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[at-l] Re: AT Camera - Staring from Scratch



Ok, Jan, here goes. I see you've already gotten a lot of misinformation
and you know I don't like to get things all stirred up, so I didn't read
any of it. :-)

I did a lot of research and had some good input from the list before I
bought my camera. Remember you have to weigh what you want the camera to
do against all the good advice you'll get. One source of unbiased info is
Cnet.com. Their editors rate the pros and cons of a lot of cameras. The
info I got there kept me from buying a camera with known problems.

I have a 2.1 Megapixel Olympus D-510 Zoom. A pro I spoke to at a sporting
event told me 2-3 Mp is all anyone except a pro needs. His recommendation
for anything beyond that would cost thousands and have interchangeable
lens. It would also be very heavy. He said less expensive cameras beyond
3 Mp aren't worth the difference in price. All this from a pro with 20
years experience in film and digital.

I chose this camera for the following reasons.

Price, about $300.

Weight, around 8 ounces.

Power, it's uses AA (4) batteries, alkaline, lithium or rechargeable.
Some otherwise excellent cameras use only rechargeable battery packs. OK
around town or on shorter hikes. Also rechargeable batteries will hold
less and less power as they age, how many will you be carrying when they
have been recharged many times? Lithium batteries are less susceptible to
cold than other batteries. Although they cost a lot more, it's nice to
have power for the camera in cold weather.

Lens protection, this one has a built in lens cover.

Zoom, mine has a 3X optical and a 9X digital zoom. Get all the "zoom" you
can get. It also has a Macro setting for close ups. Use your flash in
less than perfect lighting for much better close ups. The wide angle is
quite good also.

Storage media, mine uses Smart Media. This is widely used and not too
expensive. A 128 mb card (about an inch square) will hold hundreds of
pictures depending on the resolution and format you use. You can buy
several and mail them to someone for downloading and return to you. There
is also a direct USB link for downloads to a computer without removing
the card. Film is nice and slides are great but it gets expensive. I like
to shoot several pictures of anything I photograph, that means lots of
film. With a digital I can look at a small version of the picture right
on the back of my camera and erase it if I don't like it. Try that with
film. It means if you take too many pictures and run out of space just as
you see the photo of a lifetime, you can erase a couple of "lesser"
photos.

Features, this one has several flash settings (including auto). It will
take movies (without sound). Operate in a black and white mode. There is
a battery icon so you know how much is left. All the features are
operated with a finger or thumb. There are small icons on the screen that
are easy to learn, so you know what the camera is going to do. These are
the main features that come to mind.

A digital camera is susceptible to moisture so in wet weather I carry
mine in a zip lock. You'll need to keep it reasonable warm in winter,
even with lithium batteries.

OK, that's all I can think of right off. I don't want to make this a long
post and I have an 18 year old single malt that needs tasting.

woodelf