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Best digital camera under $50?
Old 12-09-2018   #1
Steve M.
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Best digital camera under $50?

We all know that you can buy a really good film camera for under $50, but how about digital? Are there any digital cameras that fall in that price range that are capable of making a decent 8x10 print? I suppose that a DSLR is out of the question, so this might have to be a P&S thing.

For what it's worth, I used to have a very old Fuji E 550 that could make great photos, but it was a really small, silver, plastic camera that looked ridiculous on a strap. So extra points if the camera could be something that you wouldn't get laughed at if you brought it into the coffee house :]
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Old 12-09-2018   #2
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"Best digital camera under $50?"

Probably the hot one bought in an alley, as sold by a desperate soul looking to buy some self medication in a bad way.

But realistically, there are plenty of 15 to 10 year old low mega pixel sensor cameras with decent lenses that are sold in pawn shops for 50 dollars or less.
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Old 12-09-2018   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
We all know that you can buy a really good film camera for under $50, but how about digital? Are there any digital cameras that fall in that price range that are capable of making a decent 8x10 print? I suppose that a DSLR is out of the question, so this might have to be a P&S thing.

For what it's worth, I used to have a very old Fuji E 550 that could make great photos, but it was a really small, silver, plastic camera that looked ridiculous on a strap. So extra points if the camera could be something that you wouldn't get laughed at if you brought it into the coffee house :]
Used DSLR cameras are now approaching that price range, albeit often sans lens. I have several Pentax *ist DL cameras which I dedicate to manual focus lenses and exposure methods. All purchased in the $30 range. 6mp, aps-c, reasonable image quality.
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Old 12-09-2018   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
"Best digital camera under $50?"

Probably the hot one bought in an alley, as sold by a desperate soul looking to buy some self medication in a bad way.

But realistically, there are plenty of 15 to 10 year old low mega pixel sensor cameras with decent lenses that are sold in pawn shops for 50 dollars or less.
Not often in pawn shops I'm aware of. They typically want high end of used prices.

KEH is a good resource as is ebay and shopgoodwill.com.
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Old 12-09-2018   #5
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I've picked up a olympus c5050 for about that, i've gotten some good stuff out of it.
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Old 12-09-2018   #6
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As modern as you can P&S. They are still sold new for under 200$. So, it should be no problem to get one at 50$ mark.
My 16 (fake) MP Canon was 20 CAD on street sale day. It gives 8x10.
Any 8MP camera will do 8x10.
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Old 12-09-2018   #7
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There are a lot of older DSLRs you can get around $50 or between $50 and $100 here in
germanys local boards. The E550 still is a good camera but there are plenty panasonic, sony, canon
and olympus from the years 2011+ you can buy for some small bucks.
And they will serve well also.
Fuji F10/F11, Oly 5050, KonicaMinolta ...
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Old 12-09-2018   #8
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I hope this link works. I filtered for digital cameras between $35 and $50.

https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Listing...uyerPrefs=true

I see some nice cameras. Of course auctions aren't over yet, but these prices are typical in my experience. Set aside a few bucks for memory cards, batteries, chargers, maybe a lens.
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Old 12-09-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock View Post
Not often in pawn shops I'm aware of. They typically want high end of used prices.

KEH is a good resource as is ebay and shopgoodwill.com.
You are right that pawn shops usually want too much money for everything they have to sell.

But in the Church and Queen streets section of Toronto where pawn shops are to be found I did run into an Olympus C-740UZ for 55 CDN dollars which converts to less than 50 USD in cost price and plenty of outdated compact and grubby looking P&S Sony and Canon and lesser brand cameras for 50 CDN dollars or less.

Most of these cheapo cameras produce very good photo results, much better than most film Instamatic cameras of the 1970s.
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Old 12-09-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
You are right that pawn shops usually want too much money for everything they have to sell.

But in the Church and Queen streets section of Toronto where pawn shops are to be found I did run into an Olympus C-740UZ for 55 CDN dollars which converts to less than 50 USD in cost price and plenty of outdated compact and grubby looking P&S Sony and Canon and lesser brand cameras for 50 CDN dollars or less.

