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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 19, 2003, 3:17 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4
Default Best Digital Camera for $300

Hi,

I am interested in getting a digital camera as a toy. While I don't require professional pictures, I would hate to think that I coulda woulda shoulda had a better camera for the same amount of $$(I want to make the right purchase the first time). I say $300 just becuase it seems to set a good 'quality to cost' level.

As I read through various product specifications, some cameras have great looking stats for a low cost, then I check the reviews and that same camera has some sort of issue like motion blurring.

I would love to be able to take indoor and outdoor pics of a decent quality. I would mainly store these images on my PC, however, I want to make an occassional print that looks good.

Thanks for the help, your advice is appreciated.

John
berryjr is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old May 19, 2003, 4:57 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 385
Default

Just read the reviews. There are a ton of very good digicams available in your price range. One caveat is that the total cost will be higher than the cost of the camera by a large margin. I easily spent half the price of my first camera on rechargable batteries, charger, memory cards and card reader.

My two suggestions are a camera that uses generic AA NiMH batteries rather than a proprietary one and compact flash memory though I now consider the second less important as memory prices fall.

If you want 8x10 prints then 2mp will be adequate if you don't crop. 3mp or more is arguably better but you probably won't see a difference unless you want an 8x10 from a cropped image.

Issues like motion blur tell me more about the lack of knowledge of the person making the remark than the camera. If you're not using flash you need to have enough light to make an exposure. The only factors to control the shot are aperture, ISO sensitivity and shutter speed. If you don't have enough light to get an adeqately fast shutter speed you're liable to get motion blur no matter what camera you buy.

My "little" digicam is a Canon A10 and even though I have a Dimage 7 for serious work the little A10 gets a lot of use. I can make nice 5x7 prints and get beautiful shots for web display. It's all auto but has some manual override functions that make is extremely flexible. I've got an underwater housing for the A10 which allows me to take it places I can't take any of my other cameras like in the pool or on inner tube trips.
padeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20, 2003, 8:53 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4
Default Best Digital Camera for $300

Thank you for your advice.



Quote:
The only factors to control the shot are aperture, ISO sensitivity and shutter speed.
What are good numbers for these ratings?


Also, please mention some specific cameras that fit under the $300 mark.
Are there any cameras that are worthwhile to buy used?

Thanks,

John
berryjr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20, 2003, 11:28 AM   #4
lg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 823
Default

If I were going to buy another digicam, I'd buy an Olympus D550. It may still be available new, but I wouldn't hesitiate to purchase a refurbished one. It's compact, 3MP, takes great pictures, and uses AA batteries. Although it's not CF like Padeye recommended, you can pick up 128MB SmartMedia cards now for under $30, so that shouldn't be an issue.

The larger the aperture (lower number), the larger the opening and more light can be captured to expose your picture. This is important in low light situations. F2.8 is good for a camera in your price range.

The higher the ISO rating, the more sensitive the camera is to light. There is a trade-off here, though... pictures taken at ISO 200 and 400 are progressively more "noisy" than those taken at ISO 100. As long as you have enough light, use ISO 100 (supplement with flash if necessary) for best picture quality.

A faster shutter speed allows you to stop action, and a slower shutter speed allows your camera to gather more light. Most digicams have a sufficient range that you shouldn't be concerned here.

Overall, most name brand digicams operate quite well in fully automatic mode, and selecting one with aperture, shutter priority and full manual control are nice to have but you probably won't use them very often. As far as purchasing a used camera, there's a certain risk involved, and for an inexperienced buyer I would probably recommend getting at least a refurbished unit that comes with a 90-day manufacturer's warranty. I'm sure others will be glad to put in their two cents' worth, so I'll be quiet and give them a chance...
lg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20, 2003, 1:33 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks to padeye and lg for the great information.

Just to open up options, I have noticed the Olympus D-550 seems to fit the bill. Are there any other similar cameras by Nikon or Canon or someone?

Thanks,

John
berryjr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2003, 1:08 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 331
Default

The only refurb i'd probably buy would be the oly c2100 since it has a stabilized 10x zoom. For 300 you can purchase the a70, which in my opinion is the perfect "toy" camera. First and foremost, it takes great pictures, but it also has tons of cool features to play around with such as manual settings, panorama modes, a decent movie mode (not a selling point, but fun to have especially on a "toy" camera), an af assist lamp for low-light focusing, the ability to take add-on lenses and canon makes a decent underwater case for the a70 at a reasonable price. Also, the a70 uses aa's and cf cards.
p.s. When I say that the a70 is the perfect toy camera, i only mean that it is a great camera to play around with and takes great images, i am not saying that this camera is a "toy" in the sense that it is worthless or a piece of junk, quite the contrary actually.
ardvark50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2003, 6:37 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
BillDrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hay River Township, WI
Posts: 2,512
Default Re: Best Digital Camera for $300

Quote:
Originally Posted by berryjr
... then I check the reviews and that same camera has some sort of issue like motion blurring....
Where did you see a review that blamed motion blurring on the camera? Hard to be sure without seeing the context, but I'd suggest not believing anything that reviewer/site says.
BillDrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2003, 12:55 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 385
Default Re: Best Digital Camera for $300

Quote:
Originally Posted by berryjr
T
What are good numbers for these ratings?
John
This is kind of a moot point for sub-$200 cameras as you probably won't get direct control of them anyway. The camera may specify a maximum aperture probably in the f2-3.5 range but won't give you direct control of shutter speed or ISO sensitivity.

Each factor has a tradeoff. A longer shutter speed lets in more light but is subject to motion blur. A higher iso sensitivity requires less light but produces more grain and noise and usually less saturated color. A wider aperture lets in more light but limits depth of field. This last one is a moot point with most digicams though for some technical reasons having to do with true focal length.

In the end they all have to be in the right combination to get a correct exposure. Learning how to make all of the factors give you the image you want it what photography is all about. I encourage you to learn more about this but it will take a more sophisticated camera to have control of all thse factors. That's a bit ironic as it used to be the cheapest 35mm film cameras gave you the most direct control.
padeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2003, 11:26 PM   #9
SSD
Senior Member
 
SSD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 190
Default

The A70 is a great camera and you can get it for $279.95 at
www.bhphotovideo.com. I have nothing but praise for this retailer.
SSD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 24, 2003, 2:28 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 16
Default

i like mine HP 720 camera...

it's great for the price and good quality of photos...
jmpub 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 9:53 PM.