Seeking experienced advice:

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Ken, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Ken

    Ken Guest

    I am planning on purchasing my first digital camera, and since I am
    neither a photography expert nor intend to become one, I thought I would
    see what others thought I should buy. All comments are welcome:

    I would hope to purchase the camera for less than $250. Any suggested
    merchants?

    I believe I want an optical resolution of 10 or 12 since I feel I would
    be unhappy with only taking photos at close range.

    I do not intend to do anything other than family type photos and
    possibly some landscape shots. Based upon this, I don't THINK I need a
    lot of mega pixels. Most would never be printed larger than 5x7.

    I do not intend to print my own photos. If I wanted a print I would
    probably have a service print them.

    I have read some reviews about digital cameras and it appears some
    cameras "eat batteries." If this is an issue, and one brand or model is
    better than another, this would be helpful to know.

    The majority of comments seem to suggest that rechargeable batteries are
    the way to go. Any comments?

    I see some models for sale that are refurbished. Is there a downside to
    buying such a camera?

    Are there other issues I should be considering such as image
    stabilization? Or is that feature just for pros?

    Brand reliability? Needed memory card size? Please feel free to
    suggest anything I did not mention. I just don't want to buy a camera
    and find out I should have asked more questions. Thanks.
     
    Ken, Mar 11, 2008
    #1
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  2. Believe me, you don't NEED 10 to 12 megapixels. 6 to 8 is enough, and
    you MAY get a better image quality from fewer megapixels as the pixel
    size may be larger, and larger pixels are more noise free.

    Look for a camera that uses standard AA batteries. These (and there are
    a lot of them) make batteries a non-issue in several regards (then get
    several sets of NiMH AA's with 2000mah or more of capacity).

    If you buy a refurbished camera, be sure that you get at least a full
    one-year warranty.

    Image stabilization is a definite plus, but some of them work FAR better
    than others.
     
    Barry Watzman, Mar 12, 2008
    #2
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  3. Ken

    Ken Guest

    Sorry for the confusion, I meant optical magnification of 10 or 12.
    Megapixels in the 6-8 range should be very adequate for what I want to
    do. I am not all that familiar with digital photography as you can tell.
    Are the NiMH AA's the rechargeable type? Or is this not worth it?
    Good point.
     
    Ken, Mar 12, 2008
    #3
  4. Ken

    Larc Guest

    Depends on how much you use your camera. If you drag it out only
    three or four times a year for a couple dozen shots, standard
    batteries should be fine. If you plan to use it fairly often, get
    rechargeables and a good charger. That will cost less in the long
    run.

    Newegg has a very good AA/AAA charger for $19.99 plus shipping. It
    has a conditioning function that fully drains batteries before
    starting to charge them.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817355013

    I just ordered a Canon PowerShot A590 8.0 MP to replace an early Nikon
    digital with only 1.3 MP. The rechargeable AAs I bought for that are
    only 1200mAh, so I'm getting some 2900mAh rechargeables for the new
    camera. Four with that high mAh rating should be enough since the
    camera uses only two at a time.

    Larc



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    Larc, Mar 12, 2008
    #4
  5. Ken

    T Shadow Guest

    Like Barry says, all depends on how much, and often, you use your camera.
    Since NIHMs self discharge, I have just used one set of them and used
    alkalines if more shots were needed. Saves a lot of hassle over keeping two
    sets charged but is still cheaper than just alkalines and when freshly
    charged NIHM has greater capacity than the alkaline. Finish off the
    partially used alkaline in a flashlight to keep the ones for the camera
    fresh. NIHM doesn't build up a "memory" so don't need to be discharged like
    NiCad's supposedly do.

    Recently bought NIHMs that are supposed to hold charge longer. They didn't
    need charged before first use so am hopeful they will help with the biggest
    problem I have, the batteries charge falling off between uses. If the new
    batteries work out, may get another set instead of using alkalines for the
    second set. Most people don't set into a normal pattern until they've had
    the camera for 6 months or a year. YMMV
     
    T Shadow, Mar 12, 2008
    #5
  6. Ken

    Larc Guest

    Thanks, T Shadow.

    Aren't they called Eneloop batteries? If that's what you got, I have
    a couple of questions.

    Did you have to buy a special charger for them or will regular NiMH
    chargers work?

    Were you able to find Eneloop AAs rated higher than 2000mAh?

    Larc



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    Larc, Mar 13, 2008
    #6
  7. Ken

    T Shadow Guest

    They're 2000mAh Pre-charged Kodak batteries. Originals were 1600mAh. Looks
    like I've already tossed the packaging so can't say more. They didn't
    specify a charger. I just recharged them for the first time so can't say how
    well it works other than they were charged when I got them. I'm using the 8
    hr charger that came with the camera Closest thing to a problem with the
    original batteries was the self discharge so that was more important to me
    than more power. IIRC they had standard 2800s that were slightly cheaper.

    Importance of useable batteries was put upon me again last week when we had
    fires due to downed power lines in a freezing rain. Due to the new batteries
    the still camera(could've used alkaline too) was ready to go but the Li-ion
    battery in the camcorder was dead and had to use the AC outlet for a while.
    Then the AC went. Got some good images of the neighbors pristine pickup
    being destroyed. At least it was only property.
     
    T Shadow, Mar 13, 2008
    #7
  8. Ken

    Ken Guest

    Thanks to all who commented, I have purchased a Kodak Z812 IS. I hope I
    did the right thing, but I now know more than when I first posted. Time
    will tell if I did the right thing.
     
    Ken, Mar 15, 2008
    #8
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