Complete beginner
Hi I am a complete beginner at photography. I have booked to go on a digital camera photography workshop in a couple of weeks, but I need a camera first! The problem is I can't decide which camera to buy. After extensive research it's either the Sony DSC P73 or Canon Powershot A75? The Sony has rechargeable batteries and charger included while the Canon has more memory. After reading on here about the E18 error I am leaning towards the Sony. I want something thats not too difficult to get to grips with and I want to take shots of the sea and wildlife. Can anyone offer any advice? Much appreciated. Thanks..

Comments (5)

Go to a store and handle both, and similarly priced/rated cameras. While the Sony comes with a charger and two batteries, you'll find that few if any cameras come with enough memory or battery power so you will be buying more. You can get a good charger and 4 batteries for under $30 - both use AAs so the battery differential isn't the prime one to be thinking of. You'll make up that difference quickly when you buy more memory. The Sony offers scene modes but not aperture or shutter priority which most photographers are used to. There is a full manual mode.

So the Sony does more thinking for you, the Canon makes it easier to control the camera - which may or may not be important for you...

Comment #1

If Mr. Gillette's answer didn't sway you towards the A75, then here are a few more things to consider. We have two Sonys in the family, so I don't have anything against them at all, but the Canon has a slightly larger screen, and slightly longer flash range. Granted these are verrrry slight, but if you have to base a decision on something, you might as well use these. Personally, I wouldn't base my camera decision on just those two things, but I would pick the Canon just because it has aperture/shutter priority modes that are easily accessible via the mode dial. You might not know what these are right now, but hopefully you will learn these in your upcoming class. PhilR...

Comment #2

Not wishing to spend your money, nor because I have one, I suggest you consider something with a bit more in the zoom range. With your trip coming up, there will be a number of situations that the others will be able to shoot that will be difficult for you to shoot. When you go to the store to handle the cameras, you might check out something like a FujiFine Pix S5100 (S5500). It will also allow a 55mm polarizing filter to attached, something I think you'd like to have in the field. There are other manufactures in this range...

Comment #3

If you want to buy a digital camera, most of the times it's enough to choose from Canon models. Canon offers different types of cameras to different people needs.

Let's take a look at them if you don't mind, I will try to give a helping hand for those who just cannot decide. Basically there are six line of Canon compacts: 1. The G-series.

Pros: fast lens, 4x optical zoom, all manual controls, flip-out LCD, hot shoe, optional converters, RAW mode, microdrive support, long battery life (despite of the lithium type!), professional feeling, great hand-grip.

Cons: weighty, big size, lithium batteries (from a point of view), pricey 2. The Sxx-series.

Pros: wider angle then average (28mm to S60/S70), portability, light, RAW mode, microdrive support, full manual controls, elegant look.

Cons: fixed LCD, slow lens, PF (CA), lithium battery 3. The Sxxx-series.

Pros: portability (small size), very light, sexy look.

Cons: fixed LCD, slow lens, PF (CA), lithium battery, lack of real manual controls 4. The Axx-series.

Pros: long battery life (due to AA's), flip-out LCD, great hand-grip, full manual controls, optional converters, many scene modes for beginners (on A70 and now on A95), cheap.

Cons: slow lens, PF (CA) 5. The Axxx-series.

Pros: cheap, uses AA's, portability.

Cons: slow lens, PF (CA), no real manual controls 6. The NEW Sx-IS series.

Pros: big zoom, best video, great hand-grip, long battery life (due to AA's), full manual controls.

Cons: weighty, slow lens, PF (CA), lack of AF-assist lamp, noisy images As you can see from the above:.

- The G-series has the fastest lens and a hot shoe.

- The Sxx-series has the wider angle zoom (28mm to 100mm).

- The Sxxx-series are the more portable ones.

- The Axx-series has the best value for it's price.

- The Axxx-series are the cheapest ones that are also very portable.

- The Sx-IS-series has the biggest zoom and the best video to date Decide what are the things FOR YOU that are important when choosing a cam. The decision lies beneath your NEEDS: - Need big zoom or best video? Get an Sx-IS cam.

- Need portability? Get an Sxxx-series cam.

- Need fast lens, a hot shoe and RAW? Get a G-series.

- Need wider angle zoom or RAW? Get an Sxx-series cam.

- Do you want to print in big size? Get the highest MP one.

- You are on the budget? Get an Axxx-series cam. None of the above? Get an Axx-series camera then! The top of the A-line cameras now is the A95 that is a great, but not perfect cam. There are no perfect ones. Every of them has it's flaws. Pls don't be a maximalist otherwise you won't enjoy the beauty of your own cam. Choose the right cam for you based on your needs.

It's only marketing, more megapixels doesn't mean better image quality. Keep this in mind always! Hope this helps. I took the above info from a reader on

Comment #4

I have a SONY MCV-CD500 AND A MACKINTOSH OSX computer that does not read the information on the disk when it is inserted into the computer. I have had some luck with direct plug in but the compter does not read the Mpeg information utilizing this process. Prior to purchasing both the camera and the Mac I was familiar with a COMPUTER that was not a apple and a camera that did not use CD disk information. HELP!!!!! GRIFF...

Comment #5

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