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Old Feb 11, 2004, 5:17 PM   #1
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Default Digital Cameras not so good these days! My final choices

This is kind of long so please bear with me; I really need some second opinions before I purchase a camera real soon. I find myself comig back to Minolta since I've been looking for a camera for a couple of months. I am looking for a digital camera that will stay a head of its time, so like a couple years from now it won't be too outdated. I would like to take pictures for my business, website and trips so an ability to take professional looking photos would be nice. My budget is under $300. After doing a lot of reviewing and comparing I have narrowed my search down to these three choices

Minolta DiMAGE S414 (By far my favorite but is it dated?)

Minolta DiMAGE G400 (Hate the battery pack idea, but it is newer, quick and small. It also has a unlimited video with sound).

Casio QV-R40 (Uses AA batteries but I have heard complaints about the fuzziness in pictures and checked out some pics myself and don't really like them either compared to the others but it is the cheapest at $223 but at the same time missing some serious features like sound and continuous capture shooting mode).

I also have the following criteria for the camera that I choose:

1) I would like a good 4 mega pixel camera but if any one knows about a 3+ mega pixel camera that can be just as good please let me know.

2) Picture quality has to very sharp, rich, and crisp. I would like a camera without fuzziness and can produce a little larger than letter size paper pictures with good quality.

3) No lithium Ion battery crap. This has to be the most disappointing feature to me out of all the recent deployments of digital cameras. This criterion will only change if the camera has other highly exceeding qualities/features. The main reason for this is because I have an AA battery charger that can charge in 15 minutes so waiting 2 hrs for a battery pack to charge that costs double the price of NiMH is just way too long for me.

4) A pocket size camera would be nice but not a necessity. I don't want one too big though.

5) The camera should be able to turn on and take pictures quickly (less than 2 sec)

6) No xD memory cards because they don't work with my PC for some reason.

7) I am pretty much a beginner but would like to get to at least intermediate status but when I want to take quick pictures fast and with good quality I want to be able to do so (I also want to know if the manual features on these cameras are good enough for me to fine tune my photos and make them rich in color and brightness).

8 ) Video with sound and only limited by memory is a nice plus but not a necessity but if I'm going to pay close to $300 I expect sound with video.
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Old Feb 11, 2004, 8:49 PM   #2
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Camera electronics have improved to the point that the little proprietary batteries work quite well. Iíve had my little pocket camera for 2 years now with a single battery. It regularly fills a 256Mb card and has power left over to download the pictures. If you leave the LCD on because you think it looks nice and turn the camera on thinking you might eventually want to take a picture it would probably be best to go with AAs and carry some cheap spares with you.

I read an article on battery chargers. The Maha charger uses a 500Ma charge rate and fully charges 1600 mAh batteries in about 4 hours and is considered a safe rate. 1 hour fast charger for NiMH batteries can overcharge them and get them too hot, limiting the life of the batteries. 15 minutes to a full charge from near dead batteries is absurd. Get another charger.

I like the Minolta 414. It is evidently a battery hog, so plan on carrying a spare set. I think it is a great camera for the price with 4X zoom and 4Mp. I have learned to really appreciate a camera with a continuous focus mode after using one without it to try to photograph kids. The 414 is large and heavy for its class though.

The G400 has a weak flash Ė otherwise a good camera.

Go through these. Any that look interesting read Steveís review: http://www50.shopping.com/xPP-Digita..._range_180_280
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 1:38 PM   #3
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Default Thanks for taking the time to reply

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I don't know why I have 72 views but only 1 reply though. I guess my post is too long and everyone is tired of people asking for advice.

Anyways that link was very helpful but I still like the Minolta S414 the best. I just hope it's size won't be too much of an annoyance and the focusing won't be too much trouble even if i have to go into manual mode to fine tune it, those are the only two problems making me question if I really want it. I really feel like I have to check it out before I buy it (I don't know any local stores that have it) or purchase it and return it then get it on the net for a cheaper price I don't want to get stuck with it if I don't like it, like some other stuff I have bought over the net!

About the batteries I am using a Rayovac charger that has special 2000 mah ic3 batteries that can charge in 15 minutes, other brands will be a couple hours to overnite. I have tried them on a Nikon cool pix 2100 and they seem to work fine. I really need to get things done quick and waiting 2 hours is just too much time wasted. The NiMH batteries are a quicker inexpensive method than proprietary battery packs (why are companies doing this?) for me.
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 2:40 PM   #4
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Companies are using proprietary batteries because they are much lighter and more compact. Minolta for example went with proprietary on their A1 after having 4 AAs in the previous cameras in the series. It is a trend you are likely to see more and more of. The 414 is quite large and heavy compared to comparable cameras with proprietary batteries. I like having a pocket camera and there isnít anything that qualifies as a true pocket camera with AAs. The F100//300 is close but a little heavy and bulky for carrying everywhere.

You must take a LOT of pictures that 200 a day isnít enough. Stop and smell the roses while you frame the picture in your mind. At the end of a shooting day I download my pictures and put the battery in the charger. Iíve never run out of battery. Several people on the Panasonic board were happy with Eagle batteries for their FZ10s. so while I was ordering one I also ordered one for my C50 at $10. Iíve never needed a spare but it might be nice to always have one in the charger if it works out for that price. There is a caveat that some cheap batteries donít have the feedback to tell the charger when they are full, so I might not be able to keep the Eagle batteries in the chargers. If the green light doesnít come on after a couple of hours or so I will know to not keep it there.

There is nothing wrong with long posts. It is much better to spell out your requirements than not give enough information. People are more likely to respond to informative posts than those from people who think they are sending a telegram. Your title might be a little of a put-off Ė most of us think digital cameras get better every year. That you take 500 pictures a day and canít wait for a recharge or buy a spare doesnít apply to most people, and companies donít design their cameras around that requirement.
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