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Scienceman

Budget Digital Camera

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It has finally dawned on me that with the advent of digital technology, cameras are now used for communication not just record keeping and I am missing out by sticking to film.

What to buy?

I know there has been some good advise for those looking at >$1,500 cameras but what about something a little cheaper? Is anyone using a camera that didn't cost them an arm and a leg that takes great tank/fish shots and are happy to recommend?

What features should I be looking for to ensure I have sufficient control to get good fish shots? Do number of megapixels really matter?

Any advise gratefully accepted thumb.gif

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In a nutshell, the extra megapixels give more versatility.

So I can advise getting a 6.1MP at least, so that you don't necessarily need to point directly at the subject for a great photo - I just use the "crop" feature to get what I want. For example the fish ends up in the corner of the shot, I highlight that area of the photo and enlarge. Being 6.1MP, and if you have a decent digital zoom, it still comes out a good clear shot.

I can recommend a Kodak 6.1MP DX7630 that has a 3X Optical zoom and an 8X Digital zoom. This camera gives me the control and versatility for good aquaria shots. Plus it has a mobile phone-type rechargeable battery that recharges in 2-3 hrs (and lasts a continuous 2 hrs), so I don't need to buy thousands of AA batteries such as is used on other digital cameras.

I did all the research and shopping around so IMO these had all the build quality and performance of the considerably more expensive Canons, Sonys etc. They're around the $550 - $600 mark.

Check it out here:

http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jht...pq-locale=en_AU

If you want to spend less I would investigate Kodak anyway, as they’re definitely a cheaper option at the same quality/features of more fancied brands. But I’d aim for a 6.1MP for an easier way to get a quality shot of a fish.

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Thanks for the recomendation GTR73. I'll have to wait for my bonus in July as I was hoping for a cheaper option but you have made a good case for the options in this camera.

Is is worthwhile getting their Computer Dock or is it cheaper to take it to a photoshop and get them to burn a CD?

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I go to Kmart who have a Kodak Digital terminal and get the standard prints for 44cents each. You can upload straight from the camera via USB cable or take the memory card seperately. Big W have Fuji Photo-stations for 44cent digital photos also.

I did the sums (can't remember exact $$ details now), and it was actually cheaper for me to go to Kmart than getting a printer with the associated ink and photo-paper costs. So it wasn't my worthwhile getting the Photodock as it was basically for convenience sake.

Fortunately in my case I have a PC with a CD burner, so I can save my photos easily/conveniently. But not much drama going to the shop and getting them to burn a CD for you.

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Just to clarify, can you download directly into your PC via a USB cable or is that what the Computer Dock is for?

Unfortunately my boss left of the CD burner when he bought my computer.

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I use a Canon Digital IXUS 3.2mexapixel with 3x zoom and i reckon my pics come out pretty alright considering the camera goes for $599 heres the link to the cannon site with the info if ya want it: Canon IXUS website

And heres a link to some pics i took on the weekend with the camera.

My photos

Cheers Andy

Edited by phatoscarlover

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As far as value for money goes, and has been stated before, the Kodak range is the go, or even the fuji or olympus range.

As a starter camera, a 4-5 megapixel will do more than enough. I agree that a 6MP+ camera is better, but if budget is a problem, a 5.0 MP camera will do a fantastic job of any photo and will save you several hundred dollars.

You should be able to get a decent 5.0 MP camera for under $700 these days, now that 6.0 and 8.0 are standard resolutions.

If I was going to spend $1500 or so, I'd be looking at the Olympus 8.0MP or the Canon 300D DSLR.

Just about the best on the market for under $2000 id the Nikon D70 DSLR, but they say the New Canon DSLR is even better (not sure of the model number - maybe EOS 1D or something?)

Anyway, I have a canon 4.0 MP camera which cost me over $1500 a few years ago when 4.0 was about the best you could get, and I still can't fault it. At the highest resolution, you can crop down heaps and not lose any quality. I'm not in any hurry to upgrade (and will probably wait another year so I can pick up an 8.0 MP Nikon for under $1000).

Just remember not to get caught up in the "4.0 MP is crap because there are better cameras out there". This is true, but it will always be true. In 2 or 3 years, people will be asking why on earth you'd consider an 8.0 MP camera when the 20.0 MP cameras are so much better.

Get the best camera for the price you are willing to spend, and be happy with your choice. wink.gif

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Thanks for your comments Andy(s).

Is there anyway I can save a particular topic string that has information I will want in the future?

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Olympus make smick digital cameras wink.gif (I highly recommend them!)

Check out the reviews on the all knowing: www.dpreview.com

HTH -

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Just to clarify, can you download directly into your PC via a USB cable or is that what the Computer Dock is for?

All you need is a USB cable, direct to the PC. smile.gif

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If your after something in a hurry a 3.1 mega pixel will do nicely. I went to the sydney aquarium on the weekend and the shots I have taken worked great. I'll upload some when I am home to give you some idea.

Cheers

Tim.

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For my money, I think Canons are the go.

I wanted a camera mainly for bird photography, but with the versatility to do other stuff too. I got a Canon Powershot S1 IS, and i'm totally happy with my choice.

It's 3.2MP, and with 10x optical zoom (390mm equiv.), you can fill the entire frame with your target. It's movie mode is just fantastic, being able to record at 640 x 480 at 30fps. And you can use the zoom while recording !

It takes AA batteries, which gives you the option of just buying alkalines if your rechargables run out, unlike cameras with 'battery packs'.

A set of four 2300mAh NmH recharbles AAs and a charger is only $50.

I reckon if you can't afford a DSLR, this is one of the best alternatives. Has full manual controls.

One of the things i love most about it is the movable LCD woot.gif much easier to take shots from weird angles.

Most places it retails for $699-$749.

The only real negative point i've found thus far is that it's a bit slow to auto-focus in lowlight conditions, but you can just use manual focus to overcome that.

I have a few pics from this camera uploaded....

Unfortunately i need new image editing software, as i can't seem to resize without a decent loss of clarity, so you'll hafta take my word for it, they're much clearer before i fiddled with them laugh.gif

Some countryside shots..

Pics 1

My latest 2 fish shots....

pic 1

pic 2

They'll get better as my skill increases.

My advice would be to outline your requirements, and read as much as possible about all of the choices that match them, and see which camera is best for YOU.

HTH,

Andy

DM

PS... I'd never buy another Kodak.... they just don't have the versatility or the lens quality I like. They are good for point & shoot cameras, but........

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