Buying a digital camera

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Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:30 am

Hi all,

I'm interested in buying a digital camera for around the $300 mark, but am open to using ebay to get a better deal if necessary. I've used the Canon Powershot S5 (not mine though) and really like the look and feel of it, particularly the UI, but have no experience with other makes and models.

I'm not a serious photographer, but like many people I want a good alrounder that I can use in various situations and is fairly hardy. I also want a fairly good zoom and image stabilization.

Any suggestions will be appreciated :)
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:49 am

Usacomp2k3
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:23 am

The S5 is a "prosumer" camera. Are you really ok with the size? Remember if the camera is too big and you end up not bringing it out for parties and stuff, the camera will be as good as useless.
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:42 am

I would vote for the last camera that Usacomp2k3 linked to. I have an elf, they are great due to their combination of size and really good performance. I think buying any point and shooter you will have compromises, but the size factor is a big deal for ease of carrying it around.
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:50 am

jobodaho wrote:I would vote for the last camera that Usacomp2k3 linked to. I have an elf, they are great due to their combination of size and really good performance. I think buying any point and shooter you will have compromises, but the size factor is a big deal for ease of carrying it around.

For the record, I wasn't necessarily advocating any of those camera's on the list (although my personal opinion is that they are all quite good). I was more trying to gauge the importance of portability on the OP and was providing examples from the product line that I know of various camera's and how various zoom levels will impact the physical size.

You can find similar zoom/size ratios with Nikon/HP/Samsung for some or all of the examples I gave (and some manufacturer's have more separation).
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:24 pm

Another vote for the Canon ELPH. I have been using my SD400 for almost 4 years now. It seems bullet proof with the metal casing. It takes great pictures. It is almost always in my pocket. I love it!
I am really itching to step up to some IS goodness so I'm sure I'll end up with one of the newer ELPH models with IS and 4x zoom.
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:40 pm

Don't buy a Kodak. My wife bought one and the damned thing has a hard time reading the (Kodak brand) SD card I put in it. We have to pop it in and out until it finally recognizes it.
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:57 pm

For $300 I would seriously consider the Sony H10, review here, which is pretty good for the price, with optical IS, big-huge zoom, and good image quality. You can go to the end of the review to get the summary of positives and negatives, but also check out the samples gallery.
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:04 am

Many thanks for the replies and tips. I ought to have added that size isn't primarily an issue for me, but since you've brought it up I've had to think about it. I suspect that a 'prosumer camera' is exactly what I would be after, since I like to tinker with these kind of things and explore the more advanced options when I know my way around the camera better.

After looking at the suggestions I'm still leaning toward the S5, since that more or less fits the bill. Most photographs will be of landscapes and such, not so much parties etc (frankly a good camera phone captures the moment well enough these days for me). Given that I'm looking at the S5, are there any other comparable spec cameras by other manufacturers that offer better quality?
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:53 am

Take a look through the "super zoom" list here:
http://www.steves-digicams.com/best_cameras.html
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:15 am

The S5's problem, to me, is that I consider 35/36mm equivalent at the wide end unacceptable. 28mm-30mm is a minimum in landscape photos IMO. You can most certainly get the wide converter for the S5. The S5 has AA batteries as an advantage though.

That said, the G9 seems to score a bit higher in reviews, probably due to the larger sensor. However it's tele end is not as big as the S5. You will also need a wide converter to get a wider angle.

Panasonic FZ18 seems to have the zoom range, but noise is always a problem with Panasonic's cameras. DCResource suggested to shoot in RAW mode if you care but you may not want to dabble with that. Speed is often good with Panasonic's cameras though.

Olympus and Fujifilm also have similar models that you can look at. The Olympus long zoom model seems to be stuck with xD card so that is out for me. Fuji is famous for its low light high ISO pictures but if you are shooting mostly outdoors that may not be a factor.
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:11 am

I bought a new Canon SD1100IS a few months ago, and I absolutely L-O-V-E it. It does some amazing things, taking exceptional pictures in a wide variety of circumstances. In very low light, I can manually adjust the settings and still get a pretty good picture (nothing like the more pro-oriented line, I know, but pretty damn good for a point-and-shoot).
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:01 pm

Many thanks for the tips everyone, it definately helped in my decision making.

I've ultimately selected the G9, and am so far very impressed by this camera: it has a very nice robust feel to it. My main reason for choosing this camera in the end was the fact that it's a compact design (albeit on the large side, but still far more practical than a DSLR), thank you Flying Fox for drawing the size issue to my attention. I also wanted something that would be both user friendly to novices such as myself, but that would also have the manual controls and settings for me to play with so I can develop my knowledge. Thanks also to USAcomp2k3 for the steves digicams link, which helped me make my shortlist.
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Re: Buying a digital camera

Postposted on Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:01 pm

And now you will need to post some pics, both of the camera and some of the landscapes shots that you want to take so much. ;)
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