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list($1,299.99)
1. Minolta Dimage 7 5MP Digital Camera
2. Nikon Coolpix 775 2MP Digital
list($399.99)
3. Olympus Camedia D-510 2MP Digital
list($658.99)
4. Hewlett Packard PhotoSmart C912
list($199.99)
5. HP PhotoSmart 912 Digital Camera
list($199.99)
6. Sipix SC-2100 2MP Digital Camera
list($369.99)
7. Canon ES65 Hi8 Camcorder

1. Minolta Dimage 7 5MP Digital Camera w/ 7x Optical Zoom
by Konica Minolta
list price: $1,299.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005MA7J
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Konica Minolta
Sales Rank: 3599
Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

The first consumer-oriented 5-megapixel camera to hit the market, Minolta's DiMAGE 7 leapfrogged the competition by coming out at a time when other camera manufacturers were just introducing their 4-megapixel models. The DiMAGE 7 offers an ultrahigh resolution 5.24-megapixel CCD sensor that delivers excellent images for prints as large as 13 by 19 inches. A high-performance, all-glass, 7x zoom lens (equivalent to 28-200mm on a 35mm camera), with a 2x digital zoom, ensures maximum flexibility when composing your shots. Add to this a host of creative controls stacked into a unit with the size and feel of an SLR, and you have a digital camera with the type of functionality typically found only in professional models.

Three controls provide access to the camera's primary adjustable features. Digital subject-program selection allows you to set aperture and shutter speed for superior results in five popular formats: portrait, sports action, sunsets, night portraits, or text. A function dial allows adjustment between four modes of pixel resolution, five modes of data compression, four modes of exposure control, five modes of drive options, seven modes of white balance, and five levels of ISO. The digital-effects controller allows image manipulation by compensating for exposure, contrast, and color saturation before the image is saved. As insurance, Minolta provides a fourth control that instantly restores the camera's automatic settings. Changing most settings is a two-handed operation: one hand selects the feature you're adjusting, while spinning a second dial actually changes the setting. The system is reasonably intuitive, but don't plan to make any adjustments with one hand.

To preview and review images, the DiMAGE 7 features a digital viewfinder that pivots for comfortable close-ups or tripod shooting. An eye-sensing switch (triggered when you put your eye up to the camera) automatically turns off the TFT LCD viewscreen to conserve battery power.

In manual-focus mode, the camera also has an electronic magnification feature. At the push of a button, the center of the image is blown up to 4x original size in the viewfinder so you can check the fine details and ensure the image is in focus before snapping the shutter. In autofocus mode, a flex-focusing option allows the focal point to be moved to any part of the image for off-center shooting.

The DiMAGE 7 is so packed with features that it would be impossible to list them all, but here are some highlights:

  • A supermacro mode allows images to be captured from as close as 5.1 inches.
  • Four modes of data imprinting with up to 16 characters help you keep track of your work.
  • Movie provides up to 60 seconds of lower-resolution moving images.
  • The built-in flash has two selectable metering options and three flash modes. An accessory shoe for optional flash units adds even more varied shooting scenarios.
  • A quick-view or instant-playback button that allows you to view the image you just captured and decide whether or not you want to save it to your CompactFlash card without switching out of the shooting mode.

    Despite its ultrahigh resolution and extensive set of features, the DiMAGE 7 has a few flaws. To compose shots traditionally, it uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which offers far less detail than a traditional optical viewfinder. The 16 MB CompactFlash card provided with the camera holds only 12 images at the default resolution (or a single uncompressed image). Like many manufacturers, Minolta supplies the camera with a set of inadequate AA alkaline batteries (use of rechargeable Ni-MH batteries is recommended, even by Minolta). Though the image sensor is at the cutting edge of technology, the rest of the circuitry can't quite keep up; saving an uncompressed image to the memory card requires a 40-second wait. In addition, we found the multitude of control buttons that must be manipulated simultaneously to be somewhat awkward and initially intimidating. Finally, zooming the lens is a manual-only operation requiring a twist of the barrel--unlike many cameras, the Minolta lacks a pushbutton zoom.

    These minor gripes aside, the manual zoom is actually faster than an electronic zoom and easy to get used to; larger capacity CompactFlash cards are readily available; and the control systems are easy enough to learn even for the novice. Moreover, since the EVF is a tiny monitor, you can view camera settings while composing your shot--something you can't do with a traditional optical viewfinder. Though some controls may be awkward for beginners, the camera operates in fully automatic mode by default, allowing users the opportunity to manually adjust settings as they become comfortable with the controls.

    The camera comes equipped with a lens cap, lens shade, neck strap, video cable, USB cable, accessory-shoe cap, 16 MB CompactFlash card, four AA alkaline batteries, and a CD-ROM for DiMAGE image processing software. --Brett M. Nunn and Walt Opie

    Pros:

    • 5-megapixel sensor is the highest resolution available in a consumer camera
    • Impressive 7x optical zoom lens
    • Virtually every function can be controlled manually, including focus
    • Movie mode captures short film clips
    • SLR-style look and feel

    Cons:

    • Generally skimpy set of included accessories
    • Adjusting most settings requires the use of both hands simultaneously
    ... Read more

    Features

    • 5.24-megapixel sensor creates 2,560 x 1,920 images for prints at sizes up to 13-by-19 inches
    • 7x optical plus 2x digital zoom lens with autofocus
    • Included 16 MB CompactFlash memory card holds up to 12 images at default resolution
    • Connects with Macs and PCs via USB port
    • 12-bit A/D conversion provides excellent tonal range

    Reviews (66)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great, but...
    The is an awesome digital camera that often takes photos of better quality than 35mm film cameras.

    The 4 things that I can't stand about the camera:

    1. Power hog: When using high capacity nickel metal hydride batteries, they only last about 20 to 50 pictures, depending on the resolution that you're using, the autofocus, and the flash. Don't even THINK about using the rear display screen. The power indicator often indicates a low battery when in fact you may have 10 or more shots left. I use 3 sets of batteries!

