digital still camera technical/buying advice

  EKD 14:22 29 Jan 2003


This is really a request for direction to the relevant back issue of the PC Advisor magazine - trouble is, I don't know which issue.

I am looking for the most recent general guide (in the magazine) to the technical angles to buying a suitable digital still camera. Which issue has that info?

Thanks in advance,
Edward Dey

  ©®@$ђ 14:31 29 Jan 2003

but here a some tips

go for a model with two or preferably three megapixels for good quality and overall flexibilty

dont bother with four and five megapixel models unless you print bigger than A4

ignore digital zooms-they actualy reduce quality.the optical zoom is the important figure

buy a new memory card immediately.the supplied one is virtually useless

  EKD 14:54 29 Jan 2003

thanks for your helpful reply - which raises a (dumb) further question:

why "buy a new memory card immediately, the supplied one is virtually useless"? Any tips on suitable size, since it seems the price rises almost exponentially with capacity?

Thanks again,
Edward Dey

  Gongoozler 14:59 29 Jan 2003

Hi Edward. There have been a few articles in various magazines about buying digital cameras, but most are not really very helpful. Try to decide what you really want your camera to do and how much you can afford to pay, then post back to this thread and you will get plenty of advice from people who actually use them. Have a look at the Internet Cameras Direct web site click here. You will get a good idea of what is available, and at what price. You will also find reviews from both users and expert reviewers. I agree with ©®@$ђ that 3Mp is the best compromise for quality and price. A good optical zoom range is worth having, but anything more than 3x tends to get bulky. Digital zoom is of limited usefulness, but with my 3.2Mp Sony, I take most pictures at about 1.2Mp, reserving the large file 3Mp photos for those that may be worth printing as large pictures. The digital zoom is then quite useful because it is effectively selecting part of the 3Mp array to save as 1.2Mp.

  Gongoozler 15:04 29 Jan 2003

Hi again Edward. The card supplied with cameras is generally 8 or 16 MB. When a file is saved as jpg, then a 3Mp file is about 1.5MB, so you will not get many on the supplied card. You can get larger cards at a reasonable price from 7dayshop. click here. Also some cameras are supplied with alkaline batteries. These last just a few minutes. Rechargeable batteries and chargers are also available at very reasonable prices from the same supplier.

  jazzypop 15:07 29 Jan 2003

Pretty good, unbiased advice - click here

  ©®@$ђ 15:10 29 Jan 2003

digital cameras store their images in computer memory which can be erased and reused.while some budget cameras have built-in memory.most models employ removable memory cards (which are obviously better as you can upgrade them).clearly the more memory you have,the more pictures you can store before either having to delete or transfer them to your pc.

the memory cards that come with the camera can be anything from 8mb to 32mb

don't bother with anything less than 64mb, but you can get 64mb cards for around £40 and 128mb for £75

shouldn't be paying any more, so bare that in mind before you purchase

good luck

  woodchip 15:28 29 Jan 2003

I can get 58 pic's on a 8Mb card will print good quality at A4 as jpg about 145kb a pic

  Gongoozler 17:01 29 Jan 2003

Hi woodchip. As you say, it is possible to get 58 pictures on an 8Mb card. It depends on the jpg compression factor, but close examination of a picture compressed this much will show significant fringing and other artefacts. Good though jpeg compression is, it is not lossless, and so something has to go in order to get this much compression. A fairly bland scene will compress easily with very little noticeable degradation. A scene with a lot of fine detail will inevitably be degraded by almost any compression. With memory cards now being available at much more reasonable prices I don't think it is worth compressing the image too much, then getting it onto the computer and realising it would have been a great work of art if only ...

  ripvan 19:08 29 Jan 2003

EKD click here have an advert in this months total digital photography mag for the canon ixsusv2 for only £199.(a very good price the new v3 is £350+)I have the v1 they are excellent 2megapix cameras.Metal body and small enough to fit in your pocket.Kit comes with mains charger for the lithium-ion battery that it uses.They are better than nicads as they don't have a 'memory'.Software with it is also quite here do extra non-canon batteries for only £14 and have 64k compact memory cards for only £17 128k for £39.

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