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Buying a Camera

Category Electronics
A girl in a striped shirt holding a camera to her eye.
When choosing a camera there are a number of considerations to keep in mind. This is a guide about buying a camera.
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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
February 22, 2007

I would like to buy an inexpensive used digital camera on eBay. I intend to use it to photograph items I'm selling on eBay. Do you have a camera (manufacturer and model, please) that you'd recommend? It's fine if it's a few years old, of course!

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By Liz from Maryland

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February 23, 20070 found this helpful

I used to have an Olympus C-740 that I absolutely loved and was always getting compliments on the resulting pictures. I gave it to my mom and sometimes I wish I hadn't! Great camera. It was 'only' a 3 MP camera, but if you are just taking pics for eBay, it doesn't really matter. I think the whole megapixel count is a bit overrated, anyway.

Canon is most likely a safe choice as well. My better half still uses our Canon A10- a 1.2MP camera! He likes it because it's easy and durable, though a later model with more megapixels would be better for you.

The problem with Olympus and Fuji is that they take xD cards, which tend to be expensive. If you went that route, a card included in the auction would be nice!

Not that I'm too keen on the eBay idea...it's too easy to get carried away and bid too much! I'd certainly compare the prices online first, not too mention check out the clearance sections of stores near you. I recently bought another Olympus (an FE-something or other....4MP) at Sears brand new for $34!!! You can also keep an eye on the Slickdeals.net forums for good camera deals.

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Oh, whatever you decide, just be cautious of camera makers (I think Sony is one) that use only proprietary batteries. I like Olympus and Canon because you can usually use rechargeable AA's in them. (I say 'usually' because my experience is limited to the camera's I've owned).

Good luck!

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February 23, 20070 found this helpful

wow please make sure you read the ad before you buy don't get me wrong i buy off of ebay and i'm not putting it down but once you buy it your usually stuck with it and this is electronic so my advice would be to check thrift stores or big lots or the local paper so if it doesn't work you have some recourse and you can get your money back or check it out before you buy.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 23, 20070 found this helpful

Hi,

My camera is a Concord 4 mp # 4363z I've been very happy with it. It cost $99. two years ago. It has features that many more expensive cameras have. It has a setting for close picture taking also, that would be very important for selling on Ebay.

I bought a recharging system and use AA batteries in it. You can also use regular AA batteries, but they don't last long.

I could not imagine using a docking system. Extra batteries can go with you.

If anything happened to mine, I would not hesitate to buy the same camera.

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February 23, 20070 found this helpful

I am still using the Sony Mavica 73 that I bought in 1999 and used when I was an eBay seller. I love it. It has 10X Zoom which allows you to take very close-up pictures for eBay items when necessary. I could take pictures of the engravings inside a ring with this camera. This camera is no longer manufactured, but is still available.Amazon currently has 11 listed...the lowest price being $94.00. Mine was $399 new in '99. It does take a special rechargeable battery, but I have only replaced my battery once in 8 years. I still use it a lot to take pictures for the craft patterns, etc that I post on Thrifty Fun, and also to take pictures of my yard art. Another feature that I like about this camera is that instead of a memory stick it uses floppy disks to record the photos. You just insert your floppy into your computer and copy your pictures or print, whichever you like. I am making up a catalog of my yard art, and I can take the pictures with my Sony mavica, copy them from the floppy to my hard drive, upload them to Walgreen's to have 4 x 6 prints made,and pick them up an hour later for 19 cents a print. My husband also has a Sony. His is a model FD-95 and takes great pictures also using a floppy.

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Harlean from Arkansas

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 25, 20070 found this helpful

Sorry, but I won't recomend buying a camera from ebay unless it is returnable. My sister bought a film camera and used it to take pictures when I had my baby. Nothing came out and she was stuck with the camera. There was something wrong with the shutter.

If you watch for deals--you can buy inexpensive cameras--sometimes coming with a memory chip and you have the chance to use it and be able to take it back if a problem arises.

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 1, 20070 found this helpful

Ditto on ebay, unless you have done some business with a dealer you can trust.

