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Old Jan 29, 2003, 5:58 AM   #1
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Default I could use some help here...

I could use some help here...I am preparing to purchase a digital camera but am a little overwhelmed by all the various products. My main purpose for the camera will be my children. 1) very close-up pictures - sometimes just of their hands or feet 2) ability to take pictures very quickly -- catch those really cute moments 3) use of natural light -- this is my favorite way to shoot 4) scrapbooking -- need to get high quality pictures (up to 8 x 10).

What special features do I need to look for?? I would gladly accept any recommendations.

For anyone who could help --- thanks a million.
Val
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Old Jan 29, 2003, 6:44 AM   #2
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Hi, Valerie. Pretty much any camera with a minimum of 2MP will meet your requirements. Here's some specific items to look for, and a few items of input needed for more specific recommendations:

Look for these items:

- 3x optical zoom; don't pay any attention to digital zoom
- a macro mode for close-ups
- burst mode - 1-2 frames/sec capture rate possible
- a fast lens; the lower the F value, the faster the lens. Since you said you wanted to use natural lighting, you should know that most digital camera do great outdoors, but they also take much better pictures in low light conditions (indoors) with a supplemental flash. Otherwise, the pictures tend to appear "noisy." Perhaps a camera with a F1.8-2.0 lens would be best for you.

More input needed!
- What's your price range?
- Does size matter-- does it need to be small enough for a pocket or purse? Or will one as large as a conventional SLR be OK?
- New, refurbished, or used?
- I'd recommend one that uses AA rechargeable batteries for convenience. Does that make any difference to you?
- Any other questions or requirements you can provide would be helpful.

Let us know, and we'll all do our best to help!
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Old Jan 29, 2003, 7:33 AM   #3
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Default a little more info

Price range -- 1000.00 dollars or so

Size -- no preferences

I'd prefer new, mainly because I know so little about cameras and would be afraid of buying a dud.

I have no idea about the batteries. I've never owned a digital and would have no clue as to what would best benefit me.

Val
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Old Jan 29, 2003, 8:05 AM   #4
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Val

The Olympus C5050 would be a great camera for you. It has great optics and will provide you with great photos. You should check the camera out at one of the local electronics stores (Circuit City, Best Buy, etc). You can find excellent prices at www.dealtimes.com. The site provides buyers review of the online stores.
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Old Jan 29, 2003, 4:09 PM   #5
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Default Making a mess of the format

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valerie
1) very close-up pictures - sometimes just of their hands or feet
That isn't really close-up by the standards that most folks use when talking about cameras. Most cameras that are not fixed focus should deal with that. I think any camera over something like $300 and many cheaper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valerie
2) ability to take pictures very quickly -- catch those really cute moments
This is a hard one for most digicams cheaper than about $2,000 (plus lens). With a bit of practice using a half-pressed shutter, most digicams should be able to do what you want. Annoying to have to do it that way, but not real bad once you get the hang of it. Read some of the detailed reviews that include lag time data and you will see which ones are the best.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valerie
3) use of natural light -- this is my favorite way to shoot
Unless you mean low light, that is pretty much all digicams. Light levels that you can comfortably read by is low light. Read the reviews and pay attention to what is said about noise as well as anything said about low light. Noise and low light usability are very much related.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valerie
4) scrapbooking -- need to get high quality pictures (up to 8 x 10).
Just about any digicam 3Mpixels and up would be just fine. Since picture quality is in good part defined by the eye of the beholder, you will find all kinds of differing opinions about which camera produces the "best" pictures. Very few are bad - just read the reviews to make sure you are not looking at one of the few bad ones.[/quote]
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messing up the psuedoHTML tags
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Old Jan 30, 2003, 8:17 AM   #6
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Valerie, regarding the batteries, AA NiMh batteries are a cheap rechargeable power source. Proprietary batteries for cameras are, in my opinion, a liability. As digital cameras have high power requirements, it is a good idea to have at least one set of backup batteries. Buying just a single replacement proprietary battery can cost more than a lifetime supply of high quality rechargeable NiMh AA batteries. If you decide to go this route, get AA batteries that are rated at 1800 maH or greater for best longevity.
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Old Jan 30, 2003, 11:48 AM   #7
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lg is right about digicams eating batteries. I think that proprietary batteries is a cost issue - just figure in the cost of at least two extra batteries for any camera that doesn't use AAs. If that doesn't change your mind about buying the camera, get it and get the extra batteries.
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Old Jan 30, 2003, 5:33 PM   #8
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Hi Valerie...

Kudos to you for wanting to capture the "moments" .

Something that has not been mentioned is this....

How does the camera "feel" to you? Are you comfortable
with its ergonomics?

To address this...Go to Best Buy, Circuit City, etc (take the kids too if practical!)...and take a few pics with the cams there.
Use the LCD to see how you like the images (granted
LCD look does not equal finished product!)

Also, make sure it has an easily accessible self-timer
so you can "jump in" your photos if so desired!

Camera should use Compact Flash over smartmedia mainly because max size of smartmedia is 128 mb.

Please post some fam pics here when you have made
your decision

Good luck, Valerie!
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