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OT: Good Digicam for my Wife?
Old 07-01-2005   #1
wlewisiii
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OT: Good Digicam for my Wife?

Hey, all, I could use some suggestions.

My wife has been using a Olympus Epson Stylus (one of the zoom models) for awhile now. However she's someone who doesn't want to be bothered with putzing around with film even to that extent and yesterday she said she'd like to get a digital camera. Well, knowing her, it'll take her awhile to decide on one and that's not a bad thing in itself.

Now since my head is all wrapped around my old film beasties, I have nearly zilch knowledge about what is good, bad or indifferent in the various current digital camera model lines. I do doubt that she'd want, at least right now, any of the dslrs, but she will probably want a zoom of some level.

So, to keep this from being even longer, I'd like some suggestions of nicer digicams to point her in the direction of with a price limit of, say, $500?

Thanks,

William
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Old 07-01-2005   #2
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If your interested in "researching," dpreview.com is a great site. Does your wife prefer p&s type camera? I like the Panasonic models that came out earlier this year and last year.
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Old 07-01-2005   #3
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My wife wanted a small digital camera that would fit in her purse. After a lot of study, I ended up getting her a Nikon Coolpix 5900. About $250 at B&H. I've been pretty impressed. It's very small, 5MP and has some advanced features that appeal even to me. Very sharp ED glass. Great movie mode.
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Old 07-01-2005   #4
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William, I misread your posting heading and thought it read "WTT: " -- whew!

There are an awful lot of good little P&S digitals. My wife has taken a fancy to my Canon S45 so I rarely get to use it anymore. The latest version is the Canon S70 -- 7mpx and 28mm equiv at the wide end. Very sophisticated little cam, and very small. Maybe take her to a camera store if you have one nearby and have her try out Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony, etc, to see which one she likes the feel of the best. At the lower end of the consumer cams, the HP units are pretty impressive.

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Old 07-01-2005   #5
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Olympus Stylus 300. It's the digital version of the film camera, and quite a nice little cam and also weatherproof like it's film brother.

btw, Epson Stylus is the printer, Olympus Stylus is the camera
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Old 07-01-2005   #6
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My wife's an SDC teacher and she carries my Canon A70 all the time to take pix of the students and put them on Powerpoint and to be printed out. I don't really think it matters what kind you get as long as there is some type of "auto" mode. I taught my wife to use fill flash most of the times and the pix come out great.

One thing I think all these Digi Point and shoots needs is some type of small Pelican like case or hard case. They just don't do well in purses and bags.
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Old 07-01-2005   #7
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I would agree with Eric above - it really doesn't matter what you get as long as its got an Auto mode. I got one of my kids a Canon A75 last year and just bought a Sony Cybershot for myself. Both are great little cameras with good lenses and battery consumption. The major criterion for my own camera was that it had to be red. That cut down the field nicely as you can imagine...

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Old 07-01-2005   #8
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1) Figure out what she wants to do with the pictures. If she wants to email them and/or view them on a computer, even a low-megapixel model will do. If she wants to get 4x6 prints, you'll need at least a 3-megapixel model. If she wants to be able to make an occasional 8x10 or larger, she really needs an R-D 1

2) Get her something small. I feel that's the key to camera selection for the casual non-photographer. If it's small and light, s/he is a lot more likely to carry it, and consequently more likely to get use and enjoyment out of it.

I've got an Olympus C-something and a Konica Minolta Xg. The Olympus has much more in the way of features, a better lens, and probably would take much better pictures... if I ever bothered to carry it around. The Konica Minolta takes acceptable pictures, and it's always in my briefcase or glove compartment or whatever.

Of course, the ultimate thinking in this direction leads one to camera phones, but I assume we don't want to go there...
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Old 07-01-2005   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions. Seems that an optical viewfinder is a requirement and 3-4 megapixel as the occasional 4x6 would be desired. This help narrow the field any?

William
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Old 07-01-2005   #10
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A friend uses the Canon S70 and raves about it; I bought an Olympus Stylus 300 for a friend and use a Sony with a Zeiss Sonnar -- she likes the Olympus and I like my Sony. It's a competitive market with a wide range of great little cameras. I know, not much help with the decision but it may come down to brand preference (my Dad uses a Nikon CoolPix and a new Kodak model, he loves them both). Good luck, William (maybe the Olympus if she liked the first one?).
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Old 07-01-2005   #11
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They pretty much all have auto mode. It's if you want aperture or shutter priority, or heaven forbid a manual mode, that you have to look around. I've gotten a lot of use out of my Kodak CX7430, but time and time again bump into the limitations of Auto only now that I know enough to be dangerous. I sincerely wish that someone would reincarnate the Auto 110 in a DSLR - if they're not gonna give us 24x36 sensors, at least make the lenses actually FIT the sensor. Hmm could we get a 6mp compact interchangable lens critter with a Shutter Speed Wheel (Park it in A for Auto), Aperture wheel (park it in A for auto) and a manual focus ring?
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Old 07-01-2005   #12
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For a easy to use camera any of the P&S nikon Coolpix at the lower end will work well. I only have a 2mp Coolpix 2200 and can easily get 4x6 prints. Great closeup lens, great flash and easy to use drop down menus, fast download, display prints on your big screen TV like a slide show. uses AA batteries too. Shirt pocket size and you can get them from 3 to 7 Mpixels too.
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Old 07-01-2005   #13
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I would still suggest the Olympus Stylus 300. It would be the form and handling she's most used to. I have an old Canon A70 which also has a full manual mode including manual focus. It's replacement A85 & A95(?) would have the same.

