Need help finding the perfect camera!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by MrOh, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. MrOh

    MrOh TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all! I'm a college freshman with a limited budget and I was wondering if you guys could help me find the perfect camera!

    The money issue rules out all DSLR's. :-( Although I know I could probably dig around and find a moderately priced one, I'd rather not. :meh:

    I just have a few things I really need.

    1.) "Ultrazoom" camera. i.e.: greater than 10x optical zoom
    2.) The ability to shoot in RAW format.

    That's it! There are some things I'd like to also have... but I wouldn't mind terribly if the camera lacked it... Things like it running off of AA batteries, optical viewfinder, image stabilization...

    I was looking at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18... but I've heard not so great things about it's picture quality. If I can't find a good alternative, then I'll buy it.

    Thank you all so much!

    If this is the wrong place for this thread... SORRY! Please direct me to the right place. :)

    Thanks!
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,409
    Likes Received:
    10,673
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Your requirement for high-power zoom and RAW capture rules out all but a very few high-end P&S, which aren't much different in price from entry-level DSLRs. Since money is a concern, how about looking around at your local camera stores for a used Nikon 10 series (40, 40x, 50, etc) or a Canon Rebel. I'm seeing lots of them in my area hitting the used market for prices comparable to a good P&S.
     
  3. MrOh

    MrOh TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    well the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 has both 18x zoom and can shoot in RAW... And I can get it for around $300... Not exactly chump change but I'd be delighted to find a used DSLR at that price.
     
  4. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,252
    Likes Received:
    418
    Location:
    St. Louis
  5. skoka

    skoka TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I was in a similar boat to you: i'm a masters student looking to get into photography but couldn't justify the necessary investment to get set up with a good DSLR body and versatile lens. I wanted solid picture quality and a good set of features.

    I initially bought 2 cameras - a Canon XTi with kit lens and the Fuji S100FS.

    I chose the Fuji S100FS. I has the largest sensor out of any non DSLR digital in the price range. The features are amazing and the photo quality is beyond what I expected. You may read some reviews that talk about slight purple fringing but I have yet to experience any - and I've tried.

    Check out the Fuji - read some reviews (DPReview.com, Amazon.com, etc.). You wont be disappointed. Hope this helps somewhat.

    Cheers.
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The biggest thing to look for is whether the P&S you're looking at is digital zoom or optical zoom. Digital zoom is bad. It zooms in on what the lens sees and is effectively just a crop of the photo you take where as optical zoom zooms in by using the lens optics for a photo that's far superior to one taken with a digital zoom.

    That's why something like a used DSLR would be a good buy.
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,327
    Likes Received:
    264
    Location:
    The Upper West Side of Mississippi (you have no i
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Get a Nikon F3 and a couple of lenses. Find a nice photo major whom you wouldn't mind dateing who can help you learn to develop (pun intended and / or not ;)) and go on to live a wonderful life!
     
  8. MrOh

    MrOh TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    oh wow that Canon is an awesome deal! I'd love to have a DSLR...

    Man! The choices....
     
  9. MrOh

    MrOh TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    wow that Fuji's sort of on the expensive side...
     
  10. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The Panasonic DMC FZ-18 is sort of as good as it gets with ultra-zoom advanced P&S cameras, especially for that price. It's by no means a bad camera, I prefer it's viewfinder to the Canon S5, but it is still a small sensor, meaning more noise etc. than a dSLR. If anyhow possible, I suggest you go for a cheap dSLR (like the Rebel above, or a used Nikon D70 - can be had for around USD300 here), since any ultra-zoom P&S is bound to be about the same size as an entry level dSLR. If not possible, then the FZ18 will serve you well.
     
  11. MrOh

    MrOh TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really had no ideas i could get even an used DSLR for less than $500

    I'll definately look into this... Can you guys give me some input on a good one i could find for at most, $350?

    Ok now I'm confused with this whole lenses business.... I'm seeing all these numbers like, 50 mm, 90 mm, and 135-400mm. What does all that mean?
     
  12. LynziMarie

    LynziMarie TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Utah
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    oh yeah.... I think the camera shop near me has a used Nikon D50 for about $350....
    I think if you can, it would be more beneficial in the long run to go with a DSLR...
    Looking around can really only help you in your search.
     

Share This Page