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Summary:

When I saw that Om was asking for under-$250 camera recommendations on our mother site, GigaOM, it struck me that the digital camera is a key piece of equipment for many web workers. Not only can you use one to produce just the right image for […]

When I saw that Om was asking for under-$250 camera recommendations on our mother site, GigaOM, it struck me that the digital camera is a key piece of equipment for many web workers. Not only can you use one to produce just the right image for your latest blog post, but you also need it to create a Flickr feed of your physical life so your virtual friends can see what you’re up to.

My own camera, a 4.0 megapixel Canon Powershot A85, has served me well — I’d definitely buy a similar model were I in the market.

In fact, I am in the digital camera market, because I’d like to get my seven-year-old daughter a cheapie digital camera for Christmas. Lately, she’s been setting up photo shoots with her stuffed animals using the built-in camera on our iMac. Seems to me, though I haven’t researched it yet, that if I can get a nice basic digital camera for myself for a couple hundred dollars I ought to be able to find a camera for her for less than a c-note.

Can you recommend a digital camera? Under $250 for a web worker? Under $100 for a web worker in training?

  1. Not being in the market of late I can only recommend using http://dealmac.com on a daily basis. As their tagline says = How to go broke saving money.

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  2. i think that the canon sd800 is is the best bet out there. around 230 at amazon now. great shots, wide angle lens, fairly small and durable.

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  3. This is seasonal. When I’m outdoors in warm weather with ample daylight, my Kodak C875 does a very nice job. Now that it’s cooler and I’m shooting more indoorsy shots, I’ve switched to a Fujifilm F31fd, which has a superb sensor that does much better in very low light.

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  4. I have a Canon Powershot A610 that has been awesome. My parents have a slightly older Powershot A95 which is similar and they love it to death.

    My sister has a Canon SD750 and she loves it as well. I like the Canon Digital Elph series (sd750, sd800, sd1000, etc.) because they are so small and fit easily into your pocket.

    But to be fair, I don’t think there are really any “bum” cameras out there among the major brands (Sony, Nikon, Olympus, etc.). But I would still go with another Canon if I were buying today.

    Good luck on your purchase.

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  5. I recommend Nikon D40. The lightest and most compact entry level DSLR. Very easy to use. Since its a DSLR it will cost a bit more than a compact DC.

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  6. I have an A95 myself I lug around. Those were great models. I thought about upgrading, but the new Canons don’t have that articulating LCD screen anymore. I found that really comes in handy when you need to shoot from above your head or in any other odd position.

    As for cheapie cameras, Target actually has a camera for eleven dollars. (http://tinyurl.com/39y9jc) Yes, ridiculously small image size and LCD, but for something that a kid might misplace or bang up, it’s easily replaced.

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  7. Look at the Canol A570. About 7 megapixels, 3 to 1 zoom, optical viewfinder and image stabilization. The last is most important for a beginner. About $175.

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  8. I strongly recommend the Kodak C713. Easy as pie to use, 7.0 MP, 3X optical and 10X digital zoom, video (with audio) recording, and everything you’d expect in a basic digital camera. I picked one up for about $90 from Walmart a few nights ago when I needed a simple camera I could carry with me while leaving my ‘good’ camera at home. I’m definitely impressed. 100% recommend

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  9. If I were in your shoes (and I’d really LOVE to be right now) I’d give my daughter the A85 and upgrade to a DSLR – either the Canon Rebel XTi (EOS 400D outside the US) or the Nikon D40x. Both are entry-level DSLRs that will make learning how to use an SLR in manual mode more fun than frustrating. Have fun shopping!

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  10. I just purchased a $59 HP Photosmart camera at Office Depot. It’s 6MP, built in Flash, etc. It’s on clearance at this time – the results seem just fine, except for the night time results being a bit grainy… Hey, for less than $60, can’t complain, eh?

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