Most of these cheapo cameras produce very good photo results, much better than most film Instamatic cameras of the 1970s.
Very nice!

A couple years ago, I started buying simple 8-12 mp Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras from online thrift stores and refurbishing them for my grandnieces. So low cost that if they got lost or damaged, no big deal. I noticed the Sony DSC-H300 is a really nice one. Nearly kept that one for myself! Might still buy one just for me.
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Old 12-09-2018   #11
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Panasonic GF-1 can be had for about that money. Would still need a lens of course. 8x10 would be easy for it and it is a great little camera at that price.

Shawn
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Old 12-09-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post

For what it's worth, I used to have a very old Fuji E 550 that could make great photos, but it was a really small, silver, plastic camera that looked ridiculous on a strap. So extra points if the camera could be something that you wouldn't get laughed at if you brought it into the coffee house :]
I know you're joking around, so consider this my humorous response...

As an aside, I'd shoot with a pink Hello Kitty camera and dare anyone to say a derogatory word. And coffee shops? Like I seek approval from those effete snobs.

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Old 12-09-2018   #13
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I'd recommend a good working version of a Canon Power Shot SD1000. It not only will give good photo's, it'll also take pretty nice video's too. Plus, it's small as a deck of playing cards so fits into your pocket nicely.
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Old 12-09-2018   #14
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Originally Posted by Axel100 View Post
Fuji F10/F11 ...
Second the F10, prints in 8x10 look great on my Epson P600, especially in color, was really surprised when the first print came out of the Epson. Worth to mention, the camera still works flawlessly after all this years, I use it again now from time to time instead of my smartphone, the results are somehow more pleasing to my eyes.

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Old 12-09-2018   #15
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On a whim, I recently bought a refurbished Kodak Pixpro FZ43 for something like $40 off Amazon. It arrived in a plain white box but was in brand-new condition and I thought it was really surprisingly good, even offering some unexpected-for-the-price features like histogram.
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Old 12-09-2018   #16
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What about a Bridge Camera?

Going by what I sold my old Coolpix L810 for you could easily get one in that range and I got some really nice results from it and acctually miss it, even with a far superior DSLR having long taken its place.
Some even will let you get manual on the level of a DSLR, sure quite a few have smaller than APS-C sensors and of course the lens is a fixed Zoom unit but they can be still brilliant learning tools and at the right price you may even have some spare cash for some accessories to go with it.
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Old 12-09-2018   #17
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Old 12-09-2018   #18
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Old 12-09-2018   #19
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Thanks for the recommendations. But is there anything out there with an optical viewfinder? I didn't see any viewfinders at all on any of the cameras mentioned here. Probably should have mentioned that in the original post.

I may start looking at Nikon DSLRs from the early days, since I have a couple of manual focus Nikon SLR lenses, assuming they're backward compatible.
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Old 12-09-2018   #20
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Oh my! It looks like I can get a Nikon D50, D70, or a D100 for that price. Who knew? Of course, the devil will be in the details concerning a battery, memory card and charger, but it might be possible to get it all for somewhat more than the $50 price point. A SLR would be perfect. Now to see if my old lenses will meter or communicate w/ the electronics on any of these. If not, I'll start cruising auctions for other brands w/ a kit lens.
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Old 12-09-2018   #21
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Two years ago I picked up a digital Elph for $10 and right about the same time I found a Canon dye sublimation printer that was all but unused for $15, including lots of paper and extra "ink" cartridges. The amazing thing is that the camera plugs into the printer for direct prints that are beautiful. Some of the paper was in the form of postcard blanks, so I could snap a picture, print it out, and mail if off to my oldest daughter in the Navy to give her pictures of home to show off to her friends and stick to her cork board. The camera is all of 7 megapixels, but it makes beautiful pictures when printed on a dye sub printer!

Be on the lookout for thrift shop deals on older digital cameras. There's a lot of capability out there for almost no money.

