Camera recommendations for a poor beginner :)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by arcooke, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. arcooke

    arcooke TPF Noob!

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    First off, I don't think there's any way I can afford anything too fancy (SLR). I want to stay under $300.

    I don't plan on becoming a professional photographer, but I want something a little more flexible than a run of the mill point and shoot. Some important features for me are optical zoom (10x or better), image stabilization, continuous shooting mode, built-in flash, not too bulky, video not necessary but preferred, anything over 7MP is fine.

    Basically my plan for the camera is general use + a little bit of hobby photography.

    There are two cameras I'm considering.. but I'd like a little guidance as I really don't know a whole lot about ISO/aperture and all that fun stuff.

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/FZ8/FZ8A.HTM

    Kodak EasyShare Z812 IS
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/Z812IS/Z812ISA.HTM

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 (possible, but a little out of my price range.. it has a whopping 18x zoom)
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/FZ18/FZ18A.HTM

    The only thing about the Kodak one I didn't like, is that it doesn't have RAW mode.. only JPEG. I would really like a lossless format.



    I would like any camera suggestions/tips you guys have to offer. I've never been into photography, but I would like to start learning.. if only just the basics.

    Thanks!
     
  2. chris_arnet

    chris_arnet TPF Noob!

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    what about film? You can get a nice film camera for around $100. Buy a used Canon Elan 7e from adorama, and it will leave you with enough money for a decent lense. I love my Elan.
     
  3. arcooke

    arcooke TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply. I'm definitely going after digital. As I said, this is mostly going to be a general use camera, and I'm not too keen on the idea of having to mess with film.

    P.S. I'm in Dallas too :)
     
  4. chris_arnet

    chris_arnet TPF Noob!

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    im actually in flower mound (if you know where that is), but to give people a general idea where i am i just put dallas.

    this is an all Canon forum: http://photography-on-the.net/forum

    and i almost garuntee (spelling?) you could fing a 10D on there for $300. Then buy a Canon 50mm f1.8 for like $60. A very good all purpose lense.
     
  5. arcooke

    arcooke TPF Noob!

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    Yep, I know where Flower Mound is. I'm not in Dallas either. I'm in Plano.

    I'm still looking around. To be honest, featurewise I think DMC-FZ18 is looking the most appealing. I've yet to find a negative review, and I checked out about 500 photos taken with it on Flickr and they all looked fantastic. The 18x zoom is droolworthy.

    I'll definitely check out the 10D.. I've heard good things in the past about those. Thanks again.


    EDIT: Also, can anyone tell me which type of battery is more preferable in a camera: a proprietary lithium-ion rechargeable battery or just regular rechargeable AAs? Typically anything with the word proprietary in it scares me off.. but I've read most SLRs have them.. and I'm wondering why that is, and if there is a benefit to it.
     
  6. chris_arnet

    chris_arnet TPF Noob!

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    litium-ion batterys hold charge longer.
     
  7. brileyphotog

    brileyphotog TPF Noob!

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    You can get a D40 nowadays with a kit lens for $450. A "cheap" dSLR will run circles around a high-end P&S in my experience. For example, getting nice depth of field is a lot harder with a point and shoot. And MP aren't everything. I don't really feel like getting into it here, but there are tons of articles around on pros and cons of P&S vs dSLR. If you really want to get even halfway serious about photography then SLR is the way to go. And I realize you may not "want to mess with film," but again...if you think you may want to take this even to the advanced hobbyist level you are going to outgrow even that Panasonic (a nice camera in its own right) pretty quickly.
     
  8. domromer

    domromer TPF Noob!

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    You might like the Canon IS 5. It's similar to the Lumix you've posted.
     

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