    2. The electronic viewfinder's pixelated resolution makes it difficult to tell whether the subject is in focus.

    3. The autofocus can be infuriatingly slow at times, sometimes can't focus, and sometimes tells you that the subject is in focus when it's not (I mostly use the focus by wire focusing ring for manual focus).

    4. The neck strap attachment ring on the right side of the camera gets in the way of opening and closing the compact flash door (just annoying).

    Don't even think of downloading pics through the supplied USB cable (very slow). I highly reccommend the Zio USB CF reader (transfer rates of ~1MB/S).

    Still, it's the highest quality camera for the buck right now.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Photos -- Painfully Slow Autofocus
    My camera decision came down between the Dimage 7 and the Olympus E-10. My former camera was a Fuji MX2900.

    I wanted two things in the new camera: SLR design and feel and pixels! I wanted a digicam that can truly replace my film SLR.

    The Dimage 7 was a bit more affordable than the E-10 and beat it in nearly every technical spec. What finally sold me was the zoom capability of the D-7, its wider range of shutter speeds, and wide range of manual options.

    Shortcomings: Everyone moans about battery consumption and it's warranted. Do not buy this camera unless you also get NiMH rechargeables. Alkalines are good for 15 minutes. In my opinion, the biggest shortcoming of the D-7 is the autofocus speed. I have a toddler who does not like to sit still, and the D-7 simply cannot keep up. I agree with those who say an AC adapter should be included, especially since it is a very hard accessory to find. A minor annoyance that didn't appear in the brochure is that the video function does not collect sound. Not a dealbreaker, but someone out there will want to know.

    Bottom line - I think it's a great camera. It takes excellent pictures in any lighting condition, has a great built in flash (red-eye reduction that actually works!), and feels like a real camera. Oh, did I mention that it takes great pictures??

    2-0 out of 5 stars Behind the times
    While this camera boasts lots of features, and for the most part that is true, it is not easy to use. There is so many buttons to change to get the right photo, it is time comsuming and awkward.

    Battery life- none- batteries are only good for about 20 pictures then, new ones must be put in.

    Quality of pictures are variable and enhancements need to be done on almost all pictures taken.

    Eye piece and other connected plastic pieces seem to fall off easily and permanently

    The worst is the video, the quality compared to lesser priced camera is poor and WIHTOUT SOUND. What good is that.

    Overall I would go with another camera and I will. Most people don't need 5+ megapixels anyway.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellence for creative photography
    The uniqueness of this camera, as compared to many of its analogs, is the availability and quality of the black-and-white mode for serious creative photographers. The results are comparable to the real film but with digital manipulation, the camera provides a more versatile and efficient application. The examples of black-and-white images taken by this camera can be seen at:http://pathology2.jhu.edu/shihlab/index.cfm. The only things need to be improved for this camera are: 1) the autofocusing function is too slow and sometimes not accurate especially in the dim light; 2) the range of aperture is relatively limited. Overall, this camera is probably the only digital one for photographers who are seeking taking black-and-white images.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 2 years after purchase - and loving it more everyday
    This is my second digital camera, and at first I hated it because it was not a point and shoot, which was the only camera I had ever known. It was just too complex for a meathead like me to use. If I'd have reviewed this camera a year ago I would have given it a 2 star rating.

    Over the last year I have really gotten to know the camera and have upgraded the firmware, and I now take great shots with this camera, using a 512mb CF and (usually) 3 sets of rechargable NMH AA batteries. The firmware fixed alot of the bad issues with the camera, and most importantly sped up the drive rate for multiple shots. I would say that the firmware was the most important thing here. It truly makes the camera great.

    This camera has phenominal picture quality without the firmware update and will teach a meathead like myself to take better pictures just by the trial by fire approach. It only gets better as you learn to use it. That being said - if you don't like a steep learning curve challenge and are used to point and shoots, this is not the camera for you.

    I purchased the 7i for my father in law and I can tell you that its a much easier camera to use than the 7, but with all of the great features. You may want to go that route if you want the great image quality without as steep of a curve. ... Read more


  • 2. Nikon Coolpix 775 2MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom
    by Nikon

    Asin: B00005MAAR
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Nikon
    Sales Rank: 2583
    Average Customer Review: 3.81 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Weighing a mere 6.5 ounces (not including battery or memory card), the Nikon Coolpix 775 is one of the lightest 3x zoom digital cameras available. The ultracompact Coolpix 775 has a 2.14-megapixel CCD for prints up to 8-by-10 inches, a 3x optical zoom lens (plus an additional 2.5x digital zoom), and advanced image processing features to ensure clear, vivid images under almost any lighting conditions. Comparable in design to the popular Coolpix 880, the 775 also shares similar features, such as selectable scene modes for specific shooting situations. The seven scene modes included are backlight, landscape, beach/snow, sunset, portrait, party/indoor, and night portraits. In addition, the 775 has a built-in flash with five modes, a 1.5-inch LCD monitor, 256-element matrix metering, and USB interface.

    The Coolpix 775 also features a comfortable side grip for easy shooting and comfortable access to all of the camera's controls. To provide added shooting flexibility, the 775 offers a versatile zoom range which lets users get close to the action when objects are far away or zoom out wide when taking group photos or shooting in close proximity. At the heart of the camera's zoom capabilities is Nikon's exclusive all-glass 3x optical Zoom-Nikkor lens, featuring a zoom range of 38-115mm (35mm equivalent).

