General discussion

Help-cell phone, mp3 player, camera, camcorder!

Hi, All the technology is crossing over - I don't know what to get!

I'm going to get a good point and shoot camera.

But then I think I want a decent camcorder where I can film quick stuff - but also longer stuff without having to download to keep filming.

I also have been looking for an mp3 player (I have my music on Itunes).

And now I'm needing a new cell phone (I am open to one of these new ones with wifi for web browsing and e-mail - currently out of contract with tmobile)

My problem - So many products have overlapping features-music, cameras, video, and phone service. I am unfamiliar with the quality or the problems with any and all of these products.

Do I get a good point and shoot camera? Then a low to mid level camcorder? Then an mp3 player or Ipod for my music? And then a cell phone too? Am I overspending by getting too many products when one or two could do the things I need?

I know I want a seperate camera. The flip camcorder has a flash drive with a two hour filming limit which I don't like I think. But now I'm so confused with all these extra features on the cell phones - do I get a good cell phone that plays music too-and skip getting a seperate mp3 player or Ipod -or do I go with an Iphone? Will that give me good enough cell service, music, and the occasional video and quick photo? Or do I get another type of cell phone - and then a seperate Ipod or mp3 player? But then what about the video and photo capabilities? Do I look for that on my phone? - Or do I get a seperate camcorder - or even digital camera for that matter?

I'm overwhelmed - I don't want to overbuy - (buy a bunch of products that do the same thing well enough-therefore overspending?) Or is it better to buy a seperate camera for important photos in varied light indoor and outdoor and for family gatherings and trips. If I decide that - the features on the cell phones - camcorder or video recording and playing my music on an mp3 player - seem to overlap on these seperate products. Should I buy these things seperately - or is there one product that does at least these three things well enough - making it unnecessary to buy all these different products - therefore spending too much money without needing to. This is all confusing the heck out of me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated - thank you so much in advance! P.S. - I am obviously technically challenged (I'm a bit older and all these innovations are confusing the heck out of me!)

Discussion is locked
Reply to: Help-cell phone, mp3 player, camera, camcorder!
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Help-cell phone, mp3 player, camera, camcorder!
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
Definitely buy separates

Anticipating a nice tax refund this year, are you? Wink

There really is not a sufficient 'all in one' device that gives good quality photos & video and also serves as a cell phone/MP3 player. The most very basic $100 Canon or Nikon Point and Shoot digital cameras can supercede any cell phone camera since the lens & processor/firmware are better. This is even more relevant for shooting decent video, especially if you require low light performance and/or the ability to utilize an external flash as necessary. There are separate CNET forums for video/audio if you want to do some more reading/posting more specifically on each part of your purchase(s).

The real problem here is how much you want/need/can spend in each area, and which one is really the priority dollar-wise. For example, an iPhone requires the additional $30/month data feature on top of a voice plan. Is that also in your budget? If so, it knocks off at least two items since it behaves very well as a phone & MP3 player which would work with your current iTunes library. There's also the issue or portability. Some folks like the quality of a dSLR with higher quality lens/better processor over a basic point and shoot digicam. Understand, when you ask a general question like 'do I get a good point and shoot camera', that's sort of subjective to one's needs and what expectations they have about a device and how it should behave Wink. The term 'overbuy' is also quite subjective when you start talking about gizmo purchases.

Getting around the video limit of 2hours may be tough. I don't believe any of the flip HD cameras will give you the best quality video though since the lenses are so petite compared to other non-flip models. Such research on cameras & camcorders is probably done respectively in other places in CNET since they are quite different devices.

Taking photos with an iPhone and/or other model is handy but you can do better if you don't require a dedicated device.

- Collapse -
ty pepe7

thank you pepe7 - very good info - I know I want a middle range point and shoot camera- and I've been researching and am down to 3 - but your comments on the recording/camcorder stuff was very helpful - I'll research and figure out a nice low to middle end camcorder to replace my old cassette one.
Good info too on the Iphone - I wasn't sure about the quality of the music and cell phone - but with the extra money I'd need to pay the plan provider to use - I might want to get a more basic cell phone - even one with wifi - tmobile has wifi with some lower end phones for an extra $10 bucks a month which isn't bad - but your info on the comparison of the photo and video extras on that - isn't what I'd be looking for - except for maybe some quick shots for sending between cell phones or uploading to the internet etc. but not for printing out nice pics - or for important family gatherings - or important vacation photos that can't be taken again - better to have a decent camera and camcorder for the important stuff. I'll check on the music quality on a few other cell phones - but I'm thinking now - with your recommendation - that an inexpensive Ipod or mp3 player is what I'd need for working out. I don't mind buying all four things seperately - I fell a little behind in all this digital stuff. Thanks for your suggestions and info - it is invaluable to me - to prevent me from making purchases and then finding out I've bought the wrong things that don't do what I'd need - I realize a lot I was asking is general - but great info - you were very very helpful - this is all making things a lot easier to understand! ty ty ty

- Collapse -
Keep on reading ;)

There is a lot of ground to cover when you think about it. Just don't give up- that's the trick(!)

If you like the iTunes interface, you might look at the apple web site for refurbished models at a slight discount. I've seen larger capacity iPods for $50-150 less than full retail. If your music collection isn't that vast, you might want to take a peek at an iPod Touch, which could give you a little more bang for your buck w/ wifi under the hood. An inexpensive T-Mobile cell phone upgrade on top of that wouldn't set you back too much if you don't mind another contract.


- Collapse -
good idea

That sounds perfect - again - I can't thank you enough - that sounds great - you are helping me understand all this stuff so much better - and recommendations like this are absolutely crucial - I hate to say it - but I'd been through my share of salesmen for some of these products recently - and was left even more confused - and I couldn't trust what they were telling me because most were pushing their products for bonuses or commissions etc. etc. - again - big huge thanks!

- Collapse -
Link to camcorder forum

CNET Forums