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digital camera advice needed

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this is the right place for this or not, but here goes.

I'm in the market to purchase my first digital camera, and I have no idea what I'm doing so I was hoping I could get some advice here. The primary purpose for getting a digital camera is to take pictures of my cat and be able to post them on-line (such as in this forum). And I'll probably want to be able to print some of them out for my photo albums as well.

Since this is my first purchase, should I go to a store and let them help me, or would I be okay going it alone and buying something on-line? I did a little research on-line and I know there are refurbished ones available for less cost than new ones. Any recommendations as to store if I go that route? Any recommendations about brand name for the camera?

I've read that I should get an optical zoom instead of a digital zoom, and at least 2.x megapixels (although 3.x would be better). I read something about compact flash memory cards, and to get the right type, and large enough size. Do I have to buy that separately, or would it come with the camera? Also what about a flash card reader for the computer? Do I need one of those or again will what I need come with the camera? I've got a laptop with USB ports (and other ports that I don't know what they do), is that enough?

As you can see, I need lots of help Any help is appreciated. If you need any further information about my laptop or whatever, ask away.

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 8
I have a kodak easy share that is a 5 mega pixel. I love it. I mean it could be better, but its a great first time camera. It does most of all the stuff that I want it to. And it takes good pictures! If you want to see all my pictures I've taken with it you can go to my photo bucket at http://s40.photobucket.com/albums/e247/jordidunn/
Also it was only $99 so that was good too
post #3 of 8
We have 2 digi camaras. We have a Fuji FinePix. Moderate price and I love it. Its the only I will use. We also have a newer Kodak Easy Share. This is the one I really don't like. I don't like the quality of pictures, the video camara thats on it, the software. I just don't like it. Where as with the Fuji I like the software, the pictures are crisper and clearer IMO, and it takes good short videos. If I am ever on the market for another smaller digi camara it will be a Fuji FinePix.
post #4 of 8
Mine's a Sony Cyber Shot 6 mega pixels digital camera. It was $120 a year and a half ago. It has very detailed shots but we had to get a memory stick because of the pictures' sizes.
post #5 of 8
#1 is set a budget. The go to a store like Circuit City or Best Buy and play around with the cameras in your price range. If you venture into a camera that costs a little more, check online at Amazon.com (i.e.) to see if they have it for less). Also check out reviews on amazon or cnet.com to find out what other people think of the product.

By todays standards its rare that you will get a 2.0-3.0 MP camera off the shelf. The average for an automatic runs about 6.0 MP. I got my latest one last year for $199. It's 6.0 MP, 3.0 zoom, and has that nice big preview screen. I use the Canon Elf, which I LOVE because its so small. Compact Flash are harder to find...they are as common as SD cards or xD cards now.
post #6 of 8
I have the canon powershot a430. It is 4.0 mega pixels and it takes pretty good pictures. I bought it for $199 but I have seen them around now for $140 (canadian).
post #7 of 8
I used to sell cameras a couple years ago. If you are a first time digital camera buyer I would suggest a Kodak. They are very user friendly and are the easiest to learn. Kodak would also have everything you need for storing pictures and adding them to your computer. Most cameras today come with a USB cord that will plug right into your computer and transfer your pictures. So easy. Kodak is an SD memory card which is the most common card therefor it's very inexpensive to buy bigger and better cards. Canons are the same as Kodak and that's what I have. You can buy a really nice camera today for $200, $150 you could also find easy on the later models.

Optical zoom is what you want. Digital zoom is what your computer does when you zoom in, you loose picture quality. 3x zoom is great for regular use, but if you want to take pictures of faraway things and zoom in close it's not goign to work out so well.

As for the Mega Pixels, 4mp is probably the lowest you could find these days and does a great job up to 8x10s. If you want to do poster sized pictures you are going to need a much bigger camera. It's hard to tell the difference between a 4mp and a 6mp on an 8x10 so if you want to go bigger than 4pm you'll have to go up to at least a 8mp, but like I said that's unnecessary unless you want bigger than 8x10 pictures.
post #8 of 8
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