Your Questions About Sony Digital Camera

Donald asks…

Which Sony Cybershot digital camera should i buy?

I recently started looking for a new Sony Cybershot digital camera. My very old DSC W100 (8.1 MP)is outdated, but i like its features (such as vivid, black and white, sepia, increase sharpness, increase contrast. Do you know of any new versions of Sony cameras with these features that isn’t as outdated?

Pip answers:

I would suggestion these good and new Sony digital cameras :

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 : 14.1MP, 10x optical zoom Sony G-Lens, 3.0-inch LCD screen, HD Movie mode (720p), Capture breathtaking images in Sweep Panorama Mode

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W330 : 14.1MP, 4x optical zoom, 3.0-inch LCD screen, SteadyShot Image Stabilization reduces blur, iAuto mode automatically optimizes camera settings

Laura asks…

Why is the screen on my digital camera black when i turn it on?

I got my sony digital camera aorund christmas time and its broken once before but that was a while ago. Now when i try to turn it on the screen just stays black. I can still take a picture but i cant see the picture or anything. Does anyone know how i can fix it by tomorrow?

Pip answers:

If your LCD isn’t cracked, it could just be that you have it turned off. If that is the case there should be a button on your camera that says something like “display” or “LCD”. If you can’t locate a button like this then look in your owners manual. Look in the index for something like “LCD” or “Display” or “Turning off the LCD”. If you can’t find anything like this just call customer service and ask how you turn on the LCD for your camera model. If they tell you where to locate a button to turn on the LCD and it works then fine. If not tell them what’s wrong and they’ll try to diagnose it for you. Sony is very good about customer service, so there shouldn’t be a problem.

Michael asks…

How do I copy my video cd to my computer that I recorded with my digital camera?

I have a sony digital camera that takes those little mini dvd’s. I recorded what I needed to record, then I took the dvd out and put it in my cd drive. It has a special spot for those dvd’s so its definatley reading it. But how do I save it so I can import it into windows movie maker and post it on youtube?

Pip answers:

Presuming you finalized the miniDVD (if needed, check the camcorder manual) and the optical drive in your computer can read DVDs, a DVD ripper can get the video off the disc. I like Handbrake… There are lots of them out there.

Rip the video from the disc to a format MovieMaker like (.wmv, .avi, .dv, among others), drag to the MovieMaker clips pane (in the middle) or the timeling (at the bottom). Edit. Save. Then “Save as” a format YouTube likes. has good FAQs and instructions for the various file formats that work best (yes, even for YouTube files).

Lizzie asks…

Sony Alpha NEX-5 Digital Camera?

Sony Alpha NEX-5 Digital Camera Is it worth buying

Pip answers:

Sony Alpha NEX-5 Digital Camera was introduced on May 10, 2010, which is an Alpha Compact interchangeable lens digital cameral that provides full HD video, digital SLR in a compact boby that is easy to slip into a jacket pocket or a small purse for ultimate portability. With breakthrough video performance, Sony Alpha NEX-5 camera was the world s first interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C sensor to continuously adjust focus and exposure while recording video. The Sony NEX-5 camera offers Full HD movie capture (1080i AVCHD and 720p MP4) with Full HD 60i recording. So we can just conclude: The Sony NEX-5 is the world’s first and smallest interchangeable-lens digital camera for professional HD quality in your pocket.

Sony Alpha NEX-5 Digital Camera Features:
- Slim, light, compact design, intuitive user interface
- 14.2 megapixels Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor
- E-mount interchangeable lens system
- 1080i AVCHD and 720p movie
- Sweep Panorama with 3D
- High speed burst shooting
- 7.5cm/3″ tilt-angle TruBlack LCD
- Intelligent AUTO (Automatically recognizes common shooting situations, and adjusts camera settings for beautiful results)
- Background Defocus Control
- Face Detection and Smile Shutter

A Very good product .Be worth buying.

Paul asks…

Which company has the best digital cameras?

Im looking for a top notch digital camera

Pip answers:

Sony definetly has the best digital cameras and other fantastic technological devices. Also Kodak digital cameras as well.

You have make an informed choice though and really think about which camera to buy in terms of durability, ease of use, and megapixels(the higher the megapixel the better the photo will turn out).

I have an old digital camera from Panasonic that has a durable case and has never broken down. My friend around the end of last year bought a Kodak digital camera, after around an hour of using the camera the screen had a black smudge on it and u could not see the picture on the lcd screen. She took it back and had another one given to her. The camera she has is working fine so far. My dad (who is an electronics technician) said that the newer models of digital cameras are not as durable as alot of the older models of digital cameras because the lcd displays break easily.

I hope that my answer helps you decide on which camera that you looking to purchase.

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Your Questions About Digital Photography School

William asks…

Would this be a weird color camera for a guy to have?

I won this at raffle for my senior class trip, I need a new camera but I think this a rather feminine color… is it ok for a guy to use or should I just sell it and get a new one?

Pip answers:

Pink is feminine, I would think that burgundy would be just fine. Guys tend to like dark colours (stealth and all) and wimmins like flashy coloured devices ….

Joseph asks…

can someone who is skilled in digital photography please answer these interview questions?

1) How do you prepare for your work?
2) How did you become a professional in this field?
3) What are the easiest things about your job?
4) What’s the hardest thing about your job?
5) How can I become a professional in this career?
6) How has digital photography changed this field?
7) What are colleges that I can attend if I am interested in studied your field?

Pip answers:

1) How do you prepare for your work? I meditate prior to any photo shoot. Then I scoop out the area. I go look a day prior or weeks prior and try to get a feel for the one day without the camera one day with so I can be intune with nature.

2) How did you become a professional in this field? Buy charging money for what i love to do. I feel bad sometimes but as a landscape artist/photographer/painter I feel more connected to my work than just someone viewing my work. So my prices are more on the high end.

3) What are the easiest things about your job? Doing what I love being myself.

4) What’s the hardest thing about your job? – Dealing with people asking questions “What are you doing” are you photographing me. And trying to be nice to them. A reason I do landscape nature photography is to not deal with people as most annoy me!

5) How can I become a professional in this career? – pick up a camera start shooting and show off your work be willing to sell at flea markets yardsales and be willing to spend the money and time to learn what you need to learn to go further. Don’t plan on making a crap load of money. Unless you want to do events like weddings

6) How has digital photography changed this field? It made it easier for someone who always wanted to take a lot of photo’s take a lot of photo’s some people are really good so it increases competition.

7) What are colleges that I can attend if I am interested in studied your field? – I went to school for broadcasting. If you want to work in this field chances are you don’t need an education however I will always suggest business classes most photographers end up owning their own business most fail because they know everything about a camera but nothing about how to run a business.

