OT: Digital Cameras

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Pamela Dallas, Jan 22, 2003.

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  1. Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    snapshots.

    Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    priced as low as $220.

    Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    appears to have about the same features as the 2500.

    I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?

    Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    reducing resolution for quick picture viewing, etc.

    Thanks! Pamela
     
    Tags:


  2. Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    snapshots.

    Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    priced as low as $220.

    Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    appears to have about the same features as the 2500.

    I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?

    Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    reducing resolution for quick picture viewing, etc.

    Thanks! Pamela
     
  3. <Chas>

    <Chas> Guest

    "Pamela Dallas" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.
    >
    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.
    >
    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.
    >
    > I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    > Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?
    >
    > Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    > reducing resolution for quick picture viewing, etc.
    >
    > Thanks! Pamela

    Check out dpreview.com and steves-digicams.com for great reviews.

    <Chas> Haluzak Hybrid Race -- the inline wheelchair
     
  4. x

    x Guest

    RE/
    >I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    >Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?

    I'm sure it's partially personal preference, but I find that 3 mp takes me up to 8x10 prints that
    look ok to Yours Truly.

    In my experience, 2 mp doesn't cut it for full screen pix. I don't know much about web design, but I
    view my photos on screen via ThumbsPlus a lot and 2 mp falls apart pretty quickly. OTOH, I have a
    21" screen....so OTOOH, 2mp is probably what you want.

    Have you looked at Cannon's S220? It's pricier, but really, *Really* small. In fact it's so small
    that my son-in-law didn't buy one because he was afraid he would drop it because of the size
    relative to his hands.

    After dropping my Nikon CP 990 about five feet on to concrete last week, I just ordered a Minolta
    Dimage Xi - which has about the same small form factor as the Cannon S220....should be playing with
    it by Friday this week...

    Having carried my CP 995 around in a hip pack while biking, I'd say two things:

    1) A smaller form factor would definately help

    2) Boot time is important (i.e. the time it takes from when you hit the "on" switch to the time the
    camera is ready to take a photo).
    -----------------------
    Pete Cresswell
     
  5. IMHO One feature that you really want especially if your touring, is a camera that takes common AA
    batteries available everywhere. If your just looking for a camera to do webshots, a 640x480 does
    pretty well. Get good optics. Nikkon is very good, a good focus system is nice too. There are so
    many good point and shoot digitals out there go for simple and rugged. The megapixels are nice but
    most of your shots will probably be lower resolution, that take up less memory and are faster to
    download. The software I use to get the picture size down is Photoshop I have an old version (3.0)
    that will reduce photos sizes sometimes as much as three times depending on the number of colors and
    complexity in the photo. The newer versions are even better. I take my digital quite often, but have
    found I like the throwaway film cameras for extended trips they are lighter and not as fragile, and
    take some darn nice snapshots Denny in Sayre, Pa "Bent but not Broken"

    "Pamela Dallas" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.
    >
    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.
    >
    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.
    >
    > I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    > Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?
    >
    > Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    > reducing resolution for quick picture viewing, etc.
    >
    > Thanks! Pamela
     
  6. <Chas>

    <Chas> Guest

    "Pamela Dallas" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.
    >
    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.
    >
    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.
    >
    > I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    > Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?
    >
    > Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    > reducing resolution for quick picture viewing, etc.
    >
    > Thanks! Pamela

    Check out dpreview.com and steves-digicams.com for great reviews.

    <Chas> Haluzak Hybrid Race -- the inline wheelchair
     
  7. x

    x Guest

    RE/
    >I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    >Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?

    I'm sure it's partially personal preference, but I find that 3 mp takes me up to 8x10 prints that
    look ok to Yours Truly.

    In my experience, 2 mp doesn't cut it for full screen pix. I don't know much about web design, but I
    view my photos on screen via ThumbsPlus a lot and 2 mp falls apart pretty quickly. OTOH, I have a
    21" screen....so OTOOH, 2mp is probably what you want.

