I’ve bought all kinds of pricey electronics from Amazon, including my digital camera, Epson printer & scanner, and more. I’ve always been pleased with my Amazon buying experiences but the main reason I buy from them is their return policy. If you don’t like what you bought send it back within 30 days and you don’t pay anything (other than return shipping). That’s way better than most places these days that charge restocking fees. It allows you to try out your expensive new toy without locking yourself in. There are other companies that have equally good return policies (Sears and Circuit City come to mind) but don’t have nearly the selection that Amazon has. For me living as I do in the sticks, Amazon is my only real choice unless I pack up the wife and kids and make a road trip to Fargo ND (ick!).
When I first considered getting a digital camera, I bought a real low end Kodak that was also an MP3 player. Why, I don’t know. Well as you can imagine the picture quality was horrible and I really had no interest in MP3’s. So back that sucker went and a month later I bought my Kodak DC 290 which I love and have been using ever since.
Besides the electronic gear I’ve also purchased countless books, ink jet cartridges and paper from Amazon. I’m sold.
I’ve had excellent experience with both Amazon.com and CameraWorld.com. Somebody in a previous post complained because Amazon used the USPS. I LIKE that feature. Since we live in Alaska, we don’t get ground UPS. Many merchants ONLY use UPS, so we are forced to have stuff shipped UPS 2nd Day Air – very expensive. I’;ve had NO problems with shipments lost by the USPS.
They can’t advertise a lower price directly, that’s a sort of agreement between the reseller and the manufacturer. So, "e-mail me a better price" is the equivalent of what other resellers do, like "call for price". Canon is amongst the companies that imposes a minimum advertised price.
Barb…another good place to buy from is Half.com…It’s Ebay’s "little brother" but at half.com the prices are set, no bidding, and a lot of the people selling are actual dealers. ALL sellers ar rated by the buyers and how many items they’ve sold are listed, so if you find a seller that has sold 5,467 items and has a 99.5% approval rating you can be sure that your transaction is "safe". Also you can pay through their paypal service and have a return/credit policy inforced. I have bought almost all of my books and a lot of supplies from them. Alkit photo from NY is a big seller on there…I found my Kodak 8500 printer from them at a very good price and service was great…you might want to check out their pricing.
One thing I forgot to mention about Amazon. Make sure you know where your camera is comming from. Amazon doesn’t stock everything it sells on it’s web site, relying on places like Circuit City and J & R for inventory. If you buy something that is stocked by J & R, for example, you are buying their return policy not Amazon’s. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you just need to know the return policy of the company you’re actually buying from.
What you said about the return policy confuses me. If I buy something from Amazon I get into an agreement with them, thus the return policy should be their’s as well, unless it is made clear in the agreement that it is some one elses.
By the way I buy things from Amazon.com as well and they haven’t let me down so far. We are talking shipments from the US to Holland. I must admit that I have never bought anything as expensive as a camera or printer.
The bottom line is that when you buy from one of Amazon’s partner’s you enter an agreement with the partner not Amazon. I just wanted to make sure that Barb B. knew to check out the return policy if she did, in fact, buy her new camera from Amazon (or one of the partners). Amazon has never let me down either and I love buying from them because of their return policies and prices.
Hi Barbara, I have not had a problem with Amazon either, and I have been shuttled to J and R by Amazon also with no problems. Actually I have had no trouble with any of their affiliated companies.
But I did have a problem with Best Buy, they had a cordless phone that I purchased on a special that had a "No Shipping" deal. When I got the bill, there WAS a shipping charge. So I sent them the copy of their web site offer. No response by e-mail, no response by phone. So from then on(was about 4 years ago) there hasn’t been one single purchase from Best Buy by our entire family. By screwing one old grandmother, they lost a HUGE family’s purchasing for about 4 years so far. So the moral of this story, these companies realize that they must deliver, or they lose a lot. And every other company that we have dealt with, have delivered exactly what we have ordered. So I wouldn’t hesitate to order anything from Amazon or any of their afiliated companies. Amazon is top notch. Jane
Hi Pete, Customer service! That is the key word. I wouldn’t want to figure what lack of customer service cost this company from just one single family. I worked for a really small company years ago, and customer service was tops on their list, and that is why they were so successful! Go with Amazon, Jane
I usually go to amazon.com, because they have lots of users reviews. I’ve heard a lot of good things too about <http://www.buydig.com>
Has anyone purchased digital cameras from them? There package deals look VERY tempting price-wise. I’ve had my eye on an Olympus 4000Z. Buy.dig has it for $325. For $385 (what they call their Executive Upgrade Kit), you get a case, an extra 128 MB card and lens kit. I have yet to find a better deal with all these extras.
