View Full Version : Off Topic: Digital Camera opinions

08-12-2004, 02:26 PM
I'm currently looking around for my first digicam, and a couple have caught my eye - the Minolta Dimage Z3 and the Kyocera M410R. Has anyone had experience of either of these that they could share? - also any other similarly spec'd gear, i.e. big zoom ~4mp, < $1000? I initially liked the Olympus A770, but it has a proprietary battery and low battery life, so I've ruled that out.


Tony Bacon

Graham L
08-12-2004, 03:43 PM
I suspect that the ownership distribution of digital cameras will be a bit like that of digital watches --- have you ever seen two people wearing the same model of digital watch?

So that limits the number of replies you'll get here. ;-)

Have you checked out the sites given in caffy's thread "Digital Camera websites"?

And, of course, e.g. "Kyocera m410r review" to Google.

08-12-2004, 03:55 PM
Thanks Graham, I'd missed that thread. It was by googling that I homed in on the two I mentioned - but it is always nice to get local personal opinion, I think.

I suspect you are right about the variety of likely responses.

Tony B

Graham L
08-12-2004, 04:22 PM
We've had a few discussions about DCs here ... "digital camera" to the Search will get them.

Murray P
08-12-2004, 07:58 PM
A good site that was linked in Caffy's thread is http://www.dpreview.com/ One feature that I have found useful but should not replace reading the full review is the Side x Side Comparison (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=konicaminolta_dimagez3%2Ckyocera_m410r&show=all)

08-12-2004, 08:12 PM
I have the Olympus 770. I find it a good camera, especially the 10x zoom. I used a workmate's Canon A70 yesterday and found 3x zoom just doesn't cut it anymore. Proprietory batteries are an issue, but don't let that be the deciding factor. Spares can be acquired.

08-12-2004, 08:29 PM
Hi Tony..I would not dismiss the Olympus C770 because of the battery.

There are many other features to consider apart from the battery.

I have used several digi cams with AA rechargeable batteries, and was convinced that was the best battery option.

However after reading many opinions from experienced people on Steves-Digicams site, it seems the Li-ion batteries are excellent.

Whether you have AA's or Li-ion Batteries for the camera, you need to have spare batteries fully charged on hand.

I'd be interested to know where you learned of the C770 low battery life.

I dont have the C770, but have seen many opinions, and sample images that were impressive.

Best wishes for selecting your camera Tony.

08-12-2004, 08:54 PM
>I'd be interested to know where you learned of the C770 low battery life.

There is a mention of it in both the NZ Consumer Online digicam reviews and Steves Digicams.

You are probably right about not getting hung up about the proprietary batteries - I just don't like getting locked into a single vendor for that sort of stuff. I really like Olympus gear in general, and the C770 was my first choice until I saw the battery spec. (sigh)

Tony B

08-12-2004, 10:23 PM
for a lot of proprietary batts, you can get get generic ones.

in my opinion, i prefer prop. battery because they may be in lithium and its easier to charge with the provided prop. charger. if you get into AA or AAA's etc., you have many batteries to charge, they are not in lithium by nickel hydrid or the lesser life the nickel cadmium. Lithium is good for longer life and also work better in colder temp .. less of an issue of memory issue when you charge the battery when its not empty...

you should get a 2nd set irrespect which way you go. one day it may say full, next morning says half, few hrs later its empty. then I buy a disposable camera onsite, yup from experience.

09-12-2004, 04:29 PM
As Graham says, you'll find a number of threads on this topic. The trouble is that the models keep changing.

Personally I always had a high regard for Olympus over 25 years. But problems with recent cameras made me change to Canon. And that is where I have stayed for the move to digital.

I use a Canon A70, which is now the A75. Even better is the A85. I'd like more zoom but in practice don't notice any limitation. The pictures are very good and that is the whole point.

Provided you spend about $500, I suspect you won't make a mistake on any brand. Good luck.

09-12-2004, 05:00 PM
I have a couple of digicams, and one has a proprietary LiOn battery while the other uses 4 x AA Alkaline or Rechargeables.

At $129 for a new LiOn battery I am tempted not to replace it but to replace the camera instead!

That buys a hell of a lot of AA rechargeables, and you can use alkalines when needed. But not in that camera. and it only takes the proprietary LiOn...

09-12-2004, 05:12 PM
Like Winston I have a Canon A75 and am still learning about it. I did quite a bit of research before picking on it. Have noticed that even in the 2-3 months since I bought it prices on the Canon A75, A85 etc have come down when you take into account the whole package. Mine cost me $499 at Camera House, North Shore and I notice that they not only sell at that price now but they also throw in a free battery charger which they say is worth $70. So deals are improving all the time.

I got a very good deal by shopping around and that is the way to go. If you go to one dealer and then tell the next there is a good chance they will get into competitive mode and give you a better deal again.

Be good to know how it all turns out.
Good luck
Misty :)

10-12-2004, 10:15 AM
First off, I would like to say that I think this has been a very good and informative thread - intelligent opinions, no smart remarks - all really good stuff.

I think I am now leaning towards a Canon A95 (but who knows, it may all change in the next 24 hours!)

