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list($1,299.99)
1. Minolta Dimage 7 5MP Digital Camera
2. Nikon Coolpix 775 2MP Digital
list($658.99)
3. Hewlett Packard PhotoSmart C912
list($399.99)
4. Olympus Camedia D-510 2MP Digital
list($199.99)
5. HP PhotoSmart 912 Digital Camera
list($199.99)
6. Sipix SC-2100 2MP Digital Camera
list($369.99)
7. Canon ES65 Hi8 Camcorder

1. Minolta Dimage 7 5MP Digital Camera w/ 7x Optical Zoom
list price: $1,299.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005MA7J
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Konica Minolta
Sales Rank: 3910
Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

The first consumer-oriented 5-megapixel camera to hit the market, Minolta's DiMAGE 7 leapfrogged the competition by coming out at a time when other camera manufacturers were just introducing their 4-megapixel models. The DiMAGE 7 offers an ultrahigh resolution 5.24-megapixel CCD sensor that delivers excellent images for prints as large as 13 by 19 inches. A high-performance, all-glass, 7x zoom lens (equivalent to 28-200mm on a 35mm camera), with a 2x digital zoom, ensures maximum flexibility when composing your shots. Add to this a host of creative controls stacked into a unit with the size and feel of an SLR, and you have a digital camera with the type of functionality typically found only in professional models.

Three controls provide access to the camera's primary adjustable features. Digital subject-program selection allows you to set aperture and shutter speed for superior results in five popular formats: portrait, sports action, sunsets, night portraits, or text. A function dial allows adjustment between four modes of pixel resolution, five modes of data compression, four modes of exposure control, five modes of drive options, seven modes of white balance, and five levels of ISO. The digital-effects controller allows image manipulation by compensating for exposure, contrast, and color saturation before the image is saved. As insurance, Minolta provides a fourth control that instantly restores the camera's automatic settings. Changing most settings is a two-handed operation: one hand selects the feature you're adjusting, while spinning a second dial actually changes the setting. The system is reasonably intuitive, but don't plan to make any adjustments with one hand.

To preview and review images, the DiMAGE 7 features a digital viewfinder that pivots for comfortable close-ups or tripod shooting. An eye-sensing switch (triggered when you put your eye up to the camera) automatically turns off the TFT LCD viewscreen to conserve battery power.

In manual-focus mode, the camera also has an electronic magnification feature. At the push of a button, the center of the image is blown up to 4x original size in the viewfinder so you can check the fine details and ensure the image is in focus before snapping the shutter. In autofocus mode, a flex-focusing option allows the focal point to be moved to any part of the image for off-center shooting.

The DiMAGE 7 is so packed with features that it would be impossible to list them all, but here are some highlights:

  • A supermacro mode allows images to be captured from as close as 5.1 inches.
  • Four modes of data imprinting with up to 16 characters help you keep track of your work.
  • Movie provides up to 60 seconds of lower-resolution moving images.
  • The built-in flash has two selectable metering options and three flash modes. An accessory shoe for optional flash units adds even more varied shooting scenarios.
  • A quick-view or instant-playback button that allows you to view the image you just captured and decide whether or not you want to save it to your CompactFlash card without switching out of the shooting mode.

    Despite its ultrahigh resolution and extensive set of features, the DiMAGE 7 has a few flaws. To compose shots traditionally, it uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which offers far less detail than a traditional optical viewfinder. The 16 MB CompactFlash card provided with the camera holds only 12 images at the default resolution (or a single uncompressed image). Like many manufacturers, Minolta supplies the camera with a set of inadequate AA alkaline batteries (use of rechargeable Ni-MH batteries is recommended, even by Minolta). Though the image sensor is at the cutting edge of technology, the rest of the circuitry can't quite keep up; saving an uncompressed image to the memory card requires a 40-second wait. In addition, we found the multitude of control buttons that must be manipulated simultaneously to be somewhat awkward and initially intimidating. Finally, zooming the lens is a manual-only operation requiring a twist of the barrel--unlike many cameras, the Minolta lacks a pushbutton zoom.

    These minor gripes aside, the manual zoom is actually faster than an electronic zoom and easy to get used to; larger capacity CompactFlash cards are readily available; and the control systems are easy enough to learn even for the novice. Moreover, since the EVF is a tiny monitor, you can view camera settings while composing your shot--something you can't do with a traditional optical viewfinder. Though some controls may be awkward for beginners, the camera operates in fully automatic mode by default, allowing users the opportunity to manually adjust settings as they become comfortable with the controls.

