need opinion re first digital camera

Discussion in 'Digital Point & Shoot Camera' started by Cathy, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Cathy

    Cathy Guest

    Hi all,
    I've been looking for the last few months for a digital camera in stores
    and read tons and tons of reviews, and now am confused as to what I
    should get.
    I want a camera with at least a 1.8" LCD and a clear viewfinder that is
    not blurry (to me at least).
    I mainly want a camera for family indoor shots and scenery when I go
    somewhere .
    But many will be indoors, so I want to try to get one with not much red
    eye, though I notice many seem to have that problem. I look at many
    reviews and photo samples on Steves site and dresource.com. (I like
    those two sites the best, but also have been to depreview.com.) I know
    you can take red eye out with software, but I would prefer if possible
    to try to get a camera that doesn't have a lot of red eye. I like
    pictures that turn out clear and sharp.

    A 3.2 MP is ok for me, as I don't want to pay much more than $250.00 US
    or under. I am in Canada, but just to give you an idea of price.

    Here's what I was considering:

    Canon A75 or A85, but needing 4 batteries kind of puts me off. I would
    prefer 2 batteries. Canon have recently brought out two new cameras, the
    A510- 3 MP and the A520 - 4 MP which have two batteries and they take SD
    memory cards. I was thinking of buying one of them, but the reviews on
    all the sites I looked at, said they had a lot of red eye, and were not
    as good as A75 and A85.

    Kodak CX 7530, is a good price right now, and I like the look of Kodak
    DX 7440, which is about $100.00 more.
    Or Olympus D 580, also a good price camera. The samples on dresource.com
    were good of the Olympus D580, and very little redeye on indoor photo on
    the site, but said the flash was weak unless taking small groups, but
    that might not be a big problem for me.

    Any and all comments or personal experiences with any of these cameras
    would be much appreciated.

    Cathy
     
    Cathy, Mar 25, 2005
    #1
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  2. Cathy

    The PhAnToM Guest

    A guy at work just bought an Olympus C-755 for $250 at Fry's (or maybe
    he got it through Outpost.com). 4Mp, 10x optical zoom, the flash works
    fine, and has the capability of taking an aftermarket flash unit,
    red-eye reduction mode, many preset modes (outdoor, portrait, low
    light, action, etc.), "manual" mode for adjusting shutter speed,
    aperture, ISO... delay timer (useful for including one's self in the
    picture if no one else is around), movie mode, noise reduction, and
    more. It is my first digital cam and I like it a lot. a bit bulky
    because of the 10x optical zoom lens, and it take 4 batteries, which
    you said you didn't like. However, you can get a set of NiMH batteries
    with charger for like $10 at Wal-Mart (here in California), so I always
    keep a spare set handy. That price is a steal, IMO. If you want
    something that fits into your pocket, however, this one is not the way
    to go. And it only takes xD flash, which is expensive.
     
    The PhAnToM, Mar 25, 2005
    #2
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  3. But many will be indoors, so I want to try to get one with not much red
    They all have red-eye problems. There are only three ways around red-eye:

    1. Don't use a flash. (This is my preferred method.)

    2. Use a flash far enough away from the lens. (You can't usually do
    this with P&S cameras, unless you use a slave, and that takes a
    lot of work.)

    3. Fix the red-eye after you take the picture. (I've found that a #2
    pencil is perfect for coloring out red-eye.)

    -Joel
     
    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Mar 25, 2005
    #3
  4. Cathy

    Cathy Guest

    I'm in Toronto, Canada and have never seen Olympus C-755 advertised
    here. We don't get all the models you get in the US and many digital
    cameras here, cost more than in the US, especially when they are newly
    out. You have more competition so brings the prices down. You also have
    more variety. But cameras can quite often be found here on sale at good
    prices. You just have to keep looking. I might see the Olympus model you
    mention, especially if its new. I didn't want 4 batteries if possible,
    but I don't rule it out completely. The Canon A75 sells here for a good
    price so I am considering it. Thanks.

    Cathy
     
    Cathy, Mar 25, 2005
    #4
  5. Cathy

    Cathy Guest

    red-eye:

    yes, I know they all have red eye, but some seem to be worse than others
    in that regard.
    It would seem to me that No.2 or 3 is the best choice. I can't see that
    using a pencil would be too good an option, but thats just my opinion. I
    want to mainly use a digital camera for getting stills printed and very
    occasionally to send email attachment.

    Thanks.

    Cathy
     
    Cathy, Mar 25, 2005
    #5
  6. Cathy

    MartinS Guest

    Future Shop has HP M407 4.1 Mp for C$199.99 after mail-in rebate - I
    bought one from Staples at Christmas and am quite satisfied with it.

    I do most of my photo cropping and brightness/contrast adjustment with
    Irfanview - free, and easy to use. It even removes red eye. I get my
    4x6 prints at Wal-Mart for $0.25 each.
     