Scott
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Old 12-09-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
Oh my! It looks like I can get a Nikon D50, D70, or a D100 for that price. Who knew? Of course, the devil will be in the details concerning a battery, memory card and charger, but it might be possible to get it all for somewhat more than the $50 price point. A SLR would be perfect. Now to see if my old lenses will meter or communicate w/ the electronics on any of these. If not, I'll start cruising auctions for other brands w/ a kit lens.
If you were going to get a D70 try for a D70s. Some D70 cameras had an inherent fault (I forget the details) but the D70s cameras are still reliable. I still have mine and drag it out for a session now and then. Even though it is a digital equivalent of a granddad.
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Old 12-09-2018   #23
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Take a look at usedphotopro.com or mpb.com for used gear. Comes with a short warranty.
You can pick up a Nikon D50 for about what you want to spend. The have a motor and can focus older D Nikon glass. It has 6.1 megapixels and are decent cameras. I still have one. However I just got myself a used D7100 so I'm not using the D50 much now.
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Old 12-10-2018   #24
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Old 12-10-2018   #25
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At that price, I suppose that would include any digital camera. You can't go wrong ... at least not on the price...
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Old 12-10-2018   #26
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Ho, Hum... Starting at the beginning, 8" x 10 " is an aspect ratio of 4:5 and I don't think any digital camera does that at that price level.

So putting a full size print on 8" x 10" paper means a 3:2 ratio at 6.667" x 10". Do that at a decent standard on your printer of 200dpi means a camera turning out about 2½ megapixels. Go to three and chose carefully and you should be talking about US $5 not $50.

What worries me is that a lot of answers assume only a dSLR will do that but there's a lot of cameras from Panasonic with Leica lenses on them and Olympus, Sony and others weren't exactly turning out rubbish in the days of 3 to 5 megapixels...

Trouble is, you'll now have to spend weeks on research and then print out a list of suitable cameras. Or visit dpreview's "revisited" articles.

Have fun.

Regards, David
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Old 12-10-2018   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
We all know that you can buy a really good film camera for under $50, but how about digital? Are there any digital cameras that fall in that price range that are capable of making a decent 8x10 print? I suppose that a DSLR is out of the question, so this might have to be a P&S thing.
I have seen Nikon D70 offered for 40-50$.
Quite a good deal I think.
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Be patient and shop carefully
Old 12-10-2018   #28
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Be patient and shop carefully

Dear Steve,

I've purchased a Canon S-90 for $ 30.00, a Canon SX10-IS, and a couple of Olympus C-5050's for less than that from Shopgoodwill.com. The nice thing about the Olympus and the Canon SX10 is that they use rechargeable AA batteries so their is no need for a proprietary battery and charger if you are like most people and have rechargeable AA's laying around.

Like some others suggested look at KEH and UsedPhotoPro too.

If you can hold out until after the Holidays are over I think you will find that many people will be getting rid of their older cameras so there will be more choices available from Shopgoodwill and the used camera stores.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

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Old 12-10-2018   #29
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My phone...
Yup. It's also essentially free as you'll already have one.
There's a reason the digital p&s market died.
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Old 12-10-2018   #30
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Phone cameras give great images under ideal conditions..
In Canada's winter right now, my battery "pooped" out after 3 images..sigh.
In bright sunlight can see zero, nothing..
Some point and shoots hopefully with AA cells have viewfinders.

The problem of older cameras with specific battery is non-availability.
Old cells simply don't charge anymore..
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Old 12-10-2018   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Ho, Hum... Starting at the beginning, 8" x 10 " is an aspect ratio of 4:5 and I don't think any digital camera does that at that price level.

So putting a full size print on 8" x 10" paper means a 3:2 ratio at 6.667" x 10". Do that at a decent standard on your printer of 200dpi means a camera turning out about 2½ megapixels. Go to three and chose carefully and you should be talking about US $5 not $50.

