try slickdeals.net or xpbargins.com for better pricing Also pricescan.com
The Toshiba PDR-3300 digital camera (3.2 megapixel) that I got for my birthday has become indispensable. My Hasselblad camera is somewhere in the house, largely forgotten.
Our company purchased 15 Dells over a three year period. I have purchased a laptop and two desktops from them. In my experience, they were once merely satisfactory. Today, they are awful. Not only do they break your back by charging separately for essential items, their customer "service" is deplorable. Typically, the representative (after endless transfers and a terminal wait on hold) tries to find a way to deny support. This is the case even with the optional service plan I have purchased at an extra cost. Awful. Not recommended.
As an aside, I have nothing but great things to say about Canon. Great Multifunction machines, and superb support.
I am having a new computer made by a gentleman who lives near me. He will be around to help with the inevitable glitches. I bet an Agoner can recommend a similiar person if you disclose where you're located.
Ive owned more than quite a few digital cameras, you really dont need huge megapixels to take good pictures, i have had good results using several of the olympus models including the very economical D-150 to the more expensive 4 megapixel
D40. One of the main reasons i like these is they use AA batteries and rechargeables work great! With proprietary battery cameras, when it does, you find the charger and an outlet, not always convenient. I now use a Sony DSC-P9 that is this way, great camera again however.
The reason i switched to the Sony dig camera however is both my laptop and my Sony MXS-10 as well as other models have on board memory stick bays instead of transfering data any other way, i have found this works great. I bought my mother a lesser model Sony PC that also has the memory stick slot. GREAT FEATURE.
If you look on Ebay you can get very good deals on new or refurb computers and cameras.
Hope this helps and good luck.
I own the Canon Powershot G5. This is my first digital camera. While it has 5 megapixels, which is real good, the comments I get from others is on thw quality of the color in the photographs.
I really don't have much to compare it to but those who have experience with digital cameras say that they love the pictures that mine takes.
One thing to look into is the HP Photosmart 7960 printer. It will take just about any flashcard from any digital camera and you can print/Email/download direct from the printer. this means that anybody visiting your home can download the pictures to your computer via your printer.
Also, the printer is built like a tank; unlike comparably priced Epson printers.
Oh, I use a Mac G5.
I would avoid the Gateway AND HP/Compaq. Both have serious QC issues. I agree that Dell is options extra happy, but will add that they sell robust machines that perform very well. I have a Dell desktop that is over 4 yrs old and still works as well as it did out of the box. I have a new Inspirion notebook that, so far, seems a good buy for the money (less than 900.00 w/ wireless card, 15" screen, DVD/CD-R drive).
Sony is making some very nice digi cameras in a wide variety of prices.
I'll chime in although my views have some definite biases that are probably in the minority. I'm a digital retoucher and illustrator and make my living exclusively using Macintosh computers.
I realize that you're present goals are much simpler than that, but I have a sneaking suspicion that once you have a digital camea, computer and an inkjet printer your interest in image editing and the other fun things you can accomplish will grow.
If you think there's a remote chance of that happening I would encourage you to get a Mac. Apple invented the GUI, their machines look way cooler, apps like Photoshop are optimized to run in Apple OSX, it's my opinion that you'll be able to view and get better color with a Mac and its ColorSync features, and they are very plug and play. How about that for a run-on sentence?
If you don't think you'll need a suped up editing station how about an iMac or the portability of an iBook? All Macs come equipped with Firewire and USB connectivity which makes them a snap to connect to digital cameras, card readers and inkjet printers.
Ok, so I'm biased. Actually no matter what computer or operating system you choose, I think you'll have a lot of fun!
I own a 5 megapixel Olympus E20, but I think the 4 megapixel Canon S45 I use on vacations is much more what you're looking for. The E20 is about the size of a standard 35mm SLR film camera.
The S45 is small enough to put in a shirt pocket, and can be put into action in just a few seconds. It takes great pictures and has excellent tonal balance. I use a 256MB Simpletech compact flash card when empty is good for about 220+ pictures.
Make sure to buy an extra battery for your camera so you won't be caught with a dead camera when that beautiful Italian woman strolls past you in Santorini.
