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Buying a Digital Camera

NoxyNoxy Registered User regular
edited January 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey everyone, I need help picking a digital camera. My current problem is that I know next to nothing about cameras and could use a quick explanation of stuff like megapixels and other terms that someone without knowledge of digital cameras would be clueless about.

Currently I am preparing to transfer to a new college and would really like a digital camera to take with me everywhere. Over time I plan on learning more about photography and how to use all of the extra options on the camera so I require something that is not necessarily at the bottom of the ladder. For now though, I just want the camera to take pictures of nights out or having fun with friends.

I guess what I am saying is I need a nice camera that gives me the most bang for the buck without being ridiculous in price. Ideally it would not be a hulk, but then again, all cameras are small these days right? I have no idea. As for what is ridiculous in price, I have no idea what is ridiculous yet.

(TL;DR version)
Need a nice, small-ish digital camera with reasonable options for future playing around with photography. Also, I am ignorant on some of the tech speak so help me out.

Oh yeah, and thanks for taking your time to help me with this.

Noxy on
«1

Posts

  • EverywhereasignEverywhereasign Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm guessing from your post that you were thinking point and shoot over DSLR?

    I would say go for a Canon point and shoot. The Powershots are really good and it's difficult to go wrong if you're getting a new one. The software is dead easy, and I love the picture quality.

    After that, it's really how much you want to spend. I love my powershot because it's small and I can take it anywhere. I keep it in a pelican case so I can throw it in any bag and not worry about damage. I bought an underwater housing for it so it even goes diving with me. They make great "everyday" cameras.

    You say you are interested in learning more about photography, if you mean totally manual picture taking and tweaking of settings, you'll be able to start somewhere with one of these, but you really need a digital SLR to take full advantage of what a camera can do.

    Everywhereasign on
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  • cliffskicliffski Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Personally, i would never buy another sony camera. mine had tons of issues, ended up freezing the shutter so it wouldn't open, and would randomly die now and then, despite having a full battery. They admitted the camera was fcked up a week after I'd given up on it and bought a new (smaller and better) one by a different company.

    cliffski on
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    Sony is also a poor choice because of the Memory Stick format. SD cards will cost half as much. Even CF will frequently cost less. Not to mention that even if Canon stops supporting those formats, seventy billion other companies will continue to do so, meaning that your SD and CF cards will still remain useful and you'll be able to expect to find card readers for the rest of your life. Not so much if Sony drops memory stick tomorrow.

    The best feature to price ratio almost always seems to be in the Canon Powershot line, too. I like the A models, they tend to have better features for actually taking photos rather than the SD line, which tends to be designed to fit in the purse/pocket and get pulled out for snapshots of whatever you're doing at the time. The generally better ISO options in the A line and the lower price (but slightly bulkier designs) are what you'll typically find there. If you're taking the camera out for the sake of taking photos, a little extra bulk shouldn't be an overbearing concern.

    Pheezer on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I am on a similar search, and the Canon Powershot SD870 IS will probably be my choice after the research I've done.

    Improvolone on
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  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Is it cool if I ask right here what a good slide in your pocket and take snapshots at parties camera would be? I have a D-SLR for real photos, but it'd be nice to have something that I could use just out of convenience.

    SD1000?

    Shazkar Shadowstorm on
    poo
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    It's always, always, always better to start your own thread for a unique question. Obviously you have different goals in mind, so advice for your camera mostly won't be too applicable to the OP.

    BUT,

    There are like six digital camera buying threads open at any point in time on the forums so this one just got lucky enough to become an official one for at least a couple weeks.

    So everyone can post in it about buying a digital point & shoot camera. DSLRs are special and will get their own thread as soon as their time comes.

    Pheezer on
    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    I know this is offtopic but I got a Nikon N80 with box, manual and battery for 86 bucks, mint. I was going to go with a Digital SLR but to get one as good as my N80 I was looking at about 800. The D40 and D40x sucks because half the lens don't work correctly with them and low mp.


    But if you are going to go digital I would suggest the Nikon Cool Pix.

