new camera help!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by striker4678, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. striker4678

    striker4678 TPF Noob!

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    Ok so I have a pretty big decision that I could really use some help on.

    Last week i bought a canon powershot A560..i believe that's the correct model...from best buy...
    i'm fairly new to photography and when i purchased the camera i knew very little about what i was buying...i just new i wanted something with good zoom, something that has a good picture quality, really just something that truly was capable of getting a good shot. And also something that I could grow into as my photography skills advance. I wanted a camera around the level that is below professional and above amatuer..even though i probably am an amatuer by definition..I will defanitely be improving a lot..and i need a camera that will be able to meet my future needs as well as the ones i have right now...

    I wanted to have near professional grade quality pictures..i know a lot of that has to do with the photographer..but i wanted to make sure that when i am good enough for those shots my camera will be capable of getting them.

    Anyways i used the A560 a few times..4x optical zoom..7.1 megapixels...it produced a good picture sometimes..but with no IS and not very good zoom i know that this is far below what i'll be needing in the future..

    so i'll be returning this camera tomorrow..i hate best buys 15% restocking fee..but the guy said they wave it if i upgrade with a store model..so i may do that..or pay the restock fee and go somewhere else..anyways i'll be returning the camera and buying a new..better one..

    that's where you guys come in..which camera should i get? a really great camera that will allow me to take truly great pictures..near or professional grade pictures (i know that's probably impossible for my budget) for around $300-350. (US dollars)

    I've been looking at the Canon powershot S3 IS...is this one good?

    there was also a Kodak that looked pretty good...and a nikon...but any cameras or even just brands or any advice you could give me would be fantastic!!

    remember
    /awesome/capable of professional quality picture/around 300 dollars/

    thanks!!
     
  2. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Keep the camera, and get Understanding Exposure (the book). Theres nothing wrong with the camera on a basic level in helping yourself evolve as an artist. In fact its probably a good idea to keep it as MOST photographers have a dSLR and a P&S camera. The S3IS has the same "capabilities' as the Canon you currently have, and nothing you get in that price range (new - used you should be able to find a D50 dSLR if you finagle hard enough) is going to be a significant leap over what you have right now.

    Pro-style shots is all subjective. I've seen fantastic shots that were taking with the exact same grade camera you have. It's all in how you use it, and how you edit your photos afterward.

    Trust me, you'll get more out of the book above and some raw hands on with your camera then getting another camera. The powershot is the first camera I got and that series rocks.
     
  3. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  4. striker4678

    striker4678 TPF Noob!

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    hey! thanks a lot...I might consider going the cheaper route and doing just that...any more advice?

    and yea i've taken some good shots with it..i just didn't know if it was more of just a basic camera...and i thought image stabilazation might help some...
     
  5. WingedPower

    WingedPower TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
    Hmm.. IS is important or not, depending on what you are trying to shoot.

    The previous poster is right on: learn exposure.

    The A560 is ok. Most P&S cameras are... just okay. They all have limitations. Learn exposure, composition, and the terminology and you will be well served, regardless of what camera you will get.

    If you want a good P&S camera for general use, I would strongly recommend the SD700/710. It has IS and is fast! Great for general photography.

    The A*** cameras are fine, but you will almost always find them wanting for something... mostly speed and then sensor noise in low light.

    If your price range is $300-$500, you might be better served getting a used Nikon D40X or Canon Rebel. Either will get you started using a DSLR body with interchangable lens. You can also go with one of the Pentax/Sony/Sigma bodies, as they can be had for that price range and a kit lens.

    With the P&S cameras... if you are determined to get one, get the SD700/SD800 cameras. Good speed and responsiveness. If you are willing to go DSLR to learn all of the whizbang features... get an entry level DSLR body and build up your lens collection. You can always upgrade the body later.
     
  6. Frequent Traveler

    Frequent Traveler TPF Noob!

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    I'd echo what was said above - keep the great p&s you have and MASTER it. You can learn so much with it as you do some extra-curricular reading and take copious notes of your shots. In terms of notes, maybe not so much in terms of the cameras settings b/c digital saves all that for you. Really concentrate on what you were trying to get from the shot, overall lighting impressions, distance from your subject, subjects distance from background/foreground, color emphasis, etc.

    The books can help you learn the rudiments of F-stop, shutter speed, ISO, flash (or not), depth of field, composition, lighting, etc. Petersens book on Exposure is really good as recommended.

    Also, lastly, avoid Bestbuy - they are NOT the best buy!!! Maybe you can save a few bucks - important to be sure -but their store policies are becoming just like all the other chains - horrible (re-stocking fee? whatever.....)

    fm
     
  7. striker4678

    striker4678 TPF Noob!

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    thanks a lot guys
    you've helped a lot

    i did go shopping today i brough my camera and box and everything with me..but after your guys' help i wasn't so intent on getting a new camera..

    however i asked about the S3 IS and they matched wal mart's price on it (it was 350 at best buy down to 302) and they also had an open box one ( 10% off ) so with all of this it was an offer i couldn't refuse..i mean i could..but i didn't

    so i ended up buying the camera (however ill advised i know =\..but i do like it a lot more) but now i'm focused on improving my skill and knowledge of this whole photography thing..haha

    i'm going to check out the recomended book..any others you'd recomend...i should probably start a new thread...i'll post a picture soon for you guys to help critique
     
  8. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmmm - I'm not too sure how much use youre going to get out of the IS on the S3, not to rain on your purchase. Realistically, you could get a used dSLR for the cost of those two cameras, and a nice lens and boom - you're in MAJOR business.

    But if the cameras work for you - they work for you, and thats all that matters.
     
  9. striker4678

    striker4678 TPF Noob!

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    i looked for a dslr at best buy..but no go

    i might have been able to find it elsewhere though...i found bodys on ebay..but i couldn't find much else..in my price range i mean
    i also figured out i can sell my s3 is for more on ebay then i bought it for! haha..so i may try that..
     

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