Best Camera for $300

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Jebus Christ, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Jebus Christ

    Jebus Christ TPF Noob!

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    Well my dreams of buying the camera I wanted are pretty much shot but I've been given another option.

    I come asking today what is the best camera for $300? What I am looking for in a camera is something that takes pictures that are crystal clear. I want details to pop out and be seen. I want to feel as if I am looking at the real world image of what ever I took a picture of.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.
     
  2. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Pretty high demands for $300. I don't think there is a DSLR out there that you can purchase brand new for under $400. (Edit - which is actually pretty good, when you really look at it - I bought my Canon Digital Rebel in 2004 for $999 - and I think that was the cheapest DSLR on the market at the time)

    Even then, that will just get you the bottom-of-the-line kit lens.

    You will need to invest more into a nicer lens, although from what I hear the 50 f/1.8 from both Nikon and Canon are pretty decent for right around $80-90 or so. Other than that, you're looking at a couple hundred on up in the thousands for lenses.

    Bottom line is, if you expect top-of-the-line quality, expect to be paying some hard-earned cash.

    Edit - Oh, I guess I assumed you were asking about DSLRs, as opposed to film cameras, which may or may not be the case but you didn't specify.
     
  3. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Your best bet is to pick up something from the seventies and eighties. Yes it's film but you can spread out the cost, contrary to what a lot of people would tell you. These bodies are inexpensive and so is a large portion of the lenses. The body will likely be more than capable of surviving anything you could do to it, they're built like tanks. You can get one in working order any where from $100 to $300 USD and the lenses vary in price but can usually be found under a hundred.

    One of the draw backs, The lenses you will need likely won't fit the newer dSLR bodies, making the transition to digital a little tougher on the wallet. That is down the road, you can ponder that later when you have a deicent job and don't need worry about price as much.


    Any who, My personal recommendations are the Canon EF or the Canon AE-1 They use Canons FD mount lenses, and will with out a doubt fit the bill for what you are looking for. The two links I provided take you to pages of information about the cameras, if you need anything translated just ask.

    I am much more fond of the EF than the AE-1 but they are equally user friendly.
     
  4. Jebus Christ

    Jebus Christ TPF Noob!

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    I wanted to buy an XTi but money does not allow for it right now. I would wait and simply buy it in month when I will actually have the money but I leave for Europe at the end of this month and its a moment I can't afford to not record.

    Battou, no thanks. I know they are probably great but I want something digital. I like the ease of being able to transfer over to my computer, email, etc.

    I reread my first post and I understand what I want is out of my price range but I phrased it wrong. I should have said for the $300 limit what camera comes the closest to what I am looking for(even if it is a point and shoot). I know I probably won't be able to achieve it without a DSLR but as said before, I can't go to europe and not come back with pictures.
     
  5. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    hmm...in that case I might think of getting a credit card with a Zero % APR for 12 months and put the camera on that, pay it off within the year - being that it is a once-in-a-lifetime event like that.

    Unless of course you don't know how to operate an SLR, you don't want to be learning on your trip.

    In that case you can definitely get a decent P&S camera for $300 - I don't think it really matters which one too much, I would stick with Canon or Nikon personally. The SD1000 I hear is pretty good.
     
  6. schumionbike

    schumionbike TPF Noob!

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    I say this plenty of times before but I use a Kodak Z710, it has all the manual control of a DSLR, it's wide open at f2.8 at the 38mm end and at f3.7 at the 380mm end, 38-380mm zoom. So yeah, pretty decent camera for around $150 now. I think it take fairly decent pictures but as you know, knowing how to use the camera is important too. Just search my thread for picture if you like, I only have one camera so all the pictures are from the Kodak. I shot around 4000 shots with this camera already, no problem so far.

    My camera, when it came out only go up to 400 ISO at full resolution and can get noisy if you underexposed and it is usable at 400IS0. The later version can go up to 1600 ISO but I'm not sure how useable it is. I'm sure Canon and Nikon probably have something similar but a bit more expensive. Good luck.
     
  7. Jebus Christ

    Jebus Christ TPF Noob!

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    lol, already tried it. The card would not arrive here in time. Also I would probably be capped at $500.(I am a college student with no credit history. I've never had need for a credit card since I can usually pay for things with cash. This is a first...) About $90 below the XTi and thats not including a bag and memory stick.

    And thank you guys for the P&S suggestions. Please keep them coming.

    *edit*

    Ok, I am looking at canons point and shoots and can't really decide.

    Right now the ones that fit into my price range are the:
    -Powershot SD790 IS
    -Powershot SD770 IS
    -Powershot SD1100 IS

    I honestly have no clue which would be considered the best. Would you guys mind helping out?
     
  8. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    My wife uses a SD850IS - pictures come out EXCELLENT.

    BUT I'm thinking those SDs you listed are new so they may give you even better images.

    OR they are charging you $100 more because they are 10mp which is not important unless you want to print posters. I print 20x30 on my 8mp 30D with no problems.

    Another problem with the 10mp is that your pictures will be larger requiring more memory cards + the cameras are already more expensive.

    Have you tried to sign up for CostCo's American Express card? I was allowed to use it same day - CostCo carry some P&S as well as a XTi and a D40x kit. You MUST read the "fine print" before jumping into credit card though - I never carry a balance so do not know about their interest rate.
     
  9. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Real world is 35mm. Find a used rebel on craigslist for 200 bucks than buy a 50mm f/1.8 for it.

    Another option for 300 bucks is disposable cameras...lol.
     
  10. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can get a hell of a fleet of disposable digital cameras for $300, at only 20 bucks a pop, I don't think I would trust them, they prolly have chincie polystyrene lenses. And besides you loose the convieniance...you have to end them out for processing just like film, I do believe.

    One dose not need craigslist for a 35mm either, the last generation of rebel (K2 or T2 I can't remember) is still available at Wall-Mart (in store only) new with kit lens for just short of $200 last I saw.
     
  11. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    300 bucks could buy a really good film camera too most likely.
     
  12. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yup, or a middle of the road one and a fleet of glass but.....I think we qualify as OT now :lol:
     

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