Purchase advice

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Free2bFree, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Free2bFree

    Free2bFree TPF Noob!

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    Hello

    I bought my first camera, (a Canon PowerShot S2 IS), three years ago. It got stolen a few days ago and now I am ready to purchase another camera. I have fallen in love with photography and am prepared to spend up to $600.00 for a replacement. I have read up on point and shoot and DSLR but cannot make up my mind. I need help in deciding which of the two I should go for.

    I plan to take pictures of people, sceneries and items for posting on Ebay. I have Adobe Photoshop so I will also be experimenting with combining images for panoramic pictures.

    BTW, I kind a like Canon so I would prefer to stick with them.

    Thanks
    Free2bFree
     
  2. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you go DSLR you will likely be spending much more than $600 on a decent camera/body. The Canon S5 IS point & shoot is supposed to be good. Right now, the Nikon D40 is crazy cheap ($450 I think) maybe you should look into that.
     
  3. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    I think the biggest difference besides price like Keith says, between them is that (considering new models) one is good at low light and produces lots less noise. Besides being able to add super high quality lenses those are the biggest differences IMO. For $600 you will get more features in a P&S (like wireless flash, movies, computer control, remote control, voice memo, flip-out/tilt-up LCDs, video out connectors, ultra high-speed shooting, and etc.) but the images will often need more editing and low light (high ISO) is a no-go comparatively speaking.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  4. Free2bFree

    Free2bFree TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. I checked both cameras.

    The Canon comes with 8.0MP and the Nikon 6.0
    I noticed that there are cameras out there with much higher MP. Does the MP impacts on the final quality of the picture? Sorry for being a pain but this is a major purchase for me so I want to make sure I buy right.
     
  5. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Yeah it does... But it's not JUST megapixels. It's also sensor size (in inches) and sensor type NMOS, CMOS or CCD. For example a 6mp CMOS is probably going to kick butt on a 12mp CCD... etc.
     
  6. Mooseontheloose

    Mooseontheloose TPF Noob!

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    In my opinion the MP is over hyped and you shouldn't choose your camera based on that. Unless you plan on printing out poster sized images, 6mp would be plenty for you, especially if you are only using it for people pics and ebay items. But to the point, I don't think you really need a dslr for what you are planning to use it for. A high quality p&s would cover everything you are doing just fine and it would come in a much more portable and convient size. Just my 2 cents though.
     
  7. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

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    I think you should go for a dSLR. You can find the Nikon D40 for under 400 USD with kit lens if you look around (or time it right with amazon's private sellers offering them like I did). You can also find the Canon Digital Rebel XT for well under 400 with kit lens. Other options would be the older dSLRs like the Nikon D50, D70 or D100 or the Canon 10D (and probably others but I don't spend much time looking at Canons). You can also get just the bodies of these cameras and buy a nicer lens from the get-go. What I would do is look around and if you see a good deal, post it here and we should be able to tell you if it's a good deal or a good idea :).
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  8. Zansho

    Zansho TPF Noob!

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    You can find a used XTI for under 500. if you REALLY look, you can find used 10Ds and 20D's for under 500 too.

    I'd pick the 20D first :p.
     
  9. tinfish

    tinfish TPF Noob!

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    I agree with potownrob. If you are really getting into photography, regardless of what your immediate plans are for the camera, I think you would be better served with the dslr. Granted a little more expensive, especially if you start collecting lenses, but if you are really gaining a passion for photography the dslr will be worth it. (not trying to say that there is not some great P&S cameras available)
     
  10. Easy_Target

    Easy_Target TPF Noob!

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    Megapixels are good, but you have to remember optics. It wont matter if you have 10,000 megapixels if the optics are like the bottom of a glass coke bottle. In that respect, you have more options with a DSLR, but also more money is needed.
     
  11. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Yeah the money thing. Heh! why can't these posts go more like:

    I have 50 million and want to buy a camera. What do you recommend?
    :D

    That said I thought I would bring some concerns he expressed in PM back into the discussion:

    --

    That's a tough one Free2bFree,

    You specified:

    1. "a beginner"
      So probably not a dSLR. It depends though. If you're a beginner who wants to get good and become a little aggressive about the hobby then maybe a dSLR is the way to go? For me if I just wanted a camera for the pics of the things I usually do in life but didn't want to turn photography itself into a hobby - time consuming as it is - I wouldn't even consider a dSLR. The maintenance, costs, and learning curve are just too much for that.

