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What to look for in a digital camera?

3149 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  able_ranui
What should I look in a digital camera that will take decent pictures of plants and fish? Nothing too special, but decent quality. Any recommendations?
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What I look for in a _digital_ camera:
- Use of regular AA batteries (use Ni-MH rechargeables)
- Has a threaded lens or adapter for using lenses, macro rings and filters
- Manual white balance setting
- Manual focus
- Optical Zoom (the more the better)
- Fast lens (the wider the lens the better)
- Full manual settings (flash, f stop, speed, ISO, pre-flash...)
- Maintains manual settings even if turned off!!! (you want to keep your white balance setting once you have found the perfect one)
- 50ISO (I exclusively shoot at 50ISO, I prefer longer exposures for low light conditions rather than granier ISO levels, in rare occasions 100 or 200 but never any higher)
- Wide shutter speed range (most cameras reach high shutter speeds but many lack good slow shutter speeds, 15 second is now a popular number for the slowest shutter speed, you also want many steps in between the high and low range)

The nice to have:
- Remote trigger or cable (can use delay timer otherwise)
- Hot shoe for external flash (A little DIY and you can make your own)
- PC driven and programmable shooting (great for time-lapse photography)
- Built in macro mode (macro and close-up lenses are usually better)
- Video with Audio capturing
- Lots of pixels (nice for zooming in and cropping but not a big deal, 3.2MP and above is a nice range. 2MP is still very valid if you are looking to save some $)
- Standard memory cards (usually cheaper to buy such as CF cards)

Those are the things that come to mind. One last HUGE feature is removable lenses but at the moment that is limited to the more expensive digital SLRs, but keep an eye on things, one day someone will catch on and bring out a removable lens on a normal digital camera. I was hoping Minolta would do this seeing their recent digital cameras look like SLRs...

Giancarlo Podio
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