digital cameras

Submitted: Friday, May 16, 2003 at 13:08
ThreadID: 4943 Views:2727 Replies:15 FollowUps:10
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Somewhat off the 4WD track, I was wondering if anyone can recommend or offer information on a digital camera suitable for general photography (scenery/people etc) and also close up work. I have earmarked about $2000 for this.

Thanks in advance
Helen she said you're
not going
down there with
me in here!
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Reply By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 13:40

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 13:40

I have used a Nikon Coolpix 880 camera which has a resolution of 3.2 megapixels. I am unsure of the cost of this camera, but can say it does take good quality photos and various zoom and wide angle lense adaptors can be fitted. It uses Compact Flash to store the pictures.

I have also used a Nikon D100 which has a resolution of 6.1 Megapixels and is a Digital SLR. The quality of this camera is amazing. However at approx $3000 for the camera body alone, not to mention the need for storage for the pictures, its somewhat out of your price range.

Whilst the Nikons are a good quality camera, they tend to be slightly more expensive than other brands. Not having used any other brand other than a rubbishy Kodak DC4800, I can't really comment on them, but i'm sure others will.

AnswerID: 20205

Follow Up By: Old Jack - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 21:29

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 21:29
I agree with sam about the nikons

I have been using a kodak dx4900 (4 mega pixel) for almost 12 months for taking "happy snaps" and also use this camara for work, It gives reasonable picture quality, compared to using a Quality 35mm(film) SLR they are slower to take fast action shots, they still don't quite have the tonel quality of film but this being said they are very cheap to run.
For the average person a 4 mega pixel camara will print to A4 with very good quality results. the NIkon & canon digital gear is very good.

Owning a collection of AFD nikor lense my next digital will be a nikon D100 or better, if you have the funds & the work to justify the outlay you couldn't go far wrong with a nikon! (Sam what frame rate does the d100 get at 6.1 mega pixel?)

best thing is with the advances taking place you will get better quality cheaper soooner rather than later!
FollowupID: 12970

Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 22:59

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 22:59
I know with the old professional SLR's (NIkon F3 and F4's) you could drop them on their lens without too much drama. The old film type cameras can be picked up relatively cheaply now, would it be worth doing that and investing in a decent negative scanner if you want to catalogue them on a computer? could well work out to be cheaper in the long run if you are going to subject the camera to any significant adverse conditions (vibration, dust, etc.).

As above, I would not buy anything but a Nikon (substantial lens mounts, high quality optics, good dealer service), but I would steer towards their professional or semi-professional cameras in film or digital to withstand the outback conditions.
FollowupID: 12986

Follow Up By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 16:29

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 16:29

from memory, I think the memory buffer in the D100 allows it to fire off about 3 photos in a row before it will stop you from taking any more until it has processed at least one shot (you still need to allow it to process all the shots before it can fire off another 3 in a row). The Nikon has the ability to store the photos in two formats at once. It also (with special software - of which a trial version is provided with the camera) allows you to access the RAW image. This allows you to apply changes to the photo rather than having the camera do it. The canon digital SLR's are jsut as good if not better. I did a comparison once on the D100 and a similarly priced Canon, and there wasn't much between them. The Canon was better in some aspects, the Nikon in others.

The only problem with taking photos in RAW format or say full resolution NEF files, is that you need a heap of storage. Microdrives are good (especially if you dont have a laptop handy or easy access to a CD or DVD burner). I have seen 2Gb ones for about $440.

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Reply By: SimonIT - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 14:05

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 14:05
I have been an avid digital camera user for a number of years now and also work in the IT industry.

I would highly recommend something like the Canon Powershot G3. Not only does it consistently rate highly in all the reviews but I have used a G2 (its predecessor) for a couple of years now. There some other good Canon's in the range also. You should be able to buy it for around the $1500 mark.

I agree with the previous post about the Kodak cameras. Stay away from them. Also agree with Nikon being good cameras. However, would probably prefer the Canon 10D over the Nikon D100 myself but we're talking big dollars here.

As with most cameras, the first thing you will want to factor into your pricing is a larger memory card. The 8/16/32 that they normally come with is never enough. 128 or 256Mb is more like it - especially when you're out bush and you just want that extra couple of pics. Spare battery and/or car charger is also handy.

The G3 is a 4 mega-pixel camera which produces good prints upto A3 size.