    The camera comes equipped with a lens cap, lens shade, neck strap, video cable, USB cable, accessory-shoe cap, 16 MB CompactFlash card, four AA alkaline batteries, and a CD-ROM for DiMAGE image processing software. --Brett M. Nunn and Walt Opie

    Pros:

    • 5-megapixel sensor is the highest resolution available in a consumer camera
    • Impressive 7x optical zoom lens
    • Virtually every function can be controlled manually, including focus
    • Movie mode captures short film clips
    • SLR-style look and feel

    Cons:

    • Generally skimpy set of included accessories
    • Adjusting most settings requires the use of both hands simultaneously
    ... Read more

    Features

    • 5.24-megapixel sensor creates 2,560 x 1,920 images for prints at sizes up to 13-by-19 inches
    • 7x optical plus 2x digital zoom lens with autofocus
    • Included 16 MB CompactFlash memory card holds up to 12 images at default resolution
    • Connects with Macs and PCs via USB port
    • 12-bit A/D conversion provides excellent tonal range

    Reviews (66)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Photos -- Painfully Slow Autofocus
    My camera decision came down between the Dimage 7 and the Olympus E-10. My former camera was a Fuji MX2900.

    I wanted two things in the new camera: SLR design and feel and pixels! I wanted a digicam that can truly replace my film SLR.

    The Dimage 7 was a bit more affordable than the E-10 and beat it in nearly every technical spec. What finally sold me was the zoom capability of the D-7, its wider range of shutter speeds, and wide range of manual options.

    Shortcomings: Everyone moans about battery consumption and it's warranted. Do not buy this camera unless you also get NiMH rechargeables. Alkalines are good for 15 minutes. In my opinion, the biggest shortcoming of the D-7 is the autofocus speed. I have a toddler who does not like to sit still, and the D-7 simply cannot keep up. I agree with those who say an AC adapter should be included, especially since it is a very hard accessory to find. A minor annoyance that didn't appear in the brochure is that the video function does not collect sound. Not a dealbreaker, but someone out there will want to know.

    Bottom line - I think it's a great camera. It takes excellent pictures in any lighting condition, has a great built in flash (red-eye reduction that actually works!), and feels like a real camera. Oh, did I mention that it takes great pictures??

    4-0 out of 5 stars Lot of positives, a few negatives (The Dimage 7)
    After a couple of years owning a Kodak DC290, the Minolta Dimage 7 was a very welcome step-up in digital cameras.
    Here's a quick list of the qualities I really like about this camera:
    The image resolution (It's 4.91 megapixel effective resolution CCD actually allows small details in the picture to be visable and sharp); the acurate colors (once the image is run throught the Minolta Image Viewer utility, which is a necessity to convert the images from it's native Minolta color space to the appropriate desitnations color space; sRGB, ICC profile, AppleRGB, AdobeRGB, etc...); It's great quality zoom lens with it's f2.8 aperature; it's Flex Point focusing (a really great feature); it's use of easy to obtain and relatively inexpensive rechargeable AA NiMh batteries (instead of expensive, and mostly hard to find proprietary batteries that a lot of companies force you to use); it's Electronic Viewfinder (Somehow it doesn't seem right, but the LCD used in the Dimage 7's viewfinder is actually quite good. Somehow it is very close to CTR quality).

    There are many small things I like about this camera, but I can't write them all, so here is a list of qualities I dislike, (which is much shorter):
    Compared to other camera, the Dimage 7 is a battery power hog (Be sure to use good quality 1,600mAh or 1,700mAh NiMh batteries); You have to run your images through the included Image Viewer Utilily or the colors in your images will most likely look dull and flat; and finally, when using the .RAW image format you must wait for the complete image to be written to the CF card BEFORE you can take the next picture (which can be as long as almost a full minute)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Behind the times
    While this camera boasts lots of features, and for the most part that is true, it is not easy to use. There is so many buttons to change to get the right photo, it is time comsuming and awkward.

    Battery life- none- batteries are only good for about 20 pictures then, new ones must be put in.

    Quality of pictures are variable and enhancements need to be done on almost all pictures taken.

    Eye piece and other connected plastic pieces seem to fall off easily and permanently

    The worst is the video, the quality compared to lesser priced camera is poor and WIHTOUT SOUND. What good is that.

