David Mitzman | February 1, 2005
So I'm heavily considering purchasing a new digital camera in the near future. My budget is around $300-$350. My requirements: compact size (doesn't need to be an elph), either xD or CF memory (but if it's a Sorny camera, it'll be memory stick), and preferebly have a decent write speed to the flash memory. Any recommendations?

Anthony Lewis | February 1, 2005
Only one.

Stay away from Hewlett-Packard cameras.

Erik Bates | February 1, 2005
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David Mitzman | February 1, 2005
Well I am an amateur photography buff so I already know what not to buy, but thank you for the heads up ;)
I'm thinking either a Sony, Olympus, or Canon (and I'm leaning towards a Canon).

Anna Gregoline | February 1, 2005
I have this one:

(link)

And love it. LOVE IT.

It's awesome. They already have a more powerful version out though, and it's a lot sexier (and more expensive, of course).

Erik Bates | February 1, 2005
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Scott Horowitz | February 1, 2005
On High End ones, Canon does have the best lenses (The Digital Rebel) however, middle of the line, Olympus is the bomb diggity.

Dave Stoppenhagen | February 1, 2005
A friend of mine just bought the Sony Cybershot DSC T11 (link)

Lori Lancaster | February 1, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | February 1, 2005
And Scott, I agree - everything I've read states that Canon has the best lenses on the market.

Jackie Mason | February 1, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | February 1, 2005
Before going to get them developed? I'm confused. Do they make digital/film hybrids?

Jackie Mason | February 1, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | February 1, 2005
Right - that's what I do with mine - I didn't understand the use of the word "develop," I guess. That's what threw me.

Lori Lancaster | February 1, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | February 1, 2005
Wow, really? I didn't know about that digital-light technique. Pretty cool.

Scott Horowitz | February 1, 2005
I sold digital cameras for a while as well. Most of the returns we had were Sonys. Olympus were probably our best sellers. People used to ask me about "digital/film" hybrids a lot. My answer was "What would the point be?"

Anna Gregoline | February 1, 2005
Uh, so you could have both in one package?

Scott Horowitz | February 1, 2005
No, you can't. People would ask about them and I told them that they don't exist. If you have digital, there is no need for a film. Besides, they work on completely different technologies.

Amy Austin | February 1, 2005
I'm afraid that I'm that I'm going to have to back Lori's estimation of the Olympus on this one. But like her, I congratulate you, Jackie...

One of the collateral duties I held as a Photographer's Mate was "Supply PO" -- a hellish responsibility that includes (among other things) maintaining our equipment inventory -- ordering, distributing, collecting and sending in for repair -- I've had literally hundreds of cameras, mostly digital, pass through my hands. The Olympuses were, by far, the biggest pieces of shit that *I* ever saw -- I can't even tell you a figure.

Without even going into the whole chasm that exists between a cheap-ass point-and-shoot and a good DSLR -- and I'm assuming that you want a P&S, Dave, since a good one of the latter is fairly cost prohibitive -- my advice is also to STAY AWAY FROM OLYMPUS. Even the E-10, which was one of their higher-end and fairly more decent models (issued to real photographers, not just anybody), was rife with problems. But of course, any camera is only going to be as good to you as you are to it -- if you are clumsy, careless, and/or accident prone (or fly F-14s, F/A-18s, like the pilots who were the most frequent (but not sole) recipients of our Olympus POS models), then you should really factor this into your selection. But, for the most part, I think we probably tend to treat our grown-up toys like grown-ups. It's another matter when the toys are issued by the government.

As Lori also so aptly pointed out, "printed" would be a more appropriate term, but it is also true that chemical development is part of that process... when it involves printing onto photographic paper, vice a printer of some sort. Dye sublimation printing used to be the preferred choice for digital color printing, since it provides a 4-color process that is closest to photo-quality. However, with the development of photo/digital mini-labs (those that can produce prints from film OR digital imagery onto PHOTOGRAPHIC paper, by means of the traditional chemical process required by photographic paper) -- although it is insanely more expensive than a dye-sub printer -- this is now the preferred choice, since the high-run capacity is far greater and is just like that of a true (film) photo lab... and the cost per print is SIGNIFICANTLY less at 2-3 cents, compared to 2-3 dollars each for dye-sub.

Amy Austin | February 1, 2005
Although that was a bit slow, I was also interrupted by an angry phone call... sorry if I sound repetitious.

Anna Gregoline | February 1, 2005
Scott, I'm aware of that - but you said what would be the point - I think the point is obvious - it would be awesome!

Scott Horowitz | February 1, 2005
No, it would be useless. First off, digital cameras have significantly less quality than 35mm cameras for around the same price. You drop $500 on a point-and-shoot cannon 4 MP, when you can get the Rebel 2000 for about $200. Which is better pictures. Secondly, it would be bulky. Most people want the point and shoot size cameras, to do that plus APS film, with a digital shutter as well as an "analog" shutter. It would be cost prohibitive. Thirdly, what would be the need. Most digital cameras are used for sharing photos more than printing. You take the pictures, print them at home, and give them to CVS for printing? Makes no sense. Also, a memory card can hold hundreds of pictures, film can hold 36 max (I think, it's been a while since I bought film).

John E Gunter | February 1, 2005
You are correct Scott; they still make 36 exposure rolls in both slide and print. One of the bonuses with film is you can get various film speeds which allow for a fuller range of light absorption. Plus, a digital camera is interpreting what it is seeing, while a film camera is reacting to what it is seeing.

