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Which digital camera is best??

Discussion in 'Through the Lens' started by Bloodletting, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. Bloodletting

    Bloodletting Arachnobaron Old Timer

    We are getting a new digital camera for Christmas, which one is best? I know there will be many opinions, are there any experts? someone who works somewhere or has seen a comsumers report or would have some knowledge as to why.

    I want it for close-ups, easy to use, clean, clear pictures, easy to upload to comp, etc.


  2. Malkavian

    Malkavian Arachnolord Old Timer

    My "pet" camera is a FUji Finepix S602, but that's a several years old camera. It takes wonderful pictures though, and uses plain old AA batteries rather than a proprietary one.

    Really it's hard to reccomend something for you without knowing a few things:

    1) are you looking for a point and shoot camera or someting for 'serious' amateur photography

    2) how much are you willing to spend?

    In general though I'd say a few things:
    Look for a cam that takes AA batteries and non-proprietary memory cards (Compactflash is my preference) I had a sony camera that i erally enjoyed, but it only accepts Sony memorysticks and sony batteries (which are EXPENSIVE and go dead after a while) --no more sony equipment for me.
    Look for a cam that can either directly accept lenses or has an adapter accessory that allows you to purchase lenses. my S602 has an adapter ring that I can use to attach filters and small lenses if i so choose, which is great because a simple UV filter costs a few dollars and basically armors the actual lens against dust and scratching.
  3. kosh

    kosh Arachnobaron Old Timer

    this week, i have been looking at the Nikon Coolpix 4200 or the Canon Powershot A95 which can both be bought new for less than $300......

    the Coolpix 4200 is a 4.2 megapixel camera that is point and shoot with 3x optical zoom and several scene modes for easy shooting....it also has movie mode at 640x480 i believe and in movie mode the length of the movies are limited by the size of the storage you have in it....it also has a 1.6 inch macro mode for the close up shots of the T's.....
    it is $264 at onecall.com

    the Powershot A95 is a 5 megapixel with 3x optical zoom and several scene modes and movie mode which is limited by INTERNAL memory i believe....and the macro is about 2 inches...it has the lcd screen that swivels and rotates...and i believe it will take add-on lenses and filters...
    it is $297 at dell.com

    before this week i was looking at 3 megapixel cameras by Canon and Nikon for less than $200......and i still may choose one of these because i dont really need more than 3 megapixels (who is going to be printing poster or banner size pics)....Nikon has the Coolpix 3200 and Canon has the Powershot A75.....
    in general it seems the Nikons have better macro but the Canons have more features for the semi-pro...

    and i will add that i am looking for the most bang for the buck and i do not personally own any of these cameras so i can only go by the reviews i have read....just dont be SUCKERED in to thinking that more megapixels is always better...that is nothing more than a marketing scheme.....any 3mp camera can print 8X10's...and I cant imagine anyone wanting or affording to print larger....
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2004
  4. Bloodletting

    Bloodletting Arachnobaron Old Timer


    I do want something that is user friendly. I don't want to read a novel to learn how to use it. I also want something that can hold many pics or is upgradeable to do so.

  5. Kugellager

    Kugellager ArachnoJester Arachnosupporter

    This is where you want to go:


    That site has the most comprehensive and thorough camera reviews on the web...the provide side-by-side reviews with with other similar level cameras.

    I love this site.

  6. Malkavian

    Malkavian Arachnolord Old Timer


    True enough. However, if you're doing photo processing and need to crop an image or want to take a tiny section and blow it up for effect or examination (such as sexing a small T or pictures of slings) the more megapix you have the better this will go.
  7. Raindog

    Raindog Arachnoknight Old Timer

    Dpreview is great for comparison shopping but many people are clueless as to what they looking at when viewing the spec lists there. Try this one to get an idea of what to look for and technique tips...

  8. kosh

    kosh Arachnobaron Old Timer

    or buy a camera with a good macro function which the two i referred to will do....

    plus i would think that a 3mp digicam at full res 6 inches away could produce a pic that could be cropped and enlarged no problem....sure a 6mp or 8mp camera could do better....but could they do it sooooo much better to justify paying double the money??? i think not....

    i still stick to the more megapixels is a marketing trap and dont be suckered in.....

    i used to have link to a site with articles explaining exactly the truth about the megapixel myth but, alas, i can't seem to find it......
  9. Raindog

    Raindog Arachnoknight Old Timer

  10. Rourke

    Rourke ArachnoProletariat Old Timer

    The Megapixel Myth

    It should be obvious that more megapixels does not necessarily equal better pics. What's important is the quality of the lens in use, and of the CCD sensor. If these other two things are equal, then yes, more megapixels would be better.

    I can take very nice pics with my Nikon 2 megapixel. Still, the sensor in my D70 is 6.2 megapixel (I think), and I will default to that camera now when I can.
  11. Raindog

    Raindog Arachnoknight Old Timer

    Right on Rourke,
    Small, crowded sensors are not conducive to great images. Sure, you can cram eight million collecting photons into a 8.8x6.6mm or smaller sensor but don't expect a hell of a lot from it. The lenses on most of these big dollar point and shoot's are often sub-par as well and cannot be changed.

  12. blacktara

    blacktara Arachnobaron


    are not what it's all about

    Beyond about 4 megapixels, unless you want to make very large prints, the image quality depends far more on the lens and the user

    And when it comes to lenses, Canon and Nikon are decent enough, but it's basically Leitz, Hasselblad, and then the rest staring two steps down

    Given that a Hasselblad digital system starts at upwards of 10K, your best bet is the 5 megapixel Leica Digilux with its Leitz Summicron lens for about $1500 or one of the Panasonic deals with a Leitz Elmarat lens that can be had for well under a grand

    The Digilux's viewfinder isnt up to par with the rest of the camera, it isnt GREAT for macro work, it is somewhat disappointing at ISO 400, and doesnt have the ability to change lenses, but

    the one lens you get is superb, and,especially if you work RAW, in the right hands, it is capable of great results
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