Mandy asks…

What do I have to do to start in a Professional photography field?

I’m 17, and I really would like to be a professional photographer once I get out of high school. What do I need to do to start out in this field? I’ve taken a year of digital photography, and that is what sparked my love for it, but I have no idea what to do next. Any suggestions?

Pip answers:

Do you want to be a photojournalist? A fashion photographer? A portrait photographer? A nature photographer?

The best thing you can do is to master your craft. See if a local studio is looking for any photographic assistants. See if any of your local papers are looking for either staff photographers or are accepting work from free lancers.

You can also join a local camera club. You will also probably want to take some time to study film photography. The broader your experience, the greater your chances at success.

You might also want to look at either college or film school. You can make contacts there that will be very helpful as you establish yourself as a photographer.

Good luck.

Steven asks…

What are the best photography schools in Paris?

I already have a Bachelors in Fine Arts so am looking for something more short term – e.g. a Masters or six month course etc. I particularly wish to learn digital photography skills. Any answers very much appreciated!

Pip answers:

Try to watch here for know about some schools:

Try to watch this forum:

John asks…

Art school in Europe where you can learn about darkrooms, analogue cameras etc?

I’m NOT interested in digital photography and I want to learn everything about using the tools and techniques that photographers used before the digital era – darkroom technique and all kinds of analogue cameras. Both shorter courses and educations that leads to a degree is okay. I’d prefer to study in an art school in the EU, but all suggestions are welcome.

Pip answers:

Well, I think Paris is a good place to study this.


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Your Questions About Nikon Digital Cameras Amazon

Richard asks…

What is a cheap but good quality digital camera?

I need a good quality digital camera. Maybe 10mp? I dont have that much money to spend on a camera so it needs to be a cheap one. thanks for any answers!!!!! :)

Pip answers:

The Nikon Coolpix series are the best in my opinion. I have had a few different cameras in my life but i have tried many different ones and this is the best

Donald asks…

What kind of digital camera should i get?

I want to get a digital camera (prolly has to be a dslr) that takes photos without that FUZZZY digital camera quality when you put pics on the computer to view them. Just regular camera nothing special, no big bucks less than a grand .What kind of camera should I get/what information should i look for so i can avoid that “fuzzy pixely look” (aka megapixels, etc.)? Thank you so much

Pip answers:

As far as brands I would recommend Nikon or Cannon. I just moved from 35mm SLR to DIGITAL SLR. I bought a Nikon D60. I got it on I believe it runs $400-500. I bought mine as refurbished (body only) so it cost me quite a bit less.

The D60 is designed for the intermediate/advanced amateur who is on a limited budget. While I already had non digital lenses from my 35mm, I would definitely recommend getting a digital auto focus lens. The standard lens that comes with the D60 is ok and will work for average amateur needs. However if you want a bit of an upgrade while still remaining under a grand, go for Nikon’s Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR ED Nikkor Lens. Retail is $350-400 for a new one. But again, don’t be afraid of factory reconditioned. I am very pleased with my D60 reconditioned. It comes boxed and packaged as new. Nikon factory reconditioned products are often demo models that have been re-inspected to make sure they meet standards.

Again, you can decide what level of camera you want. I am a fan of for good deals, otherwise try the Nikon or cannon websites if you are willing to try the reconditioned route.

I am very pleased with the quality of mine. The D60 produces 10.2 megapixles. This quality will be more than enough unless you are producing a billboard sized print.

Linda asks…

Looking for a good brand for a digital camera?

I don’t plan to spend over 100$ for this camera.
I had Kodak digital cameras before but I heard their new cameras are not that great.
What brand do you recommend? I’ve heard of Nikon, Canon and Olympus are good.
How high should I go for megapixels? Should I stay between 12-14?
Looking for a camera that can take great pictures in any type of lighting and also that can take videos.
I’ve heard of ISO performance? What is it? I heard it ranges from 100 to 3200. What number should my camera have to make sure it provides good quality pictures?

Thank you :)
100 to 150 $

Pip answers:

I think you should consider Canon PowerShot A3300 IS 16.0 MP Digital Still Camera with 5x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom, Record movies with 720p HD video. Http://

Michael asks…

is there such a thing as a digital camera that takes photo at the time you press the button?

Im looking for a digital camera. All the ones Ive owned/used have an annoying delay between pressing the button and the actual photo being taken. Are there any available that shoot like a film camera? What is this feature called?

Pip answers:

This feature is called, “Not being slow as molassis.” And it’s more common than you think.

The cameras you’re complaining about are either a few years old or cheaply made. But digital camera speed has vastly improved in the last two or three years.

Even among inexpensive point-and-shoot’s, there are cameras without shutter lag.

Fujifilm is probably the best value, speed for money. The Fujifilm Finepix F20 can go up to ISO 2000, which means it’s very fast! I use it and have yet to experience shutter lag in good lighting. And if I can often get sharp (not blurry) pictures at night too. You can find it for $120 on ebay. Newer versions — like the F50 — sell for more in brick-and-morter shops.

The least expensive camera I know of that doesn’t have noticeable shutter lag is the Nikon Coolpix L10. Its ISO up to 800 is good for daylight and indoor situations. Wal-Mart has it for $90. The newest version, the L18, is better at night and sells for $140 on Amazon.

Of course, any D-SLR on the market today will also give you the speed you’re used to with a film camera. Still, if you’re only buying a camera for the extra speed, it might make more financial sense to go with a fast point-and-shoot or ZLR (hybrid).

By the way, megapixels (resolution) have nothing to do with speed. In fact, excessive megapixels can slow down a camera’s processor. And since you only need 5 or 6 MP to decently print a poster, buying a camera just because it’s 8 MP isn’t really worth it.

If you are concerned with speed, check the camera’s maxiumum ISO (shutter speed) instead. Anything above 800 is decent; anything above 1600 is great.

Sharon asks…

How to set up and use a Canon 650D digital camera?

How can I set up a new Canon 650D digital camera and what are suitable hardware and software that I could buy to use with the camera to view, edit and print my photographs.
Also explain how to set it up and maintain it.

Pip answers:

Explain how to set up and maintain the Canon DSLR. Tells me that you bought a DSLR because everybody on this site told you too. Now you are faced with how to operate the darn thing. Simply put you bought more camera than you should have. Well the only thing is to make the best of it.