    Overall I would go with another camera and I will. Most people don't need 5+ megapixels anyway.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellence for creative photography
    The uniqueness of this camera, as compared to many of its analogs, is the availability and quality of the black-and-white mode for serious creative photographers. The results are comparable to the real film but with digital manipulation, the camera provides a more versatile and efficient application. The examples of black-and-white images taken by this camera can be seen at:http://pathology2.jhu.edu/shihlab/index.cfm. The only things need to be improved for this camera are: 1) the autofocusing function is too slow and sometimes not accurate especially in the dim light; 2) the range of aperture is relatively limited. Overall, this camera is probably the only digital one for photographers who are seeking taking black-and-white images.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 2 years after purchase - and loving it more everyday
    This is my second digital camera, and at first I hated it because it was not a point and shoot, which was the only camera I had ever known. It was just too complex for a meathead like me to use. If I'd have reviewed this camera a year ago I would have given it a 2 star rating.

    Over the last year I have really gotten to know the camera and have upgraded the firmware, and I now take great shots with this camera, using a 512mb CF and (usually) 3 sets of rechargable NMH AA batteries. The firmware fixed alot of the bad issues with the camera, and most importantly sped up the drive rate for multiple shots. I would say that the firmware was the most important thing here. It truly makes the camera great.

    This camera has phenominal picture quality without the firmware update and will teach a meathead like myself to take better pictures just by the trial by fire approach. It only gets better as you learn to use it. That being said - if you don't like a steep learning curve challenge and are used to point and shoots, this is not the camera for you.

    I purchased the 7i for my father in law and I can tell you that its a much easier camera to use than the 7, but with all of the great features. You may want to go that route if you want the great image quality without as steep of a curve. ... Read more


  • 2. Nikon Coolpix 775 2MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom

    Asin: B00005MAAR
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Nikon
    Sales Rank: 2224
    Average Customer Review: 3.81 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Weighing a mere 6.5 ounces (not including battery or memory card), the Nikon Coolpix 775 is one of the lightest 3x zoom digital cameras available. The ultracompact Coolpix 775 has a 2.14-megapixel CCD for prints up to 8-by-10 inches, a 3x optical zoom lens (plus an additional 2.5x digital zoom), and advanced image processing features to ensure clear, vivid images under almost any lighting conditions. Comparable in design to the popular Coolpix 880, the 775 also shares similar features, such as selectable scene modes for specific shooting situations. The seven scene modes included are backlight, landscape, beach/snow, sunset, portrait, party/indoor, and night portraits. In addition, the 775 has a built-in flash with five modes, a 1.5-inch LCD monitor, 256-element matrix metering, and USB interface.

    The Coolpix 775 also features a comfortable side grip for easy shooting and comfortable access to all of the camera's controls. To provide added shooting flexibility, the 775 offers a versatile zoom range which lets users get close to the action when objects are far away or zoom out wide when taking group photos or shooting in close proximity. At the heart of the camera's zoom capabilities is Nikon's exclusive all-glass 3x optical Zoom-Nikkor lens, featuring a zoom range of 38-115mm (35mm equivalent).

    You can upload your photographs from the Coolpix 775 with just the click of a button. And after that, e-mailing, printing, or sharing on the Internet follow with easy-to-use software designed for the busy person who wants to enjoy hassle-free digital photography. With that in mind, the 775 also comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and battery charger and an 8 MB CompactFlash card so that you are ready to shoot pictures right away. ... Read more

    Features

    • 2-megapixel sensor creates 1,600 x 1,200 images for sharp prints at sizes up to 8 x 10 inches
    • 3x optical plus 2.5x digital (7.5x total) zoom lens with autofocus
    • Included 8 MB CompactFlash card holds 10 images at default resolution
    • Connects with Macs and PCs via USB port
    • Uses dedicated lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack (included)

    Reviews (114)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great compact point and shoot digicam!
    The Coolpix 775 is geared toward the casual photographer that is looking for convenience and compactness in a digital camera. The camera is light and tiny but still very comfortable to hold with the built in grip on the side of the camera (unlike Canon's Elph cameras). The 3x zoom range on the lens is unheard of in a camera this small!

    What sets the camera apart is Nikon's exposure metering system and the scene modes. It uses Nikon's renowned sophisticated metering system to get the perfect exposure for nearly every shot. In addition, it has seven scene modes for common situations where the metering may be fooled (backlight, landscape, beach/snow, sunset, portrait, party/indoor, and night portraits). This is great for the novice that doesn't want to mess around with complicated manual exposure adjustments.

    The 2-megapixel CCD is plenty for getting great 8x10 prints. You'll want to purchase a larger compactflash card because the included 8 MB card will definitely be too small to take more than 15 photos at the highest quality and resolution.

