Do you love your digital cameras?

Aug 16th, 2001, 10:15 AM
  #1  
Annette
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Do you love your digital cameras?

I'm considering buying a digital camera for my upcoming bike trip to The Netherlands (maybe a day trip by train to Antwerp, too). I Wouldn't want to spend more than $350.00 or possibly $400.00. What are your experiences with your digital camera? Do you love your digital camera or are you not using it as much as you thought when you bought it? My son would love one for a web page he builds with some friends but BESIDES putting pictures up at websites like Virtual Tourist or perhaps your own website, do you enjoy viewing your pictures online rather than in a photo album?
 
Aug 16th, 2001, 10:23 AM
  #2  
Julie
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No. I don't love it. It's okay. But actually not what I expected. It is very heavy and the little diskettes are extremely expensive. Also, I think it is a pain to download the pictures and I have never had any developed yet. I could either print them on my printer which is not a good quality printer or I could try to figure out how to send them in via the net for developing.

Maybe I am just being a techno-idiot. But I don't care to use it.

What I do like is to have my regular film developed in duplicate and get a copy of the pictures on Cd-rom. Then I can play with the pictures just like I could with the digital camera.

FYI, I only bring disposable camera's to Europe. I am afraid of losing the camera and besides that my photography skills stink. I also stopped using my video camera because I was sick of seeing the world in black and white through a 1-inch square hole.

This is just my opinion. I know many people love the digital camera. I am just not too happy with the difficulty in developing of the pictures.
 
Aug 16th, 2001, 10:29 AM
  #3  
ger
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Annette: I absolutely LOVE my digital camera!

Its a Toshiba PDR-M60 and cost $499 Canadian. Takes generic "simms" that are quite reasonable. Photos can be up to 2.1 Megapixles (would not recommend less). Comes with a USB cable and download of photos is very fast.

Regards
 
Aug 16th, 2001, 10:47 AM
  #4  
YS
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I have a nice digital camera (Nikon Coolpix 950), a relatively good point-and-shoot camera (Minolta with 140 zoom) an all-manual SLR camera with 50mm and 100mm lanses and a Digital8 camcorder.

One cannot substitute the other. It all depends what your objective is.

I usually take my point-and-shoot camera and a camcorder on my trips and I usually don't shoot more then a roll of film in a 10 day period. I like point-and-shoots on trips because often I don't have (or want to) spend time adjusting the camera for light/weather conditions and/or change the lences. I also don't want to carry a big camera with me all the time. Besides, for all of the sights you can get postcards what are (amlost always) by far much better quality shots. For my personal view of things and to get my face in front of a Notre Dame it works fine.

I use a camcorder for everything in motion, sometimes I just keep it on as I walk down the streets. Most of camcorders today have screens, which is very helpful as you don't have to see the world through the 1 inch hole. I usually don't shoot more then an hour worth of tape.

I use my SLR camera only on some "special" trips, mostly with slides.

Now, digital photography. I don't take my digital camera on my trips. One reason is - printed pictures. It is expecive to print "digita" images in the lab or on your own printer, and they don't come out just like regular prints (even of printed on photoprinter). Yes, you can see exactly how the picture came out, but it only is visible on the LCD screen which is hard to see in bright conditions. Also, digital cameras (at least mine) do not have such zoom capabilities as my point-and-shoot. Also, digital camera is equvalent to 100ASA, which is not always adequate anyway. Line Julie said, the storage is also expencive.

A few other thoughs on digital cameras.
There are different kinds of storage: compact flash, memory stick, multi-media cards. I think anything under 64MB is not adequate, you have to take 128MB or two 64MB cards with you on the trip. You want to set you camera to take images in best possible resolution, so printing is at least an option later, but this takes up a lot of storage space.

Downloads are not a problem if you use a stand-alone USB (or parallel port) card reader, and not download images straight from the camera. It's a matter of seconds to get the enitre 128MB from compact flash card into your hard drive via the USB. The device is only about $30.

To take good quality digital photos you need to adjust your camera. There are a lot more adjustments then all manual "traditional" cameras, and you need to know what they all (and all of the combinations) mean.

Batteries in digital cameras don't last as long as in traditional cameras.