    EliteLamer on
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  • EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The big thing to keep in mind with point & shoot cameras is that as the size goes down and the megapixels goes up, the amount of noise in a picture will increase. dSLRs avoid this by having a big-ass sensor, because "pros" wouldn't tolerate noise. Most people just take pictures of friends, though, and don't want poster-size printouts, and when they're resized for the web, the noise isn't as obvious.

    What the noise mostly does at that point, though, is reduce the color vibrancy. For that reason, if you're shopping for P&S cameras, always opt for fewer megapixels. You'll save a lot of money and probably end up with better pictures. Better yet, spend that extra money on something with image stabilization; normally this reduces the color clarity but when you've got 7+ megapixels to work with, it's not an issue. The extra clarity you'll get from the image stabilization will help immensely. I was actually surprised the first time I saw someone take an indoor shot with a 6mp p&s camera, and it looked damn good (for an indoor shot w/ a p&s).

    Personally, I think there's little difference in many of the cameras nowadays, other than Canons are still very popular and they make excellent cameras. The biggest problem people would run into before was making sure they had a way to read the memory cards, and when there were 7 or whatever it was a pain to make sure your multi-card reader would work. Now, they all plug in directly.

    Other than that, there's really only a handful of things to check -- does this use batteries, or is it rechargeable? Is it going to be comfortable to hold? How much does a bigger memory card cost?

    EggyToast on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    How big should I be able to blow up a picture taken with an 8MP camera before I loose quality? A 10 MP shot?

    Improvolone on
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  • naporeonnaporeon Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Is it cool if I ask right here what a good slide in your pocket and take snapshots at parties camera would be? I have a D-SLR for real photos, but it'd be nice to have something that I could use just out of convenience.

    SD1000?
    I have one of these, and it is absolutely fantastic. I got it for expressly what you are describing, and it does it splendidly.

    naporeon on
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm enjoying my Powershot SX100 IS. It has full manual, Av, and Tv for moments when the automatic mode won't cooperate, and a decent auto mode. You can get an idea of its image quality by looking at my signature, and my posts in the AC photo thread. :D

    MKR on
  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If you want the only P+S camera with useable high ISO modes, try to hunt down a Fuji F30. They used some sort of proprietary Super-CCD sensor in it, and while I don't know the specifics of the technology, I do know that it is the only point and shoot camera with an excellent ISO 800 and very useable ISO 1600. For a carry around camera that will probably only see indoor use, this is an ideal candidate.

    Only trouble with it is that while it's so great, it's been discontinued, and the new Fuji models do not use a similar sensor. This being the case, the camera has actually appreciated in value - what was once a $300 camera now goes for $500 on eBay. If you can find one cheap, however, I highly recommend it.

    Dark Moon on
    3072973561_de17a80845_o.jpg
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    If you want the only P+S camera with useable high ISO modes, try to hunt down a Fuji F30. They used some sort of proprietary Super-CCD sensor in it, and while I don't know the specifics of the technology, I do know that it is the only point and shoot camera with an excellent ISO 800 and very useable ISO 1600. For a carry around camera that will probably only see indoor use, this is an ideal candidate.

    Only trouble with it is that while it's so great, it's been discontinued, and the new Fuji models do not use a similar sensor. This being the case, the camera has actually appreciated in value - what was once a $300 camera now goes for $500 on eBay. If you can find one cheap, however, I highly recommend it.
    I'll second this. It is a fantastic little machine; pretty much the ideal point and shoot.

    deadonthestreet on
  • redstormpopcornredstormpopcorn Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    naporeon wrote: »
    Is it cool if I ask right here what a good slide in your pocket and take snapshots at parties camera would be? I have a D-SLR for real photos, but it'd be nice to have something that I could use just out of convenience.

    SD1000?
    I have one of these, and it is absolutely fantastic. I got it for expressly what you are describing, and it does it splendidly.
    Same here, I highly recommend it. Pictures turn out a bit fuzzy at default settings in low-light with the flash off, but either some menu fiddling or turning the flash on will have everything come out razor-sharp at 3072x2304.

    redstormpopcorn on
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  • GrundlterrorGrundlterror Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    naporeon wrote: »
    Is it cool if I ask right here what a good slide in your pocket and take snapshots at parties camera would be? I have a D-SLR for real photos, but it'd be nice to have something that I could use just out of convenience.