    It comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and battery charger which many other digital cameras in this price range leave out.

    Compared to the Canon cameras I have used, the colors are much more natural, especially for skin tones. The Nikons seem to go for the more natural colors as opposed to many cameras that go for more saturated and punchy colors

    If you're looking for a camera with a ton of manual features (saturation control, aperture and shutter priority, full manual control, etc.) then you need to step up to the Coolpix 995, which costs twice as much.

    I would definitely recommend the camera to the user that is looking for a great, easy-to-use, point and shoot digital camera that takes awesome photos for printing up to 8x10 photos or just digital photos to share.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent point and shoot camera
    The quality of images are very good and the color reproduction is excellent (blues ARE blue). It is easy to use and have a good "get started" guide which literally have you taking your first picture in 30 seconds. The manual, however, is messy, confusing and poorly written (should be better).

    The grip is very comfortable and it's light weight makes it easy to handle (you don't get tired). It just fit very nicely in your hand. Very good job by Nikon here..

    The quality of the pictures for 2 m.pixel cameras is excellent and when printed in 4x6 and 5x7 size prints it looks like real fotos. My 8x10 are acceptable, but if you usually print this size I recommend buying a 3 or 4 mega pixel camera.

    The 3xZoom is good, the macro feature fantastic (you can get REALLY close), but I have a small problem with the lcd monitor. It is very dark and does not accurately show what your picture will look like untill it has been taken (colors and light). At least the refresh rate is fast.

    The auto setting produces very good results. There are 7 "program" modes which can be used, but in most of the cases "auto" get the best results. Excellent control of white balance in auto mode. It really covers all possible scenarios.

    The movie mode is ok, but I dont recommend selecting a camera based on it's ability to play movies.

    I simply love the 'play back' functions. You can make a still picture slide show in the build in lcd monitor, or through a supplied cable get the output on TV (pal or ntsc as you like). It is fantastic to see your pictures in 36" size .. what an impact. The TV out feature is really good and usefull.

    I recommend you buy an extra battery as the lithium-ion battery supplied last about 1-2 hours of shooting depending on use.
    Unfortunatly you can not use the battery charger as an AC adapter so unless you buy one at an additional expense you will be using battery when transferring files to your computer. In emergency cases a disposable lithium ion 2crv5 battery (from the supermarket) can be used.

    Conclusion: the main objective we had when buying this camera was to capture pictures which looked "right" (color,light etc) and which would allow us to print in 4x6 size with occational 5x7 and 8x10 prints without it screems DIGITAL.. the camera more than satisfied our expectations.

    Note: we have not used the enclosed software, but bought a compactFlash reader (to save battery) and it works wonderfully.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nikon's Answer to Canon's Digital Elph.
    I got into digital cameras through the Coolpix 990 (and recently upgraded to the 995). I love the power and flexibility of those top-of-the-line Coolpix cameras, but they weren't portable enough to make the cut for parties, light travel, and similar situations. From the start, I was evaluating this as a second camera: I have the 3-megapixel 995 for high-quality "composed" shots, and wanted a less expensive, "fun" camera for casual, everyday use. I was about to buy the Canon S110, but decided to wait for Nikon's 775 release, and I'm glad I did.

    As a 995 user, I can use the same batteries and NikonView software with both cameras (unfortunately, the USB cable is slightly different to prevent people from trying the MC-EU1 remote cord on the 775). This fall, Nikon is even releasing the UR-E3 converter that will allow use of the 950/990/995's Wide-Angle and 2x Tele lenses!

    Compatability aside, the 775 is a winner in it's own right. I really appreciate the 3x optical zoom (vs. 2x in the Canon S110), and the scene modes allow even greater refining of the quite-capable "auto" setting. You can get creative without delving into the world of manual settings -- great for first-time users, yet still offering something new and useful to the experienced digital photographer. As you would expect, Nikon delivers on its reputation for high-quality optics and great pictures, even from its 2-megapixels. The "macro" close-ups are unbelievable (the Canon doesn't even come close). Think mini-950.

    The only area where the Canon beats the 775 is size -- the Nikon is a good deal thicker front-to-back (I could put the Elph in a shirt pocket, but the 775 just won't fit). I figure it's a small price to pay for a 3x zoom. I would have given the 775 "Five Stars," but knocked one off for the construction. The casing is plastic and, despite its high quality, makes the camera feel like it's "cheap" (compared to the aluminum S110, although the 775 is much lighter). Even if it feels inexpensive, the proof is in the pictures. The performance has been flawless; we'll see if durability is an issue over time, but I've got no basis for concern.

