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 Camera Recommendations 
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Post Camera Recommendations October 4th, 2010, 8:02 pm
Hi! So Chantal has been wanting a camera for some time so it's something we may invest in when we actually have some extra spending money. The only problem is we know pretty much next to nothing about Cameras so I'm here to ask for help.

Specs: What do we want to look for? What do the different things mean and what do you guys consider important.

Price range: I think we're looking to spend something around $500, it could go more or less but I feel like for $500 we should be able to find something we like.

Where to buy: My idea was to wait for Cyber Mondays, she also said she may try to wait in line somewhere for Black Friday deals but that seems like it could get hectic. Ebay, Craigslist, or anywhere else a good idea to watch out for?

Any other suggestions / comments are appreciated. I know Thomas, Heather, and Ian have all been big camera fans for awhile, so hopefully you have some sweet tips. She wants something to help make her pictures amazing. We've been using my little Cannon Powershot for awhile which has been pretty handy but after our trip to Sweden and seeing what one of the bigger Cannons can do I think Chantal is ready for an upgrade.

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Post Re: Camera Recommendations October 5th, 2010, 11:48 am
Here are my opinions on camera stuff.

1. More megapixels is not necessarily better or needed. Anything more than 5 megapixels is really not going to be noticed unless you are going to print poster sized pictures. General rule of thumb is 3-4 megapixels = 8"x5" print without any noticable pixelation.

2. Digital zoom or optical zoom? Always look for more optical zoom where needed. Optical zoom will allow you to zoom in without loosing any clarity on the picture. Digital zoom actually just reduces the megapixel count of the picture while keeping the same size. It would be akin to taking a very small picture on the internet and stretching it out. You will probably never need any more than 10x optical zoom.

3. Favorite manufacturers? I do like Canon for cameras they seem to take nice pictures and remain quite affordable. Sony's are nice but on the expensive side for something reasonable. Fuji's are ok. Stay away from Kodak, they fall apart.

4. Onboard/removable memory? I do not like cameras with onboard memory as I have seen people take pictures on the camera and then be suprised after 10-20 pictures that they are out of memory only to realize that they were not using the brand new 4GB memory card that they bought but rather the 8MB of onboard memory. It is just an annoyance so i would avoid it, get a camera with removable memory only. Ontop of that get 2x 4GB memory cards for it and you will never need anything else. With a 5 megapixel camera you can take 1000's of pictures on a 4GB card.

5. On-camera Screen size importance? Well, this is a toss up. Some people really like to have a large screen on the back of the camera. It can be nice for reviewing the pictures or looking at very tiny details. I would not go crazy with getting the largest possible screen. The best thing for taking nice pictures with your camera will be to get a viewfinder that has a mini-screen. I know it sounds wierd but the best way to take nice pictures is to have the viewfinder actually be a small screen itself. On most older cameras the viewfinder is actually just a window with some lines drawn on it so you can see what you are pointing at. Recently these have been replaced with mini-screens that display camera settings and what the picture will actually look like. This is handy on sunny days (in las vegas especially) where the larger rear screens on the camera can not be used because of glare or brightness but a high-quality viewfinder screen will be 100% usable in all conditions when heald upto your eye.

Hope this helps buddy. Let us know what you get!


 
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Post Re: Camera Recommendations October 5th, 2010, 9:09 pm
+1 to all Patrick's stuff

If you want to spend $500 get a Canon PowerShot G12 (or the older G11)
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/ ... ershot_g12

I would consider going cheaper and going with the Canon PowerShot SX20 ($400) or even cheaper the SX130 ($250). Still great cameras

If you want an SLR (camera's like ours with interchangeable lens's), that's a whole different ball game, so let us know if that's what you were wanting.

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Post Re: Camera Recommendations October 7th, 2010, 6:18 pm
Agreed. It all really depends on what you want to do with it. One thing about non SLR cameras is that, as the man of burritos mentioned, many simply have a window for a viewfinder. One other issue this causes besides metering, white blalance, and other issues affecting the overall "look" of the picture (or at least your ability to recognize and adjust these) is that it can affect your pictures' composition. What happens is the window you look through doesn't exactly match what the lens sees so you might get things in your picture that you didn't want in there. Again, this isn't a problem with most of the newer point and shoots.

There's a lot of really nice point and shoots out now. I've actually had good success with Kodak - I got Des the same one Steve has and it's worked okay so far. Another thing to think about is the power source. Many of the Cannon point and shoots run on AA batteries. These usually have less battery life than rechargeable lithium ion batteries but have the advantage of being available at any gas station, etc. If you get a Li powered camera just get an extra or two of whatever battery it takes.

Generally the more controls you have the better. By controls I mainly mean aperture, shutter, iso, white balance, and flash controls - NOT (necessarily) "picture modes." Picture modes choose aperture, shutter, etc. for you and the camera doesn't always guess right. The main thing, though, is understanding how and why to utilize those controls to make the camera do what you want. I (or Thomas, Patrick, Heather, etc.) can talk to you more in detail about these (and I have some example pictures I use to teach these principles). It can be intimidating but there's actually some really easy things that can make big differences in picture quality.

As for actual camera recommendations I mainly recommend looking at dpreview.com and some other comparison websites. dpreview does some really in depth reviews and good comparisons. Try to find customer images (like amazon often has) and customer reviews. Amazon or adorama or b and h are about the cheapest you'll find. I wouldn't recommend craigslist, etc. for point and shoots but potentially for used DSLRs. Just find a few things in your price range, compare 'em, and then buy that mess! Call me if you want to talk more in depth. It all depends on what you want to use it for.

And don't just take pictures ... make pictures!


 
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Post Re: Camera Recommendations October 8th, 2010, 10:34 am
If you can spend 500 and want the simplicity and convenience of a point and shoot with all the beefy-ness of an SLR you HAVE to get the new Nikon P7000. It's $499 at amazon and adorama and it's the best point and shoot on the market in my opinion. If I were buying a PAS right now the P7000 is what I would buy. Through blogs and podcasts I can tell you that a number of professional photographers (Moose Peterson, Chase Jarvis, Scott Bourne, etc.) have bought the P7000 and use it as a backup if not an occasional replacement for their $5,000 DSLRs. Check out Moose Peterson's recent blog posts - some of the photos he's produced from this thing are amazing (in no small part because he's an amazing photographer who truly knows his way around light but also thanks to this great little camera). Buy it now, thank me later.

... Alright Nikon, that'll be $10,000 for my sales pitch and retainer ...


 
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Post Re: Camera Recommendations October 8th, 2010, 6:19 pm
Ian's right but what he meant to say is the Canon G12 :wink:

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Post Re: Camera Recommendations October 21st, 2010, 5:39 pm
I thought I replied to this post once already, but apparently not.

Thanks for all the help and opinions, I really appreciate it. $500 sounds like a decent price range, although before I buy the camera some of it is just waiting for paychecks to come in. Also I'll probably wait until Cyber Monday, Black Friday, or other Holiday specials to pop up so that'll give me about a month before I make the final investment.

Right now we're considering buying a bike too (something simple for Chantal to ride to work on) but we may also see if one of the bike's we have at home fits into the back of our car.

I just want to buy so many things, and so few paychecks. Boo!

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