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Old Jun 12, 2005, 3:55 PM   #1
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Hello, All!

I am looking to buy a digital camera and I am feeling woefully unprepared to even head out to the store and ask. I don't want to end up with more than I need. And quite frankly, I don't even know where to start. :?

I will be taking pictures of animals, moving and standing still (well, as still as they can be anyhow); Nature shots; people pictures; pictures with me holding still and me on the back of a horse trail riding; pictures to paint from;etc.

Simple is best for me. I don't need anything SUPER fancy as I am not a professional, merely an amatuer getting tired of disposable cameras. I would like something with an LCD screen, but tons of special features I really don't need. Some detail work. Mainly, though, I have to say ease of use is extremely important. I would like to be able to take short movie films. Something that is kind of sturdy, but not too bulky. I need to be able to carry it with me on horseback and not have it be a huge pack to carry. Something I can put in a tough carry case and put it in my saddle bag or hang around my neck.

I've been told that optical is better than digital zoom. Don't get less than 3.0. Don't get less than 5.0. Get digital zoom. I need this and that. GAH!!! Needless to say, at this point in my clueless state, I am a commision sales person's dream come true. :shock:

Help?
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Old Jun 12, 2005, 4:20 PM   #2
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If you look at the first entry on this forum topic it says "Steve's Digicam Buyer's Guide", and if you click on it, there is a link for "Best Cameras". I found that information extremely helpful in deciding on a camera for my purposes. Check it out.
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Old Jun 12, 2005, 5:34 PM   #3
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hoofservant,

So far, your criteria as stated in your 1st post to this forum has narrowed the selection down to about 589 cameras (LOL).

Since I'm not a commisioned salesperson...optical zoom is better than digital zoom...most digital cameras have LCD's...most digital cameras are easy to use...most digital cameras have video capability...most current model digital cameras have a 3.2 or greater megapixel capability.

Now comes the hard part - narrowing the field. You stated that you want to take pictures of animals - so do I. I would recommend a megazoom camera (at least 10X). The attached pic was not taken in a zoo or game farm - the gator swam across a pond and decided to take a little walk - fairly close (a little too close for me) to where I was standing. The 10X zoom on my camera allowed me to get this shot before I left the area...I wouldn't have wanted to get any closer. Why does this make your choice hard? Because you don't want a bulky camera...megazooms are larger than some other digital cameras. You have to decide on the maximum size camera you can live with.

Let us know what your spending limit is, and what features are most important to you...if you don't know what features are available, let us know what types of pictures are most important to you, and we'll try to help.

Welcome to the forum, and good luck with your search.

the Hun





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Old Jun 12, 2005, 7:17 PM   #4
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I spent about a year researching on line. I started out looking at the Minolta A2, even though I swore I'd bever buy another Minolta. I read rumors of the EVF on it crapping out. I got scared and started looking around. The Panasonic FZ20 started looking good, big zoom and F2.8 really seemed nice. Iwent to the store and played with one several times, eeeeh. a little light and toylike. I didn' want anything too small but the FZ? Well, I started looking at price - $599. Then, something happened, Canon chopped $200. off of the rebel Making it within reason of the FZ20. I was used to the SLR and liked the fact that it had through the lens optical, not pressing your eye against a little TV screen. This seemed perfect, but I got scared again by code 99 and lens lock up rumors on the rebel so I went in another direction. Long story short, I now am the owner of a Pentax istDS. Nice camera that can expand for about $700. You will spend more than you planned on, take your time, look at something a little more than you want, play with it, you will know when the right one comes along
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Old Jun 12, 2005, 8:36 PM   #5
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I'd suggest looking at the fairly cheap 3-5Mpixel shirt-pocket cameras. If you watch sales, you should find one for US$2-300. Even if you get something better later like a dSLR, you will still have a use for a camera that is very easy to always have at hand.

No matter what camera you get, or when you get it, there will be one out in a few months that is cheaper and better.
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Old Jun 12, 2005, 11:19 PM   #6
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You hit the nail on the head with that last one Bill!!

Quote:
No matter what camera you get, or when you get it, there will be one out in a few months that is cheaper and better.

Dawg
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 2:55 AM   #7
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You want to carry it around your neck when horse riding and bring along when you are on the move.

Seems to me that size and shape is the first issue to clarify. The ultra compact cameras today have very similar specs in terms of picture quality, so pick 3-4 cameras which fits well to your needs of size and shape - then pick one among them.

The Kodak V550 , Casio EX-S500 , Casio EX-S100 , and Casio EX-Z750 could be among them. Especialy the EX-S500 looks promising cause its slim design and MPEG4 video.
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 3:05 AM   #8
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You want to carry it around your neck when horse riding and bring along when you are on the move.

Seems to me that size and shape is the first issue to clarify. The ultra compact cameras today have very similar specs in terms of picture quality, so pick 3-4 cameras which fits well to your needs of size and shape - then pick one among them.

Since you want to shoot while on the move and perhas even from the horse back, anti shake function could be nice to have, few ultra compact cameras have it today, but more and more cameras get it.

The Kodak V550 ( anti shake ) , Casio EX-S500 ( anti shake ), Casio EX-S100 , and Casio EX-Z750 could be among them.

If you go for slim and small, HQ video and Anti Shake, there are only two cameras to look at: Kodak V550 and Casio EX-S500.

Especialy the EX-S500 looks promising cause its very slim design and low weight.

http://exilim.casio.com/ :|

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Old Jun 15, 2005, 2:00 PM   #9
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There are numerous reputable sites with articles on "How to choose a digital camera", etc... Seriously, I'd start by reading those. They can help you -- they helped me! Do a Google search (choosing digital camera) or similar.

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