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Digital Camera Advice

KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
edited September 2009 in Moe's Stupid Technology Tavern
EDIT - I have purchased a Sony A200 DSLR. Hoorah! Thanks for all the advice/tips/discussion, it was pretty invaluable.


I am looking to get a digital camera and would like to throw myself at the collective feet of you chaps for advice. I've done a brief search on the forums and all the other relevant threads seem to be rather old, hence me creating a new thread.

So, thanks in advance for any advice or tips

What I own:

One is a one year old entry level point and click no brand (given as a gift) which I use mainly because it has optical zoom. The actual image quality isn't the best and the shooting modes are not the best. It doesn't get used much now that I have a new camera phone.

The other is a camera built into my phone. The phone is the Sony Ericsson C905, which has a built in Cybershot 8 megapixel camera. Now this isn't as bad as it sounds as it was the best camera I could get in a phone in the UK, at least as of February 2009 and since I was due for an upgrade it didn't cost me anything (UK phone deals are awesome sometimes!). It is more than enough for the vast majority of photos I want to take - you know, of friends, social events, random things I think are cool and even basic sight seeing. I've used the phone as my camera for traveling around Europe this year and generally the results have been pretty good, except where I need a good zoom.

What I want:

I am a little bit unsure about this bit to be honest. I'm not entirely sure whether I want to go so far as a DSLR - where I can start playing around with all the complexity that this requires, or whether I should just go for a high end camera with a good lens and lots of automated features (is this called "prosumer"?). So I'd welcome your general thoughts on either position

If I was to go DSLR I think I'd probably need to join a photography club so I wouldn't be wasting my money on features I do not know how to use. I've a couple of friends / housemates who own the entry level Canon and Sony DSLRs so I can probably also get tips there too I guess.

So I can't really claim to know a lot about anything advanced regarding digital cameras or cameras generally. I have read buyers guides and I did use to sell entry level digital cameras back in the day while at college, so I have a basic level of understanding that might (I hope) be slightly more advanced than "more mega pixel lixels = good" so be gentle!

My Budget/ other constraints:

I am looking to spend no more than about 300 Pounds, which is about 350 Euros, 500 US$D, 600 A$D, 550 C$D, 740 NZ$D, 2,600 Danish Kroner and 3,500 Swedish Kroner (those being the currencies I'd guess you'd all be likely to use, apologies if I've missed yours out).

The camera needs to be sold in the UK as that is where I currently live. Ideally I'd like some sort of international warranty as I am likely to move back to NZ in the next year or two. I am not sold on the idea of buying overseas as I want to be able to go visit the shop/or at least have access to local consumer protection laws that I am familiar with.

I run an entry level one year old Macbook, so there is firewire and USB 2.0 but no card readers. Any software packages should ideally be compatible with OS X 10.5.8, but that being said, I probably will buy a PC laptop in the next year or so, so this isn't essential.

I don't give a crap about what memory card format as cards seem to be dammed cheap of any flavour these days. Although I probably wouldn't want to support a very obscure/likely to be discontinued any time soon format .

I don't have any brands I want to avoid either.

Kalkino on
Freedom for the Northern Isles!
«1

Posts

  • ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    For a compact the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ7 is excellent with lots of features and a good digital zoom. You can get it for under £300 and lots of shops are pushing it in the UK. Otherwise if you can find an independent camera store ask to try some different models out see what you prefer.

    If you are after a DSLR I would say wait and save up another £2-300 then look for any package deals on lenses etc, simply because the lenses are so expensive.

    What you could look at is the semi DSLR or the 2/3 DSLR cameras, they cost around £400-700 but usually have the features of a DSLR but in a more compact easy to use size.

    I have REZ for the Dreamcast PAL for sale £35. Other Excellent retro games for sale PM for details
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Ziggymon wrote: »
    For a compact the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ7 is excellent with lots of features and a good digital zoom. You can get it for under £300 and lots of shops are pushing it in the UK. Otherwise if you can find an independent camera store ask to try some different models out see what you prefer.

    If you are after a DSLR I would say wait and save up another £2-300 then look for any package deals on lenses etc, simply because the lenses are so expensive.