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 20209

Follow Up By: Simon Morelli - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 14:41

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 14:41
i luv my canon g3
quality memory cards at good prices from
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Reply By: Member - Bruce and Anne - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 15:26

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 15:26
We have a Hewlett Packard C200 about 3 years old cost around $900 then. It's only 1 mega pixel but takes great photos, like I took a couple of photos sitting in the passenger set one day going down the hi-way of a truck comming the other way, this is thru the wind screen while we are doing 100 k's and you would think we were standing still. There are probably a lot better around now especially with better zoom, but the soft ware from HP's and there back up is great, you luck.
BruceLooking forward to the end of June,
Darwin via Lawn Hill-Borroloola.
AnswerID: 20211

Reply By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 15:39

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 15:39
My wife uses the Minolta Dimarge 3.2 mega pixels, 3 time optical zoom great camera she loves it. about 750.00 plus charger, extra 64 meg SD card, carry case , card reader to download to laptop when card full.Regards Bob
Wish i was still here / Gulf in July
AnswerID: 20213

Reply By: Bruce - cycadcenter - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 16:01

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 16:01
I've been using digital camers now for over 10 years, first one was a Kodak DC40, then a Sony Mavrica, both great cameras but large and cumbersome, then a sony Ciber-shot piece of junk, lasted less than 2 months, then a Nikon Coolpix, this was the biggest piece of junk ever, lasted less than 5 weeks before I got my money back,
now I'm using a Kodak 3900 3.1 mega pixel and have taken over 22,000 photos in 15 months and never had a problem.
Just came back from Puerto Rico where I shot over 2000 photos, and was with a friend who was using one of the new fancy Nikons, we didn't use any of his photos as the Kodak photos were beter quality,

AnswerID: 20215

Follow Up By: Ray M (Vic) - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 18:01

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 18:01
I've got the Kodak 4800 I think it is, 4 megapixel. Can take some nice pics but also some bloodly terrible pics. In high contrast situations the shadows come out too dark. I'm not a fussy person but this really annoys me. May chuck it and get something else.Hooroo
FollowupID: 12952

Follow Up By: Hoffy - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 10:44

Monday, May 19, 2003 at 10:44
I have a Kodak DC4800 (3.1 megapixels). With some 2500 shots on it I have had no problems. Sure it is not an SLR digital and neither was the price. If you use it in the auto mode you will find that if the larger section of the photo is brighter than the rest any areas the shadows will be dark. The same happens with a film camera. True all of the digital cameras in under the $5000 do not have the same dynamic range as does film. The idea is to reframe your shot or use the "centre spot" feature in the exposure when shooting. Like all cameras results can only be as good as the operator. I shoot at 2.1 megapixels and the pictures on a 10 x 8 print are very good. I have a professional photographer friend with both Nikon and Cannon digital SLR's. He agrees thast the 4800 gives really nice results but it is not as forgiving in some circumstances. For happy shots most of the current crop of digital cameras under $2000 will give good results.

FollowupID: 13079

Reply By: Member - Motley - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 16:18

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 16:18
I purchased my first Digital camera 4 years ago. I have since "upgraded" to a Sony DFC-F707. It's a 5 megapixel camera with many of the features I became attached to on traditional SLR cameras - Aperture and Shutter priority, manual setting, great lens,macro facility etc.

Can print 8" x 10" photos with zero loss of definition. Downside is that each photo is about 2.25Mb, so you need a large capacity memory stick and probably on a trip, the ability to download to PC storage. Having said that, it's a great camera that I have used overseas and in the outback on many trips and I am always happy with the results. The current model DFC-F717 I think) is around $2000, but you need to allow extra for a large capacity memory stick.

Also, in the car I use an inverter connected to the auxiliary battery to provide rechargingMotley
AnswerID: 20218

Follow Up By: Ronnie - Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 20:03

Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 20:03
Tony and Helen
The Sony the DFC F717 is available from Sony for $1990.I have the old 505V,which gives me perfect photos,obviously the higher the resolution the more memory you need ,but it is well and truly worth it .128 mb memory sticks are down to less than $140. I will be upgrading to Sony F717 or next model as soon as finances permit.
RonnieLimmen Bight River July
FollowupID: 13013

Reply By: Tom - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 16:42

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 16:42

I would recommend the following cameras:

Minolta Dimage 7i - great quality, 7x optical zoom, 5 megapixels. Around $2000 and the only drwaback is that it uses AA batteries (can of course use rechargables)
Nikon Coolpix 5700 - another great quality camera, 8x optical zoom, 5 megapixels. Cost is around $2000. The quality I think is a bit better than the Minolta.

Whichever one you'd buy you would not be disappointed. They have excellent resolution and great optical zoom for those long distance shots.

Also check out This website has reviews, sample galleries, specs etc for all the latest cameras. Great place to find out the details.

Hope that helps.

