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What is the Best Digital camera for under 500 dollars?
Just wanted to know which camera people on here would recommend the most for under 500 US Dollars? I am looking for a digital camera that has a very nice zoom and a decent amount of megapixels to shoot photos both indoors and outdoors. I am looking for a camera with the most crisp, sharp, noise free images. I would like a camera with a flip out lcd screen, but that is not a MUST HAVE if there is a camera that is better suited for me for a reasonable price. I am mainly debating between the Panasonic Lumix fz18 or the fz50 AND the Canon S5 IS. I really liked the test shots for the panasonics but it seems like most of the people I know are pushing the canon brand on me the most. Can someone help me choose?..

Comments (10)

RyanPK1981 wrote:.

Just wanted to know which camera people on here would recommend themost for under 500 US Dollars? I am looking for a digital camera thathas a very nice zoom and a decent amount of megapixels to shootphotos both indoors and outdoors. I am looking for a camera with themost crisp, sharp, noise free images. I would like a camera with aflip out lcd screen, but that is not a MUST HAVE if there is a camerathat is better suited for me for a reasonable price. I am mainlydebating between the Panasonic Lumix fz18 or the fz50 AND the CanonS5 IS. I really liked the test shots for the panasonics but it seemslike most of the people I know are pushing the canon brand on me themost. Can someone help me choose?.

Firstly, is it really necessary to post nearly the same question twice in the same forum?Rant over......

I am afraid that everyone is looking for a camera with a decent amount of megapixels, that takes wonderful shots under all circumstances, has a decent (???) zoom and doesn't cost an arm and a leg..

I'm afraid you're looking for Nirvana. You have already 'chosen' 3 cameras. Make sure you get to hold each one before you make any decision. 'Feel' is imprtant. And how many pixels do you think you need? Are you going to print 5"x3" or are you going to print 20"x16"? Any 5-6 megapixel camera will probably produce an adequate image for an A4 print..

But that may depend on the sensor size. More 'crowded' pixels (i.e. bigger images on a smaller sensor) produce more noise (visible cr*p) in the image..

Possibly the best 5 megapixel ever was the Leica Digilux 2 - or it's Panasonic equivalent. Have you thought about a second-hand camera or are you after the latest and greatest?..

Comment #1

Sorry for posting the same question twice. I was kind of bummed at not getting responses to the first one, so I figured I would try again. sorry if that is bad. haha. not used to posting on boards. so I'm unsure of the etiquette involved in it..

The second-hand camera idea isn't really the route I want to go along, unless someone decided to just GIVE me one. lol. I want something I can get a good warranty on that I can be sure is going to be replaced if it breaks or has issues. I would rather not shell out money and not have any guarantees. That's just me!.

That said, I did go to a few stores and hold the cameras...I am pretty much comfortable with all models. I like the feel of the larger digital cameras that are SLR-like in there appearance. I guess my main purchase concern is buying something that is easy to use. Of course, I will read the literature that comes with it, and learn the features, but I definetly want it to be user friendly in that respect. I mainly just want a versatile camera that is going to be very useful in taking shots at family events and outdoor macro shots. As I mentioned in the previous post, I sold my last camera after only about a month or so because of the extremely poor, pretty much unuseable image quality when taking images indoors at anytime where lighting was low.

I heard that fuji makes a great low light digital camera for under 300 dollars, but the zoom on it is fairly basic at 3x. I definetly want a zoom over 10X AT LEAST. Anyways, If you have anymore suggestions let me know! thanks for your reply...

Comment #2

I forgot to mention that I also think that face detection is a great feature I would like to have. Not sure if that changes anything. haha...

Comment #3

Well, these are the DPReview reports on cameras with a 10X zoom, though I'm sure you have found this for yourself......

Http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp.

RyanPK1981 wrote:.

I forgot to mention that I also think that face detection is a greatfeature I would like to have. Not sure if that changes anything. haha..

Why? Can't you focus on a face without help? If you've got one face 6' from the lens and another 10' from the lens what do you think is going to happen?Most camera come with auto-focus, manual focus, spot focus etc...

Comment #4

Sure, I guess I could focus the face. just thought it seemed like a super handy little tool. but, if it's not, than that is fine! .

Just another question for ya...do you think it is a better idea to invest in an actual SLR if I can find one for 500 bucks (that's my camera budget and i'm stickin' to it!) or is it better for a newbie like myself to stick to something that has the easiest learning curve like a digital point and shoot?..

Comment #5

From your several posts, it sounds like you may want a camera that does a lot of the work and thinking for you. If that is the case, I would not go with a DSLR just yet..

However, if you are interested, I think you can pick up a Canon Rebel XT/350D, (name depends on what country you're in) with the kit lens for under $500 now. It is not great in low light without flash though..

It will take pictures in full auto mode, but it will take some learning to get the most out of it. The advantage would be that you could learn how to use the camera, then buy new lenses as you figure out what it is you want..

As far as megapixels, they do not equate with image quality..

I don't know anything about photography. I just like to press the shutter button and hear that sound...

Comment #6

Cool. that is good info to know also. I noticed that model was under 500 dollars and was thinking about it. Part of me wants to get something that I can expand on and grow with (such as the SLR Rebel model) but the lazy part of me just wants a very good slr-like model that will do most of the work as you mentioned. Either way, I will figure it out one way or another. Right now, I am leaning in the panasonic direction though just because of the sample images I viewed on this site and the positive reviews I have read...

Comment #7

Strat60 wrote:.

However, if you are interested, I think you can pick up a Canon RebelXT/350D, (name depends on what country you're in) with the kit lensfor under $500 now. It is not great in low light without flash though..

What I meant here is the kit lens is not great in low light. The camera body will work great if you have a better lens. I have the 50mm 1.8 and it is much nicer in lower light situations..

I don't know anything about photography. I just like to press the shutter button and hear that sound...

Comment #8

You will discover that some of the things you want will not help you make good pictures..

I'll suggest the cheapest DSLR..

You can now get a D40 Nikon for about the price you want. 6 mp in a DSLR will let you get professional quality results, even in low light..

Forget the brochures, the mp hype etc..

Concentrate on photos..

Even if you spend a little more, you will get so much more, and more capability ....

Peter.

Persuasive Marketing Systems -inc Copywriting, Design & Photography..

Comment #9

Of the three cameras you mentioned.the Panasonic FZ50 is the best of the bunch..

And priced about the same as the Canon S5IS..

I enjoy my FZ50 more than I do my DSLR!.

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

From my FZ50:.

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

Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #10

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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