    You can upload your photographs from the Coolpix 775 with just the click of a button. And after that, e-mailing, printing, or sharing on the Internet follow with easy-to-use software designed for the busy person who wants to enjoy hassle-free digital photography. With that in mind, the 775 also comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and battery charger and an 8 MB CompactFlash card so that you are ready to shoot pictures right away. ... Read more

    Features

    • 2-megapixel sensor creates 1,600 x 1,200 images for sharp prints at sizes up to 8 x 10 inches
    • 3x optical plus 2.5x digital (7.5x total) zoom lens with autofocus
    • Included 8 MB CompactFlash card holds 10 images at default resolution
    • Connects with Macs and PCs via USB port
    • Uses dedicated lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack (included)

    Reviews (114)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great compact point and shoot digicam!
    The Coolpix 775 is geared toward the casual photographer that is looking for convenience and compactness in a digital camera. The camera is light and tiny but still very comfortable to hold with the built in grip on the side of the camera (unlike Canon's Elph cameras). The 3x zoom range on the lens is unheard of in a camera this small!

    What sets the camera apart is Nikon's exposure metering system and the scene modes. It uses Nikon's renowned sophisticated metering system to get the perfect exposure for nearly every shot. In addition, it has seven scene modes for common situations where the metering may be fooled (backlight, landscape, beach/snow, sunset, portrait, party/indoor, and night portraits). This is great for the novice that doesn't want to mess around with complicated manual exposure adjustments.

    The 2-megapixel CCD is plenty for getting great 8x10 prints. You'll want to purchase a larger compactflash card because the included 8 MB card will definitely be too small to take more than 15 photos at the highest quality and resolution.

    It comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and battery charger which many other digital cameras in this price range leave out.

    Compared to the Canon cameras I have used, the colors are much more natural, especially for skin tones. The Nikons seem to go for the more natural colors as opposed to many cameras that go for more saturated and punchy colors

    If you're looking for a camera with a ton of manual features (saturation control, aperture and shutter priority, full manual control, etc.) then you need to step up to the Coolpix 995, which costs twice as much.

    I would definitely recommend the camera to the user that is looking for a great, easy-to-use, point and shoot digital camera that takes awesome photos for printing up to 8x10 photos or just digital photos to share.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better optics than similar 2 megapixel digital cameras
    Optics do matter, and I guess the Nikon name is more than just print on a digital camera. I tried this in a test against a Fuji 2.3 mp digital camera, a model that I like a lot, and the Coolpix beat the Fuji for clarity on shots of the same resolution. By a long country mile, too. The lens here must be the difference.

    The features on the Coolpix include:
    1. Lithium rechargeable battery (important.)
    2. USB cable for fast transfer of pictures to the PC
    3. Thumbnail display on the LCD on the back for quick review of shots
    4. 5 different flash modes
    5. A large 1.5 inch LCD display
    6. Ability to do mini movies (avi)
    7. 3X Optical Zoom (lens, not digital, very nice.)
    8. Video out and cable in case you want to look at these on the family TV directly from the camera and not futz around on the computer.

    The ergonomics are close to a regular point-and-shoot film camera. The settings dial is more or less easy to use; I tried the menu and setup on camera without using the manual and got it up and running right away. The "out-of-box" experience is enhanced by a large sheet of getting-started instructions that lead you through charging the battery in the separate charging station, loading the transfer software and taking a picture and getting it onto your PC.

    The software includes ArcSoft "PhotoImpression" to manipulate your pictures. The interface is very simple and graphic with preview screens and virtual buttons. I prefer Photoshop Elements for image manipulation, but if you aren't very handy with computer graphic software, PhotoImpressions leads you by the hand to get your pictures as you like them.

    All in all, I'd have to say that this is a very good amateur digital camera for the price, delivering performance beyond my expectations.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nikon's Answer to Canon's Digital Elph.
    I got into digital cameras through the Coolpix 990 (and recently upgraded to the 995). I love the power and flexibility of those top-of-the-line Coolpix cameras, but they weren't portable enough to make the cut for parties, light travel, and similar situations. From the start, I was evaluating this as a second camera: I have the 3-megapixel 995 for high-quality "composed" shots, and wanted a less expensive, "fun" camera for casual, everyday use. I was about to buy the Canon S110, but decided to wait for Nikon's 775 release, and I'm glad I did.

    As a 995 user, I can use the same batteries and NikonView software with both cameras (unfortunately, the USB cable is slightly different to prevent people from trying the MC-EU1 remote cord on the 775). This fall, Nikon is even releasing the UR-E3 converter that will allow use of the 950/990/995's Wide-Angle and 2x Tele lenses!

    Compatability aside, the 775 is a winner in it's own right. I really appreciate the 3x optical zoom (vs. 2x in the Canon S110), and the scene modes allow even greater refining of the quite-capable "auto" setting. You can get creative without delving into the world of manual settings -- great for first-time users, yet still offering something new and useful to the experienced digital photographer. As you would expect, Nikon delivers on its reputation for high-quality optics and great pictures, even from its 2-megapixels. The "macro" close-ups are unbelievable (the Canon doesn't even come close). Think mini-950.

    The only area where the Canon beats the 775 is size -- the Nikon is a good deal thicker front-to-back (I could put the Elph in a shirt pocket, but the 775 just won't fit). I figure it's a small price to pay for a 3x zoom. I would have given the 775 "Five Stars," but knocked one off for the construction. The casing is plastic and, despite its high quality, makes the camera feel like it's "cheap" (compared to the aluminum S110, although the 775 is much lighter). Even if it feels inexpensive, the proof is in the pictures. The performance has been flawless; we'll see if durability is an issue over time, but I've got no basis for concern.

