Shutterbug

11Oct05

I have been doing some research about digital cameras of late.I plan to buy one soon, as my “old” (13 months) camera has a broken LCD and various scratches and itches.

When I bought my first digicam I had a very basic set of parameters to satisfy.

1.Branded

2.Cheap(Sub 10k)

3.Easy to use yet a decent feature set.

4.Good picture quality

The second criteria was a major problem as the market for sub 10k cams resembled a one horse race..Most cam’s that met all criterion were in the 12k-13k range but given that I was a student and my father would not look too kindly upon my spending his money on a piece of silicon I had to give them up.

I finally settled for a Kodak cx7300.With a 3.2 MP lens,2 shooting modes,a decent lcd(back when I bought it) and extremely easy to use .It was fun and we did take some pretty good shots with it..even when the lcd broke 🙂 . Later I added a 256 MB flash stick and a rechargable battery set taking the total cost to close to 13k…currently the whole thing is available for 8k 😦 ..my consolation is that each of the pics I took with that cam is priceless.

Now with the power of a gold card behind me,I am thinking a little more adventuresly.I want a cam with all the bells and whistles that a cam can have. These are the parameters I have set for my dream cam

1.Sub 30k. (Cards also have limits you know 😛 )

2.4-7 MP

Most manufacturers are introducing cams with more and more pixels(sort of like the speed bumps Intel kept giving the p3’s and the p4’s) ..but given that our monitors are limited to 1024*768 or one step higher..going for a 6+ MP cam does not really make sense.Also God forbid you take a printout of a 7MP pic..the ink would probably run out in one print…but again..if you are getting more MP for the money..why not? A delicate balance between need and luxury needs to be maintained here.

3.6-12x Optical zoom

I dont care what x digital zoom the cam has,its really the optical zoom that matters.My old cam’s biggest drawback was it lacked optical zoom. Most cam’s offer 3x zoom as standard..thinking for the future(atleast the next 13months 🙂 ) its always better to go in for a cam with more X’s in front of the optical zoom column.

Higher optical zoom also makes it that much easier to take pic’s of that good looking babe sitting at the back of the restaurent without her guessing 😛 .

4.Fastest(in its class) shutter speed and Multi Shot modes

One problem I faced in the initial stages of my digicam days was  taking pics of moving objects.While even the 499 Rs. analog Easyshot would give a decent pic of a moving object..the digicam always failed me. Ppl would appear as a blur..lights would distort into unrecognisable shapes..I initially thought this was due to something I was doing wrong..only later when I started reading up did I realise that the shutter speed matters..and how!

SLR’s have some of the fastest shutter speeds and best multi shot modes.Thats why all the pro’s use SLR’s..but they are not cheap.Digital SLR’s start at around 50k..which at the moment my Gold card refuses to accept.

5.Night mode..genuine night mode..

Flash is history.While a simple flash still does wonders in the darkness,its not enough. The point of a digicam is it should be able to “digitally” enhance the shot.This is one feature in which various cams differ a lot.Its always a good idea to go cam shopping in the evening and try the cam out before splurging.

6.Video with sound

Its nice to know you can make a video if necessary.The quality etc of this might not be too great..its not expected to be..but just for the heck of it..

7. Large LCD

atleast 1.7 inches +

9.Fast processor

Some cams have the most hopelessly long bootup/between shots time. Whats the point of the cam getting ready after that babe in red has left in her car?

Nikon and Olympus ..specially their mid priced(12-15k) range are specially bad in this regard.Canon does better with its Ixus range..but I want more..

I am currently reviewing 3 cams.The Canon S2 IS,the really powerful Panasonic DMC FZ30 and the multi purpose Olympus C-770 Movie.

Each has its own strengths and weakness’s..I need to decide on one finally..but at the moment I have a soft spot for the S2 from Canon..I have seen a colleague using it..and its just so good looking..the cam that is 😛

Am I missing out on any other models?

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3 Responses to “Shutterbug”

  1. i suggest you to go with Canon S2. i checked when i went to buy my ixus 50. its a good piece in good price. one of my friend just got it from redmond.

    the best part is the optical zoom and the flash. and i must say . the digital zoom is also one of the best in its class.

    the only -ve points is the power consumption. it just drinks battery life.

    p.s – do buy a stand and a heavy duty charger.

  2. jaya explain me how to decide for a digcam. I want to buy one and cant figure out. I know only one thing – I dont want to buy an expensive one.

  3. 3 anonymous

    Get the Konica Minolta DImage Z6. Nothing comes close!


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