    For point-and-shoot convenience and portability, with the quality one would expect from Nikon, the 775 is a most worthy addition to the Coolpix line.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 8,000 photos and help with system error
    I bought the Coolpix 775 in 2001, and used it for over 8,000 photos. Minor issue are [1] latency between pushing the button and actually taking the picture [2] proprietary battery capacity [3] proprietary AC adapter.
    A week ago, I dropped the camera from 4 feet high on a semi-hard [thin carpet on hardwood] floor. When I turned on the camera, the display showed 'sytem error'. I opened the case [2 silver screws on each LHS and RHS, 4 at the bottom -note that 2 screws holding the tripod plate are of different type- then gently pry open the front using my finger nail -a soft flat piece of plastic is OK-] to separate the two halves: the empty front part with only the switch left -and a small ribbob connector- and thye body with everything else. I then removed the lens assembly [4 black screws, the cylindrical gear on the upper RHS close to the viewer has to be slightly lifted out of the way] and noticed that the 2 identations in the base plate had 'jumped out' of the 2 grooves in the lens barrel assembly. After putting the identations back in place, the lens now goes in and out. Zoom does not activate yet - relative positions of gears ? will work on it-. The motor assembly can be disconnected [1 black screw] from the barrel assembly and tested separately. Important Notes [1] I am not responsible for anything that could go wrong: you open the case at your own risk. Safe move is to send the camera back to the dealer [2] opening a camera is not for the faint at heart: use magnifying glasses, good lighting, watch screwdrivers and a compartment box for different screws -I use an ice cube tray with 14 compartments-. Hope this help 'resurect your camera' :)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Reliable
    I bought this camera around Christmas 2001 and thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Over the years, the camera has served me well. I originally bought a 64 mb card to go with it, and it was more than I ever needed, since I was pretty good about transferring the pictures onto my computer and clearing the card. The bundled software is pretty good. Allows you to drag the pictures and then drop them into any folder you like. Unfortunatly, my screen has recently broke. I made the mistake of packing it in my luggage that went through baggage handling. Even the toughest camera can't enure that abuse. It still takes pictures as well as it ever has, but I can't see how they turn out until I get home and hook it up. Isn't that the point of a digital camera? I think I may be in the market for a new one. I give it four stars because the screen broke, and costs way to much to fix. ... Read more


    3. Hewlett Packard PhotoSmart C912 2MP Digital Camera w/ 3x Optical Zoom
    list price: $658.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000051YGZ
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Hewlett Packard
    Sales Rank: 6428
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Here's the recipe for a terrific series of digital cameras: start with the electronic-imaging expertise of Hewlett-Packard (HP), whose printers and scanners are among the most popular in the world. For great optics, add five decades of camera-making experience from Pentax. The result? HP's new lineup, featuring the C912 and C912xi (identical except for the software that comes with them) as its twin flagship models. These two cameras offer an intriguing set of features not offered by any other manufacturer (except Pentax, which also sells this model as the EI2000).

    Though virtually every other digital camera uses a rangefinder setup, the C912 is a true single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. Light entering the lens is split by a prism: most is sent to the camera's sensor, but some goes up to the viewfinder. When you look through the viewfinder, the image you see is coming through the lens, so you can see precisely what you'll capture. You can also preview and review your shots with the 2-inch color LCD on the back of the camera. As an added feature, the LCD has a 90-degree flip-up design, allowing you to see images even if the camera is held at waist level.

    The all-new, 36-bit CCD sensor from Philips is another unusual touch. At two-thirds of an inch, it's still much smaller than a 35mm negative, but it's larger than the sensors in most other manufacturers' cameras. On paper at least, this should improve image capture. We were surprised to discover that the sensor's proportions are "squarer" than those on most digital cameras--most 2-megapixel models capture 1,600 x 1,200 pixels in their images (a 4:3 ratio), but the HP captures a 1,600 x 1280 image (a 5:4 ratio). The traditional 4:3 ratio evolved because it matches the proportions of a computer monitor--with this camera, images displayed on your screen will have bars down the left and right edges, or will need to be cropped at the top or bottom to fill the screen. If you like making prints, images will also need some serious cropping to fill a 4-by-6 or 5-by-7 inch sheet, but the proportions are perfect for an 8-by-10 inch print.

