Not another Camera rec. thread - ;)

Discussion in 'Photography' started by MarkHastings, May 2, 2004.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    HELP! I have lost complete touch in the camera technology world...What am I looking for? Well, I don't want an SLR yet I don't want something cheap. Mid range with room to grow would be best. Point and Shoot, since I don't understand the manual adjustments.

    Pixels:
    I'm looking in the 4-5 Megapixel range. More would be better, but I think I'd be happy (for what I'd be using it for) with 4.

    Cost:
    $500 is fine, but I'll go as high as $750 if the features seem worth it.

    Size:
    Size isn't a big deal...I want a decent sized camera, not a giant arm breaker, and not a pocket sized one that I'll lose.

    Features:
    I don't need all of the special effects and software bundles (although most higher end cameras come with that stuff standard). Image stabilization and zoom is probably my key goal. As I said above, I want the camera to be automatic (i.e. auto focus), but also have the ability to use it manually if I decide to do so down the road.

    Quality:
    That's the big one for everyone. I bought my SONY digi-cam corder mainly because of the Carl-Zeiss lens, but on some SONY reviews, they say the Carl Zeiss lens isn't that great?

    I'm not sure if I covered the bases. Feel free to ask more questions.


    My brother and parents both have Canons (the 'A' series). I like the looks of the A80 and I would have definitely bought the camera and not written this thread, but the view finder (as a lot of sites note) is quite small (i.e. 1.5").

    Again, I'm not looking for something professional, yet I don't want to buy something low end and then (over time) wish I had something better. So I kind of want more than I need as a casual photogrpaher without getting into the SLR pro end.

    Also, something that sets the camera apart from the others would be cool, but not necessary. This is mainly so the camera doesn't get confused with someone elses when I'm at a party. [​IMG]

    p.s. I know a lot of people are going to reply with cameras they own (which is appreciated), but please explain why your camera is better than the others and not just because it's good. All of these cameras look good, so I'm trying to find the little reasons why one is better. Also, what brands should I avoid?

    Thanks
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    For that price range check out the Canon G5. For $1k you should check out www.dpreview.com recent round up.

    Personally if I was spending $1k I'd want a DSLR like the Canon Digital Rebel than a fixed lens.

    Actually, I AM spending that much, soon as I can actually get a Nikon D70 in store without having to order one over the net!

    Check out photo.net dpreview and Luminous Landscapes for sure!

    Sam
     
  3. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I was looking at the G5, the only thing that worried me was what I saw on CNET:
     
  4. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    The G5 is overrated. Do a search for reviews of the Olympus 5060...you will be pleasantly surprised.
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I've never used the Olympus 5060, but I've not been impressed at all with the Olympus digital cameras I've come into contact with. They were awesome back when only a handful of companies made digitals, but they're recent cameras have left something to be desired IMO. If you just want a straight point-and-shoot no frills type camera I'd go with a Sony or Nikon. My fiancee has a Sony and I think the pictures are wonderful. Not to mention that her's cost about $400 2-years ago and does a little over 4MP's. If you decide on SLR, definitely look at the Digital Rebel. Also check out the other offerings from Canon and Nikon.
     
  6. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    I own the Oly 5050 (prior model to the 5060) and I have three 13X17 pics blown up in my front room. I have a hard time convincing people that I took those pics.

    Truth be told, any decent 5 meg pixel should be fine...it's the person behind the camera....not the camera! My wife has pics taken on a $100 35mm point and shoot that are worthy of an exhibition.
     
  7. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I just picked up a Canon S410 for $325.

    4.1 MP, and I'm very satisfied with the quality of pictures. It's tiny, too- goes right in the pocket. Rich color, and the optics seem pretty good.

    You can read all sorts of reviews over at www.imaging-resource.com.

    Todd
     
  8. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Mark:

    I've recently been looking to upgrade my camera with similar requirements that you note.

    I would ask you to re-consider why you need 4 MP? Do you plan to make lots of prints that are bigger than 8x10? Or, do you plan to make extensive use of the digital zoom feature?

    When I looked into it, I decided a 10x optical zoom was more important than 4 MP. You actually have greater flexibility with 10x optical zoom. This past weekend I was at the National Zoo tacking pics and the one thing that was a real problem was my 3x optical zoom limitation. These 10x units are just amazing. Sure, I originally thought I needed 4-5 MP ... after all, it makes you more future-proof, right? Yea, but it also chews up memory space faster and I can print beautiful 8x10's right now with an older Kodak 3 MP unit (dont crop too much). Regardless, I really dont have much need larget than 8x10's, so I really have to ask myself why do I need the pixels?