You can always scan the pritns!

For me - digital cameras have a very narrow use, at least for now.
 
Aug 17th, 2001, 04:18 AM
  #5  
Dave
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You can't just dismiss a rapidly evolving technology like digital photography based on data that's two years old.

Diskettes? that's just silly. Maybe a nice idea when Sony first came out with it, but you can get CompactFlash cards at Amazon.com for about $0.50US per Megabyte. For a 2MP camera, a 128MB card ($75US) is equal to almost 10 rolls of film, and the cards are tiny, light, reliable and reusable.

Downloading is a pain? Not with a fairly modern computer and a USB card. I can download 60 3Megapixel photos in a minute or so.

Printing? I have a $150US HP932C and the 8x10s I print are BETTER than enlargements from my Nikon 35mm P&S.

Cost? Printing costs (Ink & paper) runs me about $0.30US/sheet. And the longevity of newer Inkjet technology is (supposedly) at least as good as traditional prints.

Zoom? 3x optical zoom (roughly equivalent to a 90-115mm zoom on a 35mm) is just about standard on all but extremely compact cameras. Go much beyond that and you'll start to have problems with holding the camera steady anyway. By the way, ignore digital zoom; optical zoom is what's important.

ISO: My digital camera has ISO 100, 200, 400 equivalents. I can get indoor shots (cathedrals, castles, etc) with my digital that would just never happen with a 35mm unless I lug around a tripod, wide variety of film, etc. And all I have to do with my digital is step inside, point and shoot. With a bit more care, I took a photo of the Big Dipper last weekend! (with a tripod and 16sec exposure)

Battery life: I bought an extra battery for my camera and have never needed it. I just have to recharge at the end of the day. The key is to not walk around with the LCD on - buy a camera with a good optical viewfinder. (I still use the LCD to review photos quite a bit, and do lots of zooming)

Bottom line, to take good digital photos, you just need to do a bit of research and find one that's right for you. Unlike 35mm SLR or P&S cameras, this is a rapidly evolving field so there's a very wide variety of quality, features, etc.

You can find some reviews at:
http://www.megapixel.net/html/issueindex.html
http://www.dpreview.com/
http://www.imaging-resource.com/DIGCAM01.HTM

Sorry if I sound a bit overzealous. It just annoys me when people blame the equipment when they made bad choices and didn't do the research.

Dave
 
Aug 17th, 2001, 04:41 AM
  #6  
Ed
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I don't love my camera. Love reserved for my wife and kids.

Each type of camera has a place. I find the digital "useful", especially for getting photos to the website or into e-mail. Indeed I can turn out excellent prints on find photo paper, but it's a lot of trouble. It's very rare that I do so.

I find two things a bit troublesome with my digital that I think may be typical of many, if not nearly all:
1) It's a bit slow to take photos. Not a problem for scenics or still life, but a bit irksome photographing kids. Retakes are essentially free with a digital, so this is less of a problem than with a film camera.
2) The contrast range is more limited than most good film.

The camera is now about two years old and I suspect these problems might be lessened by newer, more advanced models.

I also own two Olympus OMs, a 1 and a 2, plus a couple fo pocket cameras. I'm not about to spend mucho bucks starting all over at this point, but if I were to take one camera on a trip it would be a point and shoot film camera similar to one of the Canons, with a telephoto lens that goes as wide as possible (35 at least, 28 preferred.)

twenj
 
Aug 17th, 2001, 05:13 AM
  #7  
Mariarosa
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Hi Annette! My in-laws gave us the Sony DSC-50 digital camera as a gift. Therefore, I had not done any homework as to how digital cameras work, etc. Still, we were able to take some OK pictures, and some GREAT pictures. We also brought along our regular point-and-shoot camera, and for comparison's sake, we took a couple of pictures that were the exact same one (in Burano, with all of the brightly painted houses). Using the highest level of resolution (the camera has 2.1 megapixels), the picture from the digital camera, as printed by Ofoto.com, and the picture from my point-and-shoot camera, as printed by by neighborhood drugstore, look the same. So if you use the highest resolution, and get a camera that is at least 2.1 megapixels, your printed pictures will be the same quality as taken with a regular camera. We took some breathtaking photos during our sunset gondola ride (very low light, some movement, etc) with the digital camera, and I often wonder if the pictures would have turned out this good with a regular camera. Prints are not too expensive either - they are .50 cents, so it's only a couple of bucks more per "roll" than a regular camera.