    What you could look at is the semi DSLR or the 2/3 DSLR cameras, they cost around £400-700 but usually have the features of a DSLR but in a more compact easy to use size.

    I'll take a look at the Lumix today perhaps.

    On your other points - do you have any suggestions about what shops to visit? I'm in London and I see you are in Manchester, but if you know of any small/reliable or trustworthy national chains that'd be good too.

    For everyone - any suggestions as to trustworthy camera review sites that are not sneaky shills?

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    A good chain i know of is Jacobs, the evil twin of jessops, the store in Manchester did have a good selection. Also the london Camera exchange is a good smallish franchise.

    Otherwise just check out Play.com and currys/PC world have usually good prices and packages.

    I have REZ for the Dreamcast PAL for sale £35. Other Excellent retro games for sale PM for details
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Ziggymon wrote: »
    A good chain i know of is Jacobs, the evil twin of jessops, the store in Manchester did have a good selection. Also the london Camera exchange is a good smallish franchise.

    Otherwise just check out Play.com and currys/PC world have usually good prices and packages.

    I had a look at Jessops today - the Lumix does look pretty sweet

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    So if I was to take the DSL plunge I see the Sony A200 is in my price range -as are a couple of others. Any suggestions here?

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I advise against buying anything but a Canon or Nikon DSLR unless you know exactly what kind of shooting you'll be doing until the end of time, and Pentax/Sony/Fuji/Panasonic have the camera body and gear to meet your needs. Canon/Nikon have such a vast lineup of available lenses and accessories that, regardless of what you're doing, they have gear that'll do it.

    That being said, if you're on the fence about buying a DSLR, don't buy a DSLR. They're a huge investment not only in terms of time and learning curve but also space and weight in their day-to-day use. It's far better to buy a small camera with inferior image quality and use it than to buy a huge, expensive DSLR that only gets used once a month.

    If you'd like to get a solid little camera that'll get you into photography but still be nice and portable, get a Canon G9 or G10. They're beautifully made little point and shoots that are made like tanks, shoot RAW and are generally very nice cameras. Almost all of the pros I know have a G9 as their location scouting/family snapshot cameras. Buy used where possible - you'll save a bundle and there's very little that can go wrong with this camera that won't be immediately obvious when you test it out (this can't be said for DSLRs).

    3072973561_de17a80845_o.jpg
  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Kalkino wrote: »
    So if I was to take the DSL plunge I see the Sony A200 is in my price range -as are a couple of others. Any suggestions here?

    The Sony A200 is a glorious fucking camera for the price. My girlfriend just bought one. She bought it in a set with a lens and it's doing an outstanding job.

    Then if you want to branch into other lenses a lot of the old Minolta lenses fit the A 200, so the selection is bigger than it seems.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    @Dark Moon - Yeah, most people I know with DSLRs think the same about Canon/Nikon. Also, I'm not really too keen to start blowing cash on lenses, so far as possible

    @Visti - the price/options do seem pretty hard to beat, not withstanding the above comments about Canon or Nikon. A good friend got one a month ago and has just returned from holiday, so I'll see if he still loves it now he's taken it on the road.

    Having spent the last couple of days / week looking I've come to the conclusion there are three rough categories of camera I'm interested in:

    1. Nice Compact - point/shoot but slightly higher quality - perhaps with a pretty good optical zoom or other neat features like HD video capture. Price range 200 pounds or above. E.g Ziggymoon's recommended Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ7 or Canon Powershot SX200

    2. DSLR substitutes - Cameras that mimic DSLRs but perhaps without the full range of features, but including things like HD video capture - but probably pretty well suited for my purposes. Price range 200-500, with an example of the upper range being the Panasonic G1

    3. Entry level DSLRs - like the Sony A200 or the various entry level Canon/Nikons- 300-700 pounds. They generally are packed with for realz camera features but lacking in neat stuff like HD video capture (boo).

