Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   What Camera Should I Buy? (
-   -   Undecided mom about a digital camera (

Aida2003 May 16, 2006 11:39 AM


I hope people will be able to throw some ideas herewhich digital camera I could consider buying. I'll give a brief profile of myself and what I'm looking for, so hopefully that will help a bit.

- I'm a first time mom :cool:who's had a conventional camera (Minolta) for 7-8 years, that was awesome, but.... started malfuncioning, so it's time for a change :lol:; My husband has a 2pix Canon, but the battery is kind of not trustworthy anymore and I cannot take short movies :sad:.

What I like from a camera is the following:

-I would like to take photos of my baby and email them to my family in Europe. I would first download pictures on my PC beforeemailing them.

- I would also like to take short movies and email them to my family, so they see their grandchild in motion :-). What movie files are accepted by Windows Player, so that my parents can see those movies? Some cameras have VGA files, are these playable on Win Player?

-Since I'm just a 'consumer/basic' photographer, probaby 3, 4 or 5 pixel camera would be sufficient. What do you think?

- The camera should be small, with an optical zoom, not exensive. Maybe $200-300 price range for everything.

I did read about Canon A530 and I was enticed by it, but then I was discouraged about batteries. A few friends said that even if I buy rechargeable batteries, I'll keep recharging them. They say it's better to buy a camera that has a manufacturer's battery. Also, Canon makes those "black screen" intermissions between the shots.

Please give me some ideas. Thanks!!

PS. I would prefer hearing ideas with manufacturer's batteries first, please.

sneakyweasel May 16, 2006 4:07 PM

I bought a Casio EX Z-110 this past Christmas for $220 CDN at Costco. After seeing the movies and pics that it could take, my Mom had to get one for herself. It's got 6 mega-pixels and is a blazing fast camera. I generally have it in 4 MP mode and can take pictures in continuous mode, till the card fills up, with each photo taking less than a second. This is great for taking pics of my niece, since she won't stay still. I just take 10 or more quick shots and figure that at least one will look good. It takes beautiful movies, but not in a very compressed format. I use NiMH rechargeable AA's in mine and they will last a long time if not using the flash. One thing to keep in mind is that extra/replacement rechargeable AA's are dirt cheap.. replacement Li-ion batts aren't. AA's can also be found almost anywhere. Steve did a review of the EX Z-120 and much of what was said about it applies to the EX Z-110. It's also a nice, compact camera with a METAL body.. not cheap plastic. One nice aspect of the camera is the ability to operate it in manual mode. ..Willy.

lordingus May 16, 2006 4:22 PM

er, i hate specializd batteries for one reason: they are overpriced... these "manufacturer's battery" still has to be recharged frequently, sometimes more often than your regular rechargable AA batteries (my Sony T-5... ulg). yet, each of these 'manufacturer's battery" cost around 30-60 each, whereas the AA rechargables cost about 8 bucks for a pair.

one final advantage is if, and when (heh) these AA rechargables (Ni-MH) run out of juice during the middle of a day, you can just pick up some normal AA's and keep on shooting. very important if you are shooting away from home, esp out of the country, heh.

a camera for your needs... i would recommand one of Sony's S seriecameras (the S stands for Stamina, these cameras can take a LOT of pictures with very little power). the S60 / S90 are both decent 4mp cameras, and since they are last years model, they should be going for somewhere around $120 or so. small, compact, rugged, has a lot of accesories in case you want them (extra zoom, underwater, wideangle, etc), each of these can use a pair of recharagble AAs and shoot some 400pictures non-stop.

Aida2003 May 17, 2006 11:04 AM

Thank you for your answers. Now I'm getting more confused. You like rechargeables vs. my friends, who hate them. Last year or 2 years agoI bought a Nikon 3100 or something like that with a manufacturer's battery for my sister and she loves it. Even though I bought an extra battery, she never had to use it yet.

I will have to read more about those rechargeable batteries, but I'm still not prone of buying them. What kind of rechargeables are trustworthy? Does it matter which brand to buy?

Dirt Rider May 18, 2006 6:58 AM

Of all the batteries I've triedI was impressed themost with the Energizer AA's.You can get them at Wal-mart and they have a mAh rating of 2500. In my camera they have tones of life, getting about 350 pics per charge.And about the manufacturer's batteries, I've had past experience with so can't help there.

The "black screen"intermission on the Canon'sin my experiencehas beenvery short,I could very easily say itisless than1sec. On the two Nikon'sI had,it was 3-4sec.not fun at all!!!

So, if you'reto ask me, go withtheA530. buy the Energizer's and enjoy. But that's my opinion. The best thing to do is play with the ones you like beforeyou buy.

slipe May 18, 2006 1:52 PM

Casio has a great feature for taking the kind of short movies you want without having to edit. Only the Casios with MPEG4 have it, so it isn't on the low end cameras. You just aim the camera and wait for something worth filming to happen. When the toddler does the cute thing again or the fish jumps you start recording. It records the previous 5 seconds from the buffer and continues recording. It saves a lot of editing from grinding away waiting for something worthwhile to happen so you don't miss the moment. It is called "past movie mode" if you want to check for the feature.

