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Old Aug 31, 2009, 11:20 PM   #1
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Default In need of a simple digital camera... BUT with a few must havs

Hi folks,
I am in need of a digital camera… nothing fancy or advanced like a DSLR, just something that takes good photos and videos… however it must:

Use AA batteries… NO preparatory power
Not have the card inside the battery compartment… useless for switching cards.
Have an auxiliary power input jack.
Be under US250.

You see, I take the occasional photos of items for sale on the internet, and I use a tripod. So I take a few photos then remove the card leaving the camera setup undisturbed, walk over to the computer, insert the card and download the photos so I can see what they look like on screen, and if I need to retake a few shots I simply put the card back in the camera… yes, it’s a simple life.

As I see it, opening the battery compartment to change cards is ridiculous … worst yet, if the hole for the tripod is in such a position that I have to dismount the camera from the tripod to get at the card (I would like to wring the neck of the designer of that system).

Batteries, I am sure you all understand… some like standard batteries; some prefer the preparatory system… I like the freedom to get power anywhere… in any country.

Auxiliary power, because sometimes I have long photo session with the camera on the tripod, and the wall socket is… right there. And I don’t mind lugging fully charged spare batteries when I am on the road with the kids.

Price… well that’s all I can afford for now.

In fact, I have the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ which has all the above features I need, and it takes good photos too (in my opinion)… but sadly, for no reason, it died a few months ago… now, the power light just flickers. I swear I would never buy another Panasonic again, but it seems it’s the only brand that has the features I need, for example the closest replacement I have found is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10S… it has everything I need but sadly it seems Panasonic has dropped the power jack in this later model… I believe it’s a step backwards for Panasonic.

Is there anything out there that fills the need?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Sep 1, 2009, 10:46 PM   #2
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Hmmm. Still searching but it appears there is nothing available in today’s market that fit my needs. Should I give up and simply pick one and hope for the best? maybe I am obsolete.


Thanks for your all help and encouragement.
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Old Sep 2, 2009, 8:30 AM   #3
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Higher Capacity memory cards are very inexpensive now (and many of them will hold far more photos than you can take before the battery is exhausted). For example, I've been using a 133x Transcend 16GB CompactFlash card in my primary camera since October 2007, and these can be found for under $50 now at vendors like http://www.newegg.com

You'll see the same thing with larger Class 6 SDHC cards, too (very inexpensive). So, I wouldn't worry about needing to remove a camera from the tripod for memory card swap purposes (I'd just buy a large enough memory card to begin with).
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Old Sep 3, 2009, 7:49 PM   #4
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Higher Capacity memory cards are very inexpensive now (and many of them will hold far more photos than you can take before the battery is exhausted). For example, I've been using a 133x Transcend 16GB CompactFlash card in my primary camera since October 2007, and these can be found for under $50 now at vendors like http://www.newegg.com

You'll see the same thing with larger Class 6 SDHC cards, too (very inexpensive). So, I wouldn't worry about needing to remove a camera from the tripod for memory card swap purposes (I'd just buy a large enough memory card to begin with).
Agreed… in fact I have a few hi capacity memory cards, but what happens when the subject and camera is in one room, and the computer/printer/internet connection is in another, I guess I could find a very long USB cable, and pray someone doesn’t trip over it.

I just seems archaic that one has to dismount the camera and open the battery door to get out the memory card… seriously, can you imagine lifting your laptop off the desk and opening the battery compartment to get the CD out?

Am I the only one to notice? almost every camera available today has the same “cookie cutter” design with the “removable” memory chip in the battery compartment and the tripod hole so close to the cover… why bother with the tripod hole if it makes removing the memory card such a hassle.

And when I need to replace exhausted batteries, again, I must dismount the camera (probably long before the "hi capacity" memory card is any where near full). If there was an auxiliary power jack things would be a whole lot better, even though not a single model will charge the battery while plugged in (OK… I guess that last one may be asking too much).