PC World ranks this camera in their top 10 for 4MP cameras. Besides that, I already own a 1.2MP Olympus which takes great pictures…have memory cards, batteries and the Smart Media adapter.
Anyone have own this camera and have an opinion on it?
I didn’t know that Amazon get’s a coordination fee for acting as middleman for selling other company’s goods via their web. You confirm what I wrote before you, namely that you enter an agreement with Amazon but in their sales agreement it is explained that when you buy you accept the suppliers conditions rather than Amazon’s. In my line of business that is called a back to back contract. Which means that conditions in one contract are passed onto to the next contract with out alteration, which in fact means that you have made a contractual agreement with a third party via a middleman, in this case Amazon.
I live in Wrangell, so we’re practically neighbors.
Those "UPS only" merchants really irritate me. But, I guess that the population of Alaska is so small that they don’t care if they lose our business.
A couple of interesting stories: Once I got a package from a merchant in the "Lower 48" with a customs declaration on it – guess that they didn’t realize that Alaska has been part of the U.S. for quite some time now. Another time while I was doing a phone order, the order taker asked me whether there were a lot of American citizens in Alaska. I told her that there were quite a few….
Rod, I haven’t encountered any UPS-only merchants that I’m aware of – most seem to mix UPS, USPS, FedEx and a couple others in at random, although if you take a higher-priced shipping option they may have only one. With amazon.com, Barnes&Noble, and L.L. Bean, I always opt for free shipping, which means you roll the dice. I’ve had good performance from all of them, my earlier comment about the US Mail notwithstanding (they do fine unless they lose track of the item, in which case it’s probably gone forever). My biggest beef with UPS is that they don’t even try to confirm that someone is home when making a delivery; they run up to the front door, put the package on the step, ring the bell and run – regardless of the value of the contents. They used to require a signature, either ‘live’ or via a card that had to be signed and left on the door if their first delivery attempt was unsuccessful. That was a problem at times, but at least I got the chance to see whether the box was damaged before acceptance; and I didn’t worry about coming home a few hours later and finding much later that a package left at my door had walked away (hasn’t happened yet, but….) I suppose UPS made the change for efficiency reasons, but it certainly didn’t warm my heart…
Buying the camera you know you want from Amazon or any other distance-selling outfit is one thing, but don’t buy any camera without handling it and making sure you like the feel of it–I could make a highly un-PC comment but I won’t!
I don’t know wether it is wise to buy any digital camera at the moment. Canon has announced a very low priced digital SLR, boxed with a zoomlens for about $ 1200. That’s about 60 % of usual prices for this kind of cameras. This SLR will be cheaper than a Nikon 5700, a Minolta 7Hi etc. Soon the others will have to follow like in the 70’s happened when the Canon AE-1 appeared on the market, 40 % cheaper than any of their competitors. Other non SLR cameras will become cheaper due to this Canon policy as they offer less than a real SLR. This way I suppose there will be a great change in prices in all sectors of digital cameras within a few months.
Leen, ya according to that home tech show i watched in the spring the new stuff is due out but fourth quarter which is anytime now. Have to see if the ‘new stuff’ has lower price tags than the previous year’s ‘new stuff’. The trend is definietly there to lower prices on consumer products….remember when DVD players first came out ? I got a second one for our dinky upstairs TV for $49 this past X-mas….works great !…even plays photo CDr’s. So, hopefully we’ll see some great buys real soon.
I bought my Canon G3 after one significant price drop – but the new batch of cameras with more pixels are down around the same price already. But I don’t regret it – I spent a lot of time thinking about exactly what feature set I would use in a camera and have ended up with exactly what I wanted, given a DSLR was out of the question(and even with Canon’s new one still is by the time I add in the cost of lenses). I think it will last me for quite a long time, no matter what new technology comes out.