    I think I am moving in favour of option 2 or 3 and excluding 1 for the main reason that my cellphone is awesome for nearly everything I want to snap usually - and it is only special situations like traveling overseas or to an area of outstanding beauty that I feel the lack of something better. It was pretty much the best camera phone on the market when i got it and it may well still be so - and when it craps out I'll probably replace it with the current gen replacement (living in the UK is sweet for subsidised phones). So getting an even high end compact seems like a lot of money for a marginal replacement.

    So, if on the basis that I will only be using the camera for occasional use, I think a DSLR or substitute is the way to go.

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    DSLR camera's are really restricted to the lenses you purchase, the range Canon and Nikon have of old lenses and the newer models plus heavy support from thrid parties usually make them with the inflated camera body prices.

    The Sony alpha range are fantastic camera's but ive found the same problem that a lot of these semi-DSLR cameras have with compatibility and support from third party lenses. Its an expensive hobby if you are forced to buy official lens kits.

    Im really interested in the olympus Pen camera looks sexy but im fearing being forced to pay £250 to buy an adaptor to use my old olympus lens mounts.

    I have REZ for the Dreamcast PAL for sale £35. Other Excellent retro games for sale PM for details
  • MaskedWallabyMaskedWallaby Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I would suggest either going the entry-level DSLR route, or the "medium-range" point'n shoot like the Canon G9. I would advise AGAINST the built-in zoom cameras like the G10 or the Nikon Coolpix whatcha-call-it. While lenses are an investment in the DSLRs, there is no rule that you have to go out and buy them; a used Rebel XT or a Nikon D40 cost less than $400 US and are perfectly usable with the kit lens, and will give you better image quality than a point 'n shoot will even at automatic settings. If you don't plan on getting very much "in" to photography, I would push you in the direction of the mid-range Canon G9s.

    I borrowed my parents' G7 on a 4-month study abroad trip to Italy, and even used it for a photography class. While I still wish I would have had the money for a DSLR instead, the G7 still took very nice pictures and was highly customizable on manual (you can set ISO, shutter speed, and aperture by dials instead of menus, which is nice). I was also able to stow it and whip it out to snap photos quicker than my DSLR-carrying classmates, since you can one-handedly pull it out of a pocket, hit "on", and hit the shutter release button in a fairly smooth motion. With a DSLR you've got to pull it out of your case, take off the lens cap, pull the whole thing up to your eye, and hope whatever you wanted to take a picture of is still where you thought it was 10 seconds ago.

    So it depends on what you're after. If you want portable and easy-to-use, grab a G7-G9. If you want the best image quality, go for a DSLR.

    Note on DSLRs: while many consider Nikon/Canon the only way to go, the quality of the lens you're using and your photography skills are going to make a much bigger difference than the brand on your camera body. Pentax, Fuji, et al can be just as good as Nikon and Canon offerings when paired with the right glass. I personally own a Nikon D60 because the price was right and I like the feel of the camera, but I wouldn't have minded getting a Pentax either for their huge lens range and built-in autofocusing (low-end Nikons only have it in the lenses).

  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    hmm, so it doesn't really seem worth popping another 100 quid for the Sony A230 over the A200. Thoughts?

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Kalkino wrote: »
    hmm, so it doesn't really seem worth popping another 100 quid for the Sony A230 over the A200. Thoughts?

    Id say use that Extra £100 on lens filters, bag and cleaning kit and extra batteries if possible. You would be surprised how many people forget these important little extras.

    I have REZ for the Dreamcast PAL for sale £35. Other Excellent retro games for sale PM for details
  • blanknogoblanknogo Registered User
    edited August 2009
    I would suggest either going the entry-level DSLR route, or the "medium-range" point'n shoot like the Canon G9. I would advise AGAINST the built-in zoom cameras like the G10 or the Nikon Coolpix whatcha-call-it.

    You would recommend the G9 but advise against the Nikon P6000 or Canon's G10 (the successor to, though not nearly as good as, the G9) and other similar cameras? That doesn't make a ton of sense...

    The high quality point and shoots seem to be a decent compromise between a DSLR and a point and shoot. Shooting (in particular traveling) with a DSLR is really a hobby/lifestyle rather than something you use to snap a few photos and have fun.

    I love my DSLR but I really didn't enjoy traveling with it so it's important to think about how you want you camera to fit into your life and not the other way around.

