SFR Digital Cameras

Discussion in 'Photography / Video' started by jessejames, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. jessejames

    jessejames Flyslinger

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,916
    Media:
    69
    Likes Received:
    391
    Location:
    Show Low, Arizona
    I am going to join the 21st century and get rid of the Kodak instamatic and buy a digital camera while the pre-Christmas sales are on.
    The advice I have gotten so far has been varied but the basics are:
    Get at least 3.2 megapixels?
    Optical zoom is better than digital is 3x enough?
    Ease of charging batteries (dock, internal charger etc)
    Size, good for packing in my waders or chest pack.
    Price of media, Sony seems to be the most expensive?
    How much memory is enough 128, 256, etc?
    I am going to use the camera for outdoor recreation and all around family use I am not interested in poster size prints. I have found some package deals with a starter kit and carrying case, extra batteries and even 4x6 photo copiers for around 300.00 I would like to stay in that range. (The dreaded budget constraints) I don't want to spend too much then the fishing trip budget suffers!!! ;)
    I see you guys and gals taking great pictures and publishing them on this site so I know there is a lot of expertise out there. Help this poor old dinosaur out please...
    jesse clark
     
  2. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,910
    Media:
    38
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Cascadia
  3. fishmagnet

    fishmagnet Bent rods and tight lines!

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Monroe, Wa., USA.
    Here is my nickel.
    I own a 4 megapixel Olympus and a Cannon 20D DSLR ($1500.00 body only).
    The Oly is great because it is small and water resistant. I have used it heavy for over 2 years and in some tough weather and fishing conditions. It has a clamshell opening for the lense and it protects it well. It shoots great pics and you can enlarge without a problem. I like Oly because they are smaller than most and have better seals for weather.
    The Cannon is a digital slr with interchangeable lenses and 8.2 megapixel with great lenses from Cannon.
    If you want a good camera, a reasonable price, good weather resistance, then I would go with an Olympus.
     
  4. jackchinook

    jackchinook Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    319
    Media:
    27
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Winthrop, WA
    One thing you might want to consider, all brands and models aside is the ability to buy and use a compatible waterproof housing. I have a Canon S400 (digital elph), (which I really like by the way) and I also purchased a waterproof housing for it. They're pretty pricey ($99-175, depending on the model) but the peace of mind that they afford is incomparable when you're on the water. I work in the field and bring my camera with me 100% of time. Dedicated buttons allow for all camera functions and don't affect photo quality. In my line of work, I'm around rivers all the time and fall in several times a season. Without it, I couldn't bring my camera with me and I'd miss all sorts of cool shots. I believe manufacturers make them for most major brand cameras such as Canon, Nikon, Olympus etc.
     
  5. Davy

    Davy Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,031
    Media:
    119
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    SIlverton, OR
    Well,based on my experience don't get a Nikon.Last spring on the McCloud river I went down netting a fish my wife caught and dunked my Nikon CoolPix3200 and it never worked again(shame too cause it was an easy to use quick little DC).On the same trip my son dunked his Sony Cyber-shot TWICE and it kept working-even with a bit of a foggy lens for a bit.He claimed to have dunked it 3 or 4 times in the previous year -- talk about an endorsment!!.Yeah, I know-you fall alot on NoCal rivers.

    Now I have a Canon 5.0 10X Optical Zoom and love it but it is bit bulky for carrying in vest but great for the boat.It will also shoot a 5 minute movie with sound.I bought the New Sony 5.0 mega with the 3 inch screen plus a viewfinder and it fits great in any pocket and seems to work great- I have not however dunked it(knock on wood) or even had it in the rain.Sony also makes a weather proof Cyber-shot that I have my other eye on for the tree.