But the pricing of the new DSLR will squeeze the top end of the market for prosumer compacts as Leen says – and I suspect some further falls are likely – or more features for the same price – which seems to be the way that most manufactureres are going
Susan S., unfortunately I’m afraid you are right: more and more features we usually don’t need at all. That’s probably why it makes sense to buy a camera at a bookseller like Amazon: soon the manual will be more expensive than the camera. ;-(
I agree Leen – I don’t need more than 4MP; my camera rarely moves from aperture priority or manual settings. But I had to buy a lot of features I don’t ever use (video etc) to get the control and lens quality that I wanted.
Susan S. you are right. These days manuals about simple consumer cameras tend to have the size of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica and you usually need only about 20 pages. The rest is about video, MP3 and other nonsense. But you don’t have to suffer from Dutch manuals, translated from Japanese to Dutch by a Corean who has been taught German. I often cannot understand manuals in my native language. 😉 But I suppose these useless gadgets sell. The ancient Romans knew allready: "Mundi vult decipi"
Unfortunately, I’ve run into quite a few merchants who only do UPS. I think that it has to do with the fact that UPS will pick up packages, but the USPS won’t – at least for small outfits. The "biggies" that I shop with (Amazon, Cabelas, L.L. Bean, REI, etc.) seem to be able to handle it, but a lot of the smaller outfits seem to want to ship UPS only. (For instance, the last time I tried to order something from J & R Music via Amazon they would only ship via UPS.) And, of course, there are the famous "free shipping" offers which usually exclude Alaska and Hawaii. The weathermen on the national news also seem to have forgotten that Alaska and Hawaii are part of the U.S.
But, all that still doesn’t tempt me to move down to the "Lower 48".
If I am not mistaken the 4300 is the current version of the no longer continued 900(?), 950 and the 990. The latter I own. If the above is correct you are about to purchase quite a camera. The images are of stunning quality. However I can’t wait to change to a nikon digital slr once these become cheaper; which, if I have to believe other threads, is about to happen. For that there is only one reason: The fact that with the swivelhead you are just looking past the subject. With other words; when you view your images at home on your computer you will find that you just missed the centre of the picture you thought you were aiming at. Something you cannot correct with PE or similar. Then the camera doesn’t respond well when there is not enough light available; amongst other things it then doesn’t focus properly. But this may have been corrected in your 4300 or is something all digital camera’s have.
All other not so pleasant things I can live with. There are not that many non pleasant things, to be honest.
For more information you should visit the www.dpreview.com site and read the practical experiences of current users. That helped me a tremendously to understand the 950.
Earl, I just scanned the review of the 4300 on Steve’s Digicams; it looks like a fine choice! As recommended before in other threads on this forum, you’re going to want to give it a live look and feel test if possible; how the camera feels in your hands is very important. But if it passes that review, I’m guessing you’ll be very satisfied with your purchase.
Hi Earl, I just bought the Nikon 4300 and love it! It is small and lightweight, and the pictures go into the card much faster than my older Coolpix 990. I actually think that the 990 has a better Macro, but you can’t go wrong with either of these. My brother has the Coolpix 5000, it is great, but more camera than I need. Then he got a Nikon 2100 and that one is great too. Our family has never had a Nikon dud. Even their tech support is excellent. Jane
Earl, I own a 4300, and I like it for the most part. There’s nothing like taking 120 high-quality jpegs on one card! My biggest complaint is that you only have two apertures to choose from, 2.8 and 7.6 at the widest zoom. I’m looking forward to a dSLR as well. I guess for the time being there’s really no replacing my F100. Eric
If you’re living in Asia, it’s Kiss. If you’re living in Europe, it’s the 300D. Finally, in North America it’s the Rebel Digital. It’s the exact match of the Rebel G series. I, myself, had a Rebel a few years ago and I would jumped to this new camera!
Another difference is build quality – the 10Dhas a more pro-style body – largely metal I believe – the new one has a higher proportion of plastic. But that makes it much lighter according to specs. The 10D is a heavy camera.