1.You should not get into editing beyond the simple cropping that processors offer for now, you have enough on your plate. I always use a store in my community for most of my pictures.. I do not go into their store except to “pick-up” my order. I use their web site to crop, & order my prints. I don’t like putting my memory card into machines that have been abused by every “Tom, Dick & Harry!”
COMPUTER UPLOADING: buy & use a memory card reader ($6.00) instead of the camera to computer cord that drives people nuts.
2. Hardware; there is no hardware to buy now or ever. If you are referring to lenses, you do not have the experience now to go out and spend money on lenses that YOU really don’t have a need for yet.
SOFTWARE: you should have connected your camera to your computer for any up dates to your camera, when you first got your camera. Make this a once a year project. When I connected my camera, the web site updated the cameras software so I could use the (then) new SDHC memory cards.
3. Set the camera up and maintain it. Starting backwards unless you use some other size battery you should get yourself about 3 sets of double “A” rechargeable batteries. The best brand are Eneloop. Buy together with a battery charger is the most economical way. If you have a different size battery buy two extras batteries, or at least one. Keep batteries charged , what ever size you use.
4. NECK STRAP- Yahoo does not like it when I use capitals all the time BUT this is perhaps the most important thing you can do. Always wear the neck strap. You drop this camera, be warned-dropping is NOT covered under warranty! The camera belongs in two places only, around your neck or in the gadget bag! Not carry by it’s strap in your hands (like that blasted Nikon commercial implies!)
5.Auto setting, most people who own DLSR’s recommend against using the “Auto” setting. But I recommend YOU use it until you become familiar with your camera.

I also recommend you invest in some easy to read books by Scot Kelby. He writes in a very easy to read style. I have a few because at first digital was foreign to me coming from a film environment.
The really nice thing about his books beyond the understanding factor is his web site. He often refers you to his web site to make visual presentations easier to understand! This is a real plus for me.
And while we are on the subject of reading you should check amazon for a good book on your model camera. Instruction books are often hard to read because it seems they do not employ “tech” writers anymore and you are left with what is left.

That is enough on your plate!

Good Luck

P.S. I just read “Jim A’s” advise on the manual. He is correct but I take it one step further. I download and PRINT the manual, leaving out simple things I already know like putting batteries in the camera etc. I take the remaining pages to a large place like Staples and have them cut and spiral bind the rest. I carry this home made manual with me should I encounter a situation I am not familiar with.
All this editing and preparing also enhances my knowledge of the camera and I find I have less & less to refer to. And while I am on my soapbox, get your backside out there and shoot and shoot. Experience is the best teacher!

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Your Questions About Digital Cameras Reviews

Steven asks…

What digital camera has the highest quality HD video?

I need both a new digital camera and a new camcorder, I use both frequently and I think that I might save some money if I get a two in one sort of thing. I am will to spend up to but not exceeding $400…
I want a both to be pretty nice quality. I’m just not sure where to begin looking. Any suggestions/recommendations?

Pip answers:

You should consider a digital camcorder that also offers the function of taking still shots. That way you get the best of both worlds. I have this current digital camcorder w/ built in digital camera, and I love it! It’s well below your budget so I would definitely put this one in the running. I do suggest you take your time while shopping around, read reviews and gather all the suggestions and recommendations that come through here and compare one another. That will allow you to easily eliminate those aren’t aren’t true contenders. Hope this helps and good luck with your search!

Ruth asks…

What is the best pocket-size digital camera that is inexpensive?

I have a digital camera from 3 years ago and the quality was never good, the zoom was bad, and the batteries ran out fast. I’m considering the Nikon Coolpix s220, but after reading some reviews, I’m not sure if it’s the right choice for me.

Pip answers:

Go to and read the reviews. Start with the Sony cameras, they make some pretty good pocket cameras.

George asks…

What kind of digital camera for horse photos?

I’d like to get some better photos of my horses, who seem to be constantly in motion. The 2 digital cameras I have seem to have quite a delay on them and by the time the picture is taken they have moved again. Also, the movement photos are often blury, even when set on the action setting. I don’t want to spend a fortune. I’m not a professional and my extra funds go to the horses.

ALSO, why the heck do the suckers eat through batteries so fast? Honestly, if I want to use the camera for 20 minutes I need to replace the batteries in the begining and the end. Why? And the alkalai batteries last NO longer than the regular ones.

Thanks much in advance!
I’m sorry, I must not have made it clear. I would like a new camera. I’m just wondering what type to get and I don’t want to spend $500 on one.

Pip answers:

If you want to fix the one you have, you can probably adjust the flash. If the flash is off, it stays open longer to capture the image resulting in a blur. Which i do on purpose for some of my pictures. =)

to buy one, i found a camera with good reviews and a low price. $199 at 7.1 megapixels

oh, and i recommend rechargeable batteries and charger! It only costs once. And just for comparison, a few years ago i paid 200 for my camera and it is only 4 megapixels so that one looks like a good deal, thought i would show you. =)

happy shoppin! Cameras are fun

Donna asks…

How do you delete pictures on a scan disk used in a digital camera?

I have a Kodak C533 digital camera. I bought a sacn disk to store photos and then I transfer over to the PC. That worked well. Now how do I get the pictures off of the disk?
I pushed review on the camera and pulled up the photos and then hit delete. No luck. The instruction manual says to do follow the prompts but there are none.

Pip answers:

You need to format the card

John asks…

Whats the best digital camera for uploading videos to youtube?

Okay, so im trying to upload a video to youtube and my digital camera stinks, its a cheap version that hasn’t gotten good reviews but it was free. So in your opinions, what is the best digital camera that has both quality and ease of upload, the ease of upload being chief in point.

Pip answers:

Are you asking about camcorders or cameras?

I use a Canon Elura 100 camcorder and a Canon SD750 still camera. Both have excellent video, but the camcorder has better sound and video features.

In either case, I process all my videos using Pinnacle Studio Plus or Windows Movie Maker before uploading. That way I can tweak it any way I want.

Don’t buy a camera based on a ‘Direct Upload to YouTube’ capability… That’s just a come-on from the maker to hide the fact that the camera doesn’t have any useful features. Uploading to YouTube is easy!

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Your Questions About Canon Digital Camera Repair

Chris asks…

Canon Digital Camera Question?

I have a canon powershot. Well, so this is totally wierd. All of a sudden, the screen blacked out, and got all fuzzy. Almost like when the cable goes out on your tv. I didn’t do anything to it. Any idea’s what’s up? It appears that everything else works just fine. I can turn it on, take a pic, etc. It just takes’ black/fuzzy pics. Any idea where to take it? Also, I wonder if it would be cheaper to just get a new camera?

Pip answers:

Canon offers support through their website:
It sounds like the LCD display has stopped functioning, which could be costly to repair outside of a warranty. Good luck!

David asks…

I sent my digital camera to Canon for repair….?

