Digital Camera Buying advice...thanks..

  DANZIG 12:06 18 Mar 2006


I'm getting a camera soon but I have some concerns about what features I should be looking for. I don't really want to spend over the odds for features and specifications I don't actually want and more than likely never use.

Can anyone help?

I'm on a budget of no more than £200.

I'm not a professional photographer or anything, I just want photo's that I can print out at home that look just as good as the ones I can get done at Boots.

I need it Pictbridge enabled as I've just bought a printer (HP Deskjet 5940, an excellent bit of kit by the way).

I don't want to be changing batteries every 20 minutes.

X -- How many megapixels should I looking for ideally?

X -- How many photos per MB of memory can I store in the camera/on a memory card? I need to know that as I will be travelling in the wilds later this year with no access to any external storage media.

X -- Can I charge rechargable batteries using a car cigarette lighter socket?

I've had a look at Jessops' website and got a lot of info from that (not that I really know what half of it means!), and I'm popping in today to have a word with them about it.

Anyone got any sage words of advice?

  DANZIG 12:09 18 Mar 2006

PS - I'm not bothered about software bundles either, I've already got a ream of picture editing stuff on the PC. Just as long as I get the drivers etc for the camera with it...

  kinger 12:33 18 Mar 2006

Look at the Sony range. I use the T7 which was over £200 but may have come down by now.

The rechargeable batts give a good innings, 5 megapixel and good zoom.

Nothing fancy, just very good quality results.

  anchor 17:26 19 Mar 2006

Consider the excellent new Canon Powershot A540 6.0Mpixel, 4x optical zoom. Canon make excellent digital cameras.

click here

PictBridge compatible, although I always prefer to tweak the pictures in Paint Shop Pro, or similar, before printing. Takes rechargeable batteries.

Price about £178 (+p/p) from Dabs.

  anchor 17:35 19 Mar 2006

The number of pictures you can get on the memory card will depend on the capacity of the memory card itself, also the image size and compression you choose to use for your pictures.

Recharging from a car battery: Basically the answer is no; but I have a gadget that you plug one end into the cigar lighter, and has a 3 pin ordinary mains plug at the other end. It converts the 12v into 240v. I can then plug my charger into that. It works!. Don`t know where it was bought, it was a gift.

  hssutton 20:59 19 Mar 2006

Many battery chargers are dual voltage, capable of being charged via a car cigar lighter or from the mains. I have one for my AAs and one for my dedicated Canon batteries

  o44wen 21:37 19 Mar 2006

how about a nice camera from Panasonic, this is from their latest range click here

I have one from 2/3 years ago, excellent battery life and excellent photos, i got the LC70, takes AA batteries so i never have to worry about charging up built-in rechagables.

I also bought my mother one of their cheaper models last year, battery life wasnt as good as mine although it is still excellent and so much better than peoples cameras. It was the DMCLS1B

For memory cards I always bought from great prices, great products and free delivery

although this one click here is 100quid over your budget i am very tempted to be buying this one next time, but i probably wont because of lack of money, very tempting if it came down in price later in the year.

  Charence 05:58 20 Mar 2006

How many megapixels the camera may haven't shouldn't be the only thing to consider, of course you'll want a decent amount to print nice detailed pictures, perhaps at least 4MP...5 is recommended. You must also consider the lens and the amount of lag the camera may have.

It's probably best to spend just a little more for a camera with a better lens and that would usually mean buying from a well known brand, such as Nikon, Canon, Olympus, etc. Or perhaps a brand which uses a good lens such as Carl Zeiss (Sony) or Leica (Panasonic).

How many MBs per photo will depend on the number of pixels your photo contains. The image sizes my 5MP camera will produce require around 2.5MB. When buying your camera you should consider what medium it uses to store the images, if its storage capacities meet your needs and if its affordable.

If you're going on a long holiday, I think getting a camera which runs on AA batteries would be the best idea, they're not too expensive and I think that newer cameras will last quite a while on a set of batteries.

This looks like a good buy and should leave you with some money to buy more memory: click here

click here and take a look at some reviews and other useful info.


  Charence 06:00 20 Mar 2006

sp - first should be have (not "haven't")

  anchor 09:23 20 Mar 2006

Apologies; hssutton is quite correct.

Combination chargers are available for AA batteries that work on both the mains and a car cigar lighter.

Examples here:

click here

click here

  Diemmess 17:38 20 Mar 2006

You were wise to go to Jessops.
Their advantage (in my eyes) is that you ask for their digi camera buff and know that he/she doesn't get a commission for selling to you and the advice will be relatively unbiased.

In addition to the many who have responded, battery life is miles better than it used to be.
My last Olympus had 1 shot lithium batteries which lasted well, but were replaced with NiMh 2200 which cover several shoots and carrying charged spares removes the risk of running out mid session.

My first camera was a Kodak DC110 (I think) and I was lucky to get more than a dozen shots before recharging. Most of it went as heat!

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