing because batteries were so darn expensive.. 80.00 for a battery that seems to die in less than a year is rediculious. not to mention the fact that you need at least 3 to make sure you always have on on hand.

The bonus of the 'AA' is that you can grab them from a corner store in a pinch. The batteries actually weigh the camera very well in my hand. They are located in the grip area.

It's the Canon S2 IS... not 1S by the way.. IS- Image Stabilization. I have this camera and am extremly happy with it. The zoom is absolutly incredible and precise to boot. The possabilities of the S2 are pretty limitless.

On another note.. Yes.. be careful with mp.. Anytime I hear people asking in stores aout new cameras.. The first thing to pop out of their mouth.. "I need 8mp or more!!"

R&D knows this.. People want pixels, pixels and more pixels.. Sad really. I think we all know better here.. That the camera needs to be capable of handling those extra pixels.. Maybe one day I'll be able to buy 250mp!! :lol:... but only if it's on sale
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