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Photography QnA: Digital Cameras

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Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Digital Cameras and Accessories : Digital Cameras

Interested in the consumer rating of digital cameras? How about some digital camera comparisons? Check out this Q&A for everything you wanted to know about digital cameras. Also, be sure to check out our cool digital camera calculators and digital camera comparison charts.

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Photography Question 
Brenda L. Lewis

member since: 7/16/2002
  51 .  What is the best digital camera for taking close
I enjoy digital cameras. What would be the best choice for taking extreme close ups? I don't want to buy more than I need but I really enjoy close ups of things one doesn't normally see so close.

7/16/2002 10:50:09 PM

Bill Benson

member since: 12/27/2002
  I have the Nikon Coolpix 2500, it will do macro down to 1.6", check out all NIKON cameras.

1/7/2003 4:19:12 AM

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Photography Question 

member since: 7/7/2002
  52 .  Buying a digital camera
I am trying to decide on a good digital camera. I have been into photography for most of my life, and I am very picky about image quality. I currently shoot on an SLR camera and have the processor make me a CD from the negatives in addition to my prints. This is costing me a fortune! Once I purchase a digicam, I do not plan to make prints on an inkjet printer, and I will probably never order larger than 5x7s when I order prints through online services (such as Shutterfly). I understand that more megapixels means better image resolution, but there is something I cannot figure out. Most of the ads I see for digicams list both the megapixels and the max resolution. Why is it that the resolution figures (e.g., 2280 x 1740) almost never add up to the megapixel number? And which is more important for overall image resolution? - Paul

7/7/2002 11:38:25 PM

doug Nelson

member since: 6/14/2001
  For your purposes, a 2 megapixel might do, if money is an issue. Even at full resolution, you could get more images onto your storage cards.

Problem is, a cheaper digicam may not have the exposure flexibility or lens quality a photog like you would want. Be looking at 3 megapixels, minimum. Read a brochure on, for example, the Canon G2, and see if those advanced features appeal to you. My guess is that they would.

The resolution figures, multiplied together, should give you the megapixel rating. I wouldn't be surprised if manufacturers round the megapixel figure up a little.

The megapixel and pixel dimension ratings are two different ways of stating the capability of the camera's CCD (charge-coupled device, the thing that turns light intensity and color into digital data). Megapixels is just more convenient to use as a comparison.

7/8/2002 1:43:23 PM


member since: 7/7/2002
  Thanks for the info, Doug. Maybe rounding up is all the manufacturers are doing, but it seems like there must be more to it. The G2, by way of your example, is listed at 2272 x 1704 pixels, which comes to 3,871,488--yet they also list it as a 4.0 mp digicam. Some manufacturers even give more precise mp figures that are also off. Like the Olympus C-3040 (2048 x 1536 = 3,145,728) which is listed as 3.34 mp.

More and more, I'm leaning toward a 3 mp camera, minimum. But I may need to spend the $ for a 4 mp model. I'm just waiting for the prices to fall a bit more first.

Right now, I'm comparing the Canon G2, the Olympus C-4040, the Sony DCS-S85, the Minolta DiMAGE S404, and the Panasonic DMC-LC5, all of which have 4 mp ratings. Any thoughts on these choices?

7/8/2002 11:42:49 PM

Richard E. Perry

member since: 7/30/2002
  You may want to consider NIKON Coolpix 880 digital camera..3.34 mega pixels...I have one ..I am new to digital photography..its a great camera for the newby..but for the seasoned photographer like u it will still suffice I think..take a look at it..the price on it is good now..down to around $350 I think.. good luck..

8/3/2002 12:09:51 PM

Tony Peckman

member since: 8/15/2001
  Paul, as far as comparing digitals and checking out reviews, go to
Extensive reviews/tests/comparisons done on many digital cameras. Wonderful site that will help you make an informed decision. Good luck!
From that site, I am leaning toward the Sony DSC-S85.

10/30/2002 11:54:26 AM

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Photography Question 
Terry D. Oehler

member since: 7/4/2002
  53 .  Am I On The Right Tack?
My main interest is amateur travel photography. I've used my beloved Nikon F2 SLR for about 30 years, but have decided to switch to digital. (My reasons: during recent month in Italy, the airline refused to let me carry on my bag, then lost it for 4 days; I had pulled out my camera and film, but didn't have my lenses and missed many good shots; had to keep passing film through X-rays; when I finally got my lenses, I had to tote them around everywhere; dropped and broke my new zoom lens; had to pay cost of 50 rolls of film, then had to pay $350 to develop the film, but only kept 40% of the prints, and had to pay further for enlargements.)
For my purposes, I figure I need 4x optical zoom, and 4 megapixels (for enlargements to 8x10, maybe 11x14). I want to be able to use full manual, but would also like a broad menu of pre-programmed settings.
I have my eye on the Nikon Coolpix 4500. I know there's not experience with it yet, but does it seem like a good choice? The price seems ok, and I've been very satisfied with Nikon products.
What about a printer? I saw an HP that seemed pretty good and not too expensive (around $150), but can't remember the model number. I keep hearing bad things about Epson. Any thoughts? Are individually-replaceable inkwells an important advantage? And I'll have to upgrade my 6-year-old 233 megaherz Windows 95 computer, won't I? I understand I need at least Windows 98, preferably 2000 or XP.
My budget for camera, printer, and computer system is $2000, but could go a little higher if really necessary.
This is my first foray into digital and I'm a little overwhelmed, and fear I might be going completely astray. Any thoughts would be VERY welcome!

7/4/2002 2:47:48 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001

I can't help you much with specific hardware, but will provide some observations about cost, print sizes, "optical zoom" and digital file storage considerations.

A good friend of mine worked out all the costs after buying a digital camera, printer, etc. He's not saving any money making his own photographic quality prints. It's about the same, perhaps a little more, when using high-end premium print paper. The print paper and ink for the printer are his significant costs. He badly underestimated how much ink he would use. It consumes much more than normal color printing and good inks that won't rapidly fade are more expensive. Most find that they're not saving much (if any) money unless they typically have a very low yield of keepers. What they do find, after getting past the learning curve of how to get a good color balanced print from their printer, is no more aggravation from poorly printed negatives from consumer one-hour labs. [Note: there are some decent consumer one-hour labs, but general quality level is spotty. A good one can suddenly go downhill with the rapid personnel turnover most have.]

His maximum print size is an 8x10, it is marginal, and he must have maximum resolution files to get decent ones. They work OK at normal viewing distance in a frame on a wall, but cannot withstand close scrutiny. An 11x14 (or 11x16) print is about the limit for 35mm film enlargement, and that requires the highest resolution, slowest films. To get even an acceptable print that size requires a very high end, professional grade digital using max resolution, and their cost is several times your stated budget (camera body alone; not even a lens). I recommend downgrading your expectations to most no bigger than 5x7 with an occasional 8x10.

