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View Full Version : Aaarg! Is camera shopping really this hard? Help!!



bbarbour79
08-03-2004, 08:22 PM
My wife and I have been trying to find a better digital camera that will fit our needs better. We currently have a Fuji Finepix A303, and our main concern is that it will not take action pictures at all. We just bought a Nikon Coolpix 8700 at best buy and after reading some reviews I decided not to take it out of the box incase I want to return it. So far from what I'm reading it does not take great action pictures either, because of LCD problems, etc.

What I'm looking for is a camera between $300-1000 that has at least 6mp and has no less than an 8x optical zoom the more the better. I consider myself a novice at photography, I feel I take nice photos, I just do not know the terms and the proper use of a camera. So I don't want a camera that is too confusing, yet I will learn quickly if i need to. Also the ability to take action photos is a must. My wife and I love to take pictures of our little puppy and the Finepix A303 just does not cut it. I would like something with adjustable aperature and shutter speeds etc..and also has the ability of doing longer exposures for night shots.......... any one have any suggestions?

Oh the photos I will be taking are Scenery, Macros, Action shots, Night shots. I plan on having this camera for a long time so I want to make it worth my money.


Thanks
Brian

speaklightly
08-03-2004, 08:54 PM
08/03/2004

Perhaps you may desire to look at the HP 945. It works well for me and it is a fairly economical digital camera to purchase and to use.

Sarah Joyce

John_Reed
08-03-2004, 09:14 PM
What I'm looking for is a camera between $300-1000 that has at least 6mp and has no less than an 8x optical zoom the more the better. I consider myself a novice at photography, I feel I take nice photos, I just do not know the terms and the proper use of a camera. So I don't want a camera that is too confusing, yet I will learn quickly if i need to. Also the ability to take action photos is a must. My wife and I love to take pictures of our little puppy and the Finepix A303 just does not cut it. I would like something with adjustable aperature and shutter speeds etc..and also has the ability of doing longer exposures for night shots.......... any one have any suggestions?

Oh the photos I will be taking are Scenery, Macros, Action shots, Night shots. I plan on having this camera for a long time so I want to make it worth my money.
I was all set to propose my favorite camera, the Panasonic DMC-FZ10, until I saw the "at least 6mp" thing; why do you think you need all those pixels? What are your printing requirements? The 4MP FZ10 images are more than adequate for 8X10 prints; moreover, the jury is still out on whether or not the image quality offered by the current crop of small-sensor 8MP cameras is as good as that of 4MP cameras like the FZ10. But for all the types of shots you like, the FZ10 is a good performer. And it's about to be superceded by the 5MP FZ20, which hopefully will perform even better. These cameras have 12X zoom stabilized Leica lenses, at f2.8 the fastest available, and the FZ20 offers a reach out to 432mm equivalent.
One thing, though, I'm not sure how long you'll be happy with any camera you buy, the way technology advances so rapidly. Unlike the old 35mm camera tradition, where you could pretty much plan on using a camera until it was broken or worn out, these days the winds of technology change are blowing all the time. The beauty of these cameras is, they're not so expensive (~$600 MSRP for the FZ20) that you have to mortgage the house to buy one, so if it only stays attractive to you for two or three years, its price is well amortized with all the use you'll get from it. :o

bbarbour79
08-03-2004, 09:25 PM
Thanks for the quick reply, John you brought up some great points. I really don't need more than 4 mp, my A303 only has 3.2 and the quality is great. I looked up the FZ10 and it seems great, so it's defenetely a possibility. Also I was looking at the Minolta Dimage A2 as another option. Know anything about that one?

Thanks for the info about the FZ10 this may be a winner, does it have the ability to just shutter and aperature etc?

Brian

D70FAN
08-03-2004, 09:36 PM
Thanks for the quick reply, John you brought up some great points. I really don't need more than 4 mp, my A303 only has 3.2 and the quality is great. I looked up the FZ10 and it seems great, so it's defenetely a possibility. Also I was looking at the Minolta Dimage A2 as another option. Know anything about that one?

Thanks for the info about the FZ10 this may be a winner, does it have the ability to just shutter and aperature etc?

Brian

If you are going to buy an A2, you might as well buy a dSLR. Unless you need the video mode. Take a look at the Canon D300, and the Nikon D70.

As for an all-in-one, ultra-zoom, the new Panasonic FZ family will serve you just as well, and for a lot less money. Wait for the new models. The FZ15 is probably all you will need.

I'm not sure of what the A2 would bring to the party, for your application except higher cost.

TnLiP
08-03-2004, 09:41 PM
Brian,

I am a complete novice also. I have been looking at a variety of cameras. I bet I have spent everynight last week reading and learning. I narrowed my choices to the following:

1st Cannon Digital Rebel. The reviews are great and I like the idea of being able to swap out lens and stuff in the future. Its a bit pricey, but you can get it for about $780 I think.

2nd Minolta Dimage A1. I still may get this one. I think I like the Digital Rebel the best, but budget wise I may have to go with the Minolta. Please note, the reviews I found on the A2 were not as favorable. The A1 is a 5MP camera. Nice Electronics has this camera in a refurb for about $570

3rd Panisonic FZ210. I am forced to get one now so I cannot wait until the new one comes out. If I could wait I would probally look at the newer camera. This guy runs about $460 and most of the reviews say she is built like a tank.

I definately do not know much about these things. However, I have spent some time reading every blasted review out there. This all started with a 300 dollar budget which quickly upgraded to 500 and now looks like I will get the Rebel. The camera I was first looking at was the Coolpix 5700. Also, the Coolpix 8700 has a 200.00 rebate and the 5700 has a 150.00 rebate (I think they are still on). However, after reading the reviews I decided to weed out the Nikons and look at the camera's listed above.

I hope I helped some.....

John_Reed
08-03-2004, 10:00 PM
Thanks for the quick reply, John you brought up some great points. I really don't need more than 4 mp, my A303 only has 3.2 and the quality is great. I looked up the FZ10 and it seems great, so it's defenetely a possibility. Also I was looking at the Minolta Dimage A2 as another option. Know anything about that one?

Thanks for the info about the FZ10 this may be a winner, does it have the ability to just shutter and aperature etc?

Brian
Getting an A2 may not necessarily be a step up in quality. According to a comparative article in the August Popular Photography magazine, they found that, due to noise, image quality for the A2 was unacceptable beyond ISO 100; in the same test, the FZ10 had "moderate" noise at ISO 400, but still acceptable images. If you're looking for zoom reach, the FZ10 has more than twice the maximum zoom (420mm vs. 200mm) of the A2, and a faster lens (f2.8 vs. f3.5 at full zoom) It is true that the A2's lens has a wider wideangle (28mm vs 35mm) than the FZ10. And both of these cameras can do manual shutter, aperture, exposure, and focus.

jamison55
08-04-2004, 06:34 AM
"ability to take action photos is a must"

Given this requirement, and your willingness to spend $1000, I'd suggest a Digital Rebel or D70. DSLR's do not suffer from shutter lag so they capture the shot the moment you press the button. As far as a learning curve, I have the Digital Rebel, and IMHO it is much easier to use than many of the high end digicams out there (a lot less buttons). You will also want to shoot at high shutter speeds, requiring more light. DSLR's, with their larger sensors, give you usable high ISO settings with noise levels that are much lower than even their film equivalents. I often use my DReb at ISO 800 with great results, and am never afraid to switch over to ISO 1600 in a bind. The other options you mentioned have smaller sensors, and will show much more noise at high ISO settings.