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Another Digital Camera Thread..HELP!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know, here we go again..
I have started shopping for digital cameras & am practically clueless. I am starting to learn basic stuff, but have a few questions...
How do memory cards work? How exactly would you get the pics to your computer? Do you HAVE to have a dock, or some kind of accessory to download pictures? we have a Dell Dimension 2400 desktop-do I have to buy things specific for use on this computer(like memory cards) or is it all universal?
I'll probably want to get a 5 megapixel, & start off with a decent camera, but don't want to go over 300.00.
How many accessories will I have to buy to get started? I am not really concerned about printing picture quality photos, it will mainly be for web use, & eventually e-Bay.
But if I wanted good prints, couldn't I just load some good ones on CD & take them to Wal-mart?
I just got sooo sick of throwing money away on getting crappy pictures developed, I'll figuratively take that wasted money & buy a digital.
I am looking at the Kodak easyShare CX7530, or the Canon PowerShot A95..any comments on these?
*many thanks in advance from the Digital Dinosaur!
post #2 of 19

Two sites with reviews of cameras. There are a few types of memory. The key thing to note is that Sony uses their own Sony Memory Sticks that costs a BOMB. There are other types of memory but they all have 'generic' producers so the cost is lower.

The pictures can get to your computer with a USB cable which should come with the camera. There is no need to get any special accessories.

I seem to trust Canon more than Kodak with regards to cameras.

By the way pixels are not the be all and end all and some cameras with higher pixels can produce worse pictures than those with lower pixels.
post #3 of 19
Yeah, I'd avoid Sony because of the memory card issue. I have a 2megapixel Kodak camera that I use just for snapshots etc, the quality isn't great but it was cheap (it's a lot better outside than in).

I've heard good things about Canon.

Different camera's use different types of memory cards, but it doesn't matter what type your computer is (Dell/Mac/etc).

You can load your pictures onto a CD and take them to a lot of places these days to get them printed, or use an online service.

You generally leave the memory card in the camera and connect the camera to your computer with a USB (like bumpy said).
post #4 of 19
Oh yeah, always wanted to say this about Sony Memory Sticks in an SAT style sort of way

Sony Cameras : is to: Sony Memory Sticks
Razor: is to: Razor Blades
Lexmark Printers: is to: Lexmark Ink Cartridge
post #5 of 19
I have found it useful to have a card reader for the memory card. They cost only about $20, plug into the USB cable, and then behave exactly like another drive on your computer. As a result, you transfer images just like you move files around on your computer, in a fraction of the time it takes to unload straight from the camera, and with no battery drain on the camera.

My own experience is with HP cameras, and I have found them to be easy to use, and produce decent pics, for not a lot of money. I found the 318 rather battery hungry, but the 735 is much better in that regard, and this time around I have gone to rechargeables, which last a lot longer. My brother has a Canon -- don't know what model -- which he loves.

Prints: yes, put your images on a CD and go to whoever you normally go to. Or use an on-line service -- some of them are very good. Or print them yourself if you have a colour printer. Mine is nothing extraordinary -- Canon i850 -- but produces a very acceptable print, cheap.

Good luck with your search!
post #6 of 19
I have a Kodak dx6490 which I absolutely love! It takes GREAT pictures and my husband got it at Walmart marked down to $300.00. It has all the bells and whistles which I have not learned to use all of yet, and I did get a dock and memory card, but really you wouldn't have to get the dock, just the memory card. It is VERY easy to use, which is a big plus if you are a beginner! My husband has an Olympus, but his is VERY hard to figure out. I researched mine on Consumer Reports . org and have been very very pleased. Good luck and have fun!
post #7 of 19
Hi! Boy I never post here anymore, I read a lot though! Great choice on a 5 MP camera, you can make excellent prints and enlargements. Sony and Canon are the top selling cameras, my personal preference is Canon though. If you're going to buy a camera, but it from a camera manufactuer, not someone who makes TV's. IMO though. Most digital cameras use USB or Firewire connection to your computer so transferring the pix to your HD is simple. Media cards, regardless of their type are simply mini hard drives. I would not let the fact that sony uses a memory stick scare you away from that brand however, any photo lab these days can handle a memory stick. If you are looking for ease of use, the Kodak easy share system is great but I have not been thrilled with the print quality from these cameras. I work in the photo industry and see lots of prints from lots of cameras so have a bit of experience. I do like the Canon as #1 and probably Sony as #2.

