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When I was shopping for a DSLR, I found LetsGoDigital's Camera-Compare site very helpful too.




There you can pick a few cameras from the list and then view each model's vitals side-by-side with the others. There's no arbitrary information like you might find in product reviews on Amazon. This one's purely about what each camera can or cannot do or within what parameters.


But Amazon can still be a good place to go and see actual photos taken with different cameras. Also try visiting Flickr and using the camera-search feature.

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It's quite a bit after the fact but since this thread has re-surfaced again, I thought I would offer a few, somethimes conflicting, opinions of my own.


Macro features. Canon and Nikon make some excellent ones with a 5 cm focal length (how close you can get and still be in focus). The closer the better.

This is certainly the must have feature if you want to photograph miniatures. If you are looking at cameras in the store one trick I found is to aim the camera at your thumb. If you can not get the camera to focus with the last joint of your thumb (which is about the same size as a 25mm mini) filling the frame it does not focus close enough and you need to look at another camera.


Flash control: Most have it, but not all. You will find you will want to be able to control how strong you want your flash output to be and you need the ability to turn it off at will.

Especially turning it off. On camera flashes will almost never produce good exposures on close-up subjects. Either the flash will not be aimed properly to illuminate the whole subject, or it will just over expose the shot. For close ups rely on natural light or off camera flash(es).


Tripod mount. Don't take it for granted that all cameras come with one. Most do, but not all (especially the cheaper ones). You're going to want a tripod.

Totally agree here. If you want truely good shots you need to put your camera on a tripod.


Megapixel range: Face it. While you will shoot minis with it, you're going to end up using the camera for other occassions. Make certain you pick the highest MP range you can afford so when you do get that great shot you can get better enlargements.

Yes, even the cheapest digital cameras these days are more than sufficent for producing images for posting on-line. For more normal uses, IMO look for at least 4-5MP if all you will want are snapshots or at least 10MP for good enlargements.


Memory media type: The SD card is awesome, in my book. Popular, they are inexpensive (I have about four myself, now) and newer laptops now have slots that accept them.

Most laptops and desktops have muli-format card readers these days, so really any format card will work. About the only one I would avoid would be Sony Smart Sticks, not becuase they is anything wrong with them except they are propriatary, which means not all card readers will work with them and there are fewer sources for the sticks themselves.


Battery: Many cameras now use AA size batteries. If you can I highly recommend this. Even the high-cost lithium AAs are cheaper than the specialized camera batteries that aren't always easy to find. Also, if you get in a crunch, you can hop down to the local gas station and grab a pack of batteries. AAs you can find anywhere. The other kind, not so much.

Here I have to disagree. I have owned digital cameras that used both AA and the more expensive lithium ion batteries and I would never buy another AA camera again. The ones I had ate batteries so fast it was unbelievable. The lithium batteries are more expensive, but they are also rechargeable. Buy a spare and you can always have one charged and ready.


Personally, I am a Canon photographer and have used their cameras and lenses for many years, but most of the name-brand camera companies (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Sony) make excellent cameras more than good enough for most amature photographers. ^_^

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I have owned digital cameras that used both AA and the more expensive lithium ion batteries and I would never buy another AA camera again. The ones I had ate batteries so fast it was unbelievable. The lithium batteries are more expensive, but they are also rechargeable. Buy a spare and you can always have one charged and ready.


You can buy lithium or NiMH batteries in AA. (I'd avoid NiCd rechargeables.) I use the rechargeables most of the time but I carry Alkaline AAs for backup use. Then, if I haven't recharged recently and run out of power in the middle of a shoot (or visit to some tourist attraction), I can still take pictures.


One thing you want to do with any rechargeables is to recharge shortly before going to take pictures, as all of them will self-discharge over a matter of a few weeks even if not in use.

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In defense of Lithium Ion batteries, they can be gotten for much less money online than you might pay at a specialty camera shop or through your camera-manufacturer's online store.


My XSi's battery has been going strong for almost two weeks now, and believe me, I do a good bit of shooting. Best of all, I picked it up for around $14 online (not including shipping, which was just a dollar or two more). Check out Opteka products on Amazon. They make darn good camera accessories at a decent price.


An option to consider if you are fretting about battery cost..check into a universal AC converter. I used one for my old Olympus when shooting minis or other indoor subjects where I could plug in.


Now..far be it form me to say anything to discourage anybody from getting a Canon, but my particular model is designed so that the average universal AC adapter won't work. They want you to get the special Canon version..which is not to anybody's surprise a bit more pricey than the universal.

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I use a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W80, it is 7.2 MP. I like it because it is small and I can put it in my pocket and always have a camera with me. It takes decent pictures of minis. You can check out some pictures on my web site listed below. All of the pictures have had not editing other than cropping and resizing. Best of all, it only cost $159. I think they are even less now as it was a couple of years ago when I purchased it.



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