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Please recommend a camera
Hi all,.

I'm interested in entering digital photography as a hobby, and would appreciate some input on which camera would be ideal for me..

I hope that this camera will allow me to learn about the theories of photography. As such, being in control of various settings is a requirement..

My photos would probably mostly be of architecture and nature scenes. I would also use it for taking group photos at gathering and bringing with me on trips. I'd like to be able to explore macro-photography with it..

I do intend to print out some of my nicer photographs for framing and displaying in my home. As such, my camera should be capable of taking high enough quality photos for this purpose..

The camera should be fairly portable, but I would not need it to fit inside my pocket..

My budget is around $400-500 US..

From my research, I think that a "super zoom" camera would be ideal for me. The Lumix DMC-Fz-18 seems like it could be a good camera for me..

I'm in no rush to purchase this camera (realistically, I'd probably be purchasing toward the summer or fall of 2008), so I'd also be interested in learning about upcoming cameras that might fit my needs..

Thanks!..

Comments (7)

If you want to learn photography and control the camera, consider getting a dslr. An entry-level dslr (Canon 350D) with a kit lens will cost $460. Or you can buy the camera body without the kit lens for $400 and add the amazing 50mm f/1.8 for another $70..

All the photos on my photo hosting site (below) were taken with the 350D..

Jerryhttp://jchoate.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #1

You mighr also want to look at the FZ50. Ih has a little less zoom (especially at the wide angle end) than the FZ18, but has several features that you would appreciate.1. Articulating LCD.2. Non-extending lens ismore rugged and gives faster start up from power off.3. Zoom and focus rings on the lens are faster and more precise.Joel Orlinsky.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #2

I hope that this camera will allow me to learn about the theories ofphotography. As such, being in control of various settings is arequirement..

You need a camera with full manual controls, including custom white balance..

My photos would probably mostly be of architecture and nature scenes.I would also use it for taking group photos at gathering and bringingwith me on trips. I'd like to be able to explore macro-photographywith it..

You need to shoot wide(-ish) angles for the landscape ( ideally ), and group ( especialy ) and a decent macro mode in an all-in-one or a reasonable macro lens or close-to on a DSLR..

I do intend to print out some of my nicer photographs for framing anddisplaying in my home. As such, my camera should be capable oftaking high enough quality photos for this purpose..

Rather depends on size of print and the types of photography..

If you will need high ISO ( which would be sports, fast action, low light when you need to freeze motion ) then a low noise sensor..

If your main need is daylight shooting or at least well lit shooting then this is less an issue..

The camera should be fairly portable, but I would not need it to fitinside my pocket..

Portable can mean a big hunk of plastic, metal and glass hung around your neck. .

Basically you can have four sizes :1) compact - usually not a large zoom and rarely a wide angle2) small bridge camera - useful zoom range, many features, about 350-500g.

3) large bridge camera - heavier ( about 700-800g ) but usually with more features.

4) DSLR - bigger than the big bridge cameras, usually you'll hit at least a kilo on the road. There are even single lenses which are heavier than a kilo on their own..

My budget is around $400-500 US..

Sounds like a bridge camera..

From my research, I think that a "super zoom" camera would be idealfor me. The Lumix DMC-Fz-18 seems like it could be a good camera forme..

The 18x times zoom camera all have high noise (IMO), but I'd rate the FZ18 as the best all round of the bunch on the basis of .general performance..

Other options are ( apart from those you mention ) :.

- Canon S3 and S5- Fuji S6000 and S9100- Panasonic FZ8.

I woudl not get carried away with these huge zooms. In practice they are less useful The difference between 10x, 12x and 18x sounds huge, but how often can you actually use more than 10x zoom ? .

There is a lot of info on these on this site and others. There should be reviews of them all, and the S9100 is almost identical to it's earlier version the S9000..

I think the Panasonic FZ50 is about your price range..

I'm in no rush to purchase this camera (realistically, I'd probablybe purchasing toward the summer or fall of 2008), so I'd also beinterested in learning about upcoming cameras that might fit my needs..

Wait. We're all hoping for new cameras in the next round of announcements that will be available around the time you plan to purchase. I'd suggest you read up on the ones I've mentioned ( and others ) and I think you will be up to speed by the time you need to decide..

Experience tells us that expected cameras and announced cameras are two different things, and paper specification does not always equate to really usable feature. This is why it's so important to read reviews from good websites..

I'd strongly recommend you grab a book on photography and/or read up on the web..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #3

Hey there,.

I must admit, I'm a Canon man through and through and I was jsut about to reccomend the Canon EOS 400d. But only if you could stretch your money just a little. However you would need to stretch your pockits too as it would be considerably larger than a compact camera!.

So I'd reccomend the Ixus 75. It's within your budget and takes massive pics at 7MP - no probs with printing there. The zoom isn't so great through..

I haven't had much exposure to Lumix, apart from My girfriend has one and I was really impressed with the zoom on it. I don't think you can go wrong with it..

I hope that helps.......

NK.

Http://www.nickkind.com..

Comment #4

For under $400 you can get the Canon S5. Unless you plan to turn pro and need a true DSLR you can use this medium-sized camera and add a LensMate teleconverter or wide angle or micro for about $100 each, depending on what you want to specialize in. The S5 has the flip-and-twise LCD, hot shoe, and very gooe video with stereo sound.ngk20000..

Comment #5

It's great that you're starting your shopping now but the odds are that by fall of 2008 virtually every one of the "bridge" cameras recommended by others will be either nearing the end of their production cycle or discontinued. Meanwhile, with competition fierce on the entry level DSLR front, you should be able to do quite nicely in your price range..

Continue to watch this site, query your friends, and seek out a local camera club and make some friends there..

And by the time you're ready to take the plunge, there are two key questions to answer: bridge camera vs. DSLR, as mentioned here. The other question will be do you want the "latest and greatest" or a good (and possibly great) deal on older technology..

Once you've answered those questions, the brand vs. brand one is easy.'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #6

Look at the entry level DSLRs. There's a lot of compteition in this area, and prices are now coming down to the level you want to spend. A DSLR will give you the flexibility to experiment and grow and should provide a better all around experience..

The superzooms are an odd lot - popular because their specifications sound impressive - hugh zoom lens ranges and high megapixels counts. If you have a real need for long lenses they are an economical alternative (a DSLR setup with a similiar lens range might cost $2000+), but the tradeoffs are generally poorer image quality and substantially poorer performance in low light. I'd only recommend them if you have a specific need for the lens length, such as trying wildlife/animal photograph (but only when there's a lot of light) or certain sports - however even if these areas the slow response and autofocus performance of the superzooms may be limitting...

Comment #7

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