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I am a NOOBIE when it comes to cameras let alone digital ones.

I would like to buy one and I don't know what to look for.

I will be using it for all purposes. Mostly motorcycle orientated stuff. rides ect..

What could you guys recommend.

Futureshop.ca

I would prolly buy from them their store is right near my house. If you can suggest something from them that would be good.
 

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Ask them in the store for help. Buy one with sound movie mode. You can buy it for ~ $250can. It depends of memory how long movie can be.
 

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Digi cams

These are my thoughts:

1. If you have no experience with cameras by "point and shoot".
2. Buy the most "pixels" you can afford. +5.0 pixels will give you the capability to print out 8x10 prints without them being too grainy(where you can see the dots of colour that make up the picture).
3. Buy a memory card that will hold at least the equivalent of 36 pictures or more if you cannot download the pictures you have taken.
4. Make sure that the cameras have good transfer software. I have experience with HP and Canon. I prefer Canon. If the camera has a zoom lens, do not buy "digital" zoom (optical is best), as it results in poor quality prints. The F number on the lens means how efficient the lens is at transferring light to the "film". The higher the number the less efficient.
5. When you buy a camera and if you buy a printer to print the pictures be aware that the printer might be cheap but the consumables are expensive and the opposite is true also. Buy a printer based upon images printed from the printer not the cost (i.e. pictures you have taken in the store)
6. Make sure your computer can handle the software etc.
7. I would also recommend buying at Black's, Henry's or some other camera store. The after purchase service will always be superior and they will even help you to learn a little about the camera before you walk away and you may get some goodies to help you out.

Hope this isn't too long winded and that it helps.
 

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forest1000 gave some very good advice there. I have had experience with HP , Canon and Olympus. Like the Canon better then HP. But I have an Olympus 4040 that I dearly love. Even have an underwater housing for it to take diving with me. The camera is set up where it does not require software for downloading that makes it very easy to use. I just plug it into my USB port and the computer recognizes it as a portable drive. So when at a friend’s house can download there with no problems and no need for software. It is a very nice thing to have.
 

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One consideration you may not have put thought to is what kind of batteries do they take. I hated to run out of juice and the darn thing is proprietary.

Sony has some that take double A's , but you also have to use their memory card.

Look at the Olympus, Nikon, Sony and Canon in the 5 megapixel plus category. I settled in a price range and then checked out Circuit city for comparisons on line www.circuitcity.com Check it out online and when you go to the store you can ask specific questions.

1. size may make a difference to you. Will it fit in my jacket pocket etc.
2. battery types
3. features - mpeg movies and multiburst flash pics.
4. Don't look at the digital zoom and go wow. Look for optical zoom capability.
5. See what kind of formats it can convert the pics to/ Jpeg, giff, tiff, Raw

Technology is always changing and if you can time it right you can get last quarters awesome model at line change time for a cheaper price.
 

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Two words: OPTICAL ZOOM.

This is my opinion. Others have their own opinions.

OPTICAL ZOOM
Optical zoom is the only feature that matters much. In all other points most digital cameras are comparable. But in this one feature there is a real and useable difference from one to the next. Digital zoom means absolutely nothing. Combined zoom means absolutely nothing. Optical zoom is it -- the more, the better. But if you get over 6x or so, you are going to need image stabilization.

RESOLUTION
There are a few super cheap digital cameras out there that only take VGA quality pictures. That's 0.3 megapixels at 640x480. Those are things like pen cameras and cell phone cameras. But just about any dedicated digital camera has been 1.3 MP or more in the last few years. Personally, I think that anything over 2MP or so doesn't really help the picture unless you're making really, really big enlargements. So virtually every new digital camera will give you plenty of resolution. I don't see any reason to pay more for a camera that has more than I need.

MOVIE MODE
This is a cute feature of many digital cameras. But the movie quality and length and zoom are nowhere near what a camcorder can do. Digital camcorders (like MiniDV or Digital8) can easily record movies to your computer for editing. Many camorders can also take digital still pictures, but they don't do it as well as a digital camera. I say use the camcorder for movies and the digital camera for still shots. They are dedicated machines for a purpose.

BATTERIES
1Adam12 mentioned batteries. Using AA batteries is a definite plus. Get yourself a couple of sets of NiMH batteries and a charger. Personally I like the Rayovac PS4 charger because it charges 4 batteries individually. Many others have to charge the batteries in pairs. I always keep charged AA's on hand. Digital cameras will eat you out of house and home if you don't use rechargeable batteries.

MEMORY
Memory is cheap, so buy the biggest memory card you can get. I love being able to snap hundreds of pictures, then pick out the good ones. That would be especially handy if you're photographing stunts, because you never know what is going to happen until it's done. So just take pictures like crazy, then delete the junk.

Here's an email I sent to my sister-in-law a while back. It's a little dated now, but the principles are the same:

A while ago we talked about digital cameras. Mine was recently dropped (oops!) and now it acts a little funny. I'm still using it, but I'm shopping. If you haven't bought one yet, I thought I'd share my opinions with you.

Everyone talks about megapixels. Even the cheap cameras these days have about 3MP, and the better ones have more like 6 or 8MP. My Fuji 1400 was 1.3MP, and it seems fine to me. If I printed enlargements, I might want more megapixels, but I really think that 1.3 or 2.0MP is just fine for most use. But no digital camera gives the quality resolution of 35mm film.