    For point-and-shoot convenience and portability, with the quality one would expect from Nikon, the 775 is a most worthy addition to the Coolpix line.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 8,000 photos and help with system error
    I bought the Coolpix 775 in 2001, and used it for over 8,000 photos. Minor issue are [1] latency between pushing the button and actually taking the picture [2] proprietary battery capacity [3] proprietary AC adapter.
    A week ago, I dropped the camera from 4 feet high on a semi-hard [thin carpet on hardwood] floor. When I turned on the camera, the display showed 'sytem error'. I opened the case [2 silver screws on each LHS and RHS, 4 at the bottom -note that 2 screws holding the tripod plate are of different type- then gently pry open the front using my finger nail -a soft flat piece of plastic is OK-] to separate the two halves: the empty front part with only the switch left -and a small ribbob connector- and thye body with everything else. I then removed the lens assembly [4 black screws, the cylindrical gear on the upper RHS close to the viewer has to be slightly lifted out of the way] and noticed that the 2 identations in the base plate had 'jumped out' of the 2 grooves in the lens barrel assembly. After putting the identations back in place, the lens now goes in and out. Zoom does not activate yet - relative positions of gears ? will work on it-. The motor assembly can be disconnected [1 black screw] from the barrel assembly and tested separately. Important Notes [1] I am not responsible for anything that could go wrong: you open the case at your own risk. Safe move is to send the camera back to the dealer [2] opening a camera is not for the faint at heart: use magnifying glasses, good lighting, watch screwdrivers and a compartment box for different screws -I use an ice cube tray with 14 compartments-. Hope this help 'resurect your camera' :)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Reliable
    I bought this camera around Christmas 2001 and thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Over the years, the camera has served me well. I originally bought a 64 mb card to go with it, and it was more than I ever needed, since I was pretty good about transferring the pictures onto my computer and clearing the card. The bundled software is pretty good. Allows you to drag the pictures and then drop them into any folder you like. Unfortunatly, my screen has recently broke. I made the mistake of packing it in my luggage that went through baggage handling. Even the toughest camera can't enure that abuse. It still takes pictures as well as it ever has, but I can't see how they turn out until I get home and hook it up. Isn't that the point of a digital camera? I think I may be in the market for a new one. I give it four stars because the screen broke, and costs way to much to fix. ... Read more


    3. Olympus Camedia D-510 2MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom Value Package
    by Olympus
    list price: $399.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005N7YX
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Olympus
    Sales Rank: 2273
    Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Value pack includes camera and standard accessories plus rechargeable batteries, battery charger, and camera case
    • 2.1 megapixel sensor creates 1600 x 1200 images for prints at sizes up to 8 x 10
    • 3x optical, 9x digital, zoom lens with autofocus
    • Included 8 MB SmartMedia memory card holds 16 images at default resolution
    • Connects with Macs and PCs via built in USB port

    Reviews (115)

    5-0 out of 5 stars BIG bang for your buck!
    After considerable research, I decided on the Olympus Camedia D-510Zoom for my first "real" digital camera. I couldn't be more pleased with the ease of use (considering the deep menu which is somewhat intuitive for a technophile), long list of cool features/controls, and excellent image quality. Although you can start taking pics immediately with the quick-start guide, TAKE THE TIME TO READ THE FULL MANUAL ON THE CD and practice!

    The video clip and panoramic features are very fun toys/tools and proved to be much better quality than I expected. The Camedia software effortlessly stitches up to ten pics together for interesting panoramic shots and the video feature saves short silent clips in Quicktime MOV format. I would recommend spending the extra ten bucks or so on an Olympus-brand SmartMedia card with the panoramic code for your first or second large-capacity card (since the card that comes with the camera is only 8MB and other brand cards don't have the proprietary panorama code that works with the software.)

    My camera says it will shoot about 22 pictures in the highest TIF resolution (1600x1200) and 1300 pictures in the lowest JPG resolution (640x480) on a 128MB card. The highest JPG resolution (SHQ at 1600x1200 w/minimal compression) is where I keep mine set most of the time and I get about 90 shots per 128MB card. The default JPG setting (HQ at 1600x1200 w/medium compression) gets about 230 shots per 128MB.

    As with any zoom camera I've ever used, you need to keep the camera still or your image will blur. Use a tripod as often as you can, particularly for zooming, night shots and definitely for panoramic shots. The 3x optical zoom is nice but it will not make my SLR (35mm film camera w/zoom and macro lenses) obsolete by a long shot-perhaps if I dropped a grand or two on a high-end Nikon or Minolta digital...

    The camera does eat batteries, but not as bad as I expected, considering all the moaning and groaning in these reviews. Just buy an inexpensive NiMH charger and eight rechargeable batteries. I find my Energizer ACCUrechargeables last much longer than the batteries the camera came with and I'm very happy with them. I also keep a set of Duracells in the camera bag just in case.

    The housing has been described as cheap (among other things) but I think it has a good solid feel to it and if you treat it like the somewhat delicate piece of electronic equipment it is, instead of like a football, it will probably last a long time.

    I don't have a card-reader or AC adapter yet since I don't see an urgent need for them. The camera works well by itself as a card reader and the transfers are quick (about 4 minutes to transfer a full 128MB card) so I don't think I'll shell out the fifty bucks for the adapter (ouch!).

