Digital Camera Advice

Im looking for a digital camera around the £100 mark (yes its cheap but its all i can afford :sad: ) anyway argos have a sale on till the 20th and as i know sweet FA about digital cameras other than the pdc 3030 i had was a piece of junk i need your advice!

also, does higher mp really mean better pic quality?

what i need is

  1. fast shutter time :slight_smile:
  2. semi-decent video recording capability :clap:
  3. ability to take close up shots :iagree:
  4. semi-decent pic quality indoors and outdoors :bow:

my old camera couldnt take a close up pic, the object had to be atleast 2 feet away :eek:

heres a link for the argos cameras starting from cheapest 1st
Cam Guru’s, which is the best? clicky clicky

ive picked this one out as being the best bang for buck spec wise however i read some poor reviews on cnet for reliability

Samsung Digimax A6 Digital Camera

£99.99 was £229.99

this looks good but lower spec and more expensive but maybe better quality?

Sony S40 4MP Digital Camera

£109.99 was Was £159.99

decent batteries and a memory card i will buy later the £100 is just for the cam, if you got this far thanks!

I just spotted this one aswell your thoughts?

Fuji FinePix E510 Digital Camera

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/5603220.htm

when looking for a camera, also check out the price for the memory that they use, as i bought a sony ms walkman (mp3 player) and it used sony memory stick as the memory, but it also had to be the Magic Gate branded, which was/is still quite dear.

i have a canon A70 powershot 3.2mg pixel and i’ve no complaintes about it, but there’s loads to pick from.

(btw, the samsung 250Gb drive seems quite good)

A cam that can do what you want it do for just 100 pounds? Sounds impossible to me. It seems to me that you need a cam that can make acceptable images at high ISO levels and one that has quite a good lens. Also don’t forget that most cams like these have quite a shutter lag.

Cams like these often don’t give spectacular results. They are nice for standard point and shoot events, but that’s basically all they do well. They aren’t a waste of money, but you shouldn’t expect much from them either.

Out of the two cams you put there, I’d go for the Sony cam. Although Sony memory is a bit more expensive, the quality of their cams usually exceeds Samsung’s.

Sony DSC-S60 is around 120£ (pixmania.com) and takes decent picture (I guess in that price range) but I cant really say that they’re acceptable. I’d save my pennies for a DSC-W5 (160£) or W7 (200£) which offers a whole lot more quality.
//Danne

I agree with what everyone has said so far, but Would go a little further on the sony thing. Defanatlly check out what memory for a sony (particularlly if it uses sony memory stick) and check out what the battery costs. Not too long ago I found a really good deal on an older model sony (dsc-v1). It was 250$US new with sony warranty (camera originally sold for 700$US). I almost backed out of the deal because of the very high cost of batteries and memory. I wound up paying 200$US for 2 batteries and 1 memory stick (almost doubled the price of the camera). It looks like the sony you are looking at uses aa batteries which is good (price wise), but beware of sony cameras that use propriatary sony infolithium batteries (or maybe not beware, but be aware of the price). Some sony cameras that use infolithium batteires will often shut down and refuse to function on many of the cheaper aftermarket batteries. The beter aftermarket batteries are almost as much as sony ones (and are kind of high). I’m not saying sonys are bad (I did buy one), just be aware of the possible costs.
I also agree with Dee-ehn, your not liklly to find a camera like what you want for that price. You might want to look around for older discontinued models. Camera technology is moving so fast that you can get some exelent cameras cheap that way. Someone mentioned a canon a70 3.2mp, good enough for 4x6, marginally good enought for 8x10 with no cropping). If can can find one (defanatlly discontinued) they are pretty good cameras. They do have a flaw (a solder joint can come loose from the ccd killing it) which is covered for free under recall (I just wish I knew that before I took apart and killed mine), and lol it a sony ccd, and the new sony I got has the same problem!!! Cf cards are cheap for the a70, aa batteries are cheap for the a70, it won’t focus close like you want but can take a lens adapter and take macro lenses (to shoot close), filters, wide, telephoto etc. Of course thats more expense but at least the upgrade possibility is there with lens atachments (and the camera was only about 100$ US last I checked if you can find one).

A very good place to look for exelent reviews on various cameras you are considering is
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/
The reviews are very unbias and very in depth. They cover some of the cheaper cameras.