    Have you looked at Cannon's S220? It's pricier, but really, *Really* small. In fact it's so small
    that my son-in-law didn't buy one because he was afraid he would drop it because of the size
    relative to his hands.

    After dropping my Nikon CP 990 about five feet on to concrete last week, I just ordered a Minolta
    Dimage Xi - which has about the same small form factor as the Cannon S220....should be playing with
    it by Friday this week...

    Having carried my CP 995 around in a hip pack while biking, I'd say two things:

    1) A smaller form factor would definately help

    2) Boot time is important (i.e. the time it takes from when you hit the "on" switch to the time the
    camera is ready to take a photo).
    -----------------------
    Pete Cresswell
     
  8. IMHO One feature that you really want especially if your touring, is a camera that takes common AA
    batteries available everywhere. If your just looking for a camera to do webshots, a 640x480 does
    pretty well. Get good optics. Nikkon is very good, a good focus system is nice too. There are so
    many good point and shoot digitals out there go for simple and rugged. The megapixels are nice but
    most of your shots will probably be lower resolution, that take up less memory and are faster to
    download. The software I use to get the picture size down is Photoshop I have an old version (3.0)
    that will reduce photos sizes sometimes as much as three times depending on the number of colors and
    complexity in the photo. The newer versions are even better. I take my digital quite often, but have
    found I like the throwaway film cameras for extended trips they are lighter and not as fragile, and
    take some darn nice snapshots Denny in Sayre, Pa "Bent but not Broken"

    "Pamela Dallas" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.
    >
    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.
    >
    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.
    >
    > I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    > Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?
    >
    > Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    > reducing resolution for quick picture viewing, etc.
    >
    > Thanks! Pamela
     
  9. For online pix, almost any camera on the market will serve your purpose. When viewed online,
    anything over 100DPI is rather overkill. (Now if you want to download and print the pictures, that's
    a different story.) The camera will come with software to change the resolution. Basically, you take
    the pix at higher than needed resolutions, then use the software to modify the pix.

    Features you'll want to look for are glass optics, storage space, and zoom. At this price point, I
    assume it uses glass (not plastic) in the optics. For storage, you'll want one that uses standard
    memory cards... again usually the case in this point. (This way, if you ever change camera brands,
    you'll "save" the cost of repurchasing memory cards.) Zoom comes in 2 flavors, physical and virtual.
    In the former, the lens actually moves, in the latter, it's all software "magic." A physical zoom of
    at least 2x or 3x is desired, with a total zoom of at least 6x. This is a HUGE help in bringing in
    those close ups.

    Other things to look at are the bag. Many cameras don't come with a carrying case large enough for
    anything but the camera and you'll want to carry extra memory, batteries and a charger, probably.
    Rechargable batteries are a HUGE cost savings, and you should look at this as part of the cost. I
    love the little LCD view screens, but they can suck down a set of batteries in short order. (The LCD
    screen is excellent for getting the perfect in frame pix, but a "normal" peephole view finder is
    great when battery power is low.) The amount of memory that comes with the camera is a big plus.
    You'll probably buy more, but remember that a 3MG pix is more than twice the "size" of a 2MG... the
    higher the resolution of your stored pix the more memory you'll want. Also look at the download
    options for your pix. If it plugs into a firewire or USB port, it'll be MUCH quicker than a serial
    download... provided your PC has such a port.

    If all you want is a camera to take pix for I-net viewing, and especially around the home (or where
    you have a laptop handy) the cheapest cameras will probably work well to get you started. At 2MG,
    you'll get pictures that look great even when printed on a good printer... at 3+MG, you'll get
    images that can be uploaded to developers for nice looking prints. For I-net, 640K will work.

