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-   -   help buying a movie camera for my teenager (

neophyte06 Mar 21, 2006 3:20 PM

I just stumbled onto this site (great site btw) and I'm wondering if I could get some opinions in making a camera selection for my 16 year old son. I have been shopping on ebay and my initial selections were off-brand cameras that I imagine might be rather cheaply made. After reading here a bit I searched some more and found a Fuji that comes close to what I'm looking for.

My son initially asked for a very compact movie camera such as this model: QQcmdZViewItem

I quickly determined that this was likely not much more than a toy, so I bumped up the price range and looked some more. His requirements are the ability to take movies limited in length only by the size of the memory card used. He would also like to take still pictures and was exited when I mentioned that one camera I found would also double as an mp3 player. He also wants as large an LCD display as possible and wants video playback with sound of the movies he records. Finally, the camera should be as compact as possible so that he can easily put it in his pants pocket and take it with him almost everywhere.

So here is the camera that seems to best meet all his qualifications while still remaining somewhat affordable. (although still a little more expensive than I would like) oQQcmdZViewItem

Model: SVP CDC-8630

Price: ~$170-200 shipped ($26 Sh + Ins)

Pros: thin small size, big LCD (2.5 in), meets all requirements, takes MPEG4 movies, accepts 2GB SD card

Cons: Unknown quality and durability

This next one meets most qualifications while being a little bigger, having a little smaller LCD and has a lower price. 1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

Model: Brica DigiArt Z810

Price: $164 shipped ($24 Sh + Ins)

Pros: price, convincing sales pitch regarding quality, meets most requirements, accepts 2GB SD card

Cons: not as small as the SVP, smaller LCD (2.0 in), same question of quality

So after reading a little on this forum I decided to see what I could find in a name brand and I came up with this Fuji camera: 1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

Model: Fuji FinePix E550 (refurbished)

Price: $183-188 ($23 Sh + Ins)

Pros: Fuji name brand, 4x vs. 3x optical zoom

Cons: bigger size (will it fit in his pants pocket?), no mp3 player, smaller LCD (2.0 in), not new – refurbished, not sure about playback, only 3 mo. Warranty, unknown memory card capacity – uses xD.

Features common to all three:

Approximately 6 MP CCD image sensor

30 FPS video at 640 x 480

At least 3x optical zoom

At least 2.0 in LCD

So, the questions for you all here in the forum:

  • Is the SVP likely to be reliable and durable or a disappointment? [/*]
  • Is the Brica any better quality than the SVP? [/*]
  • Are there concerns with the Fuji being refurbished? Is it small enough to fit in a pants pocket? Is it any more durable than the others? Does anyone know the memory card capacity? [/*]
  • Do you have any other suggestions in the same price range that would meet my son's requirements? [/*]
  • Any other comments whatsoever are welcome, such as better places to buy than ebay, because I really don't know what I am doing. [/*]

Thanks very much for enduring this long post and helping me make my decision.


rinniethehun Mar 21, 2006 5:34 PM


How about giving us a break with the orange and red fonts - I'm going blind trying to read your post.

The first three entries on your list are junk...throw your money out of the car window while driving down Main Street - you'll see more action like that then you ever will with any of those cameras. The refurbished Fuji - I wouldn't. The E550 is a good camera, but you can buy a brand new one with a full year warranty for a little more money (from a reputable store).

Start here:

Study up, do a little research, then come back here with a few possible selections, a price range, and a list of things you want the camera to do for your son. Then we can give you some assistance.

the Hun

neophyte06 Mar 21, 2006 6:21 PM

Well Mr. Hun, excuse me for being new here! Nice welcome. I guess I know how you got your nickname. I don't know how much greater detail I could post regarding what I am looking for and what my price range is. I spent a great deal of time in the best cameras section and for one, it doesn't seem to cover this particular type of camera and for another, most of what I saw was way out of my price range. I'm not about to drop $300+ for a serious camera that may end up getting dropped or left at a friend's house.

And btw, for some reason when I go to change my text colors the grey doesn't show up in the drop down unless you scroll down. I have to change colors because when I paste in from Word I get black on black. Would you have preferred if I had left it that way?

And I don't know how to change it to white. Apparently that is only available when you type directly into the box - like this.

neophyte06 Mar 21, 2006 7:47 PM

I'd like to add another camera to the list on which to get opinions. What about the Nikon Coolpix L3. Looks like it is quite compact, 2.0 in LCD, 3x optical zoom, 640x480 at 30 FPS w/sound. Only 5 MP vs. 6MP for the others, but that doesn't seem too material. Available at Beach Camera for $176 shipped. Any helpful opinions on this model?

Thanks again.

rinniethehun Mar 21, 2006 8:08 PM

"I have to change colors because when I paste in from Word I get black on black. Would you have preferred if I had left it that way?"


the Hun

pagerboy Mar 21, 2006 10:57 PM

Nice color font.

Are you looking for a camera or video camera? For videos get an actual videocam because tapes are cheaper than memory cards, for a camera with occasional vids a digicam with a big memory card is ok.

neophyte06 Mar 21, 2006 11:46 PM


Can you recommend a particualr model video camera? As you recall my requirements were small enough to fit in a pants pocket and around $200 or less. Thanks for your help.

neophyte06 Mar 22, 2006 2:51 PM

rinniethehun wrote:

"I have to change colors because when I paste in from Word I get black on black. Would you have preferred if I had left it that way?"


the Hun

So tell me Hun, if you're not interested in helping people, then why are you here?

rinniethehun Mar 22, 2006 4:47 PM

To listen to you whine.

the Hun

neophyte06 Mar 23, 2006 1:09 PM

Have I posted this in the wrong place, or is there some other reason why I'm not getting any help? It's easy to get a good camera when you can spend $300-400. I can't believe no one here can help me find something under $200. Any other alternatives to the Nikon CoolPix L3 @ $176? Just the cheapo no-names?

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