Camera for computer-naive parents?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Cheng-Jih Chen, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. My parents are interested in getting a digital camera, but are somewhat
    naive around computers. We live in different states, so providing
    them with tech support won't be particularly easy. They have a couple
    point-and-shoot film cameras, so understand basic camera operations.
    I don't believe they understand things like apeture, etc., though my
    father did have an SLR a few decades ago.

    Does anyone have a recommendation on a relatively inexpensive digicam for
    this situation (i.e., easy to use, relatively foolproof)? An Olympus
    would be interesting, mainly because we have a cousin who's an Oly
    employee, with associated discount. I'm not familiar with their line,
    though, and would be willing to look elsewhere.

    Cheng-Jih Chen, Oct 5, 2005
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  2. Cheng-Jih Chen

    Jeff Guest

    For ease of use I have had good luck with the Kodak easy share and HP
    cameras. I use a canon DSLR and if the software is common it is also a good

    I like the Kodaks because of their printer dock, once you install the
    software you can print or transfer pictures at the touch of a button.

    Are you close enough to install the software on a visit? That would make it
    almost hassle free.

    Just my $0.02.

    Good luck
    Jeff, Oct 5, 2005
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  3. I figure the budget is in the $200 - $300 range.

    I actually have a Nikon D70, but inflicting Nikon Capture on my parents
    would be, uh, undesireable.
    Cheng-Jih Chen, Oct 5, 2005
  4. Cheng-Jih Chen

    JohnR66 Guest

    They don't have to have a computer. When the card gets full, they can take
    it to the photo finisher and have the prints made just as with film and get
    the prints and the card back. They can get the images on CD for safe
    JohnR66, Oct 5, 2005
  5. Today Cheng-Jih Chen spoke these views with conviction for
    everyone's edification:
    You didn't mention if they want to print their pictures or just
    look at them on the PC screen. But, since they probably are more
    comfortable printing, I'd suggest either buying them somebody's
    printer that takes their memory cardso they can print without
    ever working through the problems with uploading, editing, and
    printing, or buying a camera-printer combo. I did the latter for
    my wife with a Kodak 6330 P & S with 3:1 zoom and their dye sub
    printe dock, and she's happy as a clam, for only $300 total.
    All Things Mopar, Oct 5, 2005
  6. Today Cheng-Jih Chen spoke these views with conviction for
    everyone's edification:
    My version of Nikon Capture for my 5700 is pretty gruesome. When
    I had to nuke my HD and reinstall Windoze and all my apps
    earlier this year, I didn't even re-install it. The $30 I spent
    on a CF reader was money well spent.

    But, then, I don't shoot NEF, so I don't need another set of
    editing tools to learn...
    All Things Mopar, Oct 5, 2005
  7. Today JohnR66 spoke these views with conviction for
    everyone's edification:
    John, if the OP's parents are like my wife, they ain't ever
    gonna go to Costco or Meijer, they'll just rag their son for
    help. No offense to the OP, but people who don't want to even
    minimally get tech-savvy can be pretty intimidated by one of
    those do-it-yourself kiosks in the stores.
    All Things Mopar, Oct 5, 2005
  8. Today Mmm spoke these views with conviction for everyone's
    Yes, and they now have two price points, if what I saw this
    summer in stores was what I thought I saw, but I didn't pay
    much attention to. I think it now costs more than the $300 I
    paid last year for my wife's anniversary present, but not that
    PhotoShop for a newbie? Until I went past the big 5-0, I never
    understood my father's reluctance to learn new technology,
    even such that it was prior to his passing away in 1998. He
    never upgraded his phone from pulse to tone!

    My wife can minimally use the zoom lens on her Kodak 6330 but,
    as most people do, forgets about whether a picture should be
    shot portait or landscape, hence I find myself editing in PSP
    to get her pictures of her friends to look like what she
    wants. And, no, I'm not putting my own wife down, just
    commenting that this stuff isn't her highest priority to
    You won't get any disagreement from me. This is the 3rd or 4th
    comment I've made in this thread in support of a printer dock
    solution for the OP. And, I have no lock on Kodak, but a /big/
    requirement for my wife was 1,000% safety from water or
    fingerprint damage, and I tested Kodak's dye sub - it works.
    And, while newer technology injets can beat the quality of her
    Printer Dock 6000, my description of the color she gets is

    And, it doesn't much matter what any of us would-be experts
    think is "right", it is what the /user/ thinks is right or
    easy or hard that counts in these kinds of purchasing
    All Things Mopar, Oct 5, 2005
  9. Thanks for the comments.

    I believe my parents will want to email the pictures rather than print
    them, though.

    Maybe stick Picassa on their PC, and make sure the camera comes across
    as USB Mass Storage? Picassa does have nice big icons and appears to
    do a lot of stuff for you.

    I'll take a look at the Kodaks. I actually had one of the EasyShare
    cameras a couple years ago as part of a Dell new PC package, but sold it.
    I recall Steve's Digicam commenting that it was a decent camera to give
    to kids. I suppose I should think along similar lines.
    Cheng-Jih Chen, Oct 6, 2005
  10. Cheng-Jih Chen

    Alturas Guest

    Any number of no-frills 3MP models with good menu systems would do for
    starters. I'd check their display menus on review sites like Steve's
    Digicams or

    But good luck if your (dad) is anything like mine. He's 67, has had a
    digicam for a year, but still finds it too much to attach a photo to
    an email. Hasn't done a one! He's not dumb by any means, so I just
    scratch my head. A number of older folks are stymied by computers
    because they think they need to write everything down and follow an
    exact sequence with military precision; all or nothing. Conservatism
    doesn't cut it when learning computers!

    Alturas, Oct 6, 2005
  11. Cheng-Jih Chen

    Lin Chung Guest

    Chen, I think an uncomplicated, programmed, automatic, point-&-shoot camera
    such as a Panasonic LZ1 would be appropriate. Here is a post from one who
    had picked this model for her elderly parents. More helpful to the readers,
    she also gave us the rational in her choice: that the LZ1 had an image
    stabilizer played an impotant part. Have a look at the photos her parents
    took. They had unsteady hands, even Parkinson's disease!. Judging by these
    pictures, I think you would agree that her choice has been amply vindicated.
    Lin Chung, Oct 6, 2005
  12. Cheng-Jih Chen

    Ron Hunter Guest

    I would suggest a fairly advanced P&S camera, and very specific
    instructions on how to remove the memory card, and take it to Wal-Mart
    for prints. No computer needed, and the operation is quite simple for
    the non-technical.
    Ron Hunter, Oct 6, 2005
  13. Cheng-Jih Chen

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Many people in that age group (I am in that age group) are intimidated
    by computers, and think they can't possibly learn to use a digital
    camera. Consequently, they won't TRY. For those, a simple point and
    shoot is probably best, and just tell them to take the 'digital film'
    out and take it to Wal-Mart for prints, and they will return the
    'digital film' ready for reuse. If they can't handle that, they are
    ready for the nursing home....
    Ron Hunter, Oct 6, 2005
  14. Cheng-Jih Chen

    l e o Guest

    I don't know how much does Walmart charge for printing and archiving to
    CD. It's not cheap at Costco and the price is higher than developing a
    roll of film. It's better to find a simple to use software package that
    put the pictures from memory card (512MB) to a CD automatically.
    l e o, Oct 6, 2005
  15. Cheng-Jih Chen

    Alturas Guest

    With digital you shouldn't have to pay to burn CDs of your own photos.
    I guess that gets us back to whether a lot of older folks are into CD

    Alturas, Oct 10, 2005
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