The small Casio cameras I know have the feature are the S600, Z750 and Z850. The Z750 is a bargain online now that the Z850 is out. The Z850 has some great features but it is my understanding that the movies aren't quite as good as the Z750 for some reason. The lens and sensor is better on the Z750 and Z850 than on the S600, but the S600 is tiny and reasonably competent. All of them are easy to carry around in a purse.

One caveat on the Casios is that the early production models of the Z750 could develop lens error problems if you blocked the lens extension. They beefed up the gears and later production models didn't have the problem. If you bought from a high volume dealer online you would likely get one of the good ones – they fixed the problem about 6 months ago. If you bought the gunmetal gray model you could be sure it is a later model.

The Windows Media Player runs the Casio movies. About the only ones that are a problem are Quicktime movies, which I understand the Windows player won't play. There is a free Quicktime viewer you can download, but I'm not a fan of Quicktime movies.

VGA usually refers to 640 X 480 movies and not the file type. Besides 640 X 480 you also want to be sure the movies are 30 fps or frames per second. Slower frame rates are jerky. For e-mailing movies MPEG4 is a big advantage. They are about a quarter the size in Mb for a given length and quality.

All cameras except Kodaks with EasyShare installed let you download directly to anyplace you choose on the computer.

I have cameras with both AA and proprietary lithium. I much prefer the lithium batteries.

Lower end cameras like the Casio Z110 don't come with batteries or a charger. Alkalines are impractical, so you have to buy a charger and batteries. You can get very good aftermarket lithium batteries online for $20. I have several and they are as good as the originals if you check with other owners before buying and get competent ones. You can charge your spare and drop it in your purse. 3 months later if you need it the battery is still almost fully charged. NiMH batteries have a high self-discharge and you have to rotate them. They are also bulkier and heavier for a given power output then lithium. NiMH Spares are cheaper only with cameras that come with a charger or for people who already have one.

Many cameras anymore don't require a spare for most use. My pocket Casio will take 325 photos on a charge, and there is still power left over when I fill a 1 Gig card with photos and movies. They have improved the electronics and batteries to the point where many cameras don't require spares.

If a camera that took AAs had features I wanted I would put up with the inconvenience, but I prefer lithium all other things being equal. I wouldn't base your choice on battery type. There are too many important things to consider.

All three of the Casios I mentioned come with cradles. With the good battery life, if you get a large memory card you will probably never have to remove either the battery or card. The battery charges when you put it in the cradle and you just push a button on the cradle to download. Windows opens a wizard and you can send the photos wherever you like. Some people don't like cradles for travel, but the cradle isn't any larger or heavier than either of my NiMH chargers. Chargers for proprietary battery cameras without cradles are usually smaller though.

I've grown to appreciate the cradle on my Z750. I always have fully charged batteries. You put the camera in the stand to download the pictures, so you can't forget to recharge. You do have to remember to hit the download button a second time though as it doesn't download and charge at the same time.

Aida2003 May 18, 2006 3:23 PM


Have you personally taken 325 pictures on the charge? I kind of found that peculiar because Steve's Review mentions exactly the same number of shots.

Whatare other cameras comparable toCasio EX Z750?

I've never used Casio cameras, but maybe I'll have to try.:idea:I had a Casio calculator once and was greatly happy with it. If it's the same quality goes for cameras then I'd definitely buy it.


Dirt Rider or anyone who knows,

Does Walmart also sell chargers for Energizer's AA?

Dirt Rider May 18, 2006 3:39 PM

Aida2003 wrote:


Dirt Rider or anyone who knows,

Does Walmart also sell chargers for Energizer's AA

Yes, they do. I'm pretty sure it's the charger and 4AA's for about $20.00. Check and make sure though.

Aida2003 May 18, 2006 3:50 PM

Hey, guys, help me understand SD cards, please.

What's the difference between regular SD cards and High Speed SD cards? What kind of card should I buy in case I take some movies with anew camera? I read someone's posting saying that if you don't buy a good HIGH SPEED card, you might loose some frames when downloading movies on the PC. What did he mean by that?

What brands of SD cards would you recommend?

Thanks, Aida

Dirt Rider May 18, 2006 7:49 PM

I justhave aregular gradeSandisk 512mb card. The high speed is probably better at videos and burst mode picture taking, but you have to be willing to spend the extra money. I really don't know how much the faster ones really are. From what I've seen thus far, I don't think my cam really needs one.

Just if you're wondering, Canon's take their moveis in AVI format which can be played inWindows Media Player.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:16 AM.