    2. Also with a $600 budget you'll end up with allot more camera in something like:


      etc. etc. many of which I've owned, most of which are in the < $400 range, and all of which have all manual modes (including manual focus!!!) and RAW image recording!

    3. "take pictures that will be made into large prints,"
      Any camera of 5mp or over will do. Heck, 4mp can do 8x10 no problem.

    4. "take real nice pictures for Internet selling,"
      That's mostly lighting (any camera will do - even a ultra low priced $80 one) see: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1292354 or http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1296455&postcount=5 oe other lighting tutorials on-line.

    5. "take candid shots indoor,"
      dSLR is better (less noise in low light)

    6. "and outdoor and,"
      Any camera will do for daylight. dSLR might be a little better for night and action shots but I guess you mean landscape. I use a KonicaMinolta and just never remove it from a tiny tripod and have no problems though.

    7. "take picture of animals."
      Any camera with tracking will be good at that and all $600 non SLR types have tracking. I guess most dSLRs have it too.

    8. "What would you purchase?"
      I shoot all these things (and more) on the Konica/Minolta A2. My next buy will probably be this: http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=131446 followed closely (6 months to 1 year) by either the Nikon D700 or the D300. This is a useful tool to help decide:


    Every forum seems to be a little different. This forum ThePhotoForum, is heavily bias toward dSLRs and heavily bias within that toward Nikon and Canon. Ask just about any question and their answers will be get a dSLR. Say you have a lower budget and they'll say put it in the bank and wait AND GET A dSLR. ;) There is a non-SLR digital camera market for a reason. But I think most of the people actively posting here don't have allot of experience with them and don't know what to recommend nor why. It seems that way anyway.

    Not so much here but at other forums you also have to pick and choose between replies based on who sounds like a salesman or neamebrand fan-boy and who sounds like they're talking about "photography" in a way that addresses your topic. They do it here too but usually in a very honest straight-forward way even chiding ad joking about it. That's refreshing!

    I'm tempted to say get one of the ones in that list as they are mostly "good enough". I shoot with the Konica/Minolta A2 (which I don't mind hyping because it's discontinued and available for about $200 used!) listed above and you can see my photos in my sig link. I'd say "good enough" but I'm also married to a small portable tripod or tablepod for any kind of low-light shots. The one drawback with most of the cameras listed above is that you pretty much have to treat them as if all they had was ISO 100 and whatever is available below that. at 200 ISO they look like a dSLR's 800 and at 400 there's just about no dSLR that has that much noise. They are very very close IMO at ISO 100 (and lower) after running a noise removal pass in PS which everyone mostly does to dSLR images anyway. One of the reasons the DCs are more noisy than the dSLRs is the type of imager being used and it's size. CCDs suck! CMOS is oodles better! Small imagers suck! Big ones are better. dSLRs usually have better in-camera noise removal algorithms but the ones in PhotoShop are better than all of them. Like I say I'm tempted to say get one from the list above considering everything I said in this and my prior post but it's not my decision to make. :D

    Only you know yourself well enough to know how much time you will end up investing in this sport, whether or not you want to expand later to $1000 dollar lenses, $500 dollar flashes, and etc. etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  12. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

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    Maybe having the D40, a camera I haven't found to be too hard to use and that feels like my first real camera to me, has influenced my thoughts and feelings about this but, for an amateur like me at least, the D40 has allowed me to take some decent shots without all the noise and shadows I get with my P&S cameras. Maybe I'm just a noob and once I learn more I may be able to get better shots with them but I appreciate the edge (or perceived edge at least) my D40 gives me. I love the low light performance (even with my kit lens - nifty fifty's on the way!), the mechanical feel and actuation, the lack of shutter lag and other hesitation and the ability to swap out lenses and add accessories. I like looking through the viewfinder and knowing that what I'm seeing is what the lens is seeing (for the most part at least) and not some electronic interpretation of what I'm looking at. It sounds like the OP is serious about taking pictures and I wouldn't want to push him into a situation where he might be or at least feel limited by his equipment. As an example, my Panasonic FZ7 is a great camera but I quickly found myself limited by the lack of wide angle zoom. There are pros and cons to each type of camera like there are for each brand of camera and each model, but I think that if he really is willing to take the plunge, we shouldn't stop him from going all the way (or at least half-way with a low-end dSLR). It might be a good idea to supplement a dSLR with a small P&S camera for when it's inconvenient to be carrying around a big camera. Worse comes to worst, he can always sell what he bought and get another camera.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008

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