    [email protected] (Pamela Dallas) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.
    >
    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.
    >
    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.
    >
    > I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    > Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?
    >
    > Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    > reducing resolution for quick picture viewing, etc.
    >
    > Thanks! Pamela
     
  10. [email protected] (Pamela Dallas) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.
    >
    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.
    >
    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.
    >
    For web page use any resolution above 640x480 is overkill and for many web pages half of that is
    more appropriate. Thus 2.1 megapixels should be more than adequate. More important consid- erations
    for bike touring would be battery type, size and weight of recharger and memory storage. The Nikon
    is quite good from the point of view of camera size, compact battery and charger, all easily
    packable. Second consideration is memory. It uses compact flash which is available in lots of sizes
    and if you stick to 640x480 you can put several hundred shots on a 128MB c artridge. So a couple of
    128 or 256 cartridges should let you shoot for a week or so. Software to massage the picture size is
    readily available and some will come with the camera. A good overall review site is www.dpreview It
    is encyclopedic, the reviews are 15-20 pages long. Not much on technique but there are forums for
    each camera manufacturer ("Nikon Talk"). Steve
     
  11. David Bogie

    David Bogie Guest

    I'm a video producer and professional photographer. Those facts don't qualify me for anything, not
    really, but I'll give you my opinions anyway. I shoot with a pair of Nikon D1Xs and several
    smaller Nikons and Canons. Don't buy a Nikon or a Canon unless you REALLY want one, the operating
    systems suck.

    Since you will not be expecting to be making a living with your camera, don't buy a digital still
    camera based on anything other than one simple criteria: The operating system built into the camera.
    Buy a camera you will enjoy talking to because you have to learn how to tell it what you want it do.
    Everything else is nonsense and marketing hype. In four months your camera will be obsolete -- in
    your mind -- because newer better cheaper will be released. You can't keep up with the advances so
    you just buy what you can afford, learn how to use it so you can enjoy using it, and start taking
    lots and lots of pictures. The features are meaningless; every consumer camera has ten times more
    useless features than you will ever use and you can't get a camera that isn't loaded up with all
    that junk so concentrate on the design of the operating software. My favorite systems are
    beautifully designed and user friendly: Fuji and Olympus. Canon and Nikon make horrible user
    interfaces.

    There are a few things people fail to consider in their purchase and you must include these in your
    budget. Don't buy Just The Camera, that's a dangerous and frustrating wasted emotional investment.
    1. A good case (absolutely crucial if you're carrying electronic jewelry on a bicycle) I prefer the
    Lowe digital series; excellently secure overlapping Vlecro belt loop and a built-in rain cover.
    HINT: Buy the case that's just slightly larger than the one you think you need so you can have
    the batteries, lenses, spare cards, and filters with you.
    2. Batteries system: I refuse to buy a proprietary battery system. If the camera doesn't run on
    AAs, I won't buy it. Period. Invest in rechargables or lithiums. Carry two spare sets, yes two
    spare sets.
    3. Memory cards: They're all about even in performance and durability, don't let a salesperson tell
    you otherwise, they're full of it. But you MUST buy at least two additional cards of at least
    128M capacity, preferably 256M or 512M. The price tag will make your jaw drop but that's the
    point of buying them along with the camera. The card that comes with the camera will hold five or
    ten medium sized shots, you can throw it away, it's worthless. Worthless.
    4. Card reader or offloader: Depending on your propensity for these things, you may not like hooking
    up your caera just to download the shots so either get a reader for your Macintosh/PC or get a
    digital wallet so you can download and reformat your cards in the field. (The digital wallets
    that have display screens are way cool, totally silly.)
    5. A good digital photography book. A good entry level book will dramatically improve your
    photography -- and the fun you have with your camera and the joy you share with others. Or take a
    class in digital photography. Your camera is complex, it's not like shooting film at all, and
    then there's the whole computer software scene to deal with.
    6. Be prepared to buy a good photo editor package like Photoshop Elements. Everything else sucks,
    especially the crap that comes with most cameras or that joke that comes with Windows.
    7. Be preapred to buy a photo-grade printer or learn how to use email and a phot post Web service
    really well.

