Camera choice advice...

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Monkee, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Monkee

    Monkee Guest

    Hi,

    I've had a few digital cameras but nothing very fancy, for the past year or
    so I've been using a small Canon Ixus 500 which has done a pretty good job.

    However, I would like a camera with a few more features, especially improved
    zoom and more control over manual focusing (there have been several times
    when I've been taking pictures at animal parks etc where the camera would
    insist on focusing on the railings rather than the animals etc).

    I generally take photos of a range of subjects and print the best ones off
    at sizes no bigger than A4 -

    Landscapes, people indoors and out, animals and also holidays (I tend to go
    to very hot, sunny places so the camera needs to handle bright light well,
    I've used a few in the past that really don't cope with very bright
    sunlight).

    I also take regular pictures at night, so a camera that does well in low
    light scenes would be great.

    As I live in the UK a lot of pictures are taken on overcast / rainy days, I
    dislike 'noisy' images so would prefer a camera that doesn't suffer too much
    from noise.

    I've seen quite a few people recommend the Panasonic FZ-30 but looking at
    sample pictures the noise levels seem very high even in good light. Another
    alternative I was looking at was the Fuji 9000/9500 but it seems to suffer
    from similar noise whilst being a little less sharp.

    Should I be considering the digital SLR cameras? I'm aware that they are
    pretty big and maybe not the best thing to be carrying with you when
    traipsing through jungle and up the sides of temples (something the Ixus 500
    has been great for on holidays).

    Any advice, especially backed by actual first hand experience would be most
    welcome :)

    M
     
    Monkee, Jan 4, 2006
    #1
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  2. Monkee

    Jasen Guest

    You want more features and want to be able to easily carry the camera.....
    Digital SLR and a small backpack. Easy!
     
    Jasen, Jan 4, 2006
    #2
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  3. M,

    I have the Panasonic FZ5, which is lighter than the FZ30. It's just 326g
    including battery, and yet has a 36 - 432mm equivalent zoom range. To
    keep the noise down, I usually use it at ISO 100 fixed. For landscapes,
    you can stitch several shots together automatically with various software,
    so reducing the need for wide-angle lenses. You can use the same
    technique for tall church towers as well! Focussing is a slight art, and
    the FZ20 and FZ30 do offer manual focussing. To avoid railings, try and
    get right up to them and push the camera as near as possible. For A4
    prints, 5MP is enough, but doesn't allow a lot of cropping. Try to get
    the framing right to start with, if you can! The FZ5 is fine for night
    shots, although you need to switch the camera to aperture-priority to
    allow exposures of several seconds.

    DSLRs are a possibility, but too heavy and expensive for me, and they
    don't offer live preview or movie capture. With a big lens, they are the
    best if you need to capture at higher ISO - say 800 or 1600.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jan 4, 2006
    #3
  4. Monkee

    Jeff Guest

    I just got a Canon a610 and it's great. I got more than 200 pictures and
    two movies, downloading etc on the original alkaline batteries. Most
    reviews agree that its photos are the best for this type of camera. I
    noticed a lot of new cameras are coming on the market now, so this may
    change in 2006; however, for now the a610 or a620 are probably your best
    choice until the others are reviewed.
     
    Jeff, Jan 4, 2006
    #4
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