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Old 12-13-2012, 07:52 AM   #1
Mr_Gone OP
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What type of camera should I buy?

I am looking to replace my old Pentax Optio WP camera. Five years ago, it was great. Now, it's archaic technology.

My budget is somewhere around $400, maybe a little more, maybe a little less.

So should I buy a high-end point-and-shoot camera? (Nikon P510, for example, or one of the Canon Power Shots.)

Or should I buy a low-price DSLR? (Canon Rebel T3, for example, which is about the only DSLR near my price range.)

Any thoughts? Feel free to offer advice on specific cameras, whether they worked for you or didn't, but I'm really looking at picking a point-and-shoot or a DSLR.

If it matters, I know very little about photography, and most of what I shoot will be outdoor scenes on my bike trips.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:12 AM   #2
fierostetz
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if you know very little about photography but still want great shots, check out the canon powershot s100 or s110. Multiple photographer friends keep a little s100 on their person while shooting events because it's a great tiny backup camera. The camera has a great auto mode, but really comes into it's own when you start manually adjusting the settings. If you find you're preferring manual adjustments, then it's your gateway drug to SLR cameras. Another option is a micro 4/3 - I have a canon e-pl2 to supplement my canon SLR's and it's great. Automatic settings produce FANTASTIC color and some great shots, but most of the micro 4/3 have noise issues (byproduct of the smaller sensor) at higher (read: above 400) ISO. It doesn't make the photos useless, but if you're printing them you'll notice it on 8x10's.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:13 AM   #3
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Just remember - if you plan on using an SLR on Auto, with the kit lens, then you're better off not getting an SLR - you can get a hell of a point and shoot for SLR money. Check out Canon's refurb page (just google canon refurbished) and you can get deals on canon stuff. If you have an old broken canon camera (aka, go look on craigslist and spend $5) you can send it in to canon for a discount on a new camera.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:22 AM   #4
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Today, I'd probably buy http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Digita...s=olympus+xz-1


I currently have a XTi and an S-90. I use the S-90 every single week, the XTi hasnt been out of the case in months.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:33 AM   #5
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I went from an SLR to a point and shoot because the SLW was heavy and cumbersom with multiple lenses. I found a great compromise in the Cannon G12. It has all the features of an SLR, except the removable lense. I only occasionally want a longer zoom. Usually not.

The G12 is bigger than a standard POS, but still easy to handle, and tough as nails. Takes excellent photos as well.

Jim

PS My wife has an S100, and it really nice too, plus a longer zoom (optical over digital).
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:36 AM   #6
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I just bought a Cannon G15 to replace my old 2004 Sony Cyber-shot.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:55 AM   #7
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I second the canon g series. I have the g12 and it's great. It's even taken some shots in the rain and been fine. The wife has pulled of some pretty nice shots from the back of the bike.

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Old 12-13-2012, 10:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierostetz View Post
Just remember - if you plan on using an SLR on Auto, with the kit lens, then you're better off not getting an SLR - you can get a hell of a point and shoot for SLR money. Check out Canon's refurb page (just google canon refurbished) and you can get deals on canon stuff. If you have an old broken canon camera (aka, go look on craigslist and spend $5) you can send it in to canon for a discount on a new camera.
I checked out the Canon Refurbished cameras... thanks for the advice!!! They had some pretty good deals.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:45 AM   #9
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Two high end non-DSLR cameras that I have used on motorcycle trips are a Panasonic LX-5 and the FZ150. They recently upgraded both of them (LX-7 and FZ-200). The FZ-150 has a (35mm equivalent) focal length range of 25 mm to 600 mm so it is very useful for bird and animal pictures if those are of interest. The LX-5 has a 24 mm to 90 mm range which is great for scenery or people pictures and it is much smaller and lighter than the FZ-150, but not as pocket size as the Canon S110, http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canon-powershot-s110 which would one I would definitely consider if I was getting one now. The higher end P&S cameras really shine when used for night or indoor photography where their faster lenses, lower noise sensors, and image stabilization allow much better photos in dimmer light.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:25 AM   #10
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"If it matters, I know very little about photography, and most of what I shoot will be outdoor scenes on my bike trips."

That's me you're describing, and I've ruined two decent P&S cameras already that way. Now I carry one of the "tough" cameras, a Lumix TS3, on a tether around my neck. It is truly outdoor-proof and takes excellent pictures - although obviously there are many better pure photography cameras. (If I were buying today I'd get the Pana. Lumix TS20 - the fancier TS3's GPS feature is not very reliable IMO).

Lately I'm discovering that my iPhone 4S has a very capable camera built in - good images, easy to edit and share. But the iPhone isn't suited for dangling around my neck for quick underway photo ops.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:35 AM   #11
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Decide if you want an optical or electronic viewfinder, or none at all.

If size isn't an issue (suggested by SLR option) there is always the Fuji HS30 or Panasonic FZ60, which have electronic viewfinders. Very happy with my Fuji X10, and the HS30 has some nice touches with the zoom ring on lens barrel, tilting LCD, EXR modes for low light/high contrast. Could leave it in EXR Auto and be confident in great pics most of the time.

If you don't need/want a viewfinder, Panasonic LX5 (still not pocketable) or Canon S100 or Olympus TZ2, which are pocketable, are great smaller cameras.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorlite View Post
"If it matters, I know very little about photography, and most of what I shoot will be outdoor scenes on my bike trips."

That's me you're describing, and I've ruined two decent P&S cameras already that way. Now I carry one of the "tough" cameras, a Lumix TS3, on a tether around my neck. It is truly outdoor-proof and takes excellent pictures - although obviously there are many better pure photography cameras. (If I were buying today I'd get the Pana. Lumix TS20 - the fancier TS3's GPS feature is not very reliable IMO).

Lately I'm discovering that my iPhone 4S has a very capable camera built in - good images, easy to edit and share. But the iPhone isn't suited for dangling around my neck for quick underway photo ops.

Sailorlite, I think I'm going to go with one of the waterproof, shockproof "tough" cameras. I keep wanting to believe that if I get a decent camera, I'll force myself to learn to use it. But I truly think I'm just a point-and-shoot guy. I'm definitely looking at the Lumix TS3. I appreciate the advice.
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