'Argos' digicam any good?

  TommyRed 20:54 09 Jun 2003

Have been looking around for a digicam and noticed one in Argos for £119.99 for 3.1 mp. It is a make no one will ever have heard of Concord Eye-Q, wondering if anyone has one and if its any good? Also whats the difference between optical and digital zoom?

  monkeyshine 21:07 09 Jun 2003

3.1 MP is really cheap at £119.99 - makes me think it has no optical zoom? Best thing to do is try it out and see what you think, I believe Argos do a money back guarantee.

  TommyRed 21:40 09 Jun 2003

No, it has no optical zoom only 3x digital zoom, what's the difference?

  monkeyshine 21:51 09 Jun 2003

One of the other members will probably be able to give you a more technical explanation, simple one is an optical zoom will let you get closer to your subject without loss of resolution, a digital zoom wil ostensibly do the same but with a definite loss of resolution.

  Danoh 22:30 09 Jun 2003

A basic explanation;
As an analogy, a 3.1 mega-pixel chip is made up of 3.1 million "cells" each of which can determine how much light and what colour falls on it.

An optical zoom will be able to enlarge the image falling onto the chip, so resolution does not suffer. This is done using complex assemblies of optical lenses and mechanical movements all of which are very high precision.

A digital zoom uses electronics to crop out some of the 3.1 million "cells" and enlarge the size of each "cell" to fill up the picture. Obviously the more you crop out the "cells" in order to enlarge the picture you get, the larger each "cell" appears. This increases the "grainy-ness" of each picture, also referred to as pixellation.

It is cheaper to mass-produce electronics which can do digital zooming than to produce the lenses and mechanical movements which also require precision assembly.

Hope that helps.

  GroupFC 22:57 09 Jun 2003

I always knew optical zoom was better but didn't know why!

An excellent explanation for the layman!

  TommyRed 23:07 09 Jun 2003

And that is why a 3.1mp digicam for £119.99 has digital zoom and not optical zoom. Excellent Danoh, even a simple person such as myself understood it, Thanks.

  spuds 23:14 09 Jun 2003

Not sure about the 16 days return policy at Argos for things like digital cameras.But if it covers digital cameras, why not select your choice and try it out.Keep it if it's to your liking, return it if it's not.

  Danoh 23:21 09 Jun 2003

Thank you; still doesn't make me a decent photographer though.....

  TommyRed 23:25 09 Jun 2003

One last question. If the digicam has more pixels ie 3.1 million, wouldn't it have a better resolution than say a 2.0mp after digital zoom?
Or would a known brand camera achieve better results?

  monkeyshine 23:34 09 Jun 2003

I would say that you are probably right in that the more pixels the better the resolution in spite of digital zooming.

The only way to find out, though, is if someone has used this camera or try it out and see what you think. It might well be that if you don't need to zoom you may get a really good camera for very little money.

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