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Old September 26th, 2004, 05:56 PM
Sivaram Velauthapillai Sivaram Velauthapillai is offline
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Newbie trying to buy a digital camera

Yo sup...

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend...

I am new to photography and I'm looking to buy my first digital camera. I'm looking to buy a camera for basic needs and some amateur photography. I'm not really sure if I'm into photography but I want to try. I'm mainly looking to take pictures of nature and city objects (eg. street, buildings, etc). I also don't have a lot of money and I can only spend around US$300 to $700. So I'm basically looking for a digital camera that is suited for amateur photography (nothing advanced), while not costing a lot.

Given all that, what do you guys recommend? I've looked at a few models and their reviews, and it's hard to tell what I should be looking at. I'm not really sure what the product lines are suited for. The marketing on the company websites are just that: marketing.

For instance, if you want wide-angle shots (say picture of the sky) then what features should I be looking for?

How do you figure out what the product lines are designed for? For example, let's say you look at Canon (just for the sake of argument). How do you know what the Sx line is suited for, or what the Ax line (eg. Canon PowerShot A95) is for, or whatever?

Sticking with the Canon example, what are each of these suitable for: Canon PowerShot A95 vs Canon PowerShot S1 IS?

What features do you think are required for (introductory) amateur photography?

Thanks!
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Old September 26th, 2004, 06:01 PM
Tim L. Walker's Avatar
Tim L. Walker Tim L. Walker is offline
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I guess the first thing you need to decide, is if you want manual options on your camera (manual focus, shutter, etc)... from there, we can help you narrow down what choices might be best for you. Welcome to the forum, btw!
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Old September 26th, 2004, 06:48 PM
Sivaram Velauthapillai Sivaram Velauthapillai is offline
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Thanks for the welcome Nice to meet another Torontonian

To answer your question, well, I guess I AM looking for manual options. Fully automatic would be the consumer models and they aren't suited for amateur photography it seems. I think I need some manual control. So I would rule out the general consumer cameras (<$200) and rule out the high end prosumer cameras (>$1000). I'm somewhere in the middle, leaning towards the lower end.

The manual controls seem to be fairly standard. Within a given price range most models seem to have similar features. What is more confusing to me is things like lenses (should I be looking at special type of lenses or something?), zooms (should I look for 10x zoom or is that overkill for a newly aspiring amateur photographer?), and stuff like that...
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Old September 26th, 2004, 07:05 PM
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Tin-Cup Tin-Cup is offline
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the fuji s5000 is a great camera... has full manual and takes great images for a good price...has a 10x zoom also you should check it out...
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Old September 26th, 2004, 07:40 PM
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Tim L. Walker Tim L. Walker is offline
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Yeah, that's a pretty decent camera Fuji s5000 I think RobW has one?
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Old September 26th, 2004, 10:24 PM
GerryDavid GerryDavid is offline
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If I was to get a new digital camera *that wasnt a dslr, and easier to carry around*, I would go for .....

http://reviews.cnet.com/Olympus_Came...6.html?tag=tab
Olympus Camedia C-740 Ultra Zoom
min price $230, 3.2mp, 10X optical zoom, 2 aperatures, 16 second min shutter speed, xd memory card

I dont think it has manual focus, but its a nice camera for a lower end digital camera.

It would probably be a good start for you. You would probably want 128mb of memory or more, then some rechargeable batteries and charger so you don thave to spend alot of money in batteries.
  #7    Top
Old September 29th, 2004, 12:07 AM
Sivaram Velauthapillai Sivaram Velauthapillai is offline
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How do you know what TYPE of camera to buy? Should I go for an ultra-zoom (10x+) camera or should I just stick with a regular (4x) with better quality (higher megapixels, more features, etc)?

Is it worth going for a camera that allows you to add lenses and stuff like that? Or is it not worth it for a medium priced camera?

How about video recording? I guess none of you here care (since you guys are into photography) but is it something that is worth it for general use?

I still have to do a lot of research but two cameras that in the ultra-zoom category look attractive to me right now:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10
Canon PowerShot S1 IS

Anyone have any thoughts on those?

In more general category, I like the following:

Canon PowerShot A95

I still haven't looked at 80% of hte brands yet (concentrated on Canon so far)....
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Old September 29th, 2004, 12:24 AM
GerryDavid GerryDavid is offline
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You can look up www.computers.com , select digital camera's and if you see something you like, read the review so you know whats good and bad about it.

I prefer more optical zoom, its nice to get in tightly. You probably dont need more than 3 or 4mp, but the more you get, the more you can crop. But I think regular digital camera's 6mp and more are really noisy, but I could be wrong. I woudlnt bother with a lower end slr like camera iwth the intent to get lenses becuase they are probably designed just for that camera and cant be used in a later version, when you want to upgrade to a real dslr camera.

I think you said you were just starting out, I would get something around 4mp, lots of optical zoom, and something that feels good in your hand.
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Old September 29th, 2004, 12:40 AM
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Tim L. Walker Tim L. Walker is offline
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Do you just want the photos for computer use, or do you intend to print them out as well? Generally, I would avoid camera's that do video as well... it's a dumb consumer feature (and I'm in the video industry more than I am photography, so take that for what it's worth)... I would say, if you can afford it, getting a camera where you can build on it (add lenses, filters, etc) is a better option... because, if you stick with a certain brand, you can use those same filters/lenses with your next camera (assuming you upgrade eventually).
  #10    Top
Old September 29th, 2004, 12:46 AM
GerryDavid GerryDavid is offline
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Tim, his entire budget is $300-$700. The $700 may just barely cover the canon 300d before he gets lenses, memory cards and accessories. :0).

Also said about doing amature photography, so something to get him started and interested in photography is what I was trying to aim for. :0).

I like the video option, and most cameras have it that I have seen, except most dslr's, but cant the Canon 20d do it? Its not something you have to use, but it can be fun.
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