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I need to get a digital camera fairly soon. Due to the amount of selling and stuff I've been doing it makes much more sense to just get a digital instead of using my old school camera and going to Longs getting it on a disc, etc. I would also like to be able to post pictures of riding and stuff on here. Come summer I will probably be using it quite a bit and taking it on rides.

So I need something that is relatively small, light, and fairly inexpensive that still takes good quality photos. I don't need one of those incredibly huge, fancy cameras because I am not into photography much and wouldn't know how to use it anyway, not to mention carrying it around. I don't have a ton of money to spend, and I want to buy something new. I can probably spend $350-$400 max, but if you know of a good camera that gets it done for less than that say so. I know nothing about cameras so any info will be appreciated.
Thanks in advance
Matt
 

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Support!

freerider167 said:
www.cnet.com you can find cameras and reviews and stuff. and the best online store to get them. I would recommend paying as much as you can. You can get a nice Samsung for about 400-500
Don't be sending them to cnet. Keep it in the family, brother. Send all camera questions to PhotographyREVIEW.com and PCPhotoREVIEW.com. My sites have reviews, links to dealers, forums, etc. And when you use my PCPhotoREVIEW.com and PhotographyREVIEW.com to research or shop, you're also supporting Mtbr.com.

Thanks!
 

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Go for the nikon coolpix, i have one and i absolutely love it. It is really easy to operate and can take long movies with a big enough memory card. I have the 3200 but my mom has the 4100 and both are equally as awsome.
 

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Recommendations

I agree with people who mentioned the Canon compact digitals. They're by far the most popular digital cameras on my sites. And the Canon A-Series cameras are especially nice as they have great features to grow into, and they use AA batteries. At least one of the Canon A-Series cameras is always on the PCPhotoREVIEW.com Top Ten list. Here's a link to the 200 most popular cameras on the site: http://www.pcphotoreview.com/TOPcrx.aspx

If your main purpose is to take pictures in order to sell things online, then the A95, A 85, or A520 would all be great choices. Four or five megapixels is fine for your needs. Other manufacturers to consider are Fujifilm, Sony, Casio, Panasonic, Olympus, and Konica Minolta. They all make good cameras. It should be no problem to get something that fits your needs and budget.
 

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Casio is great

mosplat said:
i've had a great time using my casio exilim.
take a look at them.
very sweet cameras.
Casio is looking very, very good right now. I've been paying a lot of attention to them. Their camera designs are excellent and they won an award for image quality at the recent PMA tradeshow.

Read my 2005 PMA Report >>
 

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I've had great experiences with Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras. I'm a little partial to Sony since I've had such good luck with them - they are, IMO, very easy and intuitive to operate and provide very good image quality. Olympus seems to have a bunch of really solid offerings as well, though I've only used one or two.

I've had nothing but bad luck with Kodak cameras - stay away, stay faaar away.

Cameras in this pricerange from the brands I listed above tend to be very similar within a given pricerange - maybe a megapixel here or an extra little zoom there, but pretty similar. My recommendation is usually to go find a store and try them out, see what feels good in your hand and what is easy to use. The image quality difference between these brands isn't significant and the usability of the camera will be of much more importance.

The only thing I'd caution against is that the compact Nikon Coolpix cameras have a... "special" look to them. They're a little heavy on the saturation. They produce some fine images, I just tend to want to saturate things myself in Photoshop, so I prefer a less saturated image.

edit: that's not to say that there aren't other brands, but I can't make a recommendation on the others since I haven't used many other brands.
 

