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Enthusiastic photographer needs advice on first upgrade please.

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by The_kUrGaN, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. The_kUrGaN

    The_kUrGaN
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    Sorry about this. My first post didn't register.

    I'm looking to upgrade from my very basic compact digital Fujifilm 2mp camera. Now, I have always had a keen interest in photography, but have never bought a 'serious' digital camera. I have all the ideas and enthusiasm for a good photo, but not the camera to do them justice and now I think it's time I indulged in this interest.

    I prefer taking general Landscapes and 'views', and sunrises/sunsets, maybe with water shots too. I also like the idea of 'macro' shots.

    I like the idea of a 'proper' looking camera, something with a kind of DSLR appearance, but they are out of my budget.I'm not too up on all the specs, but I'd like a good mixture of auto settings with some manual settings too, so the camera has to be easy to use, but with the option of getting more out of it when you want to fine tune things. I'd like something with a decent optical zoom too.

    Can anyone recommend some camera's to consider up to a budget of £400 ish please?

    Also, if anyone can recommend some websites that can help me choose a camera and give explanations, that'd be great too.

    Thanks very much for any advice anyone can give me. :)
     
  2. kbfern

    kbfern
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    I have recently purchased the panasonic fz5 which is a 5 mega pixel with 12x optical zoom and does excellent macro work list price £348 but you can get them for around £290.

    Others to consider would be Sony DSC H1 or Canon S21s both around £320 ish discount,Olympus just bringing out the SP500 at under £300.You will find plenty of good cameras around for £300-£400 the choice is quite confusing(I have just gone through the same exerise and chose the Z5)

    sites worth visiting for reviews are:

    http://www.dpreview.com/

    http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/

    You should find plenty of info and help choosing your camera from these sites.

    Hope you find the info usefull
     
  3. mjw123

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    Kurgan - KBfern has made some good recommendations....however he's missed one belter which would really suit your requirements for landscapes / sunsets / Macro, it also has a very good spec for you to grow into.

    It's the olympus 7070 - probably about £350 from the net.

    It doesn't have the long zoom of the FZ5 but will give better results close (macro is remarkable on the 7070), low light results will probably be less noisy as well.

    I love my panni FZ3 but want to buy a 7070 for landscapes, sunsets, portraits and macro where it will fare better than my FZ3 and it's replacement the FZ5.

    Definately worth looking into...
     
  4. Crocodile

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    The Fuji S7000 also sounds like it would fit your requirements. Feels like a quality camera whereas (IMO) the Panasonics feel like plastic boxes.

    Chances of finding the right camera first time are pretty slim. It's only in use that you will find what features are important to you as well as how they perform. I bought a Panasonic FZ20 based solely on specs/reviews & absolutely hated the handling.

    I would suggest picking up a used model with a good spec & using that to establish your exact requirements. You can then sell on with little or no loss when you know exactly what to look for in the next one.
     
  5. mjw123

    mjw123
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    Not a bad suggestion croc on the 2nd hand cam - can be a prob on the latest models though as there's very little in the way of 2nd hand market......

    Panni's might feel that way but the results say otherwise with that cracking Leica lens up front.
     
  6. Crocodile

    Crocodile
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    If you were buying a camera to test the water, with no intention of keeping it, then obviously you wouldn't be looking for the latest models (Witters excepted :laugh: ). Ebay has a plentiful supply of S7000s, Panny FZs, etc., etc.

    In fact re-reading the OP, his budget would just about cover a 300D kit from the Canon Outlet if he wanted to jump into DSLR straight away. Having said that, taking into account his intended subject, I would still recommend the S7000 as a stepping stone.
     
  7. aliflack

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    How rigid is the budget of £400 and does that include all the peripheral stuff - memory cards, card reader, camera case, spare batteries etc?

    If you need to buy those things as well, a finger in the air guess says that'll knock at least £50-75 off your budget to spend on the camera itself...

    Having a 300D myself, they are cracking cameras, but you will want to fork out a ton more cash when you see the results you can get from better lenses (presuming it will come with the 18-55 kit lens). So I would stear you away from that if you are on a fixed budget over the medium term, and especially if you want decent macro ability out of the box.
     
