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Old Aug 8, 2004, 5:10 PM   #1
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I'm shopping for my first digital camera to shoot photos to accompany features I write and I don't have a lot of money to spend. The camera needs to be able to upload images via a cable to the USB port in my iMac or another computer (PC). The final photos will be used once in the newspaper at approx. 5" x 4", then discarded. I don't need to print, store or in any other way archive the images.
I need reasonable battery time, but can carry batteries with me; a charger is not always practical since I travel out of the US.

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old Aug 8, 2004, 6:16 PM   #2
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Price range including extra battery, data card, etc.?

Do you need good low-light capabilities?

Is zoom important, and if so, how much is necessary?

What is "reasonable battery time"? How many shots before a recharge are necessary (assuming you have two batteries)?
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Old Aug 8, 2004, 7:59 PM   #3
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See my page on what I consider the best camera value among any manufacturer, the Minolta G400. Best imaging, best flexibility, beats EVERY 4 MP camera out there under $500. This one is $234 online.

http://www.neilslade.com/Papers/details.html

I have found that all of the small cameras require a second or even third spare battery for serious shooting- go to Ebay, where I've bought all my third party batteries. I got an 1100maH NP-600 for my Minolta for about $25-- 50% more capacity than the standard Minolta battery at 1/2 the retail price. I use third party batteries for all my pro equipment.
Lithium Ion is lithium ion. Just buy from somebody with a good rating.
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Old Aug 8, 2004, 9:43 PM   #4
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neilslade wrote:
Quote:
See my page on what I consider the best camera value among any manufacturer, the Minolta G400. Best imaging, best flexibility, beats EVERY 4 MP camera out there under $500. This one is $234 online.

http://www.neilslade.com/Papers/details.html

I have found that all of the small cameras require a second or even third spare battery for serious shooting- go to Ebay, where I've bought all my third party batteries. I got an 1100maH NP-600 for my Minolta for about $25-- 50% more capacity than the standard Minolta battery at 1/2 the retail price. I use third party batteries for all my pro equipment.
Lithium Ion is lithium ion. Just buy from somebody with a good rating.

While I will agree that the G400 may be a great compact camera, it does not and will not ever beat "EVERY 4 MP camera out there under $500". WIth the compact design, image quality (and CCD size) sacrifices must be made. I'll bet my Panasonic FZ10 can beat the image quality of that camera, and it is indeed under $500. Granted, I can't put mine in my pocket (unless I buy obscenely large pants) but I would feel wrong to say nothing here.
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Old Aug 9, 2004, 8:18 AM   #5
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TacticalNuke ! I thought you started out saying that you need advise on buying your FIRST digital camera, now you say you have a PAnasonik FZ10 ? What is up with that???
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Old Aug 9, 2004, 8:57 AM   #6
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Ummm...bateswriter is looking for a camera.

Bateswriter, I would limit my search to 3 megapixel cameras and up. A good 3 megapixel camera will give you a good 8x10 for a print.

Do you need a zoom lens..then plan on adding at least100 more to the base price (optical zoom). If you do not need a zoom, then you can get away with a fixed lens camera...and these are far cheaper (disregard digital zooms)

Newspapers tend to go for a low screening of 72dpi, as intaglio printing does injustice to higher dpi settingsthat digital cameras can do. In other words, higher dpi only makes the photo look muddied, with loss of detailing if transfered to a printing press.

So with that out of the way, practically most digital cameras out there will do it for you. Only consider cameras with at least 3 megapixels.

Things to consider for yourself.

-Proprietary battery, or AAs

-size. Do you want something small to fit a pocket, or something larger that better fits your hands.

-Optical zoom or fixed lens.

-Resolution size.

Basically, I suggest you go to your local photo store (more expensive), or to a local super store that has several cameras out. Try them out, see what is available in your area, how does it fit in your hands, etc...and go from there. It sounds like you don't need much of a digital camera, thus most models out there should do it for you.
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Old Aug 9, 2004, 1:56 PM   #7
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Thanks! Your response was exactly what I was looking for. I knew someone could cut through the confusing tangle of information I've been reading in ads, catalogs and on websites.

Bateswriter

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