first time advanced camera buyer needs help

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by koldapu, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. koldapu

    koldapu TPF Noob!

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    Hi. I usually buy point and shoot digital cameras, but I want to try a more advanced digital.

    The most important thing for me is that the picture has to look good on paper, and I am also looking for a camera with good optical zoom capabilities (I am SO SICK of only 3x zoom in point and shoots!)

    I've looked at :

    Canon S1 IS (10x, but 3.2MP) $400 retail (uses 4xAA)
    Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom (10x, 4MP) $600 retail
    Panasonic DMC-FZ20K (12x, 5MP) $600 retail

    Which of these (and any others in this range) are the best?

    I don't want to pay more than $650 for the camera itself. May go a little higher, but not too much.

    I also have another question. To what extent does the resolution of the picture matter when printed on a 4x6 photo paper? Would there be a huge difference between 3.2MP and 5MP?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Skyeg

    Skyeg TPF Noob!

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    i dont know anything about those specific cameras, but if you were printing a 4x6 the differnece between 3.2MP and 5MP wouldnt be noticible. however other things about the camera might make a noticible differnce in the print.
     
  3. Youngun

    Youngun TPF Noob!

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    Megapixel is by no means an accurate indicator of picture quality. You should look at noise, compression, colors, optics and many other things. As for 3.2 MP, my 3.2 Fuji shoots some nice 8x10's.
     
  4. SWFLA1

    SWFLA1 TPF Noob!

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    I'm not familiar with those cameras, but one thing I would always require is a rechargeable battery - otherwise you save 200.00 on the camera and spend 400.00 on batteries.... and believe me, these things can eat batteries as fast as my ex-wife eats donuts...hehehehe
     
  5. rangefinder

    rangefinder TPF Noob!

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    This may be getting a bit higher in price range than you want but I used the Olympus E-20. It's a 5MP camera that will take Smart Media, Compact Flash I/II and microdrive. I've only used mine with CF I cards. Battery life on it, I'm using NiMHy rechargeable batteries, is excellent.

    I do not use it for fast moving events because the write times to the card are slow. But other than that it's a great camera and reliable.

    ISO 80, 160, 320, a 28-200 zoom lens (35mm SLR equivalent). The zoom lens is fixed (non-interchangeable) but I don't worry about dust on the sensor.

    I believe www.bhphotovideo.com is selling them now for about $899.

    I've used it for living history events, portraits, landscapes and it has given me excellent quality.
     
  6. deb

    deb TPF Noob!

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    I use the Minolta Dimage 7i and 7hi. 7x optical zoom, auto-focus or manual focus, fully manual operation or point and shoot.
     
  7. Patrick

    Patrick TPF Noob!

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    Might want to think about adding Fuji S7000 to your list.
    I had the S602 which the S7000 replaced and it was amazing!

    Only reason I sold it was to have the extra cash for my D70 and the fact my wife said " If your gonna spend THAT much on ANOUTHER camera you'd better get rid of something" LOL

    Otherwise I'd still have it.
     
  8. deb

    deb TPF Noob!

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    And you kept the wife?
     
  9. Trig

    Trig TPF Noob!

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    lol, I'm thinking of ordering a Fuji S7000 next week, because it's in my price range and looks good for a beginner like myself. Is it the best option?
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If picture quality is important, and you want something that will grow with your knowledge of photography...I suggest you go for a Canon Digital Rebel or Nikon D70.

    The digital Rebel w/lens should be around $1000 and Canon is currently offering a $100 rebate.

    The reason I recommend this camera over all of the others mentioned is the size of the sensor. Whether it's 3.2 MP or 8MP, all of the point & shoot (non-SLR) cameras have very small sensors. Something like 6mm x 8mm. The digital SLR cameras like the D-Rebel or D70, have sensors that are much, much larger. The are only 6MP but the picture quality is vastly superb.

    It's not that you can't take great photos with a P&S style camera...lots of people do. But when you are already going to spend $600, why not spend a little more and get much better quality and all the other added benefits of having an SLR camera?
     

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