Saturday, December 17, 2005

Digital camera woes

I'm in the market for my first digital camera, and my head is spinning. The possible permutations of features seem infinite--a situation not helped by the fact that I'm not really sure what I want.

My heart was initially set on a digital SLR, but realistically, the cost and size of these cameras have more or less eliminated them (though I have a feeling that some sort of Nikon DSLR is somewhere in my future). Right now, I'm looking for a good point-and-shoot compact camera. I've narrowed my desired specs down a little, but I have no experience with DP, so I'm at sea here: something around 5-6 megapixels in the 400-Canadian-dollar range, with decent video resolution (i.e., 640x480) and unlimited clip length. Some incarnation of a 35-105 mm equivalent optical zoom would be nice. I don't think any of these point-and-shoot cameras have great lenses anyway, even if they are Leica or Zeiss or what have you, so I don't think it's much of a factor (but feel free to abuse and/or disabuse me on this point). I don'’t care much about a viewfinder, but a nice big LCD screen would be a bonus. And of course, it should play nice with my Macs.

I was looking at some Pentax Optios, but they don't seem to be officially supported by iPhoto and apparently add some funky metadata to the Library.iphoto file, so I'm close to crossing Pentax off my list altogether. Too bad because they offer a nice 6mp Optio that's reportedly waterproof.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


JoviFan said...

Try a Fujifilm Finepix 4.1 megapixils. Yes, this is slightly less sexy than the camera you describe wanting, buy my boyfriend gave it to me (as my first digital camera) and it is really lovely and easy to use. It takes great pictures. I would highly recommend it as a first digital camera.

Peter Garner said...

Hi Jovifan,

Nice boyfriend you have, giving you a digital camera! Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely check it out.

D'Arcy said...

I've got a fujifilm 510 (5 megapixel) camera. It's not bad, but the flash takes FOREVER to recharge, testing today, it took 6 seconds between flash firing to recharging - and it turns off the LCD while the flash charges.

Other than that, it's a decent camera, but if you need to take a lot of shots with the flash, it's a huge PITA.

D'Arcy said...

almost forgot - totally jonesing to pick up a Canon Digital Rebel XT. Sweet 8MB SLR camera, with the great DIGIC II chipset. Amazing little camera...

Peter Garner said...


Another Fuji user? You guys are everywhere! But seriously, I'd pick up a Rebel in a heartbeat if it weren't for the size factor. My wife and I are going to Europe next summer and we're travelling light, so I don't want to be lugging a big camera around with me.

Peter Collins said...

These days the size of a DSLR is pretty small (the new rebel xt is pretty compact considering). and the capabilities of them relative to the p&s are fairly significant. Pair that with the fun you can have with lenses and stuff.

Travelling I can see you would want something very compact but I think you would far more satisfied with the pics coming from a DSLR. The control you have over focus and DOF etc. will be a joy for you--especially knowing your background.

Of course, I'm still working completely in film and still work with a 1930 Kodak Pocket Jr. 1A... So what do I know about digital? Ha!