Null Bit Me

An anonymous null bit wanders… wanting to infect.

Under INR20,000 Digital Cameras Reviewed

with one comment

UPDATE [31/Jul/2007]:

THIS  POST  IS  OBSOLETE  NOW

A couple of days back, a (lazy) friend asked me to suggest him some digital cameras that he should consider while buying. And he won’t give me any specifications because he has no idea what to look out in a camera 🙂

Anyways, I just spent about 2-3 hours evaluating a few cameras and sent him a long mail. I thought all that research could be useful to other people too. So I am reproducing the mail (with relevant edits) below. I hope it is useful to some people.

Disclaimer: I am NO expert in cameras. But then most cameras are not bought by experts! So what follows is a very naive review of some shortlisted cameras using information that I found on the Internet.

First of all, I shortlisted some cameras which had the following features (that I would consider mandatory for buying a digital camera). But before that I had to narrow down brands. I decided to choose the following brands which are (I think) easy to get in India:

  1. Canon
  2. Kodak
  3. Nikon
  4. Olympus

Then I made the following conditions manadatory before I shortlisted any digital cameras:

  1. It should be a 6 MP (megapixel) camera or more.
  2. It should have video capabilities with 640 x 480 @ 30 fps.
  3. It should have a good optical zoom. I love 10x optical zoom cameras 🙂
  4. The price of the camera should preferably be within INR 20,000
  5. The LCD should preferably be 2.5″

Using the excellent search features provided by Digital Photography Review, I shortlisted the following cameras:

  1. Canon A710 IS
  2. Kodak EasyShare V610
  3. Kodak EasyShare Z612
  4. Nikon Coolpix S4
  5. Nikon Coolpix S10
  6. Olympus SP-510 UZ

After going through all the brochures/specifications etc. from the official sites, I have ranked the cameras as follows. PLEASE note that the ranking is in decreasing order of preference (i.e. I have rated the first camera listed as the best). In addition, I have listed down the salient features of each camera in a *decreasing* order of goodness.

So here goes the rankings (clap clap :-)):

  1. Canon A710 IS
    Image Stabilization
    – 7.1 MP
    Focus: Macro: 0.39 in.-1.8 ft./1-55cm (WIDE) [This was the best among the reviewed cameras]
    Shutter Speed: 15-1/2000 sec. (settable in Tv and M) [This was the best among the reviewed cameras]
    – Aperture: f/2.8-4.8
    – 6x optical zoom [This was a tiny disappointment. I would have loved a 10x-12x optical zoom here]
    – 640 x 480 @ 30fps (or 320 x 240 @ 60fps)
    – Memory: SD/MMC
    – ISO: Auto, ISO 80/100/200/400/800
    – AA batteries (also AA-sized rechargable Ni-MH battery)
    – 2.5″ LCD (115K pixels)
    – Flash: Normal: 55cm-3.5m (W), 55cm-2.5m (T) Macro: 30-55cm (W-M)
    Look at photos taken by this camera
  2. Olympus SP-510 UZ
    – 7.1 MP
    – 10x optical zoom
    Focus: Super Macro Mode: 1.18” – infinity (3cm – infinity) [You can take photos really close to the object]
    – Digital image stabilization [Note however that this is not real image stabilization]
    ISO (AUTO, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 2500*, 4000* (* approx. 3 Megapixels))
    – Aperture: f2.8 – f3.7 (adjustable in 1/3 EV step)
    – Flash: Wide: 14.8 ft. (4.5m), Tele: 11.2 ft. (3.4m)
    AA batteries (4) (630 images per charge)
    – Take pictures in low light conditions with Bright Capture Technology
    – 2.5″ LCD (115K pixels)
    – Shutter Speed: 15 – 1/1000 seconds, Bulb
    – Memory: xD-Picture Card™ (16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB, 1GB or 2GB) [This is not very good since these memory cards are used in extremely few devices and hence cannot be reused or borrowed from or lent to friends]
    Look at photos taken by this camera
  3. Kodak EasyShare Z612
    640 x 480 video @ 30fps with stereo sound in MPEG-4 upto 80 mins. [This is real good. I wish more cameras had MPEG-4 videos. You use up only about 1/10th of the memory compared to the normal videos in other cameras! If videos are very important to you, choose this camera.]
    Image stabilization
    – 12x optical zoom
    – 6.1 MP
    – Aperture: f/2.8-f/4.8
    – Memory: SD/MMC
    High resolution viewfinder (230K). 100% field of view.
    – Flash: wide: 2.0–15.4 ft (0.6–4.7 m) at ISO 140 ; tele: 3.9–8.9 ft (1.2–2.7 m) at ISO 140
    – Proprietary Li-Ion Rechargable Battery.
    – Shutter Speed: 16 to 1/1000 seconds (adjustable in 1/3 EV step)
    – macro wide: 4.7 in.–2 ft (12–60 cm) [This is bad. Close-up photographs at short distances will not be good.]
    Look at photos taken by this camera
  4. Nikon Coolpix S10
    Image stabilization (with Image Sensor Shift and vibration reduction)
    – 2.5″ LCD (230K pixels)
    – Focus: macro: upto 1.6″
    unique swivel design [This is unique to Nikon. I like it.]
    – 6 MP
    – 10x optical zoom
    – Memory: SD
    – Aperture: f/3.5
    – ISO: upto 800
    – Proprietary Li-Ion battery (300 images per charge)
    Look at photos taken by this camera
  5. Kodak EasyShare V610
    Extremely small and thin
    2.8″ LCD
    Embedded BLUETOOTH
    640 x 480 video @ 30fps with stereo sound in MPEG-4 upto 80 mins.
    – 10x optical zoom
    – 6.1 MP
    – Memory: SD/MMC
    – Shutter Speed: 8–1/1200 sec.
    – Focus: macro wide: 2.0 in.–2.3 ft (0.05–0.7 m)
    – Flash: 2.0–11.2 ft (0.6–3.4 m) at wide, ISO 280 ; 2.0–10.8 ft (0.6–3.3 m) at tele, ISO 400
    – Aperture: f/3.9–f/7.1 at wide, f/4.8–f/8.0 at tele [This is the ONLY reason why I rate this camera so low down. I think night photography will be awful with this camera.]
    Look at photos taken by this camera
  6. Nikon Coolpix S4
    – unique swivel design
    – 6 MP
    – 10x optical zoom
    – Memory: SD
    – AA batteries (2) (290 images per charge from alkaline batteries)
    – Aperture: f/3.5
    – Focus: macro upto 2.5″
    – 2.5″ LCD (110K pixels)
    Look at photos taken by this camera

Now we can’t forget memory prices which will have to be bought. The memory prices being quoted at JJMehta today are as follows:

SD Card: 512MB – Rs. 995 ; 1GB – Rs. 1750 ; 2GB – Rs. 2750
xD Card: 512MB – Rs. 1500 ; 1GB – Rs. 2250

Well, that is it. Please do remember that I am no expert in digital cameras 🙂

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Written by Null Bit

Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 1:39 am

Posted in Reviews

One Response

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  1. Hi!,

    name

    Monday, September 1, 2008 at 8:21 am


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