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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Lights...camera...action! » » Camera (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tor Egil
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Elite user
Norway
495 Posts

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Would you recommend a cheap digital camera? I found one for about 200 bucks. That's all I can afford right now. Would it be good picture quality?
RileyG
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Special user
Las Vegas
834 Posts

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Does the camera work and what make & model is it? My Canon XL1S's run approx $4,500 each...
Signed,
Riley G Matthews Jr
SAG-AFTRA actor
Www.RileyG.com
SnakeBabe
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New user
Las Vegas
90 Posts

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Digital still or video? At $200. dollars I assume you mean still.
“Good” would be based on if you need to print the images or just use them for the Internet. My experience is that any inexpensive digital still camera will work for the Internet but if you are looking to do promo shots and print them you need to go up to a mega-pixel camera. The better ones run in the $800.-$1,000. range.

I have had great luck with Sony and Olympus and believe me I take a LOT of pictures!

Hugs and Hissessss,
Maria
mghia
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Veteran user
Kymystical
387 Posts

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The key to digital stills is the SIZE of your prints. Go to review sites to see ratings.
Prices for a 3.2 mega pixel camera of excellent quality can be found for $550 at the time of this post.
I went with a Canon G3, which is a 4 mega pixel jobby. I chose it since it allows for an external flash and you can change out lenses.
At this date it is one of the top rated in it's class and I bought it from Dell for under $550.
Ok so you said you do not have the cash huh?
So what size do you want to print or have printed out?

Side by side at 4x6 you can get away with a 2.x MP and if the quality and optics are there, you will not be able to tell the difference. There are PLENTY of cameras in the 2 MP range for around $200-225 and they will keep dropping.
Going up to 8x10 for promos, the most you would normally need, 3.2 MP camera and for the extra $100 or so you will get better features all the way around.

Some experts will tell you that some 2.x MP cameras will produce a better image than some 3.2 MP units and this is true. I have not seen it but think of it this way-
Numbers can be fudged but with ANY optical device it still comes down to the quality of the lens.
The bigger the lens the more light is allowed into the camera as well as the ability to increase focus. BUT the GLASS QUALITY is the BIGGEST FACTOR OF ALL. The image processor can only record what it sees through the lens.

As I said, Canon tops all the lists at review sites for quality and they have a wide range of cameras. I did enjoy playing with the Sony F717 but again that is a $675-800 camera if you shop around. (laser guided focus is just so cool.)

I have run some tests and if you have a good image processor and a good lens you can get up to an 8x10 that will look good from a 2.3 MP camera. You are are locked to using the onboard flash which will give you amateur lighting issues however.

Oh and finally a tip for all. Check your local stores film processing. The local Wal-mart by me will make prints from the CF card or disc and it runs through their Fugi film machine for only $.29 per print.
That is cheaper than I can print it out if you add in all the costs of doing it at home. 5x7s are about $1.50, which is ok for occasional needs or test shots. 8x10's are a bit steep at $4.95. You can find houses that run off bulk 8x10s for under $2 a piece.

Oh and one final thought, don’t get too crazy shopping around for a camera. The technology will keep changing for some time before DCs standardize like SLRs. Some say you need to be at 6 MP to equal the quality of an SLR. The golden rule is that the camera price will always drop just after you buy it and a year later you might be able to buy 2 cameras for the same price you paid for the one... Just get one and start using it.
Don't forget you can write it off if you are a legal business.

PS-
If you were talking Digital VIDEO- I like the Canon GL2 over the XL1. The XL1 is a fine camera used by quite a few small filmmakers and portable news people.
BUT if you do not need to change the lens, which most do not, you can get the GL2 for $2500. I am still amazed the XL1 has been updated very little and still a popular seller. With the GL2 you get newer chips and according to Canon a higher res image. Plus the cost is lower. They added a still camera feature but what shocked me is that the GL2 stills are stuck at the 2.x MP range. You would think for that money it would be higher quality.
Coolmagic
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New user
My mom...
67 Posts

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The quality of your picture will be associated with yourself.(Is he a pro,quality of the performer,the magic,etc..)

Maybe it's best is to rent a good one and maybe with the cameraman too for your promostuff.

VCM
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