Buying a new camera - what do I look for.

F

FOXPRESIDENT

Guest
:hiya: I've recently taken up a bit a of photography. I'm quite enjoying this, and I wanted to buy a new camera, i've done courses in photography at college and university with my degree before, i.e composition ect ect.

I'm not sure what I want to buy, i'm also needing one for holiday overseas next year so which is just over a month long - aussie so i want to take some amazing pics.

I'm thinking between £ 200-400. Not sure if I should go for the sleek type or an actually semi-profesional camera. But I get a little confused on what things mean.

I'm looking for a good model - i love technology and like high spec. Can you advise me what I should look for, i'm obviously wanting good image resolution, also like to do the panoramic - and 360 degree shots for web design images. :lease:
 

barongreenback

Novice Member
With that budget you could pick up a D50 or 350D in decent condition second hand, or I believe that you could get a brand new Nikon D40 for that money. Assuming you want the greater flexibility and creativity then an SLR is the way to go.
 

Pirate!!

Banned
Ahoy there!

Always a tough choice. There seems to be 2 options.

Prosumer or dSLR? Prosumer would be something like a Panasonic DMC-FZ50. The dSLR option is a little harder as there are also so many to choose from.

I think you will need to go and handle some and get a feel for them particularly for size and ergonomics. In the meantime, create a shortlist and do some image and review research and see if you cant narrow it down to a choice of no more than 3.

Don't forget to allow for a larger memory card (most cams are supplied with small size cards) plus any other extras, such as a bag, spare battery etc.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Agree ,

Any of the D 40 ,D50 or 350D will do... or spoil yourself and get a 400D

With your budget the 400D may be a bit out of reach but with the seasons sales ahead £400 should get you even a discounted new D50 or 350D.

Certainly a fixed lens high end non dslr ( like Canons Sureshot Pro one) may be worth a look as it has a very good lens, has fully manual controls but is said to have a bit more noise at high ISO and perhaps a little more shutter lag than the DSLRs. The Panasonics are also worthy contenders. For travel a month long , a big media card , a spare battery and somewhere to download ( laptop?) may be essential
With a budget of up to £400, you'll definitely get something suitable:cool:
 

md644

Novice Member
Good advice above, and I'm not going to disagree with any of it.

IMHO your first decision is whether to go for a DSLR or not - if you've used a film SLR before you will*probably* find "something lacking" in a P&S or prosumer, they tend to be slower to respond than a DSLR. But it's no good having a DSLR if it's "too big" to carry around, if you see what I mean.

Don't get TOO hung up on megapixels, all other things being equal "the more pixels the better", but 6 or 8Mp is probably enough for most things (apart from drastic cropping or huge enlargements). Certainly there's a strong suggestion that with P&S/prosumers going up to 10Mp gives very little improvement in IQ.

You might find http://www.dpreview.com useful for information, if you haven't been there already.
 

Pirate!!

Banned
Ahoy again!

Just a few more pointers for consideration. Some cameras use 4 x AA batteries, others have propriety lightwight li-ion type. Consider this if you are out and about for long periods. Either way you may need an adapter plug to recharge them when abroad.

All the advice given thus far seems to be on the money. I started out with a humble Panasonic DMC-FZ3 (still have it) and also have an Olympus E500 dSLR 2 lens kit. The Panny still captures nice images when 'out and about'.

You are entering a minefield. Tread carefully and heed the advice offered.
 

markbingo

Novice Member
Im in the same position as you right now, and have found that DSLR pushes the price up too far.

Yes you can get a second hand one, or an entry level, but you must factor in the cost of the lens and bags etc.

For me, ive narrowed it down to a Panny FZ50(£350) or a Fujifilm S9600 (£300).
They are quite similar, and am having trouble seperating out which one to buy, but right now the Panny is ahead, because of its amazing lens and Image Stabiliser.

Also, the Panny can take lots of "add-on" lens' (check out ebay) which can give you all the wide angle you need, and a whole load of telephoto potential (as well as filters and "spy" lens ... dont ask!!!)

For me DSLR is perhaps too big a jump, and it is probably better to get a really good Bridge camera instead, that will last a few years and help decide if the expense of DSLR will be worth it later.
 
T

TerryKK

Guest
Just to have my say as an accomplished "point and shoot " camera user. I took the plunge in the summer and brought my first Dslr (Nikon D50). What can i say the Dslr market gives you so so so much more flexibility with shot capabilities and gadgets (lenses etc). If it were my choice to make between a pricey point and shoot Fuji or a Nikon Dslr the nikon would win every single time given the little difference in price compared to the massive difference in quality of shots..

:D
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Im in the same position as you right now, and have found that DSLR pushes the price up too far.

Yes you can get a second hand one, or an entry level, but you must factor in the cost of the lens and bags etc.

For me, ive narrowed it down to a Panny FZ50(£350) or a Fujifilm S9600 (£300).
They are quite similar, and am having trouble seperating out which one to buy, but right now the Panny is ahead, because of its amazing lens and Image Stabiliser.

Also, the Panny can take lots of "add-on" lens' (check out ebay) which can give you all the wide angle you need, and a whole load of telephoto potential (as well as filters and "spy" lens ... dont ask!!!)

