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Choosing a Camera

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Anonymous
July 30, 2005 5:33:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Hi All

I've lurked for a few days, but not seen the answer to this
question, although I'm sure it's been posed here umpteen
times before.

So, at the risk of getting some "ho-hum"s, I'll ask anyway.

I wandered the world a couple of years ago, took lots of
shots (1500+) with my normal (film) point-and-shoot camera
and faced a horrendous developing bill when I got home. I
also had some problems with airport security (20+ flights)
trying to X-ray my exposed films as they mounted up.

I've now lost the camera anyway and want to replace it with
digital for my next rtw trip in 2006. I am no expert, but I
want the best camera for my purposes with the least
(reasonable) expense.

Maybe I'm asking the impossible, but I'd like your input on
a choice of cameras that would meet the following:

1. Non-expert user. Simple and quick for fast operation when
needed, but also suitable for modest portrait and artwork
use. No additional filters, lenses etc.
2. Budget <AU$500 (US$350) (Yeah - Iknow:-)
3. Reasonable zoom ability.
4. Able to crop and expand small segments of a photo later
without too much loss of definition.
5. Reasonable memory storage, simple to use, and capable of
uploading to home base using internet cafe's.
6. Memory capable of transfer to floppys or CD/DVD at
internet cafe's for mailing home.
7. Smallish and not too bulky.

Can buy on net, or in Oz, or in Singapore or Bahrein
en-route.

I'm sure there are other points I should mention, but I've
never used a digital so I'm open to all advice.

TIA

Cheers, Alan, Australia

More about : choosing camera

Anonymous
July 30, 2005 5:33:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <7hrle1d0f9fls9s192i0hc59cci2u0f0dp@4ax.com>,
Alan S <nothere@there> wrote:

> Hi All
>
> I've lurked for a few days, but not seen the answer to this
> question, although I'm sure it's been posed here umpteen
> times before.
>
> So, at the risk of getting some "ho-hum"s, I'll ask anyway.
>
> I wandered the world a couple of years ago, took lots of
> shots (1500+) with my normal (film) point-and-shoot camera
> and faced a horrendous developing bill when I got home.

You shot approx 41 rolls and spent about $291.
--
I am a Fly in your oinkment, I am the one with real squeal appeal.
Anonymous
July 30, 2005 5:33:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Alan-

I have had a very positive experience with the Kodak DX7630 camera (now
rebadged as a Kodak Z760), a 6 MP camera that has a very sharp
Schneider lens. THe DX7630 is now under $300 in many U.S. markets. Very
easy to use, and has some user-controllable options (variable flash
output, EV control, and shutter or aperture priority). Big 2.2-inch LCD
and the lithium-ion battery lasts for around ~250 shots.

I'm not sure what you mean by downloading at an internet cafe; in the
States, you can walk into many photo retail shops and have the images
from the memory card burned to a CD in just a few minutes. Otherwise,
you'd need a wireless connection between the camera and computer, and I
don't know of a WiFi-enabled camera that will be on the market before
October.

-Cardamon Dave


Alan S wrote:
> Hi All
>
> I've lurked for a few days, but not seen the answer to this
> question, although I'm sure it's been posed here umpteen
> times before.
>
> So, at the risk of getting some "ho-hum"s, I'll ask anyway.
>
> I wandered the world a couple of years ago, took lots of
> shots (1500+) with my normal (film) point-and-shoot camera
> and faced a horrendous developing bill when I got home. I
> also had some problems with airport security (20+ flights)
> trying to X-ray my exposed films as they mounted up.
>
> I've now lost the camera anyway and want to replace it with
> digital for my next rtw trip in 2006. I am no expert, but I
> want the best camera for my purposes with the least
> (reasonable) expense.
>
> Maybe I'm asking the impossible, but I'd like your input on
> a choice of cameras that would meet the following:
>
> 1. Non-expert user. Simple and quick for fast operation when
> needed, but also suitable for modest portrait and artwork
> use. No additional filters, lenses etc.
> 2. Budget <AU$500 (US$350) (Yeah - Iknow:-)
> 3. Reasonable zoom ability.
> 4. Able to crop and expand small segments of a photo later
> without too much loss of definition.
> 5. Reasonable memory storage, simple to use, and capable of
> uploading to home base using internet cafe's.
> 6. Memory capable of transfer to floppys or CD/DVD at
> internet cafe's for mailing home.
> 7. Smallish and not too bulky.
>
> Can buy on net, or in Oz, or in Singapore or Bahrein
> en-route.
>
> I'm sure there are other points I should mention, but I've
> never used a digital so I'm open to all advice.
>
> TIA
>
> Cheers, Alan, Australia
Related resources
Anonymous
July 30, 2005 5:33:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 13:33:19 +1000, Alan S <nothere@there> wrote:
>
> Maybe I'm asking the impossible, but I'd like your input on
> a choice of cameras that would meet the following:
>
> 1. Non-expert user. Simple and quick for fast operation when
> needed, but also suitable for modest portrait and artwork
> use. No additional filters, lenses etc.
> 2. Budget <AU$500 (US$350) (Yeah - Iknow:-)
> 3. Reasonable zoom ability.
> 4. Able to crop and expand small segments of a photo later
> without too much loss of definition.
> 5. Reasonable memory storage, simple to use, and capable of
> uploading to home base using internet cafe's.
> 6. Memory capable of transfer to floppys or CD/DVD at
> internet cafe's for mailing home.
> 7. Smallish and not too bulky.