If I sound frustrated then… yes, I am frustrated, I see very little variety out there, and the few useful features disappear with every new model.

Thanks for your help so far.
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Old Sep 3, 2009, 7:58 PM   #5
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cedrick-

To be perfectly honest, you probably cannot have every single thing on your spec list. So here is the pivotal question: are you willing to make some compromises?

We can work with that much more efficiently that you original no bend list.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 12:18 AM   #6
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cedrick-

To be perfectly honest, you probably cannot have every single thing on your spec list. So here is the pivotal question: are you willing to make some compromises?

We can work with that much more efficiently that you original no bend list.

Sarah Joyce

It would appear your post may have confirmed my suspicions, the camera with the convenient features I become accustomed, no longer exist… or I can no longer afford it (DSLR?).

The only two things on that list I find very difficult to compromise. The card in the battery compartment and the tripod hole so close the battery compartment cover.

I would replace exhausted batteries, so long as I do not have to dismount the camera.
I also cannot live with opening the battery compartment to remove the memory card… when the camera is mounted, you open the door and risk the battery falling out, it’s a hassle, and in my opinion, a design flaw.
I am sure you understand I need to focus on capturing the perfect shot … not fiddle with the camera between shots.

I would prefer one in the same price range however if you have any suggested models at a higher price I would consider if it has other features that are worth it.

So here is my “compromised” list with two removed, one added and one adjusted.

Not have the card inside the battery compartment.
Not have the hole for the tripod close to the battery cover.
Cost up to $300.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 1:49 AM   #7
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I'm not that familiar with all the P&S models, but your problem is one faced by many studios. You need to shoot tethered and automatically transfer the photos to your computer.

One way is obviously a cable, but the other way is wifi. There was a rash of wifi-enabled P&S cameras not too long ago, but I'm not sure whether the feature has survived into the current generations.

Easy of course to get a wifi-transmitter for most DSLRs, but we've moved out of your price bracket.

Once you no longer need to remove the card the battery constraint will not be a major issue and all the advantages of the proprietary batteries will manifest themselves.

Sarah? Jim? How about it - are there any wifi models out there at the moment?
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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Agreed… in fact I have a few hi capacity memory cards, but what happens when the subject and camera is in one room, and the computer/printer/internet connection is in another, I guess I could find a very long USB cable, and pray someone doesn’t trip over it.
Actually, you'll run into distance limitations with a USB cable, so that wouldn't be very practical either. ;-)

Quote:
...And when I need to replace exhausted batteries, again, I must dismount the camera (probably long before the "hi capacity" memory card is any where near full). If there was an auxiliary power jack things would be a whole lot better, even though not a single model will charge the battery while plugged in (OK… I guess that last one may be asking too much).
Many newer camera have super battery life. See the review conclusion section of each camera's review here, and it's usually discussed. We're usually talking hundreds of photos before you need to worry about it with most modern cameras. It's not like you're limited to 36 exposures with a roll of film before you need to open the camera up again. ;-)
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 10:30 AM   #9
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Sarah? Jim? How about it - are there any wifi models out there at the moment?
I don't keep up with them. I think some of the Nikon models have WiFi built in. But, I'd have to research the specifics.

You can also find WiFi enabled memory cards now. Here's one vendor that offers them (but, I'd research issues like performance and more before buying one):

http://www.eye.fi/
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 10:43 AM   #10
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Cedrick-

The Panasonic LZ-8 and, I believe, the LZ-10 have the SD card insertion on the side of the camera rather than in the battery compartment, so does the Nikon D-40, and the Canon XS. Of that group however, only the LZ-8/10 are AA battery powered. The LZ8/10 have a 3" LCD, but the tripod socket, and the lens are oriented to the left hand side of the camera, with the lens pointed forward. The LZ8 do not an aux power input, I am not positive as I do not have that camera. The LZ-8 has an AV out socket. The LZ-8 is selling for around $(US) 110.00 to 120.00 right now but there is not much inventory left in circulation.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Sep 4, 2009 at 10:48 AM.
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