Cameras?
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Thread: Cameras?

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    Senior Member wishiwas's Avatar
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    Cameras?

    So many people here post such nice photos.. so I thought I'd ask opinions here. I'm looking into maybe getting a new camera and need suggestions. Preferably under $400.

    While my cheap one can take beautiful pictures, it needs very specific conditions to do so.. not too much motion, very good lighting.. I want something that will take good lower light pictures, and good motion shots. I'll primarily be taking pictures of my pets, but we also want it for our Alaskan cruise next year.

    I don't know much about the different settings on them.. I've only really had point and shoot models.. so it'd be a plus if it wasn't super hard to learn on.

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    Senior Member Niraya's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    From what I remember - the Canon Rebel series was (might still be) the best digital/SLR that you can buy. When first released they were running well up above $800.

    Black Friday sales I saw Canon Rebels for $485 or so.

    Personally, I love Nikon cameras. I have a Nikon Coolpix P5000 that came out around the time of the Canon Rebel XTi - I paid $500 brand new at release as opposed to the $800 for the Rebel which are both 10 megapixel cameras. You can buy the P5000 for around $250 or so now. You can also buy lenses that attach to the camera (same for the Rebels).

    Canon's image quality is superior to that of Nikon, Sony and the rest. As far as I knew - canon was (maybe still is) the only company producing their own sensor that gave them better image quality - were as the other companies were using a sensor built from Sony so they all basically produced the same quality of image.

    There's also the other routes you could go - pick up a 80-100 dollar camera at kmart or walmart that's a 12 megapixel and just as good at taking pictures as mine would be. They (cameras in general - not just the cheaper ones) usually also have a setting for things like sports - that are better for taking motion-heavy pictures.
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    Senior Member Keechak's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    make sure if you buy a DSLR that you learn how to use it otherwise it's no better than your current camera.

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    Senior Member Kyllobernese's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    I am going to buy myself a camera so have been reading up on it. Canon and Nikon seem to be the best brands to get. What sort of zoom lens should a person get? My sisters has a, I think, 500 Zoom but I had trouble taking videos with it. I know now to look for a DSLR as the camera I have now was a cheapie and the delay is too long for anything "live". Have too many pictures of the floor or ground. It will not focus properly now so know I need a new one.

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    Senior Member wishiwas's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    My current camera is a 12 megapixel, with, like I said, very nice quality when it's bright and sunny and not very motiony. But the quality suffers majorly in any of those situations. The "kids & pets" setting helps occasionally, but.. maybe 1 out of 20 pictures is good. And nowhere even near as good as I see other people getting. And even in the house with every light on, if it's not sunny out, the pictures are not very good. The auto focus also seems to really like focusing on things that make no sense.

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    Senior Member dantero's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    The Rebel is a little above the price range you indicated, but if you are going DLSR it's a great "intro" camera IMO. Has a number of the pre programmed functions like a "sports" function, that work really well, but also allows you to go with more advanced options like shutter priority, aperature priority, full manual, etc. I love my Rebel because I can set it in a mode and hand it off to basically anyone, and they can get good photos using it like a point and shoot, but when I use it I can put it in a priority mode or full manual, although I mainly use my 7D now.

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    Senior Member wishiwas's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    What do you think of the SX40?

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    Senior Member Laurelin's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    You can get into a big debate about Nikon versus Canon. I prefer Nikons by quite a bit and having owned and used both. It's all personal preference (I would not agree that Canons have better image quality though- most of that depends on the lens, not the body. Nikon does have some issues with certain lenses not being able to autofocus on the bodies and I would say Canon has better point and shoots/)

    If I were you, I would not spend more than $200 on a point and shoot. If you want to spend $400, I would just wait and save up a couple hundred more for a DSLR. There is just no comparison with a point and shoot and a DSLR. Steep learning curve but it's just so much better quality. I have a Nikon D90, but have shot with a D60 for a long time. I've also played with a Canon Rebel and some little Sony DSLR. I'd say go with Nikon or Canon but the Sony wasn't bad either.
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    Re: Cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
    It's all personal preference (I would not agree that Canons have better image quality though- most of that depends on the lens, not the body. Nikon does have some issues with certain lenses not being able to autofocus on the bodies and I would say Canon has better point and shoots/)
    Agreed. While there are areas that Canon is better thank Nikon and vice versa, the average user is not going to run into that issue. I shoot a lot of fast paced events (motorcycle races, extreme sports) and Canon tends to have an edge there, but again- not enough for the average user. I also have lots of friends/family that use Canon so we trade lenses back and forth when we need them. I was able to borrow everything I needed for my Safari in South Africa without spending the thousands of dollars to bring my bag up to that level.

