View Full Version : Need digital camera advice..

05-29-2006, 23:51
I really, really would like to get the Canon PowerShot A620 for my thru, but the cost is a bit out of my range. I've done tons of searches on the forums but I don't know much about cameras so it's a little overwhelming. Basically, I want something that is comparable to the Canon but a little less expensive. I especially want it to take AA batteries.
Also, what kind and how many memory cards should I take? I'm planning minimal maildrops. Do I need any kind of extra accessory to upload my pictures and send them to my journal transcriber on the trail?
Thanks for any help, I know this topic has been covered over and over but I really appreciate it.
:) Mindi

05-30-2006, 01:10

05-30-2006, 08:43
The a520 takes good shots and is reasonably priced. Here is a good site for the camera buff: http://www.dpreview.com/

05-30-2006, 09:22
Don't fret too much about which digital you get. Unless you are looking to make prints larger than about 5 by 7, any point and shoot digital will work as well as another. That is, if you are looking mostly for a camera to get pics on the web and make a few standard sized prints, go for the cheapest 3 MP camera you can get. It will work as well as the fancier models.

For what a basic camera can do, see








05-30-2006, 10:07
One of your problems will be finding a camera that uses AA sized batts. I carried one made by Panasonic on my thru but it was only a 2.1 mpixel model. Nowadays just about all vendors are using some form of proprietary rechargeable battery ...so you either have to carry a second battery a little charger (or both).

I'm looking at the Fuji V10 right now but waiting for the price to drop. Reason for that model is that it is tiny and has the largest LCD on the market right now (3") which makes it much easier to check my shots after taking them.


05-30-2006, 10:16
I settled on the pentax optio 30.. AA bat. 3.2 MP.. found a seller on ebay with tons of them.. I won a bid on one for 70$ and was amazed at the quality of the pics it took..

Gray Blazer
05-30-2006, 10:54
I use a Kodak Easyshare. It takes good pics, BUT, the moisture gets to it and you run into a lot of moisture on the AT.

05-30-2006, 11:09
My Polaroid listed above takes AA batteries and is a full 8.1MP. The quality is outstanding. Granted, it doesnt compare in bells & whistles to the A Series that Canon makes, but for its weight, i prefer to carry it over my SLR body PowerShot Pro digital...

hammock engineer
05-30-2006, 11:10
I am going to invest in a Nikon. I found one for around $150 that is a 4 or 5 mp with a 3x zoom. It also takes AA batteries. I would also get a large memory card. I am going with a 2GB one if the camera supports it. Some cameras only support up to a certain size, check the specs on the camera you buy. As for memory cards, stick with ones that take SD cards. That will rule or Sony, Samsung, and Fuiji. Reason for this is that most mp3 players and other devices take SD cards.

I also bought the small sea to summit ultra-sil dry bag. It only weighs a oz or so (haven't weighed it yet). I am going to keep the camera and my cell phone in this when it is raining out.

In terms or getting your pic back to the person transcribing your journal, you can either take the PC cable with you in hope of finding places with an internet connection, or buy a second memory card and mail the old one home. I am going with the mailing route. I have someone back home that is going to store the pics on a PC and mail me back the memory card. My journal if I do one may not have up to date photos, but that is not the main reason for it. My cell phone takes 1.3 MP pics and I can always send them if I want to.

05-30-2006, 11:26
[quote=hammock engineer]In terms or getting your pic back to the person transcribing your journal, you can either take the PC cable with you in hope of finding places with an internet connection, or buy a second memory card and mail the old one home.
That was my reasoning for carrying several smaller SD cards on my thru in 2003. If you carry one huge card and something happens to it, all your pics are toast.

As soon as one was full I mailed it home. My wife uploaded the pics and then mailed it back to me. One thing I might do differently if I had it to do again, just to be on the safe side, would be to dowload the pics on each card to a CD in addition to sending them home. That way if a media card gets lost you still have a copy of your shots. Most drug stores, KMarts and WalMarts have a kiosk that allows you to do that at a nominal charge.


05-30-2006, 15:49
To follow up 'Sloggers note about "getting lost/damaged in the mail..." If you wish to make a claim at the post office, you must have the original receipt for the memory card!
Fortunately this hasnt happened to me, but I did inquire so that I would know what to have/do in case it did.

06-03-2006, 11:49
There is an excellent review of digital cameras in the July, 2006 Consumer Reports. Lots of basic information on selecting the right camera for your needs: features, batteries, weights, etc.

06-04-2006, 17:04
My Nikon Coolpix 3200 which I bought in October '04 runs on AA batteries. It's compact, has several modes (sunset, bright light, close-up,flash-free etc) and pretty durable.

I also like Nikon's photo editing software which comes with the camera. My computer has about half dozen photo editors each with their pro and cons (except I don't see any pros with Canon's). Unlike the others, Nikon's print features allows 4 prints on an 8 1/2 x 11 page and also has the option of printing the file name, date, and time in small font at the bottom.

06-04-2006, 18:20
The current issues of PC Magazine and of Consumer Reports both contain reviews of scores of digital cameras. Both magazines strike me as reasonably impartial. Though I worry about PC Magazine since it accepts ads.

PC Magazine tends to be slightly more up to date and more technically sophisticated. But Consumer Reports has no incentive to stress one camera over another.

If I were currently in the market, I would certainly read both before investing.


06-04-2006, 19:46
Lots of very nice cell phones have built in cameras, which helps with the multi-use ethic. I just don't know of any with AA batteries. :rolleyes:

I can endorse the Pentax Optio family of cameras. Very compact and easy to use.

06-04-2006, 20:48
Check out the Nikon L3 if you can go for $180. That's the price at Best Buy but you might save a little ordering on-line. 5 megapixel, 3X optical zoom, takes SD cards, 2 AA batts, about the size of a pack of cigarettes, 4.2 ounces. Only bad thing for me is it has no optical viewfinder, LCD screen only. I like the optical viewfinders. This is my third Nikon.

06-04-2006, 21:35
newegg.com has small 5.0 megapixl point and shoot cannon cameras for roughly $260 w/ shipping and handling and a gig memory card. You can blow those pics up to 30 by 20 without pixilation, I've done it with the casio version of that camera, which is a little cheaper. As for the batteries, I bought a spare lithium battery ~$20 and plan on charging both of them whenever I find electricity. Each battery will take roughly 390 pics w/ LCD on and 500 wo/ LCD on. A 1 gig card will hold 450 pics on the highest quality setting. I would advise buying a 2 gig card as well (~$40). They ship insanely quickly, you should have your camera in your hand inside a week. As for sending the picture to other places, I would say that at $0.04 per picture in memory (100 pics/$40), you are better off just buying as much memory as you think you will need, unless you have someone to send the card home to via the mail and have them send it back, its just not worth the hassle (sending a gig of pictures over the internet would be impossible).


Uncle Silly
06-05-2006, 00:11
Go to your local Best Buy to get the cameras in your hands. A surprising number of the models they had on display did take standard-size batteries (I think mainly AA, but maybe a model or two took AAA). You can always go buy it online when you get home, but that'll give you an idea of what models fit your battery and size requirements.