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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    New Zealand

    How to test cameras when you're at a shop

    So, I went to a Sony store today to look at the H3 (not that specifics really matter for my question). I tried it out for a bit, snapped a few shots to see how fast it was, zoomed in and out, briefly went through the menus... Felt like I was missing something...

    ...so basically, my question is: What should I do when I'm at a shop trying out a camera? Is there a particular series of things you like to physically test out when you're just at a shop looking to buy a new camera?

    Sorry if this is the wrong forum for this, really wasn't sure where to put it

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    If possible, take a USB stick with you and take some test shots with the camera you are contemplating buying...both indoors and outdoors. Then ask the salesman to copy the images onto your USB stick so you can view the photos at home on your PC.

    Check the feel of the camera, ease of use and access to various functions, play with zoom range and ensure it is enough to cover your needs.

    Just some quick things to try....others may have further suggestions.
    Canon 5D MKlll & Canon 50D
    Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L USM | Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM | Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM | Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro | Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM | Canon 50mm f/1.8 | Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 | Canon 430EX Flash | Lowepro Mini Trekker AW | Lowepro Toploader 65 AW | Lowepro Slingshot 200AW | Kata 3n1-10

    Panasonic Lumix FZ200
    Panasonic Lumix TZ7 (aka ZS3)
    Panasonic Lumix FT3 (aka TS3)

    Ali Baba.....the Thief of Bad Gags

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Charleston, SC
    Drop it.
    If it breaks, don't buy it.

    Just kidding.

    I agree with what is suggested, moreover, I would also suggest varying the types of pics and various exposers.
    Test the lens wide open, test the IS--if it has it, test how quickly it photographs in rapid succession, test how quickly it takes to turn on and then shoot, and finally, test the AF in various lighting.
    Ask the salesman for permission to shoot around the store.
    If they don't oblige then the clearly do not want the sale.
    US Navy--Hooyah!

    Nikon D700/D300|17-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, Sigmalux, 80-200 f/2.8, 16 f/2.8 fisheye,

    Lots of flashes and Honl gear.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Dubai, UAE
    Check the brightness/quality of the viewfinder [if available] cause you always need them in case of low battery power.
    Switch on and switch off the camera a few times to see if everytime you do that, the time it takes is the same and there are no niggles with the system.
    See how heavy it is in your hand if its a big one and if its one of those slim ones, see if it fits in your pocket [if the salesman lets you pocket it... ]
    Check out all the moving parts of the camera, from the battery cover to the zoom....
    See what memory card/s the camera takes and then take a note of how much those cost and if available..
    Check the various accessories that come with the camera and the ones available as a option for widening your camera's capabilities..

    and....i agree with all the suggestions provided above.....
    Nikon EM, Series E lenses 50mm f1.8|28mm f1.8|100mm f2.8, Sigma 80-200mm f4.5-5.6
    Minolta Riva 100AF, Sinpo PQ-3, Olympus mju-III wide 100, Yashica 635
    Sony cybershot W90, cybershot T90
    Canon A720i|400D|7D|5DMKII|85mm f1.8|24-105mm f4|135mm f2|40mm f2.8|430EX II*2|BG-E3|BG-E7
    Sigma 24mm f1.8|50mm f2.8|105mm f2.8 Samyang 8mm fisheye

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    New Zealand
    Ah, cool - everyone's mentioned things I haven't thought of. Thanks... and if there's more ideas - keep 'em coming!

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