    For DSLRs, Canon and Sony both have some good offerings (as does Nikon, which I use). If you have friends that shoot those, I'd recommend going with one or the other simply because you can borrow lenses and ask for help when you need it.

    For point and shoots, a G9 or the new G11 seem good (depending on reviews). I'd also look at the Panasonic LX-3 or the Nikon P6000 (the cheapest of the more advanced point and shoots).

  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Well the thing is I already have a portable camera that I suspect will take care of 90% of my photo taking needs even post purchase

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Kalkino wrote: »
    Well the thing is I already have a portable camera that I suspect will take care of 90% of my photo taking needs even post purchase

    Well do you really want to spend over £300 on a full DSLR kit for what would be only needed so few times?

    If you want to join a photography club, or get into photography, then maybe look at buying a 35 mm SLR (the prices are so cheap these days) and start learning the techniques from there.

    I have REZ for the Dreamcast PAL for sale £35. Other Excellent retro games for sale PM for details
  • MaskedWallabyMaskedWallaby Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    blanknogo wrote: »
    I would suggest either going the entry-level DSLR route, or the "medium-range" point'n shoot like the Canon G9. I would advise AGAINST the built-in zoom cameras like the G10 or the Nikon Coolpix whatcha-call-it.

    You would recommend the G9 but advise against the Nikon P6000 or Canon's G10 (the successor to, though not nearly as good as, the G9) and other similar cameras? That doesn't make a ton of sense...

    The high quality point and shoots seem to be a decent compromise between a DSLR and a point and shoot. Shooting (in particular traveling) with a DSLR is really a hobby/lifestyle rather than something you use to snap a few photos and have fun.

    I love my DSLR but I really didn't enjoy traveling with it so it's important to think about how you want you camera to fit into your life and not the other way around.

    For DSLRs, Canon and Sony both have some good offerings (as does Nikon, which I use). If you have friends that shoot those, I'd recommend going with one or the other simply because you can borrow lenses and ask for help when you need it.

    For point and shoots, a G9 or the new G11 seem good (depending on reviews). I'd also look at the Panasonic LX-3 or the Nikon P6000 (the cheapest of the more advanced point and shoots).

    Isn't the G10 the one with the built-in zoom lens? I advise against those kind because, a) it's not as easy to stuff in a pocket like a G9 whose lens closes up all the way, and b) if you decide later that you want some more versatility out of your camera, like sharper quality or a wider angle, you can't change the lens. I'm not saying he couldn't get a Nikon offering over Canon's G-series, but I don't have any experience with those.

  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Ziggymon wrote: »
    Kalkino wrote: »
    Well the thing is I already have a portable camera that I suspect will take care of 90% of my photo taking needs even post purchase

    Well do you really want to spend over £300 on a full DSLR kit for what would be only needed so few times?

    If you want to join a photography club, or get into photography, then maybe look at buying a 35 mm SLR (the prices are so cheap these days) and start learning the techniques from there.

    Yeah, there is that I guess, but that was more aimed at the point that I don't want or need a compact replacement - I'd want something that is a substantial step up. Sure, there are really nice high end compacts that might be DSLR substitutes, but their price range is heading towards DSLR territory. So why not go for the latter - worse case scenario I get an awesome camera that I use for special occasions, or more likely, I get further into photography.

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    There's no noticable difference in image quality on images produced by good compacts and images produced by high end DSLRs if the DSLR is fitted with crappy optics. If your budget is definitely this limited, don't bother buying a DSLR - high ISO performance will be a bit better than whatever you current compact camera is, but you won't notice much difference besides that. Though, if you get the Sony A200, you won't even notice this - it's garbage at ISO800 and above.

    Another problem with the Sony is the lens selection. While they have most of the important ranges covered, all their decent lenses are high end glass that run North of $1500 a piece. Their low end stuff is pretty mediocre, still somewhat expensive and the 3rd party options (Tamron/Sigma/Tokina/etc.) aren't as pervasive as with a more established mount.

    In summary: Lenses>>Camera. Your budget should reflect this fact.

