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Looking for a new camera?

  1. Mar 9, 2006 #1
    Ok, i'm looking for an entry level digital camera, nothing fancy. as low as 3 MP will do, but i've also seen some as much as 6 which are still pretty cheap. I don't really know what to look for in a digi, but I do know that having the biggest lcd possible is a major plus, I definately want atleast a 2" preferable 2.5 if that's possible, i know there are a few of them out there. Also, I know some cameras have terrible lag for shutter press to the time it actually takes the photo. That's an issue aswell, cause it annoys the hell out of me.
    from what i know/ have heard, canon, nikon and kodak seem to be getting good things said about them. Right now my favourite seems to be the nikon coolpix P2 but I'm open to any suggestions.
    my budget is $350 canadian (300 usd ?)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    -Read Cnet reviews for things like lag time and cycle time - yeah, those make a big difference.

    -Go to an electronics store and hold several cameras - feel and size are very important. I own a small 3mp and a big 5mp and I use the 3mp much more often because it is pocket-sized, even though the 5mp is a much better camera.

    -Buy online and save a bunch of money.

    Regarding the Nikon Coolpix - that's the 3mp camera I own (the 3100 - about 3 years old) and I love it, but my boss just bough the newer 5mp version. It looks almost exactly the same and has some good refinements (such as a power switch that you don't flip every time you pull it out of your pocket), but the cycle time is terrible and the LCD shuts off while the flash is recharging. Find out if that flaw exists in the one you are looking at.
  4. Mar 9, 2006 #3
    I have a Panasonic DMC-LZ2. It was on sale when I got it so I paid about $250.00 and from what I've learned since about similar cameras I feel I lucked out bigtime. It's 5 MP, and has a 6x optical zoom. It's "pict-bridge" capable: direct download of images to your PC through a USB cable, as well as to many printers. The screen is smaller than you're stipulating, but I'm not sure why you think the size you've named is a good minimum. I played with this one in the store before I got it and was perfectly happy with the screen size, and have been ever since. It's about 1 5/8 x 1 1/4 inches.

    The built in memory hold roughly 40 shots. I put a 56 mb card in that extends that by a hundred more. So far I haven't really needed the extra memory but on trips where you can't download to free up space it could be useful. The recovery time between shots is very good, never an inconvenience. It can take video like many can, but I haven't even checked that feature out yet. (The video is recorded at only 2 MP, I think.)

    It's medium sized, not tiny. I bought a nylon case for it and wear it on my belt. Russ and others might find that too inconvenient, but it doesn't bother me.

    I use regular alkaline batteries. It takes two AA. These wear down fairly quickly, but all Digital cameras do. If I go out specifically picture-taking I bring an extra set just in case. After you get used to any camera, though, the batteries tend to last longer cause you're not always turning it on to figure out how it works. The manual takes a bit of studying.
  5. Mar 9, 2006 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    I highly recommend rechargeables - lithium-ion if possible. My Nikon takes several dozen shots with a set of alkaline or nimh, but it takes well over a hundred with a lithium-ion battery pack I bought.
  6. Mar 9, 2006 #5
    It depends on what "several" dozen means. My batteries don't wear out because of the number of shots, per se, but more how long I keep it turned on. It takes a fair amount of juice just to run the viewscreen apparently.

    I think I'm only on my fifth set of batteries since I bought it, and I got a huge package of 36 alkalines which makes each alot cheaper.

    It has a plug for a 3v adaptor, which would help a huge amount because I have mostly used it indoors at home here taking shots of my drawings. It has to stay on during a relatively long set up time, and I think I've spent the most battery power in that. The second worst is when I connect it to a 4x6 print maker and print directly out of the camera. Each print takes over a minute. Unfortunately the only 3v adaptor I could find, a variable one you can switch to several different voltages, won't power this camera for some reason. (Yes, I had the right polarity.) I probably need some kind of dedicated 3v adaptor, but the place where I got the camera had none.
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