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Cheap digital cameras are better than expected May 19, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Family, Information Technology, Photography, Technology.

This week my daughter left for a trip to Honduras. The night before her 5:00am flight, she informed me that her 2-year-old Canon digital camera wasn’t working. She asked me to fix it. After taking it apart I found the problem, but it required a replacement part to repair it, which I didn’t have. Not wanting to let her go to Honduras without a camera, I made a late night run to Wal-Mart. Where else can you find electronics at 10:00pm?

I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on some low quality camera. When I began to look over the selection of digital point-and-shoot cameras I was pleasantly surprised. I actually had several digital cameras to choose from — all under $100. They were all 5 mega pixels or higher and advertised between .01 and .001 delay between when the button is pushed and the photo is taken. That is a lot better than the previous generations of digital cameras.

Eventually, I choose a 6 megapixel Samsung camera that was on sale for $79 (US). Next, I went hunting for extra memory, a camera case, and some batteries. All were found nearby. The memory was another surprise. Not only was I able to find a whole display of memory cards, but they were really reasonably priced. I was able to get a 1Gb SD memory card for only $19 (US). Now, that is a lot cheaper than I expected.

I don’t know how the manufacturers make any money when they sell the technology so low, but I’m not complaining. For both the camera and the 1Gb memory card I paid less than $100 (before sales tax). In my opinion, I got a great deal. I was happy and when I got home, my daughter was happy. In fact, she sent me e-mail a couple of days later telling me how much she liked the camera. Now, I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures. She returns in two weeks.



1. Moose - May 21, 2007

Selling a peice of plastic and silicon that costs less than half a cent to manufacture for $19. Of course, $5 or more of that probably went to Wallyworld. Of course, they do need to recoup the costs of the $2+BN cost for a factory to make chips, and then there is the research… which is why you won’t find anyone publishing how much it costs to take a die and make a wafer.

$19 is a good price these days. I am amazed at where technology is headed and moore’s law, and pricing, and competition, and… and… and…

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