As for getting prints from a photo lab, it IS cheaper than trying to print at home, I don't care what HP, Lexmark and all the other inkjet manufacturers tell you. You can either copy your photos to CD or take the media card into the lab and use one of the kiosks that they have. Most often you can crop and edit your photo right there which is fun and gives you total control of the end photo. Hope this helps and isn't too long!
post #8 of 19
my mother-in-law got my husband a sony for christmas and we love it! it came with a memory stick and his brother got one for us as a gift and ive never used the 2nd stick...i take my pics and then plug in the usb cable from the computer to the camera and there are my pics, in whatever file i want them in...it deletes them from the camera for me and i burn them to cd...there's only one thing i hate about this camera...but i don't know they probably are all like this...aa batteries! i hate aa batteries! why can't it come with a longer lasting battery?
post #9 of 19
I have Kodak and I don't have problems so far, and I hope I will never have.
post #10 of 19
I'll have to speak up as a Sony (and printing at home) advocate!

I have a high-end Sony and love it, that was just about "top-of-the-line" a couple years ago at 5 megapixel but of course it was replaced a few months after we bought it with an 8 megapixel model. You can now find our camera for around $400... which is half what we paid (you'd have to buy it online, no longer available in stores).

We played photog at my friend's wedding last year, me with my near-pro 35mm and my hubby with the Sony. The Sony's photos were much higher quality. It is not point and shoot, but does have full auto mode that isn't much more difficult to operate than point-and-shoot. What's going to be useful to you is the Macro-mode, where you can have the lens practically on top of your subject and come out with a crystal-clear photo. This is particularly useful for taking close-up detail shots of things to sell online. I've had a lot of trouble getting the same shot out of a point-and-shoot. For instance, if you're selling a beaded dress and try to take a shot of the beading detail, a point-and-shoot is going to be kind of fuzzy and hard to make out whereas this camera will take a nice clear shot, down to the light reflecting off the beads.

IMO it would be well worth the extra $100. I've never seen the same quality photos come out of a point-and-shoot. If you're interested, here's a link to some info: DealTime.com . This camera uses a memory card, which we have a card reader for, but you can also connect via USB cable. We just find it more convenient to have the little card reader permanently on the desk and pop the card into it, instead of digging around for the cable when it's needed.

Here's a couple of photos I took around the house with it:
Photo 1
Photo 2

BTW my husband bought me a photo printer for xmas. I've printed at least 50 full color photo items on it and the cartridges aren't even 1/4 empty yet, but then I use it for nothing but photo/cd printing. The glory of digital is you get to pick which ones you want to print instead of paying for a whole roll where you might get a small handful of shots you'd want to frame or keep. I would say over time, between the paper and ink, you're paying about the same per print than any other method (except 35mm developing which IMO is much much higher). Granted, you really have to figure the cost of the printer itself as the price of the convenience of printing at home... but over several years how much gas & time will you waste going to have them printed elsewhere?
post #11 of 19
I have a 3-megapixel Kodak EasyShare. It suits me, just fine, for taking pix of the grandkids and pets. I didn't spring for the dock, as the USB cable does a fine job and it doesn't take long for the pix to load into the computer.

For a techno-illiterate, like me, the software is user-friendly. Two-and-a-half years ago, this camera set me back $154.00. My 65mb memory card was around $30.00.

