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Old Mar 11, 2003, 8:31 AM   #1
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Default Hello, new to the site and also questions! :)

Hello, i've always been intrigued with photography and cameras, but it has always intimidated me (you probably hear that a lot) but now with the digital cameras everywhere I think it's time to invest. I have some general questions regarding digital cameras.

1) Is there a large difference in image quality between 3 to 5 MP? or is the difference very small.
2) I only have a 133mhz PC w/ 128 megs of ram, 10gb hdd. Will this be able to handle a new digital camera?
3) I'm new to all of this, but will saving up and buying a G3 be worth it? or buying a 200 dollar camera and learning it first then later investing be better?
4) Where will I host my pictures once I upload them? I've not had much luck with hosting pictures, it never allows me to post the picture in a forum thread without having a link to go somewhere else. I just want the picture to pop up.

Thanks a lot for your help! I heard you guys are the best!
-Cory
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Old Mar 11, 2003, 9:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Hello, new to the site and also questions! :)

1) Is there a large difference in image quality between 3 to 5 MP? or is the difference very small.
I depends on whether you are going to be printing the photos at a large size or not. Personally I have never really needed any higher resolution than my old 2MP camera (because I mainly view photos on my PC and never print any larger than A4), so when I bought a new camera went for image quality and features over the CCD resolution.


2) I only have a 133mhz PC w/ 128 megs of ram, 10gb hdd. Will this be able to handle a new digital camera?
The processor will struggle with the large photos but youcan get by with that amount of RAM. However memory isso cheap at the moment so it might be worth upgrading that anyway. The HDD is fine if that is enough for you,you can always just get another if/when you need it.

My main concern is whether your PC has USB ports? If not you'll have to get a USB PCI card and have at least Win98SE for you to be able to download you pictures.


3) I'm new to all of this, but will saving up and buying a G3 be worth it? or buying a 200 dollar camera and learning it first then later investing be better?
I went for the latter option when I started and I'm glad I did. A cheaper camera really got me into digital photography and was enough for about 15 months. Then, by the time I was ready to upgrade to a camera with more facilities and manual controls, technology and value for money had taken a huge leap forward. However you might want to jump straight into proper photography and have the option of manual controls from the outset.


4) Where will I host my pictures once I upload them? I've not had much luck with hosting pictures, it never allows me to post the picture in a forum thread without having a link to go somewhere else. I just want the picture to pop up.
Pass, I just host them myself but then I am happy with everything web related. Try looking in Google's directory, I think they have a whole section on free photo hosting.


Hope I was of some help - Ed
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Old Mar 11, 2003, 9:24 AM   #3
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Here are a few ideas. I am not (by far) the most experienced person here. So hopefully others will chime in

1) Depending on the size you print, the image quality difference will be unnoticable. There have been discussions here in the past about what MP size is good for what print size. I don't remember what they were, though. Maybe you'll find it if you search (or maybe someone will give some numbers?) Just as big an issue to image quality is how much compression and noise reduction is applied to the picture by the camera (and I'm sure other things matter too. Anyone?)

2) It depends on what you mean by "handle". If that computer has a USB port and is running a fairly modern operating system then you should be ok for downloading and viewing pictures. You'll probably want a memory card reader (no matter what type of "digital film" you choose.)

For editing, you'll probably have problems, but that depends on the software used. The most popular (Photoshop) is hugely inefficient with memory and needs a lot of CPU. But there might be good simpler programs (irfanview: http://www.irfanview.com/ is a popular choice around here. Good and free. ) that would work well enough.

3) I've heard good things about the G3. But I really know nothing other than what others here have said. Personally, I'd want a camera which gave you manual and automatic controls. Some of the cheaper ones do this, but many don't. So you have to think about what you want in a camera before you buy. It doesn't matter how much it costs if you can't do what you want with it!

4) The most popular one in the forums I read (here and elsewhere) seems to be pbase.com It just went subscription only, but the cost seems fairly reasonable. I'm interested in this as well. Anyone have any other suggestion?

I hope that helps. And (for your sake) I hope others fill in the holes I left!

Eric
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Old Mar 11, 2003, 10:03 AM   #4
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thanks for everyones responses so far. I'm really getting excited about getting a digital camera and the review that Steve wrote regarding the Canon G3 was really great! Currently my main hobby is cars, but that is getting way too expensive! I would love to switch hobbies to a camera where film is "free" and would allow me to learn and be out in nature more. My pc has windows 2000 w/ a USB port. I plan on getting a new pc once I get caught up. Also, is there a big difference in a larger camera compared to a small handheld styled digi camera? (i.e. picture quality, features, etc)

thanks again!
Cory
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Old Mar 11, 2003, 12:59 PM   #5
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I too switched hobbies (sold off much of my gear) to afford to get into digital photography and am very happy I did. I have always taken a lot of print pics, but digital will make you a much better photographer quicker because you get instant feedback on what you did right and what didn't work. I added extra memory, RAM and a hard drive along with Windows XP to my three year old computer as I started to take more photos. I have an Olympus C-730, which offers advantages with zoom and small size (I hike a lot, getting stunning photos from this camera; the C-750 is due out in May). I would also look at a Minolta Dimage 7Hi if I was buying again. I print 8x10's and 11x14. I have so much enjoyed digital photography that I plan to make the jump to SLR in the next year and will probably get a G3 in the next few years as well. Start taking pictures and learn how to use PhotoShop Elements - its a great hobby. Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 11, 2003, 2:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hello, new to the site and also questions! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by coryb
1) Is there a large difference in image quality between 3 to 5 MP? or is the difference very small.?
All else equal, the linear resolution will increase by the square root of the ratio of Mpixels, e.g., going from 3 to 5 Mpixels will allow a print 29.1% larger in linear dimension. Keep in mind that the other things are never equal - there are no two cameras that differ only in the pixel count.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coryb
2) I only have a 133mhz PC w/ 128 megs of ram, 10gb hdd. Will this be able to handle a new digital camera?
That will be pushing it. I did some photo editing with a 66MHz 486 many years ago and do not want to ever repeat that experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coryb
3) I'm new to all of this, but will saving up and buying a G3 be worth it? or buying a 200 dollar camera and learning it first then later investing be better??
I'd suggest going even cheaper. Wal*Mart (and likely other places) have 640x480 cameras that sell for well under $50. Use that to learn how to use a photo editor, then give it to your niece Gertude for Christmass. That kind of low resolution camera is also less likely to strain your low-end computer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coryb
4) Where will I host my pictures once I upload them? I've not had much luck with hosting pictures, it never allows me to post the picture in a forum thread without having a link to go somewhere else. I just want the picture to pop up.?
Check with your ISP - often they provide miminal web space free or cheap.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coryb
Thanks a lot for your help! I heard you guys are the best!
That kind of flattery will get you lots of Buy the Same Kind of Camera I Have responses :-)
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