Unless they have a true optical view finders you going to start hating yourself more each day. Especially on those sunny days. Trust me

The Finepix E510 looks impressive - a friend of mine has a Finepix 4700, and the movie mode (with sound) works pretty well - though it is limited to a certain length at a time on the 4700, rather than a full card.

I see the E510 also runs on AA batteries, so you can feed it with set after set of NiMH, for a fraction of the price of additional proprieatary packs for other cameras.

I likeh the Hitachi http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/5603842.htm - until I saw it used a Li-ion pack.

NB. Li-Ion systems can be lighter and more compact, but additional batteries and chargers are far more expensive.

E510 reviews:
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fuji/finepix_e510-review/index.shtml
The same limitation in movie mode crops up, 60 seconds maximum @ 10FPS, 320x 240, or 3 minutes at 1/4 size
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/fuji_e510.html

Sure, a dSLR would be great for what he wants to do. The problem is though that dSLR cams don’t come for this money. And once you own a dSLR, you just can’t stop drooling over lenses etc (trust me I know ;)).

Lol, you would be suprized on how much you can spend on lenses for a non-dslr digital (I have probably spent well over 1000$). I want a dslr and have been at the point that I could afford a body before, but I know that the cost of lenses would totally break the bank.

thanks for the advice guys, i may even wait till feb and see if i cant get abit more money together for something better :slight_smile:

From looking at the pictures, I would go for the Sony; it has Carl-Zeiss lens, which is an excellent one. Could not tell which lens the Samsung has. Some Samsung may have Vario-Sonnar, I believe.

With everything else being equal, always pick a camera with the better lens. To take a close-up of an object less than 2 ft, you may need a camera with macro (or is it micro :slight_smile: ability. I think a point-and-shoot camera rarely has that ability.

Also, look at dpreview.com. This is an excellent source for digital camera reviews.

have fun,
KT

I’ve been out of the digicam market for a while, so I can’t really give you detailed advice. However, I can answer to this:

Most definitely no. Just about everything from 2 megapixels onwards can give very good results, unless you actually need to zoom in so much that you need large resolution.
The key for good quality is the lens.
An old 2MP camera with a good lens will beat the pants off any cheap high resolution camera with a lousy lens.
There are many digicams on the market that have impressive “6MP!!!” stickers, but only pinhole-sized lenses. As is usual for marketing, you don’t get many stickers hyping actually useful features.
A pinhole sized lens will let in less light and, all other things equal, will make a picture look considerably worse when compared to one from a large lens camera.
Of course you won’t be able to carry around a Z5 in your pocket (unless, like in my case, your choice of clothes depends a lot on the size of the pockets… it sure freaks people out when I pull my Z2 out of my pocket and say “cheese”), so there are compromises to be made between quality and portability.

decent batteries and a memory card i will buy later the £100 is just for the cam, if you got this far thanks!

Be sure to buy a camera that uses standard AA cells, not little proprietary expensive LiIon packs. LiIon is nice because it’s small and reports running time better, but digicam tiny-packs often have much less capacity than ordinary 2500mah NiMH AAs. And when the batteries eventually die you will still be able to find AAs just about everywhere, while the same can’t be said for proprietary packs whose company might, for all you know, decide to stop producing tomorrow.
Also, make sure the digicam uses either CompactFlash or SecureDigital cards for storage. Avoid Sonys and Olympus: they use Memory sticks and xDs, which are rather more expensive per megabyte without giving you any real advantage.

Actually, I think most digicams on the market today, even the really cheap entry-levels ones, have a Macro ability. It just isn’t very good.

Sony has some good ones like the one with the 3" LCD touch screen. There in enters problem #1 Lcd’s dont like to be touched, they don’t like to be looked at in bright lite, and that funky battery that will cost you almost as much as a lens. I have been looking myself and they do make some non DSLR’s with optical view finders but they are a bit more $$$ but not that much more.

Dee-EHN: Ever see one of those older Nikon fish eye lenses. 9" of pure glass across the front. Could actually see behind it’s self =$$$$$$$$$$$$

Personally, I hate everything Sony. I’m boycotting them and am not buying Sony products. I’m even trying to encourage other people to look to other brands.