Other advantages that the camera has is you can tell immediately if the picture turned out OK or not, and you can re-take it instantly. Also, we have family members all over, and having a digital camera makes it much easier to share photos on-line than having to scan them in (and the scanner does not produce such high-quality results). The Sony also has a nice feature - you can record short videos (up to 15 seconds) with sound, that can also be shared via e-mail. I'm not ready to give up on my regular camera, but I definitely think that a digital camera has many great advantages. I do think that the costs of quality digital cameras is high, but I think as they become more popular, they will drop in price.
 
Aug 17th, 2001, 05:46 AM
  #8  
Paul
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I bought my girlfriend a Sony Mavica for Christmas 2 years ago, and she took it with us to Italy last year. I specifically picked the Mavica because it uses standard computer floppy disks, which you can buy anywhere. Personally, I'm an old SLR-type, and I don't think that the the digital cameras take pictures which have the same quality and resolution - YET. I do believe that in the next few years, this will change dramatically; we are already seeing this happen. Our camera came with a battery charger which weighs almost nothing, and only requires an adapter to use overseas (not a converter). It was very easy to bring along.

One advantage of using the digital camera was that you could see the picture right away after you took it, then discard it if it was a dog and try again. Every night, my girlfriend would review the day's photos, then write the labels on the diskettes. When we got home, I uploaded the diskettes to my PC, then burned a CD-ROM. I must admin that it's a convenient and long-lasting storage medium.

The camera took nice snapshot-type of pictures, but I still think that the SLR cameras take better photos. When the digitals get as good as the SLRs, I will probably make the switch.

Just one person's opinion...
 
Aug 17th, 2001, 09:40 AM
  #9  
Ann
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You may want to try out the wonderful world of digital cameras before splashing out $350. I just bought my niece a $30 camera that is both digital and allows you to shot those little tiny instant polaroid type things. With a small investment, you can play a bit with the technology and see if you like it.

Can't remember where I got the thing--Wal Mart or Target or K Mart.
 
Aug 17th, 2001, 09:54 AM
  #10  
Russell
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Annette,
For travel, a small digital camera is an excellent idea. On my latest trip, I took both my Olympus D460Z (d9g9tal) and my Nikon N70. In a week or so, I took about 150 images on each. The majority of the images with the Olympus were quite pleasing; I cannot say the same for the Nikon. The digitals have a major advantage in their ability to capture the impact of strong colors. In addition, you get the image immediately and can decide to keep what you keep or shoot over, if need be. We took the digital everywhere, often taking pictures of each course in finer restaurants. In some cases, I downloaded the images and attached them to e-mail within a few hours after they were taken. When I got home, I then printed several using an inexpensive (under $100 printer) and got results that surprised many accomplished photographers who were still using film. Yes, the Olympus is only 1.3 megapixel, which is not the finest resolution, but the images are exceptionaly pleasing, all things considered. I'm so happy with this introduction that I'll soon be trading up to a 4 megapixel model . . . and will be keeping the little Olympus as well. That latter cost me $225 at half.com, one of the best buys around. There's a slightly newer model (D490Z) that has 2 megapixel resolution and it may be worth the additional $100 or so for someone who's really fussy. Batteries for digitals don't last long, so the trick is to get a couple of sets of high capacity rechargeables (try www.thomas-distributing.com) plus a charger and you're all set. I used a 32 mb smart media card, which holds 144 images. Since I regularly transfer images to my laptop, the card never gets full. Hope this information is useful.
 
Aug 17th, 2001, 11:37 AM
  #11  
Tony
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I really think it depends on what you want to do with the pictures as to whether the 35 mm camera is better than the digital or vice versa. If you are really into photography, the 35mm will provide better pictures---especially if you are making enlargements. So if you want the best pictures go with the 35mm. However, as others have already mentioned, the digital has a lot of benefits--immediate feedback being a high one and the ability to share with others being another. One compromise is to use a 35mm then send it to a place like ofoto.com for development. They will develop the pictures, post it on the web so that you are anyone else you choose can see it, and then provide prints of any size. Walmart has a somewhate similiar deal, but has a 30 days limit on the website. The real advantage of ofoto.com is that people whom you sent the http to can see all of your pictures without having to spend hours downloading your e-mail with .jpgs. They too can order prints also (for a price) or download the picture for free.
 
