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Old Dec 7, 2009, 12:23 PM   #1
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Default Durable for under $150

Hey all,

I'm looking for a camera to use at work that other employees will have access to. It will be primarily used to take pictures of shipments (if they arrive damaged) and various machinery to make technical documents and such. I know quite a bit about cameras, and took a few classes in college, but I'm not looking for something with the best image quality, or performance, per se. I'm looking for a camera that is:

Durable -- Non-telescoping zoom STRONGLY preferred. I'd rather not see a camera dropped with the zoom extended.
Under or around $150
SD Media

It would be nice if it had:
Proprietary battery
Metal casing
Over 4MP


What do you guys think? I'd like to buy new, but if buying used is the only option to fit in this price bracket, we will.
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Old Dec 7, 2009, 1:20 PM   #2
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Under $150 and uses SD, huh?

If you can live without the memory type requirement and don't mind refurbished instead of new, I see some good deals on some of the Olympus models that look like they'd probably fit the bill (metal body, shock resistance, recessed lens). But, they use xD Picturecard instead of Secure Digital. One is the Olympus Stylus 1050SW. You can see it's review here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...sw-review.html

buydig.com has them in refurbished condition for $129 with free shipping right now:

http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.a...OMST1050SWCHRB
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Old Dec 7, 2009, 1:26 PM   #3
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They also make a newer Stylus Tough Series, but they're going to run you more. One is the Olympus Stylus Tough 6000. Here's a review:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...00-review.html

Note that I also see the Stylus Tough 6000 in refurbished condition at buydig.com ($169, which is a bit over your budget).

http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.a...=OMSTT6000BERB
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 1:10 AM   #4
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Fujifilm and Samsung also sell flush lens type ultracompacts with modest price tags.

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Old Dec 8, 2009, 9:24 AM   #5
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What concerns me is this:

Quote:
Durable -- Non-telescoping zoom STRONGLY preferred. I'd rather not see a camera dropped with the zoom extended.
It's not a good idea to drop any camera. But, some models do indicate that they're Shock Proof (to a limit).

Now, I don't know if anything special makes them that way (aside from the obvious like a more durable case and non-extending lens design), since I can imagine that circuit boards could crack, sensor/optics alignment issues and more could occur when a camera is dropped.

But, if I did get one advertising "shock proof" to 4 or 5 feet, etc.; with the text on the front of the camera (as some of those Oly models do), I'd probably put a sticker over that text so that users seeing it wouldn't be tempted to test that shock resistance. :-)
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Old Dec 8, 2009, 11:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
... sensor/optics alignment issues ...
In theory at least it would be easier to design an internal focus/zoom mechanism that is robust than a telescoping one. But you're right of course, theory does not guarantee results. It would be much better if all cameras were rated for shock resistance. Crack/scratch resistance for LCDs would be nice too!

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Old Dec 8, 2009, 11:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCook View Post
It would be much better if all cameras were rated for shock resistance
Perhaps some type of common approval rating would be a good thing. For example, "Checked Luggage Tested".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
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