For me DSLR is perhaps too big a jump, and it is probably better to get a really good Bridge camera instead, that will last a few years and help decide if the expense of DSLR will be worth it later.
I think there a place for both types of camera and one Person can even can own both , for different pursuits.
As such there does not nessesarily need to be be a slow progression from not owning a camera to P & S , then "Bridge" before getting a DSLR if the dosh and interest permit .

Apart from the obvious higher outlay for DSLR , I dont think there is any disadvantage in going straight for one and developing your skills with it ( unless you prefer a smaller form factor at the expense of better IQ).
The starter DSLRs now ( even the 400D) cost less than my Fuji 602Z did 3-4 years ago

The danger of buying a Panny with "add ons" is that they may not sell for much later unless you want to hold on to them.

I think , ( now owning an " ageing" Fuji 602 ( an older "bridge") and 2 DSLRs ( 350 and 30D) that the huge leap in image quality far outweighs the pain of initial cost
The qualities of " clean, sharp, colourful" Images are not just gushy enthusiasm, they are very real especially on direct comparison. The handling feel and responsiveness when shooting are also less immediate but these are the qualities you pay that little extra for.

Most people start with one all purpose lens ( the kit lenses are very usable IMHO) and later get a Zoom. :
Bags are for protection , don't cost a lot to keep a nice piece of kit from getting scruffy:) and need not be bought right away
For anyone with a budget of up to £400 I would suggest that the DSLR is not to big a jump as it may prevent one from buying a bridge this year and then resort to early "upgraditis" within a few months
This is not a dig at "bridge" Cameras as features like Image stabilisation ( Panasonic) and Zoom will cost extra to achieve in a DLSR and the loss of LCD screen for framing may put you off but you will have to decide how important these features are as YMMV


As an aside, even many budget DSLR owners upgrade in less than 18 months as the hunger for even better build, responsiveness ( and to a lesser extent, better IQ) sets in
 

markbingo

Novice Member
... if the dosh and interest permit.
I think this is the nut in the shell.

I keep reading that DSLR is the best place to be, and develop skills, and I do agree, but the cost is prohibitive.

I love taking photos, and expect that with a Bridge camera I will get all the extra flexibility I will need to start taking more creative images.

BUT.......... I'm new to this. I cant be 100% sure I will have the skill/time/ability to justify the money spent.

I would have trouble justifying to myself (let alone the wife) spending £1500 on a DSLR, wide angle and big IS zoom lens on a hobby I have yet to start.

I know its each to their own.......... but personally I think spending £350 on a Panny FZ50 (or similar) and experimenting with the complete control of shutter speeds etc with the benefits of a built in Big zoom is a good start.

Later on, when the hobby has taken off, and im hungry for more, thats when I KNOW the bigger investment would be worth it (and justifiable!)

I dont expect to ever try and sell a camera I own. If it still works, it will be passed down to my kids to enjoy, so second hand value is of little interest. (although I understand other people need to sell to finance an upgrade)

I guess its a question of how you feel about the hobby, and how much expendable cash is burning a hole in your jacket pocket!
 
F

FOXPRESIDENT

Guest
Thanks all for the advice, thouhgh i'm a bit confused whats the exact difference between a DSLR a bridge camera - i know a bit but not that great much.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Thanks all for the advice, thouhgh i'm a bit confused whats the exact difference between a DSLR a bridge camera - i know a bit but not that great much.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
A bridge camera is one which is meant to be a cut above a point and shoot
It offers a better lens and more manual control over shutter speed , aperture, white balance and ISO. All these can contribute to making an Image turn out better under challenging conditions and be used for creative photography rather than just taking "snapshots".
They tend to have a fixed lens. Like the "point and shoot" cameras, they have some automated features and are sometimes called Prosumer as they are consumer based with some Pro features

A DSLR is a single lens reflex camera which is digital. They are designed to allow you see an image (thru the lens) exactly how the sensor will see it before you capture. They tend to have even more controls over the picture taking process but allow you to use different lenses which work better for different situations
They tend to take pictures better , quicker but also need to be learnt as the have fewer automated functions;)

Both types (and indeed all types of cameras do not take pictures, people do) ..Don't let them intimidate you:thumbsup:
 
F

FOXPRESIDENT

Guest
:hiya: Hello, all.

Well I think i might have found the best camera for me...though not sure, its not going to be A DSLR but i think its a pro-sumer camera...

Its the Fuji FinePix S9600... does anyone have this? What do people think?

i've seen it advertised for just under 300.

:lease:
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Now you know what a "bridge" camera is:D

It is a nice camera at that price point.
Advantages
cost
size
Excellent quality sharp Daylight pictures
Very Good lens zoom range
Quite responsive : very little if any shutter lag
Use of Rechargeable AA ( easily available and re chargers abound) and good battery life
Decent amounts of manual control to get you beyond P&S! ( hopefully)

Disadvantages;
Low light a bit "hit or miss"
White balance can be unreliable even in custom mode ( same as 9500)
Autofocus doesn't always get it right, and manual focus is electronic so response to turning the manual focus ring can be sluggish
Noise at higher ISOs may be unacceptable ( especially if you are use to better) but then that may be comparing it to say the excellent D50 or 350D DSLRs

I have an older s602Z and have used ( as a supplement to video shoots for a friend) the similar 9500 a fair bit. Apart from lens range, it will not worry a DSLR but that is missing the point:
It is a great affordable image taking tool in its own right and ( alongside the Canon 350D and 30D ) , I would love it as a "backup" , "always on me for candids" type camera if that were possible

You will like it:)
 

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