A media reader like the Simpletech compact flash/Smartmedia reader I use when connected to your computer will get all those neat pictures on your machine.
I see a lot of dark or overly flashed pictures posted on Audiogon. An image editing app like Photoshop is a good way to correct strong color casts, open up dark images and pull back highlights from being specular. Photoshop also has a good prepare for web module with export preview built into it that will allow you to make sure the images are the right size and look good even when compressed.
Just in case you ever decide to print out your images, consider the excellent line of Epson inkjet printers. I got turned on to them by a Dallas based photographer over 3 years ago. I use a 2000P and it beats the pants off of anything an offset printer can produce. There are lot's of good inkjets from Hewlitt Packard and Epson starting at $70!
I'm sure some professional shooters like Marco [Jax2] and Albert Porter will have some great recommendations.
Good luck and have a ball!
Agreed, forget wintel boxes, get a Mac and be done with it. Anything else is a lesser choice at best.
canon S500 powershot is a very nice cam for reasonable money. For a bit more, I'd step up to the EOS rebel digital or the EOS 10D. (those make excellent sense if you have an investment in EOS 35mm gear, as they use the same lenses.)
While i'm not much of a computer whiz, i know more than a few of my friends do. Having said that, they had me set-up a couple of differnt Dell laptop's for them. The first one was completely "whacked" when we took it out of the box. The operating system had major errors in it from what i can tell so we didn't even mess with it. They did send another one out to replace it right away.
Once we got the second one, my experience with Dell customer support was like that mentioned above. That is, it was horrible. I literally spent two to three hours each on a couple of different occasions trying to resolve problems. On top of that, the Dell branded Wi-Fi ( wireless network ) gear has problems with it, so shop wisely.
As a side note, Sony Laptop's don't come with a copy of the OS or a recovery disc, so if anyone has one of these, you better make a back-up disc before doing anything else to it. Otherwise, you'll have to contact Sony and purchase a disc separately, which could put your computer out of commission for a period of time. Not good and really stupid on the part of Sony's marketing as far as i'm concerned. Sean
As a professional photographer I have much the same opinion as Gunbei. I have a Mac dual processor tower and the new 17" Powerbook. Both are excellent and you have the choice of several operating systems.
I have OS 9.1 on one hard drive in the Mac tower and OS X Panther (plus OS 9) on the other hard drive. The Powerbook is running OS X Jaguar.
For those who are accustomed to Win machines, the software that makes them so valuable in the business world is also written for Mac. I have Microsoft Internet Explorer, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage.
As Gunbei pointed out, Photoshop and Illustrator are native to OS X and not only run faster, they never crash. With each Mac, comes photo viewing software called I photo which is the "visual" counterpart to I tunes and the I pod.
If you install the editing software provided by Nikon or Canon, the Mac software recognizes it and allows the user complete control over where to view, edit and change images. The FireWire port on Mac will allow you to plug Nikon directly into the computer and control it from the desktop. Handy for time exposures, delay flash or astral photography or a situation where you wish to be remote (or in the comfort of your car).
As for Cameras, I don't know your budget but the new Nikon D70 is pro quality for reasonable price. I suspect it will sell for about 1K. Here is a link to a new test and review:
Good luck with your venture whatever way you decide to go.
I'm at Brooks Institute of Photography, and Macs are the choice computer and laptop for photography and digital imaging. The Nikon D100 can be found on the used market for approx. $600, or the new D70 are both excellent digital cameras. If you already own Nikkor lenses, they work with both the D100 and the D70. I own a D1X and the images are stunning. Check out my website for samples of images using the D1X. Canon also has excellent digital cameras.
Mac? Surely, you jest? Isn't that the computer that started out with almost 10% of the PC market and has managed to go to approx. 3% of the market in a few short years? Don't get stuck with one of those boat anchors.
Get a reasonably-priced Dell or IBM PC and buy the digital camera with the money you saved from not buying the over-priced Mac. As for camera choices, Canon and Nikon have some very nice 3-4 megapixel models available for resonable bucks, and I am quite satisifed with my Toshiba PDR-M70 that I bought over two years ago.
Mac....don't make me laugh, geez.
