in the market...

foosacubOctober 4, 2006

Hi! I'm relatively new to photography, and completely fascinated. We are in the market for a digital camera, >$300.00. I thought this would be a great place to get some advice/suggestions/pros v. cons on brands, specific models, etc. If all you have to offer is a review of the camera you own, as well as whatever options you looked into that you wished you would have gotten, etc. that would be a great help as well.

Thanks in advance!!


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What is your $$$ cap?

Well, there are a lot of camera in that price range. What type of camera you are looking for? Do you want aÂPoint and Shoot or would you like to move to the DSLR range? What size of prints do you want to make from the camera? What the most important factor, ISO, HDR, Optics, weight, size?

You will get a whole lot of different suggestions, don't get caught up on which brand is better. They all bring somethng to the table that the other doesnt. Some people defend brands like it's a religion.

Some things to think about: a P&S camera is compact and it easier to part from if you move on to another camera. If you go the DSLR route, you are just not buying a camera, you are buying into a system. Unless you have money to throw around you will most likely keep that camera a lot longer. You will have to buy lenses for the camera body. In most cases the lens can cost as much, or near, as the camera body. Therefore you find yourself dedicated to that company.

There are some very nice entry level DSLRs out there. Nikon had the D50, I played with it for a while, but I decided to pass. I had the Canon XT Rebel, but I fell in love with the Olympus E500 so I gave the Canon to my wife. I can expand later if you want on these cameras if you want more info. Check you can find just about any camera there and it has customer ratings as well.

Unfortunately, the best advice I can give you right now is when it comes to cameras, most salesman at retail stores donÂt have a clue, honestly, they donÂt. So donÂt listen to them. I get angered at times when I hear them make recommendations based solely on the amount of megapixels a camera has. Never buy a camera based on the Megapixel count, lens and sensor quality are the most important factors when it comes to pic quality.

The newest of the new cameras are making their debut real soon. There have been a number of good camera released the last 3 years.

These are all P&S cameras that I would buy for myself.
Powershot Pro 1
SP 500 UZ
SP 310

There are lots of good camera but I narrowed this selection to what I liked the most. These have been tested to have better lenses, better ISO performance and shoot in RAW format. I know this next comment may hit a nerve with some here but; Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Konica-Minotlta P&Ss all fall short of the ones listed. Not that they dont make good cameras, I just dont think they perform as well as the ones listed.

People post pictures from all models and they look excellent, the best way to make a picture look great is to learn how to use your camera.

This is just FYI but my current cameras are:
P&S - Canon PowerShot 620, Olympus SP 500 UZ
DSLR - Canon 300D XT/ Rebel, Olympus E500, Olympus E1


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 4:09PM
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Looking into this one... reviews look pretty good, and I can pick one up for about 240.00. I'm pretty excited to have found something in that price range that I can use right out of the box, but it also has enough features that I won't outgrow it in a few months. (I am a comlete novice!)

What do you think?

Here is a link that might be useful: Fuji FinePix s5200

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 10:10AM
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It is difficult to suggest cameras since there are soooo many great cameras out there, but I would recommend looking for one with very high pixels such as 6 million or more. A high powered zoom is also desirable.

Some cameras may cost $300, but by the time you buy extra batteries(rechargeable), battery chargers, memory cards and other miscellaneous items, you may spend another $200.

A great sight to compare products is You can read reviews from people who have purchased the camera and get comparisons to similar cameras.

Go Here


Good Luck


    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 1:48PM
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The pictures I have seen with with the S5200 look long as there are no areas of high contrast. It was notorious for having chomatic aberrations, the purple lines where the bright and dark areas meet. If you can deal with that then go for it!

Unless your going pro and making 20x30 prints, 5MP is fine. This megapixel race is crazy. However, if you are going pro then the S5200 is not the right camera for you. I printed this picture at 8x12 and looks great, and sharp too! 99% of the people do not need more than 5MP but it's what sells the cameras because 'we' think more is better,so it just continues. Just ridiculous. What really matters is the glass in front of the sensor and the Image Quality of the sensor, megapixel amounts plays such a small role in the image quality. Yes, you can print bigger sizes with more MP but who wants a 4 foot tall picture that looks crappy? Even it you wanted to print bigger than 10x14 with a 5MP camera you can, just make sure your at 300dpi and interpollate. Good to go. "Whew" - I'll step down now.

