PDA

View Full Version : Which camera is right for me?



chris8105
01-16-2008, 02:47 AM
Its time to upgrade my digital camera. Right now I have a Fuji A330 digital camera, its starting to show its age. I would like to get a new digital camera in the $200 range. Of course I want it to take great pictures, but I also would like for it to take great pictures when the lighting conditions arent great. The biggest complaint I have about that camera I have now is the way the pictures turn out when the lighting isnt the greatest. I occasionaly sell items on ebay, so good up close pictures under artificial light is a must. Pictures will mostly be used for emailing and 4x6 pictures.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance,
Chris

tim11
01-16-2008, 07:47 PM
Take a look at Fuji F40fd. It's the best for all lighting condition within your budget.

DCRP has done a review here: Fuji FinePix F40fd (http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fuji/finepix_f40fd-review/)

munch
01-16-2008, 08:26 PM
Yes the Fuji F40FD or possibly the F50FD if you can jump up a bit in price, they are both excllent low light point and shoots.

chris8105
01-16-2008, 10:51 PM
I can step it up to about $250. I will check them both out.

TheWengler
01-16-2008, 11:05 PM
I think the F50 might be a downgrade regarding the ISO performance but it adds IS if I'm not mistaken.

tim11
01-17-2008, 01:56 AM
Personally, I'd buy F40fd. It has image quality close to the mighty F30/F31fd; unlike the F50fd. And IS, though sounds appealing, will offer minimal benefit at 3x optical zoom. Plus the F50fd IS doesn't seem to work so well as per review by DPreview.

tim11
01-17-2008, 02:03 PM
As seen here from www.dpreview.com F50fd review. It's interesting to see the result when IS is ON is actually worse than OFF at 1/50 sec... :confused: And that's the condition for indoors.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf50fd/page7.asp

KCook
01-21-2008, 12:32 PM
Low level available light is going to be a challenge for cameras with modest price tags. But I would think many of these would work Ok with flash? As just one example, the Sony W55 provides at least a little control over flash output, plus you can add an external slave -

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/sony/dsc_w55-review/index.shtml

Kelly Cook

chris8105
01-21-2008, 10:24 PM
Thaks for all the info fellas. My dad has the F30 camera that you mentioned Tim, thats a great camera. Indoor pictures using artificial light, is that considered low light photography? That may be a dumb question but I just wanted to make sure that no one thought I wanted a camera that I could go outside at midnight and take pictures. I basically want what everyone else wants in a new digital camera, crisp pictures. Whats the best picture taking camera in the 250 and 300 dollar price range. I want to be able to buy a camera and not have to buy one for another 4-5 years.

Thanks in advance!

KCook
01-21-2008, 11:22 PM
The $300 bracket certainly gets you into very nice cameras. With some manual control to boot. I would not be swooned by huge Mp sensors though. In a point-and-shoot putting out JPG files I'm not convinced that going over 8 Mp gets you any advantage whatever. Here is a link to another thread to get you started on this bracket -

http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?p=271386

Kelly Cook

tim11
01-22-2008, 02:37 AM
Yes Chris8105. Indoors shots are considered low light; don't worry - no one misunderstood you here.

The link provided by KCook also mentions Fuji F30. Unfortunately, Fuji discontinued it and replaced with the disappointing F50fd. For normal use 6MP should be sufficient unless you print life size posters and the F50fd suffers because of this MP race and boosts F50 to 12MP.

Your budget will get you a good camera but like all cameras, they suffer in lower light; especially PnS cameras. F40fd still perform better than the rest, in my opinion.

KCook
01-22-2008, 07:37 AM
The question of "low light" is useful, I think. Often discussions about the best low light cameras are at the extreme. Where the light is so low that everybody is banging away at ISO 800 or higher.

However, in the real world there can be lots of indoor situations where the light level is not all that low. You can shoot at ISO 400, or even ISO 200. Especially if the subject is a still life and you're using a tripod or have the benefit of effective IS. As for example a product shoot for an e-bay listing.

I will fearlessly submit that at ISO 200 there are a great many cameras that can match the IQ of the low light stars like the Fuji jobs. Ditto ISO 400, though that would shrink the population some.

So, yeah, good question about just what low light means.

Kelly

chris8105
01-22-2008, 11:19 AM
Once again, thanks for the info. Even with a 300 dollar budget, you still recomend that I get the F40?

David Metsky
01-22-2008, 11:31 AM
Once again, thanks for the info. Even with a 300 dollar budget, you still recomend that I get the F40?
If low light no flash shooting is very important to you, there simply isn't a better camera in that range.

chris8105
01-22-2008, 12:54 PM
Low light isnt as important as I made it out to sound in my first post. What I am looking for is the best all around camera I can get for 250-300 dollars. Mainly being used for taking pictures on vacations and family get togethers.

stever06
01-22-2008, 01:39 PM
You still won't be disappointed. The F40fd is a good all around pocket cam in regards to image quality. It's metering does well low light and outdoors daylight, unlike my F30, which I'm always adjusting EV- outdoors to not blow highlights.

David Metsky
01-22-2008, 02:15 PM
If you want to use manual controls (the F40 is a pure P&S) then I'd look at the Canon A720. It'll give you IS, more zoom, and full manual controls.

tim11
01-22-2008, 02:27 PM
The question of "low light" is useful, I think. Often discussions about the best low light cameras are at the extreme. Where the light is so low that everybody is banging away at ISO 800 or higher.

