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Old Jun 19, 2006, 10:22 PM   #1
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Well, I know absolutely nothing about cameras, but I'm stuck using this crappy HP photosmart 320 camera. Anyways, now that I've set up my website and will be dong hardware reviews, I could really use a better camera. So, here's the different things I want.

First, I obviously want a digital camera.
My max budget is around $200. I would *prefer* to have a memory card, camera, and a few other accessories (like a tripod) included in there. Obviously the less I have to spend, the better. I don't need the absolute best, I just need something that will give me good quality. I can always use any money saved, so if I can get a camera for, say $150, that would be even better.

So does anybody have any suggestions?

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Old Jun 19, 2006, 11:49 PM   #2
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Canon PowerShot A530. Decent picture quality at 5 megapixels. Lots of different modes and manual controls when you want to experiment a little. It uses AA batteries. You can get 4 good rechargeables for less than $11. OK chargers range from $10 to $20.

Go to here for Steve's review:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_.../a530_pg6.html
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Old Jun 20, 2006, 12:33 AM   #3
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16830120179

how is that?

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Old Jun 20, 2006, 4:33 PM   #4
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My friend has that and I have seen the pictures he has taken with it. It's a excellent camera. But since it is $200+, you will have no budget for a tripod.

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Old Jun 20, 2006, 5:52 PM   #5
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yah that would be a problem


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Old Jun 20, 2006, 6:04 PM   #6
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sdat1333 wrote:
Quote:
Well, I know absolutely nothing about cameras, but I'm stuck using this crappy HP photosmart 320 camera. Anyways, now that I've set up my website and will be dong hardware reviews, I could really use a better camera. So, here's the different things I want.
You and thousands of others. :-) But, don't advertise your site here, since we don't allow adveritising in the forums.

Quote:

First, I obviously want a digital camera.
My max budget is around $200. I would *prefer* to have a memory card, camera, and a few other accessories (like a tripod) included in there. Obviously the less I have to spend, the better. I don't need the absolute best, I just need something that will give me good quality. I can always use any money saved, so if I can get a camera for, say $150, that would be even better.

So does anybody have any suggestions?
Yes... Check out our Best Cameras List before spending your money. The models in the list are deemed to be a good value within their market niche.

Make sure to read the review conclusion section for any camera you consider.

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Old Jun 20, 2006, 10:27 PM   #7
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well I am in no way advertising my site. That is, unless you have a way of magically knowing what my website is without me saying it :-)

But thanks for the link, I'll go read it now.
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 6:09 PM   #8
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A question for the original poster: you described your present camera as "cr*ppy". What is it about the camera that makes it deserve this description?

Please understand that I am not arguing with you! After looking at the specs, I can agree that it has many shortcomings. The point of my question is that it will help you and those whose advice you seek if we all understand WHICH of its many shortcomings are the ones you object to.

With your budget, you cannot realistically expect to buy a perfect camera (as if such a thing existed), but you should be able to find one that suits some of your personal preferences. The first step is determining what your preferences are.
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 11:21 PM   #9
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Well here are the main things that bothered me:
-Long time between hitting the button and the pic actually being taken. For instance, I hit the button, then wait about 3 seconds while it takes the pic. Also, its really blurry.
For instance, here is a picture I took of an LCD screen. I took this WITH a tripod (little mini tripod, but it keeps the camera still) and good lighting, on highest quality settings.

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Old Jun 25, 2006, 1:29 PM   #10
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sdat1333 wrote:
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Well here are the main things that bothered me:
-Long time between hitting the button and the pic actually being taken. For instance, I hit the button, then wait about 3 seconds while it takes the pic.
This is known as "shutter lag" and it has been a major complaint about cameras. Some significant improvements have been seen in recent releases. I don't think you'll often find it listed in the manufacturer's specifications, but if you look at Steve's reviews (on this site), he often mentions it in his conclusions. For instance, his review of the Canon PowerShot A430 includes this statement: "Shooting performance was impressive. From power up to first image captured measured approx. 1.5 seconds. Shutter lag measured less than 1/10 of a second when pre-focused and only 2/10 of a second including autofocus." Note that, as with most cameras, the response is faster if you pre-focus by half-pressing the shutter button.

Sorry, I can't make any specific recommendations, because I don't really know what's available in your price range. Maybe someone else will chime in. But if you're willing to do some research, I think you can come up with something that will work for you. The PowerShot A430, mentioned above, may be a good place to start looking.



Quote:
Also, its really blurry.
For instance, here is a picture I took of an LCD screen. I took this WITH a tripod (little mini tripod, but it keeps the camera still) and good lighting, on highest quality settings.
It's hard to say exactly what's the problem here, but before we explore the possibilities, you should be aware that what looks like good lighting to our eyes may not be adequate for the camera. This is a 1/2 second exposure at f/4.5, iso 200. That suggests lighting that is not exactly dim, but still somewhat subdued.

Did you press shutter button manually, or use the self-timer? Even with the tripod, pressing the button can jar the camera enough to cause the blurring in this picture. The self-timer, assuming your camera has one, can eliminate this problem.

It's also possible that the autofocus was unable to lock. Many autofocus systems depend on vertical contrast, so it might be helpful to aim at the edge of the monitor, prefocus, then recompose before taking the shot.

And it's also possible that the camera was too close to the monitor. According to the specs I saw, your HP has a near-focusing limit of about 2.5 feet. You probably want to be sure your next camera has a macro mode that allows you to get closer. Most do.

Bear in mind that your price range puts you at the low end of the market, and the latest and greatest features are slow to trickle down to entry-level models. Your expectations seem to be both simple and reasonable, so you should be able to find something that suits you.

Good luck on your search!
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