Surely, Rhwainwright is jesting. If we to subscribe to his notion that market share/sales is an indication of a company's or product's superiority, then we should be buying most of our sound equipment from Radio Shack or giant discounters. Viable (perhaps just different, but sometimes clearly superior) alternatives to popular PCs, solid-state devices, Cds, VHS, digital cameras are Macs, tubes, vinyl, Beta (yes, Beta) and 35mm cameras.
By the way, what works for me is a Mac and a Sony D770. The Sony's resolution is not as high as that of current models, but I like its flexibility--it operates much like a good SLR. I also use Adobe PhotoShop 5.0 (purchased inexpensively on eBay) to crop, adjust color balance, etc. I have two iMacs, purchased used for about a quarter of what they cost new; the Sony was a demo. I also use, however, film cameras because I have my own darkroom.
The only time I would definitely not recommend a Mac is if you're planning to play a lot of different games on your computer. Then a PC is probably a better choice.
Depending on how you ultimately use a digital camera will influence your model choice. Close-up abilities, focusing and exposure options, ease of operation, pixels, etc. should all be considered. And, of course, your budget.
A note re pixels: Unless you have a high resolution printer, and are planning to make a lot of enlargements (8X10) and higher, paying a lot for a camera because of pixel figures doesn't make much sense to me. It's a bit like owning a Leica or Nikon with high resolution lenses and taking your film to WalMart. Of course, some people might argue that Walmart must have high quality film processing because they do such a good business.
Nick (PS: sometimes I buy stuff at Radio Shack, too)
I'll give you yet one more professional recommendation for the Mac if you have not figured it out by now. In the world of photography and graphic design and image manipulation Mac rules. Period. End of story. I've been taking pictures since I was five and been a pro for over 20 years. The vast majority of profesionals in the fields of photography and graphic arts have relied upon Macs for as long as I can remember (just as has been demonstrated here on this thread). The only reason not to go that way is if you anticipate the need for proprietary software (such as gaming software as someone already suggested) which is not available for Mac. One other great perk about Macs is they are far more stable than PC's and far less vulnerable to viruses, worms, rashes and constipation. As far as digital cameras, there is so much out there that would do a great job for the needs you mentioned, and that technology is changing so fast that by the time I typed a recommendation for a point-and-shoot solution it might be obsolete. The Nikon prosumer solutions that Albert reccommends as well as others (D70 & D100) would be a great tool to have if you don't mind the size. If you are just looking for a snapshot solution to put stuff on the Internet and do the occasional picture of the family you may not want the bulk of a prosumer camera, even though the features and quality of the images are significantly better if you get serious about your digital shooting. I'd heartily second recommendations for Nikon's lineup of prosumer and professional digital cameras and a used one may be a great option if you can verify it's provenance. For point and shoot; as I said, there's a new model out every week it seems. I've seen stuff from Nikon, Sony and Canon that all have offered up some great features in the past as well as offering very satisfying results. The main drawbacks I see in going with a point and shoot is shutter lag (newer cameras are getting better and better about this), rangefinder and or tiny lcd viewing screens, and slow cycling time to shoot a burst of images one after the other. There are other drawbacks as well, but those are the ones that bug me the most. Biggest plus? Portability and economy, though some of the prosumer cameras are offering a whole lot of bang for not a lot of buck these days.
I would go with a Mac. One you switch to the Mac OS X operating system you will never go back. In particular if you are interested in image processing applications. You don't need to play games anyway, better to listen to you music collection. Otherwise I hate to say it, but I have heard a lot of good thing about ibm machines: long warranty and extremely reliable. Stay away from Compaq, HP, Dell. I have heard about to many problems.
Didn't anybody read the original post? All he wanted to do with his new computer and camera is surf the net and post some pictures on Ebay and Agon when selling items.
Hewlett-Pachard and Compaq are the same company. What I would do is go to Best Buy and pickup the following computer:
Hewlett-Packard Pavilion Desktop with AMD™ Athlon XP Processor 3000+ Model: a510n
It comes with a DVD/CD_RW, a decent sized harddrive and a memory card reader that will work with any digital camera. And for under $600.00 I couldn't build it that cheap. It also has the room for future expansion - better video, audio etc.