    SD1000?
    I have one of these, and it is absolutely fantastic. I got it for expressly what you are describing, and it does it splendidly.

    I have one as well and I really love it.

    I got one for the same reason that the two of you got it.

    Get one!

    Edit: Also, what kind of quality do you guys have your SD1000's set on? The original quality was too much for my puny 30mb memory card... but I fear the lowwest one (which is i what I have it set on now) is too low for good quality... also, have you guys messed around with any of the other settings?

    Grundlterror on
    steam_sig.png
  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    naporeon wrote: »
    Is it cool if I ask right here what a good slide in your pocket and take snapshots at parties camera would be? I have a D-SLR for real photos, but it'd be nice to have something that I could use just out of convenience.

    SD1000?
    I have one of these, and it is absolutely fantastic. I got it for expressly what you are describing, and it does it splendidly.

    I have one as well and I really love it.

    I got one for the same reason that the two of you got it.

    Get one!

    Edit: Also, what kind of quality do you guys have your SD1000's set on? The original quality was too much for my puny 30mb memory card... but I fear the lowwest one (which is i what I have it set on now) is too low for good quality... also, have you guys messed around with any of the other settings?
    your..your using the original 32 MB sd card? not even god can save you now
    [

    taliosfalcon on
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  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Edit: Also, what kind of quality do you guys have your SD1000's set on? The original quality was too much for my puny 30mb memory card... but I fear the lowwest one (which is i what I have it set on now) is too low for good quality... also, have you guys messed around with any of the other settings?

    Always, always, always, always, always, ALWAYS shoot at maximum quality. You go out and you buy a decent SD card for $20. Hell, go out and get a shitty one for $5. YOU GO NOW!

    Dark Moon on
    3072973561_de17a80845_o.jpg
  • PaliPali Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    any other reccomendations for a nice point and shoot camera like the Fuji F30, but either available or not £300?


    --Will mainly be night clubs, pubs, indoor.. the chance of being outside too.

    Pali on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • GrundlterrorGrundlterror Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    Edit: Also, what kind of quality do you guys have your SD1000's set on? The original quality was too much for my puny 30mb memory card... but I fear the lowwest one (which is i what I have it set on now) is too low for good quality... also, have you guys messed around with any of the other settings?

    Always, always, always, always, always, ALWAYS shoot at maximum quality. You go out and you buy a decent SD card for $20. Hell, go out and get a shitty one for $5. YOU GO NOW!

    I'm too lazy to check this right now... but will my SD card for my Wii work with my camera? In that case I have a 2gb card I could use in it. I guess shooting at maximum quality is always a good idea :P

    Grundlterror on
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  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    Edit: Also, what kind of quality do you guys have your SD1000's set on? The original quality was too much for my puny 30mb memory card... but I fear the lowwest one (which is i what I have it set on now) is too low for good quality... also, have you guys messed around with any of the other settings?

    Always, always, always, always, always, ALWAYS shoot at maximum quality. You go out and you buy a decent SD card for $20. Hell, go out and get a shitty one for $5. YOU GO NOW!

    I'm too lazy to check this right now... but will my SD card for my Wii work with my camera? In that case I have a 2gb card I could use in it. I guess shooting at maximum quality is always a good idea :P

    An SD card is an SD card is an SD card. The only difference, assuming they're all roughly the same age, is quality, capacity, and R/W speed.

    MKR on
  • GrundlterrorGrundlterror Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    MKR wrote: »
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    Edit: Also, what kind of quality do you guys have your SD1000's set on? The original quality was too much for my puny 30mb memory card... but I fear the lowwest one (which is i what I have it set on now) is too low for good quality... also, have you guys messed around with any of the other settings?

    Always, always, always, always, always, ALWAYS shoot at maximum quality. You go out and you buy a decent SD card for $20. Hell, go out and get a shitty one for $5. YOU GO NOW!

    I'm too lazy to check this right now... but will my SD card for my Wii work with my camera? In that case I have a 2gb card I could use in it. I guess shooting at maximum quality is always a good idea :P

    An SD card is an SD card is an SD card. The only difference, assuming they're all roughly the same age, is quality, capacity, and R/W speed.

