Which Camera Should I Buy?
First of all I want to thank you for stickying this awesome form that I can fill out so people can help me.
Just as a preface so you can know exactly what I'm looking for. I've always been interested in photography and wanted to do more than just "point and shoot". I am interested in Landscapes and Architecture more than anything else. I am going on an internship in Alexandria, Egypt this summer and would love to have at least some skill to take beautiful pictures there.
* What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.
I would not like to spend over $500 but am willing to give a little bit extra if I need to. So $300-$500
* What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
I'm going to be running around cities in Egypt all throughout the summer so I need it to be small and portable enough to carry around without attracting a lot of attention.
How many megapixels will suffice for you?
No idea, I'm really here to learn about the technical stuff about cameras and photography as well.
* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify)
* How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
Image quality is important to me however I will not be making any large prints so I guess like a 7-8?
Do you care for manual controls?
I would like to have manual controls and learn how to use them.
* What will you generally use the camera for?
Landscape, Architecture, and candid city shots.
* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
Mostly outdoor, maybe a few at night.
Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
Other than the hustle and bustle of a city, no.
Are there particular brands you like or hate?
Nope, although I hear Nikon and Canon are all the rage right now
Are there particular models you already have in mind?
(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
Thanks guy for putting up with someone who has absolutely no idea about cameras. Any help, suggestions, random tips you have would be awesome.
Both Landscape and Architecture photography benefit from a very wide angle lens, my first suggestion would be the Panasonic LX3. It should fit within your budget, has a very wide start for a point and shoot camera (24mm) and has excellent photo quality.
Nikon S710 has a distortion correction option builtin. Which can be nice for architecture.
Image quality does not match the LX3, but since you won't be making large prints, that difference may be moot.
It looks to me like the Nikon S710 doesnt use lenses. I was hoping that I would be able to eventually get into using lenses as I got better.
Is there a camera in my price range (-/+ $500) that has lens capability? Or am I going to need to spend more...?
Last edited by Malkaviaa; 02-12-2009 at 08:12 PM.
Well, they all use lenses, but I know what you mean — interchangeable ones. This means you're looking at either the newly-released Panasonic G1 (or its future Olympus cousins) in the micro 4/3rds system, or else an entry-level dSLR.
The good news is that you can get an entry-level setup for $500 — but you'll be pushing it. Your options the afore-mentioned Panasonic G1 is actually a little out of the price range.
Your basic options for staying around $500 including a starter lens are:
Canon Rebel XS
Olympus E-420 or E-520
Sony Alpha A200
Or, push the price a little bit and get the next model up.
Or, a used copy of a higher-line-but-slightly-older model.
I have a slightly contrarian suggestion I like to make, though. Skip the entry-level zoom lens and buy body-only with a nice prime "normal" lens. (That generally means around 50mm in 35mm-film equivalent terms, which translates to around 25mm on an Olympus or Panasonic dSLR, 31mm for entry-level Canon, and 33mm for entry-level Nikon, Pentax, or Sony.)
Why this suggestion? Mike Johnston sums it up well here:
and this is also good reading:
The bundled kit lenses are universally pretty decent but cheaply made, with unimpressive optics with no particular strengths. It's one way to start out, but I don't think it's the best. If you start with a nice normal lens, you'll use that lens pretty much forever.
Unfortunately, Olympus is the only one selling a kit (that is, bundled package) like this right now: the E-420 + "pancake" 25mm lens. This makes an uber-compact dSLR package.
It's really too bad that the Nikon D40 isn't available this way, as it would be really attractive bundled with the newly announced 35mm f/1.8. (You might be able to find one used, though.)
And Pentax just a few days ago announced that they're selling the K2000 body-only — list price $500, so we'll have to see what the real-world prices settle at. That pairs nicely with the DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited lens (another compact "pancake" design).
Thats so interesting you suggested getting just the body because I just made a topic about it on the deviantART forum:
I guess this answered my question I was thinking about getting a body only and saving up for good lenses as I get closer to the summer. I'm sorry I was confusing with the "lenses" part of my earlier post.
EDIT: Just as a random question what is with the Nikon Ds? Their prices seem to be all over the place, maybe I'm not understand their number system correctly.
Last edited by Malkaviaa; 02-12-2009 at 10:54 PM.
If you go that route, i suggest a canon with the 50mm f1.8II.
Its the best/cheap lens you can find.
The only downside is that its equivalent to 80mm. So its not very good for close range things, but it does 1.8. And the optics and AF are pretty good. Basically 80mm means i have to be several meters away if i want to get a full person. Wherehas with 18mm i can be about a meter and do the same thing. Mind you, this is just to explain dont go quoting me on it later its just an example.
That would be my suggestion anyways, execpt for the build the 50f1.8 is one of my favorite lenses. And i agree with what matt said 100%.
Last edited by Csae; 02-12-2009 at 11:13 PM.
current models with prior model in brackets.
Originally Posted by Malkaviaa
entry level: d60 (d40/d40x)
intermediate: d90 (d80)
advanced: d300 (d200)
given your requirements. get a Canon G9 and be done with it. i dont think yiou can afford dslr right now
Last edited by Rooz; 02-12-2009 at 11:37 PM.
D800e l D60 IR l 16-35 f4 l 24-120 f4 l 24G l 50G l 60G l 85G l 105VR l 300VR l XE-1 l 18R l 35R
I'd recommend the Olympus E-420 because it is a great small camera, especially for outdoors in a desert and travel, both of which are my primary uses for mine. It does as well any camera in those conditions, and is smaller and less expensive. Get the black leather neck strap and a generic lens cap and people will not notice it as much. The 25mm pancake lens is great because it is small, but otherwise it is not too interesting (but I can't stop using it since I got one a few weeks ago). The 14-42mm kit lens is very sharp, and has a non-rotating front element so you won't need to be upgrading if you go that route. Ideally for this situation I'd recommend the E-420 + pancake lens + 9-18mm lens + maybe 40-150mm telephoto (the setup I use), but that is getting pricey. But it is miniscule by DSLR standards and also comparatively inexpensive. One weakness is no IS.
'Course, here's the irony, with a f/2.0 lens and image stabilization, the Panasonic LX3 is actually the better camera for still subjects and wide angles if you keep the ISO low. In other words, the f/2.0 lens at ISO 200 is roughly equivalent to a f/4.0 lens on an E-420 at ISO 800 . But the LX3 then has image stabilization too.
Thanks a lot for all the suggestions guys. I have been doing my research and I am now leaning towards either the Nikon D60 or the Canon Rebel XS (they seem to be about the same model). Just wondering is fotoconnection.com an ok place to buy cameras? They are extremely cheaper than some of the other online stores I have looked at.
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