    The important aspect in shooting with a D/SLR is the quality of the lens. I have an L series telephoto zoom lens that costs more than my primary body (5d) that takes equally amazing pictures on Canon's bottom of the rung Rebel body.

    Your best bet in getting started is the used market. In the DC area for instance I can find lots of lenses and bodies in great condition for hundreds less than they were new. My backup 3d body is rated for over 100,000 exposures. I picked up a used one with ~12,000 for $200. Just make sure you read up on how to check out a used piece of equipment and you'll be good to go.

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    Senior Member Britt & Bello's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
    I would say Canon has better point and shoots.
    This is why I ended up with a Canon DSLR. I hated Nikon point and shoots. And loved my Canon.

    I agree with going up to a cheap DSLR. I remember back when I was telling my friend I would only spend like 500 dollars on a new camera. Then I bought the Canon Rebel T2i for around a 1,000. And additional lenses have caused that to double. Ha. xD

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    Senior Member wishiwas's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    I might be able to save up enough for the cheaper Rebel package before the cruise.. but I wouldn't be able to get additional lenses that soon. Is the one that comes with it any good for that kind of thing? "Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm IS II Lens"

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    Senior Member MonicaBH's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by wishiwas View Post
    I might be able to save up enough for the cheaper Rebel package before the cruise.. but I wouldn't be able to get additional lenses that soon. Is the one that comes with it any good for that kind of thing? "Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm IS II Lens"
    The 18-55mm kit lens is a fine place to start.

    I have only ever shot Nikon DSLRs; I had a Canon Digital Elph way back when 3.2MP was a big deal. I traded in my Nikon D5000 for a used D90, mainly because I could only autofocus with AF-S lenses on my D5000; they are significantly more expensive to buy. I love my D90 and wouldn't really trade it for the world. I hope Nikon makes them forever!

    I have heard many a photographer say to spend more money on glass (lenses) than the body. While the body definitely plays a huge role in your photographs, your lens can make or break you IMO. However, if you're just shooting your kids or your pets, you may be okay with a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 instead of having to have the f/2.8. Right now I have two kit lenses (18-55mm & 55-200mm, both f/3.5-5.6) as well as a 50mm prime (f/1.8) and the aforementioned 70-300mm. I have recently been using my 18-55 a lot for whatever reason, although I'd really like a 24-70mm f/2.8 (hey Santa, are you listening!?)


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    Senior Member lucidity's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    You don't have to buy a DSLR brand new. It isn't like a point and shoot. As long as the body is in good condition, you can buy it.. because you can always change the lens.

    I bought my Canon Rebel XSI for $525 off Craigslist last year. It should be a lot cheaper now, you might be able to find one for $400. If not, you can always look into a 2nd hand Nikon D3000 or Canon Rebel XS. These should all be around $400 if you get it second hand.

    I currently only have my 18-55mm kit lens, but this weekend I'll be picking up a 50mm and a 55-250mm finally. I agree with what's been said above.. A $400 point and shoot is really not worth the money. I'm SO glad that I bought my DSLR because looking back, all my pictures taken with point and shoots were lousy compared to the kinds of pictures I can take now! You will be amazed. Of course, you'll have to learn how to use it but hell, it's really not difficult. There's lots of resources online now that you can read up on.

    That said, I have used both Canons and Nikon DSLRs... I personally prefer Canon--the cameras sit better in my hand and if you get the consumer range DSLRs, they are quite a lot lighter than Nikons. Nikons are more durable though (at the consumer range).