I bought the warranty of course, but the lens just stopped opening and they will probably not say that’s a defect but my fault. Either way, I just got an e-mail that they have received my camera but that the repair costs will be 157.00 including parts, labour, tax and shipping it back to me…however, I only paid 129 for the camera? does this seem right? why would they charge me more when I could just go get a new camera for less than the repair price?….can someone tell me if this is fair/makes sense…?
Okay so if I were to could I go about writing a legitimate complaint where they would take me seriously as I’m sure they get complaints all the time?

Pip answers:

Hi Thrills,

First of all You need to establish what warranty rights you have with the manufacturer AND/OR seller. In general, camera MANUFACTURERS provide specific warranties on Parts and Labor that are included in the price of the camera, these vary in length based on the models and types of equipment but most decent camera companies will be at least 6 months to 1 year. In addition many DEALERS (the stores that sell cameras to consumers) sell additional or extended warranties. If you bought the camera in the past year or less it is probably under the manufacturers warranty, if it is older than that it may be covered by an extended warranty.

As the consumer it is generally up to YOU to provide the warranty information and make sure you are seeking the repairs from the appropriate provider. Most stores that sell extended warranties have an agreement with manufacturers or contracted service facilities to handle their warranty claims.

If you didn’t provide purchase information to Canon and/or didn’t register your warranty card you should contact them and find out how to provide the appropriate information. Be sure to keep records of when they acknowledged receiving the camera because that will help to establish the “occurrence date” of the malfunction. This is important in case the claim is not resolved before the warranty period expires because it establishes the approximate date of the failure. So long as you have made your claim before the expiration date the company is generally required to honor the warranty and they are usually inclined to honor the claims to maintain “goodwill” with the customer and to avoid unfavorable publicity.

If you purchased an additional warranty from the store that you bought it from there may be any number of choices depending on what the sellers warranty covers.

1] If they have a private agreement with Canon they may have contracted with Canon to provide either replacement or repair services. This usually requires the store to handle the repair transaction.

2] Many stores adopt a “No questions asked” exchange policy for “In store warranty” products, especially if they are under a certain $$$ value. That is because they often prefer to resolve a problem quickly with a customer and deal with repairing or returning defective products in groups with their customer service specialists. This helps a seller to identify products that are of higher or inferior quality and adjust their product offerings. It has the advantage of encouraging customers to keep coming back especially on items that they do not stock for more than a few months (because they will try to have a newer more desirable model to replace discontinued merchandise).

3] The store could also have an agreement with a local repair specialist that covers certain types of warranties. In this case the store will usually select someone with a good “turn around time” for repairs and will use the leverage of being a larger customer for the repair business.

In any case, you will need to show your original sales receipt or warranty forms that were included when you purchased the camera.

EDIT re: complaint letter.

This could be a whole separate question, but my advice is to treat it like an inquiry. Once you have determined who to contact with the warranty request you should write a letter that is very polite and asks what the procedure is to make your claim. Most people react best to polite requests for assistance and will usually HELP you get a warranty claim approved if you treat them as someone who is important and knowledgeable. I find that if I start out with a statement like “I would really appreciate your help to file this claim properly….” I get a much more positive and friendly response.

Hope that helps. Good luck. Email me if you need more details.

Mandy asks…

digital camera?

Does anyone know where to send a Polaroid digital camera (izone 550) to get repaired, or what website can help me.

Pip answers:

Repairs on a digital camera are very expensive, especially considering the prices of digitals have come down drastically. When I worked in a camera store, the average repair for a digital was $200-$300 on a camera of about the same price. Seems ridiculous. Seriously, get a new one, and never ever buy a polaroid digital camera. The camera’s with the least amount of repair problems would definitely be Canon, followed secondly by Nikon. I would not recommend any others.

John asks…

canon digital camera warranty?

how does the warranty work?…….some people say u hav to mail it to canon to repair ur camera….my mom says u hav to take it to some place for it to be repaired…how does it work….(btw-i live in reno, nevada)….there’s some dust under the screen, it’s not that big of a deal but i hate it lol

Pip answers:


If it is a Canon Warranty, it has to be sent back to Canon. You’re mom is mistaken.

Dust under the screen is probably not covered. The manufacturer warranties usually only cover manufacturing defects. You are probably better off taking it to a camera store to get cleaned.

Helen asks…

broken canon powershot digital camera?

Just a little over a month ago I bought a canon powershot.
This past week I accidentally dropped it. I think it would’ve been okay except for the fact that it landed on the lens and part of the lens looks like it’s shoved into the other part. It doesn’t seem like something that can’t be repaired so I was wondering if there is any service that can fix digital cameras? I was reading the instructions that came with the camera and it says that they will not repair anything that isn’t a malfunction of the camera. It’s a brand new camera and I’ve only used it a couple times so I don’t want to go out and buy a new one.

Pip answers:

It needs repaired by canon
over $100 to fix
costly accident

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Your Questions About Backing Up Digital Images

Mary asks…

advise on digital camera?

If I want to keep taking pictures and getting them developed at the photo shop is it worth getting a digital camera/ I like that you can see the picture on the camera after you take them but how do you get them developed if you do not have a printer to do so . And would prefer to just get the ones you like developed? Or can you, thanks for any help.

Pip answers:

Digital pictures don’t get developed in the same sequence as in a film camera. I don’t know of any film cameras which will allow you to see a digital image before taking the picture, but many single Lens reflex film cameras ( and all double lens reflex, like Rolleiflex) display the image on a screen on back of the camera. It is not digital, and can’t be “stopped” like a digital, but you can use it for composing.

Digital pictures are stored on a media called a memory stick, or card. The cards can be removed and used at the photo shop to print only the photos that you select. Or, you can load the pictures directly into your PC, and then upload them to a photo processor ( such as Walgreens, or Walmart) for developing. This is so fast that you can upload the ones you choose, at home, get in your car, run down to your friendly drug store, and pick up your pictures for less than you’d pay for having the film processed!

For permanence, your digital images need to be saved on some media other than the card in the camera. This can be your hard disc drive, a thumb drive, or CD-R. Once removed from the camera’s memory, the images are “gone”

Michael asks…

How to transfer images from your computer on to your camera?

I have a Canon digital IXUS 60, and i use zoombrowser Ex…would like to know if it is possible to transfer images to the camera……I can load them onto canon image gateway-whats this?

Pip answers:

On the computer, copy the images to the memory card of your camera. Then put the memory card back to your camera and view the images that you copied. ;)

William asks…

Digital Image Editing Q?,?

Hi, I’m a Wedding Photographer. I wanna some cool suitable Back ground images for Photo mixing.
could u give me the link where kud i avail diz type of Back ground images.

Pip answers:

You should find these helpful:

Richard asks…

Contax 645 Digital Vs. Nikon or Canon DSLR?

