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Which Camera

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by xirokx, 27 Mar 2006.

  1. xirokx

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Oct 2004

    Posts: 4,383

    Location: N.W London

    Hi,

    Some friends are going to dubai very shortly and as cameras are duty free out there I thought I would ask them to pick up one for me..

    Now I am a total noob to the world of photography but recently have been looking around forums reading several bits of info and I am very impressed....

    What camera would you recommend for around £200 or more to help me learn the basics as well as be useful at intermediate and advanced levels?

    I don't know if thats possible but I thought I would ask the experts....

    Thanks in advance for any responses I recieve....
     
  2. delta555

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Sep 2003

    Posts: 1,703

    Location: London

    I have the Canon Powershot A620. Fantastic camera, has all the manual and automatic functions so that you can do almost anything with it.

    I also love the 1cm macro on it.
     
  3. xirokx

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Oct 2004

    Posts: 4,383

    Location: N.W London

    Hi,

    Well when I created my initial thread I was unaware of the two types of camera's a) SLR b) Point n click...

    To be honest I am unsure which cateorgy I fit into it, currently I am a n00b in the photography world the camera comes out on special occasions only however I would like to change that and turn it into a hobby especially as I am learning to use photoshop, hopefully I can combine both hobbies...

    Anyway I have been reading this section of the forum with alot of interest and would like to briefly mention this
    thread "http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=17554933"

    I'd like to refer to Tomwilko's comment in that thread as he advised when he took up photography he started off with a "good" point n click camera which helped him understand the diffferent settings then he moved onto SLR.....Do you think it would benefit me to follow suit? If yes he went on to suggest the Fuji S5600 or S5900 do you agree that is a good piece of kit for me to use to enter the world of photography? If not please suggest a camera u deem appropiate?

    On a seperate note I currently have a sony dsc p8 I just wanted to clarify if I could use this camera instead of purchasing a new one? Either way I don't mind I would just like to have a good camera which will help me to learn more about photograpy and avoid me starting off on the wrong foot.....

    I know there must be so many other things which I have not referred too simple fact being I don't know what they are, perhaps you guys could help and wet my appetite even more for this new hobby.....

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts....

    Thanks in advance...
     
  4. Jotun

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Jun 2005

    Posts: 3,606

    Location: Liverpool

    The s5500 was my first camera, the predecessor to the s5600, and i thought it was great, you can go from fully automatic to fully manual, so it was a good starter camera with room to learn how to change the settings. I imagine the s5600 would be slightly better, no idea about the DSC P8 so it could be suitable for your needs, but if it isn't then the Fuji is probabaly a good camera for your price range :)

    The Fuji s5600 has fully manual control though, so you will have access to the same settings as you would on an SLR, so would be ideal for learning really, as would most other cameras that offer full manual control.
     
  5. gt_junkie

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 20 Mar 2006

    Posts: 8,090

    Location: The Lakes

    Hi xirokx,

    Don't know whether you're looking for compact or prosumer so ignore the following if you want to go titchy! ;)

    My suggestion, if you can cope with a lowly 5.2 megapixels, is the Sony DSC-F717:

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_reviews/f717.html

    It has an array of pro features while being one of the most accomplished point and clickers on the market at it's time of release. It's somewhat a legend in semi pro circles and was priced at £700-800 at the time of release.

    Features like the carl zeiss lens, manual zoom and focus ring, night shooting capability (takes pics in total darkness) are all great. I bought one off ebay with a carry case, extra battery, several filters and a massive sony branded wide angle lense (rrp for this lense alone at the time was £150 :eek: ) all in for £300.

    I believe the cameras, along with a few extras, are going for under £200 on certain popular auction sites these days.

    The benefits for first time uses are that the 5x optical zoom lense does not protrude from the body. Other prosumer cameras i have used have optics that move out from the body - this is not ideal as if it were turned on within a carry case the gearing could get damaged. :(

    The weight of a larger camera can also have a beneficial effect on resulting pics. A camera with a greater mass won't shake as much when photographing and equally a physically larger camera will allow the user to grip and hold it better. That too will improve results!

    Also, it's standard auto settings produce great results. From that point on you can choose to use the point and click aspects of the digicam or play with it's settings to improve it's performance further! :)

    I've learnt a great deal from mine and it's a testament to its quality and performance that i've not seen any need to replace it in nearly 2 years! :cool:

    Hope that helps?!
     
    Last edited: 30 Mar 2006
  6. xirokx

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Oct 2004

    Posts: 4,383

    Location: N.W London

    Hi,

    First of all thanks for all the replies....

    Yesterday I went to the park and decided to test my current Sony DSC P8 and found the following:

    1) Blurred image of animal when I zoomed in which could only be noticed when I transferred images to PC...
    2) Same with landscape images when I zoomed to the max I lost the quality of the picture i.e. light etc...
    3) Black n White pictures look alot better than colour when shooting landscapes...
    4) The exposure settings on this camera are automatic you have a choice of diff exposures however its annoying because you can't change it precisely to your requirements.
    5) Although all the pictures were crisp (apart from the patchy animal images) I would say its a good camera to use on special occasions only....However if you are going to the safari park etc I would buy something different because unless the animal is sleeping you wont really get a good quality picture..
    6) I did not feel as if I had a good grip on the camera..
    7) I felt very limited and restricted when zooming in I know it only has a 3x zoom capability however when I saw the opportunity to take a decent pic I couldnt get close enough which was frustating....
    8) Another annoying thing was having to wait a few seconds before I could shoot over and over again which meant depending on the occasion I could have missed many great moments..

    Now I do admit I am a n00b so there is a possibility I was doing something wrong all I did was take the same photo using diff settings on the camera and compared each of them this is what my results are based on....

