Digital Camera advice

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  • manuel_garcia 27 Jun 2006 14:40:41 4,079 posts
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    Second advice thread of the day.... apologies.

    As per my previous thread, i'm buggering off to the states next year to do a road trip, and i'll be in the market for a new camera to take with me.

    Any advice on the best sub-300 digital camera to purchase? Bare in mind i'll be travelling, so compactness and weight will be a big factor.

    After witnessing some of the shots in the photo gallery thread I figured you lot would be a good bunch to ask :)
  • bivith 27 Jun 2006 14:49:05 2,466 posts
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    You would probably save a bit of money buying a camera when you arrive!
  • pjmaybe 27 Jun 2006 14:49:49 70,676 posts
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    /keeps eye on thread

    Peej
  • Deleted user 27 June 2006 14:50:53
    bivith wrote:
    You would probably save a bit of money buying a camera when you arrive!

    Excellent advise.
  • UncleLou Moderator 27 Jun 2006 14:51:07 35,576 posts
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    A good start
  • ssuellid 27 Jun 2006 14:52:53 19,141 posts
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    Remember to add in the cost of memory, batteries, case etc.

    The wife has an Canon S3 IS - just over 300 but its got a huge zoom etc.
  • manuel_garcia 27 Jun 2006 15:01:31 4,079 posts
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    otto wrote:
    All sorts of questions we need to ask to advise you properly!

    When are you going? By the time you leave, you may even be able to get a basic DSLR for that price.

    Next summer sometime, probably late July-ish. However I was thinking of buying fairly soon so I can get a bit of practice in before I go

    What level skill do you have? Are you wanting 'auto everything' or do you want to play around a bit with settings and get creative?

    I'd like to play around a bit to get some good shots and definately enjoy tinkering, not an 'auto' kind of guy :)

    How important is size/weight? Are you willing to trade quality for portability? (You don't necessarily have to, mind... if you pay.)

    This is the thing, we'll be gone for a month to 6 weeks or so, and travelling across the length of the country, so through a number of different environments... I guess size and weight is fairly important, but as long as I can fit it in a small bag I think i'd rather have quality really.

    Will you be near a power outlet at all times, or do you want to carry a bag full of AA batteries with you into the Mojave Desert for a month?

    Staying in hostels, cheap motels and the like so should be able to recharge fairly easily.

    Cheers for any advice given, I realise its a rather generalised question, but I really dont know where to start.
  • Raid 27 Jun 2006 15:34:37 980 posts
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    otto wrote:
    Take a look at the Nikon D50, the Canon EOS 350D, the Pentax *ist-DS, the Konica-Minolta Dynax 5D. You can get good deals if you shop around and go for a 'kit' (basic zoom lens included). The nice thing about having a DSLR is that you can also pick up a cheap lens or two while you're travelling.
    The *ist DL2 is on sale for 350 including the standard 18-55mm lens at Jessops, online and off.

    If what otto says is correct, and an amateur DSLR would suit you (bearing in mind that they're bigger and heavier than point and shoot cameras, but much more adaptable), at least take a look at ebay, and see whether the prices there would be acceptable.

    Otherwise, it seems like the Canon Powershot range is very well received (here and across the rest of the internet), I doubt you'd go wrong with one.

    Just for goodness sakes make sure you have enough storage space, I'd absolutely hate to have to start choosing between which pictures I wanted to keep.
  • manuel_garcia 27 Jun 2006 16:08:23 4,079 posts
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    Excellent, thanks for the advice, i'll look into the DSLR market as a starting point.

    Having said that, just been reading a review of the Powershot S2 IS which looks like it has a nice balance of size/weight and manual tweakability. Any thoughts on it?
  • ssuellid 27 Jun 2006 16:10:57 19,141 posts
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    manuel_garcia wrote:
    Having said that, just been reading a review of the Powershot S2 IS which looks like it has a nice balance of size/weight and manual tweakability. Any thoughts on it?


    Replaced by the S3 IS a few weeks ago - mentioned it in this very thread. Nice camera, light, takes AAs, 12 times zoom. Even has Histograms. edit - and an exceptional UI.

    Edited by ssuellid at 16:12:27 27-06-2006
  • jellyhead 27 Jun 2006 16:12:53 24,350 posts
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    As for space a freind of mine has just bought an Archos media player thingy and is looking to use it as a store for his photos when he's in the field. Fill memory card, transfer to media player, rinse and repeat. Might be an idea too, rather than carry umpteen memcards.

    This signature intentionally left blank.

