Buying a Starter Outdoor Digital Camera

Leica Camera ClassicAfter buying a new digital camera the Canon A530 last February, my friends wanted me to describe what kind of digital camera that was good for outdoor environment, I’m not a pro myself, still an amateur, but I know what a good picture look like that’s why my friends ask me. After describing in a long discussion on yahoo messenger, she still doesn’t get it. So i make these guide on my website to help her REMIND what things that should be notice if u want a good digital camera.
In my last writing on Lighting is everything i wrote that

  • Megapixels(MP) is not an important issue in buying an entry level digital camera, it is not a fundamental aspect for everyday use. i even see a good picture that was taken from 2MP camera phones, this is because of experience and the lighting. The standard right know for an entry level digital camera is around 5mp to 7,2mp.
  • As i said before Lighting is everything, lighting is a fundamental aspect of your photo, so you better test a lot of camera before u bought it. i look a lot of type of digital camera ($150-$450 price range) from my friends, the best quality picture come from Canon, Sony and Olympus. they have a lot of manual control and the best anti-shake(compare to the price).

I’d like to add more to the list. there are several things that should be remind if u as a starter want to buy an outdoor camera.

  • The Battery. Is it Lithium-Ion or AA battery? whatever u choose remember the consequence. Lithium-Ion it’s so easy on recharging and based on my experienced it has a longer time life span, but the downside if you’re in the middle of a shoot out and the battery was out then u have to buy a additional battery which is expensive. On AA battery the lifespan is depend on the nimh when u bough it. it’s range from 1800 to 2700nimh, don’t use alkaline if u could, it has a short lifespan about 50 to 100 shoots(but it’s quite useful for a backup).
  • Zooming!! The Bigger The Better honey :D but apparently this motto only apply to Optical zoom not the Digital zoom, don’t care it’s even have 1000x digital zoom, still Optical Zoom is better. right know the common package for an entry level camera is around 4x Optical zoom.
  • LCDs. if u could, find the camera that have viewfinder too, not just plain LCD, bigger LCD means Short Battery Lifespan. but right now a lot of entry level camera doesn’t have a viewfinder. this is just for consideration
  • Storage Type. I only know three common storage type:
    1. SD card : The Cheapest one.
    2. MemoryStick Duo : middle range price.
    3. xD Card : the most expensive one.

About The Quality i still don’t know which one, but i do know cheaper card equal to BIG capacity. i bought my SD Card only US $19 for 1Gig. at that time Memorystick cost around US$28 for equal storage and xD cost around US$35(i forgot the exact number). so in my opinion choose a camera that use SD card for the storage type if u want cheap and big storage. Canon = SD card, Sony = Memorystick, Olympus = xD card, Kodak = SD Card/ MMC and Fuji = xD. but if u have the money, all of them, i think has the same performance.

  • Last but not least and this is the hardest, Does the camera that u want have The Manual Control that u need to satisfy your hunger to control!!! this is quite a catch, i don’t know how to tell u yet, my experience is only based on hundreds of reviews i read from the net and my personal experience with camera. All i know that Canon entry level is the best manual control, u can adjust almost(almost) anything on your picture, Kodak on the other side too have the same feature BUT it wipe away your setting every time u TURN OFF your camera, i don’t know right now maybe they upgrade it, but this is based on experienced Kodak Easyshare that was bought last December(Forgot what type). Sony i don’t know and so Olympus. i do know that Sony have the nice color combination of the result (strong on green) which better than my Canon A530 (this is a newbie experience).

to sums up this writing for my friends who have a hard time reading this page(I know u want the simple summary!! ) this is the list:

  1. Megapixels is not everything(5Mp – 7,2MP is the standard entry level)
  2. Care less to Digital Zoom, Optical Zoom is the Creme (the minimum right know is 3x)
  3. Lithium-Ion or AA battery (read above! or choose AA battery if you’re lazy go with 2700 nimh)
  4. Storage Type (Personal Experience, Choose SD card Because it’s Cheap )
  5. Manual Control. Because this is for outdoor environment then u have the best lighting of all for your picture, u’ve the sunshine. Just try to learn manual control as much as you can

If u want further reading, this is what i read when i was searching to bought my first digital camera:

  1. Dpreview.com, (i think it has the best buying guide )
  2. Imaging-Resource.com
  3. dcresource.com

and the buying guide i read a very old article about Digital Camera Buyers Guide “7 Steps in Plain English” and malekstips digital camera helps and tips. While Stumbling i found these two lovely website on photography Popular Science and Digital Camera Magazine. on Indonesian websites there are toko Camzone the cheapest price list (online!) and a good forum for photography is Ayo Foto.

These writing is dedicated to my beloved friend, Popie who ask frequently in asking me tips in buying digital camera :D .

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4 thoughts on “Buying a Starter Outdoor Digital Camera”

  1. Hmmm I have been in melbourne for more than 3 months and all i have is my broken english, I never knew if my beloved nerd friend here has a very excellent written english, i wonder if that hentai and miyabi-chan films taught u this uh brother?? anyway try make something different u in your website, one like emoticoneric, hahaha that guy are really genius!
    takecare bro and get married!

    Wassalam,
    Fitra

  2. darling..such a adorable link :P..iya nih..diriku mo beli new digicam. since my sister is going abroad on july and she wanted a huge memory for her pics.. humm i need that 1 GB memory. i am thinking abt buying that new camera in kemang ..a store called photography something…lupa.. my friend bought nikon 4 megapixel only 1.4 million Rp.
    umm.. i remember buying one million Rp (around 200 Singapore $ )on 2003 canon ..but manual.. aka oldfashioned camera.. not digicam :(… at that time digicam can cost like twice than that for 2 megapixel…gilingannn…
    yo wess.. thanks for the info..

  3. Fitra:
    yes.. sometimes they have english in miyabi and hentai, that’s why i have good english :D

    Helda:
    mhmm 1Gig, that’s not enough for going abroad, i’m gone for lampung for just 3 days it cost 495mb of pic… i’ll make a post if u still dont understand, just let me know

  4. Hey, I was reading your article and I just wanted to say thank you for putting out such excellent content.
    There’s so much nonsense on the internet these days its hard to find anything worthwhile. I showed this to my husband since this is the kind of thing he tends to read online.
    Thanks for the article and great ideas.

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