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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Weekly camera ads at Circuit City (includes 4th of July)

The Circuit City weekly circular ad of the Sunday paper covers the week ending on Saturday July 5, and this also covers the 4th of July holiday "sale-a-brations" that retailers have come up with. So let's see what digital cameras Circuit is advertising for the week...

There are two featured digital cameras this week on the back-page, the Canon SD750 at $180 and the Canon Digital Rebel XTi with the kit lens on a close-out for $700. No rainchecks for this one. The SD750 is not a closeout even though it's an "older" camera. It features a 3" LCD, but no optical viewfinder and no image stabilization. Its price gives it an advantage over the newer Powershot models since they cost most. Now, which one is right for you, that's a different story. Meanwhile the XTi is on its way out, and with the new XSi (450D) going for as low as $800 for the kit that includes the 18-55 IS EF-S, we recommend that if the prices are close enough, take a long hard look at the XSi instead. But if there is a price difference, or you prefer the XTi, then by all means, go for it. Do note that the kit lens that is included with the XTi does not have IS (image stabilization), while the one included with the XSi does.

Circuit City Weekly Ad 468x60

Cute and affordable digicams
How about the lovely pink set for the Sony W120? It includes the pink Cybershot W120, a matching pink Sony-branded case, and portable "stick" USB memory card reader, all together for $200 in one lovely pink kit! Great for gift giving. This camera does have face detection and smile shutter so the owner can brag about it :)

Also cute and pink is the Fuji Z20fd going for $160. Not a bad price considering that all the new Fuji cameras take both xD and SD memory cards, so you are not "stuck with xD", but if you do have xD memory cards you can continue using them. Kudos to Fujifilm for coming up with a common sense solution to this messy situation! Bravo Fuji!

If you prefer a Canon, and model starting at 28mm wide, the Powershot SD870IS is just for you, going for $280. Very few Elph models start at 28mm wide, so this is it. Canon has not announced a 2008 Elph model that starts at 28mm yet. The previous model was the also loved SD800-IS...

Also from Canon, the versatile and affordable A590-IS going for $160. You simply can't go wrong with this camera, but it's not for everyone, it is AA-based and offers manual controls, so it is for people who are interested in getting more involved with photography and then "growing" to more advanced and expensive digital cameras. But at the price of $160 and with PASM and image stabilization, along with AA-batteries, this is a nice deal. Having said all that, please do not expect this camera to behave like a DSLR or take pictures of similar quality. There is a huge difference in sensor size and also supporting electronics, firmware and software. Not to mention a huge difference in price.

Circuit City Weekly Ad 468x60

A trio of DSLRs advertised at Circuit City
And speaking of DSLRs, here is a trio they have in the weekly ad, starting with the Nikon D60 kit for $700. This includes the 18-55 DX VR kit lens. This price is about $50 higher than Amazon at the moment. You can also make it a combo meal with teh 55-200 DX VR Nikkor lens and the combo meal price is $900. There is a nice discount in this combination.

Next we find the Sony Alpha A350, a dSLR that has sparked a lot of debates in the camera world, and had some controversial reviews as well. The price is $800 and this includes the 18-70 DT lens. The A350, just like all Sony and Pentax DSLRs, includes sensor-shift image stabilization, so almost every lens you attach to it can benefit from it. Circuit City has a combo meal offer here as well, add the fries (oops, 55-200 DT lens) and you can get them all for $900. The combo meal actually has a formal name, it's called a City Deal.

Last but certainly not least is the Canon 40D, with the EF 28-135 lens going for $1300 which is a horrible price considering you can get this at Amazon or B&H Photo or Adorama for under $1150. But Circuit has a City Deal for $1800 and that includes the EF 70-300mm IS lens. Do note that Circuit is promoting the City Deals in the ad as the featured special, not the standard kits. And with good reason, the "City Deals" are the better deals.

As always be sure to price check around, and read reviews and user comments if you are not familiar with a specific digital camera. What may be a big minus for one person, might be a big plus for another, so keep that in mind as well when reading all the praises and critiques of a specific digital camera model.

Sony Cybershot City Deals
Circuit City is also bundling two Sony Cybershot compact digital cameras to make them more tempting and celebratory. First the H50, Sony's 15x superzoom, going for $460 in this City Deal that includes a 2gb Sony-branded MemoryStickProDuo and an extra Sony-branded NPFG1 LiIon battery pack. Both useful items, unless of course you already have more than enough of either one.

The other Cybershot is the W150, an 8-megapixel camera with a 5x Zeiss-branded optical zoom lens, but note that this does not start at wide-angle. The Cyb ershot model that starts at wide-angle is the W170. The City Deal costs $320 and includes a black fitting digital camera case and an extra Sony NPFG1 LiIon battery pack.

Memory Card Offers
A reasonable brick and mortar price for a 2gb Sandisk card is $15, model SDSDB2048A10, and so is a 4gb Sandisk SDHC model SDSDB4096A11 going for the new brick and mortar standard sale price of $25. Not bad considering where memory prices where a few months ago. Quite possibly the only thing that hasn't gone up in price?

If you prefer the Ultra II instead, there is a price premium to pay, it costs $40. Also from Sandisk, model SDSDPH004GA11 for those who are interested.

As far as the other formats, a 4gb Sandisk memory stick pro duo is $45, and a 4gb Extreme III compact flash is $60. A 2gb Extreme III CF is $35. A 2gb Sandisk xD card goes for $30. As you can see the SD and SDHC memory cards have a clear price advantage of the competition.

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