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Advice on what camera to get? plez

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by EV@, May 31, 2003.

  1. EV@

    EV@
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    Hi I usual only use the Audio forum as I'm into Home Cinema stuff as a hobby.
    Thing is I like all gadgets and cool things but I know from buying Amps and speakers that there is a mind blowing choice availible to the consumer. Not only that you can set your self a budget of say £300 to spend but if you look round like on the web your £300 could buy a £450+ camera.
    To my point its my Dads birthday soon he's always liked the idea of getting a digital camera to play with, he wants a preety good one, now we have got around £250 tops to spend. I'd like it to have at least 3x optical zoom and have around 3-4 million mega pixels.
    The camera that I've seen that fits the bill is a Minolta DiMAGE S414 for around £250 on the web. But thats about the only camera I'm familiar with and I'd like to make sure thats its a good buy. Any other sugestions on what camrea's are good for around £250. Are mega pixels very important? is there a major difference between 3 & 4 mill. pixels?

    Any Advice would be greatly appreciated thanks

    Evo
     
  2. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Depends on what you want the camera for.

    Megapixels are important ifyou intend to print them off or enlarge them. They arent if its simply to view on a computer or using VideoCDs or publish to web.

    But fpr £250 this is very good value for money. It scores 4.5 in user reviewson www.dpreview.com.

    If he (your dad) wants to learn about photography (ie wants to set aperture or shutter speed) then you might want to consider something like the Canon A40 which has less pixels 2Megapixels but more creative functions. 2 Megapixels prints fine at A4
     
  3. TommyVecetti

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  4. ajp558

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    Hi,

    My wife was looking for her first digi camera last week & it came down to the S414 (great looking spec) & the Canon A70. She looked at both & went for the A70 due to its better quality movie mode (which was important to us), its lighter & more compact. I also think that the A70 may have less shutter lag. Looking around it had some great reviews & now we are just getting to grips with it I can see why. Amazon were doing the A70 for about £245 including an extra 64 Mb flash card.

    I guess that I'd have been dead chuffed with either camera though, especially if you were buying it as a birthday present for me :D

    For reviews we looked at the following sites:

    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/powershot_a70-review/index.shtml

    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/minolta/dimage_s414-review/

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/a70.html

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/s414.html

    Good luck with your decison.

    AJP.
     
  5. mellow

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    Read the reviews quoted, then go and check out the cameras in a shop - in the end it comes down to personal preference. Try to envisage which one your dad would be most comfortable using.

    I was considering the s414 until I saw the size of it - I wanted something that would fit in a small(ish) belt bag or a pocket. I was also looking at the IXUS until I tried holding it - too small to hold steady. I like the "bulge" on the A70, it sits secure with one-handed grip.

    Like AJP, I ended up getting the A70, and so far have been very happy with it. Yes, Amazon are doing it for £245 with the extra card (v. good deal), if they have it stock. I couldn't wait and got Jessops to do a pricematch for £237. If you get either the S414 or A40/60/70 remember to factor in rechargable NiMH batteries and a charger, look in the "sticky" for very good pointers (it certainly helped me)
     
  6. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Didnt realise the A70 was so cheap otherwise would have recommended that. Definately the route to go if you think your dad would like to learn about photography rather than point and shoot
     
  7. EV@

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    Thanks a lot for the super replies, its really helped me choose what to get.
    The Canon A70 was also in my shortlist and I really like the size and shape of it.
    Although I'm buying it for my Dads birthday (Family are putting in towards buying it to) its also a camera I'd like to use. My Dad has been reading Camera magazine's to get an idea whats availible he had been looking at the Nikkon coolpixs range and Nikkon 775 which I believe the A70 replace's? and Kodak DX4330. He wants to have a well specified camera with enough feature's to play with if he want's to get a little more serious. Its going to be taken on holiday with us and most of the time used just for general holiday snaps.
    I'm a gardener and am trying to make a garden guide for my work illusrtated with picture's including close ups of flowers, so it needs a good macro feature, and enough adjustment options to tweek the picture if neccersary.
    My Dad intially liked the Nikkon 775 because it was availible at a discount, then decided on the A70 but now really like's the S414 mainly because of its 4mega pix's and 4X optical zoom.
    Still I think the A70 with a 64mb card which he also wants at around £250 thats going to be are best deal.
    Mellow you say Jessops matched the the price for the A70 with extra card?

    Thanks for the advice so far.

    Evo
     
  8. Matt F

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    Either the A70 or the S414 would be great choices - the Canon is a lot more compact - the Minolta is quite chunky but is has more pixels and a faster lens.

    As for how many pixles you need, the ideal resolution to aim for is 300ppi but 250dpi is fine and 200ppi still looks okay

    The A70 has 2048X1536 pixles so a 10X8 print will have a resolution of 205X192ppi - pretty good but at 7X5 it is spot on at 293X307dpi.