Hi folks,

I’ve asked a couple of camera-related questions on here before and gotten some excellent advice for which I am most grateful. (I’ve felt funny about having to choose a “best answer” when all of the answers I’ve received have been so helpful.)

Anyway, my latest dilemma is this: I have a Contax 645 film outfit which I’m VERY happy with, but I want to go digital. I am thinking about adding a PhaseOne digital back, which would give me 16 megapixels and Zeiss-quality images (my three Zeiss lenses are absolutely ridiculous in terms of sharpness and tonal range).

On the other hand, I’m also considering either a Nikon D2Xs or a Canon 5D, both of which would give me 12+ megapixels and more lens options (not exactly Zeiss quality, however). Other advantages would be faster autofocus, better portability, etc.

My question is: if money were no object, would you go for the PhaseOne/Contax setup or the Nikon or Canon? Which option would give me the best image?

Thanks very much!
Btw: The DB I’d be looking at is a PhaseOne H20 and the capture software is Capture One 3.7.5. A friend of mine is willing to unload it on me for $2000…

Thanks again!

Pip answers:

I admit that this is speculation on my part, as I do not have personal experience with medium format digital backs. Perhaps some film experience will translate and perhaps comparing smaller sensors to larger sensors will also translate.

If image quality is your ultimate goal, I think the Contax digital back is the better way to go. As we see in smaller cameras, if you were to compare a 10 MP sensor in various sizes, we find 1/2.5″ (5×4 mm), 1/1.8″ (7×5 mm), 23 x 15 mm, and 29 x 19. (Approximate sizes; examples that I can actually find and verify) In general, the larger the sensor, the better the image quality. The more square millimeters you have to accomodate the sensor elements, the less digital artifact and noise you will get. I went to the Capture Integration site and looked around a bit. The 16 MP sensor is not a full 60×45 mm format, but “only” 36.9×36.9 mm. This makes sense, since the film take up nearly the full dimension of the film back and there is a lot of hardware involved in packaging the sensor. If money is no object, why not get the P45 back? It has 39 MP and it is 49.1×36.8 mm.

Let’s look at pixel density for the various sensors:
1/2.5″ (10 MP) = 500,000 per mm^2
1/1.8″ (10 MP) = 262,000 per mm^2
D2Xs (12.2 MP) = 32,788 per mm^2
Phase One P45 (39 MP) = 21,585 per mm^2
5D (12.7 MP) = 14,699 per mm^2
Phase One P20 (16 MP) = 11,750 per mm^2

Of course, image processing software will account for some differences in the final image quality, but you can see quantum leaps of difference in pixel density as you go from the P&S sensors to the SLR sensors and then to the Phase One sensors. The 5D is right up there with the large format backs. I’m not an engineer and I only have a rudimentary understanding of these things, but it seem obvious that the P20 would have better image quality than the D2Xs or 5D. And, the raw dimensions would be larger than either camera, so you would not have that apples to oranges problem. (I don’t know. It’s 2 AM and I may not be thinking straight. AND I’m rambling.)

I checked out the sample images for 4×5 film (which is not identified and is obviously scanned and might be “less than optimal”) and the P20 back. Personally, I’d choose the P20 images 7 days a week over the 4×5 images. I hope that they did not intentionally bias this test, but I like the definition and true colors of the P20 much better than the film. The image is a little smaller, which I assume is due to the smaller size of the sensor (compared to film) and not due to changing lenses, which was not disclosed in the test.

Anyhow, if image quality is your holy grail, I’d stick with the 645 camera with a digital back.

If real world considerations enter into the picture, of course, as we always say, it depends on what you are going to do with your camera and how it feels in your hands. If you are comfortable doing your job (whatever it is) with your Contax, surely you have no thirst for speed. If you need more than three lenses, buy more. Yeah, I know the back is $10,000 (+/-) and you could buy the Nikon or Canon plus 2-3 top quality lenses for that money, but you’ve already got 3 lenses that you love.

I see Capture Imagination has a rental program. Why not rent a back for a month and see how it feels?


As much as I love my D200, I think the Canon 5D is a very desirable camera for the money; even NOT for the money. It’s a great camera. It’s relatively easy to handle, compared to the larger dSLR’s. The full format sensor is awesome, too. If I had $10,000 to spend and was not concerned with abandoning a nice Contax 645 setup, I’d buy the 5D and 3 or 4 L-series lenses in a heartbeat.

Laura asks…

Converting photo negatives into digital image files?

Has anyone ever heard of this before? Is it possible?

Pip answers:

Yes, it’s very possible. Here’s how:
1) at time of development, you can simply check a box to have the negatives scanned and get a CD of images back, for a small fee.

2) after development, you can have slides or negatives turned into digital files by:
a) using a dedicated slide/negative scanner like a Nikon Coolscan.
B) Use a flatbed scanner like an Epson 4490 to scan the slides or negatives
c) using a slide adapter on a digital SLR to photograph the slide, turning it into a digital file
d) finding a “service bureau” that will scan your slides/negatives and create digital files for you on recordable CD. This is getting harder to find.

The least expensive route for a “do it yourself” job is to use a flatbed scanner that has a top which accepts negatives (there’s a light in the lid that shines through the negative to the sensor below the glass–giving better results). You can find such scanners at, where flatbed scanners that can scan negatives sell for as low as $80.

Next up would be the dedicated film scanner. If you go this route, get one that has a USB connection. Used scanners are all over eBay so you should be able to find a bargain. Try a Nikon Coolscan. A coolscan III or better with USB should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Your Questions About Canon Digital Cameras Wiki

Ruth asks…

Buying a SLR camera?

I’m want to buy my girlfriend a camera for christmas.
I can ask her what she wants cause then she will know what I’m getting.

All i know is she wants a SLR camera that is not digital.
Any help?
Thats Cheap!!!!

Pip answers:

SLR is the type of lens: Single-Lens Reflex.


They are a lot faster than regular digital cameras (in capturing an image and producing it, etc.)

So I suggest going to best buy or futureshop and trying out the Canon Digital Rebel XTi, Nikon D40-D70, and so on.

They are higher up in price, but offer a lot more options and ofcourse more professional photographs than regular cameras.

I hope that helps

Good Luck

Sandy asks…

Will a Canon 540 EZ flash fit my Canon DIGITAL camera?

Pip answers:

You need to check that the camera you are considering has a hot shoe (see:

SLR line will almost certainly have it (, Point and Shoot (SD- and A- series) will likely not have it, high end powershot may have it (see

I am able to use 540 EZ flash with Canon EOS 20D.

Ken asks…

How much is a Canon EOS kiss X4?

