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Camera suggestions?

i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
So here's the deal: I'm going to Puerto Rico at the end of the month to visit some family and my old middle school. The entire island is absolutely GORGEOUS and I want to take as many quality pictures of it as I can. Having said that I need a camera that is up to the challenge and not just any old couple megapixel camera. Preferably something that captures color really well and isn't more than a couple hundred dollars. Ironically my father has an extremely nice Rebel XTi that I'd love to use but I doubt he'll even think about letting me take it with me. So any suggestions? And........GO!

SOLVED!
-I completely forgot my gf has a pretty sweet Canon Powershot that takes amazing color shots which is exactly what I'm looking for. It's a good thing I remembered because I leave tomorrow morning XD. Anyway she let me borrow it so no worries. Thanks for all the suggestions guys! Ill probably be in the market for a camera of my own around christmas. =]

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    RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I like my Canon Powershot SD600 Digital Elph. Tiny, takes good pictures, intuitive and fast interface. The only thing I wish my camera had was image stabilization (IS) to take better pictures in low light. Quickly checking, the Powershot SD1100 IS gets good reviews, but it's $208, a few dollars over your budget. If I were getting a new camera, I'd pick that one.

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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Canon Powershot A720 IS $170 7mp, 6x optical, image stabilization.

    There's a 10% Dell E&A coupon floating around eBay that'll bring the price down to $153.

    Review at Steve's Digicams

    BubbaT on
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    i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Thanks guys!

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    Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Damn
    I could really use that A720 like... now
    Too bad I would need it by the end of the week :(

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    TalTal Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    I like my Canon Powershot SD600 Digital Elph. Tiny, takes good pictures, intuitive and fast interface. The only thing I wish my camera had was image stabilization (IS) to take better pictures in low light. Quickly checking, the Powershot SD1100 IS gets good reviews, but it's $208, a few dollars over your budget. If I were getting a new camera, I'd pick that one.

    I was originally looking at the SD1100 IS for my girlfriend but ended up going with the SD850 IS. The differences are that the 850 has a .6" larger LCD, no optical viewfinder, is ever so slightly larger, wider angle lens, and is $60 more (off newegg I got it for 260 + a free case / 2gig sd card).

    The opinions around the workplace were that the wider angle lens was well worth the extra $60 (think tight restaurant / bar shots). Someone actually had an 850 here for me to play with and it seemed really really nice. Very little first shot delay.

    That's of course if the extra bit of cash is doable as it's a bit over what you initially said. Either way though, it sounds like you can't go wrong with a Canon Powershot. Definitely try to find one with image stabilization though.

    Tal on
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    ToyDToyD Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    See if you can find a DSLR for your price range, even the high end. Maybe the Nikon D40? Not sure what the price is on that off the top of my head. They are expensive, but so, so worth it.

    ToyD on
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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Nikon D40 goes about $400-450. OP's price range is about $200.

    BubbaT on
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    OafmanOafman Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Hi All,
    I'm a little bit of a lurker, never actually posted here before, so be gentle :) (even though I am thread-jacking)

    Like the OP I am looking to get a camera, and I am hoping you good people might be able to help me out. The cameras I am torn between are the Canon Powershot G9 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5.... I know these are two very different cameras.

    My dilemma is that I do enjoy photography, even taken a course on it in the past. I'm heading over to Japan though and want something I can take a lot of quality photos with, just worried that one will be to large, and the other won't take a nice of pictures to cherish in the years to come.

    Does anyone have experience with either of these, or maybe another recommendation that I could look into. I'm not too worried about the price difference, it's only money (which isn't to say limitless, but I do believe in getting what you pay for).

    Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions :)

    Oafman on
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    HallucinogenHallucinogen Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I have the A720 IS. It's not bad. I bought it when it was brand new over a year ago, cost me over $300 :x

    My only quib is if you shoot at highest resolution, there's a significant delay, both in taking the photo, and writing the photo to memory(which delays your taking subsequent shots in quick succession). Though there is a feature that takes multiple pictures in a row until you tell it to stop, or it runs out of room on the card. But that's not the same as taking the photo at the time when you see the perfect shot. The threshold of getting the picture and being too late is often very small.

    Honestly, I wish I'd just spent the extra cash for a D40 or something. But at the price that BubbaT listed, it's not a bad deal. Kinda sucks your dad won't lend the rebel though.