You're smart to pay attention to "optical zoom" as using the "digital zoom" range sucks resolution out of the image quickly. The "digital zoom" feature works by cropping how much of the CCD is used to make the photograph. Even though some algorithm may expand the number of pixels to a full-size file, it's performing some form of averaging of the ones recorded from the CCD to do it. In short, these methods can add pixels and make files bigger, but they cannot add detail that was in the scene, but weren't captured and recorded from the CCD.

Digital Storage Considerations:
You mentioned shooting 50 rolls of film. If these were 24 exposure rolls, it was 1200 photographs! To get larger prints (even with downsizing your expectations some) requires using maximum resolution from a digital. There is a severe limit to how many image files you can store before having to download them onto a computer. The alternative is having pile of "memory sticks" (or whatever the media is they're stored on in the camera). These are not inexpensive, especially the largest capacity ones you would need for storing that many images. Work out the math for how many photographs the camera you're considering can hold at the resolution you need for the print size you want. I know there are some wedding photographers that have switched to very high end digital cameras, but it's not very many, and none that I know locally have done so. The reason? The image storage requirements are staggeringly enormous. The logistics of hauling a laptop computer around plus the time required for downloading them on-location are infeasible. They shoot about 300 images average, 500 max for a very large wedding and long reception, between 1/4th to 1/3rd of the 1200 you shot. If your typical "burn rate" when traveling is that high, start working out a complete "game plan" for how to store and transport that many digital photographs based on a calculation of total storage requirements . . . and consider the cost of that also.

-- John

7/5/2002 8:40:54 AM

T Lee

member since: 11/5/2001
  Hi Terry,

I can help a little with the computer side of things based on my experience as a network technician, and will offer my experiences with digital cameras.

After using my Elan 2 for 2+ years, I tried a couple of Digital cameras. I planned on using them sort of like polariods, for exposure information, etc. I expected them to perform like regular cameras. Perhaps this was my mistake. The first that I bought was your basic point and shoot digital. It frustrated me very badly. You see, I tend to take pictures of objects that move... or breathe. I have a 7 year old daughter, and she doesn't much like to sit still for the camera. I would point the camera at her, and press the shutter. The camera would then think about taking the picture, adjust the shutter speed and such, and -then- take the picture. By this time, she'd already have moved, and the picture was ruined. The camera went back the very next day. Thinking that this was maybe a pitfall of "cheaper" cameras, a few months later, I found a used Canon Pro70. While it did seem to perform better, the delay was still significant. I missed several shots this way. That camera went back later the next week. The camera shop suggested that a Canon D30 might be more what I was looking for if I was expecting image quality and rapid shutter response of my "other" camera. This is a $4500+ cdn camera here. Body Only.

The one thing that I notice that John's excellent response does not comment on is the rate that these digital cameras will chew up batteries as well. Unless you never use the lcd, and only record images on the flashcards and download them, without viewing, or erasing etc, you will notice that you are changing batteries often enough that it might well be worth your while to carry a second suitcase for batteries alone. ( ok,..slight exaggeration ;) ) But you will want to purchase NimH Batteries aplenty. And they're not cheap. 4 AA batteries here run around $14 a package + charger, and typically ran those cameras about 20 - 30 images with larger resolutions ( as you seem to indicate that you will be wanting to do.) The camera that you describe has a Lithium battery, and may not take AA batteries as a backup. In that case,.. you'd want to purchase a second, perhaps even third spare battery, since sometimes the opportunity to recharge those batteries doesn't present itself on a daily basis while travelling.

I have both Epson Scanner and printer. I have no complaints about either. I find that for the money especially, they were an excellent buy. I would, in retrospect perhaps have purchased the C60 or C80 if I'd realised I was going to be printing pictures. I was more interested in price at the time, as my old printer had just died, and I needed to print some stuff. HP makes an excellent printer, but I find them pricey. ($60 - $100USD more for similar features to an Epson or other brands. Especially true of the scanners that I was looking at.) Seperate cartridges are definately a bonus. You will typically use one color more than the others, and would then only have to replace that cartridge. This can save a lot of money in the long run. Another thing to look into is the price of cartridges, and availability.

The Nikon software will require that you upgrade your computer. If you don't use it for retrieving the images, and another piece of software.... that might not be an immediate need. For instance,.. both of those cameras were supplied with software, I never did install either of them, but was able to retrieve the images through windows explorer, and view them in Irfanview (, the imageviewer that I use. It's fully featured as a viewer and better still,.. it's free.

If your computer has USB capability, it will be fine, although you will need to upgrade to Win98se for the ability to use it, as OSes previous to this had questionable or no USB support. If it doesn't, then there are flashcard readers out there that use a serial connection,.. they are harder to find now, but out there. They are slower, but still usable. Or you can purchase a USB reader, and a card for your computer that will add USB ports. The page I found for the camera says that the camera doesn't support this, but a regular USB reader will.

The other thing that you will want to puchase if you are going to be storing digital images, is a CD burner. This will add about $120USD (last time I was in the states) to your price. You do not want to store images only on your computer, in case the harddrive fails. There is no way to retrieve the data if this happens, and all of your pictures will be lost. I scan to my computer, to post to my webpage, and regularly backup to more than one CD, in case one gets scratched.

I hope this helps.

7/13/2002 7:47:58 PM

T Lee

member since: 11/5/2001
  Hi Terry,

I'm sorry,.. I also forgot to mention that you will want a printer that is capable of matching,.. or at least come close to matching, the resolution of the images that you print. For instance,.. If I print an image that is 1200x700dpi on my printer, that is capable of 300x600, I will see loss.

So if you want to use this printer as your "photolab", in many cases, a not too expensive printer will start to show it's limitations early in the game.


7/13/2002 8:22:31 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Stormi (and Terry),

About battery consumption:

Saw a local newspaper photographer at a recent outdoor, daylight event I was also shooting. The newspaper converted to very high end digital a couple years ago; 35mm SLR's with digital backs. It's an excellent digital application with (relatively) low resolution requirements that cuts out the developing and "pre-press" work required to get film into newsprint.

He was wearing a "slab" -- jargon for the mondo battery used with high power flash heads in the GN 150-200 range (ISO 100; feet). The size of a hard cover novel (but much heavier), they're worn on a belt around the waist or hung from a strap over the shoulder. It powered his camera, not a flash. Don't know how long he can run on the slab but it must be significant compared to internal batteries. Same reason they're used for high power flash heads.

