Advice on the purchase of a new digital camera

  britianicus 07:43 18 Mar 03
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I'm looking around for a new digital camera as my existing one is coming up for 3 years old now. I have a budget of approximately £400's, want at leat 3 million pixels and an optical zoom of at least x4. So far 2 cameras have really caught my eye. The Fuji S304 and an HP Photosmart 850. Anyone got opinions on these two cameras or can suggest other possible choices? All replies gratefully received.

  AlanHo 08:31 18 Mar 03

The most informative site I found when deciding on a new camera was click here. I eventually bought a Canon Powershot S45 which can be found on the web for £408. I chose this camera because of its rock solid build quality, is compact, has a sliding lens cover, fits easily in the pocket, has 4 million pixel resolution and a high resolution 10 x zoom (3 x optical)lens which starts at the relatively wide angle of 35 mm equivalent. In addition it uses compact flash storage which is more robust than smart media - it will also accept an IBM Microdrive. I have found that for family snaps and holiday shots a wide angle lens is more important than telephoto - lots of digital cameras tend to have longer focus lenses which ruled them out for me.

Finally - it is made by one of the most reputable and long-standing camera and imaging specialists - and not a sideline from a conventional film or printer specialist.

  JoeC 08:36 18 Mar 03
  brightonroyal 08:54 18 Mar 03

After a lot of research I chose the S45 powershot as well. I've been totally impressed with it and have had no problems at all. Quite apart from the decent physical specs I have found that its "smart" image processing means that it is easy, even on idiot auto setting, to get brilliant looking photos. Handy to have the uncompressed RAW format too, although on the largest compressed file setting I've had no problems printing at A3 size.
Ideally you'd want to have a play with all three but I doubt you'd be disappointed with the S45. Put "Powershot S45 review" into google and have a read.

  Djohn 10:08 18 Mar 03

I too am looking for a Digital camera, (my first), and have found this site to be excellent.

Gives reviews on all cameras tested, with sample shots, and full specifications. click here Hope it is of some help to you.

My choice is also down to two, the Canon A40 and the Kodak 4230. Good luck with your choice. J.

  hssutton 10:21 18 Mar 03

Steves Camera's is a good place to start, but once you have narrowed your list down to a couple, click here then on forums, then select the camera's of your choice and pose the same question. My choice in this price range would be undoubtable the Fuji. Most important of all you must go to a camera shop and handle the camera's. Most digital camera's can be a little "fiddly" to use, also a lot are menu driven which can be a real pain when in the "field"

  Pink_Panther2 10:25 18 Mar 03

After a good deal of research, I recently bought a Fuji S304 Zoom. If the "zoom" is an important factor in your choice, I feel that the 6x optical zoom on this camera is difficult to beat at the price. £298 including VAT and delivery from internetcamerasdirect.co.uk I'm delighted with the camera (it's the fourth that I've owned) and is very well built and specced.

  Pink_Panther2 10:25 18 Mar 03

After a good deal of research, I recently bought a Fuji S304 Zoom. If the "zoom" is an important factor in your choice, I feel that the 6x optical zoom on this camera is difficult to beat at the price. £298 including VAT and delivery from internetcamerasdirect.co.uk I'm delighted with the camera (it's the fourth that I've owned) and is very well built and specced.

  britianicus 21:33 18 Mar 03

Thanks one and all for your responses. Just one question though. I noticed that Fuji sell a "teleconversion lens and adapter ring." what is it? Does this improve the zoom on the camera or what? Please excuse my ignorance.

  Gongoozler 21:53 18 Mar 03

britianicus, in normal photograghy parlance, a Teleconversion lens will act to effectively increase the focal length of your lens by a factor. If it is a 2x teleconverter, and your zoom lens is maximum x3, then with the teleconverter fitted, the combination will now be x6. The zoom range is the same though, so for wide angle shots you will have to remove the teleconverter. Beware of using too much telephoto, you will need a very steady hand or a sturdy tripod. A converter lens will also always degrade the picture to some extent depending on the quality of the lens. An adaptor ring is a simple device to attach to the camera lens housing, and with a thread to match the converter lens.

  mikef™ 21:55 18 Mar 03

britianicus the teleconversion lens and adapter ring increases the optical magnification even more, I've got one , but frankly with the 6x zoom I find that I very rarely use it, and unless you are going to take pictures at very long range is probably not needed.

I concur with the Fuji comments I find the fujinon lenses outstanding, and would also agree with getting it from click here who's service I have found exemplary.

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