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Old Oct 10, 2002, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default need some expert recomendations please

Hi all, Just found your great forum whilst searching for info on dig cams.

I have a son turning 10 this month that has expressed an interest in photography.

I play with graphic design so I have some drawing programs he enjoys experimenting with.

I think he would like to import pics and manipulate them with my software so I'm looking for a dig camera for him.

He has cousins that are always making movies with their camcorder and he would like to shoot video also so I would like something that has high quality flexable MPEG capabilty too. Or should I be looking at camcorders?

Son is a real clown and loves to make comic strips so I can see him using video to making comedic vid clips.

Is there a camera out there that would do everything that I need I saw that Panasonic model that plays MP3s and seems to emphasize MPEGs, could this be a solution?

Thanks for your help in my quest for a "kid cam".

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Old Oct 10, 2002, 6:35 PM   #2
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Well, I'm not an expert, but I'll ask a couple of questions the experts will need to answer your question. First, what's your price range? Second, you need to find out whether his emphasis will be stills or video. Third, if his emphasis is stills, does he really want to get into playing with aperture and shutter speed or does he want to "point-and-shoot" without getting into the details.

There is a HUGE variety of cameras available--both still and video. You have to narrow it down by deciding what the major use of the camera will be. There are still cameras that do video and video cameras that do still shots. What do you really want and how much are you willing to pay?
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Old Oct 10, 2002, 10:00 PM   #3
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I agree with Jim.

Based on some hints in what you wrote:

1. perhaps you should look at one of the camcorders that allow making of crude stills. Even at 640 by 480, these are better than TV resolution. You can even obtain a cheap TV viewer of tuner $40 from Microsoft that will let him put shows on floppy disks and show then on a TV!

2. I suspect form the age and description of him as a clown that you do not want a more advanced camera that can allow manual exposure.

now for digicams.

3. Similarly, there does not seem to be a lot of reason to think about something with a lot of pixels.
Even an older 1 mega camera sounds adequate. Avoid complex mechanics like the Nikon swivel cameras. Too fragile.

4. Be sure you get zoom! Fixed focal length is boring, esp for a kid.

5. Finally, look for something sturdy AND be conservative about media ... stick with Compact flash. It is bigger and harder to lose.:P
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Old Oct 11, 2002, 5:01 AM   #4
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The previous posts say it all! Kids these days are into 'networking and fashion accessories'.

I'd look at a cam with good sensitivity (100-200 ASA?), auto features and modest res. to start with. Older 1Mpix cams were poor, even in modest light.

Forget parallax issues, if you can get a cam with a separate viewfinder lens NOT lcd only, this will give longer batt life - and less frustration. They'll soon be emailing and posting web pics before printing 13X9! Lots of 1Mpix on a smallish card from a cam should be OK - and less worry about insurance!

The MP3/digicam suggestion sounds about right, but be prepared to upgrade if a real photo interest takes off!
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Old Oct 11, 2002, 1:46 PM   #5
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Default Thank You

Thank you for your questions and suggestions.

re: price, I'd like to spend up to $350.00

re: stills or video, I don't know what he will use more, thats why I think something that does both is apropriate.

I think the Panasonic is going to be my choice.

Thanks for your help!
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Old Oct 11, 2002, 5:21 PM   #6
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Casio makes a couple of cameras that are meant for rough handling - I think they are marketing them to document construction projects. If your son is a rough on things as most 10 year-olds are, that might be a good choice.
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Old Oct 14, 2002, 8:01 AM   #7
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Default Olympus C2100 recommended

First, let me qualify this recommendation: I have a 13 year old I trust to use my personal camera. I infer that your 10 year old must be responsible or you wouldn't be willing to pay $350 for a digital camera.

The C2100 can be purchased refurbished with everything you need in the box for about $350. The only thing I'd recommend purchasing besides this is a SmartMedia card reader and a couple of sets of extra batteries. It's a full featured 2MP digicam complete with rechargeable batteries, charger and remote. It has a 10x optical digitally stabilized zoom, will do up to 320x240 movies at 15 fps, and is easy to use as a point-and-shoot camera. Additionally, it has shutter/aperture priority or can be used in full manual mode. It's a camera he can grow into as a digital camera enthusiast.

I'm sure there are many more out there, but both my 10 year old and my wife have no problems taking well focused and properly exposed pictures with this camera.
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