    Let us know what you got.

    bogiesan

    [email protected] (Pamela Dallas) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.
    >
    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.
    >
    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.
    >
    > I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    > Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?
    >
    > Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    > reducing resolution for quick picture viewing, etc.
    >
    > Thanks! Pamela
     
  12. For online pix, almost any camera on the market will serve your purpose. When viewed online,
    anything over 100DPI is rather overkill. (Now if you want to download and print the pictures, that's
    a different story.) The camera will come with software to change the resolution. Basically, you take
    the pix at higher than needed resolutions, then use the software to modify the pix.

    Features you'll want to look for are glass optics, storage space, and zoom. At this price point, I
    assume it uses glass (not plastic) in the optics. For storage, you'll want one that uses standard
    memory cards... again usually the case in this point. (This way, if you ever change camera brands,
    you'll "save" the cost of repurchasing memory cards.) Zoom comes in 2 flavors, physical and virtual.
    In the former, the lens actually moves, in the latter, it's all software "magic." A physical zoom of
    at least 2x or 3x is desired, with a total zoom of at least 6x. This is a HUGE help in bringing in
    those close ups.

    Other things to look at are the bag. Many cameras don't come with a carrying case large enough for
    anything but the camera and you'll want to carry extra memory, batteries and a charger, probably.
    Rechargable batteries are a HUGE cost savings, and you should look at this as part of the cost. I
    love the little LCD view screens, but they can suck down a set of batteries in short order. (The LCD
    screen is excellent for getting the perfect in frame pix, but a "normal" peephole view finder is
    great when battery power is low.) The amount of memory that comes with the camera is a big plus.
    You'll probably buy more, but remember that a 3MG pix is more than twice the "size" of a 2MG... the
    higher the resolution of your stored pix the more memory you'll want. Also look at the download
    options for your pix. If it plugs into a firewire or USB port, it'll be MUCH quicker than a serial
    download... provided your PC has such a port.

    If all you want is a camera to take pix for I-net viewing, and especially around the home (or where
    you have a laptop handy) the cheapest cameras will probably work well to get you started. At 2MG,
    you'll get pictures that look great even when printed on a good printer... at 3+MG, you'll get
    images that can be uploaded to developers for nice looking prints. For I-net, 640K will work.

    [email protected] (Pamela Dallas) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.
    >
    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.
    >
    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.
    >
    > I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    > Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?
    >
    > Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    > reducing resolution for quick picture viewing, etc.
    >
    > Thanks! Pamela
     
  13. [email protected] (Pamela Dallas) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.
    >
    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.
    >
    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.
    >
    For web page use any resolution above 640x480 is overkill and for many web pages half of that is
    more appropriate. Thus 2.1 megapixels should be more than adequate. More important consid- erations
    for bike touring would be battery type, size and weight of recharger and memory storage. The Nikon
    is quite good from the point of view of camera size, compact battery and charger, all easily
    packable. Second consideration is memory. It uses compact flash which is available in lots of sizes
    and if you stick to 640x480 you can put several hundred shots on a 128MB c artridge. So a couple of
    128 or 256 cartridges should let you shoot for a week or so. Software to massage the picture size is
    readily available and some will come with the camera. A good overall review site is www.dpreview It
    is encyclopedic, the reviews are 15-20 pages long. Not much on technique but there are forums for
    each camera manufacturer ("Nikon Talk"). Steve
     
  14. David Bogie

    David Bogie Guest

    I'm a video producer and professional photographer. Those facts don't qualify me for anything, not
    really, but I'll give you my opinions anyway. I shoot with a pair of Nikon D1Xs and several
    smaller Nikons and Canons. Don't buy a Nikon or a Canon unless you REALLY want one, the operating
    systems suck.