    Also, whatever camera you decide on, don't be fooled by a high MP rating, most point'n'shoots have the same size sensor, so the increased resolution means little after a certain point.

    @Oafman: Don't bother with the G9. At that price, you're better off with a D40 or equivalent. The Panasonic seems okay. One nice thing about Panasonics are the Leica lenses. Most people overlook Panasonic cameras because they don't think they've got the pedigree of a "real" camera brand like Nikon and Canon, but often they can be better. But if you honestly do a lot of photography, you'll enjoy it much more if you get something with true manual focus, an interchangeable lens, and a bigger sensor. ie. a DSLR

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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Since the SD 1100 IS was mentioned, it has also dropped to $170, and includes a 2GB memory card

    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=a1644762

    BubbaT on
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    GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Ditto on the Canon recommendations. It's pretty damn hard to go wrong with cameras by Canon.

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    NaloutoNalouto Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I'd also second the Digital Elph (Canon) for travelling. I've used it a few times and it's what I would get if I didn't spend all my money on a Rebel XT a lil' while back. I love me some Canon.

    Nalouto on
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    GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Also, yes the Rebel XTi is awesome. (I own one, it's called the EOS 400D here)

    But if you get one also expect to start buying lenses too which will eat into your money. For example I paid (iirc) about £300 for a 30mm f1.4 lens.

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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Thats why I wouldn't recommend a DLR for travel unless you're serious. the stock lenses are not great. While most serious photographers will scoff at digital zoom it is good to have for traveling. You really don't want to have to haul around a ton of lenses when you're trying to have fun.

    nexuscrawler on
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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    GrimReaper wrote: »
    Ditto on the Canon recommendations. It's pretty damn hard to go wrong with cameras by Canon.

    The only thing I don't like about them is they record video in MJPEG, which is a massive space hog. At 640x480 w/30fps it chews through 4GB in just 30 minutes. Granted, this is a minor problem on a secondary function.

    BubbaT on
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    StregoneStregone VA, USARegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    A stock lens on a dslr is still better than a point and shoot. Even if the sharpness isn't quite as good it will be much more versatile and ready to use at a moments notice and get shots a point and shoot would never get. The new kit lens on the XSi is actualy very good. Quite sharp and has IS.

    Stregone on
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    ToyDToyD Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I would also say that trying to squeeze the budget a little more and end up with a DSLR is, in any form, better than a point-and-shoot camera. I do realize they are expensive. But they are expensive for a reason.

    ToyD on
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    Simon MoonSimon Moon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    My wife just picked up a Lumix TZ5, and, while I have to admit that I'm no expert, it's pretty much the nicest point-and-shoot I've ever seen.

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    HallucinogenHallucinogen Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    ToyD wrote: »
    I would also say that trying to squeeze the budget a little more and end up with a DSLR is, in any form, better than a point-and-shoot camera. I do realize they are expensive. But they are expensive for a reason.

    They also last longer, both in the mechanical sense, and the technology sense.

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    FeloniousmozFeloniousmoz Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    My old SD500 got me through 2 years in Japan (IXY!)... great lil camera. Don't know much about the newer models, but get the full metal body if you can, they can take a beating and the scuffs just seem to add character.

    I was using a low-end 10MP Nikon P&S for work last week, and could really notice the pixelation caused by all those megapixels, even at the lowest ISO. Sucks that the marketers are selling the merits of megapixels (bigger photos! which incidentially makes everyone have to keep upgrading stoeage cards... hmm) while compromising quality.

    So yeah, another recommendation for the Elphs.

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    gneGnegneGne Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Very happy with my SD1100 :). I don't really take a camera with me with the intention to take pics, and taking this camera with you is not much of a burden so it's perfect for me!

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    KerdosKerdos Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Oafman wrote: »
    Hi All,
    I'm a little bit of a lurker, never actually posted here before, so be gentle :) (even though I am thread-jacking)

    Like the OP I am looking to get a camera, and I am hoping you good people might be able to help me out. The cameras I am torn between are the Canon Powershot G9 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5.... I know these are two very different cameras.

    My dilemma is that I do enjoy photography, even taken a course on it in the past. I'm heading over to Japan though and want something I can take a lot of quality photos with, just worried that one will be to large, and the other won't take a nice of pictures to cherish in the years to come.

