Buying my first digital camera

cathytx3October 25, 2010

Hi: I'm ready to move on up to a digital camera. Yes, I'm still using film. :o) My question is, where can I find a site where I can compare different cameras and then check the reviews? I will probably go with Nikon or Pentax but, at this time, just not sure. I scanned through some of the posts but my time on the Internet is limited so didn't get to go through them all. All help is greatly appreciated. I am not a "professional" photographer - I just take pictures of the dogs and gatherings with family and friends. I don't usually shoot landscapes and such. I hope I gave enough information.



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dpreview is one that has mentioned here. Maybe others know of some good sites besides that.

Here is a link that might be useful: dpreview

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 1:49PM
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I would like to offer one word of advice. You stated that you don't shoot landscapes and such, which is fine, but I would strongly advise you get a camera that will handle all of your immediate needs but still offer the versatility to branch out into other areas.

Once you start shooting digital with reusable memory cards and rechargeable batteries you will instantly realize that you no longer have to concern yourself with the high cost of film and processing, and you will be free to shoot more. In fact, you might find that digital photography can quickly become addictive..LOL.

Now in regard to the choice between Pentax and Nikon, for me it was a no brainer. I began shooting Pentax SLR film cameras in 1968 and over the years I have amassed a collection of 5 Pentax SLR film cameras, 41 Pentax lenses, and not to mention a bellows and a long list of other items.

I can still use all of those lenses with my 3 Pentax digital bodies, allowing of course that when using the older lenses you are limited to the features that are built into the lens. By example, when using the old M42 screw mount lenses I must operate in full manual mode and manual focus lenses are still manual focus on the digital camera, but here again, Pentax developed the first auto focus camera and they made a full line of auto focus lenses for the auto focus film cameras that are fully compatible in auto focus mode on the digital body. With that in mind there are some super bargains on high quality used lenses that work fine on the Pentax digital bodies. The only caution is be very careful of third party aftermarket lenses that are made with the Pentax mount. There is something different about some of those mounts and there has been instances when one of those lenses is attached to a digital body it will not come off again.

On the other hand, they also make an adapter that allows the use of the older Pentax M42 screw mount lenses on both Nikon & Canon digital bodies.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 4:45PM
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Another great site is
Reviews, and user forums, so you can see what the owners say. Dpreview also has user forums.
I love my Canon cameras.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 9:24AM
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I gather you're looking for a point and shot versus a dSLR?

A couple of points to ponder...don't be overly swayed my megapixels. Most these days are in the 8MP to 12MP range, anything within that range is just fine.

One thing to consider is the lens range, you'll see them listed as "28mm to 112mm", or 34mm to 200mm", etc.

The lower number (the "28" or the "34" in the above examples) is something to pay attention to. The lower the number, the wider the subject shot you can take. Meaning if you were trying to get a group shot of kids on prom night, the 28mm lens might be able to get all of the kids in the shot, whereas with the 34mm lens, you might have to back up to get them all in, or if in a room where you can't back up, the kids on the ends might get cropped out.

As to zoom range, the "mm range" of the lens defines the zoom capability of the lens. Divide the larger number by the smaller to get the zoom capability. Example, the 28-112mm lens, 112 divided by 28 is 4, so your lens will have a 4x zoom capability. That's the "optical zoom" which is what the lens can do. Most have a "digital zoom" over and above that 4x number, but that's simple pixel manipulation. A little digital zoom can be of value, but a lot of digital zoom (30x) will just give you a grainy photo.

I do place value on the lower lens number, the "28" or the "34", etc, when searching for a point and shoot camera.

Also read the specs for "shutter lag". While shutter lag has been reduced, it's still prevalent in most point and shoot cameras. If you're taking action shots (sports) or photos of anything that moves, excessive shutter lag can be quite annoying.

For point-and-shoot I think Canon cameras are terrific. It's what I got for my family members. Personally I shoot dSLR, and I'm in the Nikon family for dSLRs and dSLR lenses.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 10:35AM
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