Digital Camera Advice (merged)

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Ok, so I went to Japan for six weeks this summer and had my laptop (a me plz) and my mom's 2.0 MegaPixel FujiFilm Digital Camera. So after taking around 700 pics and a couple dozen videos, I've begun to think I should have one for myself.

Therefore, I throw myself at the mercy of those who have spent more money than I on digital stuff and politely ask for some suggestions.

Just two things: I have USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 and I can't afford something over $300.

Thanks guys.


  • Reply 1 of 24
    I've had excellent experience with Canon's PowerShot S200 Digital Elph. Provided, my model is a little out of date, but the newer models have the same design and simply offer higher resolutions and better zooms. I'd recommend searching for some reviews on the newer models of the Elph series, as there were many very positive and glowing reviews for the one I bought.

    Hope this helps.

    BTW, get a Mac!
  • Reply 2 of 24
    OT: Just an example of computer dependence: Brad is my roommate and decided to type that while I stood beside him instead of just telling me. This means he has emailed me, IM'ed me, and now replied to my post with me IN THE ROOM. HA!!
  • Reply 3 of 24
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Some names to start.

    Tiny and average picture quality (from smallest to largest):

    Pentax Optio S

    Casio Exilim Z3

    Minolta Dimage Xt

    Canon Powershot S230

    Average sized and decent pic quality:

    Canon Powershot A70

    Olympus Stylus 300

    Sony Cybershot P72

    My dad just bought a Dimage Xt a few days ago to take with him on a trip to Australia. For a camera you can take anywhere, anytime, it seems pretty decent. Also go to to read the reviews there...
  • Reply 4 of 24
    One more thing, something I should have mentioned first: documentation (or a good UI on the camera). Actually, if anyone can point me to a good guide on actually making manual settings on a digital camera, that would be even better. No use spending the money if I can't use all the features!
  • Reply 5 of 24
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    I have a Sony CyberShot u30. This is the smallest camera I have ever seen. The picture quality seems pretty good although I don't have much to compare it to, and it has a number of different settings that are pretty easy to use. Here's the pros and cons:


    * Very very small, fits in your pocket easily

    * Decent picture quality

    * Comes with two AAA batteries and a charger

    * A number of presets to reduce red-eye, take fast-action shots, long distance shots, portraits, etc.

    * Simple interface

    * Convex mirror on slide-off lens cap for framing pictures of yourself, or for your subject to adjust their pose

    * Decent resolution (2 MP)

    * Good price ($200)


    * Very small LCD screen makes it hard to preview pictures

    * Comes with only 8 MB of memory, you must buy more for it to be useful

    * No zoom

    * Movie mode can only take super low resolution 15 second movies with no sound

    * Can't scroll around a preview picture when zoomed in

    * Lens cover can accidentally slide off and cause the camera to turn on if you're wearing somewhat tight pants (especially jeans)

    I've heard good things about the Canon Digital Elph as well, and those are also very small.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    I have the Toshiba PDR-4300. It's a 4 MP, 2.8x Canon optical zoom lens, takes great photos, is fully automatic or fully manual, and it's $199 at right now.

  • Reply 7 of 24
    mccrabmccrab Posts: 201member
    I have owned four Canons - A40, S40 and recently acquired IXUS 400 (very portable) and 300D (SLR). These cameras have all been brilliant. Canon have a fantastic range, great software (for both mac & pc - on some models they include Adobe Photoshop Elements). Picture quality is brilliant, simple menu systems and highly robust cases (important if you are travelling a lot).

    Also, worth checking out - it has very good and up to date reviews.

    If you can afford a bit more than $300, I would invest in the S45 or S50
  • Reply 8 of 24
    cj3209cj3209 Posts: 158member
    Check out the Canon A70; I believe Canon to be far superior than any other brand in terms of good, quality, digicams, and range of types. The A70 sells for around $275 (check out DELL.COM for some deals - it seems that DELL wants to become another Amazon...). is also a superlative web site on digicams.

    No, I don't own a Canon digicam, I use a Nikon d-SLR but recommend Canon for a good point-and-shoot digicam.

  • Reply 9 of 24
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    IMO, Fugi and the newest Minoltas have the best UI, Canon and Nikon are crufty but not too hard to figure out. I hate Sony's UI. Look for a camera that has the most (understandable) dials on the body, because then you won't have to wade through menus as much and you can get your shots faster.

    Some things to look out for in a digital camera aside from Megapixels:

    1. zoom range (optical is much better than digital), usually listed in 135mm equivalents, e.g., 35mm-85mm zoom, etc. The lower the number, the wider the view angle, the more you can fit into the frame. Good for buildings and stuff, bad for portraits. Zoom in and take a few steps back for better portraits.

