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I need a durable digital camera

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Old 06-26-2004, 08:12 PM
jsbruns jsbruns is offline
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I need a durable digital camera

Hello-
I'm a fireman, outside of Washington, DC, and need to buy a digital camera to be used to take pictures of incidents. Obviously, it will need to be very durable considering it will spend most of its time on the firetruck. Any suggestions? I'm looking to spend about $200. Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2004, 09:26 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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And the output from the camera is going to be used for??
Prints?? (what size)??

veiwing on a monitor only???

Or? or??

are you talking about photographing during the fire? After the fire?

There are most likely other questions (its been a long day) that need to be answered before any suggestions can be made.

Mike
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Old 06-26-2004, 10:08 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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In that situation I'd buy a good film scanner and use a disposable film camera.
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Old 06-28-2004, 09:11 AM
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Chip Hildreth Chip Hildreth is offline
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I would go with Doug's recommendation to buy a film scanner but would use an inexpensive 35mm camera with manual focus. I shot some fires for a local engine company and blew all most every shot on the first one because the heat and smoke confused my SLR's autofocus. Out of over 300 frames I had less than 30 that weren't soft... and those I shot with a manual focus lens.
From then on I stayed strictly with manual focus and got way better results.
You also pretty much have to count on getting the camera wet at some point; even most of the pro digitals don't handle moisture well.

I gotta say, I've always respected firefighters but after working closely with a company, even dressing out and going in with them... I am in awe. I learned that smoke in a structure fire ain't your run of the mill, wood burning smoke; it's super-toxic and super-dense. I had no idea how much people could do in an unfamiliar place with absolutely non-existent visibilty. It was also the ultimate demonstration in teamwork. It completely changed my view of what firefighters do.

Ps. I tried to attach one of my fire shots but couldn't get it to upload... maybe later.

Good luck,
chip
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Old 06-28-2004, 06:05 PM
jsbruns jsbruns is offline
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As often as we are running calls, fires, crashes, etc, a 35mm film camera isn't exactly feasible. As soon as we clear an incident we typically publish the pictures, having to get a new 35mm camera every time, wouldn't work.
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Old 06-28-2004, 07:16 PM
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Chip Hildreth Chip Hildreth is offline
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I see what you mean. It sounds like you are making documentary photos... I'm geared toward advertising and promotion so my comments slant that way. I did some looking and their are about a million digital cameras out there in the $200 category and I've used none of them. I did select one based on a quick review, the Fuji FinePix S3000; it's actually about $300 street price. You can check an independant review here...
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_...uji_s3000.html

You may find the website useful in picking something that suits you better.

My first digital was a Nikon Coolpix 995 and it has most of what you would need. It's pretty rugged, uses standard batteries and makes high quality pictures you can print at 8x10. It's really versatile to shoot because it has a hinge between the viewer and the lens so you can effectively shoot around a corner at arms length. You may find a used one in your price range. I regret selling mine.

Later.
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