As far as digital camera go, for what you want to do something in the 3.2-5.0 Megapixel range will do fine. This will allow you to use low-res for auctions and high-res for vacations. Get one that's easy to use. Canon, nikon and hP make easy to use good cameras.
I have two digital cameras- a Canon Powershot Pro1 (8 megapixel) and an HP935 5.3 megapixel. I use the HP a lot more than the canon because it a great point and shot camera and easy to use. BTW I have taken a few photgraphy courses over at the local college. THe HP can be purchased here for around $300.00.
Hope this helps,
BTW - I am a microsoft certified system administrator (MCSA), microsoft certified system engineer (MCSE), and a microsoft cerified A+ technician and have over 25 years of experience in the computer industry.
04-26-04: Prpixel Asked:
Didn't anybody read the original post? All he wanted to do with his new computer and camera is surf the net and post some pictures on Ebay and Agon when selling items.
Nope, just came up with a random answer like everyone else. Dunno' about the others, but I do one of those Johnny Carson things by holding my laptop up to my forehead and just intuit the answers. Wow, seems like all these answers seem to address the very same subject. Imagine that? By gosh, yet all of them are slightly different opinoins, and some not so slightly different.....go figure. Some folks even took the time to expand reflect upon the original questions and provide insight that goes beyond them basing their answers on there very own experience. What in heavens name could they have been thinking?! Perhaps they may have thought that other folks, aside from the person who asked the questions in the first place, may look at the same thread seeking out useful opinions and information on the same subject. Oh wait, I forgot, no one bothers to search the archives! They just ask the same old questions over and over again. So I guess you are the only one who did read the original question Prixel. GoodOnYa' for that!
I'll add another vote for MAC, I was always a PC guy since the original XT machines, but when XP came out, I needed a new computer and all my friends had compatability issues. I wanted something for digital music, video and photography. Well, two years later, I will never switch back. My MAC is just so efficient at everything.
As they say... "It just works!"
As for cameras, I have a Canon Powershot S40, though I'd get the S45 now, not the S50 as the CCD isn't that great. One REALLY cool thing about this camera is the underwater case Canon makes for it. This camera goes to the beach, and diving with me and does quite well in both environments!
I like my Canon A70 ... 3Mpixel (quite enough unless you want to print posters ... and remember that 5Mpixel cameras need a much bigger compact flash card). Inexpensive, simple to use and pictures that look better than my old olympus 35mm on 7x5s.
As for PCs I've always had good luck with Toshiba laptops. Not the most advanced, but quite durable. No experience with Macs.
The Mac is a great machine for digital photography and video editing. I'll give you that. But, it's a lot more money than a PC. I was just trying to give him a low cost alternative from a computer professional.
BTW - I have used and owned Macs in the past. Yes, they are easier to use. But, in order to acheive this, you give of options and software choices.
As far as the PC goes, it was come a long way with the NT Kernal. I've been running XP since beta and have yet to see a "blue screen of death". No crashes, no lockups, just as stable as can be. Granted, I don't have a lot of software installed on my machine; just the essentials - Coreldraw, photoshop, office and the occasional RPG.
>> Didn't anybody read the original post?
Indeed, seems like every professional photographer on the 'Gon chimed in with his Mac recommendation despite what the original poster asked for.
Well, I've got some news for all the Macolytes out there: your box is over-priced for what this guy wants to do. For under $1,000 he can have a nice Wintel-based PC and a very decent digital camera that will do *everything* he needs and then some. Why the hell should he spend upwards of $3,000 for a Mac and such?
Now you'll have to excuse me, I'm in the midst of de-bugging a C# app running on a Dell - I'd *love* to use a Mac [smirk], but darn it, ya just can't get any good development software for that box, can ya?
He can easily get an Emac or iMac for around $1000, that will kick a pc's ass, hands down, from every standpoint that matters.
initial cost is but one (small) part of total cost of ownership. Factor in downtime, hassles, virii, crashes, repairs, software, upgrades, frustration, etc. - all of which are much higher with a PC - and the Mac looks like an even bigger bargain than it already is!
Anything written for unix will be viable for a Mac (OS X), certainly more dev software out there for Unix than anything Wintel could ever dream about, IMHO.
