$350 range starter camera?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TheNewDude, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. TheNewDude

    TheNewDude TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    I was hoping to get some advice on cameras. I come from a basic point-and-shoot background and then simply opted for using a smartphone since the camera was so good. I'd like to get something better that can do an optical zoom of a decent range and take pictures of fast moving objects. Something I can get my feet wet with and use to learn and have pictures good enough to manipulate, and not get bored with after 6 months. I'm at a $350 max price point.

    I came across this one that seemed interesting. Canon SX50 HS

    Should also mention I got a camera as a gift several years ago and sadly never used it. It's a PowerShot SX20IS. Let me know if you think that fits the bill, though I have a feeling it doesn't.

    Thanks a lot,
    TheNewDude


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Frankly, getting a newer version of essentially the same camera does not make sense to me. I recommend that you use the one you have, and concentrate on taking photographs that are high on content and leave the fancy manipulation stuff for later.
     
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  3. TheNewDude

    TheNewDude TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the reply. Using what I already have would certainly be simpler (and cheaper). Anyone else wanting to chime in please feel free as I could use all the advice I can get. Cheers.
     
  4. Dave442

    Dave442 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I also recommend pulling out the SX20IS that you have. Start to use it. Go to the manual in the section Getting More out of Your Camera and try out some of those things.
    The camera has a top shutter speed of 1/3200 second so it can stop fast moving things. Just need to go and practice.
     
  5. TheNewDude

    TheNewDude TPF Noob!

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    Thank you. I've pulled it out and am trying to get acquainted with the basics. Any chance of there being a good video for photography basics for someone in my position?

    Also wondering about memory cards. I know there are different classes with various write speeds. From my understanding the classes are more about reliability is that correct?
     
  6. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  7. TheNewDude

    TheNewDude TPF Noob!

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  8. soufiej

    soufiej No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The Canon SX50 was a very successful and highly popular camera within the "superzoom" bridge camera genre. It has been discontinued and replaced by the SX60 with even greater zoom reach. Being discontinued it is often available as a used or refurbished camera for well less than your $350 budget. If you retain interest in this camera, watch Canon's on line sales department under refurbished PowerShot cameras. Their stock is subject to a constantly rotating availability but the SX50 still shows up there with regularity for around $199 USD.

    The SX50 falls loosely into what you would term an "enthusiast" design. Its features include just about everything a serious DSLR would offer on a budget. This means you would be able to grow your skills over the next few years with the SX50 while not finding the camera to be a serious impediment to your work.

    It excels at close in and far away shots. The lens is well matched to the (small) sensor which provides surprisingly good results when working close up to small objects such as insects or flowers. The (relative) 1200mm zoom provides a great deal of reach though you should be aware it is very difficult to hand hold most shots at full zoom and retain image sharpness. This can be a minor issue for a seasoned photographer but more than enough to be bothersome to a student photographer. The need for full zoom is seldom an issue with this camera though.

    The most significant drawback to the SX50, IMO, is through the middle of its focal length it is not quite as magical as at its extremes. It is fully capable of high quality shots though you could do better with a far more expensive kit. The lens is somewhat "slow" meaning it is not ideal for low light situations without a tripod and a stationary subject. It does have a hot shoe for a flash unit so that might not prove to be all that important to any one shooter.

    The lens' limitations though would not make this camera my first choice for sports or "action" style photography.

    There's plenty of information on the SX50 and its competitors. In your stated price range, if you are willing to look at refurbished cameras (they typically come with a warranty), you have more than a few excellent options available.



    If this purchase is to be your first "real" camera, you should do your homework and establish a priorities list of wants, needs and fluff. Determine which features and the type of camera you desire and what you can do without. There are several very good articles which can guide you in this selection.

    Be patient, do not buy something just to have something. Ignore most technical specs when they relate only to what can be achieved in a highly controlled lab setting. Whenever possible, look for real world images shot with a camera and performed by real world photographers in the field. That's where you hope to be in time, not in a lab shooting images of color test patterns.

    SX50 gone hiking: Canon PowerShot Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

    Animal Kingdom.... SX50: Canon PowerShot Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

    In your price range you could also look at the Canon S120 which is a very compact camera. The S series from Canon virtually invented the enthusiast compact genre. It too is a camera which a student could use for years and not outgrow. It is also a small enough package that you could carry this camera with you in your pocket.



    It's always best to handle a camera if at all possible before you buy. And buying locally would mean you have local access to after the sale assistance.

    Do not get too hung up on this. It is virtually impossible to buy a modern DSLR today what will not be more than sufficient for your needs as a student. Even stepping back to look at, say, a five year old DSLR would still provide you a very good camera with few compromises in quality b=yet at a substantially reduced cost.

    Save room for after the sale accessories. Tripods will almost always up your ratio of keeper photos by increasing the sharpness of your work. Flash units aren't an immediate requirement but will be needed in time of you get serious about this as a hobby. Your software for post production work will be the final quality you can achieve with your images. While there are a few very good freeware processors available which will get you through the first few months of work, you will eventually want to invest in something more flexible and comprehensive. With any digital camera that has RAW capture availability you will need to do processing so your thinking and your cost do not stop once you buy a camera alone.
     
  9. elementgs

    elementgs No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    D3200 on sale on Amazon right now for $350 with two lenses.
     
  10. OGsPhotography

    OGsPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Canon XS sells for 1-200. Add a nifty fifty for the orher 150 budget and your semi pro.
     
  11. OGsPhotography

    OGsPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    On the other hand you didnt use your old camera what makes you think you'll use this one. My money is on you not using it.
     

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