Steve's Digicams Forums

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-   What Camera Should I Buy? (
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sablonde Nov 15, 2006 10:12 PM

I have the option of selecting a camera at no charge to me, as long as it is in the 550 dollar range... I am leaning towards the Canon S3. Currently I own some older Sony cybershots under 4MP and am interested in learning more about photography. Would you suggest the S3? I have heard it is the best in the price range.

Sintares Nov 15, 2006 11:09 PM

An excellent camera with a great movie mode.

You could also check out the Sony H2 and H5.

kassandro Nov 16, 2006 11:58 AM

.. and the nice Canon G7 is also within the price range.

saturndude Nov 16, 2006 1:30 PM

I have the Canon S3, and like it. You did not mention -- do you already have accessories?

If not, I would plan on at least $25 for more memory for your camera, and a second battery or set of them -- whether it is proprietary or NiMH depends on the camera. Get a charger if it is not included (12V charger is optional, depends on your needs). An adapter and UV filter to protect the lens (and a polarizing filter for creative purposes) is a good idea, a tripod ($15 to $89 or more) is optional. The Canon software will remove red-eye and do basic editing, but you may want more advanced photo-editing software later on.

And to hold it all, at least $25 for a camera bag. The S3 (and most other competitors with 10-12X zooms) are not in the "shirt-pocket" class of camera.

(I returned the $199 Canon A540 and bought the S3, and with all optional stuff mentioned above, my total is at least $675 -- and it doesn't include any books on photography. I'm a bit stunned as well. I guess Christmas came early for me.)

I like the 12x optical zoom. Previous experience with film (and desire to polish my skills) has made this a gentle, enjoyable learning experience for me.

A camera that has "raw" mode (S3 does not) will probably fill up memory chips faster and also make you want to spend more money and time with photo-editing software in post-processing. (If you don't have a computer and printer, photo kiosks at Walgreens, Kinko's, etc. are good for red-eye reduction and printing, I've used them). Decide how "perfect" your shots need to be, keeping your budget in mind. Then be happy! Have fun! You're getting more bang for your buck than ever before!

I remember one early model that could achieve 640 by 480, with 2 colors -- black or white. At a lower resolution, it could capture up to 16 shades of greyscale, IIRC.

Saturndude's 2005 stats:
Miles on 2001 Saturn SL2: 4,500
Miles on 1981 Honda CM400T: 5,197
Bone marrow transplants: one
No longer needing to borrow my neighbors' digicam: PRICELESS (okay, $675 so far) LOL

maryccc Nov 16, 2006 7:14 PM

I just bought the Sony DSC H2. I spent a little over 400 and got 1gb sony memory stick and a nice camera bag and 4 extra rechargeable batteries. I can't wait to use it. I'm so excited.

sablonde Nov 17, 2006 10:43 AM

I will have the memory and bag for free - everything else can wait correct?

rinniethehun Nov 17, 2006 11:59 AM

Batteries and charger...(?)

the Hun

saturndude Nov 18, 2006 12:08 PM

Someone mentined batteries. And if you do not have lens cleaning tissue-paper, or your supply is low, I would strongly recommend some.

I reached for my camera in the dark last night and put fingerprints on the lens. There were no protective filters on it at that moment; I had pulled off the road to record my car's fifty thousandth mile.

Many big-box and department stores have stopped carrying it. I got my latest pack of this paper in a camera shop for 99 cents.

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