Sony used to make good products but I’m not so confident in their quality anymore, and aparently neither are they with their crappy 90 day warrantys they put on everything. I bought a sony camera not too long ago but had to put a lot of thought into it and did get a 1yr extended warranty.
As far as boycoting sony because they are an evil company that would slit your mothers throat if it would make them 1$'s profit (root kit, arrcos, backing the riaa suing little children or going to schools trying to get them to rat out there parents or any of the other profit at all cost things the do), unfortunatlly it is hard to boycott sony when it comes to digital cameras. Many brands use sony parts. Even one of my canon cameras (it died so I tore it apart), was packed full of sony parts including the ccd and lcd. I think sony is one of the bigger suppliers of ccd’s and they sell to several companies if I am not mistaken.

Easy guys I didn’t say I was going to buy Sony. The 3" LCD caught my eye but all the other features im looking for it lacked. But you have to admit a 1.2" LCD is not very usefull.

The Digital camera market is actually starting to shrink as camera phones become better. Both have their uses. If you want top of the line kind look to Nikon and such. You want it to fit in your pocket plenty to choose from also. It’s a nightmare trying to buy one, so many choices.

PS: If you use the word KODAK in front of me I will find you, I will kill you, and I will eat you :bigsmile: For the price and for other more personal issues their Wi-Fi camera sucks in just about every review I have read and im GLAD! :iagree:

Mr Stone: I glad you started this thread. Something I always wanted to do but figured I would have got hung and burned on the cross :slight_smile:

KODAK!!!

Just kidding… It wouldn’t bother me if you got a sony. Pretty much any digital camera you get is going to be made by a large corporation. It is the nature of these large corporations to be evil. With them, the bottom line is always the mighty dollar. All that matters is the botom line and how much money is made. High paid executives jobs depend on how much profit they make. Any charity or public relations crap they do is whitewash to try and cover their inherent evil nature. There are defanatlly some that are more evil like sony or walmart (funny thing, it is now law in one state that major companies must spend a minimum amount of their profits on healthcare for their workers, the only company effected by the new law, walmart), so I might make them my second choice (with walmart, my last choice but that is because they personally screwed me over by fraudulentlly denying a medical claim), but it is not like there is a non evil alternative, maybe just less evil. (Hows that for poor sentence structure, lol).

Fyi my sony camera works great and so did my canon full of sony parts till it died (good performance, crappy workmanship on both).

Back on topic. I have owned a couple of canon cameras and they are an exelent value. Some of the less expensive cameras have features, capabilities and performance that are hard to beat for the price. You might be able to find a deal on some of the older models (a70, a75, a80, a85, a90, a95). All are exelent cameras (be aware some of the lower models are lower megapixel, 3.2mp is enough for 4x6 prints, maybe marginally 8x10 with no cropping. 4mp will do 8x10/8.5x11 just fine, maybe with a little cropping. 5mp will do 8.5x11 with plenty of room to crop. Macro is not exelent but all can take a canon lens adapter so you can use macro lenses as well as other lenses. You can reverse mount and old 35mm lens (and you can get them used cheap) and get macros so close that a single key on a keyboard would fill the whole frame. Lighting is a problem though (with any kind of super macro). You need lots of bright lights. This is with my canon a70 befor it died (sells for 100$ new if you can even find one) with a 20$ lens adapter, an olympus 50mm slr lens mounted backwards (got the lens for about 20$ used) and a 7$ macro ring (allows you to mount the slr lens backwards).
http://www.pbase.com/richardh/slr_macro
Fyi, all these models (a series) use aa batteries and compact flash which is cheap.

As far as my sony, I paid 250$ new for an old model that originally sold for 700$ and got raped for another 200$ for a couple of batteries and a 1 gig memory stick. Considering what I paid, it is an exelent camera and works great. Based on the full 700$ price, a canon g series for 100$ less would have been a much beter value and a beter performing camera.

The rootkit is exactly what spawned my hate. I didn’t love them before, but I didn’t think so badly of them.
What’s arrcos?

unfortunatlly it is hard to boycott sony when it comes to digital cameras. Many brands use sony parts. Even one of my canon cameras (it died so I tore it apart), was packed full of sony parts including the ccd and lcd. I think sony is one of the bigger suppliers of ccd’s and they sell to several companies if I am not mistaken.

It’s still better to buy another brand. It’ll make them money, but not as much.
Besides, I think CCDs are manufactured by other brands too.