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Old 01-31-2003, 08:49 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 126
Dig Camera Survey

This may not exactly belong on this forum, but many of you attach pics to your posts. I am interested in recording some service procedures and documenting work done on my Benz.

A couple of years ago, I bought a cheapie no-name digital camera. True to the old adage, it turned out not to be such a good deal after all.

So, I'm curious. Reinhard Kreutzer was kind enough to respond to a direct email asking what digital camera he used (a Sony DSC-P31). What do you use or recommend?
JP Rodkey
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Old 01-31-2003, 09:44 AM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,804
I do a lot of industrial photography. If you can afford it (~$1000), my colleague has a SONY CD200 that I like. Sony has since replaced it with a SONY CD300. It uses a 3" rewriteable CD which you can pop out and plop into your CD drive to transfer pictures (no USB hookup needed). He's never filled the disc during any of his photo sessions.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
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Old 01-31-2003, 10:29 AM
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Posts: 63
Just bought a Nikon D100. I haven't pickedup my film equipment since...
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Old 01-31-2003, 10:50 AM
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Location: Hendersonville, Tennessee, USA, Earth
Posts: 451
I have a Canon A20. I wish I'd got one with a RCA output (like the Canon A40) to view the pictures on any TV. My other piece of advice is to test shoot the camera; some are much slower than others (referring to the lag between pushing the button and the camera actually taking the pic). The A20 is pretty fast except in low light when it takes a full second - then the moment is usually gone.

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Old 01-31-2003, 11:03 AM
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I am very satisfied with my Olympus C3040.
Very fast lense, can be operated fully automatic or manual for all adjustments.
I use a 128MB card which give me about 225 good quality pictures. USB download is very fast.
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Old 01-31-2003, 11:35 AM
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I had a Canon A20 and besides being a battery hog (what digi-cam isnít?) it did the job for my casual use.

Super fast downloading to my PC, easy to use and well made. I have to agree it was rather slow in low light, and missed many good pics.

A few weeks ago, I dropped it in the Gulf of Thailand, luckily the 250 shots on the flash-card survived.

My sister in law has a $1500 dig-cam, used for her biz. She took many of our wedding pics and I wasn't too impressed, esp. when compared to the film shot by a "professional" we hired. Nothing beats the real thing for those situations.
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Old 01-31-2003, 11:45 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Carlsbad, CA USA
Posts: 1,187
I use a Canon S300. 2.0 MP, 3x optical zoom all in a very small, all metal body. For snapshots and printing to 4 x 6 it's great. I chose this model (almost 2 years ago) specifically because of it's zoom capability and small size.
Glen Tokuhara
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Old 01-31-2003, 12:29 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 264
I've had the Sony Mavica CD300 and CD400. 4MP and the pix are recorded on a 165mb CD. Battery life on the standard (supplied battery is about 130min.

When I bought the CD400, it was like $800, but I think they've come down since then.

Size-wise it is a bit larger than I'd like, but it's oh so convenient.
Lance Allison

Sold: 1987 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver, Blue Leather, all books and records from day one.

Totalled: 1998 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray Leather, loaded, E-Codes, "Slightly" modded, "Slightly" faster than stock, arrived 11/07/1997.

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Old 01-31-2003, 12:40 PM
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Just bought a Sony Mavica CD250. It uses the 3" CD-RW. I love it. Best Buy has them now for less than $400. They originally were about $700-800.

I've had an Agfa ePhoto 1680 for the last 5 years and it served its purpose well. Digital cameras have come along way in those 5 years and the ones today have so much more capabilities and features than back then. It cost me $1000 when I first bought it.

Another thing about the Sony. It can take movies as well.
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Old 01-31-2003, 01:27 PM
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Location: CA
Posts: 531
Try the cheapskate option

The car repair pieces on my web site ('Cars' tab) were photographed with a (now discontinued) Olympus D340 at medium definition - maximum definition on this is 1.3 megapixels, so medium is probably ~ 0.6....

Now I know this sounds horribly low with all the talk of 10 and 15 mp sensors out there, but do you really want to use your $5k camera to record engine details with greasy hands?

The D340 sells all the time on eBay for $60 and up - check the completed auctions.

If your end use is Internet/screen display, you need very little definition to get something useable. Plus, you want a small file size to minimize download times, especially for those using a dial-up connection.

The repair pictures on my site were modestly sharpened using the 'sharpen' function in IrfanView (downloadable free from Most file sizes are 50-90k. The camera, as you can see, has capable close focus ability.

At maximum resolution, anything above a 7"x5" print suffers from poor definition so this is not the right tool for large prints.

Because the D340 uses an antiquated and slow serial connector, I replaced it with a $20 card reader and now find that download to my PC is near instantaneous.

If you subscribe to Moore's Law, the $5k, 5mp camera of today s/b $1k, 10mp before long....

Oh! yes, before I forget - get a bottle of Simple Green to wipe the grease off the camera after a picture session. Just keep it off the lens.
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Old 01-31-2003, 02:23 PM
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Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 563
I've got a Nikon CoolPix 950. I bought it 3 or 4 years ago for about $700 or $800. My wife is a free-lance photographer, and all of her 35mm equipment is Nikon, so it was pre-determined what brand we were getting.

But if you're just looking for one for website pictures, 640x480 is really all you need. I would, however, get a recognizable brand name.
Mike Heath
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Old 01-31-2003, 03:13 PM
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Canon S30. Nice handy camera to supplement the 35mmSLR until the new Fovion technology (no CCD sensor, fantastic resolution ) becomes more mainstream and affordable.

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Old 01-31-2003, 08:10 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Posts: 10
Canon S230

Canon S230 - Light weight, quick and crisp images. Low end cameras tend to have trouble focusing in low light environments; like resturants for birthdays and anniversaries. The S230 has no problems in low lighting. I use a PCMIA card reader and download pictures in seconds. Oh, it also captures avi movies. Great camera!

P.S. Buy an extra Flash card, 128Mb works good for me.
1995 E320
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Old 01-31-2003, 09:24 PM
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Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 75

Among the many web sites that review digital cameras, the best and most useful one I found by far was the Imaging Resource at Especially helpful was the "Dave's Picks" section where you can quickly narrow down your search by how you intend to use the camera or by number of megapixels.

I know how frustrating it can be to choose a camera because I spent untold hours researching them. When I found this site it helped me get to the "bottom line" and find the best cameras among the dozens and dozens available.

Ours is an Olympus C-3020 3.2 megapixel. People are constantly asking what kind of camera we have because it takes such outstanding pictures. It also uses regular size AA batteries and you can go all day without having to recharge.

Happy hunting!
2003 Hyundai Santa Fe, Silver
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:05 AM
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Thumbs up

MBdad's post has the BEST advice posted. the site that he linked is where i got almost ALL of the info i used to make my decision on a canon s-330. kinda pricy for a 2-MP, but VERY small and portable.

one other bit, if you get a cam that uses CF or SM cards and have a laptop with a PCMICA (spelling?) slot, get an adapter for approx $12 that you can use to "read" the card as a hard drive. NO software, NO cord/cable, NO anything. inserting the card wakes the computer and says "hey, you just got a new hard drive!". the adapter is very simple and works great!

PS- be aware that if you use the "price grabber" function on the site above, most of the LOWEST prices will be from NY mail order houses that can have "questionable" sales/service. many offer "grey market" cams without US warranties. it has a feedback feature like Ebay, read 'em and weep! i would suggest using a national seller such as amazon or such.
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