Which camera??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Chumpy, May 6, 2006.

  1. Chumpy

    Chumpy TPF Noob!

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    Hi
    I'm a newbie to photography. I've had a couple of SLR format cameras, but never seemed to get the best out of them, and never used them off the AUTO mode...

    I'm looking to get another SLR / SLR Format camera.

    I don't want to spend a fortune, but want something that I can get good images from, which is good value for money, and which I can use to teach myself some of the basics of photography out of AUTO mode!!

    I've seen the Fuji Finepix S9500, and the Samsung Pro 815. Both seem good to me, and are probably the kind of things I'm considering buying. However, I don't know which is best, or if there are any others I should be considering.....

    Can anyone point me in the right direction with regards to which cameras I should be considering, who has the best deals etc..

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Neither of the cameras you've listed there are SLR cameras. They are ZLR or pro-sumer cameras which have a fixed lens. Although this is a generalisation, it is often fairly tricky to use these types of cameras in manual modes - they're really designed for keen amateurs to use in program mode. For a slightly larger cost, you can get an entry-level DSLR, like the Nikon D50 or the Canon 350D with a kit lens. These cameras have advantages - they're designed to be used in manual modes, have bigger sensors, have a wide range of accessories and lenses and also have a better resale value.

    Have a look at the offerings from Nikon and Canon and think about what you want to achieve.

    Rob
     
  3. Dave_D

    Dave_D TPF Noob!

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    By your possible choice selection, I assume you are leaning towards digital. Like many here will tell you, "go to a camera store and pick them one that feels best in your hand". That is all fine and good, however, I have found that most retailers have a very limited selection to sample and they can all order what you want; which defeats the purpose.
    A few questions for you then:
    1 Is it digital you want or film?
    2 do you want the ability to interchange lenses?
    3 What is your budget?
    These answers will better help people to narrow down suggestions for you.
     
  4. Chumpy

    Chumpy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I am looking for digital.
    I'm guessing I will probably only need 1 lens to start with, until I find out exactly what I want to do.... The true SLR's mentioned seem to come with much shorter ranges than those offered by the 'SLR Style' cameras. The Samsung claims 28 - 450, which seems a wide range, so I thought that to be quite a versatile lens for the money.

    I'm not sure what advantage I'd get from having interchangeable lenses... (??) There must be one, but as I say, I'm a newbie, and on paper the Samsung (and the Fuji) look pretty versatile.

    Are there any other 'SLR type' cameras in this range??
    I'm initially planning to take pics of my kids (so stuff 6 - 18ft away), and possibly of my fish tank (so that could be less than 6" away). Would the 'stock' Panasonic / Fuji lenses cover this?? Would the lenses for the Nikon / Canon cover this (the standard ones).

    I don't envisage buying a lot of lenses, and spending 1000's, but who knows if I get hooked. I guess if I got to that stage, I'd sell the ZLR, and decide to go fully SLR.... (??)
    I'm looking for something with good versatility to start with, and work from there really.

    Cheers


     
  5. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I think the Samsug looks to be very good camera. Has lots of control features, big lens for wide to very long telephoto. The lens is fast too f/2.2 to 4.4 I think it said. Iso from 50 to 800. It really does have a lot of features. I am a Nikon and Canon guy. But that looks to be a good all around camera especially for the price. Little big, but so is an slr with a lens of its range.

    I would actually like to play with one for a while now that I have seen it.

    I say go for the Samsung.
     
  6. dirty1thirdee

    dirty1thirdee TPF Noob!

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    I say go with a Canon 350d. It will probably have better color, noise, contrast, etc. It comes stock with a 18-55mm lens (?) and the image quality is great. Canon and Nikon are really dependable brands.
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    At one point the previous comment would have caused me to climb onto a very large soapbox and deliver an almighty rant, beginning with a passionate defence of lesser camera companies against the domination of the market by Canon and Nikon, and yet probably ending in "and how come the post never arrives until at least 11 these days?".

    However... dirty1thirdee is right. Canon and Nikon are indeed dependable, at least in the sense that you can depend on them to still exist as companies designing and making digital cameras when you wake up tomorow. If you buy a Nikon DSLR today, you will be able to buy lenses and accessories for it for a long time, without having to worry about whether Nikon is going to merge with a fridge company or something and stop supporting your equipment. For this reason (and because unlike me you don't have an irrational ideological opposition to the big two) I too would recommend Canon or Nikon if taking the DSLR route. And I really would recommend going for SLR rather than pseudo-SLR.
     
  8. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    When using a compact in manual mode you could well be very limited as to how manual it can be. If you want to manually control the aperture (the f number) then it may be you can only select one end of the range or the other and nothing in between.

    As someone pointed out the lens seems quite fast with a wide aperture but you don't always want a wide aperture - sometimes for landscapes you want a tiny aperture (large f number like f32)

    I think most DSLRs will have bigger sensors too meaning that even if the samsung is 8mp, a digital slr with a larger sensor but only having 6mp will probably give you better quality image, That's especailly important if you print to large sizes.

    Does the samsung have
    • have macro feature?
    • have hot shoe for flash?
    • accept filters such as polarizers, neutral density etc?
    • have remote shutter release when using a tripod?
    • even have a threaded hole for using a tripod?
    • have an aperture of higher than f16?

    these are all answers that would be yes for a DSLR with lenses so you need to be sure you won't ever want any of the above or you'll be limited with the compact.
     
  9. bigfatbadger

    bigfatbadger TPF Noob!

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    The s9500 will have all of these apart from the aperture range. It only goes up to f11 (and even a threaded cable release - no expensive remote controls!)

    If you're not worried about interchangeable lenses then go with either of the bridge cameras. From using another fuji (the s7000) I can heartily reccomend the brand, but not necessarily that camera (I don't mean that I've had a bad experience with it, just no experience at all)
     
  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I didn't really expand on why I think you should go for a DSLR. As well as the image quality being almost certainly better with a decent lens on a DSLR, consider the following...

    Good aperture range does not only mean higher than f11, it should also mean lower (i.e. bigger aperture) than the Samsung's f2.2. That simply won't be fast enough for a lot of low-light shots without flash, especially considering that the Samsung's maximum ISO rating is 800. With a DSLR you could use an f1.7 (fast but not too expensive) lens at 3200 ISO without needing flash or tripod in low light. Also does the Samsung use RAW as well as Jpeg? DSLRs do. These are the sort of things that might not seem so important when you're compiling a list of what features you're getting for the money, but you may well regret it later.
     
  11. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I did a little more search on the Samsung. It's manual does not list it's smallest aperature range. Just max of f/2.2 at wide end. Max shutter is 1/4000. According to the manual it has automatic iso 50 - 400. It does not say 800. But a dpreview listed it as 800. Might have to use a manual imput for it.

    One difference on this camera is it has a manual focus ring, manual zoom ring, and an exposure ring (not aperature but exposure compensation) on the lens. It comes with a lens adapter which inclueds a standard 72mm filter screw. It does have autofocus and digital zoom. It has many modes for automatic and manual settings. Including focusing, metering, white banlance, exposure compensation, flash (does have a hot shoe).

    One of its biggest items is it has a large 3.5" screen on the back, another 1.44" on the top, and an electronic viewfinder. It does have several macro modes. Smallest focus distance is 3cm.

    The Canon Rebel XT does have more features available but would be 3x the cost to match the Samsung with Canon lenses. Yes he would have better lenses for that price though and a better camera. But for a beginner does he really need top end?

    Canon Rebel XT body only $700 pricegrabber from a trusted store.
    Samsung pro815 (ready to go, even included small cf card). $700 pricegrabber from a trusted store.
     

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