Camera for wife

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Electro Funk, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. Electro Funk macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

    Dec 8, 2005
    The Opium Garden
    Thinking about buying the wife a new digi cam for christmas. she is a scrap booking fool, and is constantly printing photos for her SB's. we recently upgraded our printer that is able to print much better photos than her current camera will take. (she currently has a 5 MP cam) if the light conditions are not right, pics are real grainy. drives me crazy and i have nothing to do with it! :D

    my question is, is there that much of a difference of an 8mp cam than a 12mp cam? she normally prints 4x6 and the occasional 8x10. i want to get her something that will take nice crisp colorful HD pics.

    the guy at the store today was trying to talk me out of a 12MP cam that was on sale and going with an 8mp. they were both around 150.00 (the 12 was a kodak) cant remember what the 8 was...

    so for her, someone who takes a TON of pictures, but nowhere near a professional level, what are your thoughts? should i just go with the 8 or get the 12? i was under the impression that once you approached the 8 level, it doesn't make much difference unless you are blowing up large photos.

    thanks for your input.
  2. mlemonds macrumors 6502a


    Apr 9, 2008
    Lexington, KY
    unless you are doing very large prints 16x20 + you will not see too much difference between the 8 and the 12MP, unless you crop. more resolution allows you to crop more and still get a reasonably good image.

    if she is going to be using the camera heavily, i would pay more attention to reliability than resolution.
  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Give the salesperson your attention- for the same sized sensor of the same generation a lower-megapixel camera will have less noise due to larger photosites, so you won't get as grainy a picture. So you have two choices, larger sensor (pretty-much always better for low-noise performance) or less resolution (pretty-much always better for low-noise performance) or both (best of both worlds.) If you're in the $150 price range, then your best bet is lower resolution.

    Here's what you can do though- get a memory card if the cameras take the same kind (they're cheap) and try them in the store, then go home, print out the pictures and evaluate them side-by-side- if you can't see the difference in an 8x12 print, then it doesn't matter, but if you can then it does. If your wife shoots on auto, then shoot on auto, that'll at least give you an idea of what to expect when the camera gets home and gets used.
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    If you are only considering P&S, then more megapixels mean nothing and the IQ can be worse on sensors (that are of the same size with the same lens with lenses the size of pennies) with higher resolution. In general, they will have more noise, for example.
  5. SayCheese macrumors 6502a

    Jun 14, 2007
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    I read the title for your post "Camera for Wife" and thought what a good swap.
  6. gmecca2 macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2008
    As others have stated its not about the megapixels, its about the sensor and lens. An 8 will do 99.9% of people more than well enough. My old point and shoot was a 7.1 Nikon and my 8 by 10 pics came out fantastic.
  7. Electro Funk thread starter macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

    Dec 8, 2005
    The Opium Garden
    :D:D:D thank you for the laugh! i needed that today.

    and thank you all for your replies.

    i forgot i took a pic of the CAM with my phone for reference to check out all the specs when i got home

    The 8MP was a cannon SD1100IS on sale for 179.99 at CC. (i am sure it can be had for a better price at a place like J&R)

    the Kodak was an easyshare Z1285 and i think it was on sale for 150.00

    price is not really an issue, just want to get her an affordable cam that takes a nice crisp colorful pic. (that is not as grainy as the 5 MP that she currently owns) Don't get me wrong, under perfect conditions the current cam takes an ok pic. but more often than not, the pic is poopy and certainly cant keep up with the print quality of our current printer. she scrapbooks so much that i think she would be ecstatic to have a camera that took better shots.

    if these 2 point and shoots are crappy, i would certainly be up for some suggestions.

    Thanks again! :)
  8. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    You might find this New York Times article helpful:

    They reviewed all cameras under $300, saying "The main thing we care about is image quality, not bells and whistles."

    I'll also just add more support to the advice you've already received about megapixels: go for the camera that has fewer of them. More megapixels are only a detriment to image quality. The size of a sensor in a point-and-shoot camera is about that of an aspirin. Those sensors are tiny and require minuscule photosites to pack in a lot of megapixels. Ity bitty photosites lack the sensitivity needed to capture lots of light and send a strong signal to the camera's processor. So the result is "noise": ugly multicolored granules all over the image.

    If your wife takes a lot of photos indoors, you might consider splashing out on a camera with a big sensor, like maybe an Olympus e-420 or a Panasonic Lumix G1. Those are both relatively small in size, but contain sensors many times larger than any point-and-shoot camera. To get a sense for how much camera sensors vary in size, have a look at this chart. Those tiny boxes on the bottom row are point-and-shoot sensors. :eek:
  9. nidserz macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2008
    Dubai x Toronto
    I am no expert but i know about 4 people in my immediate family who have the Canon SD1100IS and I can tell you that thing takes some amazing photos. I love it and tempted to purchase it, especially at the prices today.

    just my 2cents :)
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Some of thought the same thing LOL

    I am biased here, working for a camera shop. Not sure about real camera shops in your area - but my shop is offering the SD1100 for $179 as is the CC... but at $199 we are offering the SD1100 with the Canon case and a 2GB memory card all for $199...

    Not sure about camera stores in your area, but the one I work for provides great AFTER sales support as well. We even give our customers a card good for ten 4x6, two 5x7, one 8x10, and a CD of your pics - every month for a year.
  11. PNW macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    As others have said in general megapixels are little more than a marketing gimmick. Glass and sensor quality are way more important. Also shoot in RAW format rather than jpg.

    If you want crisp pics, especially for scrap booking (small prints), Id look for an older used prosumer model. I still get great results and prints up to 11 X 14 (haven't tried larger) shooting CCD RAW with my old 3 megapixel Fuji FinePix s5000.

    I'll second dpreview as a wealth of solid info. Try your local camera shop or for used gear.

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