View Full Version : Digital camera question - Urgent HELP PLEASE.

8th December 2003, 11:17
OK wifey and I are buying a camera

we have circa 260 to buy it (online as there is no where cheap round here)

On Dealtime I found these which I thaught were good.....


I was wondering if someone - anyone, really, could give me a track on these..... I have heard good things (here) about the Dimage....

The olympus has a great aperture range though...
The minolta seems to have a better viewfinder....
the olympus comes with a limh battery pack and is a bit lighter....
The Minolta seems smaller, more compact....

Optical zoom on the Minolta is better (X4 compared to X3), but digital zoom on the Olympus is better (X2.2 compared to X2.2)

help! - I need to Order something in the next day ot 2.... If I leave it too long - it will be a maleover for the wife again (as she goes off the idea!)


8th December 2003, 12:10
I can't talk about any of the two cameras, as I don't know them. But neither of them uses LiIon batteries. You can use Lithium non-rechargeables with the Olympus (in fact, you can with every cam that accepts AA), but that'd cost lots, of course.

The Olympus looks clearly superior to me, as the aperture range is much greater (as you said), and it offers better manual controls.

I think Technoid has the Minolta, he might be able to give you more details on it.

Another option that might be in your price range is the Minolta Dimage F300 (or F200, which is the same, bit uglier, and "only" 4mp, and cheaper, of course). GNEP and Paddy have it, they can tell you more, I'm sure. Is very pocketable and looks great (the dark blue F300 would fit your sunglasses perfectly, IMHO ;)).

I'd also consider the Canon PowerShot A70. Looks ugly as hell, IMHO, but is a good camera.

So, the old question: What do you plan to do with the camera?

A few quick facts:

Digital zoom is useless. It's the same as enlarging in photoshop, only you have more control over it in PS. Digital zoom is mostly there to boast about your big zoom ;)

There is nothing more fun and useful than a flexible (=big) zoom. BUT you cannot hand-hold tele shots very good (rule of thumb: anything above 1/focal length (35mm equiv.) will be blurred because of shake. So for a 130mm Tele shot you'll need to shoot at most 1/125s, which is not possible indoors without a flash). This means that Ultra-Zoom cameras are not as useful as they might sound.

28mm wide angle is VERY useful! Most digital cameras start at 35mm though.

Think about the costs after purchase: Memory cards (CF is cheapest, Memory Stick most expensive), Accus (LiIon is a great technology and gives long battery life, but accus can cost lots! On the other hand, for NiMH you might need a good speed charger and several sets.) You will NEED a bigger memory card (at least 128 MB), and might want one spare accu/set (digicams can tear through them). If the cam needs a LiIon accu, one is always included, NiMHs are never.

Image quality is generally good enough on brand-name digicams (except for ultra-portable zoom cams like the Exilim EX-Z3, or the Dimage X series). Review sites make it seem like there are HUGE image quality differences, but those are mostly academic.

Megapixels don't matter (much). 3 is enough for almost all amateur needs.

Take the camera in your hands before buying, if at all possible! You need to be comfortable with it. The greatest camera is of no use to you if it gives you hand cramps.

Likewise, the greatest camera is of no use when it sits at home in a drawer, so get a model you can take with you on all occasions. They look better, too ;)

Manual controls! Your photographic skills may advance, and you'll want a camera that can cope with at least the beginning, and you'll have a lot of fun doing everything yourself, and you'll learn lots.

Uh, I think I've written too much.


8th December 2003, 12:17
Very happy with my Dimage F300. Was 312 when I bought it - should be a bit cheaper by now :)

I'm very much learning how to take photos though, so as a novice probably wouldn't be the best person to give advice on what's there or what's lacking...

10th December 2003, 07:17
I went with the Olympus - to me days of agonising...

I have 8 NiMh batteries already - and bought another 4 (2350 mah) - 128 Mb memory and a case....

Gnep The dimage I couldnt find for less than you paid for it - and with the case, spare bateries and memory - it blew my budget....

I did find a nice Nikon with Lithium rechargeables - but - it wouldnt do any sound with the video option and looked a bit intimidating with its featureset....

The thing that swung it was the alternative lens and filter ring - They are not too expensive an should increase the flexability somewhat.....

Thanks for the advice lads, I really apreciate it.

I hope to have it for the weekend (yippie!)


10th December 2003, 07:33
Good choice :)

Hope to see pictures from you here soon!