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What is the Best Digital Camera under $400?

Lynn Wood , Apr 08, 2005; 02:07 p.m.

Hi, I am wondering what digital camera you all would recommend under $400.00? I had a Kodak Easy Share camera, which was only 3.1MP, but worked pretty well, but it just broke. I really don't want to spend more than $400.00. What would you suggest? Is the Sony DSCW5 any good? Thanks!

Responses


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Rob Bernhard , Apr 08, 2005; 02:14 p.m.

Canon A95 and the Sony W5 are good choices.

Most digital point and shoot cameras in this price range would be sufficient. The differences are most often subtle at best.

Jessica Withheld , Apr 08, 2005; 03:01 p.m.

What I may love, you may find completely useless. I need manual controls, RAW output, a control control control. A large LCD screen, ease of use, and a wide zoom range may be much more important to you. It's all about what's important to you and what you will be using it for. There is no 'best' -- if there was, it would be the only one for sale.

Two links for you:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.asp

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinions.asp?prodkey=sony_dscw5.

Jim Strutz - Anchorage, AK , Apr 08, 2005; 03:51 p.m.

Panasonic FZ3

Don't listen to Jessica. There is a best! Just look at the Panasonic FZ3. Well, okay, maybe she's right, but I like the FZ3 anyway. :)

But you know, if you were willing to stick to film, you can get a lot of camera for $400.

SL ATTANAPOLA , Apr 08, 2005; 05:11 p.m.

Have you considered the Panasonic FZ1 or FZ1?

These have 6x stabilised zoom lenses in a small pocketable package! Also the Pentax Optio 450/550/555/750z are great pocketable cameras too!

Glen Evans , Apr 08, 2005; 07:29 p.m.

Hello Ms Wood, Here's the problem; if you spend your entire nest egg on a digital SLR body then you'll need to get a paper route to buy lenses. If you get a digital point and shoot then you will be forever limited by the attached lens (teeny tiny widdle wens with few options for shallow depth of field). Having observed your progress from pic.#1, in all honesty your work seemed to hit a bump when you snagged your sweater on the digital bandwagon. Whatever happened to your Minolta zoom lens? Did it die when it started clicking? Do you still have the Minolta body? I hope you don't end up with another stop-gap camera like your Kodak. You have done your time and you deserve the positive reinforcement that comes from being amazed by your own work. The folks who recommend the Panasonic are correct. It's a great one of whatever it is. They make the body for the digital Leica! I think the lens on the Panasonic is made by Leica. In looking at your photography future, consider which brands will still be around in a few years. Congrats on the baby (if that's you behind the ripples). G.E.

Mike Johnston , Apr 09, 2005; 12:26 p.m.

Lynn, you might want to take a look at the recently discontinued Sony DSC-P150, which B&H is selling (in black only) for around $325. That leaves you a bit of room to buy some memory. The advantages of the 150 over some of the alternatives is that is uses Sony's very good 7-megapixel chip, which yields excellent image quality, and its response time is very fast. It's not a "do-everything" digicam but it seems to be a good bargain for the current price.

Steve Hovland , Apr 09, 2005; 04:18 p.m.

I am very happy with my Canon A70- not they have similar models- A75, A80, A90 whatever.

Sony doesn't understand cameras compared to Canon. I was shocked at the lack of f stops in manual mode on one Sony I looked at- a highly rated one.

In manual the canon adjusts shutter and aperture in 1/3 stop increments, and there is no pre-flash, so it works well with slaves.

The A serices use AA batteries, and they are cheap these days.

Jonathan Lobb , Apr 11, 2005; 09:52 a.m.

used Nikon D1. absolutly.

I practically stole mine for a mear $385 and it's an f'ing DREAM. 2.7MP but i've interpolated that as high as 8MP and couldn't tell that it was an interpolated image.

Conrad Weiser , Apr 11, 2005; 10:29 a.m.

If you're buying in the US Nikon is running a $200 rebate on the Coolpix 5400. That brings it's final price after the rebate to between $300 and $250. It's a very good camera and definitely worth a look.


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