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Rich Lafferty's Journal

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Cheap mini digicams
pinkie pie
I want a new digital camera. I currently have a Logitech Pocket Digital (without flash), and it is a seriously frustrating little camera. There is always a very good chance that a shot in full sunlight will not turn out, and anything less than that it's not worth trying. You can see here the difference between its output and that of an average consumer digicam, borrowed from nyxie. Click the images for 640x480 versions.
Logitech sample picture   Nyxie's camera sample picture
While I am sure there is some value in the whole 1970s 110-cartridge look, it is not what I am after.

Do any of you have recommendations for a camera? Roughly what I need is:

  • Inexpensive: I have a good camera that I take with me when I want to Be A Photographer, and this one is the spare that I carry everywhere, and thus will only be minorly inconvenienced if it is lost or broken.
  • OK quality: I need it to take good VGA-size photos in sunlight and with flash, and that's about all I expect. I don't want an Elph, for instance, because it is more camera than I need.
  • Simple: I don't need a lot of features here. I want point-and-click for this one.
  • Small and light: If it is heavy or big I won't always carry it with me, which is the whole point.
If it's something I can also use as a webcam (triggering the shutter with software), even better. Thanks!

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What about one of those Fuji finepix ones? The A205 is 2 megapixels, under a hundred dollars US, and not horrible. It has an optical zoom and all that. I've used one, they're good point and shoot sorts of cameras, and I'm pretty sure they have webcam capability. I'm sure there's lots of others out there, this might be more than you want, but it was the first one I thought of. :)

And I totally used a 110 camera until 1995. Heh. :)

Re: I've got one of those...

A Finepix 1300, if I recall correctly. Not state of the art, but it's very light and takes pretty good-quality pictures. (See most of the pictures here for examples, most of which were actually taken at 1280x1024 and then scaled to 640x480 with ImageMagick.)

yes! that's what i was going to say. well, i have the a203 and you recommended the a205, but yes. i've had no problems with mine, except maybe wanting more control.

I don't think you can go wrong with the Fuji listed above. Myself, I would choose the Canon A60 (at B&H Photo for USD$150, linky linky.) It's quite likely more camera than you need, but I've shot with the A60 (bought one for netsrik, in fact) and I find its performance at ISO400 to be quite pleasing; the noise is grainy instead of blotchy and the available full-manual controls are groovy for when you want to take over. It's my choice for 2 megapixel sidearm, so to speak.

Now, since I think you just basically said none of that matters to you, go get the Fuji. :D

Hee. I agree that it's more camera than I need; when I need control, I've got an Olympus 3040 that does all that for me. This one needs to be small, first; if the Logitech took mediocre pictures instead of being useless as a camera it'd be exactly what I was after.

I second the A60. It's very small. I have the a60 and I carry it everywhere with me. It fits easily into a coat pocket or a small bag. It's the smallest camera I've ever had. But maybe they come even smaller than that. I don't know. I think any smaller and I'd have a hard time holding it.

I'm curious to know what kind of camera you got. I'm starting to shop around for one; I hope to buy one sometime in July, if the funds are there.

Decided to just use my good camera more, and replace it if it breaks or gets stolen, because it's silly to have a good camera that I really enjoy using but not use it in case it breaks even though it's easily replaceable.

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