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Old Jul 16, 2002, 10:58 PM   #1
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Default Help with Digital Camera Purchase Decision

I am looking at purchasing a digital camera that is under the $1000 range. Here are a few things that are important to me.

1. I want a camera that can really zoom. I would like to take a lot of nature shots. Birds, landscape, fish and other wildlife. This is a very important feature to me.

2. I would also use it to take pictures of flowers. So great close up shots is also a must.

3. Family photos

I initially started looking at the Olympus C4040 and the Canon G2. I heard the Olympus has a lot of mechanical problems. Every camera shop I go into is directing me to different cameras and now I am becoming VERY overwhelmed. I had one shop indicate that I should be looking at the Nikkon or Pentax.

Can you please give me suggestions based on the 3 main uses for a digital camera that I have identified? (thanks)
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Old Jul 16, 2002, 11:38 PM   #2
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Lotuslady ,

I think that the Minolta D7i deserve a try . It have several advantages for your use:
- 5 Mpixels
- Wide angle down to 28mm ( full 7x zoom from 28 to 200mm)
- Manual zoom ( no unprecise "get on my nerves" buzz buzz )
- Direct Manual Focus retouch
- Macro at both tele end (200mm focal) and wide angle end ( 28mm)
- In camera color filter and color settings ( vivid color ...etc )
- time interval shot mode ( must be great for flowers blooming pics ? I guess )
- Macro Twin flash and Macro ring flash available ( personally , I don't have thoses, but I believe they should be great for macro shots , I use 2 big flashes for the rare times I need )
- Exceptional low light ability

At least, I strongly recommend you read the review at the review page , and try one at store. Before my D7i , I already own a D7 ( the D7i predecessor ) and still believe in it . I have Nikon film SLR , but this time , with the D7/D7i , Minolta convinced me over the others same category digital camera.

(Of course, under 1000$ , pro DSLR is out of question ... )

PS: The D7 and the D7i have been very unfairly treated regarding the batteries consumption , and "heat problem "( or so called problem) . Don't be intimidated by these arguments for now, we discuss about this when necessary .

Good luck and take your time to shop , and try out the cameras .

... and I forgot : real time histogram , grid and scale display ...etc

[Edited on 7-17-2002 by KCan]
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Old Jul 17, 2002, 12:09 AM   #3
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Kcan, I did not know you could try out camera's. I will have to check into this and see if our photo shops will allow this. That would be wonderful.

The Minolta D7i does sound interesting. I will have to do some research on it. Thank you for your input.
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Old Jul 17, 2002, 1:06 AM   #4
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Default D7i

most shops will let you play with the cameras while in the shop. i own a 7i. the first thing i noticed on it was the autofocus was fast and the shutter release delay was removed for normal circumstance shooting. now it has quite a bit of operational options in the available in the various control panels. it may confuse you at first. it can be point and shoot or just about any other option you want. read the manual. 99% of the digicams out on the market have either a toggle or some form of push button assembly for zoom. after going thru another camera with this feature i welcomed back manual zoom. the lens is excellent. 28-200 f2.8-3.5 range is sort of my sweet spot. i love wide. i shoot indoors often. the 28-35 range covers it beautifully. outdoors you have the other popular 70-200 range covered long but not out of control. an all around lens this is it. if your serious about the birds. you might feel this is a little short at 200mm. other cameras have longer zooms that sacrifice wide. longer lenses that will turn out to be slower sacrficing the apeture longer lens also means shaking amplified in the image. tripod please. please, don't think of adding an extender lens. the results for most cameras have been generally mediocre to poor. this lens doesn't like them anyway. the macro in my opinion is beautiful. sharp as a tack. both ranges. i could go on and on with the accolades but your the one who is going to use it. go to the shops and play. if you tell us what city your in or near maybe one of us can suggest a good shop to sample the cameras at. i hope you enjoy which ever you choose.
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Old Jul 17, 2002, 1:09 AM   #5
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Lotuslady,
You are welcome.
If you have already a Compact Flash card , you can take some pics arround the store with the camera and judge by yourself later at home.