    While other companies are putting 3.3-megapixel sensors into their high-end models, HP has chosen to use a 2.2-megapixel CCD instead. Perhaps HP's engineers have reached the same conclusion we have--that for most users, 2 megapixels is the best balance between image quality and speed, price, and file size.

    The Pentax lens zooms from 34 to 107 mm (35mm camera equivalent), and includes eight elements in seven groups, with one aspherical element. HP also adds a 2x digital zoom, which brings images closer at the expense of image quality. Instead of using a pair of buttons on the camera body, users adjust the zoom by twisting a ring on the lens--a traditional arrangement borrowed from film cameras. The lens also has an unusually powerful macro feature, focusing on items as close to the lens as 2 centimeters.

    The camera looks well-made and fits nicely in your hands. The size, shape, and soft curves are all reminiscent of a classic SLR camera. A status LCD on the top panel lets you see vital camera settings, a very useful feature if you're not using the battery-draining color LCD display on the back of the camera. Images are stored on either Type I or the thicker Type II CompactFlash cards. Though it physically fits in the slot, IBM's Microdrive isn't compatible with the camera.

    If you're a techno-tinkerer, you'll love the fact that the C912 uses Digita as its operating system (OS). When Digita was introduced several years ago, some predicted this OS would be adopted by virtually every digital camera manufacturer. In reality, Digita has proven to be just slightly more popular than Esperanto, finding its way into only a handful of cameras, mostly from Kodak and Minolta. Digita offers the potential to easily upgrade the camera's firmware, in addition to allowing advanced users to write software scripts to customize camera functions. As an example of the power and flexibility of the OS, one Digita-powered download available on the Internet lets you play emulated arcade video games on the camera's LCD display. For the average digital photographer, however, the biggest advantages to Digita are the colorful onscreen menus and the ease with which you'll be able to transfer revised firmware to your camera.

    Virtually every camera feature can either be left on automatic operation or can be set for manual control. The ISO can be adjusted from 25 to 400, and the flash, shutter speed, aperture, and focus can also be controlled by hand. There's an integrated pop-up flash atop the camera, plus a hot-shoe mount for an external strobe unit.

    HP has devised a flexible power system for this model. You can use four standard AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries, but for the ultimate in battery life, you can get a proprietary Olympus lithium-ion power pack and charger. With a suggested retail price of $99.00, the charging kit costs more than twice as much as a set of rechargeable AA batteries with charger, but lasts about twice as long on a charge as a set of high-capacity AA rechargeables.

    If you're looking for a camera with the ultimate in resolution or the smallest dimensions, look elsewhere. But if you want a camera that looks and feels nice and has a good combination of features, the C912 is worth considering, especially if you're a fan of Pentax film cameras, love SLRs, or need a great macro lens.

    Pros:

    • True single-lens reflex camera
    • Digita operating system for flexible upgrades
    • Great lens with terrific macro

    Cons:

    • Nearly square images
    • Takes Type II CompactFlash cards, but is not Microdrive compatible
    ... Read more

    Features

    • 2.24 megapixel CCD creates 1600 x 1280 images for prints at sizes up to 8 x 10 inches
    • 3x optical plus 2x digital Pentax zoom lens with autofocus
    • Included 16 MB CompactFlash card holds 28 images at default resolution
    • Connects with Macs and PCs via USB port
    • 4 AA batteries included; special features include Jetsend infared printer connectivity, and sound capture with playback

    4. Olympus Camedia D-510 2MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom Value Package
    list price: $399.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005N7YX
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Olympus
    Sales Rank: 2946
    Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    This exclusive bundle includes the Olympus Camedia D-510 digital camera, rechargeable batteries, battery charger, and an Olympus soft case. The basics of the Olympus Camedia D-510 break down pretty easily: 2-megapixel resolution; 3x optical zoom lens with autofocus, built-in flash with red-eye reduction, fill, and slow-syncro modes; and a 1.8-inch LCD screen. There are also more advanced features to go along with this baseline functionality. Particularly useful is the burst mode, which allows shooting of up to two frames per second. Also, a QuickTime movie mode lets you capture up to 66 seconds of footage. There are a number of special effects, including monochrome, sepia, and resize. Images are generally captured as JPEGs, but you can also choose to use the uncompressed TIFF mode.