If you know the prize of the Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 50mm? F1.4 kindly tell it to me too :) THANK YOU!

Pip answers:

The Canon EOS 550D is an 18.0 megapixel digital single-lens reflex camera, announced by Canon on 8 February 2010. It was made available starting 24 February 2010 and to US dealers starting early March. It is known as the EOS Kiss X4 in Japan, and as the EOS Rebel T2i in the Americas

Canon – EOS Rebel T2i 18.0-Megapixel DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm Lens

Pentax Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 8 Element Manual Focus Lens For Canon EOS EF Mount
$194.95 (used)

Lizzie asks…

Do Apple make Digital Cameras?

Pip answers:

No. In Apple Stores they sell Nikon, Canon, etc.

In the 90s when digital cameras first came on the scene, and were considered more of a computer accessory than a photographic tool, Apple sold a line of cameras called QuickTake:

Daniel asks…

Will the Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens work with the Canon EOS D60?

I am looking for some cheap lenses for the Canon EOS D60 (under $200) and I was thinking about buying the Canon EF-S 18-55mm second hand from eBay.
I am talking about this camera: so don’t get mixed up with any other ones.


Pip answers:

From the wiki article:
“The Canon EOS D60 is a discontinued 6.3 megapixel digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera body, announced by Canon on February 22, 2002[1]. It is part of the Canon EOS range, and accepts Canon EF, TS-E and MP-E lenses, but not Canon’s later digital-only EF-S lens range.”

The lens that you have in mind is an EF-S one, so it won’t work on that camera.

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Your Questions About Sony Digital Cameras India

Lisa asks…

Is Sony S 950 Cyber Shot is good for me?

Hi I am from India and want to purchase a digital Camera up to Rs. 10000/- i hv selected Sony S 950 Cyber Shot on internet. Is it good for me or suggest me what i should buy.

Pip answers:

Sounds good to me
go for it

Ruth asks…

which brand and model of mobile phone has the best digital camera?

I am asking about the ones available in India only
How is Nokia X2
ok, and also the fairly good ones at a lower price, say a little above or around Rs 6000/-.
and how gud is a 2MP camera?

Pip answers:

Any Sony Ericsson with the cybershot label :-)

Lizzie asks…

sony digital camera T900 price in india ?

Pip answers:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900 Digital Camera
Price : Rs.18925
The Sony CyberShot T900 is beautifully easy to operate. The 3.5″-inch wide Xtra Fine LCD touchscreen gives a detail-packed view of your pictures, as well as fingertip control of camera settings.There^s a new Intelligent Auto mode that makes operation simpler than ever. The Sony T900 camera automatically analyses the scene and sets the appropriate settings for the subject, for the best results with any scene.

Go with this camera.. A good one with good overall performance, best image quality in all conditions, and value for money..
===== ======

George asks…

Where to buy Sony digital camera – Dubai or India?

I plan to buy a digital camera around Rs.10000. I’m looking for Sony Cybershot camera.I stay in Chennai. My friend is in Dubai. he has enquired about the price and quality there. he says he can get a good sony DSC-W130 with 8.1MP,4x optical zoom, 1GB card,case,lithium battery with 1 year warranty for Rs.12000. How much does it cost in India with the same configuration?
I want to know whether its equal or cheaper when compared to India and whether the quality will be better than in India? how about the price difference?
Please tell me where can i buy it?

Pip answers:

Pls visit
the cost of the camera is around 13,990 rs.
So u should decide where to buy…
Usually when buying abroad, you wil some accessories along with a camera for a good price….sometimes in india…other than these, u should look for international guarantee and other stuff….if u are going to be in india itself, better buy it in india comprimising the money u might spend to buy some that in future u could get good service……think practically…..good luck….

Nancy asks…

Is there any sony digital camera service centre in hyderabad[india]?

Pip answers:

I would contact

Ms Puneet Chandok
Public Relations Officer
Sony India Private Ltd
Phone – 011-55006600
e-mail –
Toll Free Number 1600-1111-88


2-2-647/A/3, II floor, Karur Vysya Bank Building Shivam Road, New Nallakunta, Hyderabad-500013
Tel: (91) (40) 2742 3064/ (91) (40) 2760 3584/ (91) (40) 2766 3064
Fax: (91) (40) 2766 3064
Business Hours: 9:30am – 6:00pm (Monday – Saturday)
Enquiry: Click Here
Extra Info: Click Here

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Your Questions About Nikon Digital Cameras Target

David asks…

How to clean my Nikon digital camera screen?

And not scratch it or pay alot?

Pip answers:

I use a lens cleaning wipe, I got it at Target in the Glasses section. They are little disposable wipes that you can use to clean your lens and they also work well for the screen!

Richard asks…

For a Nikon D40 what should my settings be for snow?

I have a Nikon D40 and would like to take action shots of snowboarders in the snow. Which settings should I put for the best results? Please also tell me for both sunny or cloudy because I don’t know what the conditions will be.

Pip answers:

This is a difficult question to answer in a brief manner with a blanket solution. I am assuming that whether cloudy or sunny, you will be shooting during the day.

You MUST learn how to change the exposure and read the exposure light meter. Do lots of reading (the manual). This will help you get the best shots possible.

But for a quick answer, try this:

For moving targets try Dynamic Area Auto-Focus (AF)
Here is a link discussing AF use shooting sports:

You will likely want to use “Shutter-Priority” mode when shooting.
Use shutter speeds longer than 1/100th of a second to get some motion blur. Shutter speeds shorter than 1/250th of a second will freeze the action and make the subjects look less motion blurred.

If you pan the camera with the snowboarder and use a shutter speed longer than 1/100th of a second, you may get the snowboarder to appear crisply and the whole background to be motion blurred.

When shooting pictures of air, the lower the camera is, the higher the air will look… And ideally the camera is on the peak-side, facing down the hill (if the camera is facing up the hill to look at a jump, there will not be any visual reference for height.

For a very bright, sunny day – try ISO100 first. The lower the ISO, the less digital noise your images will have and the crisper they will be. If ISO100 makes the shutter too slow or images two dark, adjust it up to 200 or 400. When you exceed 400, the noise will drastically increase. It is unlikely that you will need to go that high in daylight conditions.

800 and 1600 should be reserved for dark or indoor shots only, when you would not otherwise get the shot… Or when you want a noisy grainy shot (sometimes people like noisy black and white shots).

These ideas should work in most cases; but seriously… It is all about trial and error with exposure settings… And nobody can tell you precise settings without being there and metering the light.

If you know how to, meter your shots every step between -1 to 0 to +1 EV… And when you find the most appealing setting, use that.