-- John

7/14/2002 1:35:02 PM

Mike Mincey

member since: 7/15/2002
  Just a duck.
Just a duck.
Taken with an Olympus C-720 UZ camera. No flash.
Hi. I thought that I would provide some information for you. First off, I provide technical support for one of the digital camera manufacturers. I will agree that battery consumption can be a problem, but it's all in how the camera is used. Yesterday, for example, I used a 3 megapixel camera and 2 16 mb smartmedia cards (the media used in this particular model to store the images on). At the default quality setting of 1984x1488, I managed to take well over 70 pictures. Mind you, this involved reviewing pics to see what I did and did not like and reshooting, zooming in and out, making some manual adjustments, etc. I still managed to go home and download that images to my computer via usb and not once worried too much about the batteries as I was ready to go out and shoot again. I was using NiMH rechargeable batteries and they are well worth it and a viable option.

As for printing, I have the opportunity to print on professional printers, but I have an Epson Stylus 777 which prints EXCELLENT photos. Even upon close inspection, you will have an extremely tough time telling the distance (unless you're the type that looks at every photo with a magnifying glass). Even our senior technicians could not tell that I used my $99 printer instead of their $800 professional printer. Yes, there are better printers out there and yes, the cost can sometimes equal, if not exceed, traditional developing, but I love the do it yourself feel and the option of choosing 4x6, 5x7, or 8x10. I will not go back to film.

7/15/2002 8:20:37 PM

T Lee

member since: 11/5/2001
  Hi John, Terry and Mike,

John - I think that I would have to start packing my own mule around just to carry the battery packs!

Terry - If you do go the digital route, see if there is a store that will let you "test drive" a camera, even if it's an older model, with similar features. This way you can decide whether it's for you or not. I found that with both cameras I tried, I was frustrated by the lack of control. I was also disoriented by the feel of the camera, as I am used to an SLR camera. Good luck in whatever you choose though!

Mike - What was the brand and model of the camera? I would be interested in looking into one. And I've been using the Optex CamPower batteries with a 1200mAh rating. The first camera chewed them up and spit them out. What batteries are you using, and what is the mAh rating on them??


7/20/2002 11:16:25 AM

Mike Mincey

member since: 7/15/2002
  Hi Stormi! The camera was an Olympus C-720uz. I was using the Olympus brand of rechargeable NiMH and they are rated at about 16mAh. There are two chargers available. A quick charger and an overnight charger. Yeah, those 1200mAh batteries will go on you quick. Definitely go for something with a little more juice. Also, if using a digital camera, you may want to remember to use the lcd screen to review pictures that you have just taken instead of using it to take all of your pictures. It will greatly increase that battery usage you will get.

7/20/2002 2:10:30 PM

Lyndon Guy

member since: 3/27/2001
  So let me throw in another two cent's worth - Take a look at the Fuji Finepix 602S. This answers a bunch of your concerns - it is a 3.3 Mpixel camera, uses rechargable AA cells, can use eithe smartmedia or compactflash memory (and the 1Gbyte Microdrive, by the way). This gets you about 400 images between downloads at max res and jpg "fine" mode compression. It has full manual and full auto capability and everything in between. It doesn't weigh much and gets good life out of the batteries.

I use an Epson 1280 printer with a continuous feed ink system from With 4 oz ink bottles, you can print a LOT of 8X10's before you have to buy more ink. Read up on this printer, lot's of folks use it for professional and semi pro work with excellent results. With 2000 + prints under my belt, I have found it to be very reliable. Camera investment - about $800, Printer + CFI system + first set of inks ~ $600. Microdrive ~ $250 That leaves you a few bucks for a new computer motherboard and processor.

7/23/2002 5:02:51 PM

Diane H. Inskeep

member since: 3/13/2002
  Hi Terry,
I am a rather recent convertee (sp) from film to digital. I bought the Canon D30, which was $3000 when new, but they are now showing up used in the $1000 range. I decided to use the Canon so I could use my other 35mm lens with the digital back. It is a nice feature to be able to put a 200mm lens , or a 15mm lens on a digital back, when you need it. Will your old Nikon lens fit the newer Nikon digitals?

I use the HP Photosmart 1315 printer, costs alittle less that 400. Pictures are fine. The feature I like best is the ability to print an index print,with photo numbers, directly from the compact flash card. then I burn it to a cd, for safe keeping. HP does not have separate ink cartridges, which I do not like. The HP is very slow....I would even change to another printer if I can get better ink options as well as the index printing directly from the flash card.

I have 12 compact flash cards, in several sizes. The costs of cards has come down alot in our area, so the last 128 mg card cost me $45. (Holds 150-200 shots per card) With multiple cards, I can shoot over 1200 photos, at the highest jpg option.
I recently bought a billion rechargeable batteries, a big battery chargers , and a smaller charger(with the car adaptor plug) Seems like I got 36-38 batteries, and it all cost about $200 mail order. Researching batteries was a pain, but I ended up getting a charge that could charge ALL of the various types of batteries. I can look up the web site on the battery stuff if you are interested.
Hope this helps.....and as soon as you get the first few thousand images, we can all discuss how to organize and keep track of them!


7/29/2002 3:58:15 PM

Lem Metro

member since: 8/15/2002
  Good Wood
Good Wood
  Pale Mail
Pale Mail
  Pretty Kitty
Pretty Kitty
I bought everything you mentioned you were about to obtain in May of this year, with a budget of $2500.00. My budget went like this.
$1500.00 for laptop computer. I bought the Winbook J4, P4 1.6GHZ and loaded.
$500.00 for digicam. I purchased Minolta's S404 new for $431.00. (see attached photos) At 4MP, with a 4X optical zoom and loads of features, this may be the best bang for the buck out there.
$200.00 for photo printer. My answer was the HP Photo Smart P1000 at $141.00.
$300.00 for camera accessories. Solution. Shop for weeks and gather a 256MB memory card for $96.00, a basic filter kit and adapter for $55.00, lots of NiHM batteries and charger for $50.00, and a large camera bag for $15.00, My total cost was $2288.00. Plus around $110.00 in taxes and shipping costs. $2400.00. Ouch! But I have it all!
Let's address your slightly limited budget. At $2000.00, you may have to cut a few corners, but here is a way to do just that and still have everything you need to begin enjoying digital photography. First is the computer. Allow one half of your budget for your digital darkroom. $1000.00 will buy a very nice desktop system with a Pentium 4 processor at around 2GHZ. It should have all the necessary photographic options like CD-RW, 60GB hard drive, DDR ram, USB ports, and Windows XP installed. Purchasing a very good compact zoom digital camera, all the extras that requires and a serviceable photo quality inkjet printer will take the second $1000.00 of your budget. Obvious camera choices are the Minolta S404 or the Sony DSC-S85 both around $500.00. The Olympus and Canon models that give you similiar qualities cost a bit more at a price point of $600.00 or more. Choosing the Minolta S404 allows you to invest about $300.00 in accessories and still leave $200.00 for a good quality printer and your first pack of glossy photo paper. For $300.00 you can add a 256MB Compact Flash memory card, a cheap telephoto or wide angle lens with adapter and filters, rechargeable NiMH batteries and charger, memory card reader and maybe even a camera bag. A real bargain shopper might be able to bring this in well under $2000.00.