    Most digital cameras ship with a USB or serial port, and with a set of software drivers that allow you to download your pictures to your computer via an image-editing program. Olympus has gone one step farther, and essentially built the functionality of a USB card-reader into their digital cameras. What this means is that for the newer versions of Windows and the Mac OS, you don't need to install extra software. Simply plug the camera into your computer, which recognizes the camera as a removable drive. You are then free to drag-and-drop your pictures wherever you like. Power requirements are standard, at four AA, or two CR-V3 lithium batteries. The D-510 uses SmartMedia cards, and ships with an 8 MB card. ... Read more

    Features

    • Value pack includes camera and standard accessories plus rechargeable batteries, battery charger, and camera case
    • 2.1 megapixel sensor creates 1600 x 1200 images for prints at sizes up to 8 x 10
    • 3x optical, 9x digital, zoom lens with autofocus
    • Included 8 MB SmartMedia memory card holds 16 images at default resolution
    • Connects with Macs and PCs via built in USB port

    Reviews (115)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good First Digital Camera
    I shopped around a lot for my first digital camera, and this value package cinched it for me, since it came with rechargeable batteries, charger and camera case, all for the same price as the major chains. Overall, I love the camera. It was really easy to use right out of the box, and I know very little about taking pictures. Although the automatic setting is handy, you can experiment easily with the specialized settings, and the menus are easy to navigate. It's great that this Amazon value package comes with rechargeable batteries because, as every other review has noted, this camera eats batteries. However, the rechargeable batteries that are included do not come with any instructions, so you have no idea how long you're supposed to charge them. The charger even says "Read instructions before use," but where are the instructions? In general, the pictures were easy to transfer to my iMac. Whereas the manual says you don't need to install the Camedia software to use the USB, I did in fact have to install it, though that took seconds. And frequently, the USB connection doesn't work, and I have to fiddle with the cable and restart the computer before it works. Maybe it's my computer.
    Some other tips:
    1) To turn the camera on, you have to slide the lens cover all the way until you hear it snap. If you just slide it without hearing the snap, the camera does not work.
    2) If you use any specialized settings or the digital zoom, these settings are wiped out when you turn the camera off, and when you turn it back on, you start at automatic again w/o digital. If you want to keep digital on at all times, go to the shooting menu and navigate it to "hold settings." When you do that, everything you set is stored in memory.
    3) The instruction manual is very skeletal and does not go into detail. A more detailed description of the camera's features are in Adobe format on the included CD-ROM.
    4) It took me a while before I realized you can preview your shots while you're in shoot mode (i.e., while the camera lens cover is open) just by hitting the monitor button twice.

    Yes, I would recommend this camera. It's got a lot of great features in a sleek package.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Easy to use, good enough for me!"
    I just take pictures every now and then. Instead of paying for developing, I decided to buy a digital camera. After shopping around for several days, I was down to HP 618 or this one. I went to a store, and took the same picture with both. The Olympus looked so much better! So that was it for the selection. Overall, my pictures look great on my Sony 17" monitor. I have taken some very acceptable pictures in very dark conditions. I have the resolution set at low 1600 x 1200, and with the 128 MB card I can take well over 220 pictures. The only thing I have noticed is that when taking a picture of something "purplish", it looks kind of blue, for some reason. As a first digital camera, I strongly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extra Information
    I purchased this camera because of the sturdy lens cover and accurate viewfinder. If you hold the flash closed, it will swich to no-flash mode. (saving you the need to turn on the display and press the right arrow 3 times) This camera will ensure a bright picture when in no-flash mode by taking longer to "absorb" the image, so hold the camera still if there isn't much light. To go into preview mode while taking pictures, double-press the monitor button (press again to return) The manual estimates battery life at 100 pictures, assuming 50% are with flash and the monitor is turned off when not needed. My first charge of batteries lasted about 70 pictures and lots of tinkering. Comes with 7 page quick start guide, 35 page basic manual, and a 150 page pdf manual on the cd. According to the manual, the camera will NOT serve as a charger(if you were to leave the A/C adapter plugged in while the camera is off). This would have been a nice feature, but oh well. Unlike the Sony Cybershot cameras, you cannot crop (shorten) movies in the camera. That also would have been nice, but that's what digital camcorders are for I guess.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent camera
    I really like this camera. I've noted several people reviewing this camera mention the "cheap" feel/look of the body of the D-510. I personally disagree, I think the camera looks pretty good and has a nice solid feel to it without feeling too heavy. The picture quality and color fidelity of this camera are both excellent. In SHQ mode with a 128 MB SM card you get 90 pictures, more than enough for almost any vaction or trip you might take. The storage-class USB makes getting pictures off of the D-510 a snap, and is far easier than any other digital camera I have owned. The movie mode only records 30 seconds of video at SQ mode and only 15 seconds of video in HQ mode. It doesn't matter how large a smart media card you have, you need to press the shutter button to take video clips with an approximately 2-3 second delay between each clip as the movie is written to the SM card. Important note: There are 2 "click stop" settings for the camera cover. You need to make sure the cover is fully open before the camera lens will extend. I think this camera is a worthy replacement of the D-490.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to use and Feature Packed
    This is my first digital camera and I have been nothing but pleased. The picture quality is incredible and when I email them to ofoto.com the prints look better than I was getting with my APS film camera. The camera is very easy to use and has more features than I expected. It is easy to upload pictures to a computer through USB. The only drawbacks are the somewhat vague directions and it eats through batteries. A larger memory card is mandatory because the supplied card only holds 16 pictures. Bottom line, the picture quality is excellent and the camera is very easy to use. I highly recommend it. ... Read more


