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Old Mar 18, 2003, 12:46 AM   #1
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Hello. I really have been looking around for a digiatl camera for awhile now, and really would like some feedback concerning what I should do. I have read numerous articles and books sections of books dealing with cameras and how to use them, including Dave Curtis' Guide to Choosing & Using a Digital Camera. However, I still feel a bit overwhelmed by so much of the information.

I have not had much experience with using cameras, since I've never really been allowed to own one. My greatest experience lies with the Kodak Max disposable cameras, so you can imagine. However, I have always been really interested in photography and am eager to learn not only how to use a camera, but to eventually gravitate toward more manual settings and becoming more involved in taking/composing my own pictures.

A great majority of the use of my camera will be personal, but this year I will have to take a lot of pictures of churches and mosques and other such areas that do not allow the use of flash. I will also have to take the camera on a trip with me where I will not be able to dl the pics onto my computer, and am looking towards a camera with removable media and the common NiMH batteries. I think that I'd prefer a camera with a good shutter speed, preferably nothing worse than 1 sec., and definitely need USB connectivity, although resolutions significantly beyond that needed for 5" x 7" prints is not a huge issue for me. Since I'd prefer to use the viewfinder, I wanted to find one with TTL viewing, to make sure that I don't have problems with parallax that will ruin my pictures, and I thought that 2x or 3x optical zoom was best.

I think that I have covered most, if not all, of the features that are really significant in my decision. I really want a camera that I will not have to quickly replace when I become better aquainted with the art of photography without sacrificing much of my savings. So far, after reading reviews as well as as many back posts as my eyes could handle in this forum, it seems that most people are recommending the OlympusC4000Z. I didn't even know what Oly meant until I really started reading the posts, and, after seeing how you've helped other people in this forum, I was wondering if you could give me some advice on what camera really fits my needs (and if not, where I might go to do further research?). I really look forward to any assistance that you can give me and am glad that there is such a site to help people with such problems. Oh, and since I am an amatuer in the truest sense, please let me know if I have horribly muddled any of the terms or specifications in my eagerness to make sure that I consider all important aspects of this decision.
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Old Mar 18, 2003, 6:43 AM   #2
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How much do you figure on spending? If it is much below $2,000US, you can forget TTL in the sense of a chemical Single Lens Reflex (SLR). There are several cameras that use an EVF (Electronic View Finder) - a close cousin of the LCD on the back of pretty much all digicams. If you want to go the EVF route, make sure you try the camera - some folks find that kind of viewfinder intolerable, and there is a big difference between different cameras.

One of the dirty secrets of digital is that you have to do your own "darkroom" work so I'd suggest getting some of your pictures put on a CD (fairly cheap when done at the time of processing) and learn how to use a photo editor. When you have figured that out, you will have a much better ideal of what you want in a digicam, you will be ready to use it, and prices will have come down a bit.
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Old Mar 18, 2003, 9:21 AM   #3
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Thanks so much for the help BillDrew...I guess that since I'm looking to spend below $1,000USD I will have to give it up...however, I was wondering then if all of my pictures will come out huge off-center? I'm not really clear on the whole parallax thing with TTL vs. other types of viewfinders.

I'm quite familiar with photo-editors, but I guess I really wasn't thinking about editing them too much.

I'm going to go ahead and do some more reading today--there is a LOT to wade through, especially on this website, and I hope that perhaps I'll get a clearer idea. I really appreciate your help and that of anyone else willing to put in his or her two cents' worth.
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Old Mar 18, 2003, 11:32 AM   #4
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Since it sounds like one of your major uses is in fairly dim light, the LCD on the camera will work well for framing. The litle "tunnel" viewfinder will likely work well for wide-angle shots: parallax rears its head more for macros and long lens shots. And some folks do like the EVFs - just try it to decide for yourself.

Being a bit off-center isn't a serious problem so long as you overshoot a bit to be able to crop. Many/most/all viewfinders show a slightly smaller view than the one captured. Figuring that out will come with using the camera.
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Old Mar 19, 2003, 8:28 PM   #5
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Any of the Olympus C-700+ cameras have the EVF Bill spoke. Also, the C-2100 and E-100RS have this feature. Bill is right, there is a definite trade-off between how sharp and clear the viewfinder is and looking at a lower resolution tiny TV camera portraying the actual image through the camera's lens. Two more pluses for the EVF is that you see the actual zoomed image on the screen, and most of your camera's settings are superimposed on the viewfinder for your convenience.
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