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pomkin Oct 14, 2003 2:26 PM

please help find me a camera!
i'm looking for a digital camera for my sister's 18th birthday. we're willing to pay up to £400 (but no more). we've never had a digital camera before so i'm really not sure what the best for beginners is..we dont want anything rubbish though. erm, any help would be greatly appreciated as to the best makes or models we should look at!

Mike_PEAT Oct 14, 2003 3:29 PM

It's not good to buy a camera for someone else...the camera you chose may not be good for them because a big thing is the way a camera feels in the person's hands.

As for what's good for a beginner depends on the person themselves...some people can't handle a camera with more than a flash on/off control. My first camera as a child most people would find too complicated...I had to carry a separate light meter and focus meter, and set all the controls manually; for me that was easy but that's what cameras were like then.

If someone's a first time camera user of a camera suggest something less expensive, rather than buying something too expensive which they might not use.

A suggestion instead is to get a gift cirtificate at a local (larger) camera store and let them choose what suits them.

pomkin Oct 14, 2003 4:09 PM

my sister is involved in the decision making and she is basically choosing what she wants, my friends dad is a profesisonal photographer and has given me and my parents some advice, although i do see what you mean by saying she might not use it, but it's something she's been considering for a long time. i have found a sony camera with 5million pixcels on for £284. this seems a good price to me, but knowing very little about cameras i'm not sure. thanks for your response!

slipe Oct 14, 2003 4:57 PM

Your sisterís photos are her memories. I canít tell you how many times I wished my wifeís and my parents had taken their pictures with decent cameras. There is not a consumer level camera on the market that you canít just set to program and auto-flash and push the button when you want a picture. Generally the more you pay the better that picture will be.

I take it you are looking at a Sony P92. The 5Mp will be laughable in ten years, but right now it is the best you can do for all practical purposes. It is a nice little camera and will get good photos. Keep in mind that to take 5Mp photos at best quality JPG you need a 256Mb Memory Stick. The battery will fill the 256Mb if she turns the LCD off except when she needs it, so the memory stick is your only extra expense. You should come in under 400 Pounds. It isnít a bad choice for someone who doesnít want to get heavily into manual settings but might want to expand their knowledge a little.

Mathilde uP Oct 14, 2003 6:50 PM

Note that any modern camera (except maybe for high end professional gear like Hasselblad) do have a fully automatic mode. The point is more how much options does she fancy to worth the price or does she rather put everything on best lense / ccd?

Compact is nice you can take it anywere but what Mike Peat said is true. My first camera was a ultra simple compact film camera ( indeed bought without inquiring my photographic ambitions) and yes the camera was mostly a disapointment. Ofcourse with digital cameras there is no film waste/cost and most digital cameras have more fun options than a 'al cheapo' pocket cameras in the 70' (oops I gave away my age;-) But the small cameras tend to be battery junkies.

At the other end there are not so compact cameras with a lens with quite some diameter. Most times this means better image quality (and higher price).

Next some cameras are quite slow with shutter response (which is awfull if she like to shoot pictures of friends)

You may also want to browse through 'choosing a digital camera'

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