July 21, 2010

I'd Like Your Input

I'm looking for a good, relatively inexpensive ($120 in a brick'n'mortar store, or thereabouts), digital camera.  See, all these years that I've been posting photos of my duckies, I've been using either the Duck U. Bookstore's 3 megapixel Sony or Ph.Duck's 5 MP Samsung.

The thing is, I have absolutely no idea what makes a good camera anymore.  When I was working for CowPuters lo these many years ago, a 5 MP camera was the top of the line at the consumer level, and even then I knew that the ones we carried were... um... not so good.  I do know that all the megapixels in the world don't matter if the lens is crepe, and being able to zoom in on something from a mile away isn't useful if the camera can't do anything with the input.

So all you shutterheads, I need your advice!  What's a good camera for someone like me?  I've been looking at THIS one, but I really don't know if the one on the shelf right next to it is better, worse, or exactly the same... help?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:35 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 I've had a Nikon CoolPix L11 since about this time in 2007 and I love it.  I paid a bit more than $120 for it, but that was because I was going to the Philippines and couldn't wait for a sale.

In general it's really good at taking pictures.  It uses AA batteries and it goes a good long time on a single pair.  (And I use RayOVac alkalines.)

It's a 6 MP camera.  Its low-light performance leaves just a little to be desired as it frequently wants to use the flash.

Bonus for the otaku:  it's the same camera Izumi Konata's father uses to take pictures in ep 22 of Lucky Star.

I would recommend checking out the CoolPix series of cameras before making a final decision on what to buy.  This model is good and I'm sure the subsequent models aren't pikers.

Posted by: Ed Hering at July 22, 2010 01:51 AM (gLbEB)

2 I've got one of the CoolPix S550s. Got it as a gift, so I didn't exactly go around doing feature comparisons, but it's what I was looking for in a camera. And yes, it likes using the flash, though I haven't ever had a problem with the battery dying on me (then again, I'm either taking a few pictures of models, or a few pictures of landscapes, so...)

Funky connection cable to the PC, though, not a standard USB. That might be something to consider. (On the other hand, it just stores the images on an SD card, so you can always pop that out and into a reader... if you have a reader, heh.)

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at July 22, 2010 02:35 AM (mRjOr)

3 6MP and up, it's pretty much the same on compact cameras - it's limited by the size of the sensor and the lens.  So pick a good brand (Sony, Canon, Nikon) that looks nice and fits in your price range.

Check DPreview too, they'll probably have at least a forum thread.  (There's about a million billion new models announced each month, though.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at July 22, 2010 12:38 PM (PiXy!)

4

In a lot of kinds of products in the early stages there can be a great deal of difference. But once things settle out, the competiting products are all pretty much the same. That's where we've gotten when it comes to point-and-shoot cameras like the one you're looking for.

I love my Nikon, but I can't claim it's better than competing Sony or Canon cameras in the same price range. Almost certainly if I'd ended up with one of them instead I'd be just as happy.

Oh, and the other rule that applies here is, "No matter what you buy, something better at a lower price will come out six months later."

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 22, 2010 12:48 PM (+rSRq)

5 Sony is Memory Stick and Olympus is xD, both of which suck because everyone esle has gone SD. Ana-sempai is in Japan right now and e-mailed "I can't transfer photos because I have no reader". The answer is "Yes you do, it's built into your laptop". She's got Canon 1200is or something like that, for small size and weight.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 22, 2010 01:01 PM (/ppBw)

6 The Panasonic Lumix series gets good reviews and the lower end is in your price range.  The Canon Powershot G9/G10/G11 series are excellent cameras, my dad is quite a photographer with several high-end SLR's, and he swears by his G10 for when he doesn't want to lug around the bigger cameras.  You won't find one of those new in your price range, but a used G9 or G10 shouldn't be hard to find and is likely a very good choice.

Posted by: David at July 22, 2010 02:25 PM (oyblT)

7 Memory Stick isn't as much of an issue these days, because almost all readers support it, and a lot of Sony products (including the specific model mentioned) now support SD as well.

Wouldn't buy a camera that was Memory Stick or XD only, though.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at July 22, 2010 07:30 PM (PiXy!)

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