8/15/2002 11:08:50 AM

Ronnie G. Rutledge

member since: 8/18/2002
  Lake Isabella
Lake Isabella
This is Lake Isabella with McNalley forest fire smoke in the background.
Hi Terry, I am not a professional photographer by a long shot but I just bought my second Sony Digital camera. I bought a 4 megapixel Mavica CD400 for $667. It only has 3x optical zoom but for an additional$120 I purchased a 2x zoom lens and mounting adapter from Sony. As for the battery life I get "at least 2 hrs" of shooting with one charge and bought an additional rechargeable battery for $60 so I never run out of battery. Also 156 MB to 200MB cds hold lots of pictures and are very cheap at about 50 cents each. Good luck with whatever you choose.

8/20/2002 10:13:37 PM

Bill Hammer

member since: 12/10/2002
  Terry, all the information you received ignored one consideration - the time to actually make prints from your files. I have been taking slides for over 50 years (no wise cracks about my age!)and for the last two years doing digital. Even if you load your images into your computer directly from your memory card they will probably need some image correction. Be it levels to correct small exposure problems, cropping or cloning to remove extraneous material, etc. I am pretty good at Adobe Photoshop but I still spend 5-10 minutes to improve each print. Did you say 50 rolls of film on each trip? I take about 30 rolls of slide film and when I get home it only takes me about 10 seconds to discard the losers. I'm not sure this helps you BUT YOU MUST CONSIDER IT.

Bill Hammer

1/21/2003 11:59:40 AM

Mike Mincey

member since: 7/15/2002
  Hi guys. Long time. I've got a new setup. Over the holidays, I purchased the Olympus C-50 5 megapixel compact camera. Love it despite a few minor drawbacks (no manual focus, no infra-red sensor AF assist for low light shooting and no audio using movie mode). I also just purchased the Epson 785EPX printer as there has been a promotion running for for a rebate when you purchase an Olympus Camera and Epson Printer. I've been using the Epson Stylus 777 printer to print out my photos with rave reviews, so I wanted something even better. The camera I love for the compact size, abundance of features, and the really long battery life from the included lithium battery. I'll let you guys know how this setup works for me after I shoot over the next week.

1/21/2003 12:23:48 PM

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Photography Question 
Peter Chen

member since: 6/23/2002
  54 .  Dinosaur Going Digital !!!
Hi Jim,
I'm a perfect dinosaur but would like to buy a digital camera?
What do you think of Leica Digilux 1?
Appreciate if you can give me your humble opinion.

Thank you very much.

Peter Chen

6/23/2002 11:48:21 PM

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Photography Question 
T Webb

member since: 10/2/2001
  55 .  Nikon D1 X
hi, I am buying a Nikon D1 X, my friend says I should look for one used, but I thought you couldn't buy them used because of the software that comes with them, anyone know about this, or just the camera in general.
thanks for your time

4/23/2002 5:49:12 PM

doug Nelson

member since: 6/14/2001
  Someone could dump one to get the latest and greatest. On a high-end item like this, I'd buy new.
I still think a good film scanner is a better buy these days, until digital SLR's get cheaper and have a CCD (charge-coupled device, the element that turns light energy into pixels)the same size as a 35-mm film frame.

4/24/2002 7:36:41 AM

Sandy Richards

member since: 3/6/2002
  Hi - if you haven't purchased your D1X yet, email me and I will give you the name/phone of the authorized US Nikon dealer from whom I got mine. He sells them new, sealed, with all accessories, for $4200, and you can use a credit card for your protection. I love mine! (And this is a legitimate post - I'm just a serious amateur, not a dealer, nothing in it for me, just passing on a good deal) Sandy -

5/15/2002 1:43:11 PM

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Photography Question 
Ali Shah

member since: 12/10/2001
  56 .  Most Popular Megapixel...
I am getting myself back into photography. I took a 9-year break... back then I was just a kid with a couple of Pentax and Chinon manual SLR's. I won a few awards at local photo expositions and even did some modeling work for pay on the side. It was very expensive which is one reason I took such a long break. In the meantime digital came into being and I purchased Canon Powershot A20 and S110 digi-cams to practice with.

I check this site everyday for inspiration... the images are amazing.

I feel like I am lacking something with the cameras that I own. I went to a local camera shop the other day to inquire about a compatible digital slave flash... the salesperson gave me a funny look and said "those are considered consumer cameras... why do you want a slave flash?" I ended up purchasing the SR electronics slave flash anyway from the Net.

I wanted to find out what type of digital equipment other folks are using. When talking about megapixels... is 2.1 good enough to create good images... or should I set my sights higher? I have my eyes on the Minolta D7 and I am very tempted to get it now.

By the way I purchased a Pentaz ZX-M as well... it's a starter SLR but should be good enough for what I want to do.

I'd appreciate your input. Thanks.

4/6/2002 11:20:00 PM

doug Nelson

member since: 6/14/2001
  As long as you don't need much larger prints than 5 x 7, 2 megapixels should be fine. Some 2 MP images on some printers look OK as an 8 x 10. To me, they're just on the verge of breaking up, whereas the same image would be true photographic quality as a 5 x 7.

If you like SLRs, you might consider a film scanner to digitize these photos and any that you shot 9 years ago.

4/9/2002 3:17:07 PM

Ali Shah

member since: 12/10/2001
  Thanks for the reply. I am not really concerned about print size as much... 8x10 is good enough usually. However, I want a good quality picture... and I want a camera that will work well with my imagination. 2.1mp is good but the camera's functionality is very limited. I am interested in manual functions that let me create a image and not have the camera tell me what to do.

4/9/2002 5:26:49 PM

Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
Owner,, Inc.
  Like Doug, then, I too recommend a film scanner to go along with your SLRs. If you do not need the immediacy of a digital camera, you will likely find this more satisfying in the long run. It's more work but it is worth it if you want total creative control.