    5. HP PhotoSmart 912 Digital Camera Accessory Kit
    list price: $199.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005MP51
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Hewlett Packard
    Sales Rank: 6405
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Everything you need to get started with you HP PhotoSmart 912
    • Includes case, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, battery charger, and AC adapter
    • Case has built-in pockets for batteries and memory cards
    • Lithium-ion battery powers up to 800 shots

    6. Sipix SC-2100 2MP Digital Camera
    list price: $199.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005LM7S
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: SIPIX
    Sales Rank: 7935
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    With its boxy design, the 2.1-megapixel SiPix SC-2100 is a basic digital camera, but it does pack features rarely found at this low price level. Images from the SC-2100 look crisp and colors seem well balanced in all three selectable resolutions (superfine, fine, and standard). The six-element glass lens produces sharp photos, especially in macro mode. The 2x digital zoom provides closer imaging, but actually displays a smaller, cropped image on the LCD screen when in use.

    Although it is a bit on the heavy side, the camera fits well in your hand with a sturdy plastic construction. The back LCD screen is perfectly placed to avoid fingerprints and the optical viewfinder accurately presents the field of view. The secondary LCD displays all relevant information. A control dial on top allows you to adjust between different modes.

    The SC-2100 includes a slot for external CompactFlash memory cards, and comes with one 8 MB card. Using the bright 1.8-inch LCD, you can view and delete images in-camera to preserve valuable space on the road. The built-in flash includes a red-eye reduction mode so you won't see any red-eyed devils in your photos. The flash offers four modes: auto, on, off, and red-eye reduction.

    Exposure control can be set to automatic or manual in half-step increments with a +/- 2-step compensation. White balance also features automatic and manual settings with daylight, tungsten, and fluorescent adjustments. The 10-second self-timer ensures no one is left out of the picture, while other features include video-out (NTSC and PAL selectable), black-and-white mode, three sharpness levels (sharp, normal, soft), slideshow (3- or 10-second intervals), date/time stamp, and continuous-shot mode for rapid image capture. SiPix's warranty covers this camera for one year, parts and labor. ... Read more

    Features

    • 2.1 megapixel sensor creates 1600 x 1200 images for prints at sizes up to 8 x 10
    • 2x digital zoom lens with autofocus
    • Included 8 MB CompactFlash memory card holds 31 images at default resolution
    • Connects with PCs via included USB cable
    • 1.8" color LCD monitor for instant review and playback, date/time stamp recording

    7. Canon ES65 Hi8 Camcorder
    list price: $369.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005AUIU
    Catlog: Photography
    Manufacturer: Canon USA
    Sales Rank: 5233
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    The Hi8 video format offers the highest quality outside of digital, and theCanon ES65 offers a number of great features for its low price. Digital image stabilizationworks with the 22x optical zoom lens to provide a clear, steady image, and a built-in videolight provides illumination in dark shooting environments.

    To help ensure that you get the quality footage you want, Canon has included a numberof preset shooting modes. These modes will automatically adjust the settings of yourcamcorder for a variety of shooting situations. There is also an additional set ofspecial effects available during both recording and playback that will help add a littleflavor to your movies. These effects include black-and-white, sepia, mirror, and mosaic,among others. Included in the package are an A/V cable, power adapter, shoulder strap,and battery pack. ... Read more

    Features

    • Hi8 camcorder
    • 22x optical, 700x digital zoom with digital image stabilization
    • Color EVF
    • Photo Mode records still pictures for approximately 7 seconds
    • Uses an included lithium-ion battery; includes power adapter and A/V cable

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