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Old May 18, 2003, 10:09 AM   #1
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Default Help buying first ditial camera

Hello all,

I have been trying to pick a Digital Camera (first digicam) as a gift for my anniversary. The camera will be used for the first time on a Cruise to the USVI. I know there will be a mixture of lighting conditions and some will be in very low light. I have a strong back ground in electronics but have not kept up with the Digital Camera world and feel lost!

The cameras I have been looking into are as follows:
Kodak DX-4330
Sony DSC-P72
Fuji FinePix 3800
Canon PowerShot A70
Nikon CoolPix 3100

I really only care about the picture quality and lack of noise. I will not be using the images for e-mail or anything like that. The purchase will be made with a Dye Sublimation 4x6 photo printer. My wife does a ton of scrap-booking and I hate paying for 1 hour photo and film. If anyone knows these cameras and has a true opinon of picture quality I would be most thankful to hear your response. I have downloaded a ton of sample pictures from "Steve's Digicam", The manufactures web site, and "MegaPixel.NET". Sure they all look great but will I be able to reproduce that level of quality

I also don't care about the movie mode of the cameras (I am a purist by nature) and have a camcorder for that. I just want great prints and the fewer settings I need to deal with the better. My wife has no desire to learn about the settings and features. She trully needs a camera she can turn on and take pictures. The information I have seen about shutter lag, photos of sporting events, and of detailed night shots has me very worried about the choice to buy a digital at all!

Please help a man trying to provide a great gift to his wife
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Old May 18, 2003, 11:25 AM   #2
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This is a message I post whenever someone wants to buy a camera just before they're about to leave on vacation:

Never buy a new camera just before you go on vacation because you'll spend your vacation reading the manual.

You should shoot many hundreds of pictures before you take the camera on vacation. That way you will know how to use the camera and what its limitations are.

I had used a fully manual SLR for 20 years, so I thought I could handle my new digital no problem. Even though I used the camera a month before I left on vacation, there were still lots of little things I forgot when I read through the manual before I left, like the fact I had to turn on the macro feature...missed a few good shots because of that.

When I've owned the camera 6 months, I accidently found a neat feature that I must have read about in the manual when I first got the camera, but totally ignored...when I get time I have to reread the manual.
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Old May 18, 2003, 3:51 PM   #3
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I agree 100% with Mike here. I too have used 35mm Compact and SLR's for 20 years and recently purchased a Canon A70.

I also thought I would be able to just blast away with my new digicam, but I too feel it will take some time to get used to the new cam and I dare say there will be some diffs between 35mm and the digital media that I have yet to learn

Stef

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Old May 18, 2003, 6:02 PM   #4
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The Nikon 3100 is a good choice. I have this camera and it is so easy to use. You can turn it on auto and just pont and shoot. There are some manual settings such as white balance and scene mode, but over all, this is a great camera with great picture quality.
I totally agree with the above posters about taking your time to learn the camera. Even with a camera as simple and easy as the Nikon 3100, I am still playing with mine and trying out different settings under certain conditions ex- played with white balance outside on a cloudy day last week to see how the cloudy white balance setting pics looked compared to the ones set on auto white balance.
I hope this helps!
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Old May 18, 2003, 8:08 PM   #5
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Firstly, don't underestimate movie mode .... you may have a cammcorder but at the flick of a switch you have th echance to shoot a mvie .. i for one adore it.

Secondly, i own the Fuji 3800 ........ the 4x6 prints at 3mp look staggering .. they really do. It's only faults, you can't see what you're shooting in poor light (the picture quality is great but the LCD and EVF are black so you point and hope) ... and the shape is a love/hate relationship. helpas to take great shots but a bitch to carry around even though it is VERY light.
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Old May 21, 2003, 12:55 AM   #6
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I prefer the a70. It has an af-assist for focusing in low light plus it has an automatic mode for point and shoot and a mode that allows for almost full manual should you ever want to play around with the camera. Furthermore, it can take add-on lenses and if you are going on a cruise with this camera, you could pick up canon's underwater housing for it and take underwater shots. Though some complain of softness and other such issues, i have yet to read a professional review of this camera that does not recomend it and if you look around the forums, you are sure to find tons of happy a70 users.
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Old May 21, 2003, 1:13 AM   #7
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yeah but a lousy 100mm zoom .. the foooooji has 230mm and i do use it. 180 odd would be enough .. the standard 100 tp 105 is so limiting.
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Old May 21, 2003, 2:19 AM   #8
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I agree the 3X zooms on a lot of cams are a bit on the short side - however with the A70 you can buy adapter ring and 2.4 X converter and it's not that expensive

stefan
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Old May 21, 2003, 8:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefank
I agree the 3X zooms on a lot of cams are a bit on the short side
Well, it means more on the wide angle side of 50mm...many people here are wishing for cameras with more wide angle.

You can't just look at the 'x' of the zoom...you got to look at the numbers.
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Old May 21, 2003, 9:31 AM   #10
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yep fair point.

I do like longer zooms but yr quite right more at the other end wud be good too

Stef
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