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Old Jan 3, 2004, 1:07 PM   #1
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Default 3 MP for Outdoor / Landscape photography?

I'm new to digital cameras, and have done quite a bit of research to this point, but have reached a wall. I've also done quite a bit of reading on this site (as well as others (PCworld, etc.) and I keep finding myself going back in a circle to the Canon A70, which is out of my price range, especially when I factor in the additional mem. card and addl. battery expenses. Therefore it's not an option. Here are my parameters :

I would like to stay under $250.
I would like good auto features (point and shoot), but also some nice manual features when I want to take things up a notch a get a better picture.
I would like it to be compact, I'll be carrying it with me a lot
I need good zoom features, so nothing less than 3x optical
I will need at least an ISO that goes to at least 100 (I noticed that the Fuji A310 sneaks in an ISO with a lowest ISO of 200)
And the "best bang for the buck" so to speak, it's just that my buck doesn't stretch as far as the A70.

Quality is really important to me, I work in the golf course design/ construction business so I'll be taking lots of photos outdoors and they'll need to be clean and crisp. Side note: my wife will be fiddeling with it as well and easy to use will help with her.

These are the cameras I've come across so far...Can someone tell me what seems to be preferrable of these OR if any of these are NOT preferrable OR if there might be something better out there that seems to fit my parameters better??

Kodak Easyshare CX6330 (limited manual options)
Sony DSC-P72 (current sony $30 rebate offer) (limited manual options?)
Pentax Optio 330GS
Olympus D560 (current olympus $20 rebate offer)
Any Others??

Thanks so much in advance for any help with this. I saw that other guys post about help with a first digital camera purchase posts, but I do NEED the help and this is the "Newbie Help" forum. I've reached a point where I just don't know where else to turn, you can see It's an important purchase for me. So, I do hope that someone out there can help me.

Kevin
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 12:52 AM   #2
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I do not know enough about the cameraís you have listed or the style you are wishing for. I would however suggest finding a local store with a no questions asked, no restocking fee, return policy and start at the top of your list and return the camera if it doesnít meet your needs. In the Midwest I am fairly confident Circuit City and Wal-Mart have just that kind of return policy.

I realize you would prefer an answer from a user of a like camera but this maybe a viable option if all else fails. Good Luck!
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 11:31 AM   #3
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I know almost nothing about the cameras in your range. I purchased a DLSR because... well, I could and it was the best choice for what I needed (nature photography where fast AF and low shutter lag is required.)

But I do know a bit about landscape photography, and have picked up a few bits of knowledge about the realm of cameras you're thinking of just by reading here.

You'll want a good wide angle. Something in the low 20mm focal length. Use Steve's reviews to see the 35-mm equivalent values of the lenses on the cameras you're thinking of. The "X" value (3x 4x) only shows you the ration between the shorted and longest zoom range. Not what the range actually is.)

Getting good auto features and some manual is hard. The cheaper the camera, the fewer the manual & auto features (seems to be true, but I could probably be easily proven wrong with a few examples by people who know.) The "a" line is the entry line for Canon and lacks some features that the other two lines have (S & G line of cameras.) I've read some posts by people who were fighting it's lack of manual features.

Compact goes against having a "good zoom feature" depending on what you mean by good. 3x can be 20-60mm or it could be 30-90. A 90mm zoom is 50% longer than a 60mm zoom. Do you want the zoom for the novelty (it sounds like that, most of your work seems to be at the wider end) or do you really want some reach? And the longer the zoom, the more expensive the camera (more materials, harder to make.)

I canít help you on the compact side, but it's good you realize this is something you need. Like PKchopper said, go to a store and at least look at them. The pictures in a review donít do them justiceÖ the best way to see if it will fit in your pocket is to really hold one. It's also good to make sure the button placement works for you, and that it feels good in your hands.