I have a 4.0 Kodak easy share that I really like. I bought mine at a discount store for 149.00. I wanted one for my grand daughter, so I went to

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www.prestigecamera.com and got a 3.0 for her, it was used, but in wonderful condition for 35.00. I was really happy with it, and she thinks it is great. This company has a good reputation, and a return policy as well as a repair dept. Good luck.

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March 2, 20070 found this helpful

LIZ, I gave you the wrong website for a used camera, sorry, it is KEH.COM This is where I had such good luck with the used Kodak.

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March 15, 20070 found this helpful

I think my post was misunderstood. I did not buy my camera on eBay. I bought it from BestBuy, an electronics store with a local store. I used it to take the pictures of items that I sold on eBay. I do not trust ebay sellers of electronic and computer related products, either. Have seen too many accounts of people who were cheated to the tune of big $$$$'s

Harlean from Arkansas

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July 15, 20090 found this helpful

I would recommend looking at used digital cameras in pawn shops. Most pawn shops have a return policy, and most of them will allow you to take a picture to see how it works. Then go with YOUR feelings--don't let them talk you into one you aren't happy with.

I have purchased two pro cameras from pawn shops and have been more than satisfied.

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July 1, 20050 found this helpful

Tips to help you when buying a digital camera. Post your ideas.

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July 1, 20050 found this helpful

Digital cameras prices are coming down in price, but you still need to shop around, and that's easy to do on the internet. I personally like Staples because they have the instant, on-the-spot rebates. But they are just one place. Just SHOP AROUND, 'CAUSE PRICES ARE COMING DOWN.

By Ardis Barnes

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July 1, 20050 found this helpful

If you'd like to sell jewelry on ebay, I have been told that it takes 10x optical, minimum 3 megapixels to capture the finer detail. I don't own a digital yet, because I am waiting for prices to drop. At the time of the inquiry at a professional camera shop, 4 MP were the maximum and the cost was over $1,000. Prices have since come down substantially and I am wondering if the 10x optical has been reduced in favor of a higher MP.

I have read that the higher MP's are just regular MP's made smaller, and less useful. That a 3 MP with standard sized MP's, is more useful than something with many more MP's that are less than standard size. How you would find this out, I haven't the least idea, but it bears thinking about.

I know that the digital power of a camera is less impressive than the optical power. Digital zoom just means enlarged (which becomes fuzzy when a larger picture is made) and optical means better focusing. So buy the most optical zoom you can afford and ignore the digital.

By Holly

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 6, 20050 found this helpful

"I have read that the higher MP's are just regular MP's made smaller, and less useful. That a 3 MP with standard sized MP's, is more useful than something with many more MP's that are less than standard size."

MP = megapixels. mega = 1 million

Every megapixel is 1 million pixels, no more, no less.

Like a kilometer is always 1000 meters, since kilo = 1,000.

There's no such thing as different size megapixels. Every megapixel is 1 million pixels.

If there were such a thing as different size megapixels, I doubt anybody would pay those high prices for cameras that have lots of megapixels, and reviews for those cameras in magazines like PC Magazine and Consumer Reports would not report that they made good quality enlargements.

Does thriftyfun not verify any of the information that it puts in its newsletter? I had come to trust this site as a source of good advice for saving money. I guess I will just have to research things on my own.

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July 6, 20050 found this helpful

"I have read that the higher MP's are just regular MP's made smaller, and less useful. That a 3 MP with standard sized MP's, is more useful than something with many more MP's that are less than standard size."

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I read this somewhere in a magazine that was discussing the new digital cameras. I didn't make it up. It was quite a surprise to me as I figured a mega pixel was just what it was called, and not a stretched out version of itself.

And yes, you will have to verify everything you read on the internet. Some info is placed so as to be purposefully misleading and other info may be accidentally misleading. Some can just be misinformation and other, the actual facts.

You have to be your own judge about everything you read.

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July 6, 20050 found this helpful

http://www.phot  ital/sensorsize/

Nice article about pixels and sensors.

-------------

http://www.ptec  tal-cameras.html

This article talked about shrinking pixel size and offering more.

