Author Topic: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase  (Read 6566 times)

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Offline anne of oaktower

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Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« on: December 05, 2008, 01:18:45 PM »
As the Subject line says, I need your help in choosing my first digital camera.  Santa says he'll get me one, but he needs to know what to look for.

*I told Santa I'd really love to have the Nikon D90, but Santa's budget is a little tight this year, so he's looking for something for a little less dough-ho-ho.   :D  (And Santa says I only want it because Ashton Kutcher is so darn cute in the commercial ;D)

Anyway...I need something that will take crystal-clear pics, preferably with a good zoom, and relatively easy to learn.  Video is a nice feature but don't absolutely have to have it. 

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated!



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Offline Alacrity

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 01:47:12 PM »
I use a Sony Alpha 100  and I love it. Uses all my old minolta lens as Sony bought out Minolta. Now it may still be out of your price range but the Alpha has some lower end models as well (200, 350).
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Offline canonman

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2008, 02:53:56 PM »
what kind of budget are you talking? and what kind of learning curve and time are you willing to put into taking crystal-clear pic's? and last question how much weight and equipment are you willing to carry around with you? such as camera, extra lens, tripod, external flash, filters, extra batteries and so on.....   i can't begin to suggest a camera until these basic questions are answered.

Offline anne of oaktower

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 04:54:05 PM »
I use a Sony Alpha 100  and I love it. Uses all my old minolta lens as Sony bought out Minolta. Now it may still be out of your price range but the Alpha has some lower end models as well (200, 350).

Thanks, Alacrity.  I'll be sure to check those out.



what kind of budget are you talking? and what kind of learning curve and time are you willing to put into taking crystal-clear pic's? and last question how much weight and equipment are you willing to carry around with you? such as camera, extra lens, tripod, external flash, filters, extra batteries and so on.....   i can't begin to suggest a camera until these basic questions are answered.

Budget:  I'll have to talk to Santa and see what he thinks.  If you know approximate costs, please feel free to post them.

Learning Curve, weight, etc.:  Lovely thing about digitals...no wasted film!  I have plenty of time to experiment and learn as I go along.  (Of course, helpful tips would be wonderful.)  Think BEGINNER.  As I get better (and the budget increases), I'll upgrade.  I don't mind carrying one extra lens, and extra batteries and memory cards are a must, but I'm not yet ready for the external flash, filters, etc.  I do have a (cheap) tripod that I can use if the camera will work on it. 

I'm not aiming to become the world's next greatest photographer - I'll leave that up to the rest of you - I just want to be able to take really nice pics of family, friends, and faire. 





aka: Oak-hearted Annie / Anne of Oak Barrel / Barefoot Annie

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Offline Manwariel

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2008, 05:38:41 PM »
If you want a point-and-shoot camera, the Panasonic DMC LZ8K I have is pretty good, and it only cost $100. There's a setting that automatically selects what it thinks the best scene setting is if you want simplicity, and it has a bunch of different settings you can manually select if want to get more complicated. The downside is that when the ISO is set high, the pictures are sometimes blurry/noisy.

Offline DeadBishop

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2008, 06:26:41 PM »
If you want a more affordable DSLR, the Nikon D60 or Canon Rebel XSi would be good choices.  You can easily get a decent zoom lens package with either of those.  For the next couple of days Ritz Camera has the D60 w/two lenses on sale for $649 right now.  Includes a camera bag and a whole bunch of other goodies too.

Link to D60 outfit
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Offline gypsylakat

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2008, 07:46:29 PM »
What exactly is the difference between point and shoot and whatever the other would be?
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Offline DeadBishop

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2008, 12:43:43 AM »
What exactly is the difference between point and shoot and whatever the other would be?



Point and Shoot:






DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex):



« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 12:44:16 AM by Deadbishop »
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Offline renfairephotog

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2008, 01:28:58 AM »
visit http://www.dpreview.com for camera reviews.

