Julie, A good quality Digital camera with a decent algorithm is the
Canon digital Elph. at about $400. It’s certainly the cutest digital
out there, and I’ve had good experiences with it. It’s got much
better picture quality than the Sony Mavica, but not as good as the
Nikon 900 models. If you can, buy a Nikon, the compression and lenses
are so much nicer that you can really see the difference. Right now I
have an older Nikon Coolpix 900 which is great. It’s been said before,
the thing about digital cameras is the image size (how many
megapixels) and the algorithm used to compress the images. Some of
these algorithms are very “lossy” creating compression artifacts,
while others are not bad. Be sure to get at least 2 megapixels of
resolution for print work at about 5"x7" My gut feeling is to buy one
made by a “camera” company, (Nikon, Olympus) not a
video/computer/accessories company (Sony, Hewlett Packard, or Kodak).
They have different priorities to meet, and add needless features that
real photographers often won’t use.
Oh, and please take my advice at your own risk…
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