Has anyone any experience of the parallel import scene? There are some good prices out there, but I do have some concerns about warranty issues and after sales service. Any opinions would be welcome.


Tony Bacon

10-12-2004, 11:08 AM
Search for a thread by beetle, regarding a warranty claim on a parallel import.

The experience turned her hair blonde from memory.

10-12-2004, 02:39 PM
If you search for the A95 in Pricespy.co.nz you'll see Digital Shop near the top in terms of low price. Not as cheap as the parallel importers, but their prices are low for NZ sourced gear.
Not having bought from them (yet), I can't comment on their service.

10-12-2004, 03:18 PM

10-12-2004, 03:44 PM
> Canon

To the right of them, canon to the left of them? Or are you making a recommendation? ?:|

tony B

10-12-2004, 04:10 PM
For what its worth,

Freind of mine gave me a Mini digital Camera (Mini digital camera style:he513a), usb very easy install comes with enough S/w very simple cost him $20-00 RRP$39-99. NZL $

1/3 the area of a floppy disk, comes on a key chain with a protective pouch inbuilt memory, can work as webcan, very good with my laptop which is where my doze is now.

only negative still searching for nix drivers for it.


10-12-2004, 04:44 PM
> To the right of them, canon to the left of them? Or
> are you making a recommendation? ?:|

Yup Canon all the way. Very good quality, very reasonable prices. Everyone I know that has one is rapt with it - they out perform Sony cameras with twice the spec.

I picked mine up from http://www.parallelimported.co.nz who have extremely competitive pricing.

Got extra from http://www.flashcards.co.nz who are hella cheap for flash memory.

* I have no corporate involvement with either of the above sites.

10-12-2004, 04:55 PM
As an ex professional photographer and a user of digital cameras for the past five years or so may I offer some points to consider when purchasing a digital camera.
Has it got an eyepiece viewfinder ? I find that holding the thing at arms level to view the subject in the lcd screen a real pain. Not only can you not hold the camera steady, in bright sunlight you can't see a thing.
What sort of batteries does it use? I found that special batteries require special chargers whereas my fuji will accept ordinary AA batteries which are easier that waiting for the special battery to charge up. I use NIMH rechargeable AA batteries and always keep a spare set fully charged in my gadget bag.
Will the camera operate in manual mode ? This is of course if you are conversant with shutters and apertures and F stops. Has it got a macro mode ? If you want to photograph minute things. Can you attach filters on the lens ? A circular polariser darkens the blue sky and makes reflections from car bodies etc more manageable.
I could go on and on but this would be a start. I am using a Fuji S7000 and it is really a marvellous machine. I used to set out on a hike with two Nikon bodies and a sack full of lenses and filters but now I sally forth with one camera , spare batteries and a circular polariser. Cheers.

10-12-2004, 11:37 PM
Great advice Heaton.. sure to be a help for Tony. Like you & GF I have been convinced that the AA NiMh batteries were the best option for digi cameras. I sure have plenty of them & chargers now.

But Tony was keen on the Oly C770 camera, but dismissed it because of the prop Li-ion battery.

From what I have learned, the Li-ion are very good. Plus the camera comes with a charger, so thats no extra cost. Extra batteries for this camera will not cost $129 as GF experienced. One can get the Li-10B battery for the C770 for $47 from flashcards.co.nz. Thats cheaper than several NiMh batteries & a good charger.

I was convinced that AA NiMh batteries were the best option, but now if some other camera I considered had great specs, I would not worry about a prop battery in making a decision.

11-12-2004, 12:48 AM
For what it is worth: I did extensive research on the web on all brands of digicams before deciding upon the Canon Powershot A95. I had narrowed my choices down to this camera, Sony's DSC-W1, Canon's Ixus 500 and Nikon's Coolpix 5200. The latter two are more traditional point-and-shoot cameras with little to no manual control. The A95 and the DSC-W1 are alike with similar features and as well as auto control they both feature full manual control. The main talking point of Sony's camera is its huge 2.5" LCD screen. For the A95, its 1.8" screen is smaller, but it can tilt and swivel, much like the screen of a camcorder/digital video camera. The many reviews I read on the Canon A95 always rated the camera as been highly recommended. Against the Sony DSC-W1 the Canon A95 seems to rate better in where it counts most: picture quality.

The A95 is a good camera not only for beginners but for enthusiasts as well because of its full manual features. If you're new to digicams, leave the setting on Auto (the camera decides all the settings for the pictures) until you're familiar with the camera and are ready to start choosing settings yourself. I'm very happy with the A95 and I think I've made a good choice in buying it.

11-12-2004, 02:04 PM
I thought you should all be the first to know - I've gone and done it (and haven't even opened the box yet - that is to be my reward once I have tidied up the downstairs room) :_| :)

Canon A95 from Bond and Bond New Lynn. $637 including 128mb card and a soft case. Best deal I could find anywhere, apart from the parallel importers.

Thanks again to everyone for a really useful and informative thread - PressF1 at its best, I think. :x :x :D

Tony Bacon

11-12-2004, 02:28 PM
> Canon A95 from Bond and Bond New Lynn. $637 including
> 128mb card and a soft case. Best deal I could find
> anywhere, apart from the parallel importers.

I think you'll be extremely happy with it...