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Help Me Choose A Digital Camera For Caching...


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Okay, I need help choosing which digital camera to purchase. I'm wanting to spend $250 or less, get something fairly weather/water resistant (I cache in the rain), takes good pictures and uses AA batteries (not necessary, but would be preferred). Oh, and I want something that is point & shoot rather than something I need a wagon to carry (smile). Input?

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Well, except for the waterproofness of it, (im not sure how much moisture it can take), i love the Canon A510 that i bought back in August. The A520 is a step up with 4.0 megapixels and a 4 time optical zoom. What i really like is the size,, small but feels pretty good in my hand. Runs on two AA batteries, the NIMHs work great. Oh, and it takes nice pictures too!

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Canon Powershot A520

4 megs. Point and shoot or manual, 4x optical zoom, under $200. 2-AA's (NiMH rrechargeables recommended. Small so you can wear on your belt so its out of the way while you're hiking until you need it. Bought one for my daughter and she loves it.

 

It's not waterproof but you can buy an underwater housing - probably a little bit of overkill!

Edited by Alan2
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I have a Polaroid i-832, 8MP (Or less) but not waterproof in any form. Takes sound clips and movies, and fits in your hand. $288 last time I checked, but I got mine for $150.

 

With any digital camera your going to want NiMH (or similar) rechargeable batteries, the power drain on these devices is phenomenal.

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The Kodak Easyshare camera series is nice since the docking station recharges the battery and simplifies the process of transferring the pictures, and while you can simply point-and-shoot, there are many settings to play with if you want more later. I don't care for the Kodak software though -- better to use the built-in features of Windows XP for transferring photos, or something like Photoshop.

 

The first digital camera we had was a Sony Mavica that was bulky and used 3.5" floppies, then a Sony Cybershot which was much smaller but used the more expensive Sony media, and now we use the Kodak LS753 with a docking station, and Adobe Photoshop 4.0 for transferring the photos. Photoshop has a nice feature of auto-fixing red-eye during the transfer process.

 

There are some Kodaks that use either a rechargeable battery or AAs, which would be nice if you're on an extended trip with no access to a charger. I don't know that any of them are waterproof, but with care and a nice waterproof camera case you should be OK unless you plan on taking pictures in a downpour.

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When was I at Circuit City a couple weeks ago, I was looking at an Olympus Stylus digital that has zoom ranges comparable to those listed in the post and it is splash and rain resistant. Here is a link at the Olympus website: Olympus Stylus 600. It says it retails at $299 on the factory website so I'm sure that you could find it on sale in your price range. Don't forget to factor in a SD card. I haven't used one other than in the store so I can't say either way on it's performance, but Olympus doesn't make garbage.

Edited by hikergps
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When was I at Circuit City a couple weeks ago, I was looking at an Olympus Stylus digital that has zoom ranges comparable to those listed in the post and it is splash and rain resistant. Here is a link at the Olympus website: Olympus Stylus 600. It says it retails at $299 on the factory website so I'm sure that you could find it on sale in your price range. Don't forget to factor in a SD card. I haven't used one other than in the store so I can't say either way on it's performance, but Olympus doesn't make garbage.

 

I concur on the Olympus 600. It is weather resistant, has a huge screen on the back, and has enough pre-set light settings to really do the job. It even has a self-portrait mode for those "me, myself, and a statue virtuals".

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I use the camera built into my Treo 650. In one unit, I have a cell phone, palm based paperless cache data and a camera and camcorder. There is no flash so the pictures are less than perfect. However, if the purpose is simply to memorialize a find or a benchmark, the Treo 650 is perfect. No muss, no fuss ... everything in one unit.

 

Only problem I've had so far is that the Treo 650 seems to lock up during very long hikes on very cold days. Popping off the battery seems to reset everything and it works fine. My wife has seen similar behavior on those occasions when she forgot the Treo 650 and left it overnight in the car.

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I am new to Geocaching but very involved now but I have been using digital cameras for years. Just think CHEAP. Any thing with 2m or more will give you a decent picture. Geocaching is an outdoor sport which means you will eventually drop it, get it wet and dirty ect. Think small for mobility and cheap for economics. Hope this helps. Have fun and Good Hunting ! :)

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A Canon Power Shot!

 

I have it thrown in my fanny pack and carry it around everywhere. It seems very able to take rough handling and is light and compact.

 

Once I set the fanny pack on the floor and my dog peed in it, (don’t ask), I didn’t realize it and put the pack away until I went caching a week or so later when I found the GPS and camera floating in pee. Both units still work great.

 

Jackie

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A Canon Power Shot!

 

I have it thrown in my fanny pack and carry it around everywhere. It seems very able to take rough handling and is light and compact.

 

Once I set the fanny pack on the floor and my dog peed in it, (don’t ask), I didn’t realize it and put the pack away until I went caching a week or so later when I found the GPS and camera floating in pee. Both units still work great.

