Digital Camera Advice... (in Off-topic)

Tezmac September 26 2005 3:51 PM EDT

I find myself in need of a digital camera as of late. Iím not too knowledgeable with the technology, so Iím hoping someone here is. Iím not too fond of the Sony Memorystick setup as the whole proprietary thing kind of bugs me. I find myself partial to Canonís, I have no idea why, in particular their Powershot S1 IS because of its high optical zoom. However, anything over 3 megapixels Iím sure will be fine, and Iíd like to have an optical zoom somewhere in the 3x-4x range, obviously the higher the better. I donít need it to record video and Iím too lazy to mess with the white balance and fstop etc, but it would be nice to be able to shoot in black and white. Can any of you photo gurus recommend a good solution for me?

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] September 26 2005 4:41 PM EDT

I'm going to have to recommend this for the lazy:

empty orchestra September 26 2005 5:02 PM EDT

a year or so ago i bought the minolta dimage xt. the reason i got it is because it was the most powerful camera i could find that fit in my pocket. i mean this thing is _small_... about the size of a pack of smokes and thinner. it also wasn't outrageously expensive, and takes normal sd memory cards. i'm highly satisfied with it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a non-professional digicam.

empty orchestra September 26 2005 5:03 PM EDT

whoops, wrong link. try this.

AdminShade September 26 2005 5:14 PM EDT

Canon Powershot A95.

it has best price / quality in its class.

i have bought it because of its great qualities. and have searched for one for about a year.

trust me, buying this will make your worries end :)

p.s. i am a semi photo guru backed up with a photo elite guru

Shadowsparkle [Jago] September 26 2005 5:20 PM EDT

I use a Olympus C-740 UZ for some years now, and one of the reasons (but not the only) I bought this one was the 10x optical zoom. You can also shoot pictures in b/w and antique. It uses xD cards (I also didn't want this Sony memory sticks) and you don't need a special (expensive) battery.

You may take a look at for newer models. If you want a high zoom look for the Ultra Zoom cameras.

AdminG Beee September 26 2005 5:25 PM EDT

Didn't you "dance like a chicken" the last time we talked cameras Shade?

Sukotto [lookingglas] September 26 2005 5:43 PM EDT

You might find the camera-finder hosted on the excellent camera review site

It allows you to specify which features you care about and then lists those cameras that meet your requirements.

AdminShade September 26 2005 6:04 PM EDT

yes i danced like a chicken.

anyway when you want more zoom, buy a zoom lens for the A95 ;)

Sukotto [lookingglas] September 26 2005 6:08 PM EDT

um... the word "helpful" seems to have fallen out of my previous post. oops.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] September 26 2005 6:17 PM EDT

My mom has one of those Shade, its quite nice.

AdminJonathan September 26 2005 6:21 PM EDT

orchestra -- is the shutter lag on your Xt as low as it claims on that page?

Nixon Jibfest September 26 2005 6:53 PM EDT

Better than the Minolta XT.... Minolta Dimage x60

1. Small.
2. Big LED
3. 5 megapixels
4. about $300
5. VERY quick.

I got it so I can take it snowboarding. Needed a small camera that didn't have a lens that pops out, in case I fall while riding.

AdminJonathan September 26 2005 6:56 PM EDT

I just ordered a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2

image stabilization is sexy.

one review here

another here

Nixon Jibfest September 26 2005 6:58 PM EDT

what made you decide on that one, jonathan?

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] September 26 2005 7:54 PM EDT

Image stabilization AND 6x optical zoom... HELLLLLOOOOOO! That is a good deal.

empty orchestra September 26 2005 8:08 PM EDT

yea, the shutter lag is low. like pat said, these puppies are quick.

it is a bit awkward to hold at first cause of where the lens is and its small size (luckily i have small hands), but i adjusted to it easily.

that x60 is hot! i don't think it was out when i was shopping for one, but i wish it was. maybe it was and i was just being cheap, i can't remember. anyhow, i really hope minolta continues this line of cameras. i'd be a life long customer.

AdminJonathan September 26 2005 11:22 PM EDT

it's the only one in its price class with image stabilization

I've taken enough blurred pictures to know that I could use the help :)

QBJohnnywas September 26 2005 11:32 PM EDT

Ah, Shade and his chicken dance....LOL

I'm also a fan of Canon's powershot series - very affordable near Pro quality, very very easy to use, great results.

QBJohnnywas September 26 2005 11:35 PM EDT

With regards to the Canon's - if you've ever used a normal Canon camera - one of their SLR's for instance you'll find their whole interface very familiar. I used a good old fashioned film Canon SLR for years and took to the Powershot series very quickly because of it. If you have the money going spare Canon's digital SLR's are excellent....

AdminJonathan October 11 2005 6:46 PM EDT

I've had my Panasonic for a couple weeks now.

I like it a lot -- I was pleasantly surprised at how small "medium-sized" cameras have gotten since I got one 3 years ago.

My only gripe is it transfers via USB 1.1. If you use the "movie" feature (which works well enough that I don't care to break out the camcorder, most of the time), transferring that off of your 1GB SD card will take a while.

Tezmac October 11 2005 6:51 PM EDT

I ended up getting the S1 IS from Canon and I love it so far. I bought a nice 1 GB "higher speed" Compact Flash card and I can really tell the difference in respect to the time between shots. The movies that it shoots are almost as good as my mini-dv camcorder. My only two gripes are that it's USB 1.1 like yours Jon and that it seems to have trouble focusing in low light sometimes.
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