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good camera for those who want more than 1.3 MP
    I've used several Olympus cameras at work and they were more expensive than this. I finally decided to buy one for my own personal use and, after reading LOTS of reviews, the D-510 seemed ideal for me. I'm familiar with the Camedia software package and the controls on the camera are similar to the cameras I've been using at work. I have been very pleased with the camera. The photo images are sharp, and some of the menu items have been simplified. My only complaint is that the camera defaults to HQ (high quality, but not super high quality) resolution each time you turn it off. I prefer to shoot in lower resolution SQ, so I get more pictures on the 32 MB SmartMedia card that I bought to go with the camera. (It comes with an 8 MB card, but it's worth the money to upgrade to at least 32 MB. I wish I'd gone ahead and forked over the money and gone up to 64 MB or even the new 128 MB...) Because of that, each time I use the camera I have to fiddle around and re-set the camera for standard quality. On the up side, there are two levels of SQ, two levels of HQ, and two levels of SHQ, for a total of six choices. In the lowest level of SQ mode, the camera can shoot several minutes of decent quality movie footage, which is fun -- but a REAL drain on the batteries. The camera comes with the Camedia software, which is adequate but not great, but it only works on Windows 98 and newer. I tried playing with it at work, where we have Windows 95/97, and it wouldn't work. That's OK, because my home computer has XP, and it does fine. Downloading with the Camedia 2.5 isn't as easy as Olympus says, but fortunately once you find your file, you can create shortcuts to get to your photos. The main thing about this, despite the small but pesky shortcomings, is that the quality of photos is good for such a low-priced camera. If I'd had a couple hundred more to spend I might have bought a better Olympus product, but for those on a smaller budget who want photos of the kids, vacations and other non-professional type photography, this small, solid camera can't be beat. It's as good, if not better, than the Olympus I use at work, which cost twice as much...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Versatile Camera
    I've used mine for two years so far and gotten alot of mileage out of it. What I really love is that it doesn't require special software to download pictures. When we go to visit, we can just plug in the camera with the USB cable, treat it as a removable disc, and transfer our pictures to our hosts computer before we leave. One downside is that the viewfinder doesn't quite frame the picture accurately. For close-ups, I have to turn on the LED screen or I cut off half of the face...

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Real Battery Hog
    This camera has served me well and takes beautiful pictures. However I spend so much on batteries. Have tried regular, heavy duty, and alkaline and none last. If I don't take batteries out after each use, they won't last overnight. If one buys this superb camera he might want to use an adapter rather than rely on batteries (unless he has won the lottery).

    3-0 out of 5 stars The green of nature is missing from the pictures.
    This camera is good overall except 2 major issues I discovered. First, the colors of outdoor shots were not accurate most of the time, specially the trees and grasses never looked as green in the pictures as in real world. I believe this is a major defect. (Another reviewer also mentioned the same problem.) Second problem is the long shutter delay. You will not be able to catch the best moments in life.

    I will not buy another Olympus digital camera unless I am convinced they fixed such defects. ... Read more


    4. Hewlett Packard PhotoSmart C912 2MP Digital Camera w/ 3x Optical Zoom
    by Hewlett Packard
    list price: $658.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000051YGZ
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Hewlett Packard
    Sales Rank: 6478
    Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Here's the recipe for a terrific series of digital cameras: start with the electronic-imaging expertise of Hewlett-Packard (HP), whose printers and scanners are among the most popular in the world. For great optics, add five decades of camera-making experience from Pentax. The result? HP's new lineup, featuring the C912 and C912xi (identical except for the software that comes with them) as its twin flagship models. These two cameras offer an intriguing set of features not offered by any other manufacturer (except Pentax, which also sells this model as the EI2000).

    Though virtually every other digital camera uses a rangefinder setup, the C912 is a true single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. Light entering the lens is split by a prism: most is sent to the camera's sensor, but some goes up to the viewfinder. When you look through the viewfinder, the image you see is coming through the lens, so you can see precisely what you'll capture. You can also preview and review your shots with the 2-inch color LCD on the back of the camera. As an added feature, the LCD has a 90-degree flip-up design, allowing you to see images even if the camera is held at waist level.

    The all-new, 36-bit CCD sensor from Philips is another unusual touch. At two-thirds of an inch, it's still much smaller than a 35mm negative, but it's larger than the sensors in most other manufacturers' cameras. On paper at least, this should improve image capture. We were surprised to discover that the sensor's proportions are "squarer" than those on most digital cameras--most 2-megapixel models capture 1,600 x 1,200 pixels in their images (a 4:3 ratio), but the HP captures a 1,600 x 1280 image (a 5:4 ratio). The traditional 4:3 ratio evolved because it matches the proportions of a computer monitor--with this camera, images displayed on your screen will have bars down the left and right edges, or will need to be cropped at the top or bottom to fill the screen. If you like making prints, images will also need some serious cropping to fill a 4-by-6 or 5-by-7 inch sheet, but the proportions are perfect for an 8-by-10 inch print.

    While other companies are putting 3.3-megapixel sensors into their high-end models, HP has chosen to use a 2.2-megapixel CCD instead. Perhaps HP's engineers have reached the same conclusion we have--that for most users, 2 megapixels is the best balance between image quality and speed, price, and file size.

    The Pentax lens zooms from 34 to 107 mm (35mm camera equivalent), and includes eight elements in seven groups, with one aspherical element. HP also adds a 2x digital zoom, which brings images closer at the expense of image quality. Instead of using a pair of buttons on the camera body, users adjust the zoom by twisting a ring on the lens--a traditional arrangement borrowed from film cameras. The lens also has an unusually powerful macro feature, focusing on items as close to the lens as 2 centimeters.

    The camera looks well-made and fits nicely in your hands. The size, shape, and soft curves are all reminiscent of a classic SLR camera. A status LCD on the top panel lets you see vital camera settings, a very useful feature if you're not using the battery-draining color LCD display on the back of the camera. Images are stored on either Type I or the thicker Type II CompactFlash cards. Though it physically fits in the slot, IBM's Microdrive isn't compatible with the camera.

    If you're a techno-tinkerer, you'll love the fact that the C912 uses Digita as its operating system (OS). When Digita was introduced several years ago, some predicted this OS would be adopted by virtually every digital camera manufacturer. In reality, Digita has proven to be just slightly more popular than Esperanto, finding its way into only a handful of cameras, mostly from Kodak and Minolta. Digita offers the potential to easily upgrade the camera's firmware, in addition to allowing advanced users to write software scripts to customize camera functions. As an example of the power and flexibility of the OS, one Digita-powered download available on the Internet lets you play emulated arcade video games on the camera's LCD display. For the average digital photographer, however, the biggest advantages to Digita are the colorful onscreen menus and the ease with which you'll be able to transfer revised firmware to your camera.