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February 12, 20070 found this helpful

Do you have any reviews of digital video cameras? Post your experiences below.

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February 12, 20070 found this helpful

I used to work for a company that converted camcorder tapes to DVD. We had a great deal of trouble with the mini DV tapes. We noticed a lot of compatibility problems from brand to brand. Sometimes they would play on one of our devices and not on another, sometimes we would even have to have the customer bring their own camcorder to get the data off. Another problem we noticed is that they need regular cleaning and maintenance because the tape heads would easily get out of alignment. When you tried to play back early tapes, they would break up because of this. If you had it repaired, you couldn't see the newer tapes that were captured with the bad head alignment.

The Digital 8 cameras are being phased out but there are some great deals out there and they look as good as the mini DV's. The direct to DVD sounds good, but you need to make sure that you get one that allows you to "finalize" the disc or you will have to use the camcorder to watch the video. Don't be tempted to get a "deal" on ebay on one from Asia. These are almost always in SECAM format which will not play on U.S. TV's, without a whole lot of trouble.

If you can wait to buy for another year or so, I would recommend getting a camcorder that goes directly to hard drive. That way you can import the data directly to your computer or DVR and there is less chance of problems. They are very expensive now but will be the standard soon, I am sure.

Whatever you do, make sure to transfer the data off the little tape to a DVD ASAP. There are inexpensive devices out there that you can just plug your camcorder into and burn it directly to disc or almost any newer computer comes equipped with a DVD burner. Keep in mind that videos take up a lot of RAM. I would make movies under 1 hour until you are familiar with your computer's capabilities.

I hope this is helpful.

Jess in Portland

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 13, 20070 found this helpful

I have a Kodak Easy Share CX7330 and I love it dearly! It is almost totally fool-proof; otherwise, I wouldn't be able to use it as I'm completely un-mechanical-minded.

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February 13, 20070 found this helpful

I BOUGHT MY HUSBAND A CANON POWERSHOT A 530 AND CANNOT GET IT HOOKED UP TO THE COMPUTER. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

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By 0 found this helpful
March 21, 2012

I need a new camera and don't want one with a lot of bells and whistles as I am not very good in this area.

By Ruthie

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March 21, 20120 found this helpful

I just got into taking pictures and ask same question. Since I'm not a computer thinking kind of person, seeing that from sewing machines to cameras it all seems like little computers to me.

I ended up getting a Fugi. Love it, it has the point and shoot method, as you get better you can adjust the settings to flowers, portraits, ocean shots even darkness levels. Before you learn all of that,it has an auto setting,a brain of its own. I was amazed! Great pictures every time because of the no shaking or red eyes that it has set in it. If you can point and press the button, you'll be fine.

Once I learned how to be comfortable with the small one I went up to a 18x zoom. For just taking regular pictures of family, memories, etc. Start out with a simple point and shoot style camera. They cost around 100.00 for a good one with a year warranty (I recommend).

When I ask about buying a camera everyone told me since I didn't know what to look for not to buy off E bay, used or without original instruction manual. I found that useful, since I always try to save money. In this case you want to get the most for you buck.One that lasts,does the job and you can if you want grow into.

What I love now is you can just take pictures. If you do not want the hard copies it cost you nothing after you find one you like. Now this is from a new photographer who is enjoying learning something I never grow tired of. Good luck and have fun!

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March 21, 20120 found this helpful

If you just want some pictures and aren't worried about bells and whistles why not get a Polaroid? You load it with film, point, shoot and wait for the picture to develope. Couldn't be easier.

Fair warning though, the film doesn't have a shelf life once it is opened so try to use them up within a month or two. Sealed film, I am told, will last 8 or 9 months.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 20, 2016

Does anyone know of a great camera for under $250? I'm going to camp and want to take some really tumblr like pics with my friends. I would love them to be high quality and for it to have a timer, great zoom, and video. Waterproof would be nice, but that's doing more than pushing it. Thanks!

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July 23, 20160 found this helpful

Photographer friends have mentioned the quality of cell 'phone pictures. Maybe start doing some research along those lines?

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