    Does anyone have experience with either of these, or maybe another recommendation that I could look into. I'm not too worried about the price difference, it's only money (which isn't to say limitless, but I do believe in getting what you pay for).

    Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions :)

    The G9 is really intended to be a professional photographers portable camera. Loads of manual controls, RAW mode, and more dials than you can figure out to do with.

    The TZ5 is a fairly standard high end camera. Some manual controls, no RAW mode, and a fairly simple design.

    If you really want to learn about photography, pick up the G9. You'll be able to play with settings and see what the results of those options are. If you want to just point the camera, press a button, and get nice photos get a Canon a720 is (I like Canon cameras immensely) or the TZ5.

    And stop reading cnet for camera reviews. 95% of their reviews go like 'It takes really nice pictures... durr... It was easy to use... umm... however it was .2 seconds slower to boot up than this other camera, so we're not recommending it'

    www.dpreview.com
    www.steves-digicams.com

    Are real camera review sites.

    Kerdos on
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    StregoneStregone VA, USARegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    The G9 is a waste of money. The A650 is exactly the same and much cheaper. It just doesn't have RAW (which I hardly use even on my $1000 40D) or the flash hot shoe. I couldn't imagine trying to use a camera with a flash on it that is as big or bigger than the camera itself. RAW isn't much use on a point and shoot because the tiny sensor doesn't have much dynamic range anyways. If you really want RAW you can get it with hacked firmware.

    Get a used DSLR for the same price or cheaper. Or if you want small size get a regular point and shoot. All the non compact point and shoots have the full manual controls. Don't pay more than like 300 bucks for a point and shoot unless you are paying for the convenience of a tiny camera.

    Stregone on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    My old SD500 got me through 2 years in Japan (IXY!)... great lil camera. Don't know much about the newer models, but get the full metal body if you can, they can take a beating and the scuffs just seem to add character.

    I was using a low-end 10MP Nikon P&S for work last week, and could really notice the pixelation caused by all those megapixels, even at the lowest ISO. Sucks that the marketers are selling the merits of megapixels (bigger photos! which incidentially makes everyone have to keep upgrading stoeage cards... hmm) while compromising quality.

    So yeah, another recommendation for the Elphs.

    More MP makes quality worse? How do you figure?

    Chances are it's due to crappy lenses or a crappy sensor. Megapixels really says very little about how "good" a picture is it's just how many pixels it has.

    nexuscrawler on
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    My old SD500 got me through 2 years in Japan (IXY!)... great lil camera. Don't know much about the newer models, but get the full metal body if you can, they can take a beating and the scuffs just seem to add character.

    I was using a low-end 10MP Nikon P&S for work last week, and could really notice the pixelation caused by all those megapixels, even at the lowest ISO. Sucks that the marketers are selling the merits of megapixels (bigger photos! which incidentially makes everyone have to keep upgrading stoeage cards... hmm) while compromising quality.

    So yeah, another recommendation for the Elphs.

    More MP makes quality worse? How do you figure?

    Chances are it's due to crappy lenses or a crappy sensor. Megapixels really says very little about how "good" a picture is it's just how many pixels it has.
    Thats well..wrong. With consumer level cameras they keep the same small sensor size no matter how many megapixels it is, and just cram more pixel sensors into it, this causes more noise, especially in low light conditions. Unless your going with a DSLR anything over 7-8 megapixels is probably a bad idea.

    This explains it pretty well http://6mpixel.org/en/

    taliosfalcon on
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    JivesJives Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Stregone wrote: »
    The G9 is a waste of money. The A650 is exactly the same and much cheaper. It just doesn't have RAW (which I hardly use even on my $1000 40D) or the flash hot shoe. I couldn't imagine trying to use a camera with a flash on it that is as big or bigger than the camera itself. RAW isn't much use on a point and shoot because the tiny sensor doesn't have much dynamic range anyways. If you really want RAW you can get it with hacked firmware.

    Get a used DSLR for the same price or cheaper. Or if you want small size get a regular point and shoot. All the non compact point and shoots have the full manual controls. Don't pay more than like 300 bucks for a point and shoot unless you are paying for the convenience of a tiny camera.

