Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Des Moines, IA
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Re: Digital Cameras
Here's my $.02. Don't buy anything without a flash or it will be almost useless indoors. I also don't think that the digital zoom feature has much value. Get the best combination of optical zoom and resolution you can afford.
I just bought a Panasonic PV-SD4090. It records directly to floppy (or 120MB SuperDisk) and connects to a USB port, so it is easy to transfer pictures to any computer. It has 1.3 Mega Pixel resolution with 3x optical zoom. It records a 10 second video with audio and will also record a 5 second audio clip with a digital snapshot. There is no optical view finder, it uses LCD only. It also uses a special battery, kind of like a mini camcorder battery and includes a battery charger. The downside is it's a large camera, if the battery ever needs replaced it's about $85 and the floppy drive will be more prone to failure than memory card storage. It currently sells for $400 after rebate (I got a deal on a returned camera for $270).
My boss just bought an Olympus D-490 that has 3x optical zoom and 2.1 Mega Pixel resolution. It will record a 60 second video clip, but does not record audio. It will also save pictures in uncompressed TIFF format to avoid the loss of quality incurred from the typical JPEG compression. It is normal size, uses AA batteries and saves images to memory cards. It also connects to a USB port. Most places around here sell it for $450, but he got it from CompUSA on sale for $350.
If you find one you like, go to computershopper.com and check prices. I checked on the D-490 and found prices from $335 to $450.
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