Digital Camera for ~$300 USD?
Mar 18, 2006 at 10:31 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

Breakdown

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I'd like some help on deciding which camera gives me the best "bang for my buck." I already own a 512mb SD card so no Sonys because of their propiertary memory sticks I would have to buy.

The Ricoh Caplio GR Digital takes great looking photos but is like double my budget and Ricoh doesn't even sell in the United States. I also heard that their lower end models are noisy. I want one that will take good photos indoor with low light and close ups. I am definetly not looking to add lenses to it so no big ass cameras
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Someone with expertise in digital photography can either direct me to the best camera that I'm looking for OR tell me what I should be looking for in cameras.

Thanks.
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 10:53 PM Post #2 of 20

brokenwallet

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The Canon A series, you can get the A620 under $300. They have the swivel lcd, standard batteries, and i think raw image format? Don't quote me on that. I only have the A520, good camera for the money, takes good pics, but no raw format. If i have 300 to spend i would either get the Canon A620 or Olympus SP-500 UZ, 10x optical zoom! I heard it doesn't have image stabilization when in zoom, but who cares really? You always want a tripod when using zoom anyway.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 12:15 AM Post #4 of 20

enjoi_rootbeer

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a third for the canon A series. definately one of my favorites. the A610 is in your range, but you might be able to find the A620 (with 7mp
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) for around your budget.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 12:49 AM Post #6 of 20

dj_mocok

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Since you already have an SD card, I would also recommend something from Panasonic FZ series (depending which one you like better, but they pretty much are decent cameras throughout the range from the bigger FZ20/30 to smaller FZ3 series). I have one and it pretty much takes nice pictures.

However, if you are planning to take a low light indoor picture (without flash) and low noise, I think you are asking too much from a point&shoot camera. Should go to DSLR way with 1.8 lens.
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Having said that, the cheapest DSLR (and smallest?) is probably the Pentax ist DL series (cant remember the exact model) and is pretty cheap (cheaper than some higher end point&shoot). Maybe you can just get one of those and stick one fast lens in it and leave it as it is. I think Edwood got one. Ask him about it.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 2:04 AM Post #8 of 20

Kirosia

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you can get the canon powershot a620 for quite less than $300 at dell.com.

Just do this:

1)Use this coupon: 2CW6X83L4Z9MWW (it'll take 20% off, making the price $279)

2) Get a $35 off 300 coupon that you can get for $2 from ebay. (bought one off the bay recently, works. you get it sent to your email right after payment)

They SHOULD stack. Only problem is there may be a somewhat long wait time (2 weeks or more) since many people tend to jump on these dell deals quick. (read: will take awhile before it's shipped out to you)

I personally just ordered the sd450 + kingston 512 mb sd card for $245ish shipped.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 7:29 AM Post #9 of 20

kramer5150

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The cannon A620 would be my choice. I borrowed my cousins for a week on vacation last month. Great pic quality and easy to use. solid construction. Off the shelf AAs!!! Not the smallest though.

Garrett
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:26 AM Post #11 of 20

spaceconvoy

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Coincidentally enough, I just bought a new camera today. After extensive image comparing and evaluation, I whole heartedly recommend the Nikon S1 as the best <$300 compact camera on the market. I'm emphasizing compact because there are better clunky cameras for the same price, but the Nikon's so small and sleek (3/4" thick) that I think the slight loss of image quality is worth it.

In terms of absolute best photo quality, I'll second the recommendation for the Canon A610, and add one for the Sony P200. Just like excellent headphones, the difference is mostly flavor - depends which one looks more natural to you. The Canon is slightly cool and the Sony slightly warm.

Here's some more general recommendations:

- Steve's Digicams is the best place for reviews. He has probably the most extensive collection of sample images, and always takes the same picture for every camera he reviews. It's very useful for comparing image quality head to head.

- Wait a few weeks. The big camera trade show was in February and a lot of new models were introduced, but they take a while to reach the shelves. Right now it's sort of patchy which store has which new model (at least in Hawaii), but everything should be present and accounted for by April.

- Now that a lot of new stock is coming in, take advantage of discounts on the older models. Just because they're newer doesn't mean they're better (just like headphones
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).

- Along the same lines, just because a camera has more megapixels doesn't mean it's better. Often times, it's an excuse for poorer image quality. So what if it has 9 megapixles if the trees look like purple blobs.
 

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