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question about a digital camera

 
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I saw this ad in Newsweek:

10mega pixel digital camera for $299.
Company: BELL Howell
Free ad-ons: Camera carrying case, Tripod.
Features: built-in 16MB memory.
Uses interpolation to achieve 10Mega pixels.
4x digital zoom.
Works on 2 AAA batteries.
Built in microphone & Speaker.

Is this too good to be true. Any one tried the products from Bell Howell??
 
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:
I saw this ad in Newsweek:

10mega pixel digital camera for $299.
Company: BELL Howell
Free ad-ons: Camera carrying case, Tripod.
Features: built-in 16MB memory.
Uses interpolation to achieve 10Mega pixels.
4x digital zoom.
Works on 2 AAA batteries.
Built in microphone & Speaker.

Is this too good to be true. Any one tried the products from Bell Howell??



It sounds like both the resolution and the zoom are virtual. I would go for a camera with real pixels and optical zoom. Bell & Howell used to make good 8mm movie cameras, but I haven't heard of them in the camera market for many years. I checked with the premier digital camera shop in Toronto (Vistek) and they had no information on these, it's also not reviewed by dpreview.com.
 
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Don't mean to slander the company, but my grandmother sent my daughter a Bell & Howell Camera (35mm) that she sent away for from an advertisement that came with her credit card bill. It was a cr*ppy little plastic thing that didn't even survive through one roll of film...

...my $.25
 
peter wooster
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A few minutes of reading the dpreviews forum shows that the B&H brand is no longer a real brand. It's been sold for its name value to various low quality producers. The bottom line on that forum was that you can get a better 5 mp camera for less money and use off camera interpolation to get the same result.
 
Kishore Dandu
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Thanks a bunch folks.
 
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:

10mega pixel digital camera for $299.
Company: BELL Howell
Free ad-ons: Camera carrying case, Tripod.
Features: built-in 16MB memory.
Uses interpolation to achieve 10Mega pixels.
4x digital zoom.
Works on 2 AAA batteries.
Built in microphone & Speaker.



Let's take those specs apart and see where we get.

10MP camera: the latest highend digital cameras are now 8-12MP. Those cost a thousand or more, most of that is the sensor.
16MB memory: at 10MP that's not even enough to store a single image at full quality.
4x digital zoom: Digital zoom is useless. Optical zoom is all that counts and even then just mentioning 4x... doesn't say anything. 4x what? What's the smallest focal length of the lens? 4x 2mm is 8, 4x 10mm is 40.
2 AAA batteries: sounds nice until you remember that digital cameras use extraordinary amounts of power. And there are no rechargable AAA batteries. You'd have to cart around a truckload of very expensive and often hard to get (especially in out of the way places like national parks) AAA batteries.

That should be enough to steer you away from whatever claims they make.

In years reading Time and Newsweek I've come to regard almost all ads in them that are not from major bigname brands with extreme suspicion.
 
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How about Fujifilm Digi Camera.

6 mega pixel
3 optical zoom etc and just $269 or 299 in Circuit city.
 
Gail Schlentz
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Since we're on the topic... I'm in the market for a digital camera again. The one I bought 2-3 years ago (Sony CD Mavica 250) doesn't zoom enough, & only is 2.0 megapixels.

I've been checking out Olympus cameras in the <$400 range, & here are the ones that look the best so far...

C-740 Ultra Zoom - 3.2 mp & 10x optical zoom

C-5500 - 5.1 mp & 5x optical zoom

C-7070 - 7.1 mp & 4x optical

Does anyone have any input on these, or similar models?

Thanks!
 
Jeroen Wenting
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RK, Fuji are generally pretty good for the money. But without the exact type there's little anyone can tell you.

Elaine, why specifically Olympus?
Without knowing what you want to use it for it's very hard to say which if any of those will work for you. The 3MP model may be enough if you only want to use the results on a website or for vacation snapshots for example, but if you want to make large prints to hang on the wall it's woefully inadequate.
OTOH the 7MP can be used for that but is useless if you need a telephoto lens.
 
peter wooster
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Originally posted by Elaine Micheals:
... Does anyone have any input on these, or similar models?



There's lots of info on Digital Camera Reviews.
 
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You guys might want to consider Canon Powershot A510, a relatively new model. Since I use it for non-professional purpose, the spec met my basic needs. You can read the review at dpreview.com. Honestly, many times, I was tempted to buy the slim, pocket-size Canon SD series, but then discarded the idea because they use proprietary batteries.
 
Gail Schlentz
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

Elaine, why specifically Olympus?



It was just the recommendation of the first person I asked, "what kind of camera is that?" And it turned out to the be the best fit for me. I researched a bunch, & kept coming back to the Olympus C-series. I just ordered the C-770. 4.0mp with 10x optical zoom. Got it for around $350 from Circuit City online. From what I've read, 4.0 will give really good quality when you blow up a portion of a picture. Most of my pics go on a website, but when I get a really good shot of someone, I'll often frame it & give as a gift, so I was looking for a nicer photo quality.

A lot of the pictures I take are of my husband & friends on horses, so the zoom will really come in handy!
[ April 11, 2005: Message edited by: Elaine Micheals ]
 
Jeroen Wenting
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4MP is good enough for use on websites or for smaller prints. Don't expect good results from prints of more than about 5", especially from crops.
 
What do you have to say for yourself? Hmmm? Anything? And you call yourself a tiny ad.
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