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I've got the Sony DSC-W1 (5.1 MP). Amazing camera. It's not the smallest in it's 'class', but it has lots of features. I've had it 6 or 8 months, and I wouldn't trade it back if given the opportunity. The big thing you notice is the 2.5" LCD on the back, which is so much nicer than the 1.5" or 1.75" LCD's on most cameras. Picture quality is top notch...I'm not a professional or anything, but I've taken photography courses (science-related, but same principles), and it's pretty versatile for a point-and-shoot style camera. It's sweet for bike pics as it's got a couple different burst modes for capturing drops and things like that (it's not nearly as good as what you'd find on a dSLR, but great for it's class). Flash is good for the size, takes decent low-light shots, you can take lots of pics per pair of batteries used, etc. Video mode is pretty impressive at 640x480, 30 f/s. It's got a really fast "start-up" time, which is a nicer feature than it seems. It uses AA batteries which is really nice as well. You can add wide-angle or zoom "lenses" to the camera if you wish. I thought this was a cool feature, but in actuality, I doubt I would go through the trouble of buying the adapter and lenses. Also, it's got a metal case and ~seems~ durable. I dropped mine from about 3 feet high onto a cement floor (oops), and no damage was done!

The only downside that I've noticed is that Sony uses their own proprietary memory (Memory Stick, and you need Memory Stick Pro if you want to take the best quality video), which is more expensive that other types, though it can be found pretty cheaply on ebay. Also, the packaged software sucks balls, but I use Photoshop anyway.

Enough with the advertisement, though. Do your research! In the world of MTB, $3-400 isn't a lot of money, but for a camera, it is (at least to me). Nothing is worse than dumping all that money and finding out that your camera has inherent picture artifacts (many do, especially the ultra-compact types), or other really sucky attributes that you could've avoided if you did your research.
 

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CoolPix 3200

designer485 said:
Go for the nikon coolpix, i have one and i absolutely love it. It is really easy to operate and can take long movies with a big enough memory card. I have the 3200 but my mom has the 4100 and both are equally as awsome.
I picked up a CoolPix 3200 on clearance at Office Max for $100.00. It's small and takes excellent snapshots. Only downside is I don't care for the software that comes with it.

Clyde
 

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Some options to consider...

I have been doing a ton of research and some popular options for smaller digital cameras are...

Sony p200... small, good pictures and solid video. Nice 2" screen. Has a sports mode for action shots.
sony w1,5,7 Same series of cameras... the w5 is an upgrade over the w1. The w7 moslty has more megapixels. Bigger LCD.

Canon sd500 or sd400. Very small. Good pics and video. Nice 2" screen.

Canon a95 cheaper now and has more options that some of the others.

I am trying a sd400 now and like it. It is very small in my hands and has produced good results. I may try a p200 or w5 tonight and see how the video and pics compare.

Try going to a store and playing with one of them before you buy.
 

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I have a Canon Powershot A70. It takes nice clear pictures, but it doesnt always take them when you want them. Sometimes you click it and it takes about 2 seconds to take, so I go do a drop again, then they press it early, but it takes on time. My mom tried to get one drop I did about 6 or 7 times, but it never took the pic at a correct time. When it does take it good, the quality is great.

Here is an example of a good shot, it is one of my favorites:
 

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haromtnbiker said:
I have a Canon Powershot A70. It takes nice clear pictures, but it doesnt always take them when you want them. Sometimes you click it and it takes about 2 seconds to take, so I go do a drop again, then they press it early, but it takes on time. My mom tried to get one drop I did about 6 or 7 times, but it never took the pic at a correct time. When it does take it good, the quality is great.

Here is an example of a good shot, it is one of my favorites:
Very, very easy fix for that.

When you half-press the shutter button, the camera will focus. If you focus on the place where the rider will be, and keep your finger on it (half-pressed), then finish the press when you want to take the shot, the shutter will release right when you want it to (give or take a little bit).
 

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Practice Makes Perfect

As binary visions says, pre-focusing is the key. Knowing your particular camera and its "shutter-lag" is also important. All compact cameras have some and the more aware of it you are, the better you can plan for it and not have it be a problem. Pre-focus on the spot where you want the photo, pick the spot where you're actually going to press the shutter release all the way down, and follow the rider, not stopping your pan until well after the photo has been taken. Practice, practice, practice. It's just as important for photography as it is for riding.
 
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