    Yay! Maximum quality here I come!

    I never use my SD card w/ my wii anyway.

    Grundlterror on
    steam_sig.png
  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I just picked up the Fuji FinePix A820 yesterday for around $135. Happy with it so far.

    Something you might appreciate: 1GB SD card is FREE with budget (7-10 day) shipping and a first time Google Checkout user.

    That's right, mo'fuckin free.

    TL DR on
  • NoxyNoxy Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Alright, after losing this thread over the holidays I have returned for a bit more advice. Thanks for the advice given so far.

    Alright, it appears I am looking for a point and shoot camera since I would prefer something that could go into my pocket and am not planning on using it for hardcore photography. After some research I guess having over 8 megapixels, especially for casual use, is really not helpful.

    I guess my questions now are how nice/important would it be to have a camera with an image stabilization feature? Having a digicam with optical zoom is better than one with just digital zoom, correct? I heard some stuff about "ISO"; what is that and how should this effect my decision? I have decided that I could spend several hundred on a camera and would like some nice features, but it all depends on whether I feel some of this stuff is worth it.

    Thanks in advance.

    Noxy on
  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Fonjo wrote: »
    Alright, after losing this thread over the holidays I have returned for a bit more advice. Thanks for the advice given so far.

    Alright, it appears I am looking for a point and shoot camera since I would prefer something that could go into my pocket and am not planning on using it for hardcore photography. After some research I guess having over 8 megapixels, especially for casual use, is really not helpful.

    I guess my questions now are how nice/important would it be to have a camera with an image stabilization feature? Having a digicam with optical zoom is better than one with just digital zoom, correct? I heard some stuff about "ISO"; what is that and how should this effect my decision? I have decided that I could spend several hundred on a camera and would like some nice features, but it all depends on whether I feel some of this stuff is worth it.

    Thanks in advance.
    Whether or not you need image stabilization really depends on two things, the optical zoom of the camera, and how steady your hands are. If you have steady hands you'll probably be fine with up to 3x zoom with no IS, if you expect to be using anything over that its pretty much a necessity IMO. Digital zoom is completely useless, the first thing you should do when getting a camera is making sure to disable it in the settings so you don't accidently use it ;-). the ISO is basically how sensitive the cameras sensor is currently set to be. The higher the ISO the lighter images will appear, but the more noise or distortion the picture will have. The noise is also increased the higher megapixel the camera is (for point and shoot cameras anyway) which is the main reason you want to stay away from cameras with too high of a MP.Most cameras can't take pictures above 400 ISO without the noise becoming too visible for most peoples tastes. Its likely that you'll be taking a lot of pictures in low light conditions so a camera that can take high ISO pictures with low noise should probably be a big consideration

    taliosfalcon on
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  • NoxyNoxy Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Ooooh, so I'll probably have to read some reviews to see specifically if the camera takes pictures with less noise than an average camera at a higher ISO, right?

    I think I am getting a good idea of what I am looking for. I'll probably want image stabilization because sometimes my hands are not so stable and I would prefer that to be covered by the camera rather than my own competence if I can help it. I would like a camera with some higher ISO options, without taking too hard of a hit on noise/distortion and as said earlier I want something pretty small with an optical zoom.

    I am going to look around but anymore suggestions on what cameras I should look at would be appreciated. And yeah, I would like to have good megapixel size without going over the top because I keep hearing over eight is really too much.

    Thanks again.

    Noxy on
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2008
    Over 8.0 IS ridiculous for a point & show. 4.0 will often (very, very often) provide you with a good deal more than you need. So don't worry about that feature so much.

    Also yes you'll frequently see test shots in good camera reviews.

    Pheezer on
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    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • NoxyNoxy Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Alright, thanks. Basically I am ignoring megapixels for now and looking at other features. I have been seeing some stuff about people with somewhat shaky hands (like me) and in low light conditions the optical or mechanical image stabilization can be really nice. I was looking at two cameras as posibilities, the Canon Powershot SD1000 and the Canon Powershot SD870 IS.

