: cheap but decent/durable digital camera


99TanTaco
11-12-2006, 03:04 PM
I'm bored and starting to compile my christmas list. My current camera is only a 2mp and most of the pics I take with it seem to be of camera phone quality when compared to most of you guy's pics. I'm looking for something cheap (under $200) so that if it gets broken/damaged on the trail it is not big deal, rugged enough to spend lots of time bouncing around in my truck, and yet will still take decent pics. Yea, I know I'm asking for a lot

I was looking at these http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Panasonic-DMC-LZ3-Digital-Camera/sem/rpsm/oid/145719/catOid/-13062/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do because I liked the 6x optical zoom and image stabilization features but I'm not so sure after I read a few reviews. any thoughts or suggestions?

HoT_DoGgIN
11-12-2006, 04:13 PM
Just throwin' this out there, but I have a canon powershot A510... I would highly reccomend the A520 (larger picture quality) cause it's point and shoot if you want it to be, and has a LOT of nice features... check up on the reviews... I think you'll see that most people are calling it a great bang for the buck...

99TanTaco
11-12-2006, 04:48 PM
Wow I've heard a lot of people recommending the Canon's but I didn't realize how affordable they were, looks like a A530 or even a A540 would still be in my under $200 range. thanks

But I'm still open to any other suggestions anybody wants to throw out

SuperPoser
11-12-2006, 06:05 PM
1st, I have herd good things about the Panasonic Lumix, however do not have any 1st hand experience...

2nd... I have to do the typical cannon vs nikon post

I would suggest save some money and go with something like :
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Nikon-Coolpix-L4-Digital-Camera/sem/rpsm/oid/147881/catOid/-13062/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do

~95% of my photos I took with my old nikon (which was a 5.x megpix) was on one the medium setting which was either 3 or 4 mp...

my present camera, I would say stay away from... but I got it with my priority points, so ... :dunno:

pretty much, most of the name brand point and shoot cameras will perform about the same in the $100-$200 price range...
(I have friends with fuji, sony, hp, canon, and of course nikon and they all seem to work well...)

I owned an older hp in this price range, and it took ~ 7500 photos before it finally died... and yes, I did take it wheeling with me many times prior to its death...
(fyi, the hp was a 3mp...)

RedRunnertc
11-12-2006, 08:25 PM
Go with a Canon, Terry. My Powershot A610 takes WAY better pictures than the Nikon I had before it. I do have problems with the lenscover when it gets dirty, though.

There are some cameras that are water resistant (Pentax I think) - might be a valuable feature in a 'wheeling camera...

Check out www.dpreview.com - they have VERY indepth reviews and comparisons between similar cameras.

SuperPoser
11-12-2006, 09:57 PM
troy,
know what your old nikon model was?

being as it was an older model makes sence...
likewise, the newer nikons are better than the older... canon, hp, sony...

dad has a 3mp nikon which is a few years old, and it takes shots as nice as I have taken when my setting was on the lower medium setting (about 3mp)

SuperPoser
11-12-2006, 10:01 PM
on this same note... even though I do not like the olmpus I have now, it does take better photos than my old HP (which I did like)...

RedRunnertc
11-12-2006, 10:21 PM
I think it was a 2600. The color, sharpness, etc is much better on the canon (although it is 5MP, where the Nikon was 2MP IIRC).

It also does video, which the Nikon didn't and is REALLY cool for 'wheeling!

SuperPoser
11-12-2006, 10:40 PM
true, vid is a nice feature

NEV2DEP
11-13-2006, 03:04 PM
Well my kodak takes good pics but it is slow after you take a pic it takes a few seconds before it can take the next.Video feature is cool.

HoT_DoGgIN
11-14-2006, 11:32 AM
Well my kodak takes good pics but it is slow after you take a pic it takes a few seconds before it can take the next.Video feature is cool.

Just throwin' this out there, but that may actually not be the camera

A lot of times the speed of the camera is not determined by the camera, but the memory card you have IN the camera. example- a lot of cameras use the "SD" card, which comes in a standard speed, an "ultra", "ultra II", "ultra III", and I think there is even an "ultra III extreme" now... But they get faster and faster... allowing you to physically store the pictures you've just taken, faster. You may actually be waiting on the load time of the card instead of the camera!

