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Old 03-23-2004, 10:51 AM
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Default Gateway Digital Cameras

Gateway is currently offering a free Epson color injet printer with the purchase of one of their digital cameras. Since I "need" both a new printer and a modern camera, this caught my eye.

I am considering either the DC-T50 or the DC-M42 camera bundle and was hoping some of you might have some feedback on these cameras. More details are here:

http://www.gateway.com/home/deals/of...abundles.shtml

Thanks.
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Old 03-23-2004, 11:10 AM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

I don't know anything about the cameras, but I would get at least the 4 megapixel one. But then I see you are only considering the 4 or 5. Looks like a great deal.
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Old 03-23-2004, 11:10 AM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

To add to this, what other digital cameras should I consider in the $250 to $400 range?
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Old 03-23-2004, 11:17 AM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

I got a Canon A70 for Xmas based on internet research. So far I really like it.
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Old 03-23-2004, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

If you want my honest opinion I wouldn't purchase a Gateway camera and here's why... Similar to HP cameras and to Sony (to a much lesser extent) Gateway cameras are more likely to not have the picture quality of a camera made by a company dedicated solely to photography. Higher megapixels don't always equate to better photos. While it is definitley an important aspect to take into consideration, factors such as quality of metering, data transfer, sharpness of the lens, color representation, etc will determine how good your photo is going to appear. My suggestion is to stick with Nikon or Canon but there are other fairly good brands out there (Olympus, Pentax, Contax, Fujifilm, etc). For the price range of up to $400 you can get a very nice digital point and shoot camera. Depending on how large you plan on printing your photos should determine what megapixel camera you buy. A 3MP camera will easily produce 4x6 prints and depending on the other factors, maybe a quality 8x10 photo. A five megapixel camera should be able to produce an 8x10 or 11x14 with relative ease. By the way, ignore the digital zoom features. Digital zoom is pretty worthless b.c it seriously degrades the quality of the print. Personally I'm a big Canon fan but you get look at point and shoot cameras only, Nikon probably has the edge. Other features I'd look for in a camera in your price range are ISO 50-400, at least a 3.0x optical zoom, and relatively powerful built in flash.
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Old 03-23-2004, 12:33 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

Thanks guys.

Y&R...that's some good info.
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Old 03-23-2004, 12:44 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

Here is a great site to do some research before you buy:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/
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Old 03-23-2004, 01:04 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

I got a free gateway digital camera with a computer I purchased last year. It's a 2.1 megapixel model. No complaints about the camera. It's very small, great for taking on the boat. The picture quality is excellent for electronic use, haven't tried to have prints made yet. I wanted the camera for electronic use, so I'm happy with it.

You have to ask yourself how you intend to use the camera. If you need high quality or large format prints, then you'll need 4-5MP, or go with a film camera. If you are only interested in posting photos to the web or emailing snapshots to family you can do so adequately with an inexpensive digital.

Good luck
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Old 03-23-2004, 02:08 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

You can get a great Nikon 4300 4 megapixel for $289 after $50 rebate, or refurbished for $239 at B&H Photo.
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Old 03-23-2004, 03:07 PM
  #10  
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

mpostgate brought up a good point that i didn't mention. if you don't EVER plan on printing out your images then you can go under 3 MP but if you think you're going to print every once in a while then i'd stick with +3MP.
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Old 03-23-2004, 03:21 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

Brian,

This photo was taken with a Nikon CoolPix 800 2.11 megapixel camera. The CoolPix 800 has been long ago discontinued, but take a look at the quality... Do you still need a 4 megapixel camera for what you want to do with it? As was already stated, quality optics are a factor in selecting a digital camera.


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Old 03-23-2004, 04:41 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

I bought the Gateway DC-M42 for $199.00 and got the "free printer". I'm no expert, but I do like the camera and a really like the printer. However, I don't think I would ever buy another Gateway product. The camera is only $199.00 and the printer is only free after rebates, of which there were about five. They don't give you all the rebate forms at time of purchase, but mail them to you after the fact. I had to struggle on the phone for hours!!!! to get the rebate forms sent to me. I also bought the 2 MP camera for my daughter at the same time, and didn't get the rebate form. I had someone from Gateway say that they saw from my records that I had called about getting the form two or three times before. I asked if their records showed that they had sent them. The person said no, and had no explaination for it. I can explain it; Gateway hopes that you will give up and not chase the rebate. I believe that now finally I will get all the rebates, but it was not worth it. You'd be better off looking for something on sale at another store than deal with Gateway rebates.
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Old 03-23-2004, 05:55 PM
  #13  
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

Megabyte,
Try printing that image out to the same size you have on your screen. I guarantee to you it won't be as clean and look as nice. There's a huge difference b.w on screen viewing and actually printing the image out on paper. I've never seen an image taken by a 2MP camera (even profession digital SLRs) that had avg-good quality without extensive editing for an 8x11 print.
Also, you took that print under ideal conditions with lots of ambient light. Put you camera to the test and take a photo in a poorly lit situation without the flash. You'll have a lot more noise and skewed color representation.
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Old 03-23-2004, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

Brian,

Can't directly address the GW cameras you have asked about.