  8. The_kUrGaN

    The_kUrGaN
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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone...I knew I could get some good help here. My budget to be honest is not too rigid, however common sense tell me that I don't want to go mental on what is essentially my first decent camera, but if I see a decent enough camera I could stretch it to £500 so long as it would give me results worthy of the price.

    I do like the look of the S7000, and the price is a pretty decent one too. In fact, all of the camera's look just the ticket to be honest. I think where ever I end up will be such a massive improvement on what I already have.

    I think DSLR camera's are where I will probably end up eventually though, however I need to prove to myself that my interest in photography and skills would warrant going to the extra expense and dedication needed to justify one.

    I quite like the look of chunky camera's, something not flimsy or plasticy but something to get a hold of (I've got big flapping hands so I can't be doing with a titchy thing). I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting your camera to look the part as well as giving you great results though is there?

    Thanks for the advice so far....and any more suggestions very welcome.

    :)
     
  9. kbfern

    kbfern
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    Chunky!! look at the panasonic Z30,its just come out and will cost around £470 discount.It s quite a weighty camera at around 750grammes but should give top class results.The price is near dslr price but comes with up to 19x zoom & 8 mega pixels.

    There has been some debate about noise at higher ISO settings but this can be easily overcome with post processing software.This is the camera I would have bought if not for its size.

    see review here:http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz30/
     
  10. The_kUrGaN

    The_kUrGaN
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    .....hey...I like it a lot. :)
     
  11. Johndm

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    Hey...why not look for a second hand Canon 300D on ebay or forums if you need 'the look'.. :smashin:

    Recommend you buy a second hand 75-300mm USM MKIII to go with it, then slip a sawn length of white drainpipe over it, and just paint a red band on it... :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
     
  12. senu

    senu
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    Yeah a preloved ( hmm...second hand) Canon 300D seems a good choice .
    The Nikon D50 or even Canon 350D.(with the £100 cash back) begin to look affordable if you can go that far.
    A Canon Powershot Pro One is also worth a look . It is an 8 megapixel camera with a really good lens.. Check out reviews on it
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/PRO1/PRO1A.HTM
    this seems to be within your budget Just saw this on my travels on the web
    http://www.mydv.co.uk/xcart/product.php?productid=550&cat=125&page=3

    Fujifilm 9500/9000 at £500 is said to be good.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinions.asp?prodkey=fuji_finepixs9000z
    :)
     
  13. shaurz

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    WARNING

    Don't by from MyDV, the site is a SCAM. Also www.gardenready.co.uk and www.nepine.co.uk are con sites owned by the same people (person?).

    They will charge you more than you are invoiced and will fail to send you the product your ordered. They are based in the US but advertise themselves as a UK company. They don't reply to e-mails.

    See:

    http://clansharrock.blogspot.com/2005/10/ipod-misery.html
    http://www.kelkoo.co.uk/ctl/do/maxiMerchantReviews~4753223
    http://forum.digitalspy.co.uk/board/showthread.php?t=285663
    http://www.matrixwatch.org/forums/showthread.php?t=3269
     
  14. The_kUrGaN

    The_kUrGaN
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    Thanks for that.....it's a site I have been looking at very recently. :eek:
     
  15. senu

    senu
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    Thanks for the warning .As I said it was something i saw on my travels on the internet. :nono:
    The advice regarding the value of a used Canon 300d , powershot pro 1, or Fuji film 9000/9500 still hold true though
    How can we get moore info in these fraudsters who clearly fron 3 companies with the same phone no and no address?? :lease:
     
  16. longleyc

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    Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II .....impress your friends.
     
  17. mjw123

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    If not your Bank Manager :eek:
     
  18. senu

    senu
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    .............and get a good lawyer if your wife is in anyway like mine :suicide:
     
  19. The_kUrGaN

    The_kUrGaN
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    Update.... Just when I really didn't want it to, the car failed it's MOT and it cost me a bit to get it through, then another car was instantly attracted to mine on a roundabout, costing me another packet for the 'excess'.

    Bottom line I suddenly didn't have the cash for a new camera. Now in the words of Andy Pipkin.... ' I wan one'.

    The camera's I'm now considering for mainly outdoor shots, landscapes with a bit of macro work thrown in are the following:-

    Panasonic FZ20 (£250 New)
    Fuji S7000 (Was £270 New, now over £300)

    outsider Fuji S5600 (just over £200 new)

    I can get all of these camera's cheaper on eBay.