    Specific advice: If you insist upon a DSLR, buy a used Canon XT/XTi for around $200 and a used Canon 50mm f/1.8 for under $80. If you want a Nikon, buy a used D50/D70/D80 and their 50mm f/1.8. Avoid D40/V40x/D60 like the plague, their lack of AF motor severely cripples them. If you don't mind manual focussing, consider a Pentax. Skip Sony and Fuji - both are great systems but require you spend a lot of money setting them up.

    3072973561_de17a80845_o.jpg
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The compacts that I am interested in are the same price range as the DSLRs - thing G1/or the new Pen. So I'm not going to be saving any money on that basis.

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • wunderbarwunderbar Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Yea, the problem is that the low end dSLR's and the high end compact arguments are like the arguments people get over MP3 players.

    You can buy a 120GB iPod classic for $250 US. The 16GB nano is $50 less. That's a lot less capacity for not much less price. Price/performance dictates that the Classic is a better deal, but the nano outsells it like mad. Why? Because size matters. People wanted the smaller package, so they will buy that instead, even though it's not as good of a deal.

    The same thing happens for the high end compact cameras vs. the low end dSLR's. I know for me personally, I would like to get a new camera, and want one with good features, but I also want one that I can carry around in my pocket, or easily toss in a bag. a dSLR does not fit my needs in that regard, because in my use-case it is not the best camera for what I want to do. But I do want the features, like manual controls and as good a lens as I can get. That means that I'm looking at a compact camera in the high end.

  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'd go for a cheap DSLR. The quality of picture is just phenomenal compared to a point-and-shoot one.

    I have taken so many more pictures after getting one than I ever did before I got one. Some great things I saw have been basically lost because all I had was a little camera which couldn't take proper pictures.

    Ad Astra Per Aspera
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    corcorigan wrote: »
    I'd go for a cheap DSLR. The quality of picture is just phenomenal compared to a point-and-shoot one.

    I have taken so many more pictures after getting one than I ever did before I got one. Some great things I saw have been basically lost because all I had was a little camera which couldn't take proper pictures.

    Yeah I figure the same would happen to me - Once I got my first proper digital camera I went kinda nuts - for example when I was in Rome for a week I took well over 700 photos

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    corcorigan wrote: »
    I'd go for a cheap DSLR. The quality of picture is just phenomenal compared to a point-and-shoot one.

    I have taken so many more pictures after getting one than I ever did before I got one. Some great things I saw have been basically lost because all I had was a little camera which couldn't take proper pictures.

    Bullshit. A camera's only as good as the photographer behind it. The camera may be the limiting factor in the quality of your images, but chances are it's not. If getting a DSLR inspires you to shoot more, that's great - but don't assume that because you're spending more on gear you'll suddenly start producing spectacular pictures.

    3072973561_de17a80845_o.jpg
  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    corcorigan wrote: »
    I'd go for a cheap DSLR. The quality of picture is just phenomenal compared to a point-and-shoot one.

    I have taken so many more pictures after getting one than I ever did before I got one. Some great things I saw have been basically lost because all I had was a little camera which couldn't take proper pictures.

    Bullshit. A camera's only as good as the photographer behind it. The camera may be the limiting factor in the quality of your images, but chances are it's not. If getting a DSLR inspires you to shoot more, that's great - but don't assume that because you're spending more on gear you'll suddenly start producing spectacular pictures.

    I've been in plenty of situations where a point-and-shoot camera is basically incapable of producing pictures. The lighting isn't right. It keeps focusing on the wrong thing. It won't shoot quickly enough.

    Ad Astra Per Aspera
  • ColdredColdred Registered User
    edited August 2009
    blanknogo wrote: »
    I would suggest either going the entry-level DSLR route, or the "medium-range" point'n shoot like the Canon G9. I would advise AGAINST the built-in zoom cameras like the G10 or the Nikon Coolpix whatcha-call-it.

    You would recommend the G9 but advise against the Nikon P6000 or Canon's G10 (the successor to, though not nearly as good as, the G9) and other similar cameras? That doesn't make a ton of sense...

    The high quality point and shoots seem to be a decent compromise between a DSLR and a point and shoot. Shooting (in particular traveling) with a DSLR is really a hobby/lifestyle rather than something you use to snap a few photos and have fun.