    MartinS, Mar 25, 2005
    #6
  7. Cathy

    Cathy Guest

    Are you in Toronto? Its funny you should mention the HP M407. The HP
    M307 was the very first digital camera I looked at a few months ago It
    was at Staples. It was the 3 MP version out just before the M407.
    Both the M307 and M407 are pretty cheap here in Toronto. Around $199.00
    Can. I have never seen them with a rebate, though I guess it was there
    when you bought yours. I've looked for reviews for both those cameras a
    few times in the last few months, but only recently saw one for the M407
    and it seemed to give mixed opinions. And as I mentioned, I mainly want
    a digital camera for 4X 6 prints, many being indoors, though some
    outside as well.

    How is red eye in the M407 for indoor flash shots? some smaller cameras
    seem to have weak flashes for indoors unless quite a small room and
    small group.
    It seems that the HP M307 and M407 seems to have been largely ignored by
    camera reviewers as I would have liked to see some screen shots of the
    photo quality, especially an indoor shot of someone. Because of not
    being able to see any reviews, I kind of forgot about the M307/M407 till
    you reminded me about it now. I know there is also M607 and M707, and
    they are reasonable prices as well, but with the M607, I notice HP went
    back to a 1.5" LCD which is too small for me.
    Most are coming out with bigger LCD's now. I also notice that Canon A75
    and A85 are getting quite a lot cheaper, though not as cheap as the HP
    M407.
    Is the .25 cents Canadian or US $ ? :)

    I have used Irfanview for a long time, mainly for scanning 4X6 photos.
    Its a very good program.
    My 35 mm camera doesn' have a red eye problem so never noticed that
    feature on Irfanview.
    But your comment about Irfanview gives me more hope not to worry so much
    about red eye.
    Any other information you might want to offer on what kind of shots you
    have taken on the M407 would be appreciated. Did you get the dock with
    your camera? Is the video any good?

    Cathy
     
    Cathy, Mar 25, 2005
    #7
  8. Cathy

    MartinS Guest

    I've also wondered why HP cameras don't seem to get much of a mention.

    Sorry I can't give you a great deal of help, as I haven't made a whole
    lot of use of it yet - mostly indoor baby photos. I try to use bright
    room light and avoid the flash; the flash is quite close to the lens. I
    didn't buy the dock - I find the USB cable is fine, and I use a
    separate charger for NiMH batteries. It's compact and takes 2xAAs, but
    it uses them up fairly quickly. I haven't tried the video feature, as I
    also have a digital video camera. I bought the 407 because it seemed a
    good bargain for a 4Mp with 3x optical zoom. I previously bought an HP
    318 3 or 4 years ago - C$300 for 2Mp and only 2x digital zoom.

    The Wal-Mart Canada digital photo service is pretty good; $0.25 for
    4x6, $0.99 for 5x7 (even cheaper at Sam's Club). You can upload your
    photos to the website, or take them into the store on your memory card
    or a CD-R/RW. BTW, I'm about 100km from Toronto.
     
    MartinS, Mar 25, 2005
    #8
  9. Cathy

    Cathy Guest

    Did your baby have red eye? :) I guess with a baby, you don't want to
    use the flash much. My kids never liked the flash going off. Actually, I
    don't like it myself. If you have enough light you don't need the flash,
    but I seem to always need it for indoors. I thought I read that its
    better not to have the flash too close to the lens.
    Thats probably the best way. You don't really need the dock. I use Win
    98SE and have a separate partition for Win 2000 Pro. What OS do you use?

    It's compact and takes 2xAAs, but
    The HP 307 and M407 are selling in Toronto at around $200.00 Can. so
    very cheap prices as long as they take good photos of course. If I was
    getting any of those, I would get the M407 as it is very similar to the
    M307, only its 4 MP's. So I am swayed back to considering it again.
    How do the pictures turn out? are they clear and sharp, even the indoor
    ones?
    I have a Walmart near me where I sometimes make 4X6 prints from my 35
    mm. There is no Sams club near me.

    Cathy
     
    Cathy, Mar 26, 2005
    #9
  10. Cathy

    MartinS Guest

    I've had red eye on a couple of closeups (my grandson, BTW).
    Recently upgraded to WinXP Pro - much more stable than 98.
    Plenty good enough for 4x6, as long as the focus is good to start with.
    I haven't done any direct comparison with other cameras.
    Good luck!
     
    MartinS, Mar 26, 2005
    #10
  11. Cathy

    Frank ess Guest

    Slightly off-topic: my wife went to a party and handed out a half-dozen
    one-time-use cameras. Collected and submitted to Costco for
    develop/print, they each yielded 27 or 28 images. We requested two each
    5x7 prints. Cost per envelope was $6.99 = ~ $ 0.13 per 5x7 print. My
    intuitive estimate is that about half were "good" party pictures, and
    that very few were not worth looking at.

