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Old Nov 9, 2004, 7:21 PM   #1
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Hi all

I know this is quite general, but I maybe someone can help. I am a poor student in the UK and I have decided that I want to buy myself a digital camera (as I can't use my parent's now. I thought instead of buying a rubbish cheap one I would be better with an older branded one from eBay, so I was just wondering if there is any particular brand / range anyone would suggest for general purposes. I don't think I need anything above 1-2 MP. A decent zoom and reasonable performance in the dark would be nice.

I was thinking that I might be better getting a model which takes standard AA size batteries, so I can use my stock of rechargeables (as the ones with it may be worn out).

There seems to be a good stock of Olympus, which sound good. I can spend about £40 ($70), which seems about the going rate (or maybe more for a very good model). Have a look at www.ebay.co.uk to see our prices.

Thanks a lot,
James
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Old Nov 9, 2004, 8:41 PM   #2
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I'm just a newbie so take it for what it's worth

I really don't think you should buy a cheap low-end camera or an old one. The reason I don't think you should buy an old one is because:

(i) if you like photography, you'll hate the camera and it might turn you off... might as well spend a little bit more and get one that you can play around with...

(ii) 1 to 2 megapixels is too low for general use. It is great for computer/online/web pics, but you can just barely print 4"x6" (this is the standard small size) pics. Sure, you can get away with it but will you be happy? Taking pics without being able to print good quality pics is something that should be avoided. (note: 2MP is arguably enough but I would stay away from anything lower)

(iii) THIS IS THE MAIN REASON I'm against your strategy of buying an old camera to save costs. Digital cameras, like most electronics, change rapidly. There are major changes within just one year. The newer cameras offer more features at a lower cost per feature (although, total cost may be slightly higher). If you buy a camera that is a few years old, it will likely be lacking some key features that people take for granted now. MY OPINION is that the price difference doesn't make up for the feature difference. The slightly higher-cost recent camera is a better deal than an old lower-cost camera IMO (note: used new cameras are ok IMO--assuming they don't have problems). I really would try to buy a new camera...

(NOTE: Old to me is more than 1.5 years; if it is less than that, that's ok... 1 to 2MP cameras would fit the definition of old)

I think you should try saving up a bit more and then buy a somewhat decent camera. You don't need to get the latest camera but you should buy one that is somewhat recent. A used camera on ebay (although you don't know how reliable the sellers are) is fine as long as it is somewhat recent. I think you should try saving up a bit more (say US$150 to $200) and then get a camera. I'm just worried that anything less than that will be a bad camera and you may never be satisfied. See if you can save up more... you can wait to buy your camera--unless you need it right away...
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Old Nov 9, 2004, 9:47 PM   #3
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jamesc wrote:
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A decent zoom and reasonable performance in the dark would be nice.
James:

I'm not sure what you mean by "reasonable performance in the dark", but I thought I'd try to set your expectations in this area.

A digital camera will need a certain amount of light to focus.Even typical room lighting is too low for some cameras unless the subject has a lot of contrast. So, take this into consideration when shopping.

If taking photos in the dark is really a need, then you'll want to make sure that the camera has an Autofocus Assist Lamp for closer subjects. But, Autofocus Assist Lamps have a limited range. Usable Manual Focus or Fixed Distance Focus choices are also desirable features.

You'll also need to use a flash with most models in typical indoor lighting or lower (unless you use a tripod, and your subject is not moving). This is because shutter speeds need to be slower in low light for proper exposure, and you'll get motion blur from camera and subject movement without a flash or tripod. Flash Range (or the ability to use an external flash) is also a consideration if you mean photos in low light without a tripod.

If you mean photos of cityscapes at night, then you'll want to make sure the camera allows for longer exposures, too (many have limitations). A noise reduction system for longer exposures is also desirable to reduce hot pixels (and many older model cameras won't have this feature).
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 7:16 AM   #4
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
Quote:
I think you should try saving up a bit more and then buy a somewhat decent camera. You don't need to get the latest camera but you should buy one that is somewhat recent. A used camera on ebay (although you don't know how reliable the sellers are) is fine as long as it is somewhat recent. I think you should try saving up a bit more (say US$150 to $200) and then get a camera. I'm just worried that anything less than that will be a bad camera and you may never be satisfied. See if you can save up more... you can wait to buy your camera--unless you need it right away...
I see your points and I probably will buy a decent camera one day, but for now it would just be nice just to have something for the odd picture to email around and occasionally print off (and won't be too expensive if I lose it). I have a decent film camera for other work. I won't be using it for anything too serious such as going on holiday etc. Looking around, I might be able to just stretch to a 3 MP model.

JimC wrote:
Quote:
I'm not sure what you mean by "reasonable performance in the dark", but I thought I'd try to set your expectations in this area.

A digital camera will need a certain amount of light to focus. Even typical room lighting is too low for some cameras unless the subject has a lot of contrast. So, take this into consideration when shopping.
Thanks for your helpful response. I should clarify, I mean just taking photos indoors, for example I went to the recording of a TV show recently, and I had to quickly buy a disposable camera at the train station, and the photos inside the studio where quite terrible. The majority of digital cameras I have used have been reasonable in this area (with a few changes to the settings etc., as you say).

Thanks for your help,
James
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Old Nov 12, 2004, 7:59 AM   #5
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Hi James,

Here's about the best deal on a compact digital that I could find on eBay UK. It includes a 64MB card that will hold 64-75 shots in the highest resolution/quality settings.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...sPageName=WDVW

This little Canon uses AA's, has Full Auto to Full Manual control, Movie mode, decent burst shooting, has a focus assist light for low-light shooting, and is small enough to take with you just about anywhere.

Hope this helps,

Eric
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