SLR ?? I wasn’t the only one in the Photo Class who thought SLR refered to "See thru’ Lens". The instuctor explained the difference but it went in one ear and came out the other. I am a Nikon nut so will probably wait till their SLRs come down in price. The instuctor emphasized the importance of the "CCD" Boy, do I need to repet that class! Marty
Hi Marty, What is this photo class? I really! could use it, as I didn’t know what SLR meant either until I asked my husband. We too are a Nikon family since we got a Nikonos lV, the underwater one. For details on classes, I am Thanks, Jane
SLR = "single lens reflex", though "see through lens" describes the main difference well enough. 🙂
An SLR camera has a mirror that sits between the only lens and the film (or in the case of a digital camera, the CCD). It reflects the image coming in the lens to the viewfinder, so that you can see exactly what the film will see. Just before the shutter opens to take the picture, the mirror is flipped out of the way, clearing the path to the film for the light.
CCD = "charged coupled device". Basically, digital film. 🙂
I’m excited to hear from you guys that the digital SLR’s are coming down in price, especially the Canon, since I already have a Canon film SLR (and Canon lenses). My biggest complaint about my current digital camera is the difficulty in framing the shot just right, since the viewfinder is offset from the primary lens.
Susan, the 10D is a VERY heavy camera. When I’m running out the door to drive somewhere and I want to grab a camera for a chance shot, the 10D rarely makes the trip – the G2 is in a nice little belt case complete with extra battery and CF cards. The 10D is for planned projects, of which there haven’t been many of late.
While the 10D at around 31 oz may be a heavy camera compared to point and shoot it is not out of line with other Digital SLRs. It is lighter quite a bit lighter than the Canon EOS D1 and D1s, and the Nikon D1, D1x, D1H, and D2H. It is about the same weight as the Canon D30 and D60. A slight bit heavier than a Nikon D100 and considerably heavier than the new Digital Rebel and Pentax *ist D. When I was looking for a new camera and did try the 10D and I just felt that it was solid not heavy. Now my Nikon F5 with a 35 – 70 mm f2.8 is a tad heavy at 66 oz or should I say a bit more solid.
Grant, you’re right, of course. My older film SLR – a Canon A1 with a bolt-on power winder – is much heavier than either my EOS Elan or the 10D. I guess it’s just the contrast with the point-and-shoot digitals that makes the SLR’s seem so heavy.
I’ve also had to relearn the steadying techniques that you and Leen have discussed before on the forum; I got into the habit of using the LCD screen for composing with the small digital, holding the camera away from my body, and I’m still not quite steady with my shutter releases on the SLR – not smooth at all. Practice needed….
I still have the same problem as you, Chuck, with my 10D. Every once in a while, I will miss a shot because I did not hold it steady enough. However, being digital, I have the joy of erasing my last shot, on the spot 🙂
I still do find it much heavier than my current 35mm SLR (Elan 7e).
I am back from my Labour Day thing so can now answer. Please do not hold a camera as I did in my most recent portrait that was merely to mimic an old but famous photograph. It is not the best way to hold a camera.
Leen is quite right that a good sturdy tripod is invaluable and maybe a good first consideration. Here is my technique for hand held images and it is reasonably steady. While it sounds a bit complex once you get use to it becomes second nature.
1) Feet apart with one slightly about a foot ahead of the other.
2) The front foot pointing ahead and the back one almost 90° offseted and running parallel to your shoulders
3) Left elbow tucked into you tummy and the fore arm running up the front of the chest.
4) Camera sits on the up turned palm allowing the fingers to easily , support the lens, adjust the focus and aperture ring
5) Right arm is tucked in to the side of your rib cage
6) Right hand turns in as it allow a good grip on your camera so the thumb and pointer finger can operate the controls with out loosening your grip
7) Camera back comes to rest on your nose and cheek while the pentaprism rest on your fore head
8) Gently squeeze the shudder to release it, never press it.
9) While releasing the shudder be gently breathing out or in.
10) For vertical shots a slight up lift of the right hand and a twist of the wrist will place the camera in a natural position without taking the camera away from your face. At this position the camera base will rest on your right fore arm and the left arm will cradle the side of the camera instead of the base.
Buz, I believe most Canon digitals have either JPEG and RAW or just JPEG – no TIFF. This is a huge space-saver on CF cards; a 4 megapixel TIFF runs about 11 MB, while the largest size, lowest compression JPEG is only about 1.2 MB and the RAW is about 3 MB. I generally shoot in RAW, then download, convert and save to TIFF.
