Good quality camera on the relatively cheap

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by louis_sx, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. louis_sx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Location:
    International House of Louis
    #1
    Hi kids,

    I'm looking for a good, relatively-high quality digital camera for $300 or less. I've been doing photo editing stuff forever, but it's always been scanning prints, because my wife's digital camera is a cheesy Kodak that stores JPG files. I'd prefer a more direct approach. It'll just be family stuff and a hobby, nothing professional is necessary, but something that can produce 5x7's that don't look like ass would be extremely satisfying.
     
  2. VanMac macrumors 6502a

    VanMac

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Rampaging Tokyo
    #2
    Canon or Nikon are pretty safe bets. Sony maybe as well.

    This site has pretty good info and reviews:
    www.dpreview.com
     
  3. louis_sx thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Location:
    International House of Louis
    #3
    Do you have a camera by any of those manufacturers? I'd really like to get a first-hand testimony as to the prowess of someone's camera, if you know what I mean...lol
     
  4. JW8725 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Well I just bought a Canon 350D (Rebel XT in US) and I think after rebate you can pick them up for $450 or so. Bit over your budget yes but THIS CAMERA IS AWESOME and worth the extra! BTW it cost me a lot more than $450 here in UK :mad: :mad:
     
  5. carpe diem macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2005
  6. VanMac macrumors 6502a

    VanMac

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Rampaging Tokyo
    #6
    I have a 5 year old Sony DSC-S85. It has been pretty good to me, but not thrilled with the auto-focus.

    I'm buying the new Canon SD550 in the next month. I've played with it, and read many reviews, and suites my current needs.
     
  7. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #7
    I have an Olympus CAMEDIA D-535, which was $140. It's not super great, but it takes pictures good for a 5x7. And most importantly, it's cheap and shows up as a drive on Mac OS X (no annoying Image Capture, unless you want that is).
     
  8. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #8
    I had 4yr old Canon S30 which was excellent. Great build quality and got some good pictures from it but was getting a little long in the tooth.

    I've recently bought a Fuji F10 since when I looked through my iPhoto library, I'd lost more shots to poor lighting than anything else. The Fuji does really well in lowlight - it goes up to ISO1600 without the noise being horribly obvious at normal 6x4 size. I wanted something reasonably cheap that I wasn't going to end up spending a fortune on accessories like spare batteries et al.

    If all you're doing is taking snaps and printing at 6x4 or 7x5 size, then you'll probably get decent results from most of the big manufacturers at 4mp or so. If you want to take pictures using either a longer zoom, or in lowlight, or if you want to be able to print much larger images or crop severely, then it's worthwhile figuring out what's most important to you and then checking through dpreview etc to find out which model is currently the favourite in that area.

    Before you buy it, go to a store and try it in your hands to check that it feels OK and that you're comfortable with it and it's easy to hit all the appropriate buttons.
     
  9. Chacala_Nayarit macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #9
    We have the same camera model! Indeed, it takes wonderful pictures in 640X480, 1600X1200, 2048X1536, and 2048X1536 at 3.2 megapixels. One could be had for under 140.00 if you look at different sellers. However, I purchased mine for 135.00. The digicam movies are QuickTime without audio. It takes xD memory cards. Nice budget option. Although for 300.00 you can get a much better camera.
     
  10. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #10
    I would check out Sony cameras, I have never had any problems with them and they work great.
     
  11. louis_sx thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Location:
    International House of Louis
    #11
    how unbiased are these guys? I ask because they break their cameras down by price here
     
  12. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #12
    They look pretty reasonable in terms of giving you a good list and some fair reviews.

    I'd suggest using that to get a shortlist of 2 or 3 and then using the sites mentioned above to check into those in detail.
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #13
    On top of dpreview, I've found the detailed reviews at http://www.steves-digicams.com to be quite helpful when buying my 2 cameras. (A Canon G1 and an S45).

    When you have downselected to 2 or 3, a hands-on test is really important to get a feel for the camera. e.g. I personally didn't like how some of the other cameras I was considering (*cough* Sony *cough*) felt when I went to see them in a b&m store. They were too small and the controls were counter-ituitive and hard to use, while the Canons suited me just fine. YMMV.

    B
     
  14. jer446 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    #14
    i have a canon sd500.. really happy with it.. really small.. and 7.1 megapixels..:) it doesnt have much shutter lag like a lot of compact digital cameras.
     
  15. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #16
    Take a look at the Casio line

    Most Casios have a lot of features for the money and they produce decent images, too. The Exilim Z750 is very good, with a large 2.5 LCD screen for easy review of images. Unlike many of the small P&S digicams these days, it has full manual control in addition to the usual program modes. A less expensive model is the Z50, but that one doesn't have the manual controls. The 750 is 7.2 MP and the Z50 is 5.0 MP. Casio offers smaller, thinner "credit card" cameras, too. I always have my Z750 with me and it comes in handy when I don't have my D70s around...

    OTB
     
  16. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    #17
    I got a Canon PowerShot A400 off Amazon for $140 back in July! Takes great pictures and is a pretty durable little thing. They have now replaced it with the PowerShot A410 which takes the optical zoom from 2.2X (A400) to 3.0X. I have also used it as well and it looks like a nice camera. I would pretty much recommend anything from Canon. Sony, Kodak, Pentax, Olympus, etc. are all pretty decent cameras as well.
     
  17. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    I got a Sony DSC-W15 recently and I'm really pleased with it - nice big lcd screen, and it feels really well-built (probably because its a bit heavier than most small cameras, but I like that). The W5 model is the same, but in silver instead of black. Batteries last a long time, and, most importantly, the image quality is excellent.
     
  18. pubwvj macrumors 68000

    pubwvj

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2004
    Location:
    Mountains of Vermont
    #19
    I have several Canon and Nikon cameras over a range of types as well as a Casio. I would not recommend the Casio. I also don't like Sony cameras I have tried in the store and I do not like their memory sticks - just gotta be different. The Canon and Nikon are generally excellent cameras.

    That said, I am in the market for a new one too. I was looking at the Nikon CoolPix S4 for a small pocket camera. Overall it is a pretty nice camera but I was disappointed when I tried it. I love the twist and internal zoom lense which is like my Nikon Coolpix 990 and 900 before that. I like the 10x zoom but it has no image stabilization which you need at that zoom. The joystick control on the back is aweful - very difficult to use and easily missclicks. The worst part is it does not have manual setting of aperature and shutter speed. I need both. This is purely a marketing ploy to make it not compete with their more expensive cameras. Bad move. Sale lost.

    So I'm still looking.
     
  19. Whyren macrumors 6502a

    Whyren

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    east of the West and west of the East
    #20
    My Canon A95 (5MP) is pretty good. Not "pocket-sized" per se, but it's comfortably-sized. It should be under $300 now that it's a bit older. It also uses CF instead of SD cards (whether you consider that a bad thing or a good thing).

    A good place for price-checking would be DealCam (from the people who brought you DealMac).

    (EDIT: It appears the price on this camera has spiked since it's become older...still, you might be able to find it somewhere for cheaper.)
     
  20. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #21
    I would recommend Panasonic. I've always bought them and couldn't be happier. I would recommend this one.

    Hope that helps! :)
     

Share This Page