    2. largest aperture/lowest f stop (same thing), i.e., f2.8, f3.5, etc. The smaller the number, the more light reaches the sensor. Lower numbers make it easier to take pictures in low light, and are better for portraits if you can control that.

    3. Look for good white balance presets, or if you can set up a custom WB. You can avoid most post-processing if you get this right when you take the picture.

    4. Look for good exposure presets like portrait, sports, night portrait, fireworks, sunset, etc. Some cameras have more presets than others, and they're usually programmed rather well.

    5. Try to see how easy it is to do a quick review/delete of a picture, and how easy it is to play them back and go through many of them at once.

    6. Watch out where the power button is! some Nikons and probably others put the power button in the absolutely wrong spot.

    7. Decide whether you want standard AA NiMH batteries or proprietary ones. The proprietary ones last longer but are more expensive (always buy one extra anyway) and you can't just run into the local Walgreen's for an emergency one f your other two lose power. The standard batteries are available everywhere and are cheap, but eventually lose their ability to recharge over time if they can even recharge at all, so you end up buying more of them.

    8. Decide if you're going to transfer your pictures directly from the camera using USB (I find it maddening that almost no cameras have better than USB 1.1 unless you're willing to spend $1500) or if you're going to pop in your media card to a reader. The USB connection is very convenient and is free with the camera including the plug, but your camera batteries drain during the transfer. If you use a media card reader, the transfers are MUCH faster and you save battery power, but you have to shell out for the media card reader, and you have to pay more attention to what type of card you're going to use: Compact Flash, Memory Stick, etc.

    9. Finally, see how the camera feels in one hand, whether you can reach the shutter and other buttons comfortably, hold it for a while, etc. I can't tell you how important this is get the right "feel" and to avoid the nuisance of a non-ergonomic camera.

    I'll shut up now?
  • Reply 10 of 24
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    I would get something from Canon's IXUS line (that's "Digital Elph" for you Americans). Great all-around cameras with no real deficiencies, and very small.

    A friend had a new Minolta Xt, which is about the same price, it was so thin it wasn't noticeable in a breast pocket. The picture quality wasn't nearly as good as with the IXUS series, though.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    ryukyuryukyu Posts: 450member
    I'm throwing in my vote for Canon. I've owned 35mm Canon SLRs and I have a Powershot S40.

    Great image quality, reliable performance.

    Check out reviews of cameras here.

  • Reply 12 of 24
    Canon, Canon, Canon...there IS no better camera. I use their printers, scanners, digicams, and video cams. The BEST out there. Check out reviews here
  • Reply 13 of 24
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    The best advice I can give you is to buy a digital camera that runs on ordinary AA's & AA rechargables..

    That way, your never going to be stuck with a fancy camera half way up the khyber pass with a flat Iondrive Dx-dss45 battery..

    If you intend doing any travelling to wild or remote places, chances are they wont have a replacement for you.

    But AA's are universal....

    That's why I have stuck with my Nikon Coolpix 700 ( 2.1 pixels ).

    But there are new cameras such as the Olympus 5050 that do take AA's...

    There is safety in Numbers... & AA's is a safe bet...
  • Reply 14 of 24
    Thanks guys!! This REALLY helps. Thanks again.
  • Reply 15 of 24
    Get the best Canon you can afford, not only do they make great products, but their OSX support is AAA.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    Canon just released the D300 it's a reflex digital camera, compatible with all the lens of the EOS line.

    It's a 6 millions pixel cmos camera, and it cost 1300 ? with a zoom, but i have seen offer at 1000 ?.

    The previous cheaper reflex with various optics was the D10 selled 2000 ?.

    If at the end of the year ,the taxes do not eat all my income, i will consider to buy one.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    I'm thinking of buying a camera for a friend's trip to Europe. Any suggestions on what a good value mid-range camera is? I'm currently looking at some of the Canon cameras such as the Powershot A80, but if there are any other suggestions, please let me know.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member

    Originally posted by s.metcalf

    I'm thinking of buying a camera for a friend's trip to Europe. Any suggestions on what a good value mid-range camera is? I'm currently looking at some of the Canon cameras such as the Powershot A80, but if there are any other suggestions, please let me know.

    There is a lot of good mid range digital camera. I will suggest to buy in promotion the Canon G3 : it's a good semi-pro 4 Mpixel camera.

    Anyway this thread belongs to digital hub. You should do a search here, many advices have been posted about the subject in the past.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    There was another thread with some good advice for digital cameras just two days ago. I'm merging this thread into it.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    I have the Nikon Coolpix 775, and it's a great camera. It has many different photo settings, great zoom power and the auto focus works well too. My only complaint would be taking night pictures with it, while you can get good pictures at night you really have to adjust settings and fool around with it to get what you want. I don't think this model is made anymore, (mabye it is) but there are better comparable models out there from Nikon.
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