What worries me is that a lot of answers assume only a dSLR will do that but there's a lot of cameras from Panasonic with Leica lenses on them and Olympus, Sony and others weren't exactly turning out rubbish in the days of 3 to 5 megapixels...

Trouble is, you'll now have to spend weeks on research and then print out a list of suitable cameras. Or visit dpreview's "revisited" articles.

Have fun.

Regards, David
I didn't quite grasp the mathematics you posted, David. Are you saying that a $50 (or $5 as you said) digital camera will or will not print 8x10?

I have often heard that many MP are required to print large, but the thing is, although I am a rank amateur, I did sell a photo for a magazine cover, larger than 8x10, and it was taken with a 6MP Pentax DSLR. I thought it looked quite nice, and the editors of the magazine must have agreed. So I was never quite sure why people insisted that 6MP wasn't enough?
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Old 12-10-2018   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
Phone cameras give great images under ideal conditions..
In Canada's winter right now, my battery "pooped" out after 3 images..sigh.
In bright sunlight can see zero, nothing..
Some point and shoots hopefully with AA cells have viewfinders.

The problem of older cameras with specific battery is non-availability.
Old cells simply don't charge anymore..
I have had AA battery-powered cameras fail in very cold environments as well. Resorted to keeping spares in my shirt pocket under my coat and changing often, which was a pain.

One nice thing about some popular sizes of battery is that although the originals may not be working anymore, nor produced by the original manufacturer, quite often there are third-party alternatives on Amazon for not much money - often rated much higher than the originals. I've found some that I can't seem to wear out on my DSLR cameras, over a thousand shots per recharge, they're amazing.
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Old 12-10-2018   #33
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Thank you for the tip on the Olympus cameras with AA batteries. That's what I loved about my old Fuji E 550, along with it's optical viewfinder. That C-5050 is an attractive little camera with good specs and an F1.8 zoom.

Apparently the Nikon DSLRs are not going to meter with my older manual focus film lenses, so a compact P&S digital like the Olympus that comes w/ a lens and in camera meter would be a lot more convenient for what I have in mind, which is mostly quick, intuitive snaps when walking about. The cold factor with AA batteries won't be an issue because if it's that cold I won't be out walking about :-]

My phone takes remarkably good photos, but you have to dig it out of your pocket or bag to use it, and it has quite a bit of distortion on some shots. I'm not a wide angle shooter anyway, so the phone won't work. It's amazing what you can buy for $50 or less in the photography field!
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Old 12-10-2018   #34
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I have bought Fuji Z series cameras Z8 and 10 I think for the children both less than £5, great as they don't have retracting lenses for them to break. Picked up a Panasonic G3 a couple of times for less than £50 with kit lenses and a G1 with lens for £30. Frequently see older DSLR's with lens go for £30 or less though given their age you may not get much life out of them.
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Old 12-10-2018   #35
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Originally Posted by bmattock View Post
I didn't quite grasp the mathematics you posted, David. Are you saying that a $50 (or $5 as you said) digital camera will or will not print 8x10?

I have often heard that many MP are required to print large, but the thing is, although I am a rank amateur, I did sell a photo for a magazine cover, larger than 8x10, and it was taken with a 6MP Pentax DSLR. I thought it looked quite nice, and the editors of the magazine must have agreed. So I was never quite sure why people insisted that 6MP wasn't enough?
Hi,

With a decent lens you can print at 200 pixels to the inch, or 300 if you want the print at what's generally regarded as the limit of human vision for a print held in the hand. So my old 2048 pixels wide files can be squeezed out at 200 dpi about 10" wide. If we are talking 8" x 10" paper then the 4:3 aspect ratio gives 7½" x 10" and that seems good enough for the OP's spec. (It doesn't waste much paper when trimmed either.)

So yes, I'm saying 3 mp* is good enough but we can get bigger numbers and that's what seems to fascinate people.