    Virtually every camera feature can either be left on automatic operation or can be set for manual control. The ISO can be adjusted from 25 to 400, and the flash, shutter speed, aperture, and focus can also be controlled by hand. There's an integrated pop-up flash atop the camera, plus a hot-shoe mount for an external strobe unit.

    HP has devised a flexible power system for this model. You can use four standard AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries, but for the ultimate in battery life, you can get a proprietary Olympus lithium-ion power pack and charger. With a suggested retail price of $99.00, the charging kit costs more than twice as much as a set of rechargeable AA batteries with charger, but lasts about twice as long on a charge as a set of high-capacity AA rechargeables.

    If you're looking for a camera with the ultimate in resolution or the smallest dimensions, look elsewhere. But if you want a camera that looks and feels nice and has a good combination of features, the C912 is worth considering, especially if you're a fan of Pentax film cameras, love SLRs, or need a great macro lens.

    Pros:

    • True single-lens reflex camera
    • Digita operating system for flexible upgrades
    • Great lens with terrific macro

    Cons:

    • Nearly square images
    • Takes Type II CompactFlash cards, but is not Microdrive compatible
    ... Read more

    Features

    • 2.24 megapixel CCD creates 1600 x 1280 images for prints at sizes up to 8 x 10 inches
    • 3x optical plus 2x digital Pentax zoom lens with autofocus
    • Included 16 MB CompactFlash card holds 28 images at default resolution
    • Connects with Macs and PCs via USB port
    • 4 AA batteries included; special features include Jetsend infared printer connectivity, and sound capture with playback

    Reviews (11)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great camera but...
    The C912 camera takes great pictures but does not perform well when you want to shoot with manual settings. This camera won't replace a 35MM SLR as I had hoped. Overall, I think I would have been better off buying a new 35MM SLR camera and a smaller digital camera like the Olympus C700. I sure miss my old Canon AE1!

    Shortcomings:

    1) Manual focus is a joke. You have to select between distance settings measured in "meters." I haven't found a way to change the readings to "feet." Adjustments to the manual focus are done at the back of the camera where your left thumb is. Neither the LCD display nor the viewfinder work very well for judging focus. I'd suggest that you set the camera for a small aperture so you'll get fairly well focused pics. Manual focus on the lens like a standare 35MM would be way way better.

    2) The hot shoe only has one contact; you'll have to shoot with manual exposure settings when using an add-on flash unit.

    3) Very low light pictures shot at long exposure come out with "noise" in the picture that looks like snowflakes.

    4) When using the flash, aperture or shutter speed priority perform poorly. I would have expected the flash to compensate better for changes to aperture and shutter speed. I've taken some pic's that came out with poor exposure this way.

    5) The camera is as large as a 35MM SLR, too big to put in your pocket. On the bright side, you don't have to worry about it falling out of your pocket...

    6) Shooting in Automatic mode provides average focus so you get pictures that are often out of focus.

    7) The autofocus has a half-second or so delay that you have to compensate for. I guess all auto focus cameras perform this way. You have to shoot in manual focus to get instant shutter response. I sure miss my old Canon AE1.

    8) A 10x zoom lens like the Olympus C700 would be much better. A removable lens like standard a real 35MM SLR camera would make this camera the best thing since sliced bread! The 3x zoom is okay for general photography. I should have bought the C700!

    9) Zoom is electric not mechanical. It's adjusted on the lens like a 35MM focus ring. It's a bit slow to respond. Mechanical would have been way better.

    Advantages:

    1) Shooting in "P" for program mode and set with center point focus produces excellent pictures just about all the time.

    2) The flash is small but quite powerful.

    3) The camera has an excellent look and feel.

    4) Diopter allows you adjust the viewfinder to your eye so you can shoot without your glasses and see clearly.

    5) The camera is built very well. This is one of the main reasons I bought it. I'm sure it can take quite a hit without breaking. You could probably use it to break open walnuts! The lens is enclosed so it doesn't extend in and out like smaller cameras. The lens is built to accept screw-on filters and telephoto and other lenses without Mickey Mouse adapters. Install a clear filter the day you get the camera to protect the lens from dirt and finger prints.

    6) The camera uses a proprietary battery pack or standard AA batteries. Rechargeable 1700mAh AA NiMH Batteries and a Radio Shack one-hour charger perform well and cost half of what you'll pay for the HP battery and charger. I use the 6-volt AC power supply that came with my camcorder to power the camera without batteries and have had no problems.

    7) The date displays on the image. A note and logo can also be displayed on the image.

    8) Sound recording is a pretty cool feature. No video recording and glad.

    9) A PCMCIA adapter for the compact flash can be bought for [price]. It's fantastic for vacation. I bring along my old laptop to download pictures every evening. 64MB holds 58 pic's at highest resolution.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Happy with the HP 912
    I've been very happy with this purchase. The 2.5 Mega pixels are just fine for printing 5x7 prints, and 8x10's if you set the picture up well. The features of the camera are many, the automatic ones work great and there are overrides on almost all of the auto ones. I take up close "macro" pictures a lot and was thinking about getting a ring flash, but so far I've been pretty happy with the built in flash lighting up my subject... This feature and two others are why I would recommend this. You can set the ASA from 25 up to 400 (a lot of other cameras have one setting 100). The other feature is the compact flash memory, they work well and I feel they're very reliable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Camera
    I was not dissapointed by this camera. It works like a manual 35mm camera for focussing on the subject, has a great zoom, great optics, and all of those digital camera features we've come to expect. One absolutely key feature is the remote control which works like a wireless cable release, this is excellent for those long exposures where the camera needs to be motionless.
    The only drawback is the one so many digital cameras have, power.
    It eats batteries like salted peanuts. I regret not having ordered the AC adapter and rechargeable batteries from the start.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Little features make this a special camera
    As with all the other reviewers, I really like this camera. The optical viewfinder is excellent, especially for macro shots. The latest feature I have discovered is the ability to send images from the camera to my laptop via infrared (Jetsend). I also like the high-end approach of not over-processing the images in the camera. It is easy to process sharpness and saturation to your liking using Photoshop. There is an added plus to the 1600 X 1280 resolution. It creates an exact 8 X 10 image. Given the smaller resolution of this camera, it is nice that 8 X 10's requires no cropping at all...so all the pixels you capture are printed. The macro is fantastic and the flash throttles back well to give excellent exposure on macro shots. I also like the fact the camera can do time-lapse with no additional gadgets required.