    After lots of looking, I've decided on the Canon S1 IS. This thing gets great reviews and functions great in fully automatic mode (i.e.: point & shoot) ... or if you want it, it has many manual controls as well. Also, the automatic image stabilization is a great feature for lower light shooting and high zoom ... much more useful to me than the extra pixels.

    street price is ~$450 and it used CompactFlash format (cheaper!)

    Just another humble opinion for you to consider .....

    Scott
     
  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Scott makes a good point. I have a 3.3MP camera and it is more than adequate for casual photography. Also, the whole megapixel rating system is somewhat bogus (very similar to amplifier ratings... the manufacturer chooses how to measure and present the data).

    If all you are ever going to do is take point and shoot pictures, then why do you need room to grow?
     
  10. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I figured 3MP is best for me, but (as I said above) I am also treating it like a computer where you should always get more than you need because you'll probably end up using it later on.

    I would plan on using the 3MP option, but it would be nice to have a higher setting in case I needed it. Just a little "insurance", if you will.

    Anyone have an opinion on the Canon Powershot A80?
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    A80 is feature packed for sure but its too small for my fat hands =)

    Sam
     
  12. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    The Nikon 4300 is probably one of the best little cameras that I have owned. (I own a Sony DSC-F828 now). The 4300 takes some VERY nice pictures.

    Excellent color, excellent detail, couldn't be easier to use. Here's one of my favorite pics I took with the 4300.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    That's the lowest price I've seen for it, where did you get it?
     
  14. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I picked upt he Kodak DX6490, which is a 4.0M pixel camera and comes with the dock that both charges the camera and does one touch transfer of pictures to the PC. No other camera I have seen comes close to the ease of use. I also love the 10x optical lens and have found that it is beneficial to have the optical zoom capability vs the digital zoom.

    [​IMG]

    As far as having 4 mega pixels, it is nice to have at least that resolution for the following reason. I have taken pictures and then decided to crop a piece of the picture off and discard the rest. Having a high enough resolution allows the cropped image to still have enough detail.
     
  15. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  16. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm still doing some research...

    This new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P10, seems to get high marks. It made the #6 list in PC Worlds Top 10 "Point and Shoot" Cameras, as well as making the top 3 on Yahoo's camera reviews

    I've been looking for something more than 3x optical zoom, but the cameras seem to get pricey for that feature, so 3x seems like it will be fine for me.
     
  17. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Ok, after debating between SLR's and Point-and-Shoots, I found out about Prosumer (inbetween cameras) which I've been doing a bit more research into and narrowed down to 3 choices:

    Olympus C-765 UL - SONY Cyber Shot DSC-V1 - Canon Powershot S1

    I need opinions:
    All 3 are in my price range, but the Canon and the Olympus both have 10x Optical zoom whereas the SONY only has 4x Optimcal zoom. The Canon and Olympus are both 3.2 and 4 Megapixel (respectively), but the SONY is 5 Mp.

    So what would be better? a 3.2 Mp with 10x zoom or a 5 Mp with only 4x zoom? It seems like they'd balence each other out? The SONY also has an added 4x digital zoom which gives it a total of 16x. I know that digital isn't better than Optical, but I would assume the 5Mp would make up for the optical zoom loss.

    Also the cons on the Canon and Olym. both mention: The 38mm minimum focal length of this camera will make wide-angle photography difficult. The SONY has a 34mm minimum. Is 38mm not low enough? Can someone explain what a good minimum would be?

    I just found out that a friend of mine has the SONY DSC-V1 so I will be playing with it (I'm sort of leaning toward this camera due to the Carl Zeiss lens) and my friend says she can add tele photo lenses to the camera (which would make up for the 4x optical limitation).

    Any thoughts?
     
  18. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I would go with the Canon. The Sony's probably good, but unless you're going to be making pics larger than 8x10 3.2MP will probably be enough. I'd rather have the 10x optical zoom personally. I'd stray from the Olympus, but that's just because I don't personally like them. As for the minimum focal length I don't think it'll be a problem unless you like to take pictures of flowers or insects or something similar.
     
  19. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    The shorter focal lengths are wide angles lenses, not something for flowers or insects.
     
  20. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    I would go with the Canon. I had a talk with a photographer friend earlier this week to help me decide between a Canon and Sony camera, and he made the case that Canon has been around much longer, and the quality of their cameras beats everything else that he's seen. Plus, I don't think Sony was even in the camera market until digital cameras came along. Granted, the reviews of their cameras are great, and it's not like they just became a big brand name, but I think it would be better to go with a company that's been in the business for much longer. I think I'm with Seth on Olympus, but I'm not sure. Either my mom or my sister's film camera broke a while back, my Mom had a Fuji and my sister had an Olympus.
     

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