Digital camera advice

photography, technology, tips

I’m no stranger to digital cameras… having bought and used one for myself around 3 years ago, and also shopped for friends and family. I’m also shopping for a new one myself this week, since I’m tired of not having a camera after having my Olympus 3030z stolen in Estonia last summer 😐

Since I’m in a digicam-shopping mood, I figured I’d share some advice. Feel free to chime in with additional tips via comments!

1) Know what kind of photographer you are.
– Are you the sort that loves snapping impromptu people pics but doesn’t want to fuss with settings? Get a great point-and-shoot, and don’t pay extra for manual setting flexibility.
– Do you like composing “art” shots, taking your time to make stuff “just so”? Make sure your camera allows for tinkering!

2) Prioritize what’s important to you.
– Size/weight (ultra-compact? average? chunky SLR-style?).
– Type of shots (low light? action shots? mostly people shots (need good red-eye prevention), panorama?…)

3) Take *ALL* costs into consideration!
You most likely *WILL* have to buy at least $100 in accessories if you want to make good use of your camera.
– You WILL need more memory. Note that different types of memory cards (compact flash, SD, xD, etc.) cost significantly different amounts.
– It’s imperative that you have a set of HIGH QUALITY spare batteries and a reliable, high quality battery charger.
– Get a case or two… one for light duty, the other for more rough-and-tumble trips.
– A tripod is an absolute must for low-light non-flash shots.
– A card reader is pretty cheap ($20-$30) and very handy.
– A paid-for extended warranty is almost certainly a waste of your money, statistically speaking. Instead, put the purchase on a gold or platinum card, then call your card provider to register for a FREE doubled warranty and other protections!

4) Check out reputable and fascinating photo sites on the Web.
http://www.dpreview.com (info, reviews)
http://www.dcresource.com (info, reviews)
http://www.photo.net (info, galleries)
http://www.fotki.com ($30 a year for unlimited storage, no ads!)
http://www.dcviews.com (digicam portal… very useful!)

10 comments… add one
  • Adam #2 Apr 7, 2003

    Hey, I just purchased a Canon S-40 a few months ago… I love it.

    I wanted a flexible camera, one that could take good quick shots, and one that could take artsy shots as well.  It’s a smaller than average camera, but not an ultra-compact.

    I wanted a camera that would work with my compact flash card, and possibly take a microdrive (although with flash cards going through the roof, a 512MB flash card is only $120).

    Only downside is the non-standard battery… I wish it took AA recharables.  Replacement batteries were about $35… I have two, and that’s more than enough.

    If you want some sample images, or sites of other people using the canon s-40, let me know! (Actually, the S-45 is out now, so I guess I’m already out-dated…)

  • Dan Jun 30, 2003

    I want to use two digital cameras side-by-side to shoot stereoscopic pictures.
    I was hoping to find cameras that have the remot feature so that I can fire both cameras at the exact same time. Olympus and Canon have the feature but I am of the understanding that the infrared sensor is not a gaurantee that both cameras will fire at the exact same instant. I would like to photograph water floating in air for instance so cameras that don’t have a delay or have little delay would be most desirable?

    Are there digital cameras that use a cable and can I have a duel cable running to each camera?

    Any ideas would be very helpful. I feel like I am shooting in the dark.

    Thanks,

    Dan

  • Adam Jun 30, 2003

    Why not just go for the gusto directly? 😀

    From a quick Googling of 3d and digital photography, I seemed to find some interesting links! 🙂

  • wanda Jul 1, 2003

    I have a Nikon N4004 that i purchase used.  I do not have a manual and to be honest I dont know what i am doing.  I would like to know what a + _ is when I veiw through the lens.  I am unable to take a picture at all.  Can you HELP? 

                          Thanks
                          Wanda

  • Debbie Nov 17, 2003

    I am seeking information that will help me be satisfied with a purchase of a digital camera. I have been using a Sony Mavica 4.0 for school and really do like the photographs I have taken with it this past year. However the camera is soooooo large. Then I went to the other extreme and purchased a Gateway DC-T50 which is sooooo tiny. I don’t think the pictures have the same quality as the Sony. But, the biggest thing that frustrates me is the measly 13 pictures I got out of the 32mb card that comes with the camera and the battery was 1/3 used up in only an hour. With the Mavica I can shoot 90 pics and the battery doesn’t let me down. Any recommendations will be appreciated.

    For my course, I am seeking information about different types of digital cameras and different uses of them. Does anyone out there in blogging land have any information they would like to share?

  • Julie Dec 11, 2003

    I have never used a digital camera, I need to know more basics than already shown, such as what are the minimum items I need to take the photos and download onto my computer?

  • Kate Shanahan Mar 25, 2004

    Could anyone please, please help me find a a user manual I can download for a Nikon F401 (or N4004). I am so desperate!

    Katie

  • Dick Smullen Apr 28, 2004

    I am searching for a digital camera with atleast a 5X zoom (250mm)which would fit in a pocket OR comes with a belt case.
    CAN ANYONE HELP?

  • Megha Jul 22, 2006

    hello

      I need help for affliation of digial cameras with high comission.Please help by suggesting websites.

  • john Nov 21, 2006

    Hello everyone, im after a bit of advice.  I want to purchase a digital camera, but need help to do this.  i want a camera that can give you good detail on your shots, and can also take shots of birds in distance, but bring them close to you. not over ?250.00. please give advice.

What do you think?