4/10/2002 3:21:16 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  I'll toss in an agreement with Jim on this too. All but the very high end and very expensive professional grade digitals are designed for auto-focus and auto-exposure. A 35mm film camera that allows *easy* and *simple* manual control of focus and exposure would give you the control you're looking for (even though it may also have an AE and/or Program mode). That, a few lenses, and a decent mid-grade *film* scanner would cost less than one of the high end pro-grade Canon or Nikon digitals . . . and get you higher resolution digital images! While you're looking at film SLR's take a peek at the Nikon FM-3a, a very new addition to Nikon's lineup and much like a cross between the FM-2n and discontinued FE-2. Its price might surprise you (compared to very high end digitals)!

-- John

4/10/2002 10:07:46 PM

Ali Shah

member since: 12/10/2001
  I am sure that film still offers much more flexibility and creative control. However, what about the expense of developing rolls of film vs. digital? Something has to be said about that.

Well I made the move... I bought a Minolta D7... should arrive sometime tomorrow. This machine offers manual capability unlike the lower end digi-cams. Is this considered higher end? I sure hope so. I could not afford the higher end SLR style digi-cams. So this will do it for now. Some of those SLR style digi-cams are only 3 & 4MP. I was surprised.

Now I won't feel like I am lacking something and my creative juices should start flowing. It's a psychological thing I guess. I feel the limitation of the Canon 2.1's and I just feel like I am not getting the type of shot that I might be capable of taking. I will also use my new Pentax SLR but not as frequently because I cannot afford all those developing costs to be honest with you. $$ is the primary reason I stopped shooting way back when... although thankfully I can swing more now than I could when I was still in college. I must mention that I am now married with children!! 8-))

I just wanted to know what you all thought about the 2.1mp digi-cams vs. going higher.

Getting a film scanner would be nice. I have tons of old negatives that I would love to bring into the digital world and play around with in PS. One step at the time though... otherwise the wife will have my head!

Thanks for your input!

4/10/2002 11:28:55 PM

Hermann  Graf

member since: 2/28/2001
  According to my experience, digital pics with a resolution lower than 3.5 megapixels are not worth the expenditure. Even with 3.5 MP and a 10X15 cm format, you see the difference between digital and traditional photography when you are looking closely; in my view, you pay the price of a medium format camera and get the result a cheap P&S camera. On the other hand, digitals with 6 MP such as the Nikon D1 are extremely expensive at the moment.

4/11/2002 8:36:46 AM

Barnes Miller

member since: 4/3/2002
  Here's something you might want to consider. The Dimage 5 come with a 16MB memory card. At Super Fine, one shot is 9.1 MBs. One shot is all you get. A 32MB card gets you 3 shots, 128MB - 13 and a 256MB - a total of 26. Download speeds vary also. A Lexmark 12x Compact Flash card makes you wait almost 9-10 sec between shots. The higher end cards are $$$$. Buy a camera for $900 and end up paying more for the memory.

The Dimage 7 generates a 14.1 MB file, almost twice that of the 5.

I own a Dimage 5 and I'm thrilled with it.

4/11/2002 12:27:46 PM

Ali Shah

member since: 12/10/2001

Thanks for mentioning the memory... I didn't look at this in that way. So what do you use for memory? Do you use Super Fine mode or step down?

I looked into getting the Dimage 5 but I thought well, if I am going to spend the money, why not go all the way - once and for all! I even considered the Canon PS G2 which seems like a great camera for the $$$.

All in all, I love this site because there is just awesome critique and so much creativity. I would like to eventually step up the same level as all of you.

There has to be give and take when comparing digital to film. However, I think that digital will grow and prices eventually will fall. I can see them coming down on many of the lower end digi-cams already. Like I said, I will shoot both ways. My interest is purely just to express myself through my shots... nothing more. Just pure pleasure!

4/11/2002 2:43:07 PM

Johnathan R. Peal

member since: 3/11/2002
  I have a Canon G2 and it's a great camera for the semi-pro or advanced beginner. It's a 4.0 megapixel camera that allows for creativity with lots of different modes and settings.

The picture quality is awesome for a camera in it's price range. It also allows for professional hot shoe flashes and micro flashes. You can purchase optional wide angle lens, a telephoto lens or a close up lens.

It also come with a remote control which is useful and 32MB worth of memory. I get around 40-50 photos in the default mode. It will accept IBM microdrives where you can take 100's of photos on a single drive.

However you won't be able to purchase the higher end zoom lenses available on professional cameras. I couldn't afford most of those anyway, lol.

However a cost of $799.00 is much lower than the cost of the pro-pro models. I think it will last me a while and would satisfy most.

I've seen several people on this site who use the G2 including past contest winners.

4/11/2002 5:34:08 PM

Ali Shah

member since: 12/10/2001
  Yeah from what I read the G2 goes a long way. There is no sense in mind buying those higher end SLR type of digi-cams. The Canon's higher ends are only 3 or 4 megapix anyhow.

4/11/2002 6:11:44 PM

Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
Owner,, Inc.
  I just wanted to assure you, Ali, that you made a good choice. I have a few folks in the current photo-course using the Minolta Dimage 7 and loving it. You do have the creative controls and you do save time and money in the long run. And if what you really love most is browsing and participating at BetterPhoto, such a digital camera will do just fine.

The immediate feedback also provides a terrible advantage when it comes to learning how to take better pictures. With the rough thumbnail version of your photo, you get a pretty good idea right away if you succeeded or not.

When I go out shooting, I have a digital on one shoulder and a film camera on the other.

4/16/2002 7:13:13 PM

Johnathan R. Peal

member since: 3/11/2002
  When I posted my suggestion I read the question just above mine about the Canon G2 and failed to read that Ali already bought a camera.

I just checked out the camera Ali bought and it really looks like a heavy duty piece of gear. It has better zoom capabilities and more megapixels to boot. I'm sure that he will get superior results with his new Dimage 7 as compared to the Canon G2. I would say that he definately made a smart choice.

I wished I had seen it before I purchased my camera, but I'm happy anyway. lol.

4/17/2002 1:56:42 AM

Ali Shah

member since: 12/10/2001

Don't fret... you've got a good piece of machinery. The Canon G2 is a great camera!

Thanks for all your input guys. Now if I could just get some feedback on my shots. I am just starting out so feedback would help. Usually I just shoot whatever I find interesting... this might not be appealing to others. I still need to work on composition of the shot. How to get rid of shadows for example or how to get perfect lighting. I prefer natural light but there are times that I wish I could control light. However, I am doing things now that I have not done in the past... all thanks to Photoshop and this new Minolta. It's all in good fun anyhow.

C ya all later.