    The latter has higher optical zoom and image stabilization aswell as a larger lcd viewfinder but is higher in price and lacks the standard viewfinder that I suppose is better in really bright situations. However, after thinking hard about what I am looking for and remembering that someday down the road I will have a second camera down the line for serious photography I am looking towards the SD870 IS because it seems like a camera I can be a bit more lazy with and not have to worry about a blurry picture. At newegg it is on sale for $50 dollars below the recommended retail price and like other cameras they are selling comes with a free 1 gig card, so the price difference is not really an issue for me.

    I guess I am curious now if anyone has any personal experience with the SD870 IS. And thanks a bunch for all the help so far.

    Noxy on
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    We've been talking a bit about CHDK in the photo thread over in AC and it's certainly something to consider when buying a point-and-shoot digital camera. It works on select Canon models and basically gives you the features of very expensive cameras in the low end ones. You can have RAW output which is hugely awesome along with a lot of other things like an intervalometer and insane flash sync speeds. Honestly, I wouldn't consider any point-and-shoot that isn't on the list of those that work with CHDK. RAW output for $130 (Canon A560) is insanely good.

    saltiness on
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  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Fonjo wrote: »
    Alright, thanks. Basically I am ignoring megapixels for now and looking at other features. I have been seeing some stuff about people with somewhat shaky hands (like me) and in low light conditions the optical or mechanical image stabilization can be really nice. I was looking at two cameras as posibilities, the Canon Powershot SD1000 and the Canon Powershot SD870 IS.

    The latter has higher optical zoom and image stabilization aswell as a larger lcd viewfinder but is higher in price and lacks the standard viewfinder that I suppose is better in really bright situations. However, after thinking hard about what I am looking for and remembering that someday down the road I will have a second camera down the line for serious photography I am looking towards the SD870 IS because it seems like a camera I can be a bit more lazy with and not have to worry about a blurry picture. At newegg it is on sale for $50 dollars below the recommended retail price and like other cameras they are selling comes with a free 1 gig card, so the price difference is not really an issue for me.

    I guess I am curious now if anyone has any personal experience with the SD870 IS. And thanks a bunch for all the help so far.
    I would personally go with the 850 IS over the 870. They both have the exact same lens and internals, however the 850 has a slightly smaller screen and an optical viewfinder. for a lower price. OPtical viewfinders can be life savers in some situations and getting one in the exact same camera for less, or even the same price if its not on sale like the 870 is a win to me

    taliosfalcon on
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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    OPtical viewfinders can be life savers in some situations

    What kind of situations? The only one i can think of is if you're trying to conserve battery power by not using the lcd to frame the pic.

    When buying a P&S, I was really attached to getting one with an optical viewfinder (I think this is cause the digicam reviewing sites i read all consider this a "pro"); however when i went into the camera store, the clerk asked me if i really wanted to squint through a tiny box less than 1 cm square to do my shooting particularly in casual/off-the-cuff situations, and that made a lot of sense to me. got a fuji f40fd and the absence of an optical VF hasn't been an issue. i do think that crowding so many pixels on such a small sensor has contributed to noise though.

    On my dslr, of course i use the Optical VF to shoot, but in a compact P&S I think it's usefulness is overstated.

    Djeet on
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Djeet wrote: »
    OPtical viewfinders can be life savers in some situations

    What kind of situations? The only one i can think of is if you're trying to conserve battery power by not using the lcd to frame the pic.

    When buying a P&S, I was really attached to getting one with an optical viewfinder (I think this is cause the digicam reviewing sites i read all consider this a "pro"); however when i went into the camera store, the clerk asked me if i really wanted to squint through a tiny box less than 1 cm square to do my shooting particularly in casual/off-the-cuff situations, and that made a lot of sense to me. got a fuji f40fd and the absence of an optical VF hasn't been an issue. i do think that crowding so many pixels on such a small sensor has contributed to noise though.

    On my dslr, of course i use the Optical VF to shoot, but in a compact P&S I think it's usefulness is overstated.
    The only time I can see the optical being useful on a P&S is in bright sunlight where the LCD can't be seen clearly.

    saltiness on
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  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    saltiness wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    OPtical viewfinders can be life savers in some situations

    What kind of situations? The only one i can think of is if you're trying to conserve battery power by not using the lcd to frame the pic.

