Choosing a Digital Camera

Yes, I still like my Minolta Dimage 5 megapixel camera.

I’m not sure what model I’d get today, but my wish list is still the same (and was mostly fulfilled by the Minolta Dimage) Minolta doesn’t sell my model anymore – the new one uses a proprietary battery pack. So, I wouldn’t choose it today.

1) My digital camera must take “AA” batteries so I’m not slave to some funky Lithium hybrid that requires me to also carry around a special charger just for my camera. I want to buy AA or AAA batteries at Walgreen or CVS if my rechargeable batteries fail.

2) My digital camera must use standard SD or Compact Flash Media. I don’t want proprietary (or expensive) memory formats like xD or Sony’s Memory Stick. I want to be able to buy memory easily and cheaply from Walgreen, K-mart or a variety of memory sellers.

3) My digital camera must have an integrated, automatic lens cover. If the lens cover is separate, the risk of losing it (and the difficulty to replace it) is too great.

4) My digital camera must have both an optical and digital zoom. The digital zooms are handy, but just don’t capture the same image quality as an optical zoom.

5) My digital camera must fit in my shirt pocket. “You take the camera. No, you take it. No, you take it. No, you take it.” That was the conversation between me and my wife when we had the four pound, SLR-like Olympus digital camera. No one wanted to carry it. Now it’s easy to take along in a shirt or jacket pocket.

6) “No, you take the pictures. No, you take the pictures.” That was our other conversation with our Olympus SLR-type digital. It was much too complex for the average picture taker. The Minolta Dimage we now own has a point-and-shoot mode, but also has more complex settings if you’re geeky and want to diddle with f-stops and the like.

Here’s the one unsatisfied wish: The Dimage has a several second wait time for the flash strobe to charge.  You should also give special consideration to the amount of time that is required for your digital camera’s flash to recharge.
Chuck Eglinton

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