Digital camera recommendations

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Jim Mcc, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    My daughter is looking for a compact digital camera, about $300 budget. She has her eye on a couple Canons and a Panasonic. Two of the models are listed below, if anyone is familiar with them? Generally, do they both make good quality cameras? I checked Consumer Reports and the Panasonics are rated the most reliable, with Canon right behind. What are some good websites for reviews? Thanks.


    1) Panasonic Lumix ZS8

    2) Canon Powershot SD4500
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    http://www.dcresource.com/


    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/


    http://www.steves-digicams.com/


    Also, check out Amazon and search on the camera models you are interested in, and read the customer reviews of those models.
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Personally I think that there's little difference between a $300 digicam and the $100 specials at Costco or whatever if you aren't going to learn anything more about how to use it other than turning it on and pressing click. Dave your money, the image quality will be the same.
     
  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Also: consumer reports camera ratings are worthless. You can't go wrong with any name brand camera these days, try a few at the counter and go with what feels right. No digicam is any more reliable than the other, they all take mediocre pictures on autopilot, they all take great pictures when handledby someone with a good eye, lots of practice, or a little training, and they all stink as far as how long it takes from button press to actual picture shot unless you turn ALL the auto everything off.
     
  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    You didn't ask about DSLRs, but if you consider that route, see this: http://www.navesink.net/2009/12/my-advice-to-people-who-ask-me-about.html
     
  6. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Thanks guys. No, she doesn't want a DSLR.
     
  7. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    I tend to agree w/ Sam.


    Just get the relatively inexpensive one (of comparable feature set) that she intuitively likes better unless she plans to get serious about photography. If the sensor size actually differs between them, give preference to the one w/ the larger sensor (for likely better PQ) -- and also go for the one w/ the larger max apertures (ie. smaller f numbers).


    I'd also recommend looking into last year's models that are being discontinued and most deeply discounted instead.


    And don't fall for the super long zoom ranges unless she really must have that.


    The only other thing I can think of is whether whatever video shooting functions would matter to her on these things -- might be handy for fun, impromptu, short takes...


    _Man_
     
  8. Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor
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    Sticking my nose in... I completely agree with Sam's remarks.


    Sam, BTW..... Bought a Nikon D5100 DSLR and a Nikon SB-700 speedlight last week ! LOVE THEM :) !!!!!!!!!! Highly recommended!


    Take care,

    Raul
     
  9. Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor
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    We need a new HTF national meet soon!!!

    Ron, are you listening????


    Raul
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I keep dropping hints that I'd love to have another HTF meet in LA -or- Vegas but the powers that be seem to be holding off for the economy to recover. I'm ready when they are! Congrats on the new purchases Doc M! Don't forget to drop a few keepers in the HTF flickr pool, link below!
     
  11. ArchMike

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    I just picked up the D5100. So far, I just have the 1855VR lens, but I've been very happy with how it looks. It has that nice sturdy feel of good construction.
     
  12. Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor
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    Sam & Mike, I just bought the Nikon 35mm f1.8 lens for my new Nikon D5100. It's a great prime lens. Converted to full frame format the view you get is that of close to the 50mm lenses (52mm in fact) I grew up with on film cameras. I used to have Leica M3, Nikon FTn, Nikkormat and Minolta 35mm film cameras while I was growing up. Now I have to "re-learn" how to use a prime (not zoom) lens again! BTW, this is a very well constructed lens.... metal bayonet mount (not plastic), and it comes with a pouch and lens hood. Sharp, crisp pictures and since it's f1.8 you can get good low light pictures. Also, the price is not bad for a Nikkor lens.... ~ $220. Raul
     
  13. Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor
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    Mike, Consider getting a 55-200mm zoom lens... you won't regret it. Raul
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Hate to disagree with the Doc, but my advice is to NOT get the 55-200. For $375 you can get the Nikon 70-300VR which is the best bang for the buck lens Nikon makes. It's on my camera more than any other lens I own.
     
  15. Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor
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    Sam, I agree with that! I was being budget conscious. I'm planning on getting this 70-300mm lens for myself within the next days. and also..... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Raul
     
  16. Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor
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    Sam, Where did you find that price? B&H Photo has it for $529.95 (w/o shipping....) and my local Best Buy has it for ~ $600. Raul
     
  17. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Is Nikon running another lens rebate program? Maybe that's how.. although you might need to buy a camera body to get *that* much rebate on it.


    I got my 70-300VR a couple(?) years ago (more or less) that way myself...


    OR is that possibly the going rate in the used market?



    RE: the 35 f/1.8 DX, interesting DX prime. I'd probably get it if I didn't already own the older non-DX 35 f/2. Still, these days I tend to just stick w/ my 17-55 f/2.8 DX as my main/walkaround lens -- and usually keep the 70-300VR and 85 f/1.8 in my go-just-about-anywhere sling bag. If I feel certain I need something brighter (and/or w/ shallower DoF) at the long end, I may bring my 180 f/2.8 (or maybe my Sigma 70-200 f/2.8) instead. I regret not jumping on the original 70-200 f/2.8 VR way back when it was only ~$1500 minus $300(?) in rebates IIRC...


    _Man_
     
  18. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Talk about taking over a thread. :) Anyway, my daughter bought a Canon.
     
  19. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Congrats! Which Canon?


    _Man_
     
  20. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Congrats to her! Doc: Was talking about the rebated price. I know it had gone up since I bought it but $600, sheesh! Still worth it!
     

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