Look for optical zoom instead of digital zoom.
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Offline LadyTrinn

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2008, 10:43:23 AM »
I have a Nikon D80, just got it in fact, and I love it. There is a learning curve if your only experience was a point and shoot prior to a DSLR. I am finding it easier and easier to use....and I already want 2 more lenses.... ;D
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Offline anne of oaktower

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2008, 01:59:29 PM »
Thank you all for the tips.  Looks like Santa has quite a task ahead of him  ;)
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Offline vamptasia

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2008, 02:39:44 PM »
I have a Casio Exilim it is awesome.  Great video and crystal clear shots.  It is very compact and easy to use.  Has a great 4x optical zoom plus digital zoom.  Mine is a few years old and is 7MP but the newer ones go up to 10MP for clearer pictures.  Has a great video fuction with audio and you can take a still shot while video taking.  I love mine.  You save to SD cards which are pretty cheap media now.  I purchased extra batteries on Ebay for really cheap so in the end its very affordable with great quality. 
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Offline Tim T

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2008, 03:13:56 PM »
Just a couple of things to think about;

First off, I've got a Fuji S8000fd.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0707/07072605fujifilms8000fd.asp
It does very well as a step above a point and shoot with a fairly impressive zoom, but it is limited by the size of the lens.  In other words, the zoom is great when you've got plenty of light, but my photos will get grainy if the light levels are low.

One of my pet peeves are the batteries.  I really can't stand proprietary batteries.  I had a Nikon that took an oddball battery, at about $10 a pop, or you had to buy a $40 rechargeable.  The Fuji takes AA batteries.  I've bought a couple pairs of high capacity rechargeables, but I can always use plain old alkalines in a pinch.

My other preference is for a camera that uses SD cards.  I really am impressed with Sony cameras, but they use memory sticks.  I've no bias against memory sticks, but it is convenient when all your stuff uses the same card.

And yes, no wasted film with a digital.  I went to the Richmond Christmas Parade yesterday and took just over 700 photos.  I had to swap batteries about mid-way through, but I have an 8 gig card, so I can hold a ridiculous amount of photos.  Take as many as you want, play with the different settings, and fully expect 30% of them to be not very good, but you'll get 65% that are great, and you'll get a few that are fantastic!

Have fun shoppin'.

Tim
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Offline Wildabeast

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2008, 10:09:16 PM »
Since this is your first digital camera, take a look at Canon's
PowerShot G10 IS
.  It's a high-end point & shoot.
Wil

Offline Xanthenes The Unbalanced

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Re: Need your suggestions - 1st Digital Camera purchase
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2008, 12:49:21 PM »
What exactly is the difference between point and shoot and whatever the other would be?

To expand upon the Bishop's graphical reply, I would note that, for me, P&S's and DSLR's come down to three main differences:

1.  Sensor size.  Megapixels are overrated.  Sensor size is underrated.  Sure, your point-and-shoot may have 10 megapixels, but if you're cramming them all onto a sensor the size of water molecule, your shots will be noisier and flatter.  With a larger sensor (as in a DSLR - either 22mm or 35mm), your pixel density isn't as high, so the shot isn't as noisy.  With a larger sensor, you also have more control of depth of field (resulting in that nice out-of-focus bokeh behind your subject).

2.  Shutter lag.  This is my biggest pet peeve about point-and-shoots.  If I hit the shutter button, take the darn picture.  Don't wait for a half hour, at which point my subject has not only left the frame, but perhaps even the zip code, as well.  Shutter lag is getting better on point-and-shoots, but there's nothing like the click-bang of an SLR.

3.  Interchangeable lenses.  The right lens for the right shot, every time.  For those who feel carrying a bag of lenses is a pain (and I'm occasionally with that crowd), a nice walk-around 28 to 300mm lens won't get you professional results, but will still outshoot most P&S's.  With a P&S, make sure you like your lens, because it's the one you're stuck with.

Not to say that I'm absolutely against P&S's.  I have one.  Somewhere.
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