I was more into the technology differences back in college than I am now, and of course, digital cameras were yet to be available. It was video then and the main differences between film and video were still obvious, but they were doing much better with video every year as far as making it work closer to film. But still, you had problems with bright lights leaving weird glare paths when a video camera panned through a shot.

Digital cameras are very similar as far as I know, at least the way they work. But digital cameras are nice for the quick snap that most people want, and I for one want to get a nice one, someday. But for really cool, artsee shots, I fall back to my 35mm.


John

Scott Horowitz | February 1, 2005
With certain digitals, you can play with settings to change the "film speed"

Anna Gregoline | February 1, 2005
Well, for you, perhaps. For me, it would be quite useFUL!

Of course it would be bulky. I understand that the people asking were probably clueless about digital cameras (and regular cameras, probably) but I still kind of wish it was an option. Whenever I go out on a photo shoot, I bring my clunky SLR AND my digi-cam...I wish I didn't have to switch between the two! What an awesome thing it would be if I could just push a button and have a choice to use film or digital storage. I realize too that this would be psycho expensive, but if it was out there, I'd lust after it!

I might not be "most people," but I think there are probably many others like me that can see the benefits and would enjoy a hybrid camera!

As far as exposures go, I don't remember if 36 is the top amount, but I seem to remember going past that. Not sure if that was in photo class with rolls we rolled ourselves though.

Lori Lancaster | February 1, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | February 1, 2005
Anna, the best thing you could do is to have a point and shoot (digital) and an slr with you when you are going somewhere where you know you want to take some pictures and get the instant gratification, as well as have real negatives to work off of in a darkroom.

Yep, that's what I do!

Lori Lancaster | February 1, 2005
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Scott Horowitz | February 1, 2005
My dad has an HP photoprinter. The quality is pretty good. And the images have yet to fade, unless left in high-heat/direct sunlight. The best to print is with a dye sublimation printer though, you'll get the best quality that way.

Erik Bates | February 1, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | February 1, 2005
Ha!

With all of us having digi cams, we should be showcasing our pics to each other! I'd love to see what you guys take pics of.

Amy Austin | February 1, 2005
Bates 16:30

One!... Two!... Five!

Lori Lancaster | February 1, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | February 2, 2005
A quick way to see what I take pictures of is to check out the pics on VoodooToaster.com.

Nadine Russell | February 2, 2005
Lori, I have one of the newer Canon printers and while I am happy with the print quality, I've discovered that it's still cheaper to get my photos printed at Walmart or somewhere similar. The quality difference is noticeable as well. I don't think I'd recommend that sort of printer as a primary way of printing pictures although I have used it for that.

Lori Lancaster | February 2, 2005
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Nadine Russell | February 2, 2005
We don't have Meijer up here in the great white north. I've tried out everyone around. I didn't notice much difference in the quality but price was a huge difference. Walmart comes in at 25 cents a print and Future Shop is slightly better quality (not all that noticeable though) and they're at 37 cents. I worked it out and by the time I buy ink and photopaper it costs about 60 cents to print a 4x6 here at home and the quality is really lacking.

Erik Bates | February 2, 2005
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David Mitzman | February 2, 2005
Thanks for the recommendations. It appears that Canon is probably going to be the way to go (and since I'll have my tax refund in a few days, a new camera is in my grasp). By the way, in reference to a comment about Olympus' lenses, the c4000 has an awesome lens. The pictures come out most excellent. I'll get to posting an image later I took from Key West in 2003.

David Mitzman | February 2, 2005
(link) is one pic I took (resized down to 800x600 for web viewing). Yup, that is about the most southern point in the United States looking out west and towards the Carribean).

I was looking at an Olympus Stylus 500, but I'm hearing mixed reviews (but it has a 2.5" lcd screen, freakin huge). On the other hand, the model we have on display at my store seems to run slow (writing pictures to the xD card).

Anna Gregoline | February 2, 2005
Very nice picture - long reach, and hardly any blurring.

David Mitzman | February 2, 2005
Thanks. I've been told I have an eye for photography. I've always been wanting to get into it more. Don't really have a darkroom to develop in though. The only bathroom in the house with no windows is too small.

Anna Gregoline | February 2, 2005
I wish I had a darkroom too! I'm not committed to make my bathroom into one. I hope that someday I have a house for a basement - my guy and I will need it with all of my art projects, photography for the both of us, and his recording studio!

David Mitzman | February 2, 2005
We have a basement here but there are windows and it's not a finished basement anyway.

Kris Weberg | February 2, 2005
Why do basements have windows, anyway? They never let in enough light, and it's not exactly a view you want.

Amy Austin | February 2, 2005
So they can get flooded, of course... Or else, so you can escape if you are ever locked inside.

Lori Lancaster | February 2, 2005
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Dave Stoppenhagen | February 2, 2005
My parents basement used to flood all of the time in STC. Mostly because of that slight angle they were at on Fairview, just enough to flood it. I remember many of late nights/early mornings bailing the basement and trying to lift couches out of the water. Great suction on those things.

David Mitzman | February 3, 2005
Well I was at Best Buy today shopping around for some more digital cameras (I know, I work at one but I went to a different store to get another opinion from a sales guy I don't know). Right now I'm pretty sure it's going to be the Olympus Stylus 500. It's got a gigantic LCD screen, is pretty fast, and takes some excellent photos.

David Mitzman | February 7, 2005
I figure I'm getting the Canon SD300. I get it for a good price + it's a great camera and all the reviews I've read say so.


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