Donít rule out cameras with a min ISO of 200. Itís a question of picture quality. Something with a min of 200 might produce pictures that are good enough for you. Look at the samples in the reviews and compare them. It might have too much noise, or it might not for your needs and quality concerns. That is something only you can decide, but you can leverage the pictures at http://www.imaging-resource.com or at http://www.steves-digicams.com/ to make your life easier.

Beyond that, I really canít help you. Iíve never seen one of those cameras you list as options, so I canít help you directly pick between them.

Eric
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 12:09 PM   #4
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I recently recommended the D560 to my boss who wanted a good sturdy camera with point and shoot capabilities and some extras.
I Like Olympus cameras, you get great color and the 'point and shoot' ones are tough. I ride horseback 20 to 40 miles a week and took my 380 with me in my saddlebag for most of last year. I don't know anything about the others. Good Luck

My 2 cents :P

Kayd
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 12:11 PM   #5
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Our church bought the Olympus D560 and also a friend of mine purchased one. The cameras take very good pictures and should meet your requirements as described.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 1:20 PM   #6
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Unable to make recommendations but here are a few sites that may help:


http://www8.activebuyersguide.com/ab...c0&RefID=0


http://pcworld.pricegrabber.com/sear...edb6e5af86d29f ( use the "filter" search. Also a good price comparison site)

http://reviews.cnet.com/Digital_came...g=cnetfd.glnav

You might consider Consumer Reports, too:

http://tinyurl.com/23cp6

In order to review the ratings though, you would need an online subscription which can be paid for month by month, I believe.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 3:21 PM   #7
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Me again.....unfortunately, I live in the middle of no where. Literally, and am forced to most of my ordering online. Therefore, hands on trying and buying is extremely limited. Yes, no best buys, circuit citys, etc...not even a wal mart. Ugh.

I work in the golf course business and I'm constantly needing to take quick pictures for reference purposes. These don't have to be high quality. Thus the need for good manual settings.

However, I'm proud of my work and when we are closing in on the finished product I want to be able to take nice pictures of good quality. I realize that with a 3mp camara I will not achieve "great" quality, but I want the best that I can get within the range that I've said that I'm looking.....probably will only be printing in 5x7 - 6x8 range.

When I do want to take the higher quality photos, odds are they'll be in the early morning (sunrise) or late afternoon (sunset), so thats why I want the manual setting abilities. I just figured that I would have to play with it to get the look and feel I want and a camara with strictly auto settings obviously wouldn't allow that.

Thanks to all for responding so far. The Olympus was one of the ones I was leaning towards. And the Pentax....anyone know anything positive or negative about that one?

One last question.....If I opened my wallet really wide and some extra money fell out. And I was able to get the Canon A70, does the consensus here say that it's the best in this class of camara for my needs?

Thanks again for everyones help!
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 5:53 PM   #8
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Default Mmmm....

Check the following site what can you do with a 2 MP Camera.

http://www.bigskyfishing.com/Gear-Te...tal_camera.htm

If you can buy a 3 or 4 MP it will be better.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 6:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krich525
... I work in the golf course business and I'm constantly needing to take quick pictures for reference purposes. These don't have to be high quality.
...
When I do want to take the higher quality photos, odds are they'll be in the early morning (sunrise) or late afternoon (sunset), so thats why I want the manual setting abilities. ...
You have two very different needs, easy to carry and use for documentation vs. the best quality possible.

I'd suggest getting a simple camera for documentation having some manual controls so you can learn with it, and save some money to get a better one in a few months/years. You will still have a use for the simple camera, and the price of the better cameras will keep coming down while their capability goes up. So in the simple camera look at price (saving for that better camera) and durability as the primary issues. Durability is hard to quantify, but the cheapest camera tend to be those that have been on the market for a while and are recently discontiued. Those will have a track record to look at in the forum for the specific camara, e.g., lots of reports of broken bits.
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Old Jan 7, 2004, 11:45 PM   #10
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one more thing...

You might not need the manual settings if you have a computer you will be processing the pictures on before printing them.

You may be able to achieve the appropriate contrast and color balance after the fact with your photo processing software.
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