by Christina VanGinkel
After my search the other day online to compare the features and pricing of several different mega-zoom, digital, point, and shoot cameras, I ordered a Konica-Minolta DiMAGE Z5 Digital Camera. With an optical zoom of 12, along with built-in flash, anti-shake technology, automatic digital subject program selection, and an anti noise feature, which with noise being the digital cameras last big hurdle to get over, this camera seems to have every feature I have been looking for.
After spending time looking at this specific camera on the Internet, reading as many reviews on it as I could, and a run to two local stores that carry digital point and shoots, I ended up ordering from Dell. Now we will have to wait and see how long it takes to arrive. It was advertised on their site as being able to ship within twenty-four hours, but when I checked my order this morning it now says that it is on back order and two separate looks at the item within the site state availability of three to four days, and one to two weeks. I hope that they are able to honor the stated availability from the time I ordered, which was the twenty-four hour mark, as I would love to be able to use it this upcoming weekend. I have an opportunity to take some pictures of some local wildlife, including several black bear and a bald eagle that has a nest on the Menominee River.
The eagle has been quite the photo opportunity lately for anyone with a bit of patience. As people fish, she will sit overhead and observe them, and every so often she will swoop down and catch a fish all her own before flying across the river to the Michigan side, where she lands by her nest. While I know the 12 optic lens is not large enough to bring into focus the nest, it is large enough to zoom in on her as she shows off her fishing capabilities.
As to Dell, I ended up ordering from them because they had the lowest available price. I was able to order the camera, along with a 1 GB secure digital card for storage, for a total of $427.00. This price is even actually lower as the camera currently comes with a fifty-dollar mail-in rebate. The price of $427.00 also included free shipping, an instant discount on the camera, an additional savings of $60.00, which I was able to add because my original order, the camera and card, totaled over $500.00. The card also had an instant discount on it. All together, by shopping online, I was able to save nearly $150.00 from the lowest price locally of the camera and the card combined.
I still need to purchase a camera bag, and as I know I will use the camera on an almost continual basis, I need to purchase a battery charger along with four AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries. It will take alkaline batteries, but I would need to be replacing them constantly, so have opted for the rechargeable. I will keep you posted as to the length of time it takes Dell to ship, and if the camera lives up to my expectations!