    Again, it's all in the lens and how well you take pictures. Go read up on how to take good photos and you'll be amazed at the kind of pictures using a DSLR will produce!
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    Senior Member lucidity's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by wishiwas View Post
    I might be able to save up enough for the cheaper Rebel package before the cruise.. but I wouldn't be able to get additional lenses that soon. Is the one that comes with it any good for that kind of thing? "Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm IS II Lens"
    ETA: to respond to this, the kit lens (18-55mm) that comes with the camera is usually pretty decent. I've been using my camera with ONLY the kit lens for over a year and it STILL takes 1000x better shots than any point and shoot.
    Lucidity's Papillons & Cavaliers

  16. #15
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    More important than the camera or even the lens, in terms of quality photos, is where you point the camera and when you push the shutter release.

    The most frustrating limitation with most point and shoot digitals is the shutter lag - that fraction of a second between pushing the shutter release and the picture actually being taken. Too long and you get lots of pictures of an empty space where your moving dog was doing something amazing .2 seconds earlier. There are a handful of p&s cameras with a very short shutter lag but, in general, DSLRs are much better in that respect.

    I recently sold a couple of Canon DSLRs on eBay because nobody needs four. I use a 50D for most of my shooting and a base-level Rebel for a backup. I have 8 Canon lenses but use just 2 of them 90% of the time. I have a small collection of p&s digitals that largely sit at home since I have a phone with a good camera for those everyday needs.

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    Senior Member Laurelin's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by wishiwas View Post
    My current camera is a 12 megapixel, with, like I said, very nice quality when it's bright and sunny and not very motiony. But the quality suffers majorly in any of those situations. The "kids & pets" setting helps occasionally, but.. maybe 1 out of 20 pictures is good. And nowhere even near as good as I see other people getting. And even in the house with every light on, if it's not sunny out, the pictures are not very good. The auto focus also seems to really like focusing on things that make no sense.
    Also, just a word of caution about megapixels... They really don't matter. Not unless you're taking a picture to blow up to a huge size or something. Shutter speed, aperture, etc matter a whole lot more than megapixels.

    Just as an example...




    I just pulled random pics and both have been photobucket killed. Those are pretty typical of the quality too. (The first is with my 14 megapixel olympus point and shoot, the second is with my nikon d60- 10.2 megapixel). God, I hated that Olympus lol.

    I thought this pic was really good at the time:



    As opposed to (this is one of my first DSLR shoots):


    My best Friend by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr

    Yeah there's a learning curve with the DSLR but I came right out taking better pics with it than the p&s. My first pics from the DSLR on the wonderfully blue autosettings:







    If you're going to use auto, use the sports setting fyi.

    I've never read a manual, just played around so take this for what it's worth. lol
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  18. #17
    Senior Member Kyllobernese's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    I have been looking up cameras and the more I look the more I get confused. Right now I am debating between the Canon EOS Rebel XS 18-55 IS lens Kit at $428.00 and the Nikon Coolpix R500 at $329.99. I want to get the one with the shortest speed between the time you click and the camera takes the picture. I also want one that is good with Action shots like Laurelin takes. I don't mind going a little higher as it is probably going to be the last camera I buy.

  19. #18
    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 Camera 16 Zoom 14 MP 159.95 from Amazon. I added a couple Pics to Pierce's Pics today it's a point and shoot only but cheap. Probably better if you stay clear of my info as there are some definite camera buffs here. Just thought I would throw it in to confuse.

    I have a couple other cameras, A Canon PowerShot S1-IS that is 6 yrs old. A Panasonic Lumix FZ-28 18 Zoom 10 MP I like both cameras but I like the new one because of size, just fits in pocket
    Last edited by wvasko; 12-11-2011 at 09:31 AM.
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  20. #19
    Senior Member Kyllobernese's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    Just realized I had missed a zero on the Coolpix. It should have been 5000 not 500. (I think the 500 is just a point and shoot which is what I have now and want something better.

  21. #20
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Cameras?

    I also want one that is good with Action shots like Laurelin takes.
    My Canon 50D does something that makes my look like an action shot genius. I can set it to shoot 9 frames/second. It's pretty hard not to get a dramatic action shot at 9 frames/second. It's like shooting an automatic weapon, except nobody gets hurt.

    My 5D, in most respects a vastly superior camera, couldn't do that, which is why I sold it on eBay.

    Don't overlook eBay as a source if you know what you're looking for. I sold a Canon 40D for $600 with a kit lens and the 5D Mark II for $1600. Both were in excellent condition and less than half the price of new.

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