    You... dont use raw


    why not. seriously

    Jives on
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    GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Jives wrote: »
    Stregone wrote: »
    The G9 is a waste of money. The A650 is exactly the same and much cheaper. It just doesn't have RAW (which I hardly use even on my $1000 40D) or the flash hot shoe. I couldn't imagine trying to use a camera with a flash on it that is as big or bigger than the camera itself. RAW isn't much use on a point and shoot because the tiny sensor doesn't have much dynamic range anyways. If you really want RAW you can get it with hacked firmware.

    Get a used DSLR for the same price or cheaper. Or if you want small size get a regular point and shoot. All the non compact point and shoots have the full manual controls. Don't pay more than like 300 bucks for a point and shoot unless you are paying for the convenience of a tiny camera.

    You... dont use raw


    why not. seriously

    Wait.. wait... WAIT...

    He doesn't use RAW... on a 40D?! It gives you tremendous flexibility, you can go into Canon Photo Professional and do some seriously nice tweaking to images rather than getting a crappy preprocessed lossy JPEG. (yes, even with the max setting it still has a reduced colour space I think it's 4:2:2)

    Some people have more money than sense, what's the point in even owning a DSLR (a nice one at that) if you don't even use one of its biggest advantages? *shakes head*

    I have a 400D but having a 40D is even nicer, goddamn.. tell you what, give me your 40D and you can be happy with some point and shoot.

    GrimReaper on
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    bentbent Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Seriously, there's no reason to not use RAW. Also I'll extend my vote towards all things Canon in terms of point-and-shoot cameras. My dad's been working his way through the PowerShot models for quite a few years and they're really pleasant to use.

    Picture quality isn't bad, either.

    bent on
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    KerdosKerdos Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    On my XT I'll usually use the dual mode, where it shoots raw and jpeg at the same time. Jpeg for a quick print (I usually travel with a portable printer as well) and RAW for me to play with later.

    Kerdos on
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    HallucinogenHallucinogen Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I'll third(or is that fourth?), the WTF on not using RAW.

    A good analogy for megapixels and point-shoots, it's like having eyes bigger than your stomach when you get past a certain MP rating, depending on the sensor size. Most have a pretty small sensor.

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    GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Kerdos wrote: »
    On my XT I'll usually use the dual mode, where it shoots raw and jpeg at the same time. Jpeg for a quick print (I usually travel with a portable printer as well) and RAW for me to play with later.

    This.

    Although I don't normally use RAW+JPEG mode. Very, very rare I do. I'm a heavy burst shooter especially for taking photos of people. (groups of people, always guaranteed to catch one blinking)

    I simply take all my photos in RAW, when the cf card gets full or near full I transfer them over to the laptop and wipe the cf card. Then later on I sort through the good and bad.

    GrimReaper on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Owning a 40D and not shooting RAW is simply silly.

    If you do heavy photoshopping the extra MP does help give you more information to work with. Even if it's not visually apparent extra pixels give you more flexibility with just about everything. It'll show less generational loss from lots of processing and will crop closely and still give you enough detail.

    If you're a point and shoot person who doesn't edit images much the difference between 6-10 MP isn't going to be noticeable.

    nexuscrawler on
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    StregoneStregone VA, USARegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I don't use raw (often) because A)You don't need it if you expose correctly in the first place, and B)It takes up alot more space on my HD.

    I only use it in situations with very difficult lighting conditions where I have to post process it alot. Like a back lit subject or harsh shadows. I don't do heavy photo manipulations. Even my friend who uses a 5D almost never uses RAW. And he uses photoshop professionally for a living and photoshops the living crap out of some of his images just fine.

    Bottom line is it is too much of a space hog to be used all the time. I'm not a professional or anything.

    Stregone on
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Owning a 40D and not shooting RAW is simply silly.

    If you do heavy photoshopping the extra MP does help give you more information to work with. Even if it's not visually apparent extra pixels give you more flexibility with just about everything. It'll show less generational loss from lots of processing and will crop closely and still give you enough detail.

    If you're a point and shoot person who doesn't edit images much the difference between 6-10 MP isn't going to be noticeable.
    If your not using an SLR, and taking photos in medium to low light conditions with a 10 MP camera, it wont matter how much editing you do because there'll be noise everywhere.

    taliosfalcon on
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