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Sun Jan 27, 2013, 04:14 PM

My digital camera shot craps last night.

Was getting ready to take some pics after a dinner and it came on with a "Lens Error" message on the screen; won't do anything else now. Only way I can even shut it off is to pull out the battery. It's a Nikon Coolpix 4800, about 7 yrs old. Doubt it can be repaired, and it's probably cheaper to just ditch it and buy a new one.

So my question to this group is: what would be a good general-purpose digital camera to buy these days? the old one had about 4megapixel field, and while it was a decent general-purpose camera, it had shitty battery life IMO, and didn't seem to be a "fast" camera--it seemed to take a long time to refresh between shots. I really don't know jack about photography in general, I just want a decent camera that takes pretty good photos. I figured this would be a good place to get some recommendations/advice. I don't have a lot of $$ to spend on one right now, and may not have for the near future (i.e., until I get a decent job.)

Would appreciate any suggestions/guidance, DU!

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply My digital camera shot craps last night. (Original post)
lastlib Jan 2013 OP
NV Whino Jan 2013 #1
alfredo Jan 2013 #2
justiceischeap Jan 2013 #3
NV Whino Jan 2013 #10
justiceischeap Jan 2013 #4
lastlib Jan 2013 #6
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #7
justiceischeap Jan 2013 #9
Solly Mack Jan 2013 #5
Sherman A1 Jan 2013 #8
JohnnyRingo Jan 2013 #11
klook Jan 2013 #12

Response to lastlib (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 04:26 PM

1. Look on the following sites for used or refurbished cameras

B&H Photo
KEH
Artarama

I've purchased from all three. They are reputable and have good deals on refurb end or used equipment.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 04:53 PM

2. Also look at DPreview. Some questions for you.

http://www.dpreview.com/

What do you want to do with your camera?

How much do you want to spend?

Any feature set you desire?

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:03 PM

3. Did you by chance mean, Adorama?

If not, I'll need to check out a new store!

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 07:00 PM

10. Yes, adorama

Duh. I think that was a brain spasm rather than flaky fingers this time.

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Response to lastlib (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:06 PM

4. One option is to look at slightly older cameras

There are a bunch of new models rolling out right now, so getting the last model, may be cheaper but still gain you a decent camera.

I'm a big fan of Panasonic Lumix camera's. They make really decent Point & Shoots that are fast, offer a lot of bells & whistles and have pretty decent battery life. (I can generally get about 200 shots with my p&s with one battery cycle -- that's continuous shooting, leaving the camera on the entire time, in chilly weather).

But without knowing your exact budget, your camera needs, it's hard to offer good advice--what is affordable to me, may not be to you.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:12 PM

6. Well, I would probably have to put a ceiling at about $200

if that tells you anything.

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Response to lastlib (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:23 PM

7. I have a Lumix ZS15 that I paid considerably less than that for

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-ZS15-Sensitivity-Digital-Optical/dp/B00728ZAHG

A lens that goes from nearly super wide angle to a pretty strong telephoto and is quite sharp. Put a good SD card in it and it will take 2 photos per second in 5 megapixel mode until the battery goes dead.

Here's a couple of my shots with this camera.





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Response to lastlib (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:47 PM

9. That tells me you can get a really decent p&s for that kind of money

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Response to lastlib (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:08 PM

5. NikonUSA has refurbished cameras for great prices.

http://shop.nikonusa.com/store/nikonusa/en_US/list/ThemeID.18145600/Nikon_Outlet/categoryID.43896400

You can get a camera for your needs and not spend a lot of money. Don't let the refurbished part turn you off - you'll get a camera worth having. Some under 50 bucks, many well under 100 bucks. (Point and Shoots)

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Response to lastlib (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:29 PM

8. I would also check

Roberts Camera in Indianpolis. A buddy got a good deal on some used lenses for his Canon DSLR a couple of months ago.

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Response to lastlib (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:00 PM

11. Two considerations.

Last edited Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:48 PM - Edit history (1)

The most optical zoom you can afford, and if you don't want to get stuck with a dead battery, find one that takes regular AA cells. Even for cameras that have good rechargeable, they wear out eventually and can leave you disappointed someday when a Yeti runs out of the woods, and you're looking at a dead battery message (LOL).

Personally, I like the Olympus auto focus SLR point & shoot. I've had a couple and even gave some used ones as gifts recently. They offer great color, a lot of bells & whistles if you want to use them, and they have mega-zoom (20X+). I've never heard anyone complain that they can zoom in too far.

If this isn't too much money, the one I use is great:
http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-SP-570UZ-Digital-Optical-Stabilized/dp/B0011E67VA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359333666&sr=8-1&keywords=olympus+570uz


Otherwise, there are less expensive models, but optical zoom is a contributing factor for price in any camera.

Here's a 21X zoom for less than $120,and it uses 4 regular-buy-at-the-gift shop AA batteries. It doesn't have a viewfinder, you use the large screen on the back (a battery killer). There are models in between those two:

http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-SP-620UZ-Digital-Optical-Black/dp/B006ZAHN18/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359335233&sr=1-3&keywords=olympus+uz

That Olympus did all the work on this image. I just set it to auto, pointed it and clicked:


This is 20X zoom:

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Response to lastlib (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:48 PM

12. I like imaging-resource.com for info and reviews.

The site has a lot of good information and sample pictures taken with different cameras. The "Dave's Picks" section has suggestions for different criteria: camera type (All-Around, Budget, Enthusiast SLR, Pocket, etc.), user/use (Beginner, Family, Travel, etc.), resolution, and price.

When I'm shopping for a new camera, I usually rely heavily on imaging-resource, as well as DPReview and other sources, including reviews on sellers' sites.

If you're looking for a used camera, KEH has been good in my experience, although I haven't used them in a long time, so I can't speak to their current level of quality / service.

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