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Compact Point-and-Shoot camera for beginner
Hello!.

I have never owned a camera before but I'm really tempted to start taking some photos right now, so I'm looking for a cheap solid point-and-shoot camera!.

I have no idea what ISO and all that stuff means nor am I really interested in it right now considering I haven't taken photos in ages. I'd just like something in the $200-300 price range to see if I enjoy it, and hopefully something that won't make it a bad experience. Don't know if this is the best place for this kind of thing, considering most threads I've read here talk about really expensive cameras .

Thanks for any input <3..

Comments (22)

Most Point and Shoot cameras are within your price range. Are you looking for pocket-sized (4-6 oz), purse-sized (7-10 oz), or the size that requires a neck strap (11 oz and up)? There are good cameras in all three categories...

Comment #1

Check out the Canon a570is ($168). You'll need batteries and memory card bring the cost to $200+. The camera takes great pictures, has IS, manual controls, ability to zoom in video mode. I really love the pics I've taken with this camera..

Check out this article that someone from this forum wrote to give you more of an idea what this camera can do. For the price I think it's about the best or one of the best cameras available..

Http://www.mycanong7.com/544743/528801.html..

Comment #2

AndyfromVA wrote:.

Most Point and Shoot cameras are within your price range. Are youlooking for pocket-sized (4-6 oz), purse-sized (7-10 oz), or the sizethat requires a neck strap (11 oz and up)? There are good cameras inall three categories..

I don't really mind, to be honest....

MaryGierth wrote:.

Check out the Canon a570is ($168). You'll need batteries and memorycard bring the cost to $200+. The camera takes great pictures, hasIS, manual controls, ability to zoom in video mode. I really lovethe pics I've taken with this camera..

Check out this article that someone from this forum wrote to give youmore of an idea what this camera can do. For the price I think itsabout the best or one of the best cameras available..

Http://www.mycanong7.com/544743/528801.html.

Thanks, that sounds great. Looks like a solid camera...

Comment #3

Littlekitten wrote:.

I have never owned a camera before but I'm really tempted to starttaking some photos right now, so I'm looking for a cheap solidpoint-and-shoot camera!.I'd just like something in the $200-300 pricerange to see if I enjoy it, and hopefully something that won't make it a badexperience..

I don't know how you intend to enjoy your pictures after you've taken them, but if you plan on prints and photo albums, an easy system to start with might be a Kodak "digital photo bundle." Starting from about $160.00, you can get a digital camera along with a "printer dock" that, by simply placing your camera in the cradle on top, takes care of charging your camera's battery, transferring your pictures to a computer (if you so desire), and printing whatever pictures you choose. Several family members own various Kodak cameras, printer docks, and stand-alone printers, and the output from all has been extremely pleasing with a minimum of fuss and bother...

Comment #4

Choosing a camera is a very personal matter and you should not be overly influenced by any one person's recommendation. Last April, I purchased a Kodak C663 at Circuit City for $129.95 and have been very pleased with it. It has a good Schneider lens, the Auto mode works very well, sometimes I switch to Distant (Landscape) mode or to the close-up mode all of which work well. It also has a position for Program or Manual as well, if you want to get into that later on. I have found the image quality to be beyond what I expected. It takes plain size AA (RECHARGABLE) batteries and has a USB2 cord so you can load your pix directly to your PC without using the Kodak Easyshare software which comes with the camera.

Here are two samples from my camera:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

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Judy.

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Comment #5

I think you should start simply with your first digital camera. After you use it for some time, you'll better know what extra features you may wantor may not ever need. I'm guessing that you mostly want people pictures and party pictures. A $300 camera may be overkill for your use right now..

Canons are great. Kodak has some nice models with good picture quality. Avoid HP. There are some off-brands to always avoid, so ask here if you find an off-brand one that catches your eye..

I suggest that you go to a real camera store, where you can get real help and advice from a camera enthusiast. At big box stores, you'd either find no help or disinterested workers..

I suggest that you look for a model which has a viewfinder, just like on film cameras, and not just the live digital viewing screen alone. The viewfinder helps a lot in lower light when you take flash pictures, and it helps a lot in bright sunlight which can make the live screen very hard to see..

Look for a model that uses SD cards. I suggest a model that uses AA batteries, and a charger for those. In a pinch you can use alkaline or lithium AA batteries also..

Two models like this at very low cost are the Kodak C533 and C653. They list price at $109 and $129. On sale, you could find one for under $100. They'll take fine pictures for you. They both have 3x zoom lenses and some different shooting modes and menu options. If you don't want to fool with those, just leave everything on AUTO and they'll do fine..

The only problem with digital cameras at this price range is that they take a little time to actually shoot after you press the shutter. You'll get used to thatall P&S digital cameras have this "shutter lag" to some degree..

You'll just need to add an SD card and batteries and you'll be all set..