  • manuel_garcia 27 Jun 2006 16:31:59 4,079 posts
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    Yeah i'm looking at an Archos AV500 as well, but I dont know if the budget will stretch... hopefully!
  • Ginger_Messiah 28 Jun 2006 09:05:57 952 posts
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    Just re-read this thread as I am thinking of picking up a new camera as I have discovered a recent interest in photography.

    Anyways I stumbled across this and didn't know id maybe it might provide a slightly cheaper alternative to the Dslr.

    Maybe some of the other forumites could venture opinions on this camera as the price tag and features list is making it look qute attractive to me, i can't really justify splashing out loads on DSLR's considering I am only starting this as a new hobby.
  • Raid 28 Jun 2006 12:37:52 980 posts
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    Any camera with a fixed lens isn't really an alternative to an SLR, there's just too much difference. There's an essay on Ken Rockwell's site about these (called the two types of digital cameras or something) that I haven't got the link for at the moment. It pretty much changed my oppinions on cameras completely.

    That's not to say it won't be an excellent camera for what you want it for of course, but there's so much more you can do with an SLR that you can't apparently do with a fixed lens.

    Edited by Raid at 12:38:29 28-06-2006
  • otto Moderator 28 May 2007 11:16:19 49,315 posts
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    All sorts of questions we need to ask to advise you properly!

    When are you going? By the time you leave, you may even be able to get a basic DSLR for that price.

    What level skill do you have? Are you wanting 'auto everything' or do you want to play around a bit with settings and get creative?

    How important is size/weight? Are you willing to trade quality for portability? (You don't necessarily have to, mind... if you pay.)

    Will you be near a power outlet at all times, or do you want to carry a bag full of AA batteries with you into the Mojave Desert for a month?

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • otto Moderator 28 May 2007 11:16:19 49,315 posts
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    In your shoes, if I'm honest, I would really look at buying an entry-level DSLR rather than a compact. It sounds as if you're looking to get reasonably serious. For the extra outlay I think you'd get far more from it, and it would really add to your enjoyment of the trip. Take a look at the Nikon D50, the Canon EOS 350D, the Pentax *ist-DS, the Konica-Minolta Dynax 5D. You can get good deals if you shop around and go for a 'kit' (basic zoom lens included). The nice thing about having a DSLR is that you can also pick up a cheap lens or two while you're travelling.

    Pick up a copy of Photography Monthly and look at their buyer's guide.

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • otto Moderator 28 May 2007 11:16:19 49,315 posts
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    Yeah the *ist-DL2 sounds good! They're supposed to be very lightweight as well (I haven't used one - go to a camera shop and try one out).

    Raid is dead right about the storage. Think hard about that one. Probably better/safer to opt for three or four one-gig CF cards rather than a single 4 gig or 8 gig card. Also, you probably won't be travelling with a laptop, in which case think about getting a portable hard drive (or even just a high-capacity iPod and a camera connector). You might also find shops en route which will let you burn your images to CD.

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • Grunk 6 Jun 2011 14:55:57 4,718 posts
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    Any advice on a digital compact camera around the sub 300 mark?

    Currently looking at This Canon
    or This Panasonic

    Want a good camera suitable for easy point and click to get started with, but with enough manual control to begin discovering how to play with photography.

    Also looking for something that can take good night time action shots, as well as maybe the fancy slow exposure all the cars headlights merge into light streams ones.

    Any ideas from the camera buffs?
  • mal 6 Jun 2011 15:04:54 22,581 posts
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    Has the Olympus XZ-1 fallen below the magic 300 yet? Nope, still north of 350 for the black version. Panasonic LX5 is also about 350 at the moment. The Canon S95 is hovering around 300 quid (one penny under at Jacobs).

    Those are the main contenders if you're looking for something that will serve you well as you start to learn the basics, but still have point-and-click modes. You trade zoom range and spend a few extra notes on getting a camera with decent controls and good image quality in more situations.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Grunk 6 Jun 2011 15:53:32 4,718 posts
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    Thanks for the advice.
    I guess we have to decide how much we want the zoom option...
  • Phily50 13 Jun 2011 09:20:18 2,199 posts
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    Grunk wrote:
    Any advice on a digital compact camera around the sub 300 mark?

    Currently looking at This Canon
    or This Panasonic

    Want a good camera suitable for easy point and click to get started with, but with enough manual control to begin discovering how to play with photography.

    Also looking for something that can take good night time action shots, as well as maybe the fancy slow exposure all the cars headlights merge into light streams ones.