 

Jackie

 

Is the dog still OK too? :)

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I am new to Geocaching but very involved now but I have been using digital cameras for years. Just think CHEAP. Any thing with 2m or more will give you a decent picture. Geocaching is an outdoor sport which means you will eventually drop it, get it wet and dirty ect. Think small for mobility and cheap for economics. Hope this helps. Have fun and Good Hunting ! :o

 

I second the CHEAP aspect. After having a very nice olympus 700 (I think) for only a few months, we were geocaching and my hubby slipped in a streambed (solid limestone, basically dry) and fell. The camera was in a padded bag, so we didn't think anything about it. The GPSr survived just fine.

 

A couple of months later when he tried to turn the camera on, it wouldn't start. Apparently the fall was hard enough that it damaged the workings. Well, that was $300-400 down the drain.

 

We have a newer Oly now, but don't take it geocaching. We use a very lightweight Minolta X-10 bought off E-bay for less than $100. It takes great pics, 2.6 megapixel I think, and is a 10X optical zoom.

 

Breaking a $100 camera hurts far less than breaking a $300 camera. We have slipped down many a hillside/rocky slope, and it has survived just fine. It fits neatly in hubby's shirt pocket, and is going strong!

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My 2 cents...Olympus and Canon do not farm out pieces to be made by other companies. Which can be a problem when needing to replace a part. You will be referred to the company which made the part in order to replace it...not good. If you are going to abuse the camera, you might think about getting a water-resistance case for the camera, or even get a camera made for the beach.

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After carrying an old heavy Sony FD Camera, I finaly bought a much lighter and smaller Sony DSC W7, it only has a 3X lens, but fits nicely in my shirt pocket. I found that a nice option! They are not too bad on price and can take up to a 5 meg photo. I usually leave mine on 3 megs. I bought a gig memory stick, it enables me to take over 1000 photos before I need to download. I normally do not let it store over 100, makes the files easier to handle. The menus are easy to use, it can be bought for under 300 at several places. Works great for everything except those long range wildlife photos. Glen

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When was I at Circuit City a couple weeks ago, I was looking at an Olympus Stylus digital that has zoom ranges comparable to those listed in the post and it is splash and rain resistant. Here is a link at the Olympus website: Olympus Stylus 600. It says it retails at $299 on the factory website so I'm sure that you could find it on sale in your price range. Don't forget to factor in a SD card. I haven't used one other than in the store so I can't say either way on it's performance, but Olympus doesn't make garbage.

 

 

Okay, I'm new to this stuff. What's an "SD card"?

 

Thanks for the help everyone! I really appreciate it!!!! :o

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Can't really go wrong with an Olympus. I currently carry a Nikon D50 Digital SLR while caching, (you obviously don't wanna go that route, around $700 new, and it's not compact) but I still have my first digital which is still going strong and that's an Olympus D-560. I'm rough on equipment, that camera was dropped on rocks, sidewalks, mud and dirt and still turned on time after time. It was in my pocket the first time I went snowboarding and fell constantly and it's been jostled in my bag with deer hunting equipment.

 

I eventually outgrew it and moved to the D50 because I wanted to go with all manual features and not be limited by the full auto of the Olympus but for just starting in digital photography it worked out great, it's now my backup digital, it does eat up the batteries though so having a charger is a plus.

Edited by Tsmola
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An SD card is a form of memory, there are several memory options out there. A CD and a floppy disk would be two more common examples. An SD card can run from 25 dollars or so for a small memory card up to 130 dollars or so for a larger card. I think I bought a gig at Wally World for under 100 dollars. Amazing, my first computer had two gigs of memory and I ran a 200 page web site off of it. Glen

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I hear all of you saying "cheap" and I tend to agree. But don't go too cheap, you might find that you want to use it for more than Geocaching.

 

If I was going to buy a point and shoot, pocket sized camera right now I would likely buy a Kodak. I currently own a high zoom Kodak and it is a great camera. I would try to find a camera that used a proprietary battery as opposed to AA's, simply because you get a better battery.

 

My advice is to go to a place where you can pick up the unit, turn it on, take some pictures and just play with it. You'll get a feel for what you like and what you don't like.

 

This <www.dpreview.com> is a good site to get information about many different models.

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yeah, you know I don't even know what the point of cellphones with cameras is, they take such crappy pictures they are essentially worthless. I've seen pics taken by webcams that were better than pics taken with a cellphone.

 

Someone else said 2 megapixels will get you decent pics, I'd say something more like 3 is where I'd draw the line for decent pics. Anything about 5 is great. It seems a lot of point and shoots are now up to at least 5 megapixels, if you spend a little extra for one like that you are more likely to be happier with the results.

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Finally chose a camera, gang. I want to again thank everyone for the help. After checking out the two links provided in the above posts (the digital camera review sites), I bought a Sony CyberShot DSC-W5. Loving it so far.

 

Got another question though. Which NiMH batteries do you all suggest? The guy at the store said the ones provided with the camera won't last much more than 50 pictures and they take 6 hours to charge. Any NiMH's out there that charge FAST and last much longer????

 

Thanks again for the help! I learn so much from these forums! <_<

 

Sony CyberShot DSC-W5

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