Regards, David

* A lot of people were very happy with that wonderful dSLR the Olympus E-10 and that was only 3mp's from memory and a lovely lens on it. I wonder if a second-hand one could be had for US $50...
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Old 12-10-2018   #36
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Hi,

With a decent lens you can print at 200 pixels to the inch, or 300 if you want the print at what's generally regarded as the limit of human vision for a print held in the hand. So my old 2048 pixels wide files can be squeezed out at 200 dpi about 10" wide. If we are talking 8" x 10" paper then the 4:3 aspect ratio gives 7½" x 10" and that seems good enough for the OP's spec. (It doesn't waste much paper when trimmed either.)

So yes, I'm saying 3 mp* is good enough but we can get bigger numbers and that's what seems to fascinate people.

Regards, David

* A lot of people were very happy with that wonderful dSLR the Olympus E-10 and that was only 3mp's from memory and a lovely lens on it. I wonder if a second-hand one could be had for US $50...
Thank you for the explanation! I understand now. Yes, I recall the E-10 and the followup E-20. I've seen them both on my favorite online thrift store from time to time. For those who don't recall, those were early fixed zoom lens DSLR cameras. Not a bridge camera as they had actual optical viewfinders, I believe. Sort of an early attempt at a DSLR, minus the detachable lens.
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Old 12-11-2018   #37
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FWIW, I mentioned the E-10/20 because I often notice people mentioning them as golden oldies; also they take AA's and not something weird and expensive; and they were designed for professional use (but the padding on the RHS grip seems to suffer).

The other one people seem to like despite its age is the Panasonic Lumix LX3 and it's another good looking camera.

Minor issues with the E-10 seem to be the lens cap and hood, which get lost along with the instruction book. The minor issue with the LX3 is the little gripping bit on the lens cap because it can snap off and new batteries are expensive.

I've owned them all and often notice them at silly prices for what they are.

Regards, David

Last edited by David Hughes : 12-11-2018 at 00:28. Reason: CRLF's as usual...
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Old 12-11-2018   #38
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FWIW, I mentioned the E-10/20 because I often notice people mentioning them as golden oldies; also they take AA's and not something weird and expensive; and they were designed for professional use (but the padding on the RHS grip seems to suffer).

The other one people seem to like despite its age is the Panasonic Lumix LX3 and it's another good looking camera.

Minor issues with the E-10 seem to be the lens cap and hood, which get lost along with the instruction book. The minor issue with the LX3 is the little gripping bit on the lens cap because it can snap off and new batteries are expensive.

I've owned them all and often notice them at silly prices for what they are.

Regards, David
Same reason I like the cheap (now) 2004-2008 era Pentax digital SLR bodies. They sell for next to nothing. They offer 6MP. They take every K-mount Pentax lens ever made and the world's simplest M42 adapter to take so many more. They handle manual focus well; split screens are available for those who wish to make them into terrific manual-focus machines (as I do).

They've become so cheap that I have an *ist DL pressed into service as my DKL lens adapter machine, one as M42-only, one for AF Pentax primes. They are expendable - if I had to I could use one on the end of its strap as a defensive tool and run away. If I drop it, someone steals it, it just plain stops working, no big deal.

Later models are almost as cheap - and offer in-body image stabilization for even more hand-held manual focus fun.

They take AA batteries, and I've found that rechargeable Eneloops or the modern Amazon Basics equivalent work great and cost very little. I typically get over a thousand shots per set of four batteries, how can you go wrong?

I realize that Pentax doesn't get the approval of the cognoscenti. But for those interested in fun cheap shooting and not getting approving nods from the in crowd, worth a look.
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Old 12-12-2018   #39
David Hughes
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It's amazing what's out there and dirt cheap; this week I'm playing with a Sony and a Konica that cost five pounds in total with the Konica coming with the box, case and everything except a SD card and the Sony came with an antique memory stick, so no problems I can see.

They both work and surprised me and all I contributed apart from a little cash was a couple of charged batteries. And I'll still have the batteries when I've given both cameras back to a charity shop.

Those new batteries are a great leap forward, I can see why they try and get you to use their wonder batteries, and change them from week to week, but there's nothing like AA's or AAA's for practicality.


Regards, David
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