4/19/2002 12:44:33 AM

J David Patterson

member since: 5/6/2002
  I view the burgeoning world of digital photographic equipment similiar to the not-so-new world of computers. In computers what you buy is "old" and yesterdays excitement before you leave the store. In digital photo the technology is as dynamic and expensive. And prices are dropping, albeit slowly, on the BEST stuff. In the PC, RAM is the best single upgrade. In digital photo, megapixels (MP) rule.
My advice is to buy the BEST with the MOST MP's you can afford (or borrow). 3-4 MP WILL deliver a good size range of useable, saleable photo prints. 4+ MP's should be your minimum goal.
However, what really counts most is how you use your eyes, how well you compose IN the camera. (Warning - cropping and some other manipulations eat up MP's in the digital darkroom, reducing the final print size options ) Constantly work on improving your ability to see. For with all the MP's and the top-of-the-line equipment, poorly composed weak images will be second-rate.
What do I use ? Olympus C-4040, E-10 and E-20. The 4040 is a great "sneak" cam, with 4.1 MP, The E-10 and E-20 LOOK very professional in the field and give me the capability to sell 30X40 prints IF I have captured something worth bragging about.
Good hunting.
Buh-bye film.

4/27/2002 11:32:04 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
Is that 30x40 inches or centimeters?

-- John

5/7/2002 1:26:22 PM


member since: 8/1/2002
  Hello friends,
I own a digital camera DSC-S30 which is only 1,3 Mpixel BUT it gives me manual operation and shoots great pictures, if we also assume that a print quality of 240 Dpi is acceptable then no more pixels are needed to print 6x4 photographs and from a reading distance. All I want to say is that there better things to search for than MPIXELS.

8/1/2002 8:03:07 AM

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Photography Question 
Donna R. Moratelli
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Donna
Donna's Gallery

member since: 11/23/2000
  57 .  Muddying the Waters About Muddy Scanning
Hello, I am interested in purchasing a digital camera in addition to what I have. I have a Canon Elan 7e with Canon AF lenses. I would like to uses these lenses interchangably with both bodies. I don't even know if that is possible. I am looking to buy a pro-type camera with excellent picture quality at a comparable price. I have never used a digital camera before but, I am becoming EXTREMELY frustrated with scanning pictures constantly and ending up with what appears to be poor picture quality no matter what I do. Sharp is never sharp enough. My digital images always look 'SOFT' and flat. And soft is worse than just about anything so if anyone can help me forget about scanning for a while, I would really appreciate it. THANK YOU! Donnarae

3/19/2002 8:59:33 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  Well, you have a few options. Canon just released the D60 which is a high resolution digital SLR. I hear that it just listed on B&H for $1999. It replaces the D30 which you should start seeing coming down in price consequently. There is also the EOS 1D which is designed for photojournalists. It is the fastest digital SLR on the market. Check out B&H for info and prices.

3/19/2002 9:41:59 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  You might also consider a film scanner. You can get one cheaper than a digital camera and the scans are much sharper than scanning a print on a flatbed. And as far as sheer resolution goes, a scanned piece of film is still far superior than an image captured on a digital camera. Just another thought to muddy the waters for you. ;-)))

3/20/2002 11:30:12 AM

  Hi Jeff, I can scan film on my scanner but I haven't tried it yet. I have an Epson perfection 2450 which does that too. I don't want to stop scanning all together if I can get great results. I will try scanning the film as soon as I learn how. I just didn't realize that the quality would be much different because I have had a ton of my pictures made into photo CD's and I don't like them either. The same lab always scans my film for these. The CDs are required at a couple of the newspapers that I work for. To me though, they have a noisy quality to them. Maybe it is the machine that they use or possibly I am too critical of my work .Thanks for the facts and I will take your advice. One more question, What do you think of the cheaper model digital cameras such as the Nikon CoolPix 990 and 995. I have seen so many beautiful SHARP images that have been made from the 990's. That may be a smarter first digital camera for me because they probably will appear soft to me too and possibly I won't even like going digital but I am extremely curious. Thanks again!

3/20/2002 6:13:46 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
I agree with Jeff about a dedicated film scanner being able to capture more detail.

I've also had a large number of PhotoCD scans of mostly chromes done by a pro lab. Are you "post processing" the images prior to use? From your gallery images, it looks as if you must be doing something with them (other than resizing). The PhotoCD scans I have require some work prior to web use.

Among the most important is tweaking their color balancing and adjusting their contrast at highest possible resolution. Then an "unsharp mask" is carefully used twice: just before resizing and just after resizing them. I set unsharp mask parameters for each image by looking at contrast edges of a "preview" at about 2:1 or 3:1 size on the screen to optimize it and prevent the unwanted side effects sharpening can cause.

If you haven't spent some time experimenting with fine tuning an unsharp mask, you might try some experimenting with each of its settings, one at a time, on several images.

-- John
[who's muddying the waters even more]

3/20/2002 11:42:05 PM

  Hi John, I do post process most of the the time, but not to the extent that you have described. My steps getting to the final result are different and possibly wrong, I suppose. I will try one today the way that you have described and if it still looks 'SOFT', then I will have to stop obsessing or figure out something else out to do! Thanks for your time! Donna

3/21/2002 7:57:42 AM

Nikki Schwerdfeger

member since: 10/6/2000
I too have the Epson 2450 which we discussed last November. Scanning your negatives isn't as easy as it sounds... at least not for me. I have lots of problems with picking up lint and finger prints. In fact, I just posted a question about that and had about come to the conclusion that I too need a digital camera.

One thing I've discovered over and over is how much effect the lab, or lab employee, can have on the final prints. I had Wal-mart develop and make a set of quick prints as we live at the end of the earth and have few options. When I did finally get to my quality lab, the difference was tremendous, but even that lab, with another employee, gave different quality results on a third round of reprints. I assume that CD scanning would be the same.

When you find the perfect solution to doing our own stuff and meeting our own criteria, PLEASE let me know. It takes me weeks from taking a picture to final 8 x 10 as I have to make so many trips so far away. One day, I'd like to actually get something posted at BetterPhoto, but not until I'm satisfied.

3/23/2002 5:23:14 PM

Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
Owner,, Inc.
  First to Nikki: don't wait until it's perfect. We're dying to see your images :)

Donna, I want to reiterate that using your scanner to scan negatives and slides will be A LOT worse than using what the others have described as a dedicated film scanner. If you want to scan film, look at dedicated film scanners such as the Nikon Super Coolscans (you will see that they are much more compact than your flatbed scanner).

My thoughts on going digital: I love my D30 and have loved bypassing the lab-scanner cycle. I do continue to shoot film so that I have physical versions that I can sell.

However, if Jeff K.'s price estimate for the D60 is accurate, I am a bit bummed. That means that it has cost me about $1000 to own my D30 for less than a year. That kind of "price abuse" is common is digital cameras (but, then again, it happens with scanners too).