PETER Dun… Thanks for the review on SLR. Maybe I’m wrong about the instructor saying "CCD" is most important when choosing a camera. I’ll have to find my class notes on that. I do remember him saying that whatever it was, CCD or something else, it far outweighed the merits of Pixels that people were so enthralled over. Marty
Are heavy tripods kind of a macho thing? 🙂 I just bought a bogen 714B for my Canon G2. Two pounds. I wanted something that I could comfortably hike with and even possibly carry with me on a bicycle. Why do I need more weight? Should I join a gym and work my way up to a heavier tripod? Am I a tripod wimp?
For a Canon G series you will not need as sturdy a tripod as some will suggest.
While a heavier tripod will offer better support and dampening a lighter one is better than none. If you need more dampening you can hang something heavy your off the center of your Tripod. Maybe a camera case, or full water bottle, or a drop chain with a loop for your foot. All these can be a very good compromises.
Mark, my biggest fear with a light tripod is watching it topple and seeing several hundred dollars worth of camera go crashing to the ground… But light and flimsy don’t have to go hand-in-hand; if it’s well-designed, you should be fine.
Seems like I asked that question sometime in the past but can’t remember the exact thread. I have been told that there is not a lot of difference between CCD and CMOS, except perhaps for power consumption. Then there is the sensor technology that Sigma uses in their cameras that puts three individual color filter layers on the sensor rather than the pixel pattern of other cameras.
For my G3 I’ve got an aluminium light weight Slik tripod. Not only is it very light (round the .5 kg/1lb mark), but it folds up very small – not much over a foot long which goes nicely into a small backpack for walking with. However with the thinnest potion of its legs fully extended it is distinctly wobbly with anything heavier than a compact on it, and I don’t take my hand off it in case of disasters. My (slightly heavier) SLR did fall over when mounted on it once in a bit of a breeze, but being sturdier than a digital, nothing was damaged except the UV filter.
Thanks for the review on SLR. Maybe I’m wrong about the instructor saying "CCD" is most important when choosing a camera.
Well, "SLR" just refers to the mechanical configuration of the camera. The "CCD" is the part of the camera that converts light to data (well, actually…light to electricity, which is then converted to data by other components 🙂 ), and in that respect, it’s very important, since it’s what determines how many pixels you have.
IMHO, both the *quality* of the lens and the CCD are equally important. The type of configuration of the lens (i.e. SLR vs offset viewfinder) is less important, since it really only affects framing the picture. "Most" is a strong word, but I wouldn’t find anything to complain about if your instructor did say the CCD is the most important thing.
With digital video cameras, the high end cameras actually have three different CCD’s, one for each color channel. I don’t know if there are digital still cameras like this, but that would be a significant difference as well. You’d get much better color resolution from such a camera.
Back to the tripod. My advice is to use the heaviest tripod fit for the purpose. A few years ago, due to strong winds at the seaside, my rather heavy wooden tripod and MF camera fell; it did cost me about $ 1500 for just only the lens. I notice quite a difference between images I made with a light weight and a really heavy tripod. The latter ones are really pin sharp compared to the other ones. Nowadays I use various tripods: a heavy one for environemental portraiture and weddings and a lighter one (both Manfrotto=Bogen) when I have to carry it around for quite a distance and a heavy one whenever possible. (I own 7 different tripods 😉 ) Almost as important as the tripod is the quality of the head. But explaining this would require half a book. In short: the best ones are ball heads; the ones with the grips usually are intended for video use. Again: usually the heaviest ones are the best ones.
Another advantage of a tripod: it allows you to consider and reconsider your image. There is always something that can be improved. Step back, put your hands in your pockets and reconsider what you will do. This is probably the best way to improve ones images.
I am still undecided about which new digital camera to purchase, hence have followed this thread with great interest. I have come to believe, from my reading, that the optical resolution of the lens system should be a cardinal consideration, i.e. optical vs. digital resolution. When one reads the specs for the various cameras, these differences stand out. Would be interested to obtain input from this group. Ken
Ken, this is the one I want although i’m certain it will be replaced ( if it hasn’t already ) by a better model and I’m hoping the price will stay the same though. I’ve read some really great reviews on this one and for what I use a camera for ( non-pro ) it’s splendid !