I think that the most important feature on any digital camera is optical zoom. Digital zoom means nothing, since you can do that on your computer. So when it comes to zoom, optical zoom is all that matters. Indoor pictures don't need much zoom, but I do a lot of outdoor shots. My Fuji has a 3x optical zoom. That's pretty common. A few cameras have 6x zoom, which I think would be great. Olympus makes 8x and 10x in their C700 series cameras. Used C-700's typically sell on Ebay for about $140-190. It's a 2MP camera. I already have the biggest SmartMedia card available (128MB), and the Olympus uses it, so that's a little extra incentive to go for the Olympus. Also, it uses AA batteries, which I like.

But my Fuji gets some fuzzy pictures, especially in low light, so I am concerned that a 10x camera really needs image stabilization. The good news is that there are some options. Minolta, Fuji, Panasonic, and Olympus all make 10x cameras with image stabilization, but they are more expensive than the lowly C700. The Olympus C-2100 has 10x zoom and image stabilization, and it sells for about $200-250 used, but it's a big honkin' camera.

So I'm considering spending $300 or so to get a Panasonic DMC-FZ1. It's also 2MP, but it has a 12x optical zoom and image stabilization. The Panasonic uses a different memory card (SD or MMC), but those are bigger and slightly cheaper than SmartMedia. And the Panasonic uses a special rechargeable battery. I prefer AA's, since I always keep some handy.

Both the Olympus and the Panasonic can also record movies with sound, but neither one will replace your camcorder.

I'm also considering a Sanyo Xacti DMX-C1 (also known as Fisher FVD-C1), typically around $500. It's a combination camcorder and 3.2MP digital camera. It has 5.8x optical zoom, and it uses SD Memory cards instead of a tape. Tapeless video is a huge plus as far as I'm concerned. It costs more than a digital camera and camcorder combined, and it's not as good at either job. But it is more convenient than having both a camcorder and digital camera, so it would be more likely to be with me when I need it.

The great thing about digital cameras is that the pictures cost so little. So you're more likely to try some shots that you wouldn't take with a film camera. You can take thousands of pictures, and keep only the good ones. That's what the professional photographers have been doing for decades. They are better than us because
a) they have professional training
b) they have lots of practice
c) they throw away 90% of their pictures and file away 90% of the rest
Digital cameras close some of the gap between us and the professionals because now we can afford b and c. You're on your own for a, though.

I just realized that file sizes are not really a problem any more. I have taken somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 digital pictures in the last two years. All of them would fit on a single CD. Even if I had used a 2MP camera, they would all have fit on 2 CD's with plenty of room to spare.

The other issue is batteries. Buy yourself a couple of sets of NiMH AA's and a good charger. I like my Rayovac 1 hour charger ($30 at Wal-Mart). What's really nice about it is that it charges each battery individually (4 at a time) so no battery gets overcharged. I've seen 15 minute chargers at Sam's Club, but I don't know the details on them.

So if you already bought your camera, you can ignore all of this. And if you haven't, then GET ON THE STICK! It's time to go digital!
One last point I would make is to buy a used camera on Ebay instead of buying new. You'll spend a lot less, and get a camera that is almost as good. You can save that money for your next camera.
Curt
 

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Yep batteries do make a difference, mine will take Olympus batteries, Rechargeable NiHi AA batteries or plain AA batteries. If my rechargeable die it’s very easy to find any AA and keep going.
 

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I work as a sales person in an electronics store so I know a thing or 2 about these I would say, hehe. It sounds like you don't know a lot about cameras which is ok, everyone starts somewhere. If you were one of my customers I would tell you that the BEST camera for all the features would be Canon or Nikon. Since you would never use them all or even know they were there I would recomend you consider a Kodak camera. They have nice features that are VERY easy to use and VERY easy to learn. I would say they are probably one of the most user friendly cameras out there. As for options you have to know what your budget is. You're probably going to want atleast 3.2 mega pix (thats your resolution) if not 4. Only go over that if you have the extra money to blow.

Next, you have to decide how much zoom you want. Are you going to be taking pictures from a distance? Make sure you get one with good optical zoom if you do. Average optical zoom is about 3 to 4 times zoom. You can get 10X zoom but it will cost you a few hundred more. You'll also want to consider how many pictures you want to be able to take. I would recommend you get enough memory to take as many pictures you would ever take with out uploading them to a computer. Think about a long vacation... how many pictures do you take?

Another HUGE thing to consider is battery life. If you buy a digital camera that only uses AA bateries be prepaired to change them alot. NEVER NEVER us alkaline batteries. You might get 2 or 3 pictures before they are dead. Get lithium or Ni-MH (Nickle metalhydrite) rechargeables. Many of the new Kodaks can use either AA rechargables OR their special battery packs. Those packs last a long time. Up to about 100 to 150 pictures per charge and can be charged about 100 times. Thats 10,000 to 15,000 pics.

Whatever you do, get a sales person to help you and ask LOTS of questions. Make sure they aren't BSing you either. I know lots of people who work in my field that will just BS an answer if they don't know it.

P.S. Give us retail workers a break too. We don't know every answer and the best way to answer most of your technical questions is to look them up yourself on the net. Or call the manufacturer of the product.
 
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