Please recommend good cheap p&s Mac compatible

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by danny_w, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I'm in the market for a basic p&s camera for basic use, nothing fancy. I'm a complete photography novice and have no idea what is out there.
  2. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Thanks, but even the low end of that list is well beyond what I am looking to spend. I had a quick look at Best Buy and they had several in the $75-$125 range which is more in my budget right now.
  3. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
    I have a little Samsung just for snaps - its fine. Get something that takes AA batteries and you'll be OK. At these prices it doesn't matter.

    Don't forget to buy a bigger memory card to go in it.
  4. joelypolly macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2003
    Melbourne & Shanghai
    Consider the eBay market just after xmas as people post their old cameras after getting replacements.

    Check dpreview for cameras release around 2 years ago they should come down in price and still be in ok condition most of the time.
  5. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Honestly, just go to your local WalMart, Target, Best Buy, Frys or the like and buy whatever moves you.

    For a simple point and shoot you really can't go wrong these days. I have used Kodak cameras recently with no complaints.

    Get one with a large enough screen for your liking. Most have movie recording functionality too and these will also automatically be pulled into iPhoto, just like the still pictures.

    8MP is about the smallest resolution you would want to get to still allow good prints from your photos. 10MP is very affordable these days.

    I second getting the extra-large memory card. You will be glad you did! ;)
  6. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    I think a canon P&S of just about any model and vintage (you may want to consider gently used?) is a pretty safe bet. I have a Canon SD600 for when I need something smaller than my DSLR.... its about 3-4 years old now and still does a great job. I will likely have that camera until it breaks!
  7. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Nah. I had a 3.2 megapixel camera not that long ago and it did fine for up to about an 8x10.

    My parents like to buy their digital cameras from, believe it or not, the drug store. They apparently have good sales sometimes, including the use of store "points" for additional discounts.
  8. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    'fine' is arbitrary...

    According to this site:

    Based on a standard printer quality of 300ppi, the minimum you would want for a crisp and clear 8x10 is around 8MP.

    From another site:

    How many megapixels do you need? First, determine how big you want to print your picture. Next multiply the number of inches by the desired ppi to calculate the total number of pixels needed. For example, let's say you want to make a typical 3 x 5-inch print:

    3 inches x 300 ppi = 900 pixels
    5 inches x 300 ppi = 1500 pixels
    900 x 1500 = 1350000 pixels, or 1.35 megapixels
    Or if you wanted to make an 8 x 10 portrait instead:

    8 inches x 300 ppi = 2400 pixels
    10 inches x 300 ppi = 3000 pixels
    2400 x 3000 = 7200000 pixels, or 7.2 megapixels
    Of course, if you don't mind a drop in quality, you can print your portrait at 200 ppi:

    8 inches x 200 ppi = 1600 pixels
    10 inches x 200 ppi = 2000 pixels
    1600 x 2000 = 3200000 pixels, or 3.2 megapixels
    If you try to print your image at too low a resolution, it may turn out either blocky or blurry depending on how your imaging software scales up the pixels. Some software attempts to improve the appearance of oversized pixels by blending them with their neighbors, and while this keeps the image from looking blocky or "jaggy", after a point the image ends up looking fuzzy instead.

    You can certainly get away with a lower resolution, especially if you don't intend to print or don't ever expect to print anything larger than 4x6. BUT many inexpensive cameras today start at 8MP so this isn't a dealbreaker.

    Also, the more pixels you have to work with, the more you can digitally zoom either in the camera or on screen before you have issues.

    High MP cameras are not that expensive and 8MP is really a good level for a P& can go lower but cost savings isn't all that large...I mean you go from an 8MP Nikon Coolpix at $80 at Target to getting a new 3.2MP for $30-40 online. I think the over 2-fold increase in resolution is worth the extra 40 bucks.'s whatever tickles your fancy. What camera do you like. Just about everyone out there will do a great job for you. You'll probably end up paying 80-100 dollars for a basic P&S.

    Things you might want to think about:

    Actual zoom in addition or instead of digital zoom. Physically 'brings' the image in closer rather that having to lower youy resolution by zooming into the picture using digital methods on the imagine surface or on your computer later...although the higher your megapixel count, the more you will be able to get away with this.

    Strength of flash (probably not a major issue unless you take a lot of pics at greater than 10-15 ft distances.

    Battery life....again probably not an issue although the early cameras went through them like candy! going to be taking any closeup/macro pics? You want to stitch together panoramas? Most ne cameras have such things built into the camera.

    Have fun!

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