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Digital Camera Dreams April 9, 2007

Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology.

I’m thinking about getting a digital camera for mice elf for my birthday.  Specifically, I’m thinking about one of these:  Nikon L-5.  I was nosing around Costco this weekend and they have them for $50 bucks off the MSRP.  What do y’all think?  Anybody have a better suggestion for one around the $200 price range?


Ah, the indespensible Harrison did indeed put me with some f’n knowledge here:  “Enas, check out the A series from Canon. They’ve been around for years and have consistantly had good write-ups in Consumer’s Report. The A570 IS looks to be a good choice.”  He goes on to list the features of this model and advises to shop at a camera store rather than a Big Box.  I’ve read some of the reviews – impressive!  Most impressive.  Unfortunately, there are no camera stores right around here, but a check of Costco’s website indicates that they do carry this model.  There’s a store perhaps five miles from here.

Now, at $279 this is a significant bump over my initial price point of $200.  I’m not adverse to this, since this camera is a significant jump in capability that easily justifies the increased expens –hello!  Amazon.com has them for $242!  Well.  And they’re both running the bonus 2 gig memory card.  At any rate, once I started entertaining thoughts about the next echelon of cameras, I couldn’t help but wonder what a little bit more money might get me.  That would be the somewhat beefier A710.  As always, there’s a trade-off though.  The A710 has 6x zoom vs. A570’s 4x, but the A570’s ISO goes to 1600, where the A710 tops out at 800.  Hmmm – better zoom or better at dimmer light?  Well, I read a couple reviews over at cnet.com – it seems you wouldn’t want to use the 1600 ISO much anyway.

Of course, when looking at these things you simply just can’t help but glance at the camera next up the chain can you?  That would be the A640.  For $330 I get 2.9 million more pixels and a variable angle LCD view screen.  No image stabilization though, and the benefits don’t seem to outweigh the price jump.  I looked at the next one up S3-IS.  No, since this model is now almost a year old it’s really not leveraging the latest technology.   I expect we’ll start seeing some deep discounts on these models in the next couple months. 

Okay, so back to A570 & A710.  Hmmm.  I also have the three-way standoff of where to by it.

  • Dedicated Camera Store
    • Knowelegeble staff & after sale support, but highest cost
  • Costco
    • Cheaper price, but little after sale support
  • Amazon.com
    •  Cheapest price + No Sales Tax!, but very little support, extra wait time for shipping (+ cost), or double wait time for free shipping

I’m gonna buy something this weekend and I’m leaning toward the A710.  Any advise anyone?



1. Mrs. Peel - April 9, 2007

I have a Nikon Coolpix S9 and I like it a whole lot…just reading the operating manual practically gave me a nerdgasm thinking about how totally fricking awesome it must be to code that kind of signal processing. (One of my dream jobs is to write signal processing routines for medical imaging. I’ll never have that job, but I am starting my masters in the fall and it is going to focus on signal processing…)

It didn’t cost two-fitty, either. Not sure why Nikon has it for that much. I think it was around $179 at the local camera store, several months ago when it had just come out.

2. Enas Yorl - April 10, 2007

Sounds cool Mrs. Peel! Good luck on your master’s program – not that you need luck of course.

As for the camera, I read some reviews and it may not be for me after all.

3. harrison - April 10, 2007

Dude, e-mail me. I sell these things for a livin’.

4. Enas Yorl - April 10, 2007

Oh, sweet! Someone who can put me some f’n knowledge here.

5. Elzbth - April 10, 2007

Did Harrison leave an e-mail address? Or is he just teasing you?

6. Enas Yorl - April 10, 2007

Well, at first I thought he might have been, but then I remembered you can see the email address people leave on the admin side. Plus the helpful Pupster sent us both a nice introductory e-mail. Good doggy!

7. Pupster - April 11, 2007

*furious tail wagging*

8. harrison - April 11, 2007

Pupster’s nice that way.

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