"Fighting Back For the Mac - let's kick Intel's ass!" (anyone remember that slogan? ;-)
Who said he should spend $3000? I think I offered some options that were 1/2 to a 1/3 that price. You can get an iBook starting at $700, an iMac from around $1000, and an eMac for $800. Just check out www.MacMall.com.
From Cdc's question I gathered that he might not have computer yet, so I offered up the Mac and its great, included software as an easy way to get the pictures from camera to website.
Cdc, as Albert Porter suggested, iPhoto which comes preinstalled on new Macs and is a great way to view and organize all your photos. You needn't buy the full professional version of Photoshop to manipulate, crop, color correct and resize your pictures. Adobe Photoshop Elements runs about 90 buckeroos and will probably do all that you want.
If you ever decide you want to make albums of your photos to share with friends or burn to DVD, Apple's new iLife is a $49 suite of mini apps that includes iPhoto, iDVD, iMovie and Garage Band. It's a great little package.
Boy, all you angry PC guys, what gives? If you read Cdc's original post he asked for nice people only. Notice how the PC guys like to brag about their Microsoft certification and de-bugging a C-whatever app. That's cool and all, but what does this have to with taking, editing and posting pictures on the web? At least a pro photog will have some helpful advice in this area.
Not to judge PC users in genenral, but if one were new to computers and read this thread, he or she might conclude...
Mac people = fun, creative and helpful
PC people = snobby, superior, grumpy, jealous, stiff and repressed.
Have fun Cdc researching computers and cameras like you would a new piece of audio gear for your system. As I said earlier, no matter the machine or that OS you end up with I'm sure you'll have lot's of fun.
RW - I'm not quite clear on why you'd find it surprising that a question about photography would result in responses from those who knew about photography. People who do it to make a living and actually depend on their gear to put food on their table and pay their mortgage had damn well better know the tools they work with, just as you'd better know your development apps! As had been said on more then one post, the drawback to a Mac will be available software for diverse applications. If the question is addressing Photography (as it was) and Graphic Design then I'd always recommend a Mac as making those processes relatively simple, fast and stable, as well as being very intuitive in the case of their integral applications like iPhoto. I didn't read about anyone telling this guy to go out and drop 3 large on a brand new G5. Used G4's are abundant in virtually every city and town across the US as well as on the Internet, at very reasonable prices and are plenty of Mac for what the poster require. Heck, even a G3 is a dead-stable platform to run any version of OSX on and still not be lacking for basic applications. Those can be had for only a few hundred dollars. As far as surfing the Internet goes, money invested there should go into a DSL or Cable conection as most of the browsers do a fine job, and virtually all are available at no cost.
Prpixel - Glad to hear the PC is finally catching up with Mac where stability is concerned. All I can say is that it's about time. PC viruses are still a problem, especially on boxes that send and recieve email and surf that net. Mac's remain relatively impervious to that and I can say that I've absolutely never had a virus or worm on my Macs over the years. Mac has such a stronghold on the photography/design community at large. BUT recent tests are showing the the Pentium 4 processor is actually faster (compared to a dual-processor G4 which is NOT the current state of the art) in many Photoshop proceses and especially in converting raw files (crucial to a pro, or anyone wanting the utmost in quality from their digital images). Anyone interested in those recent tests, which have come under much scrutiny and criticism since Macs have always been considered the faster route, can read the original test on Rob Galbraith's Website. Incidently, the PC's used in this test were all over $3K as was the Mac (as configured). I don't know how the G5 and OS10.3 have changed the balance. Apple has a strong reliance of the graphics/photography community on their choice to use Macs above PC's because they've always been superior. If PC's continue to improve as they have been in these realms, then Apple may be in big trouble since the graphics community has always been one of their most staunch supporters
Obviously you don't need to spend large coin to just do snapshots and surf the web. If the original poster just wants to buy something brand new and as cheap as possible, and wants to play games on their computer, and perhaps eventually become a Prototyper for Microsoft.... well then, go get yer'self a chop-shop PC and have at it. I, myself, prefer the stability and reliability of Macs when using them in grahics applications. They have a long history based on these strengths and continue to do these things very very well.
Once I've placed on 'gon to find any descent camcorder and received no responces but Cdc realy found the best clue "to photograph his or someone else's rig".
