Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Digital Camera

In preparing for the upcoming vacation, we thought it might be about time to join the 21st century and purchase a digital camera. Unfortunately, I know absolutely nothing about digital cameras, how to upload pictures, and if you need to buy specific software to do this. There are probably other digital camera questions that I don’t even know enough to ask. So whenever I need advice, I turn to my blog and specifically people who read this for help. HELP!

I have no idea where to start. How much do digital cameras even cost? Does anyone have recommendations about specific types or brands of cameras? Are there features I should look for? Do I need to buy film or a battery separately? Do digital cameras even have film? (Sadly, this last question is not a joke.)

Thanks for any assistance. Of course, I may fall back on my usual way of taking pictures: disposable cameras.

9 comments:

Messiah said...

I have a Kodak. It's fine. I don't know if others are better. I don't know from features.

All cameras come with a rechargeable battery, and I'm pretty sure that all cameras come with an adapter in the box to charge directly into the wall.

YOu don't need film, but you DO need to buy and SD card. I'm sure your camera salesman will try to sell you one. Since you need it quick, you can't scour ebay for good deals, but I'd buy a pretty huge one (512 MB should be okay, but 1 GB is better) so you don't have to worry about disk space when you're traveling. If you do run out of disk space, just buy another SD card -- CVS stocks them these days.

All cameras also come with a USB cable to download to the computer. Kodak (and probaby more) also sell a docking station that you can charge and download the camera automatically.

If you want to update your blog with photos while traveling, you'll need the cable. An alternative is to go to radio shack and buy and SD card reader -- you take the SD card out of the camera and plug it into the reader to download. Works great if you want to download pics from other people's cameras onto your computer.

Captain Easychord said...

your most basic choice when buying a digital camera is point-and-shoot vs. DSLR... the former are smaller (think fits comfortably in your pocket) and cheaper ($250 or so?)...

the latter are the kind you'll see people carrying around in a bag or on a large strap around their neck... they're also a good bit more expensive ($500, minimum)... but with the right lenses (which are the real investment when you're serious about your DSLR photography), they offer a lot more versatility to get great shots in different conditions...

if you're just looking for vacation pix and maybe some other occasional stuff, a point-and-shoot is probably the best option... just don't expect great results when you take the camera out to see the nats...

in the realm of point-and-shoot, the canon powershot line has a good reputation... I've been happy with the results I've gotten from my casio exilim... just about any problem I might have with it is a limitation of point-and-shoots generally (not enough tinkering I can do with apertures and the like, small amount of optical zoom (note that digital zoom is a crock))... my camera also doesn't connect up to a computer with just a USB cable... it has its own separate dock that has to be used to upload photos... a minor annoyance...

if you're interested in taking a look at the DSLRs, some good discussion of buying guides and whatnot can be found here... if you're still not sure what you want to go with, browse the camera finder on flickr (or just browse flickr generally), and you'll get to see a somewhat representative batch of images... (where by "representative", I mean "usually some of the pictures that are fairly highly regarded by other flickr users")...

oh, and no, there is no film... you will, however, need to pick up a memory card of some sort that will store your pictures...

Johanna said...

one addition to what's here: we have a digital point and shoot that uses disposable batteries. bad idea. we burn through them super fast. definitely get one with a rechargeable.

Nick said...

We used to have a Fuji FinePix, which was pretty good. Now we have a Canon Digital Elph, which is really good. It's a fine investment! The only 'hidden' cost not mentioned above is getting the photos 'developed' if you want to have print copies. But getting film developed is expensive anyway, so at least this way you have the option of being selective about what you want printed.

Sean said...

Messiah, Captain, Johanna & Nick - Thank you very much for your suggestions! I'm probably going to head to Best Buy tonight to see what they have. This is a huge help!

Captain Easychord said...

ugh... best buy sucks for a number of reasons... and in this particular case, going somewhere where you might get more helpful advice might be a good idea? I understand that penn camera is a favored choice for many of the local camera geeks due to helpful service folk...

John Martin said...

Hi

Thanks for these informations. These are really useful and worthy for the readers and those who are dealings with these products and services.

With appreciations and regards,

John Martin

Sean said...

If anyone happens to read this, we bought an Optimus 8.0 megapixal from Radio Shack. We also got reachargeable batteries and will get a 2 GB SD card. It seems like we got a good deal as the camera was $90 on sale from $140.

I hope we did OK.

Anonymous said...

Cool variety of digital cameras are available at Ritz Camera with many coupons.....!