Aug 17th, 2001, 03:04 PM
  #12  
Mika
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I totally agree with Julie and Ed. I have one too, use it only for work and at home and I never take it with me for holidays. As a 3rd. camera its OK. Don't buy one unless you have to send pictures by mail or if you are a camera freak, which I am.
 
Aug 17th, 2001, 06:56 PM
  #13  
elkay
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Annette,
I am by no means an expert but I DO travel a lot and take loads of pictures. I use a combo of disposable cameras and my new little Cannon Elph digital ...it's very small (smaller than the palm of my hand)and EASY to take with. Don't worry about the computer stuff.. I'm an idiot and I get it!
 
Aug 18th, 2001, 03:42 AM
  #14  
Gretchen
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No one has touched on a major problem when travelling with a digital---downloading from your card. You can take pics at a lower resolution and perhaps have enough space for the number of pics you take. For example on my Olympus (3.3) my 64MB card holds 81 images at hig resolution, 199 at next and 300+ at another. All of these will give very acceptable results up to 5X7 prints (which are wonderful on my photo printer bought on e-bay for $125. I am taking it on my next trip to France--it is so light and extremely versatile--can take pics up to 800ASA, can take in black and white or sepia, etc. Pictures with "available light" are fantastic. For downloading there is now a portable zip drive that does not require a computer. You download to the zip and then can store or even show on a TV. I have it--haven't used it yet. Use rechargeable batteries with regular batteries as a backup in emergency. I never thought I would give up my SLR or print cameras but I am fast becoming converted. Also the amount of adjusting/cropping you can do in the printing process is excellent.
 
Aug 18th, 2001, 04:25 AM
  #15  
ann
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I LOVE my digital camera - an Olympus C2100 ultra zoom (10Xoptical). I havn't touched my very good Nikon or my point and shoot since I got it. I am not a computer wiz by any means and I download and print (up to 8x10 are great with a 2.1 megapixel) all my own photos. Snapshot size are the same price as Ritz camera, etc. and 5x7 and up are cheaper. Plus, it is much, much cheaper if you consider all the lousy shots you delete and never even bring home. Plus I only end up printing about half of what I do bring home. Plus you can manipulate the photos with simple programs that come with the printer (in my case a Hewlett Packard) to improve contrast, brightness, etc. And with Adobe Photoshop (limited edition is fine and much less than the full edition) you can remove telephone poles, even people and cars from where you don't want them. It is so much fun. Yes I'm very into photography but even for someone who's not, digital is wonderful. I gave my teenage daughter a $300 camera and she is getting into photography for much less money than if she shot film. Plus there's the instant gratification of seeing your shots right away. The prices of cameras, printers, etc are coming down while the quality is going up. Alot of the above posters have old stuff and that might be the problem. Get a digital!
 