    I love my DSLR but I really didn't enjoy traveling with it so it's important to think about how you want you camera to fit into your life and not the other way around.

    For DSLRs, Canon and Sony both have some good offerings (as does Nikon, which I use). If you have friends that shoot those, I'd recommend going with one or the other simply because you can borrow lenses and ask for help when you need it.

    For point and shoots, a G9 or the new G11 seem good (depending on reviews). I'd also look at the Panasonic LX-3 or the Nikon P6000 (the cheapest of the more advanced point and shoots).

    Isn't the G10 the one with the built-in zoom lens? I advise against those kind because, a) it's not as easy to stuff in a pocket like a G9 whose lens closes up all the way, and b) if you decide later that you want some more versatility out of your camera, like sharper quality or a wider angle, you can't change the lens. I'm not saying he couldn't get a Nikon offering over Canon's G-series, but I don't have any experience with those.

    The G10 looks like the G9 (albeit with a faster, yet lower zoom, lens) with an extra dial on the top, are you thinking of the SX10? I've got a G9 and I'm pretty happy with it so far (although I'm far from a camera enthusiast the extra settings are pretty useful). Hmm, looks like the G11 is actually reducing the mega-pixel count on the sensor. Good idea, IMO.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Canon/canon_g10.asp

    sig1-1.jpg
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    corcorigan wrote: »
    I'd go for a cheap DSLR. The quality of picture is just phenomenal compared to a point-and-shoot one.

    I have taken so many more pictures after getting one than I ever did before I got one. Some great things I saw have been basically lost because all I had was a little camera which couldn't take proper pictures.

    Bullshit. A camera's only as good as the photographer behind it. The camera may be the limiting factor in the quality of your images, but chances are it's not. If getting a DSLR inspires you to shoot more, that's great - but don't assume that because you're spending more on gear you'll suddenly start producing spectacular pictures.

    Well I've only been taking photos properly (say more than once a year) for about two years but I get good feedback from people, some of which who are bona fide camera geeks. Plus I've come up against the technical limits of my cheaper point/shoot cameras so I need to up the ante. So I don't think it is out of line that I take a risk and try going to the next level, which in this case is DSLR.

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    So I've picked up the A200, 4GB card, case and a spare battery, hurrah! So next purchase should be a lens filter of some kind I guess?

    Now I've just got to work out how to use the dammed thing! I'm going on holiday to some lakes later this week, so that should be a good place to test it out properly

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The sony DSLR's take the old minolta fit lenses from what I remember so it might be something to look at if you want cheap lenses. Otherwise a carry case/bag, extra batteries and set of filters.

    I have REZ for the Dreamcast PAL for sale £35. Other Excellent retro games for sale PM for details
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Ziggymon wrote: »
    The sony DSLR's take the old minolta fit lenses from what I remember so it might be something to look at if you want cheap lenses. Otherwise a carry case/bag, extra batteries and set of filters.

    I'll head to the local second hand shops, like the London Camera Exchange to scope out prices just as soon as I understand what the hell I am doing and what I want to achieve

    Edit - Anyone know of a good place to start with training/guide podcasts? I am planning to take a class at some point but would like to do a crash course before the weekend

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • blanknogoblanknogo Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Coldred wrote: »
    blanknogo wrote: »
    I would suggest either going the entry-level DSLR route, or the "medium-range" point'n shoot like the Canon G9. I would advise AGAINST the built-in zoom cameras like the G10 or the Nikon Coolpix whatcha-call-it.

    You would recommend the G9 but advise against the Nikon P6000 or Canon's G10 (the successor to, though not nearly as good as, the G9) and other similar cameras? That doesn't make a ton of sense...

    The high quality point and shoots seem to be a decent compromise between a DSLR and a point and shoot. Shooting (in particular traveling) with a DSLR is really a hobby/lifestyle rather than something you use to snap a few photos and have fun.

    I love my DSLR but I really didn't enjoy traveling with it so it's important to think about how you want you camera to fit into your life and not the other way around.