RedRunnertc
11-14-2006, 12:53 PM
A lot of times the speed of the camera is not determined by the camera, but the memory card you have IN the camera. example- a lot of cameras use the "SD" card, which comes in a standard speed, an "ultra", "ultra II", "ultra III", and I think there is even an "ultra III extreme" now... But they get faster and faster... allowing you to physically store the pictures you've just taken, faster. You may actually be waiting on the load time of the card instead of the camera!

x2 - I went from CompactFlash to SD and the speed was WAY faster. A friend had a Fuji with xD and it was faster yet. I noticed a difference between the "stock" card and the 1GB "Ultra II" I got at Costco too. I have no complaints about the speed of my camera now. (Canon's DigicII chip helps the speed too)

The only exception to the rule are the big SLR's with built in memory. Molly has a friend with a Nikon D1 (IIRC) and it will let you take pictures as fast as you can push the button because it's working off the internal memory and writing to the card in the background...

99TanTaco
11-14-2006, 03:45 PM
Wow, I'm glad you guys brought this up, that's the other (than the poor pic quality) thing I can't stand about my current camera, It seems to take like several seconds between shots, half the time the action is over by the time it's ready to shoot. I would have never imagined that this was related to the memory cards

SuperPoser
11-14-2006, 04:26 PM
fyi... if you get a cheap camera, like my fe-xxx... it will be slow regardless...
the camera has to have the ability to transfer the data at the higher transfer rate, or the faster card will do nothing...
eg... my Nikon was hella fast when I upgraded to the Ultra 40xt ???? or whatever it was compact flash card... where as my new one with sd (ultra 2 I think) is hella slow, (the card itself should have about the same transfer capability as my cf card, but due to the camera, it is much slower...

SuperPoser
11-14-2006, 04:30 PM
MegaBurst® consecutive shooting: The DMC-LZ3 has a super-fast response that lets you snap off consecutive shots at three frames per second with full resolution...
Memory: This digital camera comes with 14MB of internal memory, which stores around 10 pictures at the highest resolution. Get the most out of your camera by adding a 512MB or larger MultiMediaCard or SD memory card. How much memory do you need?
this is from the link terry posted for the Panasonic DMC-LZ3...

the nikon I suggested does not have any rates posted on circuit city, but it does say it does vids ;o)

HoT_DoGgIN
11-15-2006, 05:51 AM
this is from the link terry posted for the Panasonic DMC-LZ3...

the nikon I suggested does not have any rates posted on circuit city, but it does say it does vids ;o)

Yeah... find out how long the video segments are... that's the only thing I hav e against my canon - it will only take 30 second video chunks... i'm guessing this is due to the internal cache, but never anything longer.

It's also got a motordrive function - which is similar to the "megaburst?" Hold down the button, it'll take like 5-8 shots depending on how fast you have it set, and they are consecutive... at that point that's when the camera catches up with the card, and shit slows down :D...

Oh the world of electronics - something's always dependant on someone elses slow ass for everything... haha

SuperPoser
11-15-2006, 06:39 AM
Oh the world of electronics - something's always dependant on someone elses slow ass for everything... haha
nicely stated :D

RedRunnertc
11-15-2006, 10:54 AM
Yeah... find out how long the video segments are... that's the only thing I hav e against my canon - it will only take 30 second video chunks... i'm guessing this is due to the internal cache, but never anything longer.

Hmmm - my Canon is only limited by the card capacity. Also, be sure the video is 30 fps (frames per second) otherwise it will be jumpy.

the stats for both max video length and fps are on the www.dpreview.com site

NEV2DEP
11-15-2006, 12:26 PM
ya i have Sandisk SD card 512
mine take video great as long as i want
it can take 10 frames at one push of the button in action mode but i usally don't use that feature

RedRunnertc
11-15-2006, 02:29 PM
Yeah, mine will too - but it saves it all as one picture. too much trouble to edit it to just the frame you want...