BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Digital Cameras and Accessories : Digital Cameras

Photography Question 

Buying a New Digital Camera

I am looking to buy a digital camera, and I've been reading a lot of online reviews but they're just making my head hurt. I was hoping for a real live person to make some suggestions for me. I'm looking to spend between 200 and 300 dollars, and the most important things to me are image quality, having a good zoom, and compactness, probably in that order. Any recommendations would be VERY much appreciated! Thanks, Stacy

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1/8/2005 10:21:36 PM

Buddy Purugganan   Stacy,
Here are good choices for your budget:
Minolta Dimage Z2 (4 MGPXLS 10X Optical Zoom )
Fuji FinePix S7000 ( 6.3 MGPXLS 6X Optical Zoom )
Nikon Coolpix 4300 ( 4 MGPXLS 3X Optical Zoom )
Olympus C-770 ( 4 MGPXLS 10X Optical Zoom ) -- Visit Broadway Photo ( or Email:

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1/9/2005 2:16:37 AM

Buddy Purugganan   Stacy, There are good choices for your budget:
Minolta Dimage Z2 (4 MGPXLS 10X Optical Zoom )
Fuji FinePix S7000 ( 6.3 MGPXLS 6X Optical Zoom )
Nikon Coolpix 4300 ( 4 MGPXLS 3X Optical Zoom )
Olympus C-770 ( 4 MGPXLS 10X Optical Zoom ) ---Visit Broadway Photo ( or Email:

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1/9/2005 2:16:37 AM

Clay Anderson   STACY -- WARNING!!

Do not go to Broadway Photo -- they, along with a lot of other Manhattan-based online photo shops, are a scam. Buddy probably works for them.

See this URL to find that Broadway Photo has a 0.05 out of 10 rating. No good at all:

If you're shopping online, stick with the known, established shops like or (I would also recommend, I purchased a Digital Rebel there, and had a very good experience.) If you try a lesser-known store, make sure to do *plenty* of research first.

And always keep in mind: if the price seems too good to be true, it is.

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1/10/2005 8:40:09 AM

Mark O'Brien   For $200-$300 you will find some better cameras than what was available a year ago, but I think that puts you in the 3-4 MP range, possibly 5 MP. Canon, Olympus, Pentax and Fuji make some nice P&S digitals in that price range, and you might pick up a good bargain on a Kodak, too. However, I'd move up a bit to something like a FujiFinepix S7000, which has a nice zoom, great handling, and will do 6 MP images. That will run you close to $500. In my personal opinion, I don't think the lower end cameras from Nikon are as good as other manufacturers in terms of ruggedness. The Optio from pentax might be one of your best bets.

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1/10/2005 10:19:57 AM

Brian Kreutzer   try this site - I found it very helpful when my wife and I were looking to buy a digital camera - it even lets you compare the same picture taken with different cameras - it's
we ended up buying an Olympus 730 - very good camera that takes great pics it has a 10x optical and a 3x digital zoom

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1/10/2005 12:08:27 PM

Mike    I just bought 5 Nikon Coolpix cameras for my high school and university aged kids. The love them! I did a lot of research including going to many camera shops and asked alot of questions. Make sure you talk to someone with ditial knowledge and not just a sales person.Holding cameras in you hand and trying them makes a difference. or does reviews on cameras.
Consider how you will use your camera because all makes of ditial cameras will meet your stated requirements. I wouldn't buy the same as I bought for my kids but the coolpixs met their needs. I found in my reasearch that Nikon and Olympus hold the top positions for quality.
Hope that helps

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1/10/2005 3:43:22 PM

Agnes    I would recommend the Panasonic DMC L-FZ20. It meets your requirements. However, it is around the US$500 mark but judging from the glowing reports about it, the extra expenditure is all worth it. Go to it will give you all the info you need regarding this camera plus images samples. You won't be disappointed. I have mind on order and can't wait to get my hands on one. Nationally it is out of stock in Australia and if one is able to secure one, they are very lucky.