    The remote control has either instant shot or 3 second delay. My Olympus has only a delayed remote so many times the shot is gone before the camera fires. My flash, an Olympus FL-40, works perfect in automatic mode with the HP. The camera must be set in manual mode but that is where you can really get creative. Thankfully, there is no silly movie capture feature. Did any of the reviewers mention that the LCD swings up so you can look down at the screen and compose the picture?

    If HP/Pentax wanted to put in a 4 or 5 mp CCD and charge over $1000 for this camera, I would be first in line to buy it. Even at the 2mp size, it is excellent. Plus now it is selling at a bargain price. My other camera, an Olympus E-100RS has its own set of advantages and so these two cameras are a perfect complement to each other.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Completely satisfied!
    I have always used a good 35mm SLR and owned a photolab for many years, so I know what I am talking about when I talk of quality photos.

    Wanting to get into digital photography on a budget, I bought Mustek MD800 a couple of years ago and it was a disaster. Pics were dreadful and the color/exposure was almost toxic. Every now and then I would check and see if there was anything exciting and affordable on the web and that was when i found the HP 912. I took a long time to make up my mind and to actualy buy it due to residual fear from the last digital fiasco, but the leap of faith was worth it. I just could not believe the list of everything it can do, and that made me even more sceptical. After it arrived, I was taking pics within 5 minutes and was amazed at the quality. Since then, I have put it through it's paces and everything works just as they claimed. Even the built in flash is far more powerful than i thought possible. In flash shots I am so used to seeing the faces over exposed (all bleached out) and the background pitch black, but with this camera the results are quite startling. I took a whole bunch of pics on Christmas day in the sittingroom while the kids were opening their gifts and was surprised to see that things were clearly visible in the diningroom - over 20 feet away and the subjects in the foreground were perfectly exposed! And it is all so easy to do! The results are far more pleasing than my 35mm outfit which cost me well over two thousand dollars. Another thing I found interesting is that I got 154 shots out of the 4 AA batteries that came with the camera! Very economical! ... Read more


    5. HP PhotoSmart 912 Digital Camera Accessory Kit
    by Hewlett Packard
    list price: $199.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005MP51
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Hewlett Packard
    Sales Rank: 6439
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Everything you need to get started with you HP PhotoSmart 912
    • Includes case, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, battery charger, and AC adapter
    • Case has built-in pockets for batteries and memory cards
    • Lithium-ion battery powers up to 800 shots

    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Feeding the energy hog...
    Although pricey, the accessory kit includes a valuable lithium ion battery which lasts about twice as long as high quality 1600 mAH NiMH rechargeables. Even with the LCD off, this translates to maybe 600 to 800 shots. The included battery charger adapter is also an AC adapter for the camera. Useful when uploading to your computer but even more so when shooting in the home. The included bag is adequate; sizeable enough for some extra batteries and memory card, but not if you need to carry filters, the battery charger, and AC adapter. Overall, it's a worthy addition to your HP 912. ... Read more


    6. Sipix SC-2100 2MP Digital Camera
    by SIPIX
    list price: $199.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005LM7S
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: SIPIX
    Sales Rank: 8658
    Average Customer Review: 3.12 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    With its boxy design, the 2.1-megapixel SiPix SC-2100 is a basic digital camera, but it does pack features rarely found at this low price level. Images from the SC-2100 look crisp and colors seem well balanced in all three selectable resolutions (superfine, fine, and standard). The six-element glass lens produces sharp photos, especially in macro mode. The 2x digital zoom provides closer imaging, but actually displays a smaller, cropped image on the LCD screen when in use.

    Although it is a bit on the heavy side, the camera fits well in your hand with a sturdy plastic construction. The back LCD screen is perfectly placed to avoid fingerprints and the optical viewfinder accurately presents the field of view. The secondary LCD displays all relevant information. A control dial on top allows you to adjust between different modes.

    The SC-2100 includes a slot for external CompactFlash memory cards, and comes with one 8 MB card. Using the bright 1.8-inch LCD, you can view and delete images in-camera to preserve valuable space on the road. The built-in flash includes a red-eye reduction mode so you won't see any red-eyed devils in your photos. The flash offers four modes: auto, on, off, and red-eye reduction.

    Exposure control can be set to automatic or manual in half-step increments with a +/- 2-step compensation. White balance also features automatic and manual settings with daylight, tungsten, and fluorescent adjustments. The 10-second self-timer ensures no one is left out of the picture, while other features include video-out (NTSC and PAL selectable), black-and-white mode, three sharpness levels (sharp, normal, soft), slideshow (3- or 10-second intervals), date/time stamp, and continuous-shot mode for rapid image capture. SiPix's warranty covers this camera for one year, parts and labor. ... Read more

    Features

    • 2.1 megapixel sensor creates 1600 x 1200 images for prints at sizes up to 8 x 10
    • 2x digital zoom lens with autofocus
    • Included 8 MB CompactFlash memory card holds 31 images at default resolution
    • Connects with PCs via included USB cable
    • 1.8" color LCD monitor for instant review and playback, date/time stamp recording

