Digital Camera for $300-400?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by GrandMasterK, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. GrandMasterK

    GrandMasterK TPF Noob!

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    I really really need one that zooms, atleast 10x, I don't think switching out lens left and right is practical for the kind of picture taking I want to do. I'd like the usual LCD screen and saving via compactflash, as I already have a 2GB Extreme III card I use on my audio recorder.

    Also, I'd like to know how big of a difference it would be, between a camera in this price range and one in the $1,000-$2,000 range. Assuming I have an eye for taking good pictures, how much of a disadvantage would I be at? 50%? 10%? 5%?

    I really need one, but I cant spend more money then that. But If I'm going to be completely void of taking good decent pictures without perfect lighting conditions with this thing, I dont think I'd want to spend any money if the cameras the one that is incapable, not the man.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    You can't really put a percentage on how much better one camera is than another. It all depends on your needs; a DSLR could be 100% better than a point-and-shoot or it could be 0% better. As you say, If you have an eye for taking good pictures a camera in that price range will probably be perfectly adequate for most shots. Having said that, to get close to the flexibility of DSLRs you should look for something with a resonably large maximum aperture (a smaller 'F' number) throughout the zoom range. One that fits the bill here and and is often recommended is the Panasonic FZ30 (it also has a 12x zoom with image stabilisation); you can probably get that for $400, though possibly second hand. There are of course alternatives from almost every camera manufacturer, but that should give you an idea of what to look for - you can get a very good camera that will produce very nice images towards or slightly above the higher end of your price range.
     
  3. Rolleistef

    Rolleistef TPF Noob!

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    If you hadn't mind having a "small" zoom ( 3x times factor "only), i'd have told you to take a Fuji F10 or F11, that are fantastic little performers for 3-400$ only. Their main advantage is their ability to take very well exposed pictures in low light, thanks to Fuji's Super CCD. They also sport sensibilities such as 1600iso, with a very low grain, and an advanced flash measurement system. (avoiding the "white-yoghourt looking" effect when flash is used).
    The main drawback with ultra-zooms is the lens quality. Colour rendition is very good most of the time , but distortion is huge (cushion with wide angle, barrel with tele) and resolving is quite low most of the time...
    but if you still want "cheap" ultra-zoom cameras, i've heard panasonics are quite good (i don't think the "leica" name written on it has anything to do).
     
  4. GrandMasterK

    GrandMasterK TPF Noob!

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    Sorry for the gap, was just making sure I was going to get a digital camera instead of a video camera.

    I was reseaching the specs on the Panasonic, I'm surprised it's as beefy as it is, didnt think you could get a camera like that for that price. Does the camera have a name like the SLR and DSLRs do or is it just a "digital" camera?

    Does the FZ30 have a fixed lense or can you buy ones to put on it?

    Anything else I need to know before buying this guy?

    It says it can record video for as much space as the card has, but I dont know at what resolution, do you know? Not really important, I'm just curious.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  5. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    You can't change the lens on the FZ30 or on similar cameras; some have accessories like wide-angle adaptors you can buy, but I don't know how good they are. Video mode is 640x480.
     
  6. GrandMasterK

    GrandMasterK TPF Noob!

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    ordered, thank you Zaphod!
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    np, hope you like it. A few people here own or have owned Panasonic FZ models and should be able to help if you have any problems.
     
  8. GrandMasterK

    GrandMasterK TPF Noob!

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    Zaphod I spoke to soon, I had to wait but I'm about to order it right now. I have a question, does this thing have an automatic focus? I can't find that information anywhere and it seems like it's turning out to be the opposite. I'm to much of a newbie to have to be the one to focus when I zoom in and out like a madman.
     
  9. GrandMasterK

    GrandMasterK TPF Noob!

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    Anybody know if the Panasonic FZ30 has an automatic focus or not?
     
  10. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I don't think a camera is made in this day and age that does not have auto focus.
     
  11. wolfepakt

    wolfepakt TPF Noob!

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    I am three days late on this thread, but my camera is a Kodak P850. It is on clearance as kodak is replacing it for the holiday season. If you can find it, it runs around 250-300 bucks, and is well more advanced then I know how to use! 12XOptical zoom with IS, full manual mode that lets you control: Aperature (f2.8-f8), Shutter time (1/1000 to 16") Flash compensation, (+1 to -1 in 1/3 steps) ISO equiv (from 50 to 400)
    Kodak has eye poping color, fairly good tech support (they even have support techs on some kodak specialized forums on other sites.....)
    I have had mine since just before Christmas last year and I love it!
     

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