    When buying a P&S, I was really attached to getting one with an optical viewfinder (I think this is cause the digicam reviewing sites i read all consider this a "pro"); however when i went into the camera store, the clerk asked me if i really wanted to squint through a tiny box less than 1 cm square to do my shooting particularly in casual/off-the-cuff situations, and that made a lot of sense to me. got a fuji f40fd and the absence of an optical VF hasn't been an issue. i do think that crowding so many pixels on such a small sensor has contributed to noise though.

    On my dslr, of course i use the Optical VF to shoot, but in a compact P&S I think it's usefulness is overstated.
    The only time I can see the optical being useful on a P&S is in bright sunlight where the LCD can't be seen clearly.

    Or when battery life is a factor and you can shoot in aperture or shutter priority. Turning off the giant LCD will increase battery life by a huge factor.

    Dark Moon on
    3072973561_de17a80845_o.jpg
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    My P&S has Av and Tv, and decent battery life with its LCD.

    MKR on
  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    saltiness wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    OPtical viewfinders can be life savers in some situations

    What kind of situations? The only one i can think of is if you're trying to conserve battery power by not using the lcd to frame the pic.

    When buying a P&S, I was really attached to getting one with an optical viewfinder (I think this is cause the digicam reviewing sites i read all consider this a "pro"); however when i went into the camera store, the clerk asked me if i really wanted to squint through a tiny box less than 1 cm square to do my shooting particularly in casual/off-the-cuff situations, and that made a lot of sense to me. got a fuji f40fd and the absence of an optical VF hasn't been an issue. i do think that crowding so many pixels on such a small sensor has contributed to noise though.

    On my dslr, of course i use the Optical VF to shoot, but in a compact P&S I think it's usefulness is overstated.
    The only time I can see the optical being useful on a P&S is in bright sunlight where the LCD can't be seen clearly.

    Or when battery life is a factor and you can shoot in aperture or shutter priority. Turning off the giant LCD will increase battery life by a huge factor.
    As has already been mentioned battery life is a factor, and then there is this. You can say the only time, but a large amount of people use P&S cameras on say, vacations. And where do people often go on vacations? where its bright and sunny. There still aren't *any* P&S cameras with LCDs that will give you good visibility of what your trying to take a picture of in direct sunlight, god forbid if your trying to snap a picture of something with lots of small details as you'll be making a rough estimate as to what your actually pointing at and focusing on.

    taliosfalcon on
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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    In my experience, glare is an "on paper" issue. In practice ive never had an issue with glare during shot composition. Ive certainly had glare issues during picture and movie review, but youd have that issue even if you had an optical VF.

    The optical VF's you get on compact p&s's are tiny. The image you get is about the same size as the LCD image from 4-6 inches, its nothing great (certainly nothing that compares to a dslr).

    The point im trying to make is that eliminating a compact p&s because it lacks an optical VF will eliminate a lot of very capable cameras, especially in the under 350 USD class. Just go to best buy and see, the majority of small p&s's dont have an optical VF.

    Djeet on
  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Sure, it eliminates quite a few of the cameras under 350$. But I can pretty confidently say the 850 IS is the best P&S camera in that price range even discounting the viewfinder, so it really doesn't matter if you eliminate the rest due to lack of a viewfinder ;)

    taliosfalcon on
    steam xbox - adeptpenguin
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    saltiness wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    OPtical viewfinders can be life savers in some situations

    What kind of situations? The only one i can think of is if you're trying to conserve battery power by not using the lcd to frame the pic.

    When buying a P&S, I was really attached to getting one with an optical viewfinder (I think this is cause the digicam reviewing sites i read all consider this a "pro"); however when i went into the camera store, the clerk asked me if i really wanted to squint through a tiny box less than 1 cm square to do my shooting particularly in casual/off-the-cuff situations, and that made a lot of sense to me. got a fuji f40fd and the absence of an optical VF hasn't been an issue. i do think that crowding so many pixels on such a small sensor has contributed to noise though.

    On my dslr, of course i use the Optical VF to shoot, but in a compact P&S I think it's usefulness is overstated.
    The only time I can see the optical being useful on a P&S is in bright sunlight where the LCD can't be seen clearly.