The other thing is you have to be very delicate with a digital SLR. If you are careful and can get a good price, I say go for it - you will love it and you will never look back.

3/23/2002 9:24:54 PM

  Hi Nikki, Sorry to here about your scanner. I feel so sad because I know how badly you needed and wanted the 2450.

I hope that the rains finally came to your area and the horrible drought finally broke. I pray that some of the helpless animals and livestock were spared their lives and new growth has begun again.

Hi Jim, Thank you for your valuable input too!

3/23/2002 9:35:41 PM

Nikki Schwerdfeger

member since: 10/6/2000

I didn't mean to give a bad impression of the Epson 2450. In fact, I'm pretty impressed with the details it picks up, which may be some of my problem. It does a great job of scanning to e-mail and copying business documents, a major need.

I guess what I am disappointed in is the fact that it can't instantly replace the long distant photo lab and the time or cost associated, but then it's obvious that I can't have everything perfect. I find myself getting so into photography anymore that I want instant, professional results but forget that it takes years of hard work to get to that level and even professionals have their problems. I can't justify the cost of a dedicated film scanner for now so will have to get better with what I have.

What I am discovering, however, is that what is "perfect" to me, isn't always considered perfect to others. My 17 year old son and I don't agree on lots of my shots, but I don't like some of the things he does. That's why I insisted he enroll in Photography at school. For a small town we have an excellent teacher and great equipment, both darkroom and digital. I must say I am a little jealous when he is learning Photoshop and I'm still struggling with Photoshop Elements... I hate reading manuals. Taking time to teach Mom isn't as important as girls, his pick up, girls, baseball, and did I mention girls. :)

What I really want is to join Jim's 12 week course, but for the short run, I am home schooling a 3rd grader and could not fit one more thing in. (I will be there one day, Jim!!!!). I love this site and wish I could talk my son into spending more time reviewing the comments and photos. Having the opportunity to see the work of others and hear their problems/solutions is a great learning experience. I hope everyone else is learning as much as I am.

Thanks, too, for the concern for our draught and well being. We are on the Ks/Co stateline and things are bad; no rain, no snow and yet,less than 100 miles to the East, it is Eden. Even the trees along the Arkansas River are dying and some of them are 80 years old or older. The small wildlife is having lots of troubles, from the birds to the cotton tails, and my yard stays full of animals looking for a drink. Everything is so brown and "crisp", taking pictures of the landscape isn't even fun.

Please let me know what you decide about digital. I'm sure I will one day be there.

3/24/2002 9:14:44 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Part of the "post processing" I do working with digital scans is cleaning up lint. Is there some form of "speck removal" tool in your imaging software? Should be something along the lines of a small resizable circle that shifts color content of pixels inside it toward the color content of pixels found around its edges. It's controllable if adjusted so that it tightly encompasses the "speck" and requires about a half-dozen hits with it to completely replace a "speck" with what's around it.

Normally specks aren't much of a problem for me; just a little clean-up. There have been some "basket cases" among the few large print scans I've done of 8x10's made from medium format film. I blow up the image to about 2:1 or 3:1 on the screen and methodically work through it top to bottom, left to right. Haven't found any method that works very well other than using "brute force and ignorance."

Fingerprints are a different problem. These can be very difficult. If I know a few will be scanned, they are handled very carefully by the edges at least until they are scanned. Sometimes a fingerprint can be at least partially removed by using a *dry* microfiber lens cleaning *cloth* very, very gently and to keep from abrading the print finish. It's important to do this as soon as possible before the fingerprint embeds itself into the print emulsion. If it doesn't start to come off after a little work on it, I won't continue as it *will* eventually damage the print surface. Practice this on a "trash" print first!

I also suffer the tyranny of distance from professional full-service labs. I use three spread around the country for various types of work. One isn't that far; overnight by USPS Priority. The other two take two to three days by Priority Mail or UPS Ground. Learned to live with the lead time required if I wanted high quality work done, especially for very large prints.

-- John
P.S. Lived in Manhattan, KS for a number of years, then Leavenworth for about six months after that . . . all about 20 years ago . . . doesn't seem that long ago though.

3/24/2002 10:46:38 AM

Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
Owner,, Inc.
  Thanks, Nikki, for your positive comments about the site.

This is a good discussion. It seems to me that many people never come to understand that scanning is indeed an art. It is very hard to do well and can be extremely time-consuming. Remembering that this is usually someone's full-time job at a photo lab may help us realize the complexity to it and skill that needs to be acquired.

The nice thing is that it is incredibly empowering. Like so many other modern inventions and developments, home scanning allows us to do it all ourselves. That's wonderful, especially for someone like you, Nikki, out in the sticks.

Donna, do you already know about the Unsharp Mask filter?

3/26/2002 2:54:48 PM

  Hi Jim, Yes, I use the Unsharp Mask most of the time now. I found out about that on this site.

The numbers that I use are 149 for amount, 1.5 radius and .5-.8 threshold. Sometimes I will cut that down to 80-100 percent on the amount and boost the the threshold up and sharpen the edges after it is sized if it is still needed, but most of the time, I find that to be too much sharpening. All of the important details get lost along shiny white frayed edges that should have been razor sharp lines.

If anyone has the magic numbers it would be a beautiful thing because too much is as bad a too little.

3/26/2002 5:48:39 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
I don't use Photoshop but something very similar. I always set the radius at "1" and leave it there. Then I generate a preview with "0" for threshold, 100% for amount, and blow it up to about 2:1 or sometimes 3:1 and look for a region that should have smooth continuous tone. Sky, skin, or a region clothing without significant folds, shadow or texture (e.g. broadcloth shirt). Usually the artifacting can be seen and I start bumping up the threshold until that just starts to disappear. Then I look at sharp contrast edges and some other regions to see the total effect. Occasionally it can blur low contrast details; doesn't happen very often. If that does occur, I reduce the threshold and start backing down some on the amount. When I'm satisfied with it I "accept" the preview.

YMMV with how I've been doing it, and numbers might have to be pushed around a little, but it may be fruitful to see how the general method compares with how you have been doing it.

BTW, my software allows setting the "preview" to be continuously updated as adjustments are made. Don't know if Photoshop has that feature.

-- John

3/26/2002 7:58:23 PM

  Hi again John, I will try your 'general method'. PS Elements is a great program in that you can see what is being done as it is done and you can go back at any point and start over. The preview is the picture that you are working on at the time. It is far superior to any other program that I have used or owned so far, but they are all similar in many ways.

It has been a long road learning digital imaging and there is so, so much to be learned. It wouldn't have been possible at all for me without tips like this from the all of the great members of betterphoto like yourself whom are so urgent to help those in need with any kind of photographic question or problem. Thanks John and everyone.