Also , I , and many others here , find that it's far more advantageous ( and convenient ) with a camera that use AA standard batteries and Compact Flash card ( versus cameras using expensive proprietary battery , and other less popular memory cards )
Presently , the Compact Flash card system is the only one format allowing you the microdrive alternative ( a small hardisk ) if you care about having Gigs of storage on camera.

happy shopping!
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Old Jul 17, 2002, 9:32 PM   #6
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Sjms, I live in Bismarck, ND. There are not to many photo shops to select from. lol Ritz camera and Bob's photo pretty much cover all of them. lol

I have been looking at the different cameras and when viewing cnet they really rate the Canon G2 as one of the best cameras. However, in this post nobody mentions it?? Are the reviews somewhat skewed?

Right now I believe the zoom is the most important feature and I really like what I have read on the Minolta D7I.

It is a bit high priced right now. However, I am going on vacation in Florida at the end of Aug. and really wanted to make my purchase a bit beforehand to allow some practice on my part.

Would you watch ebay and purchase a camera from there? Or would I be better off spending a bit more and having the peace of mind, knowing I will be able to return the camera to a local shop if problems arise to have them repaired?

Kcan, You mention problems with quick battery drainage. This would not be a problem here at home. However, on a vacation this could be quite inconvenient. I would imagine an extra set of rechargeable batteries and a charger should take care of this problem...not??

Again, thank you so much for your help. I really like what I have read about the Minolta. I am going to see if any of the local shops will allow me to test one of these cameras.
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Old Jul 17, 2002, 11:05 PM   #7
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Lotuslady,
Even in the review, the D7i is respectably ranked regarding power consumption , so don't worry. Take a look in Minolta forum, in my own test, I got 2708 frames with 1 set of battery , any one challenge that? ( with same conditions of course ) .
Anyway , MiNH AA's are dirty cheap and you can get them anywhere (Costco, Wallmart ...) and it's capacity goes up each month . I have now 4 sets , and many chargers . At home , you can get an AC adapter too.
NHL does "heavy " sessions of shootings with his microdrive also.

The important things is are the features fit your needs and does the camera fits your taste or not.

I don't know the G2, so I can't comment about . When I made my choice ( back to the D7 time) my comparison target was the Nikon 5000 and Olympus E-10/20 which are more expensive . Now , I get the D7i instead of the Nikon 5700 .

About battery : whatever camera you have, on vacation, you got to have extra. AA rechargeable , and quickcharger ( 1hrs , 4hrs ... ) are cheap, and very popular.

Regarding the service: I bought my camera at a known good service store . I even paid 50$ more than the best price in town. But I know that if I have a problem with the camera, they will take care off. The store is also a Minolta official dealer (important for me)
I don't know anything about eBay, may be friends her will advice you on that. I guess that's not a good idea for a camera that recent.

Take your time if you are not sure of your choice yet. Try them , inform yourself etc ...
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Old Jul 18, 2002, 10:24 AM   #8
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i would say that this camera (D7i US model) will remain in the range about $875-999 for a while. you can try ebay but dealers arent going to budge too much. real cheap prices right now are 99% grey market. warrentee not valid if purchased in the US. so much for a world economy. marketing wins every time. it all depends on how much you want/need it. if your willing to wait until after the summer, say around october prices will start to loosen up. summertime, florida, pictures all go hand in hand. and they know it. i can tell you how great the picture can be when you use. i paid the price. i try not to look back. i look at the pictures.
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Old Jul 18, 2002, 10:56 AM   #9
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I haven't gotten my hands on the new Nikon 4500 (4MB 4X optical zoom) or 5700 (5MB 8X optical zoom), but if you can spend that kind of money, I would take a look at these before deciding. They sound very interesting. I may buy the 5700 myself.
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Old Jul 18, 2002, 11:20 AM   #10
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i wouldn't. i owned a 950 and a 990 they are more of a compromise than th D7i. add-on lenses that block views. only a mediocre wide angle. propriatary batteries (for the new models). the 5700- it reads like a almost copy of the D7i. though it has a few trick items (flip out screen) gee i guess emulation is a sign of honoring ones competitor

each camera is a compromize if longer is what you need than the 5700. wider the D7i. there are other factors

after owning the 950/990 i very quicklly got tired of all the add-ons and brackets. that knocks out the 4500. but as a cool quality P/S camera it works well.

i referenced why i felt the 5700 missed my mark. the bottem end of the lens is 35mm equivelent. i like wide. i feel that a 280mm top end will induce fuzzy shots without additional support in lower light shooting. the camera is light. so any movement (body tremor/the shakes, windy conditions) will tend to amplify at that focal length.

[Edited on 7-18-2002 by sjms]
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