AnswerID: 20223

Reply By: tessa_51 - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 17:00

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 17:00
If you live in the Newcastle area, Domayne has a digital camera expo on over this weekend. I was in there today and they have a huge range and a large number of seemingly knowledgeable staff to help you. Lots of specials too.
Maybe they will take it to other Domayne stores around y the country

I have a comparatively cheap CanonA40 and am absolutely wrapped in the quality of the prints.
good luck
AnswerID: 20230

Reply By: Ray M (Vic) - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 17:56

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 17:56
Check out PC authority magazine (June 2003) . It has a large section on digital cameras that will help.Hooroo
AnswerID: 20236

Reply By: Member - Wherethefugawi - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 18:04

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 18:04
this is a site which has reviews
after reading it and a recenr review in the australian i am sticking to 35mm and getting a film scanner
reason: one has to pay mega bucks for a digital camera to have the niceties of being able to change lens' cant do this with digtals under $5000...but also try yahoo shopping site for digital cameras as they have reviews also..prices are US $ but the reviews should steer you in the right wayRichard
AnswerID: 20239

Reply By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 18:51

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 18:51
What ever you choose check out just looked at prices G3 half retail Regards Bob
Wish i was still here / Gulf in July
AnswerID: 20241

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, May 16, 2003 at 21:38

Friday, May 16, 2003 at 21:38
Dont buy from O/s as lots of camera manufacturers are now canning warranty from O/S

Just this week got a Fuji S602 from them. 1 reason for this camera, it has REAL zoom (Optical) over the G3 which has none is the place for SD/CF cards.
AnswerID: 20254

Reply By: Member - Alpaca (SA) - Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 21:00

Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 21:00
Helen and Tony,
I just bought an Olympus C740 (Just Released) and the things it can do are amazing.
Haven't taken many photo's yet still reading the manual.
It has 3.2 megapixels, 10x optical zoom and 3x digital zoom which they say gives you 30x total zoom,adjustable ISO, panorama, connection to computor, TV and a video mode.
Camera $900
128XD card $110
It's easy to say something you've just bought is the best but it takes a while to come up with the final judgement.
AnswerID: 20326

Follow Up By: Allyn - Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 23:18

Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 23:18
Helen & Tony
I purchased the previos model to Alpacas (Olympus C730 - didn't know there was a new one coming) and it is a great little camera. I paid $1200 for mine and thought that was a good deal so he's done really well.
10 x Optical zoom is about as good as is going at the moment (a few have 6x but most are 3x).
Don't worry too much about digital zoom as your computer can do all that. You do not get clarity with digital zoom.
Make sure you get at least a 64 MB memory card but 128 like Alpaca has is probably best depending on how high you set resolution of yopur pics. These Olympus cameras have new xD memory cards and they are so small it's truly amazing. Will be available in up to 8 Gig sizes in the very near future.
I'm anything but an expert but these are my thoughts anyway
I wish you luck
FollowupID: 13024

Follow Up By: David - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 11:22

Monday, May 19, 2003 at 11:22
Helen & Tony

I too have an Olympus C730 and what sold me on it was the 10X optical zoom. This effectively gives a focal range of 38 - 380 mm and as yet I have yet to use digital zooming. The optical zoom capability more than offsets the lower pixel rating (3.2)

Really is a very good camera and worth having a look at although I did not realise that it has already beed superseeded.

I carry 2 x 128MB & 1 x 16MB cards which on high resolution gives 350+ photos.

Like most digitals, you will probably use only a fraction of its capability and I am sure that it will do everthing that I will want it to do plus a lot more.

Only negative is battery usage and that it does not run off AC without buying an adaptor.




FollowupID: 13082

Reply By: Member - Richard- Friday, May 23, 2003 at 14:10

Friday, May 23, 2003 at 14:10
I was amazed at the number of replies you got. It was very interesting reading the divergance of opinions. Very helpful though as I also intend buying one this year. I understand that Sony makes the the digital engine bit that most cameras have. Might be that Sony is the way to go.

AnswerID: 20863

Follow Up By: Member - Tony and Helen - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 15:42

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 15:42
Hi Richard

I'm not in the least bit surprised by the number of replies - these are a fantastic group of people. I have learned a lot and can make an informed decision as a result.

My sincere thanks to all who answered.

Helen 8-)she said you're
not going
down there with
me in here!
FollowupID: 13652

Reply By: Member - Scotti - Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 20:40

Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 20:40

Have you considered a digital camcorder?

I just bought a Sony Digital camcorder whith memory stick.This allows me video and if I think a photo is way to go switch to memory stick insantly and take photo.The memory stick supplied with camera holds about 50 photo's but you can purchase up to 1 gb sticks.Also you can use the 700xdigital zoom for photo's.

Maybe something worth looking into.Easter fun down Nannup!!
AnswerID: 20953

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