    Any ideas from the camera buffs?

    I was looking at that Panasonic (LX20) as well as the Canon S95. The Panasonic seemed to get good reviews everywhere by the 'proffessional' reviewers but all the user reviews seem to say that the picture quality is a bit shite. Anyone had any experience of either camera?
  • Nth 13 Jun 2011 15:04:03 3,121 posts
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    You'll struggle to find a review criticising the S95 or earlier S90.
  • Deleted user 13 June 2011 15:18:33
    The missus has an LX5 and it's a super nice camera but, sadly, it's also super fragile. We're just expecting it back from the repair shop after putting it down on a bench shattered the LCD screen :-(
  • Zomoniac 13 Jun 2011 15:31:08 7,831 posts
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    I need a reasonably priced compact, would like decent zoom. Amazon are doing the TZ10 for 180 (I think it's now been discontinued and replaced with the 320 TZ20 so selling them off cheap), and some of the user pics on the Amazon page are amazing for a little P&S. The colours look gorgeous. Anyone got any experience with one?
  • mal 13 Jun 2011 15:57:28 22,581 posts
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    Re Grunk's quest for a cheap compact to learn on, it may be worth considering Nikon's new P300, which looks to be similar to the S95/LX5/ZX1 range, but is cheaper since it's based on a standard sized compact sensor. The images I've seen from it do seem to have rather over-keen noise reduction applied (and this camera doesn't do RAW out) so this is not a camera to give you fine detail, but it reportedly gives you the other benefits - twin control dials, fast AF, fast shot-to-shot, fast startup. It seems to have everything you needed to avoid getting in your way, but it just can't provide the same level of detail in good light as you'd get for 100 quid more.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Red-Moose 13 Jun 2011 16:47:17 5,346 posts
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    I recently bought a digital camera, for casual photography. It came down to the Canon S95 vs the Nikon P300. I went with the P300 because of:

    a) 1080P video recording and 120fps recording ability (I visit car races, it's nice to have the option)
    b) Wider aperture - yes it's not a big fancy SLR, but I love getting casual shots of scenery if I am out cycling or driving
    c) faster continuous shooting (again for sports or races) - 8 frames per second is over 4x what the S95 can do
    d) Switch on time is over half a second faster

    It does matter what you want to do with the camera. For telephotoing and other fancy work, a DSLR will be better, but for point and shoot at sports or car events, etc., the P300 switches on faster and much much faster video and contunous shooting than the S95. Each camera will do everyday stuff pretty similarly, so it is more about the personal aspect of what you like to shoot that will be a decider IMO.
  • Tonka 14 Jun 2011 12:10:43 20,449 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Has the Olympus XZ-1 fallen below the magic 300 yet? Nope, still north of 350 for the black version. Panasonic LX5 is also about 350 at the moment. The Canon S95 is hovering around 300 quid (one penny under at Jacobs).

    .

    This. Don't by an entry level dslr. Start out highly compact yet fully manual like with any of those. Then if you find yourself getting up at five in the morning to catch some first light shots you can start saving up to a decent mid range dslr instead. You havent wasted any money on a camera you will want to upgrade anyway. I have an LX3 and it is a brilliant camera for travelling. It's also very sturdy so I was surprised to hear the LX5 isn't.

    Anyway, the LX3 or S95, are small enough to go into you pocket and they weigh next to nothing. They are good cameras that you'll never hesitate to bring with you.

    On my last three outings I've been the only one with a camera even though there have been two other guys who always talk about how great their dslrs are. And to be honest, their dslrs Are better than my EPL1 but that really doesn't matter as long as their in their bags at home.

    As for burning stuff to Cd, just buy more memory cards. Cheap as chips these days and take no space what so ever.

    One more time with feeling, As long as you aren't going on a phot excursion, portability should be you main priority.

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • Deleted user 14 June 2011 12:34:59
    Look at the Samusng NX10 DSLR/hybrid.

    It has the same spec and look as a DSLR but as its mirrorless its a lot smaller and has a smaller form factor. Extra zoom lenses can also be purchased.

    I have a nikon D300 and was well impresssed by my mates Samsung NX10.

    As your travelling with the NX10 you will have the small form factor but also have DSLR quality photos and functionality.

    The NX10 is small, snappy and takes bloody impressive pictures.
  • Zomoniac 14 Jun 2011 14:01:40 7,831 posts
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    Do you work for Samsung?
  • Red-Moose 14 Jun 2011 17:18:40 5,346 posts
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    The NX10 is the one paedos use isn't it?
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