    Or when battery life is a factor and you can shoot in aperture or shutter priority. Turning off the giant LCD will increase battery life by a huge factor.
    As has already been mentioned battery life is a factor, and then there is this. You can say the only time, but a large amount of people use P&S cameras on say, vacations. And where do people often go on vacations? where its bright and sunny. There still aren't *any* P&S cameras with LCDs that will give you good visibility of what your trying to take a picture of in direct sunlight, god forbid if your trying to snap a picture of something with lots of small details as you'll be making a rough estimate as to what your actually pointing at and focusing on.
    I worded that wrong, I didn't mean it like that time would be few and far between. It definitely happens a lot. I don't use a P&S but I have problems a lot with not being able to use the LCD on my 20D to check exposure and stuff.

    saltiness on
    XBL: heavenkils
  • wileeewileee Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Some other options I considered when purchasing a digital camera that I didn't see mentioned here:

    • Type of battery: I wanted a camera that takes standard AA/AAA batteries. Nothing worse than being caught without a place to charge a proprietary battery pack. (or when your battery dies simply being SOL)

    • Video record option with audio: has been a great addition. I can even extract a snapshot from the video if I want a 4x6 print of it. (anything bigger and the quality suffers). There are some cameras that will actually allow you to use your zoom while taking videos, a handy feature. I've even seen some that will allow you to take a still picture during video capture. However, the one I used sucked because on playback of the video you would see a skip when the picture was taken and hear the camera take the picture. Ish.

    I settled on a Powershot A530 a couple years ago. I'm sure there are better versions out there now, but after thousands of pictures/videos of my family, being dropped by the kids, splashed with water, and used outside in winter, it still takes very nice pictures.

    wileee on
    Monster Hunter Tri: Raw Meat -
  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    wileee wrote: »
    Some other options I considered when purchasing a digital camera that I didn't see mentioned here:

    • Type of battery: I wanted a camera that takes standard AA/AAA batteries. Nothing worse than being caught without a place to charge a proprietary battery pack. (or when your battery dies simply being SOL)

    • Video record option with audio: has been a great addition. I can even extract a snapshot from the video if I want a 4x6 print of it. (anything bigger and the quality suffers). There are some cameras that will actually allow you to use your zoom while taking videos, a handy feature. I've even seen some that will allow you to take a still picture during video capture. However, the one I used sucked because on playback of the video you would see a skip when the picture was taken and hear the camera take the picture. Ish.

    I settled on a Powershot A530 a couple years ago. I'm sure there are better versions out there now, but after thousands of pictures/videos of my family, being dropped by the kids, splashed with water, and used outside in winter, it still takes very nice pictures.
    there is also a downside to that though, a camera that uses AA or AAA batteries will take significantly longer to recharge the flash between shots.

    taliosfalcon on
    steam xbox - adeptpenguin
  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    wileee wrote: »
    Some other options I considered when purchasing a digital camera that I didn't see mentioned here:

    • Type of battery: I wanted a camera that takes standard AA/AAA batteries. Nothing worse than being caught without a place to charge a proprietary battery pack. (or when your battery dies simply being SOL)

    • Video record option with audio: has been a great addition. I can even extract a snapshot from the video if I want a 4x6 print of it. (anything bigger and the quality suffers). There are some cameras that will actually allow you to use your zoom while taking videos, a handy feature. I've even seen some that will allow you to take a still picture during video capture. However, the one I used sucked because on playback of the video you would see a skip when the picture was taken and hear the camera take the picture. Ish.

    I settled on a Powershot A530 a couple years ago. I'm sure there are better versions out there now, but after thousands of pictures/videos of my family, being dropped by the kids, splashed with water, and used outside in winter, it still takes very nice pictures.
    there is also a downside to that though, a camera that uses AA or AAA batteries will take significantly longer to recharge the flash between shots.

    On the bright side, P+S integrated flashes are damn near useless for anything besides being a mediocre fill flash, so the loss of quick recharge isn't really that big of a deal. I wouldn't call the use of AA or AAA batteries by a camera as a negative point.

    Dark Moon on
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