I Need Help Buying A Digital Camera!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cdubb213, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. cdubb213 macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm looking around for a good quality digital camera, but I don't know which ones to choose. I narrowed my choices down to three brands; Canon,Olympus, and Nikon. If you guys have any other brand that i didn't mention please inform me. The requirements are: 4x optical zoom and up, 5.0 megapixel. The price range up to $300 US. It will also help if you guys give me the model type for example, Olympus C-5500.

    I hope you guys and girls can help me out again.

    Thank You!
  2. prostuff1 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2005
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    Try this site. I used it when i was choosing a degital camera.

    I ended up chooseing the Canon PowerShot A95. I highly suggest it!! It is very veristile and can except other lenses. The only requirement it does not meet of your is the 4x zoom. But besides that it is a great carema
  3. LGRW3919 macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2005
    cupertino (no joke)
    I would recommend the SD400 by Canon. I myself do not have it, but am looking to get it. I consistantly hear good things about Canon, but have heard they are prone to break down in their older age.

  4. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    In addition to DC Resource, you should also try DP review (www.dpreview.com). You'll find excellent reviews & forums on both of those sites.

    As for which camera to buy, you'll have to tell us what your primary desires are in a camera.
    If you're looking for something fairly small, you might try the Canon SD series (SD300 or SD400), the Casio Exilim series or the Pentax Optio series.
    If size isn't as critical a factor, you can get similar features for less $ in slightly bigger cameras (e.g. Canon A series as suggested by prostuff1).

    It all depends on your particular needs/wants.

    I myself have an older Canon S400 which I think is excellent - good pictures and small enough to be able to go anywhere.
    The current equivalent to this is their SD300.

    Good luck!
  5. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    The A95 has been discontinued. Many dealers are waiting for the A610/620 replacements.

  6. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    In addition to all the stuff you read on the internet, which can be at times zealotic, biased, untrue, technically anal and overbearing I'd suggest that you go down to your local camera store and ask to try competing models from the manufacturers you already suggested.

    At least the three names you suggested are all "true" camera manufacturers, as opposed to electronics manufacturers who want a piece of the digital camera market. (sony etc.). All three (canon, nikon, olympus) made cameras before the digital age. This is important in a few key ways:
    1. It means the camera will be well thought-out, and user-centric
    2. The experience of taking photos will be easy and fun
    3. The optical components will be a good quality
    4. The design will be basic, in a solid, easy-to-use sort of way.

    The reason I say to go and actually try the cameras (apart from the reason I said above about reading things on the internet) is that all three manufacturers will have models with equivalent features. This is where the look and feel of the camera comes into play. You may hold one, and for some intangible reason, just like it more. It may fit your hand better, or feel more solid, or may have a better menu system (or one you can understand better anyway!). You may like the weight of it or any other of 1000 reasons that you'll never get from simply reading about things on the internet. Also, camera shop owners tend to know A LOT about cameras! Even if you don't buy there it's a good first or second step.
    My steps:
    1. Read a little on the internet to know what models you are looking at, etc.
    2. Go to a camera shop and get to grips with the models you are interested in.
    3. Take your time, use the menus in the shop, carefully examine which features will be most useful to you (in a real way).
    4. Buy on-line for the best price, or in the local store if you want to build a relationship with local trade. (A friendly local camera shop can be very useful indeed especially with returns etc.)

    Good luck!

    P.S. - From my experience with the nikon D70 I'm buying Nikon all the way from now on - they are making great cameras (and lenses) right now. - However, that is not to say that Canon or Olympus are not also making great cameras. I went shopping for a EOS 300D and came back with a D70, a couple of 100 $ more, but the "look & feel" of it struck me over the head. It was more solid, a better design, and when I got it home and had a chance to play, had many more features than the older 300D. That is why from now on, I ALWAYS recommend that people go to a camera shop when buying any camera - it's really amazing how big a part the intangible aspects of a camera can have on how much you enjoy using it - and therefore on how much you will use it! Again, good luck.
  7. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    The nasty truth is that there are few camera manufactures for the "consumer" end. There was a 35mm point and shoot model that both Leica and Nikon shared (among others). More so today with digital cameras. Most "mainstream" comapnies produce "good" cameras (in no particular order; Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Konica-Minolta, Casio, Kodak, Sony (these are brands that the shop I work for carries), Panasonic, Samsung, and others. It is hard to know who really builds what cameras today.
  8. cdubb213 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I just finished checking out the site. I have to say it is a good site, my choice would have to be pentax optio 750Z or the panasonic lumix DMC-LX1. They really have other good digital cameras out there so it is really hard to pick one. I also like the canon powershot A620 and S70.

    The size of a camera is not a hugh matter, but i prefer not too small or too big. I will definitely check out these cameras in store before i buy them, because some cameras feel different than others.

    So what do you and everybody else think of the two cameras I will choose from?

    Please give me some feedback.

    Thank You!
  9. yenko macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2005
    There are soooo many good ones out there.

    here's a couple of links to help you:


    dPreview :cool:
  10. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    Definately take a good look at Casio.

    1) Best battery life of any compact camera - by nearly double of competition's cameras.
    2) Good picture quality - From seeing the pictures myself, I'm impressed, considering the price and type of camera that shot those pictures.
    3) Well priced - If you want to splurge, you can get the EX-S500 which is credit card sized while packing in plenty of punch. If not, you can get the EX-Z750, EX-Z57, or any of several other models that are cheaper and similarly outfitted.

    Just all around probably one of the best consumer-line digital cameras out there.

    Panasonic LX1 is about $600. Nikon D50 is about $800. If you're thinking about the LX1, you might as well pick up the D50 for the extra $200. For high quality amateur shooting, the D50 will last a long time. More options, more lenses, so much more flexibility...
  11. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Make sure it fits well in your hands.

    Startup time! Big factor.

    I have a Cannon PowerShot S2 IS and love it. Best camera I've owned ever, and one of the best I've used in terms of size/quality/features. :D
  12. ScubaDuc macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2003
    Image stabilization is a "must"

    When choosing a digital camera, make sure it has Image stabilization. Canon calls it IS, Nikon VR , and I am not sure what Lumix calls it but they have it on their cameras. The difference is amazing!!!! Note that in high end models it can be part of the lens system as opposed as integrated in the body
  13. Super20 macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2004
    Council Bluffs, IA
    I just bought a Nikon Coolpix 7600 for $329.99. Very cool camera. 7.1 mega-pixels. I know that the Coolpix line has some cameras under $300....I believe the 5200 and the 4600. Nice pictures.

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