Help a Lousy Photgrapher Pick a Digital Camera
Apr 26, 2006 at 4:06 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 62

The Monkey

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Time to upgrade my Canon Elph. I've been reading a bunch of the digital photo review sites, but I'd like to get your real world opinions.

Here are my requirements:

- Under $500 (preferably well under)
- Very easy to use (I really am a lousy photgrapher)
- Excellent for baby pictures (good recovery time)
- Good optical zoom
- Good macro mode for pics of amps, etc.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 4:43 PM Post #2 of 62

MrSlacker

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Did you look at newer Canon Elph? They are pretty good.
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 4:51 PM Post #3 of 62

seeberg

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Let's see... your budget is under $500, so a visit to dpreview.com might be in order. You're relegated to the world of point and shoot cameras within that budget, but they do get better over time, and a few actually make me jealous that my D50 doesn't have such features for the $800+ I paid for my kit.

Particularly image stabilization, which Canon, Nikon, Sony, Minolta and Panasonic have on at least a few models in their P&S lines. If you can find a camera with image stabilization within your budget, I'd say go for it. Most cameras within your budget should have a good macro setting, hell my old Minolta Z1 had two of them
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. As far as brands are concerned, I'm not too sure. I'm currently a Nikon fanboy(albeit not in the literal sense, LOL), but many of the other brands out there are perfectly capable of making a good camera that can fit your needs.

The thing you'll have to worry about due to the nature of point and shoot digital cameras is their recovery time, and perhaps one of the hardest parts to figure out, because it depends on the camera, how much power it's using, and the card it's writing its pictures to(One of the reasons as to why I now have a digital SLR is because of this- it moves fast). As far as memory cards are concerned, I'd say newegg.com is the way to go here, as they have deals on 1GB and 2GB cards of practically all available types all the time.

Now, can anyone else chime in here and help out? I get the feeling I'm missing a few points here...

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,
Abe
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 8:43 PM Post #5 of 62

marvin

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The obvious candidate for your needs is the Panasonic DMZ-FZ7. 6 MP, 12x zoom, image stabilization, very fast operation, and a good burst mode. All for $335.94 on Amazon.

The newer Elphs are better than the old one, but I returned mine because of its poor autofocus performance and its propensity to blow shots.
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 9:04 PM Post #6 of 62

imho

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Apr 26, 2006 at 9:44 PM Post #8 of 62

Veniogenesis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Echo_
www.dpreview.com is your friend


I'm pretty sure Monkey has already read the reviews there. Unfortunately, I learned that dpreview actually don't have many reviews. Most reviews also tend to be of older products.

I just bought an SD630 last week. It's my first digital camera (I've used numerous 35mm in the past) so I can't say much about it yet other than that I like it so far.
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Good luck!
 
Apr 26, 2006 at 10:24 PM Post #11 of 62

Veniogenesis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spaceconvoy
dpreview is junk - www.steves-digicams.com is much more thorough and extensive. For a really easy, small and very durable (internal zoom lens, so no externally moving parts), I would go for the Nikon S1.


Steve's Digicams is indeed a great site. Though the reviews are somewhat less comprehensive than dpreview's technical junk, Steve's Digicam's reviews are down-to-earth and much more understandable for normal folks.
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Apr 26, 2006 at 11:46 PM Post #12 of 62

spaceconvoy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Veniogenesis
Steve's Digicams is indeed a great site. Though the reviews are somewhat less comprehensive than dpreview's technical junk, Steve's Digicam's reviews are down-to-earth and much more understandable for normal folks.
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Yeah, I never read the tech stuff - it's almost as useless as looking at headphone specs
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The best part about Steve's is the comparison pictures. He takes the same pictures with each camera he reviews, so you get a really clear idea of the differences in performance under real world conditions (dpreview tends to have more pictures, but from less cameras and almost never of the same subjects/view point, so there's no basis for comparison).
 
Apr 27, 2006 at 12:04 AM Post #13 of 62

bangraman

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Does anyone but Sony offer Nightframing? I'm looking to replace my DSC-V1 (which is starting to develop a dodgy power socket) and I use Nightframing a lot*




[size=xx-small]* Party use. Not for pervy stuff
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Apr 27, 2006 at 3:56 AM Post #14 of 62

imho

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Apr 27, 2006 at 4:34 AM Post #15 of 62

catscratch

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In typical head-fi fashion, I'll recommend something that's just barely over your budget, not exactly what you need, but is appealing enough that you'll want to buy it anyway, and will lead to wallet-slaying expenses in your future:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ist&sku=359145

Honestly, these things are getting so cheap nowadays, there's really no excuse not to get one.

A great starter lens is this:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

This lens gives you 28.8mm to 200mm on the Rebel, fairly decent optical quality (great sharpness but desaturates colors and has plenty of barrel distortion at wide angle and light fall off when wide open), but it has mechanical problems. It uses an archaic electric motor instead of USM or equivalent, and tends to hunt a lot when it zooms. But, name me another wide-telephoto zoom that actually isn't terrible, and I'm all ears.

Once you get serious, you'll probably need this for landscape shots:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=351542&is=USA

Throw in Photoshop and an Epson R800, and you'll have everything you need to take, process, and print good photos. The only other thing you'll need is 20 or so years of experience to teach you how to take good shots. Well, better to start late than never. I've been shooting for a year and I still don't have a clue, so getting into this business as early as possible is a good idea
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