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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello forum.

I am new here and I am hoping for some help from some experienced people.

I wish to buy a digital camera. But I also want to buy everything else that I will need to go with it.
Like a printer and software and cards and etc.

I have looked at so many different cameras and printers etc and there is just too many choices and I have no idea which way to go.

I want a decent camera (nothing too fancy or expensive) and I want a printer to make regular size prints, and I want to be able to send pictures in email and to upload to webites.

Does anyone know of an all in one package that I could buy?

Does anyone have any specific suggestions?

I have never owned a digital camera, so I am unfamiliar with the process. Any educated advice will be greatly appreciated.

I would also like to say that I am impressed by the broad range of topics that are addressed at this site.
I may have found a place that can handle all of the types of questions that crop up in my life :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was looking at 3 or 4 megapixel digicams.
That is probaby good enough for my needs.
Can I get a decent setup for about $700-$800?

(printer,digicam, software, etc)

I'm afraid that if I walk into a store, they will sell me what they want to sell me and not what I really need.
And since I don't know exactly what I really need, I'm lost.
And if I really knew what I needed, I would have already bought stuff already.

Is my question too ambiguous to be answered here?

Thanks
 

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Lets start with the printer. If you want to make "standard" prints I assume you mean 4X6 which are the usual sizes you get from most photolabs. I highly recommendt the Epson PictureMate.
http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/...dddlhmefhibfdmcfjgckidnf.0&BV_UseBVCookie=yes

It is easy to use. You dont have to have it connected to a computer. The paper and ink come in a 100 print package for around $29.00 = cost of 29 cents per print. It prints great images.
You cant go wrong with this printer.
It ONLY prints 4X6 inch prints. This is not a general printer. It is only for photos.
However it is much easier to use and it is portable.
 

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For the camera I would suggest you go to this review site.
http://www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html
Read up on cameras that you may be interested in then post more questions regarding what you are learning and reading.
Most of all Have Fun with this. Take your time and dont rush into something. Digital photography is a lot of fun and you will be amazed by how much better it is for most of us than film.
 

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For the software:
Most cameras come with a software package that is intended for downloading into your camera and making adjustments to your pictures. Depending on the camera model and make, the software will be different.
There are some free ones available on the net that many on this forum use.
I would first find your camera, buy it and play with the included software. Then start looking at other choices if you outgrow the software included witht he camera.
The learning curve on photo software can be daunting depending on what you buy.
IMHO the best (but not easiest) photo software for those who want to grow with the hobby is photoshop elements 3.
http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelwin/main.html
This is the "little brother" to the full professional Photoshop program that is considered by many as the standard in the industry. Elements requires time to get to know it because of how powerful it is and it also keeps the "look and feel" of the big brother Photoshop.
Adobe has a great forum for Photoshop Elements users. The people to hang around that forum are great and they are very helpful to beginners. They have fun with each other and have weekly "challenges" were they post a picture and members play with it and post it for review and comments.
http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/[email protected]@.eeb4f8b
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you jgjulio !

You have been a tremendous help.
I really appreciate the links (especially the digicam review site) and I will take your advice about software. I wasn't sure about the camera's software. Maybe it will be enough for my needs (for now at least).

And I will try to have fun with this whole process, but when you don't know anything about something, the fun is usually outweighed by the fear of screwing up and buying the wrong thing.

I like the suggestions that you made though. I'm going to look into those a bit more until I feel comfortable enough to finally pull the trigger on a purchase.

Many thanks !

And I really like this forum site. Many nice people here.
 

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You can get a very nice package for that price. I agree with the others you should probably buy them separately.

If you already have a general purpose printer you can buy a photo printer with 6 or more colors. I would not limit myself to something that prints only 4 X 6 prints though. You might want to print the occasional 8 X 10 or borderless 8.5 X 11. I buy Red River paper in bulk on sale and refill my cartridges. So I can put four 4 X 5.33 (the right ratio for most digitals) on a single sheet and end up at 7c a picture. You need a trimmer to do that, but they are cheap and handy to have around for other things. I haven’t researched narrow carriage photo printers lately. Get back if you want a pure photo printer. Steve’s printer reviews are very good: http://www.steves-digicams.com/printers.html

If you don’t already have a general purpose printer you are happy with you should get a general purpose printer with a large black pigmented ink cartridge that also does photos well. The Canon iP4000 and iP5000 are excellent choices for that.