    Reviews (8)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good Photo's, Horrible Design
    One of the first things I noticed when I bought this camera was the battery cover. Every time I would put batteries in they would fall out. I sent it back to Sipix and they told me it was defective. I exchanged it for a new one, the same exact kind, and it had the same exact problem. It's also very large and heavy. On the other hand, it takes excellent pictures. Hard to believe it's just 2.1 Mega Pixal. If you want a good bargain on a digital camera and don't mind taping the battery cover shut, this would be a good choice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great performance considering price
    I have had canon and sony, and yes they are way better... but you also pay 5 times more! You can find this camera at such low prices as this one here in amazon and I can assure you that the camera works just fine if you are not an artist or a professional photographer... if you are... then go with a name brand, if you want it for your family pictures, your online business or just for fun stop looking, this has everything you need: Menory expansion, Built-in Flash, 2.1 MP (very nice), 1.8" preview screen, TV-OUT, USB, what else are you looking for?? this is it. The real choice. Don't go daydreaming with sth you can't really afford...

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent cost/benefit
    This full-featured 2.1MP digital camera provides excellent quality pictures at a very affordable price. Features include TV output, thumbnail view, adjustable white balance, exposure and sharpness controls; items usually don't available in most similar-price cameras. It's as easy to use as the most simple point-and-shoot 35mm cameras. The camera comes with an 8Mb Commpact Flash card, however it's a good idea to buy a larger one (in my opinion, a 64Mb card is usually more than enough...).

    1-0 out of 5 stars Looks can be deceiving
    I bought this card about 24 hours ago because it appeared to have the best pixel to price ratio, but 130mb of picture later, I learned my lesson after experiencing the following problems:

    *** Picture quality is marginal at best. You cannot take pictures in sunlight because the difference between light and shadow is black and white. Works well indoors, though, but light from windows will "blow out" walls, or in other words make them bright white.

    *** The Twain import driver (for getting the pix from the camera to your computer) functions in an inordinately poor fashion. For me it only worked 1 in 3 times, even less for larger memory cards, and not at all for 128mb. (Yes, I did all the software updates as recommended on their not-very-well-documented website.)

    *** That last point is worth repeating: you can not use cards over 64mb. This is stated on their website..., but not on their box, so this is an example of why you should do research on no-name brands before buying. I was able to take pictures with a 128mb card, but their Twain import driver is just horrible and does not support cards of that size. You might be able to import them from a third-party card reader, though.

    *** Image corruption. When you take a picture with a digital camera and it comes up on the LCD screen, you might think that it worked. But if you were using the SiPix, you'd be wrong. I had a 7% failure rate (7 out of 100 pictures). This can be caused by turning off the camera when it is writing the image you just took, or in most cases, for no apparent reason. I didn't find this out until later when I tried to transfer the files, and found out that I had lost some of my favorites.

    *** When taking photos, it takes about 10 seconds to write a high-res photo to the card. Aren't digital cameras supposed to be faster than film, or at least close? This is how many digital cameras operate, but that doesn't make it okay, and may matter to those switching from film to digital.

    *** Batteries last for about 100 pictures, if using the LCD preview mode.

    Overall you should find it as no surprise that I am not a big fan of this camera. In gernal I believe that you get what you pay for, and you get what you pay for in strides with this camera. If you are comparing this to similarly priced or equipped name brand cameras, I would go with the name brand because even if they are as poor quality, the software is most likely better.

    2-0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for, I say go with name brand.
    The first thing I noticed is that there is no lens cover. Due to the lens housing, I don't see how you can add one if you want to as there is nothing for a cover to hang on to. The lens is very small and going to be a chore to keep clean I'm sure. Buttons feel and look very cheap. There is no progressive zoom. It's either normal or 2x, nothing in between. The manufacturer claims that it only supports memory cards up to 64 megs but that tidbit is hidden on their support pages. Apparently the camera gets confused when the # of photos remaining exceeds 1000. My first 2100 died in two days. My second one acts properly after 3 days so far. The box claims that a camera case, ac adapter, and video out cable (to tv) are included but they are not. SiPix did not answer my email asking about this incorrect labeling. Overall, don't buy it unless you are looking for a "throw-away" digital camera to last you a year until the pricier jobs come down. ... Read more


    7. Canon ES65 Hi8 Camcorder
    by Canon USA
    list price: $369.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005AUIU
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Canon USA
    Sales Rank: 4902
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    The Hi8 video format offers the highest quality outside of digital, and theCanon ES65 offers a number of great features for its low price. Digital image stabilizationworks with the 22x optical zoom lens to provide a clear, steady image, and a built-in videolight provides illumination in dark shooting environments.

    To help ensure that you get the quality footage you want, Canon has included a numberof preset shooting modes. These modes will automatically adjust the settings of yourcamcorder for a variety of shooting situations. There is also an additional set ofspecial effects available during both recording and playback that will help add a littleflavor to your movies. These effects include black-and-white, sepia, mirror, and mosaic,among others. Included in the package are an A/V cable, power adapter, shoulder strap,and battery pack. ... Read more

    Features

    • Hi8 camcorder
    • 22x optical, 700x digital zoom with digital image stabilization
    • Color EVF
    • Photo Mode records still pictures for approximately 7 seconds
    • Uses an included lithium-ion battery; includes power adapter and A/V cable

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars cannon camcorder
    i bought this item for my daughter , to tape her new baby, born,may19,2oo2. she is so happy with it. i could have paid a very high price for one and bought this instead, im very happy i did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love mine
    It does all i wanted it to do. I love it. Easy to handle and fun. We love to 'review' the pictures everytime we take them! it's so funn to see the kids in action!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Deal
    This camera has a dial for different types of shots, which makes it simple. It also has fun special features like black and white. It doesn't have a light, but I was suprised how well low light footage comes out. For those who aren't ready to go high tech. or don't want to spend a lot of money, it's a great buy. ... Read more


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