    Since you will not be expecting to be making a living with your camera, don't buy a digital still
    camera based on anything other than one simple criteria: The operating system built into the camera.
    Buy a camera you will enjoy talking to because you have to learn how to tell it what you want it do.
    Everything else is nonsense and marketing hype. In four months your camera will be obsolete -- in
    your mind -- because newer better cheaper will be released. You can't keep up with the advances so
    you just buy what you can afford, learn how to use it so you can enjoy using it, and start taking
    lots and lots of pictures. The features are meaningless; every consumer camera has ten times more
    useless features than you will ever use and you can't get a camera that isn't loaded up with all
    that junk so concentrate on the design of the operating software. My favorite systems are
    beautifully designed and user friendly: Fuji and Olympus. Canon and Nikon make horrible user
    interfaces.

    There are a few things people fail to consider in their purchase and you must include these in your
    budget. Don't buy Just The Camera, that's a dangerous and frustrating wasted emotional investment.
    1. A good case (absolutely crucial if you're carrying electronic jewelry on a bicycle) I prefer the
    Lowe digital series; excellently secure overlapping Vlecro belt loop and a built-in rain cover.
    HINT: Buy the case that's just slightly larger than the one you think you need so you can have
    the batteries, lenses, spare cards, and filters with you.
    2. Batteries system: I refuse to buy a proprietary battery system. If the camera doesn't run on
    AAs, I won't buy it. Period. Invest in rechargables or lithiums. Carry two spare sets, yes two
    spare sets.
    3. Memory cards: They're all about even in performance and durability, don't let a salesperson tell
    you otherwise, they're full of it. But you MUST buy at least two additional cards of at least
    128M capacity, preferably 256M or 512M. The price tag will make your jaw drop but that's the
    point of buying them along with the camera. The card that comes with the camera will hold five or
    ten medium sized shots, you can throw it away, it's worthless. Worthless.
    4. Card reader or offloader: Depending on your propensity for these things, you may not like hooking
    up your caera just to download the shots so either get a reader for your Macintosh/PC or get a
    digital wallet so you can download and reformat your cards in the field. (The digital wallets
    that have display screens are way cool, totally silly.)
    5. A good digital photography book. A good entry level book will dramatically improve your
    photography -- and the fun you have with your camera and the joy you share with others. Or take a
    class in digital photography. Your camera is complex, it's not like shooting film at all, and
    then there's the whole computer software scene to deal with.
    6. Be prepared to buy a good photo editor package like Photoshop Elements. Everything else sucks,
    especially the crap that comes with most cameras or that joke that comes with Windows.
    7. Be preapred to buy a photo-grade printer or learn how to use email and a phot post Web service
    really well.

    Let us know what you got.

    bogiesan

    [email protected] (Pamela Dallas) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.
    >
    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.
    >
    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.
    >
    > I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    > Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?
    >
    > Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    > reducing resolution for quick picture viewing, etc.
    >
    > Thanks! Pamela
     
  15. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Pamela Dallas" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.

    Wow! That's a great tour! You should get a digital camera for next time, though a regular
    point-n-shoot or disposable wouldn't be a bad choice either. They're less to worry about if you lose
    them, for one thing.

    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.

    The CoolPix 2500 is a good choice; but there is a lot to look at in the $200 - $350 range
    (see below):

    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.

    Here are the cameras that I find attractive in the under-$350 range (current low prices as of
    1/14/03 from PriceScan.com):

    -2 Megapixel, 3x Zoom- Nikon CoolPix 2000 - $175

    -3 Megapixel, 3x Zoom- Nikon CoolPix 3500 - $290 Canon PowerShot S30 - $335 Sony CyberShot
    DSC-P7 - $345

    -4 Megapixel, 3x Zoom- Olympus C-4000 Zoom - $332 (!)