3Mp will give a decent 8 X 10. You can’t crop first though. 4 and 5Mp cameras give a lot more versatility. With your budget you could get something like the Sony P200 in 7Mp. With a Pro 512Mb card you would still have lots of money left over for a top of the line printer. I like the P200 a lot. After digging through all the reviews and specialty boards it was in my final two choices. I opted for the Casio Z750 instead, but I think the P200 is a better choice for you. It is the only small camera with which you don’t have to deal with red eye as much because the shape let them move the flash far enough from the lens. Photo quality is excellent and there are manual modes to move up to. It is very fast in both cycle and shutter times.

Steve’s best camera list is a good place to start: Scroll down to the category that interests you: http://www.steves-digicams.com/best_cameras.html
Dave has a list too, but he is a little less picky. You have more choices and they are all probably good: http://www.imaging-resource.com/WB/WB.HTM
The listings are links to the reviews. Pay particular attention to the shutter lag and cycle times as that can be a real pain if they are too slow. Also check that the camera focuses well in low light.

Then check the current prices here: http://shopping.com/

A completely different approach might be to get something very inexpensive and learn what is important to you. Staples has a Canon 510 this week for $200. You get a free 128Mb card with it and a Canon iP3000 printer free after rebate. Pick up a charger and NiMH battery package from Wal Mart for less than $20 and you have everything you need for $220 plus tax. The camera is a very good starter camera. 3Mp with a 4X optical lens – ignore digital zoom. It has all the manual exposure modes to learn on if you are interested. 128Mb will get you by with about 85 best quality shots. The iP3000 isn’t the greatest printer but I think you will be pleased with the photo quality and it comes with a large black pigmented tank for general purpose use. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1651962,00.asp and http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/a510_pg7.html
 

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Your budget will allow top quality everything but don’t be in a hurry to spend it all at the start. Spend time just looking at features of all the camera at the displays (not specific cameras just the features.) You will find some have buttons too small to conveniently handle, some too large to fit a pocket or purse, some too small to hold steady, some that require that you open the camera lens separately (taking an extra motion and losing a fast-moving shot.) Make a list of the cameras that are comfortable to handle then narrow the search using the Internet to find several cameras that fit your needs.
Next (and I will be hammered for this ) buy from a camera dealer or a box-store locally so you have a live person to explain any problems you have. Bring along a copy of Internet page showing the best price you can find and negotiate with them. Most will (almost) match the price if they would lose a sale otherwise.

If you are totally new as you indicated then maybe a good investment will be a cheap (under $50) digital camera from Walmart and playing with it would be a good investment. It will take suitable pictures for email or posting on websites (larger photos must be compressed and trimmed anyway for that purpose. It will also come with software that will let you determine what added features you will need, and photos can be printed at photo-finishing outlets. You can give away that cheap camera to a grandchild after you get frustrated with the missing features lol (that’s what I did.)

By the way I am just receiving a Sony dsc-90 camera for a birthday next week and it has almost every feature I wanted.
Large lcd on the back
3X optical magnification
$270 price tag from Internet (local best-buy met the price)
32 meg internal plus up to 1 gig memory stick
lots of bulk (I have minor tremors and cannot handle lightweight cameras)

It replaces a 1.3 megapix Sony I have taken over 7000 pictures with without even one problem but has become outdated.
 

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I agree with Knotbored. Look at the cameras on the internet but do go to a local store and touch and feel them. The sizes and placements of buttons and how the camera fits in your hand can not be judged by pictures on the internet.
Beware of large retail stores that have less than knowledgable employees that really dont know much about cameras or photography. I have nothing against those stores - Best Buy - Circuit City - CompUSA. I buy stuff from all of these all the time. But camera stores have employees USUALLY that know more about their products.
Price Matching is a great thing. Do bring the printouts to the store and see if they will price match.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Incredible !

I ask for help, and I get buried under a pile of it !

Thanks everyone !

I'm going to research everything, and then hit some stores this weekend.

I may not know much about this stuff, but I know a lot more than I did yesterday (which is pretty amazing).

Thanks again.
I'll let you know how I make out.

Have a great weekend everyone !
 
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