All the digicams are pretty evenly match in terms of features, but it'll be the form and handling that'll make the biggest difference. Get her to try out a few different models and see how she likes it.
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Old 07-01-2005   #14
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William,
No need to spend $500 these days for a digital P&S. I just bought the Olympus D595 (5mgp) for my spouse, it's only $185 at B&H. It has Auto, Program, 2 macro modes, scenic, "candle light" and even fireworks modes. it's a real blast to play with. And if she gets serious, it even has Manual - gasp!
~ ; - )
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Old 07-01-2005   #15
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Panasonic DMC-FZ5K.. 5 megapixel.. Leica f2.8 lens.. what else is there to say?

they can be found for under $400 online.. of course you'll need a decent SD card, so add another $70 for that.. otherwise you're good to go
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Old 07-01-2005   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFriday
Panasonic DMC-FZ5K.. 5 megapixel.. Leica f2.8 lens.. what else is there to say?...(snip)
Probably a decent camera in spite of the lens...
(...just stirring up a little trouble with the Resident Troublemaker )
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Old 07-01-2005   #17
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hey, I resemble that remark!
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Old 07-01-2005   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFriday
hey, I resemble that remark!
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Old 07-01-2005   #19
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keh has an olympus c8080 for under 500.
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Old 07-01-2005   #20
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The wife, eh?
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Old 07-02-2005   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlewisiii
My wife has been using a Olympus Epson Stylus (one of the zoom models) for awhile now. However she's someone who doesn't want to be bothered with putzing around with film even to that extent and yesterday she said she'd like to get a digital camera
May I play devil's advocate here?

If it's strictly a convenience thing, I might suggest that she consider the relative convenience/inconvenience of dropping in a 35mm roll vs. futzing around with the memory cards and the cables (which people always seem to lose) and the software and such.

My everyday camera is indeed an Olympus Stylus Zoom. I am, I admit, drawn to the instant gratification factor of just downloading and printing, as opposed to a trip to Wally World, but when I think of the problems friends have had with cables that get lost and software that is flaky and such, I think it's about a wash convenience and efficiency wise.

Just something you might consider ...
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Old 07-02-2005   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmr436
May I play devil's advocate here?

If it's strictly a convenience thing, I might suggest that she consider the relative convenience/inconvenience of dropping in a 35mm roll vs. futzing around with the memory cards and the cables (which people always seem to lose) and the software and such.

My everyday camera is indeed an Olympus Stylus Zoom. I am, I admit, drawn to the instant gratification factor of just downloading and printing, as opposed to a trip to Wally World, but when I think of the problems friends have had with cables that get lost and software that is flaky and such, I think it's about a wash convenience and efficiency wise.

Just something you might consider ...
We have three Oly Mju's at home here and none gets any action. Why? Because my wife and kid just don't find it convenient to shoot film, wait for me to get the film developed, get the negs scanned (having it scanned and put on cd is prohibitively expensive here in Holland), and have me hand them over to my wife's Yahoo photo account. Digital is the way to go for her, and so I too am looking for a digicam. I think we'll go for one of them stylish Oly digital Mju's.
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Old 07-02-2005   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmr436
May I play devil's advocate here?
(snip)
Just something you might consider ...
Actually, I agree with you. However, she who must be obeyed has spoken. So, I'm doing some research and asking about them of folks here that I feel I can trust to give honest thoughts - as you and the rest have done.

Worst case, my 3 year old gets a new toy...

William
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Old 07-09-2005   #24
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Have you bought one yet? Sorry, just saw this thread. I'd go for a Canon, A series or S. S is smaller, but has slightly less manual control and uses proprietary battery unlike the AA of A series. I think Canon produces very good pics at auto, compared to some other brands that may be smaller (Pentax, casio), and does well in low light. Another plus for canon is that it uses CF cards, which are the cheapest. Anyway, digicam reviews are helpful here: www.imaging-resource.com

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Old 07-09-2005   #25
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My wife and I both use Sony Digicams as notebooks. They're very small, have surprisingly sharp lenses and don't cost too much. My wife's using a Cybershot-U and I have a DSC-S40. They both work well with iPhoto if you're an Apple freak.
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