Topic Author
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 8:46 am

Good, Non-SLR Digicams?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 4:46 am


I know that there has been lots of talk of digi cams here, but mostly $1k+ cameras that are SLRs- unfortunately, I can nowhere near afford one of those, so I wanted to know if there are any non-SLR digi cams with a good zoom, or if there are any SLRs that might be a little older and somewhat cheap (few hundred $$$ tops) on eBay or some other wholesale venue.

One camera I saw today was as follows:

2.1 megapixel
3x optical/2x digital zoom
64mb memory card
docking station
inkjet printer

All of that was for $200- is it a good deal? I don't know if the zoom is enough for good aviation pics- I will be flying a lot in December and want to take pictures, but I don't have the money to develop a lot of film, so a digi cam would allow me to take the many pictures I want.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.


Why yes, in fact, I am a rocket scientist...
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Good, Non-SLR Digicams?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 5:27 am

To be brutally honest, digicams in your price bracket are not really suitable for much aside from static ramp shots in perfect conditions, OK, sometimes you'll get lucky, and some people manage remarkable results, but on the whole you'll be disappointed.

Two major handicaps (aside from basic limitations in image quality) are

1 - shutter lag ... a real problem with budget cameras... this means you press the shutter and there is a significant dealy before the picture is actually taken. This makes anything but static shots nect to impossible.

2 - focal length - typically, moderate wide angle to very short telephoto. Forget the digital zoom ... this is simply an enlargement of the optical image and the quality is distinctly substandard.

So what to do ... for $200 you should be able to get yourself a used SLR and a mid range zoom (70-200mm). If you are prepared to forgo some automation (eg. autofocus) and spend some time learning "real" photography, you will get excellent results with practice. OK film is a cost ... but so is printer ink. And ultimately, I doubt you will ever get quality shots with that bargain digicam ... nor will you learn much about photography.

If you just want some holiday snaps (and nothing wrong with that), go with the digicam. If you think you want to take up photography a little more seriously, go with a basic SLR. You'll learn a lot more and set the foundation for a lifelong hobby.


Colin K. Work, Pixstel

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