If you shoot in RAW, you can adjust brightness and contrast a little bit without image degradation… When you get home and put them on your computer. This only gives you a little bit of wiggle room though, not a lot.

Good luck

Mark asks…

What is a good, cheap digital camera?

Hi, I need to get a new camera and need to keep it as cheap as possible. I know some of you may say “yuck”, but I had a Kodak Easyshare (can’t remember which #). It only cost like $97 and I really liked it in general. It really took nice pics, but eventually, the door where the batteries go busted right in half and fell off. Kinda cheap junk!

Anyhow, I need to know what to look for and maybe some personal experience with specific cameras. I need it to be as cheap as possible (FOR SURE under $200, preferably less!) I just need something to take nice snapshots, as I don’t print out a lot of them and if I do, I rarely make them extra big, so the quality of larger prints is not a major issue.

Also, I don’t have a lot of time until I need it, so online resources may be interesting, but I would prefer if anyone could tell me where to GO get one, so I don’t have to wait for it to come in the mail.


Pip answers:

Shop in a Best Buy, Circuit City, Staples or an actual local camera store, if you don’t want to order a camera and wait. This is a good idea anyhow, so you can see if the thing fits right in your ownhands.

Here’s my standard “Best Cheap Camera” answer…

Some of our best answerers always recommends the Fujifilm FinePix F20 camera as the best-for-less choice. I have to say that I like the sample images at Steve’s site (below). If Morey000 or SpaceCowboy show up after me and make this recommendation, choose them as the best answer, because I’m just passing along their suggestion. I have no personal experience with this camera.


My brother has the A540 and my mother-in-law has the A530 – on my recommendation – and neither one has stopped speaking to me yet. Based on this and experience with other Canon Powershot cameras, I am now recommending the A550 as a nice and relatively inexpensive camera. The A550 has more pixels than the A540, but offers less user control.

The A540 has been discontinued, but I’ve seen it for $140 in some stores like WalMart and Target.

The A550 costs $160 at B&H and, of course, you’ll need a memory card.

A550 review:

Steve’s reviews updates the “Best Camera” list periodically:

Consumer Reports from May 2007 has a short article on digital cameras and they recommend 10 different point and shoot cameras in the following order within groups according to camera design:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 (Overall score 75) [$410]
Kodak EasyShare C875 (Overall score 73) [$165] – Rated better for shutter lag
Nikon Coolpix P4 (Overall score 65)

Canon Powershot SD500 (Overall score 72)
Casio Exilim EX-Z850 (Overall score 72)
Sony Cybershot DSC-W50 (Overall score 70) [$180] [Similar to W55] – Rated better for shutter lag
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3 (Overall score 69) [$200] [Similar to FX-10, FX-12]
Olympus Stylus 720SW (Overall score 61) [Similar to 770SW - $360] (Waterproof)

Fujifilm Finepix S6000fd (Overall score 77) [$300] – Rated better for shutter lag
Fujifilm Finepix E900 (Overall score 73) [$250]

[Things change so quickly in digital cameras that I can not find all of these models listed for sale and it's not even May yet. Prices are from B&H Photo, April 2007.]

James asks…

Which digital camera would you suggest buying?

I’m looking to spend less than $150, but will go up to $200 if necessary. I’m just looking for the best camera I can get for a low price. Which digital camera would you suggest and why?
Thanks! :)
Answers are great so far! Just a couple more details on what I’m looking for : small, easy to carry, used mostly to take pictures of outings (more people than scenary, but probably that too). Thanks! :)

Pip answers:

Some of our best answerers always recommends the Fujifilm FinePix F20 camera as the best-for-less choice. I have to say that I like the sample images at Steve’s site (below). If Morey000 or SpaceCowboy show up after me and make this recommendation, choose them as the best answer, because I’m just passing along their suggestion. I have no personal experience with this camera. I see it at B&H Photo (available through Yahoo! Shopping) for $150; $190 with a 1 GB Sandisk memory card.


My brother has the A540 and my mother-in-law has the A530 – on my recommendation – and neither one has stopped speaking to me yet. Based on this and experience with other Canon Powershot cameras, I am now recommending the A550 as a nice and relatively inexpensive camera.

Canon just introduced the A550, which has more pixels, but offers less user control. I’d be happy with the A540, but the A550 is probably also worth considering, especially since the A540 has been discontinued. I’ve seen it for $140 in some stores like WalMart and Target.

The A550 costs $160 at B&H and, of course, you’ll need a memory card.

A550 review:

Steve’s reviews updates the “Best Camera” list periodically:

Consumer Reports from May 2007 has a short article on digital cameras and they recommend 10 different point and shoot cameras in the following order within groups according to camera design:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 (Overall score 75) [$410]
Kodak EasyShare C875 (Overall score 73) [$165] – Rated better for shutter lag
Nikon Coolpix P4 (Overall score 65)
Canon Powershot SD500 (Overall score 72)
Casio Exilim EX-Z850 (Overall score 72)
Sony Cybershot DSC-W50 (Overall score 70) [$180] [Similar to W55] – Rated better for shutter lag
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3 (Overall score 69) [$200] [Similar to FX-10, FX-12]
Olympus Stylus 720SW (Overall score 61) [Similar to 770SW - $360] (Waterproof)
Fujifilm Finepix S6000fd (Overall score 77) [$300] – Rated better for shutter lag
Fujifilm Finepix E900 (Overall score 73) [$250]

[Things change so quickly in digital cameras that I can not find all of these models listed for sale and it's not even May yet. Prices are from B&H Photo, April 2007.]

Jenny asks…

What’s the best affordable point and shoot digital camera?

I’m replacing my Kodak Advantix T570 APS Camera.

Pip answers:


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Your Questions About Digital Photography Review

Helen asks…

What’s the best digital camera for photography?

I’d eventually like a film camera but i don’t have the money to keep buying film. So what’s the best digital camera for taking still photography, nature pictures, landscape pictures, and that i can put get a fish eye lense for?

Pip answers:

Canon is really good in my opinion;

Ruth asks…

What is a good inexpensive professional digital camera for a beginner?

I’ve recently decided that I would really like to get into photography. I’m just curious on how much these camera normally run for. I know they are quite expensive. From what I’ve looked at.

Pip answers:

If you are really on a budget and want the best quality for the money, check out the P&S Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 which has more features than most pro DSLRs that require auxiliary lenses not even equal to the single initial full-range lense that comes with the FZ28. It is reviewed at:

It just came out on November 4, 2008.

It’s an all-in-one 10.1 megapixel DSLR camera which includes (i) built-in image stabilization; (ii) HDTV quality video [Quicktime]; (iii) a 18x zoom [27 - 486 mm (35mm equiv.)] “Leica” lense for nature photography; (iv) up to 0.39 inch macro option; (v) up to 6400 ASA; (vi) takes up to 380 pictures per 120 min. Battery charge; (vii) has a “burst speed” of 13 fps; and sells new for $270 at [tax free].