I admire such creativity(Oh, yes with no irony indeed), but still spit on the TV screen when seing movies pictured with my Sony TRV270 camera and missing my brocken and trashed optical JVC a couple of years ago. No contest the events pictured by that JVC look like from a pro camera while that comfortable LCD digital Sony has a bunch of snow if the light is a-bit lower than 12-noon daylight.
I listed my certification to to let the CDC know that I wasn't just another end user with limited experience offering up his personal opinion.
As far as digital photography goes, I have a friend in NYC, who is a professional photographer. He gets prototype digicams that will blow most peoples minds. Yes, he does most of his work on Macs.
What we have here is a guy that just wants to post a few pics online, not do fashion spreads in a major magazine. So, I imagine that he is interested in a camera that is as easy to use as a "throwaway" kodak point and shot. And, a modestly priced PC/MAC. Like one person added, photoshop elements, which runs on both MAC/PC, is about all he will need.
As for PC's being infected with viruses, I have been online for over 20 years and in the computer business for over 25 years and have never seen one. What I have seen is spyware, Adware, hardware incompatibilities, poorly designed hardware and software, bloatware and ignorance. In my opinion, the term "you have a virus" is the biggest cop-out/excuse for not knowing what the problem is, not wanting to troubleshoot the problem or just blowing the customer off.
I now you MAC fans are really adamant about how much you love your machines and how much better they are than PC's. That's you opinion and you are intitled to it. I won't take that away from you. I'm sure that argument will continue long after this thread has run it's course. But, lets get back to the issue of the thread and offer CDC some good advice on digicams and computers.
PS-I read an interesting article this morning on how the Ipod has boistered Apples bottom line even though MAC sales have slipped. In fact, the success of Itunes has prompted Apple to consider shifting its business model towards music downloads. The Ipod is a great device! Now, if they would come out with a mini with about 20gigs.......
Thanks for all the responses. Yea, I've got to give the audio stuff a break for a while. Besides, my computer goes through 3) error messages before I get to windows. And the "return" key on my keyboard broke off two years ago. I just stuck a tootpick in the hole which works great. Most people can't figure out the toothpick so my computer is "hackproof".
The Mac idea sounds good as I really don't like HP either. I can spend 1K on computer with no monitor.I have used them in the past for desktop publishing but I am concerned about compatibilty with my brand new Oki-data LED printer and other software. How is the learning curve for a Microsoft user? I am familiar with Windows (ugh) and have bought Norton firewall/antivirus, word etc., wordstar and DOS programs for CAD drawings etc. Do I have to get a MAC version and toss my existing software?
Otherwise maybe IBM or Sony?
For the digital camera sounds like Canon and Olympus are good for the cheaper $400 range. As someone mentioned, I am worried about the lag before I can take a picture. Also wasn't it only 2-3 years ago that a .5 megapixel camera cost $400? So what happened to them now, Trashcan? Has the development/ price curve leveled off yet?
Finally the ads say I can get 8 good photos or 200 bad ones. I take maybe 50-80 photos on a vacation. Since there probably won't be a Walmart nearby, I will need to buy more memory sticks. I haven't seen prices on these. Maybe a point and shoot Canon which uses film is more pratical if I'm going to take a lot of photos.
Digicams have come a long way in the last few years. The top consumer cameras are around 8 megapixel and can be had for $800-$1000. Pro cameras are around 14 megapixel and sell for $4000-6000. I saw a prototype 24 megapixel back strapped to a Hasselblanc (hope I spelled that right) last week while in NYC visiting a friend.
Digital film for digicams is inexpensive; I've seen 256MB SD cards selling for under $40.00. That would let you take over 200 pics with a 5 megapixel camera in high-res or over 800 in low res.
Ahh, so you already own a PC? If that's what you're familiar and comfortable with I see no reason you can't accomplish what you want with a similar Windows machine and operating system.
If you're curious about Macs and want to try them out in person, drop by an Apple Store if you have one close by. The eMac, iMac and iBook prices I mentioned all included a monitor. These were close out models all with ample amount of processor power to do what you want.
As people have mentioned before, megapixels don't insure a better picture. The lense and the CCD or charge coupled device which captures the image are probably more important. A 3 or 4 megapixel camera is probably all you need.