    Not all photography is necessarily high-tech.
     
    Frank ess, Mar 26, 2005
    #11
  12. Cathy

    Cathy Guest

    Frank, that is quite true. A while back, a friend showed me some pics of
    their new house, mostly taken outside, and the pics were beautiful. Some
    of the nicest photos I've ever seen. I was amazed at the quality and
    great colors. I thought she must have taken them with some expensive
    camera and asked her what kind of camera she had. I thought she was
    kidding when she said it was a Fuji one time use camera.

    Cathy
     
    Cathy, Mar 26, 2005
    #12
  13. Cathy

    garysibio Guest

    Check out the Pentax Optio line. (I have no connection with Pentax
    other than being a user since 1970.)



    Gary J Sibio

    http://home.earthlink.net/~garysibio/

    There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary numbers and those who don't.
     
    garysibio, Mar 26, 2005
    #13
  14. Cathy

    Cathy Guest

    Thanks. I will check it out.

    Cathy
     
    Cathy, Mar 26, 2005
    #14
  15. For some more information about the CanonA75 look also in the reactions at
    "How many pixels"
     
    Anne Geeraets, Apr 11, 2005
    #15
  16. Cathy

    Starweb Guest

    The Panasonic fx7 is ok for you.

    Hallo,
    Stellario (from Italy).
     
    Starweb, Apr 24, 2005
    #16
  17. Cathy

    BucketButt Guest

    The difference in weight and bulk won't be much, but it may be enough to
    matter to you. And depending on other differences between the two
    cameras, there may not even be a significant difference at all. I'd be
    much more concerned with the number of shots you can take -- will an A85
    that uses four AAs and a CF card let you take more shots before
    reloading than an A520 that uses only two AAs and sn SD card? (I don't
    know the answer, but I'm sure someone here does. Or you can check one
    of the several good Websites and magazines that do their own reviews.)
    Is the appearance of the DX 7440 (and any difference in features, of
    course) worth the extra money to you? I know the way a camera looks
    shouldn't matter all that much as long as it takes pictures that look
    good, but it does to me too -- I want a camera that *looks* like serious
    equipment, even if it isn't any more "serious" than one that looks like
    a toy.
    Redeye is an annoyance, but it's usually easy to fix with software
    before you begin printing -- except for cats and other creatures with
    slit-shaped irises. If you don't mind an extra step, just about any
    camera should work for you. (I photograph my cat using a Canon A20 in
    "red-eye reduction" flash mode -- works well for me.)
    I'm a longtime fan of the Canon A-series, having begun with an A20 that
    I still use more often than I care to admit. It's only 2 megapixels;
    but the controls are right where my fingers expect them to be, it takes
    lots of sharp photographs on a set of rechargeable AAs, and it doesn't
    feel like an anchor when I'm carrying it. An ultracompact might might
    be easier to carry, but I've never found one that was easier to actually
    use; most are too small for my medium-size hands. Most advanced
    compacts and DSLRs are capable of taking better pictures, but they're
    also bigger and heavier -- and I don't need the extra quality for most
    casual snapshots, which is why I still have the A20 and don't still have
    the others.

    Whatever you get, understand that no one camera is ideal and just look
    for one that come acceptably close to satisfying your criteria. Then go
    out and enjoy using it, because all the cameras you mentioned are pretty
    good picture-takers and good values for the money IMHO.
     
    BucketButt, Apr 24, 2005
    #17
  18. Cathy

    james Guest

    The A85 is a great camera; the only limitations are the 3X zoom and the
    4MP CCD. But for the price (clearance sale item as "last year's model",
    it's really very good.

    Don't worry about 4 AA's. Get a MAHA charger and 2300mAH NiMh's. Canon
    battery life is pretty good.

    I bought mine as a complement to my DSLR. Here are my first images with
    it:

    http://www.conservatory.com/photos/A85/20050426/

    So it's not the best camera in the world (nor even the best camera in my
    bag!) but for the price paid, and for the amount of control it offers,
    it's just right for me.

    I greatly prefer CF over SD cards. And more batteries means more
    battery life. And a little heavier camera is a little easier to hold
    steady.
     
    james, Apr 27, 2005
    #18
  19. Cathy

    Cordovero Guest

    Cathy,

    I, too, tend to take mostly indoor portraits. I have played around with my
    own and friends' Sony's, Kodak's, and Olympus's.

    The Kodaks (the 7440, for example) gave ridiculous amounts of redeye. The
    Sony's I've used almost never give me any redeye when I have the redeye
    reduction feature on. It's great not to have to fix this stuff in software.
    The Olympus cameras were awful in terms of focus and color.

    I would highly recommend a Sony in your price range. Any Sony with a
    Carl-Zeiss lens and 4 mp.

    Just my two cents,
    C
     
    Cordovero, Aug 5, 2005
    #19
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