    The Olympus C-4000 is a lot of camera for the money; and could very easily replace a 35mm
    point-n-shoot for image resolution. For about half the price, the Nikon CoolPix 2000 is an amazing
    value at $175, with plenty of features, perfect image quality, and enough resolution for 8 x 10"
    prints. You'll get a lot more images in a given memory card size with the 2MP camera
    vs. the 4MP camera.

    The inexpensive Compact Flash (CF) memory cards used by Canon and Nikon (but not Olympus) are also
    useable in many Pocket PC palmtops and MP3 music players. I use the same 128 MB CF memory cards in
    my Dell Axim palmtop, in my laptop computer (with a $12 PCMCIA adaptor) and in my Nikon CoolPix 800
    camera. One 128 MB CF card can hold about 2 hours of MP3 music (the Dell palmtop can play music very
    nicely). It's quite convenient and thrifty to share memory cards between devices like that, if
    you're a gadget hound like
    vt.

    I prefer cameras that take standard AA batteries. Why? Because you can always find a set of AA
    alkalines when you run out of juice unexpectedly. Last fall, my wife and I were flying in a friend's
    Mooney single-engine aircraft. My wife was about to take the controls of an airplane for the first
    time ever, and I wanted some photos. My camera batteries died; but we found small airport and
    landed. Sure enough, they had a set of AA alkalines in the gift shop. We took off again, and I kept
    on shooting photos of our wonderful little adventure. I captured some treasured images that day. Try
    that with rechargeable Li-Ion's. (BTW: The extra set of batteries that I packed with me were also
    dead - rechargeables do lose their charge over time, as I found out the hard way.)

    > I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    > Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?

    For web pages, anything over 1.3 megapixels is overkill. What you get with the Nikon and Canon 2
    megapixel cameras are great features and near-perfect images for very reasonable prices.

    My Nikon CoolPix 800 has a 2 megapixel CCD and 2x zoom lens. I find it to produce beautiful images,
    with spot-on exposures in almost any light. Like most digicams, the flash is weak beyond about 7
    feet. The 2x lens isn't quite enough, and digital zoom is really just another word for in-camera
    image cropping (yes, that's all it is - cropping and interpolation to make a fuzzier image that
    looks bigger).

    I recommend at least a 3x *optical* zoom. Don't even look at the digital zoom numbers - they're
    irrelevant. A 3x zoom will give you about the equivalent to a 35-105 lens on a standard 35mm
    point-n-shoot, with similar lens speed (f-stop ratings).

    > Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    > reducing resolution for quick picture viewing,

    www.dpreview.com is all you need to know. Let the full reviews and the photo galleries guide you.
    Watch for image clarity in shadow areas - that's where CCD noise is most evident. I find that the
    Canon and Nikon cameras are the best overall; but other companies such as Sony are offering some
    amazing cameras these days.

    Digital cameras are great for many applications. However, they're highly thievable, and will break
    when you drop them or submerge them. They also can't take handheld, natural-light photos in dim room
    light; but they're perfect for brightly-lit scenes, and they automatically compensate for variable
    lighting temperatures (tungsten, fluorescent, daylight). Perhaps the biggest benefit of digital
    cameras is instant previews of the actual image using the LCD screen. Instant gratification and
    instant photo sharing in-the-moment is also a big benefit that really adds to the fun at times, and
    makes people want to get creative with photography.

    If you want ruggedness and/or expendability, go with a cheap point-n-shoot 35mm zoom camera. You can
    have CD-ROM's made from your film negatives for about 75 cents per image or less at many shops
    (including WalMart, IIRC). ISO 800 film for 35mm cameras is vastly superior to most digital cameras,
    and is a bargain at about $6 per roll. With ISO 800 film, you can shoot handheld photos in just
    about any light, down to candlelight. It's fine for bright daylight if you have enough f-stops (most
    35mm SLR's will have an F16 or even F22 stop).

