Affordable camera for a beginner photographer?

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Affordable camera for a beginner photographer?

Postposted on Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:29 am

My friend is looking to buy a camera, something in the $100 - $120 CAD price range, nothing to fancy or complicated, just a simple point-and-shoot camera with a big screen and relatively portable (i.e. can fit into a pocket with relative ease) that captures good quality photos. Any recommendations for makes or models that she should check out?
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Re: Affordable camera for a beginner photographer?

Postposted on Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:49 am

May have to up the budget to near C$200, but the Canon SD (1200 IS is still on sale I think for a cheap price) and A series are worth checking out. Unless you are dipping into the used market.
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Re: Affordable camera for a beginner photographer?

Postposted on Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:47 pm

Most of the point-and-shoots in this size and price range are what they are. The physical size of the sensor is similar, the build quality is similar, the glass is similar and is compromised for a very wide focal range starting from a very wide angle. Hence, the image quality will be similar and the low-light performance will be mediocre.

Probably the best thing your friend can do is pick up a spare battery or two at the time of purchase, shouldn't cost more than another $15 or so. First, it's helpful to have a spare battery handy for extended outings. Second, the cell-phone style thin packs used by these cameras do eventually wear out just like they do in a phone, and a replacement may be rare and expensive by the time that happens.
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Re: Affordable camera for a beginner photographer?

Postposted on Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:15 am

If he's serious about starting, he may want to spend a little more. Granted - a good picture is a good picture, and you can learn composition even on a cheap p+s, but he'll probably enjoy the quality of his pictures more with a little more investment.

I'd suggest the cheap fuji S1000fd or s1800 superzooms. You can get them for under $160US, especially if you're willing to buy refurbs/recertified.

In a way, superzoom cameras do teach bad practices though the zoom range is useful to have him try multiple things.
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Re: Affordable camera for a beginner photographer?

Postposted on Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:46 am

Honestly, I like my old Canon A560.

Pretty durable, works well enough, takes AA batteries (and doesn't burn through them,) and takes decent enough pictures.
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Re: Affordable camera for a beginner photographer?

Postposted on Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:30 am

In that price range, probably the best camera is the Canon A480 or A495 -- simple, no frills point and shoot that takes good pictures. You can get fancier, but you'll spend more and each camera has different attributes that make them cool. If you don't know you want them, though, it's probably a waste of money to buy 'em.
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Re: Affordable camera for a beginner photographer?

Postposted on Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:42 am

The A4xx series wouldn't be a bad choice.

If she's not opposed to going used, though, and you think she's going to want more than the basic auto modes, you might suggest the A570 IS or A590 IS.

As I said, I've got the A560, which is on the same basic chassis. The A560 is common enough that, even though it's a ~3 year old camera, if I take it to an event, I have to make sure it stays on me, or I'll never find it again, because everyone else has an A560.

The A570 IS adds, well, IS, some more manual controls (all the way to full manual exposure,) and add-on lenses (that part isn't worth it - if she wants to get into changing lenses, just point her towards M4/3 or a DSLR.)

IIRC, the A590 is higher resolution, and it might be faster, and some of the controls are changed around.
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