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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Digital Cameras - What's Good?

Digital Cameras - What's Good? (Page 2)
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Mac Elite
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Jun 4, 2004, 06:02 PM
I have a PowerShot S400, and here's what I think in a nutshell:
  • great overall image quality
  • compact and light, perfect for the "never leave without my camera" type
  • a bit of purple 'fringing' on high-contrast outdoors images
  • not a prosumer camera, as you can't attach a lens
Keep in mind that these days, you'd buy an S410, not an S400. I think the S410 mainly improves PictBridge and movie mode support.
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Jun 4, 2004, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by Betox:
Go for the PowerShot A75. It's about $250 and the picture quality and features are incredible.

The PowerShot A75 (and A70, basically the same thing) are both great cameras. The A80 is newer, and has the flip out screen (which, actually, I've found very useful).

Any of these cameras are highly recommended on all of the forums and photography sites I visit for your budget. From personal experience (A70), I loved the camera and the quality of its shots, and was thinking about picking one up to throw in my back pack while I was at school.

You remind me my wife… why you laugh? She dead. | sasper at gmail dot com
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Jun 4, 2004, 06:54 PM
I'm very happy with my Nikon Coolpix 3200: good picture quality, good zoom, nice array of features, sound with video, variable exposure time, and importantly, compact.
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Jun 4, 2004, 07:13 PM
My take on the digital camera mp debate:

I've got a Pentax Optio 550, which in general I'm really happy with -- its a nice combination of manual-control features and good portability. It shoots at 5mp, and I've decided that's the minimum that I'd ever recommend -- not because I'm making giant enlargements of my photos, but because I can crop the hell out of a shot and still get great quality. And I do that a *lot.*

Think of the added megapixels as being an easy and good substitute for a really-big zoom lens.
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Jun 4, 2004, 08:17 PM
Of the three cameras I have now, the Kodak DX6490 is the one I pick up most often. The picture coming out of it is just stupendous. Is it due to the Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon lens? Likely but I cannot tell you. The 10x optical zoom, however, allowed me to get great some really good telephoto shots.

Powershot S1 may be more feature-rich and has a similar 10x zoom lens but the sample photos I have seen are not impressive (lots of purple fringing).

Lastly, the megapixel count should be the last of your concern. IMHO, experts in ANY field will tell you that skills matter so much more than the equipment. A $100 2 megapixel camera in a skilled photographer's hand will yield better picture than me with a $1000 SLR!

So if you have a $400 budget, rather than getting the most feature-rich camera that $400 can buy based on opinions of others on this board, I would say spend $200-$300 on the camera and use that remainder to take a photography lesson or get some book on photography. Also, as with any camera purchase, be sure to budget an additional 20%-25% for accessories.
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Jun 4, 2004, 09:45 PM
Originally posted by derhoy:
I'm looking for a good digital camera ($275-$400). I did a little research thru Consumer Reports and came up with the following options: (but am open for suggestions):
Fuji FinePix 3800
Olympus Camedia C-740 Ultra Zoom
Kodak EasyShare DX6340/4330
Does anyone have any experience with any of these? This will be my first digital camera (I have a Pentax P3 SLR 35 mm as well). I have a G4 iMac running OS X.2.(not sure, I think 8). Appreciate all your help.
How about the Pentax Optio 30 ? It does 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200 (iMac G4 res)
, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480
It costs about US$160 to $200 and a 512mb card is US$150.
I got one wednesday and it seems pretty good, from print quality down to web page images.
The best feature is the panorama stitching for wide or long photos.
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Jun 4, 2004, 11:08 PM
I just picked up an Olympus Stylus 300 digital. Thus far I am very pleased with it.

One of the most important features I suggest getting is a Lithium Ion battery. It is much more convenient than AA batteries, even the rechargeable kind.

Be advised that you will pay $$ for memory cards, because most retailers won't include them. (I got mine at Best Buy btw).
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Jun 4, 2004, 11:21 PM
Had a Nikon 885 which was great and got the Nikon 5400 a few months ago. Keep your choices to either a Nikon or a Canon. They are the brands with the best quality for your buck.

Forget about those other review sites like CNET . . . Get the real scoop from the pros at:

The Kuz
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Jun 5, 2004, 01:02 AM
I'd have to agree that Nikon and Canon should be your first choice. Their lenses and camera interfaces (they ARE little computers!) separate them from the rest.

The Canon S400, S410 or S500 are fantastic point and shoot cameras. Canon offers a $200 underwater shell for these models!