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1/10/2005 9:51:14 PM

Scott Pedersen   Check out pentaximaging. Or just go to the pentax website and look around. They have some great cameras. Compact and sharp lenes. They just come out with some new ones too, ranging from 3mp up to 7mp in consumer cams. You can also check them out in real time at Ritz camera.

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1/11/2005 4:58:48 AM

Buddy Purugganan   This is in response to a certain Clay A.---I would like to make it CLEAR and set the record this statement: I DO NOT WORK FOR BROADWAY PHOTO ( ). I live here in Asia ( Philippines ) and have no connections with the Camera dealer at all. But if you BELIEVE my camera recommendations have the REASONABLE PRICES and have the budget price the reader would like to be informed...then I firmly recommend them to shop ELSEWHERE there in your country. Basically, I do shop at EBAY, if you want to be informed, and find the prices there ( whether digital or film , new or second-hand ) truly a HAVEN for any camera enthusiast. And there are sooooo many other shops so WHY MAKE A FUSS with such small GLITCH? Just make sure Clay YOU DIG THE FACTS BEFORE YOU ACCUSE ME----AND SEE HOW MANY READERS HAVE FOUND MY RECOMMENDATIONS QUITE EXCEPTIONAL! Clay...I suggest you donate to the TSUNAMI RELIEF and do your share as a citizen of the UNITED STATES.

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1/12/2005 2:50:30 AM

Clay Anderson   (Stacy -- I'm sorry this interaction is happening on your post. I do hope the advice of others here has helped you find the information you're looking for.)

Buddy, you're right, I have no idea who you are, but I must ask: why are you adamant that Broadway Photo is a great place to buy, when review-after-review-after-review warns to stay far away?

If you're in Asia, as far as I know, you may be one of the suppliers of gray-market products to these NY shops. But based on your comments, I'm still having a hard time believing you are not in some way associated with Broadway. I've seen similar posts promoting these junk shops in other message boards.

And Buddy, your "tsunami" comment was tasteless, inaccurate, and irrelevant. For the record, I have given to the relief efforts--as have more than 50% of all Americans. But frankly, that's none of your business.

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1/12/2005 8:34:34 AM

Buddy Purugganan   Clay, the last time I bought a gray market camera was there in your country. In fact, when I bought the camera, I was surprised to find out that it was made in Thailand ( a TSUNAMI -ravaged country! ). Sad but true, I could had bought a similar cam HERE in the Philippines that was a product of JAPAN ( even USA )---that's mainly WHY I meticulously select ANY camera product I buy! Clay, you better advise the camera magazine called SHUTTERBUG on their advert regarding Broadway Photo ( just pick up ANY of the mag's issue....)---its a CRIME what they do to the camera reader! I do want to THANK YOU for your TSUNAMI donation---despite your judgments towards me.
As a freelance photographer, I hope Stacy finds the camera she deserves...I avoid gray, refurbished, camera products and buy Japanese or AMERICAN only -though I give credit to German or Swiss cam gears...( Leica, Rollei,etc. )---Clay, hope you drop all the BULL and make 2005 a good year for photography.....

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1/14/2005 10:48:36 PM

Beverly Joanne Hoover   Stacy,
My brother-in-law searched the I/N
for me for 2 mths.
I purchased an Olympus Stylus410
=all access.included $198.00.
My first digital camera.
It is however refurbished.
It is very small compared to my
Canon film camera.
My 8X10 prints are tack sharp.
So far, I am totally satisfied
with my new Christmas present.
Ck. out,,
Hope info. is helpful.
Beverly J. Hoover

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1/20/2005 8:32:57 AM

Kerry L. Walker   Clay, let's keep our comments appropriate. I see no problem in your comment about Broadway Photo. I have no experience with them (I buy from Adorama or B&H) as you back up your comment with data. However, let's not attack other posters personally. Disagree but don't attack.

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1/20/2005 8:42:38 AM

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