    For DSLRs, Canon and Sony both have some good offerings (as does Nikon, which I use). If you have friends that shoot those, I'd recommend going with one or the other simply because you can borrow lenses and ask for help when you need it.

    For point and shoots, a G9 or the new G11 seem good (depending on reviews). I'd also look at the Panasonic LX-3 or the Nikon P6000 (the cheapest of the more advanced point and shoots).

    Isn't the G10 the one with the built-in zoom lens? I advise against those kind because, a) it's not as easy to stuff in a pocket like a G9 whose lens closes up all the way, and b) if you decide later that you want some more versatility out of your camera, like sharper quality or a wider angle, you can't change the lens. I'm not saying he couldn't get a Nikon offering over Canon's G-series, but I don't have any experience with those.

    The G10 looks like the G9 (albeit with a faster, yet lower zoom, lens) with an extra dial on the top, are you thinking of the SX10? I've got a G9 and I'm pretty happy with it so far (although I'm far from a camera enthusiast the extra settings are pretty useful). Hmm, looks like the G11 is actually reducing the mega-pixel count on the sensor. Good idea, IMO.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Canon/canon_g10.asp

    Yeah, I think there's just a bit of confusion with regards to terminology. Both the G9 and G10 and almost all point and shoots have built in zoom lenses (as they all have a certain degree of optical zoom with no interchangeable lenses). I think your issue here is with cameras with protruding lenses where the lens does not fully retract into the body (both the G9 and G10 have a small amount of lens protrusion). Both the Canon G series and Nikon P6000 are generally okay with this whereas the Panasonic LX-3 has a larger amount of lens protrusion.

    None of those cameras are really very pocketable anyways though.

  • StregoneStregone Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The new G11 looks pretty nice. Only disapointment is that it doesn't shoot HD video. Not that big of a deal but alot of people expected it. One big eye popping feature is that it can shoot at 12,800ISO. It reduces the resolution to 2.5mp I believe, but thats still pretty damn useful.

  • wunderbarwunderbar Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Stregone wrote: »
    The new G11 looks pretty nice. Only disapointment is that it doesn't shoot HD video. Not that big of a deal but alot of people expected it. One big eye popping feature is that it can shoot at 12,800ISO. It reduces the resolution to 2.5mp I believe, but thats still pretty damn useful.

    Honestly, I'm pretty sure it won't be useful at all, because at an ISO level that high, the picture will have so much noise there'll probably be no point.

  • blanknogoblanknogo Registered User
    edited August 2009
    The new Canon S90 actually looks better than the G11: same sensor, less bulk, apparently very innovative controls. Worth looking into as well.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited August 2009
    wunderbar wrote: »
    Stregone wrote: »
    The new G11 looks pretty nice. Only disapointment is that it doesn't shoot HD video. Not that big of a deal but alot of people expected it. One big eye popping feature is that it can shoot at 12,800ISO. It reduces the resolution to 2.5mp I believe, but thats still pretty damn useful.

    Honestly, I'm pretty sure it won't be useful at all, because at an ISO level that high, the picture will have so much noise there'll probably be no point.

    Yes, because they're totally going to list it as a marketing point and put it on the camera even though the picture is 100% noise at that point. Great detective work there.

    The general rule of thumb is that one ISO level below the max is usable for anything but 1:1 prints. Usually then you want to be two or three levels below max, but nobody prints a 10 MP photo at full res. Commercial printing processes only typically allow for 175 DPI in colour, unless you go to a pro shop and in that case, you're probably not using a point and shoot camera anyhow.

    I'm also going to assume that if they're dropping the res to 1/4 of its normal max, it means that they're using 4 pixels for every one pixel to determine what the correct colour should be statistically. Since a 10 MP sensor on a high end Canon leaves reasonably large pixels on the sensor already, odds are it's not going to be pulling a lot of noise. I wouldn't be surprised if you COULD get decent prints using that setting, actually. It'll give you 5.3"x4" photos, not quite large enough for a standard print size, but definitely larger than necessary for Internets posting.

