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Cameras Wed, Sep 24, 2008
Sony Cybershot DSC-P31
2.0 megapixels, 1.6-inch LCD, no optical zoom
Date Purchased:  June, 2002
Price Paid:  ~$220
Current Status:  Gave it to a friend of a family member

This was my first digital camera, and I actually took a few really good pictures with it.  Many of my early pictures were taken at lower resolution because I was trying to save space on my memory card.  After upgrading and accepting the fact that digital storage space would always be plentiful, I carried this camera with my through several years of college, summer internships, road trips, and my first year of marriage. 

Canon Powershot SD400
5.0 megapixels, 2.0-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom
Date Purchased:  July, 2005
Price Paid:  ~$300
Current Status:  Still being used by Wendy

I bought this somewhat hastily because I was looking around for a new camera, and I happened to come across a deal for a camera on Dell's website.  I signed up for a Dell Preferred Account thinking I would be getting 0% interest for a year, but was sadly mistaken when I saw my first bill and a $30 finance charge.  I was quite pleased by the size of this camera and the quality of pictures it took.  Battery life was a little lacking. 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5
6.0 megapixels, 2.5-inch LCD, 6x optical zoom, image stabilization. 
Date Purchased:  March, 2007
Price Paid:  ~$200
Current Status:  Sold on eBay for $40

I had been thinking about buying a new camera with more zoom and a bigger LCD, but when I forgot my existing camera for vacation in Hawaii, I was somewhat forced to hastily buy a new one.  I settled on this camera because it had some nice features, and it was pretty cheap.  Although I later read about all the bad reviews it got, it took surprisingly good pictures.  The downside was that it was a bit bulky and its LCD had poor resolution. 

Nikon D40
6.1 megapixels, 2.5-inch LCD
Date Purchased:  January, 2008
Price Paid:  $550
Current Status:  In use

I finally decided to buy a dSLR, and as soon as I collected a bunch of money from Christmas gift cards and found a good deal online, I bought one from Amazon.  It came with the kit lens (18-55mm) and an extra 55-200mm lens.  I'm still learning about this camera and all the great things it can do.  But one thing's for certain:  It takes amazing pictures.  The only major downside so far is that it doesn't have an internal autofocus motor, so it can only use lenses that have their own autofocus mechanism.  This is slightly limiting, but certainly not a deal breaker. 

Casio Exilim EX-V8
8.1 megapixels, 2.5-inch LCD, 7x optical zoom, image stabilization
Date Purchased:  June, 2008
Price Paid:  $200
Current Status:  Sold on eBay for $200

I bought this camera because I wanted something with high zoom.  I got it off eBay (new in box), and immediately took in on a trip to Germany.  I was thoroughly disappointed with the pictures it took.  Many of them were vastly underexposed, leaving certain portions completely black despite the fact that there was full sunlight.  Although, a few pictures came out absolutely amazing and I have no idea why that happened. 

Canon Powershot SD870 IS
8 megapixels, 3.0-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom, image stabilization
Date Purchased:  September, 2008
Price Paid:  $235
Current Status:  In use

After using the Casio for a brief period and then selling it, I wanted a good pocket camera.  I decided against high zoom and instead went for something that was highly rated on CNET.  This is a good, solid camera.  It takes good pictures and has a great LCD.  The only problem I've had is that pictures taken while zoomed-in are sometimes out of focus.  But this is more of a physical limitation than an error. 

Sigma 18-250mm Lens
Zoom Range:  18-250mm
Aperture Range:  f/3.5-6.3
Price Paid:  $500

I wanted a lens to replace my Nikon 18-55mm and my Nikon 55-200mm.  This lens does it well, plus an extra 50mm, plus optical stabilization.  It's noticeably heavy, but that's the price you pay for carrying around such a large zoom range.  Otherwise it's fast and reliable and does the job I want it to do.  It has a few optical peculiarities, such as barrel/pincushion distortion, but it's bearable.  Also, close-up shots aren't always focused as crisp as I like.  But the main complaint I have is a physical one:  When zoomed all the way and using the flash (on the Nikon D40 anyway), the lens gets in the way of the flash such that a dark spot appears in the bottom center.  It's easily avoided by zooming in, but that's not always possible.  Regardless, this is a good all-around lens, and I'm happy I bought it. 

Nikon 35mm Lens
Zoom Range:  35mm
Aperture Range:  f/1.8
Price Paid:  $200

I heard a lot about prime lenses and the "nifty fifty," so I wanted to give this lens a try.  It has a fixed focal length, so zooming is done by physically moving closer or farther away from a target.  Because it offers such a large aperture, the depth of field is often very shallow, which is desirable at times but not all the time.  It's fairly good at low light pictures, but I think you have to modify white balance and things like that, which is a step beyond what I enjoy.  All in all, I'm fairly disappointed with this lens. 

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