Camera Question

Thursday, February 6, 2003 10:58 AM
I would like to get a digital camera before my coaster trips this year and need just a little help. I would like to stay around $200 dollars if I can. What is the minimum megapixel amount that I need to get a good picture. It looks like from what I have found for around $200 that they will be 2.1 - 3 megapixel, is this good enough? Should I put in the extra cash for a 5 megapixel? One more question. What type of memory storage is best for digital camera, what type card? Thanks for any help on this.
*** This post was edited by Rider 2/6/2003 4:01:40 PM ***
Thursday, February 6, 2003 11:08 AM
I just recently got a digital camera. I got a Kodak EasyShare DX4330. It has 3.1 megapixels and it was around $300. But I also bought a dock and a 128 MB memory card so the total that I spent was around $430. That's more than what you were saying that you wanted to pay but IMO I think it was worth it to invest in a better camera and the accessories. And the dock came with rechargeable batteries so that you won't have to keep buying new batteries all the time. Hope this helps!

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out."

Thursday, February 6, 2003 11:10 AM
Definitely buy rechargeable batteries. There's not really a difference between the memory cards. I personally like SmartDisk. 3 Megapixel is plenty good enough.

Top 5 coasters in no particular order: Nitro, S:ROS (SFA), Medusa (East), Talon, Batwing

Thursday, February 6, 2003 11:38 AM
I love my Sony DSC-P71. It takes crystal clear pictures and is smaller that lots of the other digital camers out on the market. The only thing it that the cards are more expensive than the other types of cards. Basicaly if you get a Sony, Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Olympus or Fuj, you will be getting a good camera. Just a word of advice, stay away from Kodak and HP, I've have some experince with those cameras (both 3 megapixels+) and the quality is far below my Sony camera. If you want to look and read reviews of some (actualy its a lot) digital cameras, visit the first link. To search for your ideal camera, follow the second link.
*** This post was edited by Mark B. 2/6/2003 4:39:30 PM ***

Thursday, February 6, 2003 11:44 AM
I'm personally a HUGE Olympus fan -- almost all of the pictures on my site were taken with my current camera, an Olympus 3040Z. Before that, I had a Kodak 4800 (which got stolen :( ) and an early Olympus (240L, I believe).

Get the most megapixels you can reasonably afford, but don't worry about the 4 or 5 megapixel monsters. 3 megapixels on a camera with a good lens and CCD (the sensor) will give you plenty of details for printing, if that's what you want. If you have NO interest in ever getting prints, then you can even go with a lower resolution. The downside of higher resolution is higher memory requirements, increasing your costs more. Many people don't consider that fact at first.

For my OWN use, I wouldn't consider anything below 3 megapixels, but I do get things printed occasionally, as well as crop, resize, and rotate images. If you're going to print or edit, it's better to have too much than not enough -- you can always remove pixels, but you can't add them.

--Greg, aka Oat Boy
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"Friendship -- more lasting than love, more legal than stalking."

Thursday, February 6, 2003 11:56 AM
Another good place to check for anything related to digital photography (including digital photo printers) is Steve's Digicams

I have the Toshiba PDR-M81 and I love are two photos I took with it. MForce and Raptor. It is a 4 mega pixel and you can find it for as low as $320 now.

One of the big things I looked for (other than image quality - duh) was the ability to use standard batteries...great to have in case your rechargables wear out during a day at the park. It uses AAs but I bought rechargables and they last a long time...

--George H
---Superman the ride...coming to a SF park near you soon...
Currency tracking experiment... (Referring to The "George" on the $1 bill - Not Me)

Thursday, February 6, 2003 12:26 PM
I'm a Sony fan. I bought my Sony DSC-S85 (4 mp) in November of 2001. My brother recently purchased a lower line Sony for $200 (DSC-P30? - 2mp). The Sony's take great pictures and are great quality cameras. Make sure you check out a comparison shopping site like or I saved around $400 by shopping around on the net. Good luck in your search!

Things to do in the offseason:
1. Have fun with friends 2. Ski in the great outdoors 3. Not sit in front of the computer for hours obsessing about coasters

Thursday, February 6, 2003 12:29 PM
I have a question- on the Raptor pic it says "2 second exposure." Did you use a tripod to keep it still, or just stand really still. I'm only asking this because I'm really shaky.

The only difference between stupidity and genius is genius has limitations.

Thursday, February 6, 2003 12:51 PM
The #1 Most Important Question you need to answer is:

What are you going to do with the pictures?

If your answer is, "Put them on the web and send them via email," then you can safely forget about megapixels altogether. My video camera is 0.3 megapixels (345,600 pixels to be exact) and the pictures are plenty big for the Web; in fact I generally scale them down to half-size.

On the other hand, if you ever want to make prints of your photos, or do a lot of image manipulation, remember that a decent quality priter prints at about 300 DPI (minimum). What that means is that at a resolution of 720x480 (my camera), the highest quality photo size will be 2.4 x 1.6 inches. That's just slightly larger than a postage stamp.

By comparison, a 3-megapixel camera might have a resolution of, say, 2000 x 1500 pixels, for a clean image size of 6.7 x 5 inches, which is slightly larger than a typical snapshot.