    EDIT: Or you could go for 165 DPI printing and get a 4"x6" print, which is a very common standard sized print and 165 DPI is definitely still a reasonable resolution for colour prints.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
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  • wunderbarwunderbar Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    blanknogo wrote: »
    The new Canon S90 actually looks better than the G11: same sensor, less bulk, apparently very innovative controls. Worth looking into as well.

    Less zoom unfortunately, shittier flash(well, comparitavely). G11 has the rotating screen, which while few people care about, is nice to have when you actually have one.

    What the G11 gives up for bulk it adds for a couple features that will probably make it worth it.

  • StregoneStregone Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Eh, I use ISO 1600 (the max) on my powershot 720IS all the time. Its a little blurry, but expose it right and there's not much noise. 99% of the pictures I take even on my 40D are just posted online. How many of you actualy print stuff out these days? Bigger than 4x6?

  • wunderbarwunderbar Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I dunno, I find pictures above ISO 400 on most Point and shoot cameras are complete crap. on a DSLR, yes, because they have a much larger CMOS sensor.

    But with point and shoots, the megapixel race meant too many pixels on a small sensor and as a result crap pictures at high ISO's are common place. My 870IS is half decent, but nothing special, especially since I can't control the shutter speed myself. I take a lot of lower light pictures so I'd be willing to upgrade my camera just for a point and shoot that has manual shutter speed controls, a half decent sensor, and doens't look like crap above ISO 400.

  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    So I've had the camera for a week or so and am loving it so far, even though I think it'll be many months before I have any clue as to how to get even close to its potential.

    Anyway, I took it to some lakes for the recent long weekend (UK anyway) and took 600 or so shots and it appears there is a mark on the photos. The mark is only evident on the last two of the three days worth of photos, so I hope it means there isn't any sort of more serious defect or anything. The mark is dull - about 1.5mm by 1.5 mm on a 15cm by 10cm display on my laptop. I've tried using the cleaning mechanism built in and I've purchased a blower but those have not provided success as yet. So, given this is the first time I've had a cleaning issue, I would like any tips you may have for me.

    I can't seem to embed the photo so I've provided a link to the Picasa album

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • ColdredColdred Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Kalkino wrote: »
    So I've had the camera for a week or so and am loving it so far, even though I think it'll be many months before I have any clue as to how to get even close to its potential.

    Anyway, I took it to some lakes for the recent long weekend (UK anyway) and took 600 or so shots and it appears there is a mark on the photos. The mark is only evident on the last two of the three days worth of photos, so I hope it means there isn't any sort of more serious defect or anything. The mark is dull - about 1.5mm by 1.5 mm on a 15cm by 10cm display on my laptop. I've tried using the cleaning mechanism built in and I've purchased a blower but those have not provided success as yet. So, given this is the first time I've had a cleaning issue, I would like any tips you may have for me.

    I can't seem to embed the photo so I've provided a link to the Picasa album

    Looks kind of hazy, are you sure it's on the CCD? Does it stay in the same position at different focal lengths (or with a different lens)?

    sig1-1.jpg
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Coldred wrote: »
    Kalkino wrote: »
    So I've had the camera for a week or so and am loving it so far, even though I think it'll be many months before I have any clue as to how to get even close to its potential.

    Anyway, I took it to some lakes for the recent long weekend (UK anyway) and took 600 or so shots and it appears there is a mark on the photos. The mark is only evident on the last two of the three days worth of photos, so I hope it means there isn't any sort of more serious defect or anything. The mark is dull - about 1.5mm by 1.5 mm on a 15cm by 10cm display on my laptop. I've tried using the cleaning mechanism built in and I've purchased a blower but those have not provided success as yet. So, given this is the first time I've had a cleaning issue, I would like any tips you may have for me.

    I can't seem to embed the photo so I've provided a link to the Picasa album

    Looks kind of hazy, are you sure it's on the CCD? Does it stay in the same position at different focal lengths (or with a different lens)?

    I am not entirely sure I know where it is to be honest.
    Regarding your other question - the image doesn't appear on all the other photos from that point on. It seems to be more apparent with landscape mode shots (I haven't ventured into anything past the modes yet), those with a blue or light background. Other shots with different backgrounds or modes do not show it I think.

    Take a look at a couple of other shots I've uploaded

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
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