    The S414's 2272X1704 will give you more ppi at 10X8 - 227X213.

    There's not a great deal in it though as you can see.

    Matt.
     
  9. mellow

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    Sorry if I wasn't clear in my last post.

    IF you decide to go for the A70 the Amazon deal for £245 with extra 64Mb card is the best going (imho). At the time I wanted one they were showing 1-2 weeks delivery.

    My deal was for the standard Canon package without extra card (but in stock) - found through www.pricerunner.co.uk. In theory if you could prove the Amazon deal was in stock then Jessops should match it...
     
  10. TommyVecetti

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    Yeah, the A70 is probably the best bet.
     
  11. EV@

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    Well after reading some more reviews etc. and going to Jessops in Oxford I got the Minolta S414 as they had it in stock and matched the best U.K price I could find (they would not match Amazon as they told me it was an American company!!!).
    Amazon had it for £251 they found it in a magazine for me though at £259, so thats what I paid and am happy with the price!!!.
    BUT! I got the camera for my Dad's birthday, so before I gave it to him (which will not be till next weekend!) I thought I'd learn how to use it first so I can shpw him on the day but there is a problem!!
    I used the batteries that came with it they were new and sealed, I put them in correctly I found the door hard to close! it feels like it could break if you are to hard with it. Then switching it on I tried to figure out how to get the display on, but it is on but is very very dark and almost immossible to see!! I managed to get to the set-up menu and turn the LCD brightness up full but its still barely visible!! What could be wrong? Is there something I'm/I've done wrong?? The battery's also died very quickly in about 10 minute's! and got very hot in that time! they were new. Still I bought a new set and tried them but the screen is still dark!
    I will be taking the camera back tomorrow/sunday but if anyone knows whats wrong please let me know!

    Thanks

    Evo
     
  12. TommyVecetti

    TommyVecetti
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    Maybe you got a dud camera? Sounds like it. Good job you checked.
     
  13. nathan_hill69

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    Bit late in the day but have you thought about the Canon Ixus 400. Had one a few weeks and very impressed with results. Only reason I mention it is because it's Macro setting is very impressive and I've taken a quite a few pics of flowers in my Garden and was extremely impressed with colours and depth of detail - happy to e-mail samples.

    Sorry if it's a bit late and reading the advice in this thread you'll have ended up with a good model.
     
  14. Matt F

    Matt F
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    The IXUS 400 is a cracker but you're looking at £350 best price whereas the original budget (see first post in this thread) was £250 max.

    Matt.
     
  15. nathan_hill69

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    Yep, you're quite right Matt so apologies for my red herring.
     
  16. EV@

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    Well here is an update on the Minolta S414 saga!! went into Jessops Monday, they checked it and confirmed the LCD was dud. They said they will replace it and should have it in the next couple of weeks!!! I told them thats not exceptable as its my Dads birthday this weekend and the camera is for him! and if they could not assure me that they could replace it by then, I wanted a refund! so I could go elsewhere. He then rang a up the main warehouse which did have 1 in stock so he order'd that for me, and told me it would be there by Thursday if not before! and that they would ring me. Thursday afternoon I went in to see if it had arrived and although they had a big order come in and a second smaller order? no Minolta S414.
    Its Friday now I still got the faulty one and the phone has not rang!
    I'll have to try another Jessops in say Reading and see if they have any and would take my faulty one bought at Oxford Jessops?

    Evo
     
  17. beavis

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    Just to add to this, I've just ordered a Canon A70 from DigitalDepot.co.uk, it costs £249 from there and you get a free Tripod and a 256mb CF card! Delivery is £7.95 but it still works out cheap - I can also confirm that yesterday they had them in stock!

    Cheers.
     
  18. Party Animal

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    I am also choosing a Camera for my Daughters Birthday..nott till the beginning of September, but the Canon A70 looks a pretty good choice for an 11 year old

    might hang on another 6 weeks --to see if something else comes out.. or the price drops a little
     
  19. nunew33

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    A70 is very good for an 11 year old.

    It is so simple in auto and has the features to allow an enquiring mind to experiment!

    I have the S45 and my 3 year old son can set it to auto and click away. His composition needs some work though!!!
     
  20. Hugo Junkers

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    I have the A70 which I purchased a couple of weeks ago. I am very impressed with it. Thankfully Jessops were still doing the price match so I picked it up for £231.
     
  21. EV@

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    I now have the Minolta S414 in perfect workig order!! and am very pleased with it. So far the picture's we have taken with it in auto mode are very very impresive, I also like the size of the S414 it feels very solid and well made when you hold it, the size was a deciding factor over the A70 which my Dad thought was to compact and fidlly for him (everyone is deffirent after all!).

    Evo
     

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