Here’s an actual handheld picture of the moon:

Good luck!

Linda asks…

What is a good digital camera to buy?

I’m just getting into photography and I’ve been looking around for a good camera or camera brand around 1,000-1,200. I just want a really nice dependable one with a good amount of Mega pixels. Thanks for the help.

Pip answers:

I highly recommend the Canon EOS 60D. IT is one of the best cameras in the market now. Its features are:

- 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor; ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 12800)
- Includes 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD standard zoom lens
- Improved EOS HD Video mode with manual exposure control; Vari-angle 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor
- 5.3 fps continuous shooting; enhanced iFCL 63-zone, Dual-layer metering system
- Compatibility with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards

I found a really helpful review from a user about the overall performance of the camera. It will help you make your decision:

Carol asks…

What is a good camera for beginners of photography in high school?

I am going to be a freshman next year, and I will be in a pre-ap photography class. The class hands out cameras but I want one for home and being with friends. Something a little advanced and not so compact. Please help me out. Thanks for your time.
My budget is around $500

Pip answers:

If you are taking a class that requires a film camera then get a 35mm SLR that will allow for manual control of the aperture and shutter speed but if you need a digital camera then you should invest a DSLR camera. DSLR cameras have the larger sensor so you get a higher quality images. You can change lenses which can be valuable, by allowing to adjust to different needs.

There are a number of good brands so don’t be sold on the idea one brand is better than another. I would keep your costs down. I would get a DSLR with a short zoom (like a 18-55mm) to start. No reason to spend more than $425 to $550. Either a 10MP or 12MP will do just fine.

Below, I listed some links, the first link listed below is to a web page that lists the 3 DSLR cameras I am recommending. This list will let you compare features and specs, also it has links to reviews of the cameras, the reviews include sample images from the cameras. Also I included some links to some dealers so that you can try and get the best price. Some dealers have some nice extras, free shipping is very common, and sometimes they are offering a free memory card and/or camera bag. Sometimes you have to click in the “add to cart” button to see the actual price.

Here are some models that I think are well worth researching including estimated price range:

Nikon D3000 10MP DSLR Digital Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens – $460 to $480
EOS Rebel XS (1000D) 10MP DSLR Digital Camera Kit w/18-55mm IS Lens – $499 to $525
Pentax K-x 12MP DSLR with 18-55mm Zoom (has HD Video also) – $485 to $525

Pick a price range, some features you know you want, and even consider which camera feels good in your hand as a factor. Plenty of great cameras, get one you like and start learning the principles of photography and you will be on your way to making some great images.

Most people go with Nikon or Canon but, I think the Pentax could be of special interest, since it can do HD video and has excellent quality at higher ISO settings which can be useful in low light places and helping get the picture. These features, especially the HD video, on a Nikon or Canon will cost you $100 to $200 more.

If you have any questions and if you think I can be of help then please do contact me.

Hope this helps. Good luck.


Joseph asks…

Which digital camera would be best for me?

I want to pursue photography and have high hopes of getting a camera by end of this year. However, I’m looking for a not-so complex camera that can take good shots of objects both near and far. At the moment, I have no idea how to operate the big bulky type of cameras since I’m just an amateur. My current budget is between $400 – $600. If anyone has any ideas of a camera that would suit a beginner like me, but can provide the simplicity and qualities of an expert’s camera, please let me know. Thanks.

Pip answers:

When you say that you want to pursue photography, it sounds like you are looking at a possible career down the line somewhere. Even if that’s not true, you might want to consider a digital SLR now, since there are some excellent choices that fall within your budget. You can put them in “AUTO” and you don’t need to know any more than how to push a button – the same as a point and shoot – but the image quality is much, much better.

The Nikon D40 is a great little camera, very easy to use and quite reasonably priced. It’s just under $500 with a lens. It has a few “consumer friendly” totally automatic modes that make it very easy to use, but still offers total photographic control when you are ready to take charge. It will get you in the Nikon family which is a great place to be. If you buy accessories and lenses, you will be able to use everything on any Nikon that you might upgrade to later on. The user manual is among the easiest to use, also, including three pages of “frequently asked questions” that could put Yahoo! Answers out of business.

Check out Nikon’s “Picturetown” promotion, where they handed out 200 D40′s in Georgetown, SC. Http://

Here are a few reviews, in case you have not read them yet. Be sure to note that they are several pages long and some of the reviews also have some sample images that you can look at.


I hate to see people slam the camera because it can’t autofocus with older Nikon lenses. It is true that there is a “slight problem” with older Nikon lenses not autofocusing on the D40, but if you do not own a bag full of older lenses, it is not going to be a problem. It is barely a problem anyhow. If you check for “AF-S” lenses, which are ALL 100% compatible with the D40, you will find 23 lenses, including 7 “VR” (vibration Reduction) lenses and one true macro lens with “VR”. There are another 25-plus lenses in the current catalog that provide all functions except autofocus as well as many (possibly dozens) “out of print” lenses that will work just as well. In addition, although these lens will not autofocus, most of them will still give focus confirmation. From the D40 manual: “If the lens has a maximum aperture of f/5.6 of faster, the viewfinder focus indicator can be used to confirm whether the portion of the subject in the selected focus area is in focus. After positioning the subject in the active focus area, press the shutter release button halfway and rotate the lens focusing ring until the in-focus indicator is displayed.” (See for a list of AF-S lenses or see for even more…)

The D40 only has 3 autofocus zones arranged horizontally at the center, 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions. This might be considered a limitation, but realistically, most people will find this perfectly adequate, especially if you are moving up from a point and shoot with only a center zone.

There is no “Status LCD” on top of the camera, but Nikon chose to use the rear LCD for this information. This is actually a nice move, as the display is bigger than the top display and you aren’t using the read LCD for anything BEFORE you take the picture anyway. This is not a step backwards and it actually makes sense to me.

You can get the D40 with the 18-55 kit lens at B&H Photo available through Yahoo! Shopping or at 1-800-622-4987) for $500 (October 2007). Add a Lexar Platinum (60X speed) card for $25 or 2 GB for $35. Or – get the D40 with 18-135 lens and 1 GB Lexar card for $700. This is a decent lens and it is very versatile. You will find it suitable for pretty much anything you want to do, other than really long telephoto shots. It will let you explore the range of focal lengths to decide where to start filling in your lens collection. If you don’t want to buy any more lenses, this one will carry you through pretty much everything. B&H also have used D40′s with the lens from $475.

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