However, in the real world there can be lots of indoor situations where the light level is not all that low. You can shoot at ISO 400, or even ISO 200. Especially if the subject is a still life and you're using a tripod or have the benefit of effective IS. As for example a product shoot for an e-bay listing.

---

I have to disagree on that point. For still objects- Yes you maybe able to hold the camera still or use a tripod. However for moving subjects, it doesn't take much to raise ISO to 800 or above. For indoors, ISO400 can be used only during a bright day when there is plenty of light coming in through the windows; otherwise it's has to be 800. Indoors at night, anything less than 800 isn't possible and the house has to be brightly lit for that. I'm talking about (2x) 100W light bulbs if you are to use ISO800. I often use ISO1600 to take pictures of the kids. If you don't want to use the flash; of course.

chris8105, like David said, if no flash is important then nothing beat F40fd in that price range. However, if low light no flash isn't that important then there are so many to choose from. One of my favourites is A720 IS. Its image quality at higher ISO is not as good as F40fd but you can use manual controls and tripod to take low light still objects and limit the ISO level.

KCook
01-22-2008, 03:11 PM
Oh, I agree completely that either flash or high ISO settings are needed for action photography indoors. But what the post starting this thread said was -

I occasionaly sell items on ebay, so good up close pictures under artificial light is a must.
Which I take to be a still life situation?

Kelly

chris8105
01-23-2008, 01:58 AM
I cant take much more of this, I am about to pull my hair out. I never knew buying a camera could be so stressfull. I was just about ready to pull the trigger on the F40 but I want to go with a camera with manual controls. I would prefer a camera that uses a lithium ion battery pack, but if I have to go with AA batteries then so be it.

Every camera I am about ready to buy I check the user reviews and find some people complaining about it. I know that you cant please everyone and there will always be someone complaining. For example I was looking at the Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3 and found that alot of people was having problem with the flash not working correctly and the camera only taking good pictures outside. For all I know this guy doesnt know how to operate the camera. I just dont want to buy a camera and not be happy with it. Buying a new car isnt this stressful.

I just want a camera with manual controls, takes good pictures indoors and outdoors, $250-$300 range, and preferably lithium ion battery pack. And using the flash for indoor shots are no problem. Sorry if I am being a pain I just want to be happy with what I buy.

Thanks

tim11
01-23-2008, 02:21 AM
You won't be disappointed with F40 but it doesn't have manual controls.

If you don't mind using flash then I don't see why you won't be happy with A720 IS. It has full manual controls one can ask for, IS, 6x optical zoom. Its cycle can be slow when battery power is low as it only uses 2x AA batteries.... but again there is no such thing as a perfect camera. Just to let you know what to expect...

"Buying a new car isn't as stressful.. " I read this comment many times before on these forums. :)

David Metsky
01-23-2008, 05:30 AM
Larger cameras tend to use AAs, not Li-Ions because they are more convenient in general and certainly cheaper. BTW, the TZ3 doesn't have manual controls.

I agree, the A720 is still your best fit. While your concerns are valid, they will go away once you have the camera in your hands and start shooting pictures.

AndyfromVA
01-23-2008, 06:21 AM
I recently purchased the Canon A720 and I'm very happy with it. However, the slow flash recycle is a negative, though it's far outweighed by all the positives of the camera.

If you're willing to pay as much as $300, I'd consider the Canon SD850IS. It's a great all-around camera and it also has an optical viewfinder, which I've discovered is very useful on bright sunny days. It also has a much faster flash recycling time than the A720. It doesn't have all the manual options of the A720 but it's still has lots of useful options. The Fuji F40fd and F50fd are also definitely worth considering for their overall picture quality.

KCook
01-23-2008, 08:05 AM
Manual control is important to me too. Sorry to say, very few compact cameras have this, even with high price tags. Mostly what you do find are Canons. I believe the Canon SX100 also has manual controls, but dunno about the flash cycle for it. Otherwise most of the point-and-shoot models with manual control will be the SLR-like types. And you can find these just under your $300 ceiling. But they really are not pocket cameras.

no help Kelly

David Metsky
01-23-2008, 08:33 AM
Here's a list of current cameras with manual controls - http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/cameraList.php?search=1&manSearch=0&resSearch=0&zoomSearch=0&storageSearch=0&cameraTypeSearch=1&priceSearch=2&lcdSearch=0&batterySearch=0&manCtrlSearch=Y&submit.x=42&submit.y=8

The Canon SX100 and Sony H3 are similar cameras - 10x zoom, manual controls, compact, IS, and no optical viewfinder. No compact camera is going to have great flash recycle time, the best cameras for that have 4 AAs and that means they are larger.

chris8105
01-23-2008, 05:31 PM
After many, many hours of doing research and reviews. I think i have made a decision. I think I am going to go with the F40. Read alot of good things about this camera and a few bad things. One thing I have found out though every camera out there has some bad things about it. I was going to go with the A720 from Canon but I saw low light isnt one of that cameras strengths. I was also looking at the F50 but I read that the F40 is a better camera than the F50.

chris8105
01-28-2008, 03:11 PM
The fedex guy dropped off my F40fd to me today. I have been messing around with it and taking pictures, so far I am pretty happy with it. Pictures are much, much better than than were with my Fuji A330. Thanks for all the advice!!