Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Newbie Help

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 28, 2003, 1:10 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4
Default Could someone give me buying advice please?

Hi there, first time poster to the forums (may post this in another board as well) and a perspective digital camera buyer...

Well first thing I will admit... I am a cheapskate. Yes, initially I was looking for a 2 megapixel camera for about $200... Noticed the Fuji 2650 and was considering that... Then I started to see the Canon A40... Even though I am a cheapskate, I would go for it for $250 if it was a really good camera.

The pros:
- I like the body style, too small is not good for me
- I like that it uses AA batteries or rechargables rather than a batterypack that needs to be charged
- Like the 3x optical zoom
- Like that it uses a fairly common CF card
- The sample pics I saw online of this looked good
- Cool that it can record movies (not necessary, but a definite plus)
- Cool that it can have add on lenses (not necessary, but cool... I am an idiot in taking pics, but I might want to learn more stuff)

The cons (or grey areas):
- The macro shots didn't look so good
- Is 2 Megapixels enough?
- Are the four batteries it takes used efficiently (more batteries than other cameras)
- Timing bad? (see below)

Looks like the pros outweigh the bads... However, looking at the timing, I think that's what sort of scares me. The A40 has been out for about a year now... Looking at Canon's track record, it looks like they would release a new camera soon. Any word on the street about this happening? This could hurt or help me. If they release a new camera it could be a lot better! On the other hand if the new camera is not SO MUCH better, (and sells for the original price of the A40), the "old" model may just drop in price! 8) (I told you, cheapskate)...

There are those new Olympus models that look interesting... The digital 300, etc. But those are proprietary battery packs correct? The announcements from CES were kind of disappointing for me (that was why I waited 'til now)...

So if anyone can give me advice... I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!

P.S. Sorry if I broke any protocols... a newbie 'round these parts...
inazuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 28, 2003, 1:03 PM   #2
lg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 823
Default

I haven't heard anything bad about the A40; in fact, Steve has recommended it on this forum. Here's some answers to your other questions:

2MP will be fine for most digital applications, and for printing up to 8x10 max, but you really need to let us know what you will be using the camera for the best input.

If you really ARE a cheapskate, then you don't need to be worrying about timing--- the newer models are simply going to cost more!

I wouldn't worry so much about the media it takes right now, because all are relatively cheap and will remain available for some time. For example, although Olympus and other manufacturers are supporting XD cards now instead of SmartMedia, a lot of the MP3 players use SmartMedia, so there will still be a demand for it.

AA batteries are a great choice in my opinion, because proprietary batteries are prohibitively expensive. Even a single replacement battery can cost more than a lifetime supply of NiMh AA's! While some cameras take only 2 AA's, it's not a lot of problems swapping out 4 batteries when you have to.

Better buys can be found on older models that have been "tried and tested." For example, there's a huge following for the Olympus C-2100. Originally selling for over $1000, refurbs can be purchased for under $400. You will find also that to keep prices competitive, a lot of the extras aren't included in the newer models (remotes, rechargeable batteries and charger, larger LCD display, more manual controls, etc.).

I hope this is helpful, and gets you off to a good start. If you need more info, just post it and somebody will ask. Welcome to the board, and happy hunting!
lg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28, 2003, 2:45 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks a lot for your advice!

The only reason I was thinking about the CF compatibility is because I have other devices that take that format.

And yes it does help!
inazuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28, 2003, 2:57 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,585
Default

I would go with the A40 and the cf cards.
gibsonpd3620 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 29, 2003, 3:09 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 307
Default

Here is a copy of my post to another question in this forum:
Although I own a FinePix 2800, I do not necessarily recommend it for a starter (that includes the 3800 and any other EVF finder camera including the C2100). The reason: you cannot see how poorly the EVF and LCD perform in low light situations (indoors and at night) in a photo retailer. You have to take it home before you can see if you can be happy with an extremely dark viewfinder in those conditions.
Settle for a camera with an optical zoom (at least 3X): the Fuji 2600, 2650, Olympus 520 and 550 come to mind. None of these cameras however includes a focus assist for low light shooting, so some shots may not be sharp. I would otherwise recommend a Canon A40 as it has many more advanced features than the above, but there have been two different focussing issues with this model so far (the one with the "fix" at the Canon Web site, and another there is no fix for. See posting reference below. We also have this problem with ours.). If you can get lucky with a good A40 unit, it is by far the most for the money.

http://forums.powershot-a.com/showth...?threadid=1758
MentorRon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2003, 9:26 AM   #6
lg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 823
Default

The C-2100 has brightness adjustments for both EVF and LCD, and a wonderful focus assist lamp that allows you to take sharply focused and properly exposed pictures even in total darkness (with flash) at up to 9 ft. It has a 10x stabilized optical zoom, and it takes sharp and properly exposed pics virtually all the time. It even comes with rechargeable batteries and charger and a remote! It's also very easy to use-- all of my family feel comfortable taking pics with it. I have a 10 year old daughter, 13 and 18 year old sons, and a wife. Refurbs are available on eBay for as low as $360.
lg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2003, 10:50 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 307
Default

All cameras with an EVF have brightness adjustments for the EVF/LCD. This does not make the image bright enough in many low light situations, compared to an optical finder (or a through the lens finder on a 35mm SLR), it just makes them easier to see in bright light and gives you a false impression of the ACTUAL brightness of the final image if left that way when in brighter surroundings. The EVF image is still limited to the light gathering ability of the CCD in it's "movie" mode, which uses a higher shutter speed (maybe 1/10 sec?) than the camera is capable of in low light for the actual picture taking. This is to allow the image to be as close to "real time" as possible. On one of the cameras I tried some time ago (I don't remember which) the EVF brightens (freeze-frame?) when you depress the shutter release half-way ( could it have been the C-2100?), but then you've "locked" the picture in the EVF and it will not change if you pan the camera to correct the composition at that point. The others do not have this feature.
MentorRon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2003, 11:04 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 307
Default

I still think the A40 is the best LOW priced camera that can be used for very low light photography due to it's 15 sec shutter speed and variable ISO settings. What other camera at this price point (NEW) offers these features?
I am not a fan of refurbished, especially if buying sight unseen by mail-order. There are then costs (and the incumbent shipping and handling delays) involved if there is any problem. I even refused to buy a used C-2100 for $549 Cdn in town as there was only a 30 day exchange warranty and they had no other camera that interested me at that price point should the C-2100 be (or become) defective in that period.
Unfortunately, I am in a position right now of having to accept a refurbished camera (a newer model) direct from Fuji as a replacement for a camera that was defective during it's warranty period since they don't have replacement parts for it. The first refurbished one I got was defective, so they are shipping a second. None of this is at a cost to me. Most retailers would not pay the return shipping cost of a refurbished unit. I will keep the Fuji forum posted on this item.
MentorRon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2003, 10:33 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks folks... I ended up ordering the a40... I hope I don't get one of those "bum" units... Will definitely post if I do. :P

Thanks again!
inazuman is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:23 PM.