Is this digital camera good/what to look for?

  Cybermaxx 12:48 30 Aug 2004

I'm after a digital camera, but I haven't used one before, and I'm not sure which features would be useful and which ones are just marketing jargon. I'm not looking to spend much (£60 maximum?), and I noticed one of these Vivitar cameras on sale at a local Maplin's Electronics store.

click here

I believe it's the bottom one on that page (the 3610). What do you reckon to it? Is a 2x digital zoom good enough? Cheers!

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:58 30 Aug 2004

The quality will be little better than a webcam. The number of pixels are irrelevant as the quality of the lens will determine the finished quality. For £60 you will get what you pay for and if you want a 'fun' camera this will be OK but the quality will be low.


  Cybermaxx 13:05 30 Aug 2004

No, I don't want a "fun" camera! I want something that will produce crystal clear images. However, I don't want to shell out £230 either (that's the price of the cheapest camera reviewed by PC Advisor). Hmmm, maybe I'd be better off Googling for some tests on these cameras......... Cheers anyway.

  Stuartli 13:17 30 Aug 2004

If you are prepared to add just a little more to your budget, you could buy one of the factory refurbished models from Nikon, Fuji or whatever is in stock at Morgan Computers.

Current PCA ad has a Nikon Coolpix 2100 and a Fuji FinePix A205S, both at £82 and each featuring a 3x zoom lens.

The Nikon is probably the best bet but Fuji also make excellent digital cameras.

  shizzy 21:58 30 Aug 2004

I have the Nikon 2100 and love it. They were originally £245. Has optical zoom as well. You will not be happy with anything less if you want good photos.

  961 16:12 31 Aug 2004

To take pictures you will feel worth spending the money for paper and ink etc, or to get processed you will need a minimum of

OPTICAL zoom lens, 2x or greater. Most good cameras have a 3x optical zoom at least.

Digital zooms merely enlarge the centre of the existing frame and are of no practical use.

A good quality lens. Canon, Nikon, Olympus are the best.

2 megapixels or greater.

Because models change so often, there is a good supply of cameras which have been superceded yet have the full manufacturers warranty

A good way to get a good camera at a rock bottom price with a guarantee is to buy second hand from Jessops. The camera may well be a few months old from someone who has traded up and will suit your needs fine

  Stuartli 16:22 31 Aug 2004

You are basically reiterating the link I provided for the Nikon and Fuji examples at Morgan Computers, but they are even cheaper.

Both have a 3x optical zoom and 2M pixels and come from first class Japanese companies (even though they are probably rebadged Taiwanese models!). Such companies won't allow their reputation to be harmed by offering inferior equipment.

As for Canon, Nikon and Olympus being "the best lens", what about Ashai Pentax, Fuji, Minolta, Vivitar, Tamron et al?

I've got examples of most of them - or used them - and all are superb whatever the brand.

  anchor 19:53 31 Aug 2004

I think you will have to set your budget a little higher than £60, albeit not in the £200+ range.

For a serious good "new" camera, at a reasonable price, I suggest the Fuji A330. This is currently £98 (UK VAT paid) at 7dayshop.

click here

Full spec: click here

Review here

click here

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