Agree with the comments re cameras, MP capability, digital zoom, etc.

Most important, as noted by others, is what you intend to do with your photos.

I have a Kodak DC4800. Very nice camera, 3.2MP capability. I take almost all my photos at 1/2 that resolution, i.e. 1.6MP. The files are usually about 350-500KB in size. The photos, when opened in Photoshop, are 1536 x 1034. I usually just resize to 512 x 335, then save as a medium-quality .JPG. This gives me a very nice quality picture with a file size of 70-85KB, and very good for posting on the web or emailing to most folks. For those with broadband, I just email the original .JPG files.

Best wishes,

Brian
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Old 03-23-2004, 06:46 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

Having come from the SLR shutterbug crowd, I bought the gateway T50 last December. 5.25MP. Super pictures. I was inclined to think like Y&R, but surprisingly, the camera received high marks for image quality. Other plus, is it's the size of a cigarette pack (is it PC to still use that comparison?). Optics are definitely key, but I think in the new digital era so is the circuitry, processors and how the programming interprets the digital data. Also, optical zooms are better than digital.

It was a great camera up until the flash crapped out about a week ago. I don't know about service, but I bought the two year warranty so I guess I'll see. The daylight pictures are fine, but no flash whatsoever. As Gingersdad knows, I also had to wrestle a little with Gateway for the rebate form as they said it was mailed to me but I didn't receive it.

If the flash is just a fluke in my camera, I'd buy another one for the image quality, features and size. If the reliability isn't there, then I'd probably opt for a Nikon.

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Old 03-23-2004, 07:15 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

Brian -- www.dpreview.com is a pretty good source of information on digital cameras. You might want to look there.

In general, although this is the age of the microchip, I wouldn't want to buy a camera from Gateway, any more than I'd want to buy a fishing reel from Bombadier.

I think you've gotten good advice in this thread. More pixels are better than fewer pixels. Here's why: you want to send an image that's at least 200ppi to your printer. This can be a very confusing subject, but suppose you want to print a nice, large, frameable 8x10 on your new photo printer....You'd want a resolution of at *least* 1600x2000 pixels...which is in the neighborhood of 5MP cameras (~1900x~2600).

That said, there are lots of folks out there proudly hanging 8x10's, or even larger pictures, shot with 3.2MP cameras. When I was really a photo geek, I might sneak up, and look carefully at an enlargement, but I can almost guarantee no guest to your house will ever examine your photos that critically. I have a friend with poster-sized enlargements of sunsets from St.Barth, taken with a disposable camera, plastic lens and all.

Of course, for any image you want to email, show here, or that will otherwise only be seen on a display -- it doesn't matter. Even the lowliest digicam out there can shoot 800x600.
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Old 03-23-2004, 07:36 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

Y&R - 2004-03-23 6:55 PM

Try printing that image out to the same size you have on your screen. I guarantee to you it won't be as clean and look as nice.
With all due respect... I didn't buy a digital camera to print out images. That is old school thinking. I bought a digital camera for instant publishing of web site photos and to email images to friends and family. If it also happens to make acceptable printed images on my inkjet printer, that's a bonus, but not why I bought it.

When you decide to start using a digital camera, it's time to stop thinking in terms of paper images. If you like paper photos... use film and Kodak paper. If you want digital images... think about the resolution of the monitor that you're looking at right now, and buy accordingly. I'm not saying that a 2 megapixel camera is 'high tech' in the digital world, but you can't argue with the results of the displayed image. Nikon optics helped there, no doubt.

One type camera does not fit all people or all uses, but my (now low-tech and discontinued) Nikon serves my needs just fine.
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Old 03-23-2004, 08:41 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

GW

I have a Canon S45 and am happy with it. At the THT get together Birdman had a Canon elph 4 megapixel that would be the camera I would buy today if I was in the market. (A friend of mine bought the elph 3 megapixel last year and that camera was great also) Great pics, build quality and fits easily in your shirt pocket. One of the great things about small cameras is that you have a tendancy to take them more places because of their small size, and you end up having many more memorable pictures.
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:47 PM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

I've got nothing against Gateway -- and the hard drive crashes were over 8 years ago, so I'm not bitter anymore. Still, I'd like to point out something that nobody else mentioned - the user interface.

My current leaders in that regard are Panasonic and Olympus because they offer a display screen that is over 2 inches diagonal - quite a bit bigger and a lot easier to see than typical. Much easier to see what you're shooting. They both offer a highly sophisticated lense with all glass elements and high-tech coatings.

Also, remember what happens when you take the digicam out on the salt - one drop on the motherboard and you'll be replacing it. Get yourself a great waterproof case, like a pelican case. Twenty bucks of protection is less than you'll pay for shipping to send the camera in for repair.

Another tip for those that print photos at home -- get the nice glossy photo paper rather than printing on copy paper. The colors stay on top rather than being soaked in. I'm printing 8 x 10s and 13 x 19s at home that look just as good as what I used to pay 20 and 50 bucks for.
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Old 03-24-2004, 05:39 AM
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Default RE: Gateway Digital Cameras

Great Info.:

www.steves-digicams.com

Good Luck!
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