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#19911 - 10/08/03 06:02 PM Digital camera question
Craig Offline

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 1784
Loc: Collegeville, PA, USA
Can anyone recommend a digital camera that takes good pictures, is solid and reliable, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg?

#19912 - 10/08/03 09:29 PM Re: Digital camera question
pvr4 Offline

Registered: 08/18/03
Posts: 41
Loc: Will County, IL
FWIW, I like the Nikon Coolpix 2100. For $199 you get a small, easy to use camera that takes great pics.

#19913 - 10/08/03 11:16 PM Re: Digital camera question
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I would recommend this site for good reviews of digital cameras:


There are so many to choose from and the technology is changing so rapidly it is hard to choose. I shoot with a Canon S330. I chose this one for its size and made some compromises in both the cost and capabilities.

I am currently looking at a Canon G5 but this outside of the price range you specified.

This site can occupy many hours of your time, but it is definately worth the read for any of the models you are considering.

#19914 - 10/09/03 01:13 AM Re: Digital camera question
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
I've got several Nikon Coolpix 2100 and one Nikon Coolpix 3100 in service at work and I really am impressed with the bang for the buck.

My old Kodak (240?) had at least one undocumented feature that I wish these later generation cameras have: It corrected orientation of the picture automatically (must have had an accelerometer in it) Unfortunately, after thousands of pics, the autofocus went out. It was a battery hog anyway - which is a great feature of newer cameras like the Coolpix - Just 2 AA's and they are good to go. I use 1800mah or 1600mah NiMh batteries for all the cameras. One thing we noticed on all the Nikons is that the first set of batteries got used up pretty fast - my guess is that an on-board rechargeable has to spool up the first time you drop batteries in the new camera. Subsequent charges have taken mondo pictures. Every single Coolpix camera exhibited this "draining" first use. (No, they were not new batteries - the Coolpix replaced earlier makes and models and I took care to select cameras that use the same batteries and memory)

Which brings up a point - if I was starting out from scratch, I would choose a camera that uses SD/MMC like my Palm instead of CF memory. But since I already had a large investment in CF at work and personally...

While I like the small size of the Nikon Coolpix series, they are not quite ergonomically right for me - I still find it difficult to keep the camera level in either orientation - there is always a bit of tilt in the picture. The Canon Powershot series, with a familiar form factor (35mm automatic camera-like) do not exhibit this problem. IIRC, I have 3 A70's in service at work and they take good pics as well.

It's not just size. I have used a tiny Olympus 35mm for many years that takes stunning photographs with no tilt - it's even smaller than the Coolpix. Dunno what it is - maybe just me.

Oh - the ability to fairly quickly choose modes (scenes) in the Coolpix series is really worth learning to use - they really work well.



#19915 - 10/09/03 03:07 AM Re: Digital camera question
RayW Offline

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 553
Loc: Orlando, FL
Personaly i like the Sony cameras, but if you are going to spend a couple of hundred dollars shop for features and price. Most of the well known name brand cameras are well made and have plenty of features. Find one that fits you and has controls that are comfortable and are easy to use. Remember these thing are like pocket knives, you can't stop at just one.

And here is another site that you can spend plenty of time at,


#19916 - 10/09/03 10:15 AM Re: Digital camera question

Depending what you look for but in the medium range there is just one camera.
The Olympus C750 - scores excellent in every review, has great specs and it will not cost you an arm and a leg. This is the must have - look around and you can save at least a £100.
How I know? my brother is buying one. But before he buys something he will have read every article, gone to every shop online and off line.
Ill see if he can give me some URLs I can pass on.
But at least consider it. It is great bang 4 ur buck

<img src="images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

Edited by reinhardt_woets (10/09/03 10:18 AM)

#19917 - 10/27/03 06:09 PM Re: Digital camera question
Craig Offline

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 1784
Loc: Collegeville, PA, USA
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. I visited the URLs and learned a lot. I'm leaning toward the Nikon Coolpix 3100 right now. It's supposed to be a great starter camera and it seems affordable.

#19918 - 10/27/03 06:30 PM Re: Digital camera question
Polak187 Offline

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: Brooklyn, New York
I will second you on that choice.
1)Has an excelent rating for ISO sensitivity (50 -800) which means you be able to take great shots in mixed light conditions and increase flash range. Also ISO50 alows you to take excelent digital noise free shots.
2)3 MP is good enough for any 8by10.
3)Regular AA batteries are pretty easy to come by and with a set of NiMH you be pretty much allright.
4)Compact flash cards are growing bigger and bigger, you will be able to replace the supplied 16mb with bigger size at low cost
5)Lens is always great on nikons and their marco capability is outstanding
6)It only does JPEGs but that's all right.
7)It is small and durable.

Word of advice. Get yourself a small transparent piece of plastic (one that is used to protect screens on the PDAs) and apply it to the LCD monitor. You will have less regrets about wiping of the back with your sleeve <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.


The only thing out there that would be smaller but not really better in quality is Pentax Optio S.


#19919 - 10/27/03 07:52 PM Re: Digital camera question
Craig Offline

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 1784
Loc: Collegeville, PA, USA
The only thing out there that would be smaller but not really better in quality is Pentax Optio S

That's the first digital camera I used. I borrowed it from my sister. I liked it a lot, but it was almost too small. The only thing that would stop me from buying one, however, is the price. Still a bit prohibitive.

The Digital Camera Resource Page recommends the Nikon Coolpix 3100, but more highly recommends the Canon PowerShot A70.

#19920 - 10/27/03 08:10 PM Re: Digital camera question
Polak187 Offline

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: Brooklyn, New York
I got an optio S4 for $350 so you should be able to see some serious price dropping on the original S model. Disadvantage of Pentax is that it is using special battery which means that if you run out you are stuck. Also because of different lens design there is small distortion in the corners. So reason for getting Pentax is only its size. Canon cameras are great. The model you chose is very comparible to nikon. I like macro lens and meetering on nikon more but that's because I'm used to it. One cool thing about Canons is that they usually make nice underwater housings for fraction of the price. That's something that is nice to have if you spend a lot of times outside.



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