Your needs should drive your purchase, not the other way around.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Thursday, February 6, 2003 2:38 PM
Thanks for all the help. Looks like I have a lot of work cut out for me in the next 3 months. I think I will try for a 3 megapixel even though a lot of my pictures will go straight to web or e-mail, I would like to have some quality prints.

redman- nice pictures. maybe after this year I will have some of my own to show.

Thursday, February 6, 2003 4:08 PM
I will say this: my Canon PowerShot S200 (Digital ELPH) has gone above and beyond the call of duty for me. I paid around $300 for it, well spent IMO. It's got 2,0 Megapixels, and you can buy a 3.0 Megapixel version for more. It allows you to choose the quality and image size you want on the fly, has decent zoom (for a digicam), lots of options, comes with its own recharageable battery, and is quite durable thanks to aluminum housing.

It's main feature is its small size--much smaller than competing 2.0 and 3.0 MP cameras. It easily fits in my pocket and I have no trouble taking it places or worrying about it.

I wouldn't be preaching about it if I wasn'y incredibly impressed by it. :)

Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Thursday, February 6, 2003 4:30 PM
I have a Fuji A303. VERY nice camera, small and easy to hold. It also has an optical zoom, along with its digital zoom (which is really a waste of time, cause you can "digital zoom" after the pic has been taken on your computer.) It uses XD-Picture card, which is REALLY small and compares in price to Smart Media and Compact Flash. It will come down as it gets more use. It connects to your computer via a USB cable (like all do), and you can get an XD picture card reader, so you don't waste batteries. It's a 3.2 megapixel camera. They have a 2.1 megapixel for around 200 and I think it still has the optical zoom.

Anyway, the main things I think you should be concerned about are: Optical zoom, and the largest amount of megapixels you want to spend the money for. But really be concerned for the optical zoom, such a worthwhile investment.

As far as batteries are concerned, I would really consider investing in a good quality set of rechargeable. I use Rayovac NiMH batteries, they are 1800mah, and they should last for a pretty good amount of time. They don't have a memory effect problem and can be recharged hundreds of times (Rayovac quotes up to 1000.)

I've had print as large as 8x10 for me, and it really did look pretty descent!


A one that is not cold, is hardly a one at all.
*** This post was edited by eric.walton 2/6/2003 9:31:45 PM ***

Thursday, February 6, 2003 4:47 PM
I have 2 digital camera's. The first being a 1.3MegaPixel HP, and the second being a 3.2MegaPixel Sony DSC-P7 Cyber-shot.

Both camera's are amazing, and if you can believe this, I still use my 1.3MP camera alot. When I set the camera to highest quality, and then bring them into my computer and reduce the size to 50% the picture quality is just amazing. A few of my pictures with that camera have actually been used in the newspaper.

here are two that were in the paper out in Worcester, MA within the last 6 months:

edit: just saw eric's post above mine. just wanted to add that i also use the Rayovac NiMH 1800mah batteries. And ive gotten well over 80 pictures using my HP w/the flash on.

Albany Entertainment
Great Escape Online Guide Coming Soon!
*** This post was edited by CalvinJ23 2/6/2003 9:49:34 PM ***

Thursday, February 6, 2003 5:15 PM
MarimbaGuy - I did use a tripod-sorta. For both photos, I composed and framed the shots using a garbage can and some napkins as "shims" to get the camera at the right angle. I then used my camera time delay counter to take the shake-free extended exposure.

Rider - Thanks for the compliment. I need to get more of my photos posted. I love using get instant gratification and the ability to crop your photos any way you like. I took a couple of photography classes at my local community college for fun and until I got my digital I was going crazy not having my own personal "photo lab"... ;)

--George H
---Superman the ride...coming to a SF park near you soon...
Currency tracking experiment... (Referring to The "George" on the $1 bill - Not Me)

Thursday, February 6, 2003 6:13 PM
You should think carefully about what you want to do with the camera. If you want to take pictures in at all low light, you will need a fast lens. This is especially true since digital cameras are generally equivalent to only 100 ASA film speed.

If you want to stick the camera in your pocket while you ride coasters, you will need a compact camera. This conflicts with that fast lens.

Thursday, February 6, 2003 7:08 PM
I got my dad the Olympus D-550Z for Christmas and we've been pretty happy with it so far. The disadvantages of it would be that it comes with regular alkaline batteries and the video mode does not record sound. Also, the camera itself isn't all that comfortable to hold on to. This is probably true for most camera in this class, but the Kodak DX4330 was actually pretty comfortable to handle. I also looked at the Canon Powershot S230 and a slightly more expensive model from Nikon before deciding on the Olympus for just under 300 bones. is a site with lots of reviews and sample images.

2001 Magnum Crew
2003 Magnum Crew
*** This post was edited by MDOmnis 2/7/2003 12:11:09 AM ***

Thursday, February 6, 2003 7:21 PM
I have a older sony cyber shot. It only has 2mp, but it still works out great for me. When i take them at highest quality, the pics are perfect for desktop backgrounds.

2003 season kicks off 3/22 w00t!! PKD here I come!
CoasterCount: 42

Thursday, February 6, 2003 7:49 PM
Agent Johnson just got a Panasonic SV-AV 10 which takes digital photos plus movies plus its a mp3 music and you can talk into it. Its smaller than my cell phone, which makes it 'pocketable'. With a 128 chip in it, you can get about 250 photos and 90 minutes of video, plus 4 hours of music.

"Every Man Has Got to Know His Limitations"


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