I've got a Nikon CoolPix 4500, which from what I've heard, may be the last of the swivel body CoolPix cameras. It's a real shame because the swivel allows for incredible shooting flexibility. You can shoot from the hip, floor or overhead. I've shot some excellent people pix in marketplaces in Istanbul, Guatemala, Bulgaria and New York City without being noticed. WHY the swivel body isn't wildly popular remains a complete mystery to me. I guess it doesn't look like what people expect a camera to look like. Narrow minds, I guess...

It's 4 megapixel, you can shoot fully automatic or completely manual (manual focus isn't great) but you have amazing control. There are 15 preset modes for various situations. Nikons are famous for their macro shooting ability! You can also use it with Nikon external flashes. There's an array of add-on lenses and a wired remote control. If you look around, they can be had for around $500. DP Review raved about it. I've had mine for two years and use it constantly. It IS a bit bigger than the tiny point and shoot cameras, but it takes wonderful photos.
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Jun 5, 2004, 05:20 AM
Quality of image is not all about megapixels. A 3MP sensor with a very good lens can give better pictures than 5MP behind a cheap glass. Certainly the difference between 4MP and 5MP behind a consumer glass is not always obvious, even if you are looking for it. (Bear in mind the difference in resolution between each MP gets lower as the numbers get higher.)

The original Nikon D1 was only 2.74MP, but it still produces better images than my Powershot A70 (3MP) because it has a quality lens, among other things.

Unfortunately there is no snappy, tech-friendly way to market the quality of a lens (ie., you can't just give it a high or low number).

And by the way, I do recommend the Canon A70/75/80 series. Great consumer cams.
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Jun 5, 2004, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by Macpilot:
I have narrowed my search to the Optio S4 and S4i. Just out of curiosity, one of you said you had it and loved it (the S model). How did you know it was going to work with OS X before you purchased the camera? The iPhoto compatibility site says nothing about the Pentax cameras at all, or the Casio Exilim, which I think is the same machine as the Optio, with a different case design.

I emailed Apple regarding this and they did not respond.
Hi Macpilot,

I own the Optio S4i and am quite happy with it. It is fully recognised by iPhoto under Panther, no problem whatsoever. Save the money for a card reader and simply plug it in with the USB cable you get with the camera.
The S4i features a larger LCD (but lower resolution than S4 because of same pixel #) and a "green mode" button for fully automatic takes and comes along with a docking station for recharging without taking out li-ion battery. I think this is worth paying the extra money for the S4i.
I recommend you Steve's Digicams site http://www.steves-digicams.com/ for any info on any digicams. There are also competent forums and interesting galeries and test photos.

( Last edited by MacPowered; Jun 5, 2004 at 10:26 AM. )
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Jun 6, 2004, 02:40 AM
I've had a Canon Powershot A50 for at least 3-4 years now. It's a 1.3 MP, but it's taken some amazing pictures. If you want to see pictures taken by different cameras to get an idea, check out Bestfoto .
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Jun 7, 2004, 05:00 AM
i would go with one of the canons aswell!
Angus Pohl
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Jun 7, 2004, 08:01 PM
Several have mentioned the canon a75 and a80. I have the a60 which is a precursor to these, it's a year or two old. But it's an INCREDIBLE deal right now. At buy.com you can get it for 140 including shipping!!! (This is where I got it)


It is only two megapixels, but as long as you're not planning on printing regularly more than 5x7 you'll be fine. Honestly, out of all my friends, I was the first to get a digi cam several years back. Now most of them have one but when each of them was about go buy one they were way too focused on megapixels. "What if I want to print 8x10? 10x14?" etc etc... I said look, you won't. You're not a professional photographer, and you're lazy. I can almost guarantee that within the first 6 months you won't even print one picture, you'll just keep them on your computer.

Guess what? Not one of them (3 people total) has printed ONE picture, and this started over a year ago.

2 megapixels is fine! Don't waste your money unless you're a pro.

The s400 is an AWESOME camera (that's what one of my friends got), however it lacks many features of the a60/70/80 series, such as manual aperture and shutter speed, and attachments lenses! The A series also has the "quick modes" such as night time, action, portrait, etc, that changes a bunch of settings to try to get the best picture for these scenarios. While I havent tested them much on this particular camera, they are handy, and I think they are a welcome addition. The s400 doesn't have any of these features.

The a60 is a STEAL at 140 dollars. I got it a few weeks ago, it was 150 then, but I am very happy with it.

I also have a olympus c730 ultra zoom and a minolta dimage 7i. Both are good cameras with large optical zooms, but too bulky to fit in your pocket. I finally have a pocket cam and am loving it :)
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Jun 7, 2004, 11:52 PM
I bought a Casio QX-40.


4.0 MegaPixels.
3x Optical Zoom.
It's the best deal.
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