Looking for camera recommendations

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by HerHusband, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. HerHusband

    HerHusband Guest

    We are thinking about getting a new digital camera, so I thought I'd check
    here to see if anyone could recommend something with the following
    features.

    1. GOOD low light performance! I'm tired of deleting 1/3 of our pictures
    because they are too dark, grainy, or blurry (even after post processing).

    2. FAST response time. Our Olympus D-550 seems to take forever to turn on
    and snap a picture quickly. It also takes forever to take a second shot in
    case we missed the first one. Certainly something out there is faster?

    3. 3 MEGAPIXELS. We rarely have prints made and when we do 4x6 is the
    biggest we get. More resolution just means bigger files to store and worse
    light sensitivity. I wouldn't reject a 5MP camera if it met the other
    criteria, but it's not my main priority.

    4. AUTOMATIC. We're just amateurs who want to be able to take pictures
    quickly and easily, usually on the spur of the moment. We've been digital
    for over 5 years now and have no intention of turning back. But, we don't
    need a bunch of professional controls to worry about. Basically, we want to
    turn it on and take a picture.

    5. A DECENT ZOOM. 3X optical would be fine (No interest in digital zoom).

    6. UNDER $500. Obviously cheaper is better... :)

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    Anthony
     
    HerHusband, Jun 21, 2005
    #1
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  2. I'd say the Sony Cybershot DSC-P150 or DSC-200, except that it does have a
    weaker flash and wouldn't illuminate a dark room very well if it were a
    larger room. It starts up VERY quickly and has quick response time--and is
    very much a "automatic" type of camera. Also, typically Sonys focus very
    well.

    Incidentally, regarding issue (3)--the Sony DSCP150 (and 200) is a 7
    megapixel. Even if you don't think you will need that much, I think it would
    be foolish to shoot at lower resolution if you buy that camera. Otherwise,
    you might as well by a cheap 2 or 3 megapixel model & be done with it.
    Storage-issues aside, I have NEVER understood why anyone would buy a
    high-resolution camera and "downgrade" its quality; that's just flat-out
    foolish to do that.

    Another good choice would be the Fuji Finepix F10, which is a 6-megapixel
    camera. It has quick startup and shooting times and may not have as weak of
    a flash as the Sony--and it has better quality at higher ISOs (meaning it
    might not be as "grainy" or dim in low-light). According to the review at
    dpreview.com (review: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf10zoom/) it
    also has quick autofocus.

    The only drawback to these 2 cameras is that they use special memory--the
    Sony, Memory Stick; the Fuji, xD.

    If you really don't need more resolution than for a 4x6, an older 2 or 3
    megapixel model could be had on the cheap. Problem is, as they will likely
    be an older camera (as 3 megapixels or even 4 is now "entry-level", 2
    megapixels can't be found much anymore) they may not be as quick &
    responsive as newer designs.

    LRH
     
    Larry R Harrison Jr, Jun 21, 2005
    #2
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  3. HerHusband

    Todd H. Guest


    A Canon A75 A85 or A95 will do you no wrong. I've probably had 5
    friends and family members pick one of these 3 items up and they can't
    stop thanking me for the recommendation.
     
    Todd H., Jun 21, 2005
    #3
  4. Would you consider a USED digital camera, if it satisfied all your
    criteria? Canon D30. I bought mine Summer of last year, off eBay, in
    Mint condition with what originally came with it for around $400 US,
    less lens. They're cheaper today. And as to lenses: get the one that
    suits you. With an SLR, you're not stuck with the one attached to the
    camera.

    Check out the reviews of it:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canond30/
    http://www.steves-digicams.com/d30.html

    If you want more megapixels, then the D60. Around $450 to $600 on eBay
    last time I checked (about 2 months ago).

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneosd60/
    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_reviews/d60.html
     
    Stefan Patric, Jun 22, 2005
    #4
  5. HerHusband

    ASAAR Guest

    I'll second Larry's recommendation of the Fuji F10. I believe it
    meets more of your requirements than any other camera. The link he
    provided to the review at dpreview.com may help show why, and answer
    any other questions you may have.

