Open Thread: What Digital Camera Do You Use?


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?


Yousef Issa

It became from the past working with rolls of film loading and reloading. Now we don’t need fumbling around in the thrill of the moment because you need to reload your camera.


Nikon Coolpix L6 great little 6 megapixel camera for under $200. I’ve used it for a year now and have always enjoyed using it.


If you like Canon, you can find the SD630
6.0 megapix under $200.
The Fisher Price Kid Tough camera is an excellent choice for your daughter.

Doug K

second the Canon Powershot A630, this is the Consumer Reports Best Buy in point-and-shoot digital cameras. I’ve been very happy with it, good pictures easily in all kinds of conditions. Some low-res samples can be seen on the link from my name above. I paid $230, but it seems to have gone up since then.


Fujifilm S700/S5700, is way better for the beginning of the professional end. It provides decent automatic functions and a lot of control, has 8x zoom (which I absolutely love – I photograph for our yearbook, and zoom is awesome for crowds.)

I liked my Powershot A400 but this is way better. Cost about $200.

Grandparents have a higher-end Lumix, with nearly perfect focus and pretty accurate color. In the $400 range, but an awesome non-SLR camera_.

James Omdahl

Canon SD750 all the way – I know 4 people who own them, plus myself, and we all love them. Compact, great photos, and amazingly high quality video as well.


I just bought the Canon SD750 for my wife. Very nice, compact, 7.1 Megapixel camera.
It goes from off to ready to shoot in about a second, which is pretty great.
It’s the one in those Maria Sharipova commercials. I think I got it for around $230 or so.


The Canon Rebel (or 350D outside of the US) is a great find 2nd hand on ebay – digital SLRs, even older ones, are a big jump up in quality. Not a pocket camera though! The Sony’s are quite good. We are probably only about 18 months away from camera phones being good enough quality for web work, that would be one less device to carry!


I’ll second the Fujifilm F31fd. After years of service from my Canon S200, it beat out the SD800 and SD1000 as a replacement because of it’s fantastic lowlight performance.

That said, they’re kind of hard to find under $250 these days. I think once word got out about how great they are for indoor shots, they all got snapped up. Newer models (namely, the f40 and f50) seem inferior in lowlight, so the f31fd is rapidly shaping up to be a collector’s item.


I used to use the Canon Powershot SD200 Digital Elph. I loved that it is small and rugged — something I could toss in my pocket for a night out with friends. Unfortunately, the thing up and died one day with the infamous Canon E18 error. It’s something to do with the lens failing to come out when turned on and has plagued so many Canon Digital Elph users that a class-action suit was almost filed against Canon over it (Google “Canon E18” for an idea of how big a problem this is).

I use a Canon Digital Rebel XT for more professional work but am looking for a Canon alternative for my in-the-pocket camera.

Jon Moss

For “proper” stuff, I use a 5D and a 1D MkIII, the latter being superb. I also have a Sony Cybershot for a point and hope camera, and it is pretty reasonable.

Matthew Griffin

I have the Cannon TX1 and I recommend it for web workers because it’s the best hybrid still/video camera I’ve seen. It doesn’t hurt that it’s size of the Elph either. The web is so much about video now that it’s nice to have an all-in-one that does a decent job at both tasks.


I too love my Canon camera. I have a powershot S70 which i got very cheaply on ebay. It has lots of features including aperture priority and shutter priority which helped me get into photography.

However I recently bought a Panasonic Lumix FX3 for my girlfriend. It has 10x Optical Zoom and a wide angle lense which is excellent.

A website I am currently developing is able to search Amazon and Ebay for camera prices feel free to take a look if you want. Best Shop Guide.

Jeff O'Hara

I would recommend the Canon SD750. It is very good quality and the quality is indistinguishable from the SD850 and about $50 cheaper. It can be had on amazon currently for @209, maybe cheaper elsewhere.

I shoot on a Nikon DSLR, but use the Canon SD line as my point and shoot.


My Canon PowerShot SD630 has been great. 3″ LCD viewing screen, hard metal casing, easy to use.. If I had to buy a new camera again today it would be the same one!


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?


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!

Anthony Papillion

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

Leigh Truitt

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.

Matthew Rigdon

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. ( Yes, ridiculously small image size and LCD, but for something that a kid might misplace or bang up, it’s easily replaced.


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.


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.

Dave Karsenough

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.


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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