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Buying a new digital camera - opinion wanted

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by bbanduser, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. bbanduser

    bbanduser
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    As the subject says, I am going to buy a new digital camera.I have been looking at the Canon A70 and also the Fuji FinePix S304 ,and I am finding it very difficult to choose between the two.

    Can anyone shed any more light on these or help me in deciding.I am willing to go higher in my price bracket,however,there must be significant gains to be made.

    My main purpose will be to take pictures,and the occasional print,but I also want the option of being able to use advanced features and the option of upgrading the camera should be available,as I am sure I will need it at a future date.So manual controls are also important.I don't want to throw away my camera and buy a new one in about a years time.I would prefer shelling out a bit more right now with something that will last me for a while as I gain more experience in photography.

    Any advice will be gratefull accepted.
     
  2. nathan_silly

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    My brother has the Fuji S304.. excellent camera- at the highest quality you really have to zoom in to see pixels. Good colour reproduction, and fast at previewing images (even HQ pics)

    The screw on lens cap protects the zoom lens - the previous model could be damaged by pressing on whilst in a squeezed into a case (gears could strip) also comes with a conical sun cover - flared out sort of thing.

    The camera flash is alot easier to use- the flip top allows you to use flash or not without going into the menus (keep it closed, no flash, press the button and the flash flips up)

    Also PC transfer is MUCH faster than his older Fuji 2200. I can send you a full res picture if you want. PM me with your email.
     
  3. bbanduser

    bbanduser
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    HI Nathan,
    Thanks for the comments.I too am impressed with the Fuji,but can't differentiate between this and the Canon A70. The canon seems to have more options for manual override,whereas the Fuji seems to be a higher spec camera.
    And then there's the side of my mind thinking that maybe I should shell out a bit more and get something which has much more than this,but can't find such a model.

    I am confused.Real confused.
     
  4. nathan_silly

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    Oh yeah forgot- the S304 has 6x optical zoom, and webcam & AVI facility.
     
  5. nunew33

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    How much extra are you willing to go?

    The Canon S45/50 and G2/G3 may answer your problems as will a Minolta Dimage some letters i cant remember 7i.

    Im sure all the main manufacturers do manual override models, depends on your budget.

    What makes you think the Fuji is higher spec, Ive just been to dpreview and couldnt see anything that made it look better than the A70. In fact from a creative point of view the A70 has much much more.

    The Fuji has a better zoom. Although this is handy I have an SLR with 28-80 and 75-300. The 75-300 comes out once in a blue moon. So I would think the creative options which I use all the time would be more important than the zoom which id use once in a while!
     
  6. Matt F

    Matt F
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    I've been looking at the two very same cameras and whilst many of the differences have already been covered in this thread, what hasn't been mentioned is the speed of the lenses i.e. how big an aperature then offer.

    The Canon, like most if not all compacts has a pretty small aperature (F4.9 I think) at the telephoto end whereas the Fuji has a pretty fast F2.8-3.0 lens. The advantage of the faster lens (apart from letting you gather more light) is that you can put the background out of focus better for portraits - it all depends how important portrait photography is to you - if it is then I would suggest the Fuji is a better choice.

    What the Canon has over the Fuji of course is its compactness - it's so much smaller than the Fuji. Then again, as well as a faster lens the Fuji also offers 6x rather then 3x zoom - again it depends upon what you will be shooting as to whether this is important or not.

    Quality wise I don't think there would be anything in it - both are very fine 3mp cameras.

    Matt.
     
  7. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Why would you be doing a portrait with telephoto?

    Surely you would be using it close up and therefore able to go to 2.8
     
  8. bbanduser

    bbanduser
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    Another option is getting the Olympus C750(which is a bit more exensive at around £370).
    Anyone knows if this is out yet?
     
  9. Matt F

    Matt F
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    Portraits should ideally be shot with a short telephoto lens preferably between 85-135mm (in 35mm terms). If you look at portrait lenses from the well known makers you will find that they are all within this range and have fast aperatures.

    The reason it's best to shoot at a minimum of 85mm is that this gives a lot more flattering perspective. On top of this, the depth of field is narrower with a telephoto lens so it's easier to throw the background out of focus.

    Portraits shot with a 50mm lens are fine but once you go wider than this then you start to distort peoples faces - bear-in-mind that portraits generally means faces fairly close up (head and shoulders shots generally) not groups of people shot at a distance - a 35mm lens is fine for groups of people.

    If you want to test this, on your digital camera take a shot of someone's face on the lens's widest setting (so that it nearly fills the frame), then zoom in to 105 mm and stand further back so that the model's head fills the frame just like it did on the wideangle shot. See which photo looks more flattering.

    Matt.
     
  10. nunew33

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    Matt F

    It has to be said that I havent taken any portraits with the digicam and have always gone by in close with the SLF (28-80, so most probably towards 80) with as open an aperture as possible).

    On the digicam the few portraits I have as jpegs are crops of bigger pictures, the reason why im not getting wide angle distortion and not beeing at full zoom (and therefore not noticing the aperture being restricted).

    Apologies bbanduser (going off topic)
     
  11. TommyVecetti

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    Portrait photography is entirely subjective. Besides, a X3 optical zoom is perfectly fine, which is what most digicams come with as standard. So long as you are not right up in your subjects face when taking their portrait you won't have any problems with the picture looking unflatering for them.
     
  12. Matt F

    Matt F
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    Fair comments but the reason I bought up portrait photography in the first place was because I was making the point that many of the compact digicams can't offer a very wide aperature at their telephoto ends which is often desirable for portrait photography where you want to throw the background out of focus.

    Again, I would make the point that in 35mm photography, not only do portrait lenses have focal lengths of between 85mm and 135mm, they also have very wide aperatures. Nikon for example, do an 85mm F1.8 and an 85mm F1.4! I tend to use my 50mm F1.4 Nikkor lens for portraits (as I don't have their 85mm lens) usually stopped down to F2.8 but no more.

    Matt.
     

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