    Short of getting an expensive DSLR that's also much larger and
    heavier, there's no other camera I'm aware of that is better for
    minimizing these problems when there's little available light.
    There may be more options if you wait until next year. :)

    The dpreview.com review mentioned above commented on the camera's
    speed. It said that the startup time is "very fast", about 1
    second. Focus speed is "excellent" and shutter lag is "superb - the
    F10 is one of the few compact zoom cameras on the market that
    actually feels as though when you press the button the picture is
    taken instantaneously."

    Even more important, if a flash is used, it will greatly lengthen
    the time before you can take a second shot. The F10 is able to take
    pictures without using the flash in conditions that would require
    its use by other cameras. So where many other cameras might require
    an additional flash-recharging delay of 3 to 10 seconds before the
    next pictures could be taken, the F10 would be ready much more
    quickly. If it has to use its internal flash, then it would also
    operate more slowly, a "slightly sluggish" 3.3 seconds between
    shots.

    As previously noted, the F10 has a 6mp sensor. But that's
    adjustable in the camera's setup. Nothing unusual here, as
    virtually all cameras give you the option of selecting lower
    resolution to produce smaller files and store more pictures on the
    camera's memory card. The F10 allows you to choose image sizes of
    6mp, 3mp, 2mp or 0.3mp.

    You're in luck if you decide to get the F10. It's almost totally
    automatic. I prefer cameras that allow apertures and shutter speeds
    to be manually controlled, but the F10 permits none of that. The
    only exposure control it has that I'm aware of is a slight amount of
    exposure compensation.

    It has a 3x optical zoom.

    All of the affiliate retailers shown on the bottom of dpreview's
    review pages have it for well under $500, ranging from $399.98
    (Staples) to $301.75 (buydig.com).


    dpreview quotes:
     
    ASAAR, Jun 22, 2005
    #5
  6. HerHusband

    Skip M Guest

    I was going to recommend the exact thing. Got mine for $400, too, add a
    used 28-105 f3.5-4.5 and you'll probably still be under $500.
     
    Skip M, Jun 22, 2005
    #6
  7. Isn't a 28-105 a little long in the tooth for a general purpose lens?
    No wide angle. Just normal to tele. (The 35mm equivalent would be
    45-168 on the D30.) Perhaps you one of those photographers with
    telephoto eyes. ;-)
     
    Stefan Patric, Jun 22, 2005
    #7
  8. HerHusband

    Skip M Guest

    It probably is, but there are few lenses of its quality available on the
    used market that would fit, with the D30, under $500. The cheap WA Canons,
    Sigmas, et al may not be the best choice. The OP just said 3x zoom, didn't
    specify WA to Tele, or what. But my 28-135 was great on that camera, I
    rarely pined for something else, and I did have a Sigma 17-35 to throw on
    the front, if need be.
     
    Skip M, Jun 23, 2005
    #8
  9. HerHusband

    HerHusband Guest

    Mike,
    A few folks have recommended the F10, and it does seem to meet all of my
    requirements. I'm not crazy about the breakout box idea for battery
    charging, image transfers, etc., but I suppose that's a small issue to gain
    all the other advantages.

    I'll have to check one out at the local stores and see how it "feels" to
    me.

    Thanks everyone for your recommendations!

    Anthony
     
    HerHusband, Jun 23, 2005
    #9
  10. HerHusband

    HerHusband Guest

    A few folks have recommended the F10, and it does seem to meet all of
    My main concern would be traveling. In other words, having to take the
    cables and breakout box along to recharge the battery.

    However.... If the camera can "really" take close to 500 pictures on a
    battery, it might be easier to buy an extra battery or two and take those
    along instead of all the charger cables.

    Back at home, I'm more likely to get an XD card reader for my computer,
    than to have to hook up all those cables, run down the camera battery, etc.

    Assuming we choose the F10, I'll probably pick up a 512Meg or 1Gig memory
    card, and an extra battery. That should give us plenty of capacity for
    taking vacation pictures with minimal "Stuff" to carry along.

    Thanks!

    Anthony
     
    HerHusband, Jun 24, 2005
    #10
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