Get thee to http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.asp
I put in the following selection criteria:

Price <$300 (US)
Sensr detectors: 5 million (i.e. 5 megapixel camera; gives room for
cropping)
Zoom tele: 100 mm+ (3x optical zoom; standard these days)
everything else: don't mind

Looking at the results, the Canon A95 would seem to fit your needs.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canona95/

One minor point: Most cameras don't have built-in memory, so the amount
of storage depends on how big a memory card you stick into it. Any
computer with a USB connection will be able to interface with pretty
much any camera to download pictures for burning to CD or emailing.

-dms
Anonymous
July 30, 2005 6:17:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Alan S" <nothere@there> wrote in message
news:7hrle1d0f9fls9s192i0hc59cci2u0f0dp@4ax.com...
> Hi All
>
> I've lurked for a few days, but not seen the answer to this
> question, although I'm sure it's been posed here umpteen
> times before.
>
> So, at the risk of getting some "ho-hum"s, I'll ask anyway.
<snip>
>
> Maybe I'm asking the impossible, but I'd like your input on
> a choice of cameras that would meet the following:
>
> 1. Non-expert user. Simple and quick for fast operation when
> needed, but also suitable for modest portrait and artwork
> use. No additional filters, lenses etc.
Pretty much anything.
> 2. Budget <AU$500 (US$350) (Yeah - Iknow:-)
There's still some pretty good buys in this category.
> 3. Reasonable zoom ability.
Most of the compact style cameras have a 3x zoom, equivalent to about
35-105mm in 35mm terms. This is pretty well suited to most tasks. I'd
normally prefer a little wider, but that is scarce. If you want more than
the 3x Zoom you'll be going into a physically larger camera, which breaks
your rule #7. Make sure that it's optical zoom that you look at in the
features, ignore digital zoom.
> 4. Able to crop and expand small segments of a photo later
> without too much loss of definition.
The higher the Megapixels the better here - you're looking at 2MP to be able
to print a perfect 6x4 image, 1.3MP is about the minimum for an acceptible
6x4 print. With that in mind, if you have a 4MP image, you can crop out half
the image and still print a perfect 6x4, or crop leaving only 1/3 of the
original image for an acceptible print. A 6MP camera will still give a
perfect print from that 1/3rd of the image, or will give an acceptible print
from only 1/5th the original (this is based on area, not on linear
dimension, halving linear dimensions results in 1/4 of the image area).
> 5. Reasonable memory storage, simple to use, and capable of
> uploading to home base using internet cafe's.
As for memory storage, they all come standard with a small amount that is
almost useless - you will have to also purchase some memory cards.
Personally, I prefer cameras that use Compactflash (CF) or Secure Digital
(SD) cards - these 2 card types are the cheapest, fastest, and most common.
These days not many compact cameras use CF cards, but there are plenty that
use SD. Fuji, Olympus and some Kodak cameras use XD cards, these are
marginally more expensive than SD and not quite as universally supported.
Sony use their proprietary MemoryStick which is the most expensive of the
card formats, and is dreadfully slow - not a good choice. Personally I
prefer several smaller cards over 1 large card - less images to lose if a
card dies (has happened to me before) or if a card gets lost.
Not sure how many internet cafes are likely to let you connect a camera up
to their systems. Most modern cameras use a standard USB interface and are
automatically detected by Windows ME, 2000 or XP, similar to a thumb drive.
Most but not all - check out the specific model you are looking at before
purchasing.
> 6. Memory capable of transfer to floppys or CD/DVD at
> internet cafe's for mailing home.
Again not sure how many net cafe's will let you do this, but pretty well all
digital photo labs have the capability
> 7. Smallish and not too bulky.
See rule #4 above.
There are plenty of cameras that will meet your needs. I normally shoot
slide film with my SLR, but I recently purchased a HP R707 from Harvey
Norman ($299 on special) for the missus. It is 5MP, with a 3x zoom, and
works very well. In the week and a half we've had it, we've taken about 500
shots. At $299, you'll have a bit left over for memory cards, case etc. The
R707 includes a rechargeable battery and a universal voltage charger. It
does charge in-camera which could be a bit of a pain. If your budget allows
I'd probably look at a spare battery or two, and maybe an out-of-camera
charger.
Alternatively, if you get a camera that takes AA batteries, you will have
the option of rechargeable batteries or regular alkaline batteries. They
won't last as long on a set of batteries, and the cameras are normally
larger, but you have the advantage that batteries are readily available, and
if you use alkalines you don't have to have access to mains power for
charging.
>
> Can buy on net, or in Oz, or in Singapore or Bahrein
> en-route.
>
> I'm sure there are other points I should mention, but I've
> never used a digital so I'm open to all advice.
>
> TIA
>
> Cheers, Alan, Australia
Anonymous
July 31, 2005 12:13:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 04:25:45 GMT, "Gig A. Hertzu"
<gigs@gigspigs.com> wrote:

>You shot approx 41 rolls and spent about $291.
>--
>I am a Fly in your oinkment, I am the one with real squeal appeal.

Actually, a few more rolls (several were 24's) and more
money because I had CDs made from them. Over AU$500 all up.
Anonymous
July 31, 2005 12:13:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <cjkme152sml9neeqce3ebss9t5nq0sma8d@4ax.com>,
Alan S <nothere@there> wrote:

> On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 04:25:45 GMT, "Gig A. Hertzu"
> <gigs@gigspigs.com> wrote:
>
> >You shot approx 41 rolls and spent about $291.
> >--
> >I am a Fly in your oinkment, I am the one with real squeal appeal.
>
> Actually, a few more rolls (several were 24's) and more
> money because I had CDs made from them. Over AU$500 all up.

Its a lot for one trip, but I spent about 600 on film a few years ago
for a trip to the American South West and I did not travel the world :) 
Of course I shot LF and 35mm.
--
I am a Fly in your oinkment, I am the one with real squeal appeal.
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 12:59:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Thanks very much to all who responded. Very useful advice;
now I'll lurk a while longer to learn a little more before
buying.
Anonymous
August 1, 2005 3:09:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Alan S wrote:

> I wandered the world a couple of years ago, took lots of
> shots (1500+) with my normal (film) point-and-shoot camera
> and faced a horrendous developing bill when I got home. I
> also had some problems with airport security (20+ flights)
> trying to X-ray my exposed films as they mounted up.

> 1. Non-expert user. Simple and quick for fast operation when
> needed, but also suitable for modest portrait and artwork
> use. No additional filters, lenses etc.

It might help us out if you told us what model of film camera you were
using, and whether you want to keep a similar feature set, or if you
want to get a bit more advanced.

> 2. Budget <AU$500 (US$350) (Yeah - Iknow:-)
> 3. Reasonable zoom ability.

Quite a few cameras fall into this range, usually in the 5-6 megapixel
range. Though a Nikon 7900 (7.1 Megapixel) can be had through B&H in
the US for $329 + shipping.

> 4. Able to crop and expand small segments of a photo later
> without too much loss of definition.

Haven't seen any consumer cameras that do this natively. Most leave
this kind of processing up to the user on photo editing software on a
computer.

> 5. Reasonable memory storage, simple to use, and capable of
> uploading to home base using internet cafe's.

Well, most digital cameras have minimal amounts of internal memory,
mainly for intermediate processing before storing to a user-supplied
flash memory, CD, CF, xD or other format of memory card. The amount of
storage is up to you, and how much storage you want/can afford to buy.
I currently have a 1GB and a 512MB SD card for my Nikon, and in total
those cards generally hold around 375 photos in high quality JPG at 7.1
MP. As I don't take shots of *every* animal, vegetable, and mineral I
come across and often have a laptop handy or at least stowed away within
decent walking distance, this is plenty of storage for me. In total
this memory costed around $150, though you can get similar storage
cpacity for cheaper or more expensive, depending on brand name,
advertised level of quality, and speed. I stuck with the mid-high range
(Lexar Platinum) because I didn't feel it wise to go cheap on photo storage.

As far as uploading photos to home via an internet cafe, that depends on
the cafe and its capabilities. If the have computers equipped with card
readers, you can just insert the memry cards and upload directly off
them. Failing that, if the cafe will let you hook up to a USB port,
then you can hook your camera up directly. Most cameras have a generic
"mass storage device" profile that will usually work withouth having to
isntall software, as long as the internet cafe's computers and OS
versions are up to date.

Personally, I avoid internet cafe's altogether. With the amount of
computer use and volume of data transfer I amass while travelling, I
determined it was cheaper in the long run to get my own laptop and store
images there until I can get home. If the hotel has broadband, all the
better: I use the laptop to send my images home. If not and I
absolutely must get something out, a GSM/GPRS/EDGE-capable cell phone
connected to the laptop over bluetooth or USB will get the job done to
send the more important images back, albeit a bit slowly.


> 6. Memory capable of transfer to floppys or CD/DVD at
> internet cafe's for mailing home.

Again, this will have to depend on the internet cafe's abilities, which
may vary from place to place.




--
E-mail fudged to thwart spammers.
Transpose the c's and a's in my e-mail address to reply.
!