Check out these sites:
Also if you pin down a few models that interest you, check out the user reviews for these cameras at Amazon.com. You'll find out what people think of them after they've been battle tested.
Prpixel, that Megapixel.net website is pretty cool. I see you share the same surname, LOL! Thanks!
Gunbei is absolutely correct. Megapixels do not tell the whole story and are certainly NOT an indication of image quality necessarily. There are cameras that produce a with 4 megapixel ccds that will produce consistently better images than cameras producing double that. The biggest jump in image quality you are likely to invest in in the prosumer camera is jumping up to the (physically) larger CCD of most of the (prosumer and professional) SLR cameras, and taking advantage of the RAW file capabilities of those cameras (much larger files which require conversion to use as jpegs or tiffs). Again, even there, numbers don't tell the whole story...use your eyes, consult the reviews. The numbers game, especially megapixels, means about as much in the consumer/prosumer camera market as it does in high-end audio It is used in the consumer market as a marketting gimmick. Definitely consult the review sites and magazines that have already been recommendded by Gunbei, Prpixel and others. If you are limiting your blow-up size to the typical 8X10 inches or so, as Gunbei suggests a good 3-4 megapixel camera can do that quite well.
To clarify a few points in Prpixels post; Pro SLR cameras are available in 35mm SLR body-style from around 4 megapixels to 14. As an example; The 4 Megapixel Nikon D2H is a remarkable camera, as is the 11 Megapixel Canon 1DS. Each tool has it's advantages, and each one produces amazing images for the state of the art today. Both have their advantages and drawbacks. The digital backs used on Hasselblad and other medium format cameras have been around a long while, and just like the consumer market are getting better and better. They are still quite expensive $10-20K on average, and up until recently most had to be tied to a laptop in order to shoot. There are also digital backs available to shoot with large format 4x5 inch cameras. If you shoot a lot of pictures, digital is certainly the cheapest way to go. Keep in mind on digital cards you dump the files onto your computer, wipe the card clean again and shoot over and over. Film still has an edge in overall quality, but the average person will not take advantage and may not even notice or care about those diffferences.
"Not to judge PC users in genenral, but if one were new to computers and read this thread, he or she might conclude..."
"Mac people = fun, creative and helpful"
"PC people = snobby, superior, grumpy, jealous, stiff and repressed."
- You'd "JUDGED" us (Mac and PC people)!!!
"That's cool and all, but what does this have to with taking, editing and posting pictures on the web? "
- ...You'd said it yourself!!!
For your computer, check out www.abspc.com . Great reliability, great choice re: configuration and great service. Also, at a great price. With your computer, you can probably get a good deal on a digicam to go with it. Maybe check out something along the lines of the Canon A70 or A80, for your 400. Very reliable, the great lens makes the difference in resolution a more-than-welcome tradeoff, and while they have various features for you to mess around with (ie. shutter priority, aperture priority, fully manual, autofocus modes, manual focus distance), here is also an automatic mode that can take more than passable photos at the click of a button.
Maybe think about doing this:
Look for a used iMac with a lots of RAM. Check out eBay for a complete used digital camera outfit with lots of memory storage devices, extra batteries, etc. Add-ons can cost an arm and a leg if you buy them new.
My Sony 770 cost me $425 and came with 5 memory sticks, 3 batteries, USB memory stick reader, 2 battery chargers (including a rapid charger), etc. These . Most of my electronics purchases these days are used items: if they're from buyers with good feedback, I really don't consider this a liability.
Buy a used full version of Photoshop (eBay again). I have 5.0 and it cost me $28.
The 770 is a 2.1 megapixel (nowadays considered practically antique), and I've used it to take pictures of friends' audio equipment; some have been shown on eBay and Audiogon. The resolution is more than adequate for this purpose, and is fine for printing up snapshots. I am not a photographer--I'm a symphony musician. But I've had numerous images published, including a portrait shot with the Sony.
For really fine resolution, however, I feel that film cameras are still preferable. It also seems to me that the differences in price/performance between digital and film cameras is similar to that between a better CD player and, say, a Rega TT. You get better results (but certainly not the convenience) with the older technology. This is, of course, my opinion--others may strongly disagree.