My HP 2110v all-in-one prints very well, as long as I use a premium photo paper.
post #12 of 19
I have a Nikon Coolpix 3100. I like it for the most part. As with many digitals, it has a somewhat slowed reaction time, which can be kind of annoying. Sometimes if I'm not holding very still the pics can come out fuzzy. I think a lot of it depends on the lighting and the setting you've chosen for the shot. Here's a link to some pictures I have taken with the 3100. http://photobucket.com/albums/0703/j...slideshow=true

My father is a professional photographer. He has a Nikon 5400 for personal use and isn't all that thrilled with it. He is planning to get rid of it and get the Nikon D-70, which he finds to be much better and cheaper if I remember correctly. (You may find the mention of this camera in this thread interesting.) He uses the D-70 for some of his jobs and is impressed with it.

I do not have a dock. I upload directly from the camera to the computer. My camera came with all the software I needed.

I prefer to get my photos printed online. I have used Ofoto (now Kodak something-er-other) and Shutterfly. I liked Shutterfly's better - and prefer to get their matte prints rather than glossy. I have also gotten my pics done at Costco, which were fine too. I know they have an online service as well, but I have not used it.

Good luck in your quest! There are a lot of options to consider, so you're smart to do your homework.
post #13 of 19
I saw a camera similar to what Kittykook has and i love it, i really want to buy it because its a bit cheaper here, but its still very expensive!
forgot what it was called though
post #14 of 19
Originally Posted by rapunzel47
I have found it useful to have a card reader for the memory card. They cost only about $20, plug into the USB cable, and then behave exactly like another drive on your computer. As a result, you transfer images just like you move files around on your computer, in a fraction of the time it takes to unload straight from the camera, and with no battery drain on the camera.
I'll second that. We have two digital cameras, one with an XD card (Fuji), the other with an SD card (no name camera), and our nephew has a Sony with an MS (or MS Pro - I'm not sure). I picked up a 6-in-1 card reader for under $20 about a year and a half ago, and it's so simple to use, and much faster than downloading from the cameras. A lot of newer PCs have a built-in card reader, as do many printers.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone!
Bumpy gave me a good link, & the Canon seems good, I like the movie feature, too. I wanted something w/ manual AND automatic settings, because if I spend the x-tra money on a good camera, I want to do alot of experimenting.
Maybe later on, I could get a card reader, if I need one. I'll dig out the Dell manuals & see what they have to say, also.
But I will still be researching, & appreciate the input!
post #16 of 19
I have a Kodak Easyshare with 2.0 mega pixels! I absolutely love it and the quality. Mine was about $800 and I brought it close to five years ago. I do really want a new one though, a Nikon Coolpix! But my Kodak is absolutely brilliant. Just need a new toy!
post #17 of 19
Hi, i have a 5 megapixal Kodak with dock. The camera is so easy to use just turn the dial to landscape, portrait or auto and click.The photos turn out quite good. I feel that I wasted my money getting the dock though as it works out at $1.00 a photo to do at home but through Kmart or other stores it is from 30 cents, most expensive I have seen was 48 cents a photo.Hope this helps.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by WellingtonCats
I have a Kodak Easyshare with 2.0 mega pixels! I absolutely love it and the quality. Mine was about $800 and I brought it close to five years ago. I do really want a new one though, a Nikon Coolpix! But my Kodak is absolutely brilliant. Just need a new toy!
Wow, $800.00! I'm glad I've waited!
I was just looking at a Nikon Coolpix 5900-it is looking pretty good, possibly more so than the Canon, it's smaller & seems to come with more features..plus I found a good photography supply store that gives a free class to people who buy digital cameras there. I'll need it!
post #19 of 19
I have a Canon A75 3.2 megapixel that I got a year or so ago and it works wonderfully. We also use Canon G5 here at work (I'm a graphic designer) and we also used them in my digital photography classes. My teachers said they were the best out there now. They're a little more expensive but you pay for what you get...beautiful photos and it's very easy to use. If you want a camera for everyday use, I would go with the A95, 5 megapixel...but if you go a little cheaper with the A80 or A85 with 4 megapixels, you won't see much difference in the photos. Good luck!
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