Back from a long weekend, I’ll jump belatedly into this string with the usual disclaimer that these are personal opinions that in no way reflect the views of Adobe.
BH Photo is in my experience and that of several serious photographers I know, reliable and fast. There are several on-line camera retailers that are not so reputible and I would be careful with. Do your research.
Jodi, you are right. This is a hell of a camera! However, Fuji has released a new kind of CCD with larger exposure latitude. This might be well worth waiting. We all know the problems of bleached out whites.
BTW, I recently bougt myself a nice small camera too, a Canon A70. The review at <http://www.dpreview.com> is very positive. Didn’t have time to use it yet.
Leen, i took a trip over to the Fuji site and it’s near impossible to chose a camera. I still like the S602 over their new ones with the exception of one (s7000) but ya know I’m not interested at all in video recording on digital cameras. I alread own a DV camera. So I’m totally undecided at this point. I’d much rather the camera companies focus on put all their attention into capturing still images than adding digital video options. My DV camera has a still image option and frankly I don’t know why they bothered…they’re prrrty bad still images. I want a camera that will only capture the perfect still image. Despite allthat I’ve said, if i had the spare cash….yup, I’d buy a new Fuji….and a few others 😉 Canon is indeed an exceptional camera. I have the AE 1 from years ago and it’s packed away since i purchased my little Kodak digital. I just love the instant gratification I get from digital and my Kodak has phenominal color capture though no optical zoom which i miss. I’m a casual photographer though so I do have plenty of options for a new camera these days. I did notice the pricetags for the new cameras did not go up this quarter which totally thrills me. I should be able to get the s602 for near half by spring considering it will be in the archives by then but it’s still a great camera…does it sound like I’m trying to convince myself to wait ?
I like to buy cameras from a camera store. Also check to see if it is not a gray market item & that it has a USA warranty. I also agree with someone who suggested B & H Camera. I’ve dealt with them & they are very good, also try Adorama.
I’ve used an S602 and liked it very much. I have the 6900Zoom which is it’s predecessor and have always been satisfied with it. The S602 focuses much more quickly and it also uses AA batteries and not the propietary cell that is in the 6900. Got mine from B&H 2 years ago. I’m sure you’ll like it.
Speaking of the differences between the 10D and the Rebel. Does either or both have a cable release? Reading the lit on the Rebel seems to indicate there is an extra-cost remote, but I don’t see any reference to a cable release.
I have a 10D and as far as I know, there’s no such thing as a cable release. There’s an inexpensive (in Canon’s terms) remote control, and there’s also the infra-red remote control or the intervalometer, much more expensive.
Dick, I don’t see a cable release capability on my 10D. My EOS Elan 35 mm film camera didn’t have one either; appears that Canon has retired that feature in exchange for sales of various wired and wireless remotes…
Dick, thanks for the info. I just looked in B & H today and they don’t appear to have it anymore. I understand it’s a little outdated but that wouldn’t bother me so much if I got it at a really great price ( cheap ) I will keep my eyes open. Thanks.
Anyone notice we don’t have that annoying pre-edit type message displays anymore ?
Let me jump in here. I sold something through Half and I NEVER GOT PAID. I brought it to the attention several times and all I got was lip service. I suggest that you avoid Half at all costs. To see what I mean try contacting them by phone. It is next to impossible to get someone who gives a rats bottom and then ( not to repeat my self ) all you get is excuses, delays, and worthless promises.
Don’t do business with Half.
"Cory McNutt" wrote in message
Barb…another good place to buy from is Half.com…It’s Ebay’s "little
brother" but at half.com the prices are set, no bidding, and a lot of the people selling are actual dealers. ALL sellers ar rated by the buyers and how many items they’ve sold are listed, so if you find a seller that has sold 5,467 items and has a 99.5% approval rating you can be sure that your transaction is "safe". Also you can pay through their paypal service and have a return/credit policy inforced. I have bought almost all of my books and a lot of supplies from them. Alkit photo from NY is a big seller on there…I found my Kodak 8500 printer from them at a very good price and service was great…you might want to check out their pricing.
Don’t know what all this has to do with Amazon…anyway… Kentucky’s whisky keeps all our Arts active, so does the tobacco company. Seems like a sly way to get approval from the cultural side. I’m a white wine person myself. Marty