Subject: Re: Digital cameras
Hello Ziners:

There are so many good choices out there that it probably is rare that one can go wrong. For a few years now I have been using a Kodak DC4800. It is a 3.2 MP camera and at the time that I bought it, it was high end. It still takes great photos, but it is not a camera for action photos. It is too slow. What I would like is a digital camera that will match my old 35mm cameras in terms of speed and bevy of lenses. I have not found any camera south of $1,500 USD that is capable of the flexibility of a good 35mm camera. (Yes, there is one by Fuji I think that has just come out, but it doesn't quite fit the bill). There are good digitals that will match 35mm cameras including swappable lenses, but they are not cheap.

So, I began to think as to the use that I put a camera. Ninety-nine percent of the shots that I take are stills. I decided that I was not going to lug along a 35mm for that occasional action shot. On our recent trip to Scotland I could have used the 35mm once to capture salmon trying to jump up a river. After I decided I could draw them into the digital shots, I did not miss the 35mm.

I want to replace the 3.2 MP camera with one that does 4 MP or above. The simple reason is that 4 MP or above fills the entire screen in a DVD slide show while the less MP photos do not. I have been looking at the new Kodak and new Nikons as well as the Canons. I will probably buy one in the spring, but not yet. I am having a tough time deciding.

Meanwhile, Jan has been using an Olympus 2800 Zoom 35mm camera which she loves. Her first one died; she is on her second. Its advantages are a 28 to 80 mm zoom, it fits into a pocket and it is really point and shoot. All she wants to do is press the button. She does not want to worry about anything other than loading film and pressing the button. The Oly 2800Z is perfect for that. By the way, her photos are very good both in quality and composition. I would not ask her about either. Her attitude is simply I see what I like and I press the button. Believe me, it works.

So for Christmas (she does not read email and if any of you call her I will have to kill you) I ordered an Oly Stylus 400 digital. Why? It is small; it is waterproof (my idea; she could care); it is point and shoot; and I will get a large format XD card so that she can shoot 300 photos without worry. All she has to do is open the lens cap (that turns the camera on) and push a button. From that camera I will get good photos that will fill a DVD shot. Enough said.

The camera can take MPEG's, but if she shoots an MPEG ever I will buy the whole Zine dinner in London. The key here is simplicity.

The key is to determine your needs and buy a camera that matches those needs. Do not get swayed by features that you will never use. If you are never going to shoot an MPEG, then forego the capability. Go to opinion websites that favor the average consumer, not the techies.

Tom posing in Carlisle (and you don't want to see it) ;-)