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Old Apr 22, 2003, 4:25 PM   #1
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Default Digital camera needed for beginner, help needed

Hello

I am suffering from digicam review and research overload!!

I need some help on choosing a digital camera.
I need something easy to use, not too large so I can keep it in my (medium sized) handbag, I am not interested in attaching extra lenses or anything.
I would like to be able to print out some photos I liked up to A4 size.
I am able to spend up to about 350 UK pounds.
I would like a normal viewfinder to look through ( I saw one in a shop without a view finder).

Any recomendations would be appreciated, as the more reviews I read the more confused I am becoming.

Many Thanks in advance


Carrie
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Old Apr 22, 2003, 5:57 PM   #2
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Wut's a4 size (in inches would be preferable). What do you plan on using the camera for? Low light, portraits, macro, etc. Finally, do you plan on using manual features of just point and shoot?
The cameras I'd suggest are the a70 which is 3mp, 3x zoom, tons of manual control while still maintaining point and shoot abilities, lowlight af illuminator and many other features. Also, the minolta s414 which has 4mp, 4x zoom, manual and point and shoot, but no af assist, unfortunately.
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Old Apr 22, 2003, 6:05 PM   #3
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I am in the same boat as you and my research thus far has me , til now at least, backing up the above suggestion for the Canon A70.

It seems to me (a fellow newbie to digital, though having used 35mm for over 15 years) that this provides a very good mix of the important (to me, it will be different to evryone) features/factors - NO 1 camera is likely to be perfect - especially at the budget you and I are looking at but I think the A70 comes pretty close.

HTH

Stef

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Old Apr 22, 2003, 6:14 PM   #4
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Default Reply size a4

Thanks for your reply.
A4 is the standard letter sheet size, 29.7cm x 21 cms (possibly 10 x 8 inches).
I would like to be able to point and shoot but would like some manual controls for progression and learning later etc.

I am thinking of doing a garden design and planting course (I am told I have a knack for it, and am fed up of being in an office) and would like to mainly take outdoor pictures of gardens and plants with some close up of flowers etc. The occasional family get together indoors might occur as well.

Zoom would be useful also.

Would I need 4 megapixels?

I will certainly check out the cameras you've mentioned at the local store to see the size and what they are like.

I was looking at the Kodak LS443 but have gone off this camera due to the compression it does on the pictures.


Thanks

Carrie
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Old Apr 22, 2003, 9:15 PM   #5
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If you're going to print out a lot of A4 sized pictures, you won't be able to do much cropping if you choose a 2MP camera, although it is possible to get excellent A4 sized (8x10?) prints with some 2MP cameras. I'd recommend a 3MP camera, but I'm not sure you need a 4MP.
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Old Apr 23, 2003, 1:52 AM   #6
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If you don't plan on cropping, go for the a70, but if you are doing gardening shots and want to crop, then your best bet is the minolta s414 since the extra mp will give you room to crop with out having to blow up the image and make it look a little pixelated and as long as you are talking about outdoor gardening, then you won't miss the af-assist too much plus the s414 should handle indoor shots as long as it isn't dark inside the house. As for zoom, the s414 is 4x as opposed to the a70's 3x, but then the a70 is made to use add-on lenses whereas minolta does not recomend their use for the s414 as they claim it "interferes with the autofocus."
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Old Apr 23, 2003, 2:32 PM   #7
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Default Minolta S414

Thanks or the info.
Been looking at the minolta s414 it seems good value for money with the 4 megapixels amd 4x optical zoom. I like the fact that it takes normal rechargable batteries.

"as long as you are talking about outdoor gardening, then you won't miss the af-assist too much "

What is this af -assist? I would be doing mainly out doors photos, but might be doing some indoor shots.

It seems from my research that the best cameras that people recommend are the Canons, Minolta and Nikon. No one seems the recommend the Kodak or Hp ones with the docking stations.

I have a budget of 300 or $450, and the minolta comes in at 268 which would leave some for spare batteries and case etc.

I think it would be best to get a 4mp camera as the extra cost seems worth it. I would like to do some cropping of photos. From Minoltas site and steve's reviews it seems that the minolta s414 is a camera to grow into for the future.
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Old Apr 23, 2003, 5:40 PM   #8
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Af-assist is a little light or similar device that helps the camera focus in low light by illuminating the target. As long as the indoor location is lit or at least not almost pitch black, you should be fine without one.
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Old Apr 23, 2003, 5:58 PM   #9
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Default Digital Camera for beginner.

Thanks for that. All these little bits of info are gradually sinking in my brain! Hopefully one day the jigsaw will all slot together!

:shock: It seems that one can reach overload point when researching a camera to buy (and I am fast getting there). And could get to the point of not getting one at all (which would be a shame!)

I had set my heart on the Kodak LS443 for ease of use and the docking station but have now decided against it as sample photos do not look as sharp as from other cameras of the same megapixel size.

I quite like the look and features of the Minolta S414 and it seems excellent value for money when compared to other cameras like the Nikon Coolpix 4300 and Canon S45. I did see the Vivitar Vivicam 3825 but no one has mentioned it anywhere.

I did read an article today in a magazine that stated that you have to look at the number of effective megapixels as this can be different from the megapixel rating given to the camera.

At the end of the day I need to plump for one camera to get me started - nobody is ever going to get there choice 100% perfect.
I am going to the store tomorrow to see the size and quality etc etc and will then order cheaper off the net.
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Old Apr 24, 2003, 5:08 PM   #10
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Carrie, I'm at the point of info overload where I'm questioning why I want one of these cameras.
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