    JMHO Davy
     
  6. jessejames

    jessejames Flyslinger

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,916
    Media:
    69
    Likes Received:
    391
    Location:
    Show Low, Arizona
    Thanks for the replies so far..I know there were threads for this topic and looked at them but the last real comprehensive thread was in Feb of 04 with the way the technology is advancing I thought some current information might be useful. :confused:
    jesse clark
     
  7. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    7,163
    Media:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1,250
    Location:
    Not sure
    Several additional thoughts on this thread:

    First, a reminder that digital cameras and immersion don't mix. Based on unfortunate personal experience and that of my fishing buddies, it'll cost more to fix a camera that's been dunked than to buy an exact replacement. If you're thinking of bringing it along on fishing trips for hero shots, it's not a matter of IF you'll get it wet but WHEN. Either get a submersible camera, buy a supplemental waterproof housing or don't bring it at all. I've got more than enough pics of me and my friends with fish so I rarely bring mine along unless it's on a very special trip. And then, it only comes in a clear waterproof housing with a neck strap so it stays tucked into the top of my waders.

    Second, there's absolutely NO advantage to buying one at your local camera shop.I just bought a Nikon Coolpix 3200 for my daughter for Christmas and saved 25% by buying it online instead of locally ($147 plus $7 shipping vs $199 plus $16 sales tax at Ritz Camera.) For both reviews and online price comparisons of all digicams, check out http://www.steves-digicams.com

    K
     
  8. halcyon

    halcyon Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!!!

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    491
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA, USA.
    For snapshots around the water many folks swear by the Pentax Optio 20wr I believe is the exact model. It is waterproof to about 10 feet as it comes out of the box. Takes excellent snapshots, is shirt pocket sized and is a true point-and-shot style camera. MSRP is under $250

    Regards,
     
  9. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    23,654
    Media:
    29
    Likes Received:
    2,687
    Location:
    Dillon, Mt
    Well here is my input. I use a Olympus D-520 Zoom. It is a 2.0 megapixel. For me it takes the same pictures as the higher priced cameras. The pictures that I have posted are taken with that camera.

    Jim
     
  10. P.Dieter

    P.Dieter Just Another Bubba

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    789
    Media:
    3
    Likes Received:
    234
    Location:
    Seattle.
    Home Page:
    JJ,

    One thing to add to your budget is post production software. If you limit yourself to only photos that are good straight out of the camera then you will be very sorry. I only have experience with Photoshop so I don't know what the cheaper alternatives are...but I do know you will want something that goes beyond croping and basic color balance.

    Have fun
    Paul
     
  11. Brian Simonseth

    Brian Simonseth Banned or Parked

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Skagit, Stillaguamish mostly
    I’ve been using Nikon Cool Pix 3200 for a year now, even went down (Skagit, Stilly, GR and Sandy) a couple times (I always kept the camera in a zip-lock bag) and have taken over 2800 photo’s with it with no problem. And like Paul said a good Photoshop Program is a most!
     
  12. jbrodie

    jbrodie New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Marysville, WA.
    I agree with what Kent said. Check out the website he posted, lots of info. Once you decide on a model do an on line search and save a lot of money. I went through this process and bought a Canon A80 that I like very much and saved about $100.00 buying it on line instead of local stores. Good luck, Jim.
     
  13. Black Shoes 12

    Black Shoes 12 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Carthage, Missouri
    Home Page:
    I have the olympus stylus 300 3.2 megapixels and i have had problems with it. by problems i mean my memory cards over 32mb have not worked. by this i mean i took a full cards worth of pictures and the card would not read in the camera or the card reader. but other than that it has been wonderful. take it fishing with me almost every time i go out and it has been soaked 3 times or so. Also when you buy the camera make sure your warranty covers everything. the warranty that comes with my camera will not cover it if it is found to have been submerged and that is the reason why it wont work even though it says it is weather resistant. also spend a couple hours on digital photography review and put in all you want and it should find you the best cameras to meet your needs.
     
  14. Peter Pancho

    Peter Pancho Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,749
    Media:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Gig Harbor,WA
    Home Page:
    I saw on Walmart.com a Kodak 5.0 meg camera WITH docking station for only 190.00 !!! This is definately an awesome deal! I'm not sure if they still have anymore though. Good luck!