    As you are aware I am thinking of buying a new camera SLR or point n click who knows however I would like to ask whether the above issues would be resolved if I opted to go for a Fuji s5600 or s5900 or whatever else you guys may deem appropriate?

    thanks in advance for your help

    P.S. attn gt_junkie thanks for your suggestion of the sony dsc f717 I think I would get some of the same problems stated above, thanks for your suggestion though.

    I am hoping for something which allows me to have a little more control and which is a good all rounder however most important thing is that I do not end up with something I have problems using....I need something which will enable me to become more inquisitive and improve my photography skills...

    Thanks
     
  7. Jotun

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Jun 2005

    Posts: 3,606

    Location: Liverpool

    Well ill try and answer with what applied to the s5500 and i assume wll to the s5600

    1) Can't comment as its a different sensor.
    2) The apeture ranges from F3.2 - F3.5 so there shouldn't be much difference over the zoom range
    3) Could be personal opinion? It would also be possible that the white balance needs adjusting, or colours tweaking, which can be done with most image software.
    4) It goes from fully auto to fully manual, so you can set it to exactly how you want.
    5) If you mean its blurred because the animals moved, you need a faster shutter speed, and any camera with the same settings would have the same problem.
    6) I felt comfortable holding the s5500 with one hand, i think the s5600 has the same body
    7) The 10x zoom was very useful and allowed me to get in close to subjects without having to move. If you don't get the fuji, its probabaly worth getting something else with a similar zoom range :)
    8) The s5500 had a continuous shoot mode for upto 40 frames, i think it was just over one frame per second, so not blisteringly fast, but it wasn't realy slow either.

    I was in a similar situation to you when i bought the s5500 and had no problems other than the SLR itch.

    Hope this helps
     
  8. xirokx

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Oct 2004

    Posts: 4,383

    Location: N.W London

    so are u advising me to change camera?
     
  9. quadboi

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 28 Feb 2006

    Posts: 1,606

    What camera to purchase?

    Sorry guys, yes its another of those threads.

    Right I would like tou purchase a Camera to replace my A75.

    I want it to be atleast 4megapixels, 3xoptical zoom.

    Got up to £200.... needs to be a digital camera pretty compact, not those big en's

    Is the Canon S50 any good?
     
  10. Lostkat

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,106

    Location: Deepest Darkest Leics

    Merging with the other camera for £200 thread to save people repeating themselves.
     
  11. quadboi

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    Joined: 28 Feb 2006

    Posts: 1,606

    No problems, Lost kat.
     
  12. Jotun

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Jun 2005

    Posts: 3,606

    Location: Liverpool

    Thats your choice, just trying to answer your questions regarding the fuji to help you make the best decision. The s5500 was a good camera, although I don't know what your current one is like and so can't say how much of an improvement over it that it would be. It might be worth trying to find on in a shop and having a go to see what its like first :)
     
  13. xirokx

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Oct 2004

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    Location: N.W London

    hmmmmm thanks

    any other thoughts would be most appreciated...

    thanks in advance
     
  14. gt_junkie

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 20 Mar 2006

    Posts: 8,090

    Location: The Lakes

    Hi xirokx,

    I took a look at your camera on the website i pointed you to on my previous post. I think the f717 would be a major improvement over what you're currently using.

    1) I think that either maybe the auto focus hadn't fully completed focussing or you were using the digital zoom on top of the optical. The f717 has a greater zoom capability and a higher resolution sensor so improvements would be seen. Also if it was in lower light conditions all cameras have trouble focusing. The f717 gets round this by using a laser focussing grid that it projects onto the subject - awesome!
    2) If light is indeed the issue regarding the quality of landscape then the far better lens assembly of the f717 would allow more light in and produce a much improved result!
    3) Black n White always improves the look of poor colour - that's why a lot of people tend to end up using it.
    4) You have total control of shutter speed, aperture, etc... You can choose fully manual, fully auto, shutter priority, aperture priority, and a selection of preset modes. All are quickly and easily accessible! There's also a full white balance control system where you can select presets for sunny, rainy, indoors, etc... as well as a white balance calibration facility so you can match it perfectly to the exact lighting conditions at the time you're taking your pictures.
    5) A good camera should be good at pretty much all times no exceptions. If it fails sometimes then it's wasted.
    6) The f717's size means it's easily held and controlled. All buttons allow simple, effective and fast access.
    7) The 5 times zoom is noticeably better than the 3 you usually get on standard digicams, plus the f717 can be equipped with an additional 2x multiplier lense that pushes the total zoom to 10x.
    8) The f717 uses memory stick pro's that have improved data transfer speeds - also the camera was the flagship at it's time of release - around the time yours was made.

    Finally, i'd just like to reiterate what a good point and click camera the f717 is. It's far better than any other non dslr that i've used and get's it pretty right every time! Plus it has a capture from start up time of only a couple of seconds!

    All in all it would be better for you and far different from what you're curently using!

    Incidentally, my sister uses a fuji s5000. It's a little more compact than the sony and feels very good in the hands - it's very similar to the 5500 and 5600 that Evil-Penguin mentioned. It performs really nicely and produces good results. Compared to the f717 though it's not quite as accomplished (although this could be put down to price as the sony was ultimately a much more expensive item) but it is more compact.
     
    Last edited: 30 Mar 2006
  15. Barbie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,255

    Location: Loughborough Town

    I have the same camera, and i love it to pieces. Wish i'd bought it ages ago now.
     
  16. bandit

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    Location: Brum, Brum, Brum, Brum....

  17. gt_junkie

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 20 Mar 2006

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    Location: The Lakes

  18. xirokx

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Oct 2004

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    Location: N.W London

    any other thoughts would be most appreciated...

    thanks for all replies so far...