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Which digital camera should I buy?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Josh Ryan, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. Canon a85

    15 vote(s)
  2. Sony p93

    4 vote(s)
  3. something else, see post---

    2 vote(s)
  1. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    hey, bliss, nice thread - i'm looking for one too

    you may want to PM Wrongrobot - he just got a nice, inexpensive cammy for dirtcheap

  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I just got a Canon Powershot A75 for under $200($180), it was a special newegg.com one-day only deal, but newegg.com generally has the best price you'll find(after factoring in shipping, and no taxes)


    I didn't even know the A85 existed, but that looks like the same thing I got just upgraded slightly, if the price is right, go for that one, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

    The picture quality on the A75(3.2 mp) is more than alright for the point and click that it is. I got the camera specifically for non artsy photography, and it excels at that. It has pretty good manual controls, but I haven't spent too long working with them, as I mentioned, I really don't care to have all that much control, I just wanted a point and click. So far it seems plenty durable too, but that hasn't stopped me from babying it.

    I have no experience with the P93 except that I was considering the P92 for a while too, but ultimately decided I could live with a more eco-range digicam.

    The two things that pushed me over the edge for the Canon A75, was that it uses standard AA batteries, and it uses Compact flash memory.

    Two of the forerunners in my research used either proprietary battery or SD flash, which in both cases is more expensive and/or harder to find.

    Sure there are advantages to SD, but compactflash is so cheap that I really didn't care, I got 512 MB of Compact flash for $48.

    Lastly, the Canon has the best OS X support, which was a plus for me, I haven't even opened any of the software it came with, because it was recognized right out of the box in all my imaging programs.

    2 sites that were invaluable to me


  4. Good cameras - but the two most important questions must be (1) how much do you want to spend? and (2) what sort of pics will you be taking?

    Check these links:

    Steve's Digicams


    …more info than you can shake a stick at!

    Good Luck!

    - Wil

    PS: my stuff - Olympus E-20 plus all the bits; Olympus C5050; Nikon D-70
  5. I have owned Canon Powershot A80 for 9 months and I have been very pleased with it. Picture quality is good and I find it very intuitive to use. I have hauled it in 6 different countries and numerous gigs without any problems, so I would say it is pretty durable.

    The ability to use fully manual controls is important to me, and the A80 fills that need perfectly. I don´t know how it compares to A85, but they look very similar. However, A80 does have one very nifty feature that A85 lacks: video camera-style movable display ("Vari-angle" as Canon calls it). I absolutely love it, it makes shooting from different angles a breeze. Honestly, I don´t think I could live without it!

    Only negative thing I can think of is that the USB connection and/or the driver can be a bit cranky. Sometimes I have to un- and re-plug the camera few times before my PC recognizes it. But it could just be my computer - or the whole USB standard... :rolleyes: Also, it´s a bit bulky, but so are other cameras with similar specs.

    Even if you don´t go for Canon, I strongly recommend you to get something with moveable display. It´s one of those inventions that can actually make your photos better, because it enables you to shoot from angles that would otherwise be impossible or at least very difficult to use.
  6. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Thanks for the links guys!

    I'll be reading for a while. These two cameras are about $30 apart, both right in line with what I want to spend.
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Nikon D2X.
  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    *whistles the happy mac user tune*


    (I haven't had any problems at all with the USB and the A75, all the drivers are integrated into the system, it's flawless)
  9. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I threw my vote in for the Canon, but both are great cameras, The Sony is a bit better of a camera, but it is also a bit more expensive. I'm generally not a fan of Sony cameras mainly becuase of their pushing proprietary formats (memory stick in this case which can be quite a bit more expensive than CF, Smartmedia, SD, XD, etc) I've used most of the storage media and my preference is still for the old standby, Compact Flash. It's one of the cheapest and has the best capacity avaiable (they have made them up to into the 12 Gigabyte range, but those cost about what a Custom 9 string CT bass might cost...)

    As for other choices, there are WAY to many to list. My main suggestion is to not base your decision on internet info and specifications. Find a store that has them where you can handle them (CompUSA, Circuit City, and Best Buy near the Holyoke Mall have a great selection out for playing, not sure how the shops are up in the Greenfield area are...), no that you should buy them there, but holding each of these in your hands might change your mind one way or the other. But I've always found the Sony cameras like that one to be too small (if you believe there is such a thing, I do.) But every manufacturer's cameras feel a bit different and that is one of the more important factors when you're using it. It's not a Canon is better than Sony issue, it's which one feels right to you.