    Peter <><
     
  15. Steelie Mike

    Steelie Mike Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,614
    Media:
    190
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Camas, WA
    Home Page:
    I use the Olympus Stylus 4.0 Megapixel. It is small and easy (1.5X3in). It can fit a Pelican Micro Case. This is an essential becuase these cases that you can purchase at REI are waterproof. I have dunked several cameras over the years and have found this case a great investment. Depending on memory the camera should fall under three hundred dollars. Two of my other buddies have similar Olympus cameras. Good luck! :thumb:
     
  16. FlyfishermanNY

    FlyfishermanNY New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    No.Merrick, New York, USA.
    I do alot of Underwater Photography and have several different film and digital cameras. Mostly Nikons. I have three Nikonosis III and sometimes take it on fishing trips, fully waterproof.It is film, I also use a Nikon Action one (disc many years ago) a film camera fully auto and takes great photos submersible to 16 feet. Then when I have the film processed I either scan the prints/negs or have the lab put it on a CD for viewing. It beats taking the more expensive and delicate cameras that are not water proof and dunking them. The Nikon One Touch as often avail on e-bay so I bought a back up. Solves my problems of ruining cameras which I have done in the past.
    Bob Studen
    Long Island New York :)
     
  17. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,939
    Media:
    294
    Likes Received:
    144
    Location:
    Hiding in your closet
    Don't get too caught up in the megapixel race. A good 3.2 will typically shoot much better photos than a cheap 5.0 in the same price range. The glass in front of the sensor has more to do with photo quality than a boost in pixels. Also, a lot of cheap, high-megapixel cameras are painfully slow to focus and record, with buffers that are too small for the size of images they capture.
     
  18. Doug

    Doug Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    36
    Media:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    Kent has a very good point about buying cameras on line. You can't beat their prices most of the time but you do want to be careful with some of the companies out there.

    Some of the equipement that they may try to sell you is gray market equipment or an off brand name. So make sure you compare between different sites.

    I have always used cameraworld.com with excellent and honest service. They are also ( or at least used to be) located in Portland. You may want to check out their clearance section, I just noticed some fantastic deals there. bhphoto.com is another high quality supplier that is located on the East coast.

    As far as brands go, if you talk to six different people you will get six different answers for the price range you are looking for. So don't worry about optical quality too much until you start buying high quality and high priced equipement. Personally I would buy Nikon myself, but thats what all of my equipment is, including my Coolpix 950 which has taken a bath in the Nooksack River and still works five years later.

    Also consider getting a camera with macro capability for some unique photo's of insects and whatever else you take pictures with.

    Make sure you get rechargable batteries too, they will last much longer than alkaline battiers do.

    One other thing to keep in mind, the more metal on your camera, the sturdier it will be. The more plastic it has and the easier it will usually break.

    Good luck
    Doug
     
  19. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    7,163
    Media:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1,250
    Location:
    Not sure
    Paul's exactly right about using software to post-process your images. In fact, most of the pros I know and work with spend as much time or more tweaking their images AFTER shooting them as they do in setting them up before taking them.

    The rub though is that Photoshop CS lists for $795 - more than most consumer-grade digital cameras. Although the program is incredibly powerful, it also needs a pretty substantial machine to run it, and especially one with lots of RAM (I have 1.5 GB on my primary work box.)

    As an alternative, Photoshop Elements costs about $100 and does much of what Photoshop does with a much more intuitive UI.

    K
     
  20. Fred Aldridge

    Fred Aldridge Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Everett
    After destroying a few cameras with too many pictures taken with wet hands, I finally purchased an Olympus Stylus 300. While not totally water proof, it probably won't take a dunking, it's working great for me. It's small enough to fit into most pockets and the battery seems to be holding up well. I purchased a 128meg picture card, which I've seen advertised for less than $40 lately and that is plenty of storage for me. I use Photo Studio softawre by Arcsoft which is very easy to use and inexpensive. :thumb:
    Fred