3/26/2002 9:35:03 PM

Nikki Schwerdfeger

member since: 10/6/2000
  John, Jim and Donna:

Appreciate the responses. I haven't had time to respond and even now must run.

Donna, do you ever use the SilverFast program that came with the Epson 2450 scanner? I'm not sure I understand the difference between it and the regular Epson import process. I remember reading in a photo magazine that it was one of the better features of the Epson line, but can't remember why it was such a great thing. Can anyone else explain it for me?

PS. Looking through my photos to upload. Most are 8 x 10's How will they upload, or do I need to find the 4 x 6 and go from there?

3/27/2002 2:40:00 PM

  Hi Nikki, I used it [Silverfast] but only when it was in an emergency. I found that the regular scanning mode CAN'T scan everything. Monochromatic (colored) photos with texture can't be picked up with the normal mode at all. They turn into a detailess blobs of color and shade. The lines are soft and lack all detail. You will know when you have a picture like that. It is very,very obvious. It looks interesting if that's the effect that you are looking for but I didn't like it at all )it looks like artwork from a child to me). If you send me your email again at my site I will send instructions on Silverfast after I go through the motions.

3/28/2002 7:53:06 AM

Vincent Lowe

member since: 4/2/2000
  Consider using a scanning utility called Vuescan, which amongst other things allows multi-pass scanning. This virtually eliminates CCD noise (noise generated within the Charge Coupled Device - the light sensitive thingy that captures the image). You can download a trial version from fully working but puts a grid across the image (it's not a lot to register though - well worth it). Also, for everything you need to know about scanning I can recommend

4/1/2002 4:52:17 PM

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Photography Question 
David W. Cornett

member since: 11/5/2001
  58 .  Remote Shutter Release Feature on Digital Cameras?
Is there a digital camera that is able to use a remote shutter release? I want to be able to take a photo without my finger on the camera at all times. But also to be able to take the photo when I want to (not on time delay).

11/5/2001 5:33:53 PM

Jeff Lewis

member since: 9/2/2001
  The Olympus E10 comes with a wireless remote control, remote shutter release.

11/15/2001 10:42:09 AM

Linda Braspenning

member since: 6/13/2001
  The Olympus Camedia C-2500L also comes with a small remote control - infrared.

11/15/2001 3:02:43 PM

Deb Thomas

member since: 4/18/2001
  The Casio QV8000 comes with a wired remote. I've had this camera for 8 months and I am thrilled with it.

11/15/2001 3:40:49 PM

Beverly Gustafson

member since: 10/25/2001
  The Minolta Dimage7 also has a remote cord available. Comes in short (3') and long (8') lengths. I bought the long one used and love it.

11/16/2001 10:24:34 PM

Ed McEwen

member since: 4/23/2001
  Olympus c2100 comes with a wireless remote. Very handy...

11/19/2001 9:24:40 AM

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Photography Question 
David Kelly

member since: 1/14/2001
  59 .  Looking For A Good Digital Camera Under $200
Hi - I am trying to find me a nice digital camera to use to add pictures to my Web page and send some pictures on email here. I have the WebTV plus I use that one that has the NTSC hook up on it. I just do not know what would be the best buy for under $200. Thank you,

9/7/2001 12:10:04 PM

doug Nelson

member since: 6/14/2001
  If all you need from it is to take images for the Web, to email, or for selling stuff on ebay, there might be something for you out there. In this price range, the camera may have only an internal memory (no memory card), and limited memory capacity (2MB ain't much).

At work, we have the cheapest Kodak. As long as we fill the frame with the subject, and shoot at the highest quality setting, the image quality is acceptable (a 4" image to include via desktop publishing on a page of instructions), and perfectly OK for the Web. Printing a photo, however, we get a 4 x 6 in which we can barely identify the people, and at 8 x 10, we all look as if we're in the Federal Witness Protection program.

9/10/2001 10:29:18 AM

Lexi Schwartz

member since: 1/15/2002

I think the first thing needs to be addressed is the WebTV. I don't think you'll be able to use this to download your pictures from any digital camera, unless they've made major upgrades from my mom's unit.

Your first investment is probably going to have to be a computer.

2/26/2002 2:38:50 PM

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Photography Question 
Dick McCracken

member since: 5/2/2001
  60 .  Shooting Homes Using Digital
Our little photgraphy company, Mc Square, has been retained by a branch of Coldwell Banker Real Estate to take photos of newly listed homes, both interior and exterior, then create a one or two page flyer including photos and write ups, that we also generate.

Because of the need for rapid turnaround time for new listings in a very "hot" market, we are thinking that using digital cameras may be the way to go. My question is: What digital cameras should we be evaluating for purchase, considering the need to have some lens flexibility to do wider angle exterior shots, as well as tighter interior shots of individual rooms?
Thanks for any feedback!
Dick McCracken

5/30/2001 7:06:40 AM

Bradley D. Benjamin

member since: 5/27/2001

I have used a number of digital cameras ranging from cheap (below $100 polaroids) to Sony Mavica's and my new one, Olympus C-3000. I would highly recommend the c-3000 for this type of photography. It has a lot of options, has a nice field of vision on the lens, and has a built in zoom. I am not sure what kind of extras, if any, are available for it. I have used it to capture everything from landscapes to hummingbirds and I think it does an excellent job. I have made many 8x10 prints from photos I have taken. With a good printer, I can hardly tell the difference between them and an 8x10 from regular film. The Sony Mavica would be great if you are not planning on printing any pictures over 5x7 size. The convenience of the Mavicas is second to none, but they do not take high enough resolution photos for large prints.

Hope this helps some.


6/1/2001 6:45:37 PM

Thomas Lonergan
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/30/2001
  Last September I purchased a Kodak Dc4800 camera, which is not only an automatic point and shoot, but is adjustable as well. I think the latitude you get with this camera and the additional telephoto, wide angle and close up lenses that are available, could really make your picture possibilities multiply. You can put it on manual and use a light meter if you wish. Now's a good time to get one too.They are marked down from $800 to $600 with a $100 rebate. I made the mistake of buying mine when it first came out and paid full price.(next time I'll wait a while)

6/2/2001 11:14:12 AM

Jane Haas

member since: 7/18/2004
Hi! As far as real estate photography goes, the best investment I ever made was in my Nikon Coolpix 4300 with wide angle lens (bought at B&H). I bring along a globe light for extra lighting in rooms. If you want to see the quality, check out my site at under Services and Real Estate. I shoot interiors at dusk and exteriors on overcast days if possible to avoid shadoes. I also work for and photograph for other agents @ Coldwell Banker in NJ!

Jane Haas

10/4/2004 1:01:11 PM

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