    Ideally, carry both: a digital camera, and a film camera. For the sweeping panoramic vistas and
    dimly-lit (museum) interior shots, use the film camera. For the outdoor travelogue photos, use
    the digital.

    Hope this helps you with your camera purchase decision making.

    Barry Sanders
     
  16. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Pamela Dallas" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Last fall I did a 1200 mile tour on my BikeE RX from Monterey CA to Santa Barbara to Palm Springs
    > and then back home to Reno, NV, and I wished I'd taken along a digital camera to record some
    > snapshots.

    Wow! That's a great tour! You should get a digital camera for next time, though a regular
    point-n-shoot or disposable wouldn't be a bad choice either. They're less to worry about if you lose
    them, for one thing.

    > Visited PC Mag recently, and found the Nikon Coolpix 2500 was their Editors Choice for sub-$300
    > cameras. This is a 2.1Megapixel device with 3X optical and 2.5X digital zoom, and I've found it
    > priced as low as $220.

    The CoolPix 2500 is a good choice; but there is a lot to look at in the $200 - $350 range
    (see below):

    > Now Nikon also has the Coolpix 3500, a 3Megapixel model that costs about $150 more but otherwise
    > appears to have about the same features as the 2500.

    Here are the cameras that I find attractive in the under-$350 range (current low prices as of
    1/14/03 from PriceScan.com):

    -2 Megapixel, 3x Zoom- Nikon CoolPix 2000 - $175

    -3 Megapixel, 3x Zoom- Nikon CoolPix 3500 - $290 Canon PowerShot S30 - $335 Sony CyberShot
    DSC-P7 - $345

    -4 Megapixel, 3x Zoom- Olympus C-4000 Zoom - $332 (!)

    The Olympus C-4000 is a lot of camera for the money; and could very easily replace a 35mm
    point-n-shoot for image resolution. For about half the price, the Nikon CoolPix 2000 is an amazing
    value at $175, with plenty of features, perfect image quality, and enough resolution for 8 x 10"
    prints. You'll get a lot more images in a given memory card size with the 2MP camera
    vs. the 4MP camera.

    The inexpensive Compact Flash (CF) memory cards used by Canon and Nikon (but not Olympus) are also
    useable in many Pocket PC palmtops and MP3 music players. I use the same 128 MB CF memory cards in
    my Dell Axim palmtop, in my laptop computer (with a $12 PCMCIA adaptor) and in my Nikon CoolPix 800
    camera. One 128 MB CF card can hold about 2 hours of MP3 music (the Dell palmtop can play music very
    nicely). It's quite convenient and thrifty to share memory cards between devices like that, if
    you're a gadget hound like
    vt.

    I prefer cameras that take standard AA batteries. Why? Because you can always find a set of AA
    alkalines when you run out of juice unexpectedly. Last fall, my wife and I were flying in a friend's
    Mooney single-engine aircraft. My wife was about to take the controls of an airplane for the first
    time ever, and I wanted some photos. My camera batteries died; but we found small airport and
    landed. Sure enough, they had a set of AA alkalines in the gift shop. We took off again, and I kept
    on shooting photos of our wonderful little adventure. I captured some treasured images that day. Try
    that with rechargeable Li-Ion's. (BTW: The extra set of batteries that I packed with me were also
    dead - rechargeables do lose their charge over time, as I found out the hard way.)

    > I don't ever expect to want more resolution than needed to provide nice pics on a web page. Is the
    > Coolpix 3500 overkill in that respect?

    For web pages, anything over 1.3 megapixels is overkill. What you get with the Nikon and Canon 2
    megapixel cameras are great features and near-perfect images for very reasonable prices.

    My Nikon CoolPix 800 has a 2 megapixel CCD and 2x zoom lens. I find it to produce beautiful images,
    with spot-on exposures in almost any light. Like most digicams, the flash is weak beyond about 7
    feet. The 2x lens isn't quite enough, and digital zoom is really just another word for in-camera
    image cropping (yes, that's all it is - cropping and interpolation to make a fuzzier image that
    looks bigger).