    Just when I'm making my mind up on any of these camera's, the word 'noise' crops up. I did read one that said the Panasonic even had noise at ISO 100. I don't know whether these were over critical opinions, but it worries me. Can anyone who owns or has owned any of the above camera's just give me a quick opinion on them please, especially with regards to picture quality and 'noise'.


    Thanks again.
     
  20. Crocodile

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    I can't say I noticed excessive noise on either.

    Both cameras were for sale in the Forum Classifieds recently. Don't know if either sold so maybe worth checking out. Also Jessops has the FZ20 on sale at £200 if you can find one locally.
     
  21. The_kUrGaN

    The_kUrGaN
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    Thanks for that. Do you have any opinions on which is the better camera? :)
     
  22. SeanT

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    I bought my S9000 pro from mydv - they did overcharge me but when I contacted online customer support they just required me to email a copy of the page of the credit card statement and then refunded the difference - the problem is something to do with the exhange rate changing or so forth I was told.
    It's certainly more reliable than buying one off ebay and will be a new camera for the cheapest price - please do buy on credit card though in case there is a problem....
     
  23. SeanT

    SeanT
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    whoa, all that wasn't there when i did my research and placed my (successful but slightly dodgy) order!
    the only complaint i really had was that it didn't seem that the item was insured for the full amount in transit (something to do with import duty violation i suspect?)
     
  24. The_kUrGaN

    The_kUrGaN
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    Thanks Sean....I'd already decided to avoid MyDv, cheers.

    I'm just asking for opinions on the Panasonic FZ20 vs the Fuji S7000...If anyone has had experience of either or both.

    The cheapest I can get the Panasonic FZ20 is for £249 + £6 delivery from homecinematv.co.uk and Hughesdirect.co.uk

    The cheapest the Fuji S7000 is at the moment is £302.12 inc shipping from ebuyer.
     
  25. SeanT

    SeanT
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    Both those cameras are good for the money, and that is an incredible price for the FZ20 - that price would probably clinch it.
    However, if you already have loads of NiMH batteries and XD cards with your existing Fuji it'll be a close call.
    The S9500 is 400 quid delivered at Bristol cameras, and you will love the mechanical zoom (those two cameras are motorised), the option to go right back to 28mm equivalent (they are 35 and 36) and the movie mode. It is a more expensive option though (I was umming and arring between the 7000 and 9000 for ages and thought it the best choice in the end :) )
     
  26. SeanT

    SeanT
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    oh and if you want AE lock and a RAW mode get the S9500 (not singing it's praises but I have used the AE-lock every time I've struggled to get white balance including stage lighting on white vinyl background - trying to get a decent pic of princess anne at the sports coach awards 2005 - and trying not to overblow pictures of a snowman!, and I like it)
    Budget for some new batteries and a charger and at least 512 megs of xd or compact flash (you can of course use both in it ;) )
     
  27. tonyli3

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    FZ 20's a very good camera,i purchased my one earlier this year and other than keeping iso to 200 or below[iso 100 most of time] find it hard to find any serious fault,excellent 12x zoom. Only thing with me i used to use film slr and am on the verge of buying a Canon,prices of the lenses has held me back till now.
    Some of the prices the FZ 20 are selling for are pretty silly for what you get IMHO.Keep your eye on the for sale forum as i MIGHT sell mine[it's mint with packaging] along with 512mb memory and spare battery.
    What's holding me back is with new prices around £250 mine with the memory and extra battery although like new would sell for less than i hoped!
     
  28. domtheone

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    correct me if i'm wrong but i think the Panny FZ20 is available at Jessops for £199 (or it was a few days ago:thumbsup: )

    edit: mentioned earlier in the thread too so 100% sure it's right!
     
  29. tonyli3

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    Great new price, although with so many people after them my local Jessops sold all their stock on the first morning on sale!
     
  30. The_kUrGaN

    The_kUrGaN
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    Yeah...typical.

    Just when I finally decide on a camera in the last couple of days, then decide to go and have a 'feel', Jessops decide to slash the price to silly money, and three stores I tried today had all sold out. Aaaaaaaagh.

    Best price still seems to be £250 online, which is still a good price.
     

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