Aug 18th, 2001, 06:19 AM
  #16  
Maurice
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I have a Fuji 4900Z and I love it. The down side - what are you going to do with the pictures? My camera is 2.4Mpixel, but produces 4Mpixel files. With acceptable (Normal) compression, this is about 750Kbytes/picture; 80 pictures on a 64Mb card. Every so often you have to down-load the pictures to storage; either you buy something like a "[email protected] digital wallet", or you take your laptop with you (on a bike trip!). By the next year or 2, this technology will have stabilized, but it's still working itself out.
Yes, you can get a IBM Microdrive for you camera if it takes type II compact flash; they are 1Mb, so about 1,300 pictures. You better review the day's pictures carefully every day. I'd hate to go back through 1000 pictures on the little screen to decide which ones are discards when you need room for just 1 more picture.
Then, you go home and write the raw images to CD. 650Mb, so about 1000 pictures, for $1.00; make 2 copies for safety.
Print the best... you can find somewhere in any medium sized city that prints, for 50cents or so a shot (70 cents Canadian at London Drugs). Costco said they are looking at digital photo input soon for their processing. Print the nice ones 8x10 on a good printer.
Digital cameras have their good points and bad points. I used to have a big 35mm SLR, but gave up on it and just took a "point and shoot" zoom 35mm once the technology there matured. Now? I'm taking my laptop to Italy (no bike trip here!) It worked for the trip to NYC last fall.
The down side - pictures are free, so you take a lot more and hate to delete them. Also, get used to your camera. The Fuji is adjustable from automatic to full manual, just like an SLR. I have to get used all over again to checking settings - I ruined several shots when I went from indoor special settings to outdoors and forgot to adjust. But I got pictures indoors in the Cloisters in New York, without a flash, just using a 3-inch tripod. Also, once every month or so, the (*%*^% will freeze and can only be reset by popping out the battery; but I didn't lose any pictures.
This is the way of the future; but if you are not comfortable with new technology, wait a year or 2 til "everyone" is doing it and the bugs are out.
 
Aug 18th, 2001, 11:05 AM
  #17  
Dave
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Memory cards are getting cheaper every day. No need for a laptop if your camera uses the right kind of memory card.
 
Aug 18th, 2001, 07:44 PM
  #18  
Jim Tardio
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Some things I didn't like about using digital was the fact that I could delete pictures on the spot. Many times I have taken a shot that I didn't think much of at the time...but returned to it later only to discover something unique in it. Once you delete it, the moment is gone forever. Digital also eats batteries, the screens are impossible to see in bright light, and the quality is just not there once you go past 5x7...on most consumer models.

For those of you that use them, you can take your memory cards to Ritz, or any other major chain, and they will make prints for you. It's as if you've given them a roll of film to develop, and costs about the same.

Finally, digital seems easier, but you need a lot of equipment...and a lot of expense, not to mention the time sitting in front of your computer...just to get a few prints that can be made more cheaply at your local 1 hour processing lab.

Lots of travel photos here:
http://www.jimtardio.com
 
Aug 19th, 2001, 04:02 AM
  #19  
Dave
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Jim,

Is it really the camera's fault if you delete the wrong picture? Amazing!

As for the end product: I can print out STUNNING 8x10s in about 3 minutes from camera to paper. And they cost me $0.30US per sheet. Cheaper than the local processing lab? Not in my neighborhood.

 
Aug 19th, 2001, 05:20 AM
  #20  
Randy
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Photography has been a hobby of mine for a number of years and I thought I would never use anything but my 35mm SLR. In the last three trips to France I have taken a number of great photos with my 35mm (shot 24 rolls on first trip). This year I have purchased an Olympus D-460 Zoom and I have not picked up my 35mm since. Great Camera and there are some great sales on this camera at this time ($250 or less). I paid over $350 for mine in March. I would also recommend the D-490 Zoom if you can find one. You might also check ebay to see if you can get a good buy on one. I would also recommend that you get the USB adapter to read the cards.

The 64MB Smart Card holds 294 photos. I have purchased additional Smart Cards and now I can shoot over 600 photos.

The down side to the digital camera is that you have to do the processing of the prints on your computer. I do not find this a problem.

If anyone is interested, Hewlett-Packard, is currently offering a free class on digital cameras at their web site: http://www.hplearningcenter.com/hplc/

I am in the real estate business and I find my digital camera very helpful for my business. I am also looking forward to taking it to France in September. The camera is very light and takes nowhere near the space that my 35mm did. The camera is easy to work and I am looking forward to taking pictures in the Louvre. I am sure I will be able to take many pictures in the Louvre with available light.

Another thing I like is that I can store all the images for a year on one CD. In the spring I went to Canada, took over 80 photographs and stored them on a CD and only used 2% of the CD. I have a CD burner on my computer and do this myself.

Another thing that is great with digital photographs is that you can make many adjustment to the photo with photo editing software. Crop it, lighten of darken the image, retouch areas of the photo, etc.

I just can't say enough about my digital camera and a year ago I would have never thought I would say that.

The price on the Smart Cards are also coming down. Last week I purchased a 32MB card at K-mart for $24.95.
 

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