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Old Dec 3, 2004, 11:29 PM   #1
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My name is Jayne andI would like to buy a digital camera but don't know where to start. It is for taking family pictures and holiday snaps. I wanted good quality photographs and that's why I decided to go for a digital. I am very confused with all the different types, memory cards, etc, I have a headache!

Please somebody help me....

I only have up to £200.00 to spend and would prefer it if the camera could be used by the mains as well as batteries.

I would really appreciate it if somebody could help.

THANK YOU :sad:
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Old Dec 4, 2004, 12:09 AM   #2
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What I would recommend is that you follow what I describe below:

(i) Figure out what types of pictures you want to take. You already mentioned a bit (family & holiday) but try to see if you can go into a bit more detail. For example, figure out if you need to take pics of fast moving objects, or in low-light situations (eg. night, indoors), or something far away (eg. neeed to zoom into animals far away), etc. In particular, you should try to come up with a rough idea of how much zoom you want (zoom is what allows you to "enlarge" far-away objects). You pretty much have a choice betwen low-zoom (3x or 4x) and high-zoom (10x to 12x).

(ii) Figure out the size of the camera. Roughly speaking, I would say there are 4 categories: ultra-compact (fits in a purse), compact, SLR-like, and SLR-size (large). For travel, you probably don't want something large so we can rule out the really large cameras (which also are the ones with the most manual controls). You probably also don't want ultra-compact (these are very small and generally preferred by people who carry the camera everywhere at all times (eg. to restaurants, nightclubs, candid pics of friends, etc)). So I guess you should look for a compact or SLR-like (in terms of size) camera.

(iii) Price... you already mentioned it... I guess 200 pounds is something like US$350. You should be able to get a decent mid-end camera for that. Camera prices are supposedly high in UK so in the worst case, you can get a decent low-end/sort-of-mid-end camera.

Examples of cameras (that I like) around this price range include Canon A85 (compact), Sony W1 (ultra-compact), Panasonic FZ3 (ultra-zoom), etc.

You can go to dpreview.com and filter by certain criteria (like size) (it's one of the options in the menu choices on the left)... dcresource.com also offers a nice tool to filter cameras based on criteria you specify..
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Old Dec 4, 2004, 2:15 AM   #3
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200 pounds is a pretty limited budget. You have to include a memory card or shoot at very low quality. Cameras in that price range don't usually come with rechargeable batteries or AC adapters. The mains adapters might be available as options, but you want to spend your money on camera and memory.

Dave at Imaging Resource lists the Olympus 540 zoom as his budget choice. And Steve lists it in his "Best Cameras". It sells for about $165 in the US, and our dollar prices usually equate to your pound prices. You should be able to get a 128Mb xD card and stay in your budget. They go for about $30 plus shipping in the US. Try to get an Olympus card if it isn't more pricey – you can't use the panorama mode without an Olympus card. That is a standard Olympus scam.

It has a connector for an optional mains adapter, but I have no idea of price. It doesn't come with rechargeable batteries and alkalines get pricey after a while. You can get a charger with 4 good NiMH batteries in the US for $18 at Wal-Mart. It would put you over budget but save money in the long run. The camera also runs a lot longer on the NiMH batteries. I think it would be a much better purchase than a mains adapter.

You won't be happy with less camera IMO. You need an optical zoom – digital zoom is useless. And 3Mp lets you crop and make decent sized 8 X 10 prints if you want. You can read Steve's review: http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/d540.html

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Old Dec 4, 2004, 8:32 AM   #4
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Thank you for your help Sivaram. I'll do more research and look up the info on those cameras you mentioned.
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Old Dec 4, 2004, 8:34 AM   #5
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:-)Thanks for your help Slipe. Much appreciated.
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Old Dec 4, 2004, 11:57 AM   #6
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My dad bought an Olympus D-580 for $200 here in the US. It's 4mp and VERY easy to use and takes really nice pictures.
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Old Dec 4, 2004, 2:02 PM   #7
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:-)Thanks. I have just ordered the Casio EXZ30 for £179.00. I should get it on Tuesday. I just hope its okay. I did a lot of research on it first so i just hope i've made the right decision. We will soon find out.
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Old Dec 4, 2004, 6:49 PM   #8
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That looks like an entry-level ultra-compact... It's nothing spectacular but it's a good low-cost camera... good luck with your camera and I hope you enjoy it...

Have fun snapping pics :|
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