social

Buying a Digital Camera

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
May 16, 2008

What's so great about a digital camera? I let that question hang as an excuse to stay with my film camera for three years now. In reality, I was too cheap to invest in a new camera. Yet, when my work and my love for snapping pictures made me re-evaluate the investment I learned that digital cameras can actually save you money.

Advertisement

Film

Film isn't cheap, and anyone who's snapped their way through twenty rolls of film while on vacation knows that. My best bargain was $1.75 per roll if I used a coupon. (However, I did find that offers on eBay often can snag rolls for $1 a piece if you're lucky.) On the average vacation, I bring home twenty rolls of film. (I'm clearly not the average vacationer.) That's a minimal of $35 in film costs alone. If I use fifty rolls of film a year, by investing in a digital camera I will save $88.

Processing

Film processing is another heavy investment when you're bringing home twenty rolls of film. I never pay for the one-hour developing; it's too expensive. Sending it out through our local wholesale club costs $3.50. Yet, that brings a bill of $70 for my twenty roll trip. Film processing isn't avoided by digital cameras, however; most people prefer to have real prints. The idea of printing at home is convenient, but with an average cost of $2 per 8x10 print, it's not the cheapest option.

I did find two savings in digital processing. One is that by seeing the pictures before I process them, I can decide to print only those which I love. With a digital camera I know which pictures are worth saving. In reality, out of the 480 pictures on my twenty rolls of film, only 260 are really great. The other savings I found are that digital prints are sometimes cheaper than film prints. With pharmacies advertising sales of $.09 a print, I can't process film for that price. The low end price of a digital print fall at $.012 while the low end price of a film print figures to be $.015. That saves $14.40 if I develop all 480 pictures.

Instant Gratification

Okay, let's be realistic for a moment. I love to save pennies wherever I can, but I also love seeing my pictures the minute I return from a trip. At what point is this instant satisfaction and ability to share pictures on the internet worth the cost of the camera? You know in a second if you caught Tommy blowing out his birthday candles, and you can see if Grandpa blinked during the family portrait.

The Camera

I'll be honest; digital cameras aren't cheap. In fact, they're twice as expensive as film cameras. However, the savings in film alone may justify your camera in a few years depending on your model. For some people, the film cameras will always be their choice of preservation; yet, for film wasters like me I can save money in the long run by going digital.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Comments

9 More Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

Warren Lynch
July 1, 2005

The most important part of buying a digital camera is making sure that the one you select meets all of your needs.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

Anna Lim
December 9, 2004

Sony Electronics, Inc. continues to dominate the digital camera industry. With its wide range of digital cameras, here comes the latest addition to its roster of amazing models, the Sony DSC-V3 Digital Camera which is so far one of the best 7.2 megapixel cameras in the market.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

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.

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!

By Liz

Answers

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.

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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By chml (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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.
Harlean from Arkansas

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Heather (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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By (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
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

July 20, 2010

I am currently in search of a digital camera. My budget is $250, though I want a quality camera. I do not need any special features. I just want a good easy to use camera, and would prefer one with a large screen to view pictures. If you have a camera that would work with my suggestions, please tell me the name, the brand, and where you purchased it. Thank you very much!

By Cara from Firefield, USA

Read More Answers

How do I choose the best digital camera, without spending a fortune on it? I want clear pictures and also as much zoom as possible.

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

Read More Answers

July 1, 2005

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

Answers

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By (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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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."
=============
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 6, 20050 found this helpful

www.photo.net/.../

Nice article about pixels and sensors.
-------------
www.ptech.wsj.com/guide-digital-cameras.html
This article talked about shrinking pixel size and offering more.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

This weekend I saw an advertisement for a Bell and Howell digital camera with 10 megapixels. The asking price was $200 and I just had to read about it.

The ad said that the 10 megapixels were due to interpolation. I don't know what that means, but I do know a 'buyer beware' when I see one. Sounds like the 10 MP's were really something else.

Holly

Answers

July 25, 20050 found this helpful

Holly, I looked the word up on dictionary.reference.com/ and when I apply it to a commercial, it sounds like a lot of double talk....lol

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 25, 20050 found this helpful

Interpolation is basically a way to guesstimate the value of something, based on what is around it. In the case of digital camera images, the camera actually sees and remembers a "holey" image, and then fills in the holes based on the colors around the holes. As a very simple example, say you have a hole, with a white pixel on one side and a red pixel on the other side. The camera's processor would fill in the gap with pink. If one side were blue and the other side green, the hole would be filled in with blue-green.

What you end up with is a 10MP picture, but only a certain number of those pixels are originals that the camera actually saw. The others are the filled-in holes. For the best quality image, the greater the percentage of "original" pixels, the better.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 25, 20050 found this helpful

How do you figure how many non-interpolated pixels it really has?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By (Guest Post)
July 25, 20050 found this helpful

I found two resources...I did a search at google.com

Interpolated - Software programs can enlarge image resolution beyond the actual resolution by adding extra pixels using complex mathematic calculations.

THe second resource is here:
www.directsoftware.biz/Digital_Camera_Interpolation_E_Jakob_Jelling...

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

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

Read More Answers
Categories
Consumer Advice Shopping ElectronicsSeptember 23, 2013
Pages
More
💘
Valentine's Ideas!
🍀
St. Patrick's Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Instagram
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2021-01-19 00:14:02 in 3 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2021 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
https://www.thriftyfun.com/Buying-a-Digital-Camera-1.html