    As for features, ignore any TOTAL zoom or DIGITAL zoom features, OPTICAL zoom is the only thing that matters, and basically more is better in this feature. As for lens optics, there is no substitute for SIZE. Cameras with larger optical glass will have better clarity. A 5 MP sensor is a 5 MP sensor, but a lens the size of a half dollar is going to give you a sharper image that one the size of a dime (all other things being equal of course). I might even go out on a limb and say that a better lens is more important than a higher resolution. We have a 2.75 MP Digital SLR (the original Nikon D1, 5 years old) that can take flawless 8x10 prints FAR beyond what any 4-5 MP point and shoot can, it's just the advantage of the high quality interchangeable lenses.

    Being able to use plain old AA batteries is a BIG plus also. There are some cameras (I think the Kodak's are like this) that will come with a rechargeable battery pack that is actually the size of 2 AA's taped together so in a pinch you can take it out and put in the standard batteries. Without working batteries Digital cameras are worthless, so this can be important. And while we're on the Kodak's, their docks are a great idea for people who don't like to mess with things. You drop the camera on and all the connections are made to download the photos AND it charges the battery. You leave the Dock connected to the PC and plugged in and there's no need to mess with cables. Not a make or break option, but it's nice.

    I would also suggest for anyone getting ANY camera that they get a USB card reader for whatever type of card their camera uses. They can be as cheap as $14 for one type of card up to about $30 for one that can read just about any card made (right now). They free you from having to use the camera's software to transfer the photos. You pull the memory from the camera and plug it in and it shows up like a floppy drive with your JPG's on it. This way you don't waste your cameras batteries while connected to the computer transfering the photos or have to use the camera's driver software. They are also very small and will work right off the bat on any decent computer (ie something with better than Win98 installed) so you can shoot pics at you'r friends house and use the card reader to pull up the photos on his computer without needing your cameras cable and software.

    Also when it comes to memory, you should buy 2 memory cards. For example, if you can afford $80 for a 1GB memory card, I would suggest you instead get (2) $40 512MB cards. Like batteries, the camera is useless without a working memory card. They are pretty durable, but things do happen. Check out how they come too. We bought 4 Lexar 40x USB enabled 512MB cards about a year ago and each one came with a USB card reader (it only works with the USB enabled cards, but it was FREE!!)

    Hope that helps some..
  10. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts

    Waiting for it to hit the market!!!!! Should be sweet.

    Or he could just go with the Kodak 14 (N or C) Pro...
  11. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I have the Canon Powershot A70. I bought it for some of the same reasons as WR bought his A75 but also for the flexibility and manual controls. It's been an excellent camera.

    brad cook
  12. Holding to the maxim that a camera is nothing more than a light tight box holding a lens and film (in this case a ccd) I go for the Highest optics that I can get.

    Since you are looking at sony my I suggest one of their cybershots with a Carl Ziess vario-tessar lens


    Exellent optics, I used to have a few C Z lenses for my med format stuff.
  13. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I own an A70 and I will upgrade it soon for an A95. Great camera.
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    For $5K street, it'd better be sweet.
  15. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    it's about 4700$ over my budget.

    Everyone else, thanks! I think between the two, it will come down to what feels best in my hand. :D ;)
  16. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Must... not....comment...

    brad cook
  17. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Yea and that's body only, you'd have to add in about $3k minimum for a basic set of lenses, memory cards (figure about 90 shots on a 512 MB card) and spare battery (proprietary rechargeable)
  18. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I need, "remember the kids on the water slide honey?" not "accepting the Pulitzer for...". :)

    Thanks for your advice above, I\m going to use it.
  19. Well you could go 2.5 X 2.5 The digital backs are only like 20K and 3k-5k per lens. You can get like 1 gig files from one shot. :D :D :D

    Go with the smallest most comfortable easiest to use camera so you can have fun and not have to lug around any gear.

    I have a 8 X 10 film back camera thats unbelivable, but its such a pain in the ass to lug around (85 lbs with film holders and lenses) One day its off to ebay. Just think of the basses I could get then :hyper:
  20. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    that's the thing, I want to take quick easy pics when I'm out with the family, on vacation, driving my truck, spying on Brendan, gathering evidence to use against Brad, looking at boobs at Ozzfest, ;)

    Anyway, we have a good film camera that my wife saved up for and bought, but it's too much for most occasions and will not fit in any of my pockets.