I think you can find a good kit price, 1 gig will hold about 300 photos on the S5200

Here is a link that might be useful: S5200 kit

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 3:12PM
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About the only thing I can tell you for sure is that optical zoom is MUCH better than digital zoom...

I just bought a Kodak Z612 For $279. after rebate but before taxes... It's a 6.1 megapixel with a 12 X optical zoom... And I'm quite happy with it but I just saw another Kodak for $249. that's a 7.1 with a 10 X optical zoom....

Whatever kind you get check on the batteries to see if you can use the $2. ones or have to buy the $40. ones... If they're re-chargeable does the charger come with it.. Do all the cables ( USB, TV ) come with it... What kind of memory card, stick, does it use, does one come with the camera.... Does it feel good in your hand... Can you figure out how to do some things on it by yourself...

Good luck in finding one that suits you.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 3:27AM
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My $.02 on the topic. I wanted a point and shoot capable camera, with the option of more sophistocated adjustments as necessary, I also wanted an SLR so that I had a broad range of lense options. I placed no dollar limit on the camera purchase with the guideline that I wouldn't purchase grossly more camera than I could realistically hope to use.

As such after extensive research and hands on inspection/use of everything out there I purchased the Nikon D50 with AF-S DX 18-55mm lens.

I love this thing. I have been using it in automatic mode and it takes great point and shoot photos.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 12:06PM
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I have the Canon S2 IS and I couldn't be happier with it. I recently went to the balloon festival in NM and people who look at my photos praise them and ask what kind of camera. I didn't have one technically bad photo out of 300.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 10:17PM
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Okay, so I've been lurking for an eerily long time. Back in the market, ready to upgrade. My $ cap is 1200.oo for body+lens. I'm not dead-set against kit lenses, as long as they don't prove useless.

My main concern is lenses. I want a capable camera that won't absolutely break me when I just 'have to have' a new lens, I'll want IS lenses, and I've heard some DSLRs don't have an AF drive? How would that affect my lens options and their price range?

Basically, if you've got it, I want to hear your personal pros v/ cons. Let me have it!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 10:42PM
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Foosa, since you mentioned the S5200, I thought I'd give you my experience with mine.

I had a Konica Minolta Dimage Z3 until I dropped it. boo.

I replaced it with the 5200 primarily based on a good price I was able to get it at. You can see many pics with it on my site below to see what you think of its picture quality. The ones for about the last year are Fuji, the ones before that K-M. Of course K-M sold out to Sony and it uses its lenses now.

As usual, Zitro hits the nail on the head. The lens is most of the equation, apparently.

While I enjoy the Fuji, I could never get as good of pictures as with the K-M even though the Fuji has alot more megs. The main thing I didn't like between the two was that I couldn't get the macros I wanted with the camera, so I picked up little Canon A720 IS for that purpose. The pics taken over about the last week have some of its macros on it.

FWIW, I think you give the best indication of what might be the best answer to your question when you say you are a complete newbie. You might be best advised to get an relatively inexpensive starter camera to play and learn on and then move up to the more expensive dSLR's when you have more experience and knowledge.

Unless money is no object. And, the little Canon above would let you find out alot about your interests and abilities without spending much money. I got mine on sale for 139.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Photobucket page

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 8:17AM
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Sorry RC, I think I confused you by updating an ancient post of mine. I just didn't want to start yet another camera opinion thread, so I updated my previous one.

My experience has grown a bit - to the point that my old Fuji is now pretty limiting. (Specifically, the noise issues drive me insane. Also, my new camera will go with me to class, as I've scheduled a few for next fall.)

Also, I think I've bumped my cap up to $1500 for body+lens. :D

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 12:13PM
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Oh, I got you now.

Good luck with your new camera. I don't have any experience in that price range other than to say my brother in law is going to go with the Nikon D80. Not the newest model out, but a good rep and value at the moment.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 6:59PM
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Thanks RC :)

I'm peeking at these two right now, checking out the user forums and user reviews all over the place.

Here is a link that might be useful: 5D v. D300

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 9:12PM
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In my opinion, no contest--Canon S3 IS. Super all-round cameras--12x zoom, good Canon lens, uses AA batteries, and you can get a few accessories for them. Check out the link below for some photos shot with an S3 and remember birds are about 6-inches tall, move like lightening, and are almost always far away. In other words, hard to photograph.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bird photos shot with an S3

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 8:43AM
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Bean: Thanks, but I'm looking for a CMOS sensor, battery pack, and more MP.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 9:53PM
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