Considering My Options

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by virtue_summer, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. virtue_summer

    virtue_summer TPF Noob!

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    I've been considering purchasing a dslr and had basically decided on it but then started to reconsider. I don't see myself being able to afford additional lenses, etc, in the near future and I'm not sure the camera with the kit lens would do what I want. So now I'm wondeirng if there's a compact camera that would work for me. Here's what I need:

    1) Manual Controls
    This is the main reason I was going to get a dslr. My current compact has manual controls but they are limited. I get only two choices of aperture for any particular pic. This has been driving me up the wall. I've already realized what a difference being able to manually control the camera can make. Now I want as much control and freedom as I can have, and two aperture choices doesn't seem to be enough. The problem with specs is they say there's a manual mode, but don't tell me how limited that mode might be. I also think it would be good to have aperture and shutter priority modes.

    2) At least a 4x optical zoom. This is what I currently have. I'd kind of like more (I like to take pics of animals and insects and some won't let me get as close as I'd like). It's also another reason I think I might be better served with an advanced compact instead of a dslr because I wouldn't be able to afford a second lens for a dslr and I'm not sure the 18-55mm kit lens would do it. I like being able to take pics like this:

    [​IMG]

    3) A viewfinder. I noticed when camera shopping before that not all compacts have this, and it's too hard in certain kinds of light to go by a screen.

    4) A sturdy body. I don't want a super compact camera. I hate trying to use those because they shake too much when I hold them. I need something that I can get a good grip on and hold steady. And I don't want it to break apart if it bumps into something. Stuff happens. I set my current camera down in a strong wind (yes, it was stupid) and it got tossed a few feet. It doesn't have a scratch. It'd be nice if my next camera was this sturdy.

    5) Price range is below $400

    Any recommendations? I was looking at the Panasonic Lumix. Has anyone used that one?
     
  2. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want the controll and versitility of a dSLR with out the dSLR price tag I would seriously consider an SLR, Film SLR bodies run for a fraction of the price that DSLRs run. Most of the last generation SLR bodies use the same lens mount as the current dSLRs of the respective make. You could take that road and still be able to afford and use lenses that should in most cases be usable when upgraded to a digital body.
     
  3. SBlanca

    SBlanca TPF Noob!

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    to be honest would it be more worth in the long run to get a film slr than saving up to get a dslr? pretty sure that for the money spent on a film slr + all the film and all the rest you might aswell get a dslr..
     
  4. alabama1980

    alabama1980 TPF Noob!

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    Until my recent induction into the world of DSLR's, I used a Sony h7. It has the manual controls (although it only goes down to f/8). Its under $400, and I got a LOT of good pictures with this lil camera.
     
  5. virtue_summer

    virtue_summer TPF Noob!

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    I already thought about film, but I don't know how to develop it myself and I've heard that taking negatives into your local Walmart or whatever can turn out disastrously, but I don't know if I'd have the money to take it anywhere else. I read about slide film which sounded better than negative film, but then I couldn't find where to get it developed this day and age, and it seems like a lot of people convert film to digital anyway via scanners and that right there would add enough money to the camera purchase to make it probably as expensive as a lower end dslr. I like the convenience of digital. I like to be able to get prints whenever I want to (even if you get it done by someone else, a lot of places don't even mention doing film processing anymore) and to adjust things if I think they need it (via photo software, although I don't actually use this a lot right now) and to see my pics almost immediately (and thus to learn from my mistakes before I've forgotten what kind of settings I used to take the pictures in the first place). Digital seems more versatile, and like it gives me more control.
     
  6. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The Canon EOS Rebel T2 averages around $200 USD (and I believe is still available in store at Wal-Mart), A Photo Film enabled scanner like this one can be found for under a hundred. The base setup is under $400. And the T2 operates on the EF mount the same as the digital rebels. Lenses are going to cost a pretty pennie but they will last you well into the time you get a digital.

    I use standard drugstore sendout processing and yes there is some risk to it but over all it is not so bad that it should be avoided, I have only truly lost one roll due to processor incompitance in well over a couple hundred rolls since August when I went back to film. All other processor incompatence issues can be bypassed during scanning.


    Judging from the picture you posted an SLR/dSLR is your best bet but your budget is telling me you are going to have to sacrifice something for it. It's my personal oppinion that the "see it now" facet is a sacrifice that you can make with out hindering your self greately and still be able to put food on the table.
     
  7. virtue_summer

    virtue_summer TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies. I decided to get a Canon Powershot S3 IS. It fits my budget right now and it's a definite upgrade from my current camera (a Powershot A530). It looks like it has more manual controls (as well as aperture and shutter priority modes), it has a strong zoom (should be helpful for when I can't get quite close enough to certain animals to get the shot I want) and it even has macro and super macro modes (I think these might get me better insect pics. Sometimes I can get close enough but my current cam won't focus that close).

    I just figured that without being able to take advantage of the real benefits of an slr or dslr (interchangable lenses, etc) it would be better to get something like this. The only real problem I have is that I understand compacts can't isolate subjects the same way slr's can, but I figure if I was able to take the above pic and this one with my current compact, the S3 should be just as good or better right?


    [​IMG]
     
  8. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm sure you will be quite happy with the Canon S3. You don't have to have a dSLR to get good shots.

    I have a cheap $200 Fuji 10x zoom similar in style to the S3. I took these photos with it (click for larger). If you don't have the finances to purchase lenses, these style of cameras are great. Financial is the reason I went with my non-dSLR camera....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The last one was my very first photo with the camera. Previously, I was a birthday party snapshooter with a 7 year old 2 mp full automatic camera.
     
  9. pregnantcowlady

    pregnantcowlady TPF Noob!

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    i had an s3.
    loved it.
     

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