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Old 10-08-2005, 08:58 PM   #1
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Looking to buy digital camera.

I'm looking to buy a digital camera with amazing clarity, outdoor possibly waterproof. trying to spend around/below $300.00.

I'm not worried about video ability, just picture ability.

Any ideas? Thanks in Advance.


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Old 11-06-2005, 09:56 PM   #2
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lots of people like the cannon cameras...
for the water proof... u gota buy the stuff as an attachment to make it water proof :)
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:33 AM   #3
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I'm selling a Canon S2 IS, its a good camera however I might be out of your price range. I'm selling for around $430 but if your interested make me an offer.
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:05 PM   #4
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Umm well for less than 300 I wouldn't expect "amazing picture quality". Nothing comapares to a 12.0 megapixel digi, good lord man. My 3.4 hasn't got crap on my brothers 8.0 and I spent 350 for it.
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:13 PM   #5
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I just bought a Nikon Coolpix S4, 6 megapixel, 10x optical. Don't have a vast amount of experience with it yet, but so far I'm happy. Shop around on-line and you can find it for $325 or so...
www.nikonusa.com
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Old 11-08-2005, 01:26 AM   #6
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Canon Powershot a610 -- can be had for $250 or less.

Also check out www.dpreview.com (including the links page for links to other review sites).
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Old 11-08-2005, 07:49 AM   #7
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For the best reviews possible, check out Steve's Digicams

I have a Minolta DiMage Z1 that you can buy now for under $200. The newest model, the Z10 is great. Check out my gallery and other threads of mine for examples... the software it comes with and the camera itself is wonderful!

JMW

Here's a pic of my camera:

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Old 11-08-2005, 09:13 AM   #8
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Consider buying used if you want amazing picture quality for less than $300. BTW if you want amazing clarity the two main things you should be concerned with are lens quality and megapixel rating. The better the lens and the higher the megapixels, the sharper and clearer the picture will be (for the most part). But megapixels ain't everything. I have (among others) a Canon EOS Digital Rebel, which is a 6.3 MP camera, and it will take pictures that far exceed an 8, 10, or 12 MP "point and shoot" style camera given the right lens.

DPReview and Steve's Digicams are good sites, also you can check http://www.dcresource.com for more reviews.

I recommend the Panasonic FZ line of cameras, there are two versions, the FZ1/FZ2/FZ3/FZ4/FZ5 which are compact-sized cameras with a 12x zoom and optical image stabilization, the main difference between each model being the year it was introduced and the megapixel rating. The second set of FZ's is the FZ10/FZ15/FZ20/FZ30 and they are the larger, more expensive version. Same zoom range, also have image stabilization, but more features and more like a full-sized camera.

I don't know about the more expensive ones, but the compact FZ's can be found for less than $300 and you'll get a fantastic lens, it's a Leica-designed lens and the zoom range is very useful, especially coupled with the image stabilization.
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Old 11-08-2005, 09:27 AM   #9
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These are just a few pics with my DiMage Z1...I have yet to even use the Software cleaning on them.







That last pic was using a saturated color mode, where the colors' pigments are much more vibrant in aura...
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Old 11-08-2005, 07:29 PM   #10
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^^ I hope you don't take too much offense, but I spy a problem in picture #2: purple fringing. That's a very common problem with digicams and you really have to do your research to find a camera that doesn't have that problem. Purple fringing shows up in areas of high contrast, exactly like the second picture, where you have a dark(ish) area and a very bright area like the sky. It depends on the subject of the photograph and the level of purple fringing, but it can be very distracting.

That's one of the reasons I recommended the FZ-series cameras, there is very little or no purple fringing in most pictures. However they do exhibit slight color fringing at full zoom, but it's reddish and less obvious-looking. Also once again I'll push the optical image stabilization - if you guys haven't used a camera with this feature you should try it. It makes indoor shots easier to do without flash or tripod, and since the camera has a long zoom and zoom shots tend to get blurry with even the most minute camera movements, it helps there too.

Here's a side-by-side comparison between the Minolta DiMAGE Z1 and the Panasonic Lumix FZ5. These are crops of full images, unmodified except obviously the crop and pasting them into the same frame. The "PF" or purple fringing is pretty bad with the Z1. You can see the full images and other images as well at the site I linked to in my last post.



Oops. There was something I wanted to clarify. That side-by-side isn't totally fair because the Z1 is an older camera and the FZ5 is a newer camera, but if you take the time to check the galleries on dcresource you'll see that it wasn't until the Z5 that Minolta finally got the image quality higher. The Panasonic FZ series has been more consistent, it's been pretty good from the FZ1 up to the FZ5.
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