One final comment: any camera with manual options (which the 770 has, by the way) will teach a person a lot about lighting, exposure control, composition, etc. I don't think anyone would argue with this.
"One final comment: any camera with manual options (which the 770 has, by the way) will teach a person a lot about lighting, exposure control, composition, etc. I don't think anyone would argue with this."
Simply having the options available on a camera will not teach a person anything at all. Learning how to use the options and actually making a habit of using them on a regular basis may teach a person a whole lot. It may be semantics, but it is very true. I've met lots of folks who buy THE ULTIMATE (fill in the blank) and never use the thing to anything near to its potential. Like folks who buy sport bikes with gobs of torque and horsepower, and then ride them three times a year, eventually selling them at great loss to buy the next BEST FASTEST blah, blah, blah. A tool is just a tool. It's the person who wields it who will creates the results with it.
Jax2, your point is well taken. I should have said something like "Using a manual camera can teach a person a lot about lighting, etc..."
I am in absolute agreement with your statement regarding people who buy cameras, computers, audio equipment, bikes, cars, etc. loaded with features that are often mistakenly equated with better results (or that he/she, simply by association, will somehow be 'better'). The potential certainly may be there, but key is how the thing is used.
In the field of music, I've witnessed the following phenomenon more than once: A professional string player will buy an expensive instrument (even a good quality bow can easily cost five or six thousand dollars) which is clearly superior to the one they played previously. For a while, perhaps a few months, that player will sound 'better', but after a while they slowly slip back into old habits--the challenge and novelty of the new instrument has waned--and they end up sounding very much the same as they did before. Their only growth is in their debt.
Like computers and cameras, musical instruments are inanimate tools. Their real value is in their use.
Sorry Cdc (didn't you have a question a while back?) but some interesting issues have arisen. Then again, isn't that what can happen in forums...
"Huh? I don't understand."
You’re right. You don't understand!!! Up there you said:
""Not to judge PC users in genenral", but if one were new to computers and read this thread, he or she might conclude..."
"PC people = snobby, superior, grumpy, jealous, stiff and repressed."
"Mac people = fun, creative and helpful"
You’re not “new” to computers (it’s not likely that you understand others thinking mind, are you?)!!! So who the hell is JUDGING here???!!! It's like eating back what’s one just spitting out…
“I don't speak Vinamese. Maybe I need one of them Wintel Googlator Translators, LOL.”
No, you don't need to speak Vietnamese, cause I write in English. You need more …to translate LOL.
"That's cool and all, but what does this have to with taking, editing and posting pictures on the web? "
You've said it yourself!!! What’s all the “snobby”, “superior”, “fun”, “creative”, etc… has anything to do with “good computer” and “digital camera”?
I'm honored Vinamese that you chose me as your one and only thread response. I'm sorry you don't seem to understand that the posts here are in fun.
My advice to Cdc was that he could attain his goal no matter the platform or machine used. The rest of it was plain ol' Audiogon goofing around.
Your emotional [and incoherent] responses are giving credence to my Mac=Fun, PC=Boring joke. It's pretty obvious you don't fall in the fun category.
Lighten up dude. I think even your fellow PC user/expert Prpixel is wondering what's up with your rant. Prpixel's friendly and helpful nature has proved my humoristic stereotype wrong, but you're just reinforcing it.
BTW, I still don't understand what point you're trying to articulate, but you're emotions are coming in loud and clear.
Go get a massage or something, it'll make you happier. ;-)
Dude, my posts was for fun... LOL
"BTW, I still don't understand what point you're trying to articulate, but you're emotions are coming in loud and clear."
You see! When you "LOL", I "LOL". When you're not, I'm not. Tell me if I'm not a good sport (I'm goofing around here). LOL.
BTW, I hate massage; it's like hiring somebody to torture my body. LOL.
Damn, my SUN WKS is so slow ... ;-)
I just think everybody is intitled to his/her opinion. I'm too old and too tired to argue. If people want to take my advice; fine. If they don't; I really don't care. It's your decision. My pop used to say " you made your bed....". Now, I know I'm really old. I'm starting to sound like my parents. Time to go buy a harri carri knife....