For any printing you want to do at first, you can use the store's printer machine, which will read the pictures directly off the SD card. Just take the card out of the camera and put it in the printer's slot, and choose the pictures to print..

The most difficult thing with your first digital camera is moving the files from the SD card to the computer, clearing the SD card for more use. The camera will come with software and a cable to do this. The software is always a little clunky but it does work. If you're somewhat experienced with computers and USB ports and such, you can get a simple card reader for about $15 and directly move your picture files to your computer much faster..

EDIT: I saw Judy's post above -after- I posted what I was writing. She proves my point! The Kodaks are amazingly good and easy to use...

Comment #6

ADDED: the Canon A570IS is a great choice too. It adds image stabilization, which allows you to shoot in much lower light without using flash..

The good cost-effective cameras in this price range seem to have a similar basic design. ..

Comment #7

Thanks, this is a very helpful post..

The delay between pressing the button and making the picture, that's something I noticed on friend's cameras that greatly annoyed me. Is there a technical term for this so I can look out for it?.

I'll try to find a camera store and then maybe come back with more questions! Thank you all very much..

Comment #8

Shutter lag is probably the term you're looking for but you could also just ask about timing and they would discuss autofocus, shutter lag and flash recycle times...

Comment #9

I picked up a PowerShot A570 IS for just under $100 and it's totally amazing! .

This is truly point and shoot and the quality is great! Too bad it's dark so I can't shoot anything outside yet .

Thanks for all your help!.

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Comment #10

Under $100? Did it fall off the back of a truck? .

Seriously, the cheapest price I've seen is $160, so you either got an incredible deal, a refurbished model, or it's from the back of a truck...

Comment #11

I'm glad you're happy with your purchase. Where did you get it for that $? My daughter broke the $275 Fuji camera I got her 1.5 years ago. She wants to replace the camera but only spend around $100...

Comment #12

Under $100? Did it fall off the back of a truck? .

Seriously, the cheapest price I've seen is $160, so you either got anincredible deal, a refurbished model, or it's from the back of atruck..

Haha, I swear, I was watching the price, usually it's ~$200 here, but suddenly the price dropped to $100!.

Http://www.toppreise.ch/chart_109455.html - Check the chart, I ordered 10/10/07, and picked it up to save shipping  (Prices are in CHF.).

The camera was new!.

I'm glad you're happy with your purchase. Where did you get it forthat $? My daughter broke the $275 Fuji camera I got her 1.5 yearsago. She wants to replace the camera but only spend around $100..

I just checked again and the price seems to be back up, I have no idea what happened there...

Comment #13

Just curious - are you in the US? Your post said it was dark out so you couldn't shoot but I don' think it's night time anywhere in the US except maybe northern Alaska..

Anyway, really glad you got such a great deal...

Comment #14

I assume you're Swiss and you bought it in Switzerland?.

We in the USA have to settle for Amazon.com and the NY/New Jersey camera dealers...

Comment #15

Just curious - are you in the US? Your post said it was dark out soyou couldn't shoot but I don' think it's night time anywhere in the USexcept maybe northern Alaska..

Anyway, really glad you got such a great deal..

Ah, Switzerland, sorry! .

I assume you're Swiss and you bought it in Switzerland?.

We in the USA have to settle for Amazon.com and the NY/New Jerseycamera dealers..

Aren't there like a million online shops too? Anyway, I guess I really got lucky! Gonna take it outdoor tomorrow.....

Comment #16

If your technology savvy, there is a software hack you can load on the camera that will give you all kinds of high end camera/advanced user features..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=25287990.

Even if your not ready for this, you may want to be aware of it should you ever decide to take your photography skills to another level..

(I haven't tried this but I probably will.)..

Comment #17

MaryGierth wrote:.

If your technology savvy, there is a software hack you can load onthe camera that will give you all kinds of high end camera/advanceduser features..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=25287990.

Even if your not ready for this, you may want to be aware of itshould you ever decide to take your photography skills to anotherlevel..

(I haven't tried this but I probably will.).

Didn't work for me, I downloaded this:.

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=25280021.

Put the two files into the root directory of my SD card and followed this:.

Http://chdk.wikia.com/...dure_for_loading_the_CHDK_firmware_into_my_camera.3F.

The screen just stayed black...

Comment #18

I'll give it a try when I get back home next week. I'm not sure what firmware version I have...

Comment #19

There is no way to downgrade the firmware correct?..

Comment #20

I don't think so per the link below.http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=25371360.

I think you'll have to wait for the hack to be adjusted for your version of the firmware..

You might try posting to the chkd thread and ask if this is in process.http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=25369732..

Comment #21

I loaded the CHDK for the a570 (for firmware 1.01a) and it seems to be working fine. I haven't tried shooting in RAW but I'll give it a try. I don't think there are any scripts for the Digic III processor though...

Comment #22

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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