    I recommend at least a 3x *optical* zoom. Don't even look at the digital zoom numbers - they're
    irrelevant. A 3x zoom will give you about the equivalent to a 35-105 lens on a standard 35mm
    point-n-shoot, with similar lens speed (f-stop ratings).

    > Can somebody direct me to a good source on basic digital photography, where I can learn about
    > reducing resolution for quick picture viewing,

    www.dpreview.com is all you need to know. Let the full reviews and the photo galleries guide you.
    Watch for image clarity in shadow areas - that's where CCD noise is most evident. I find that the
    Canon and Nikon cameras are the best overall; but other companies such as Sony are offering some
    amazing cameras these days.

    Digital cameras are great for many applications. However, they're highly thievable, and will break
    when you drop them or submerge them. They also can't take handheld, natural-light photos in dim room
    light; but they're perfect for brightly-lit scenes, and they automatically compensate for variable
    lighting temperatures (tungsten, fluorescent, daylight). Perhaps the biggest benefit of digital
    cameras is instant previews of the actual image using the LCD screen. Instant gratification and
    instant photo sharing in-the-moment is also a big benefit that really adds to the fun at times, and
    makes people want to get creative with photography.

    If you want ruggedness and/or expendability, go with a cheap point-n-shoot 35mm zoom camera. You can
    have CD-ROM's made from your film negatives for about 75 cents per image or less at many shops
    (including WalMart, IIRC). ISO 800 film for 35mm cameras is vastly superior to most digital cameras,
    and is a bargain at about $6 per roll. With ISO 800 film, you can shoot handheld photos in just
    about any light, down to candlelight. It's fine for bright daylight if you have enough f-stops (most
    35mm SLR's will have an F16 or even F22 stop).

    Ideally, carry both: a digital camera, and a film camera. For the sweeping panoramic vistas and
    dimly-lit (museum) interior shots, use the film camera. For the outdoor travelogue photos, use
    the digital.

    Hope this helps you with your camera purchase decision making.

    Barry Sanders
     
  17. John Riley

    John Riley Guest

    Get a digital if you frequently need to post pics to the internet, but don't forget that it is easy
    to get pics back from conventional film cameras in many different forms, including on CD in various
    resolutions. You may find that a conventional camera is more convenient when traveling.

    All of these photos were taken with a conventional camera and were posted from CD's provided by the
    film processor. I have no photo software, so these are straight up. I have since found a lab that
    does a better job with the CD's.

    http://community.webshots.com/user/lostjohnriley

    John Riley
     
  18. John Riley

    John Riley Guest

    Get a digital if you frequently need to post pics to the internet, but don't forget that it is easy
    to get pics back from conventional film cameras in many different forms, including on CD in various
    resolutions. You may find that a conventional camera is more convenient when traveling.

    All of these photos were taken with a conventional camera and were posted from CD's provided by the
    film processor. I have no photo software, so these are straight up. I have since found a lab that
    does a better job with the CD's.

    http://community.webshots.com/user/lostjohnriley

    John Riley
     
  19. x

    x Guest

    RE/
    >Don't buy a Nikon or a Canon unless you REALLY want one, the operating systems suck.

    "Amen" to that vis-a-vis Nikon.

    And thanks for the validation. I was beginning to think I was the only one that thought the CP 990's
    UI/OS was pitiful.
    -----------------------
    Pete Cresswell
     
  20. x

    x Guest

    RE/
    >Don't buy a Nikon or a Canon unless you REALLY want one, the operating systems suck.

    "Amen" to that vis-a-vis Nikon.

    And thanks for the validation. I was beginning to think I was the only one that thought the CP 990's
    UI/OS was pitiful.
    -----------------------
    Pete Cresswell
     
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