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Posted: 3/6/2006 5:55:33 AM EDT
I recently sold my ~4 year old sony 4.1 mp camera so I am in the market for a new one.
Here are some of the things I am looking for.

  • Decent indoors/low light shots

  • At least 5 MP

  • Great pictures out of the box in auto mode but also has manual controls

  • No more than $500 USD



What do you all recommend? I have been to sites like dpreivew, etc. but I'd also like to hear from some of you that own and like (or even hate) your camera.
I actually considered getting a dslr camera but it seems that I would have to put alot of money into extra lense, etc. Not sure if I want that yet. I could add a few hundred to my 500 but that would probably just get me the basics. Plus I'm just doing shots of various things around the house, etc. Nothing professional.

I must admit I am partial to canon camera but I am open to all suggestions.
Thanks.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 6:11:02 AM EDT
Sony dsc-p200

It's 7 megapixel and takes great images right out of the box. I have a DSLR but this is my everyday camera. The flash is very good and is placed so that redeye is hardly ever an issue.

The camera gets excellent reviews on dpreview.com and has manual controls as well, which was what sold me on it.

I recommended the camera to two different co-workers who are completely ignorant to pro-photography and they both absolutely love it.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 6:55:52 AM EDT
I think you ought to reconsider getting a DSLR. You don't HAVE to buy a bunch of expensive lenses unless you want to, you can start off with just the inexpensive kit lens and maybe a sub-$200 75-300 or a ~$250 28-200 Sigma. Then, as you learn more about the camera and if you want, you can buy better lenses. Check the Buy/Sell folder at www.fredmiranda.com and you can find used Canon Digital Rebels for around $400, which will give you more money to spend on lenses.
If you want to stick with a Point n Shoot, I'd reccommend the Canon S21S or perhaps the Sony V3.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:02:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2006 7:05:24 AM EDT by kindstranger]
The appropriate forums are:

www.steves-digicams.com

www.dpreview.com/

For low light, there are only 2 choices:

1. DSLR

2. Fuji F10 (or F11 in europe, or wait 2 months for the Fuji F30)

The F10 goes for about $280 if you look. Its downsides are the xD memory card, no optical viewfinder, and wierd data and recharge cable. It does not have true manual controls, but you can fake it well enough with the modes and ISO adjustments.

Its positives are: incredibly low noise chip, very useable ISO 1600 and 800, compact size, incredible battery life.

Lots of pros carry this camera as a pocket, social camera.

Please visit the forums at the above sites. Lots of great info there.

BTW, I was looking at the Sony DSC-P200, but it is getting a bad rep for dirt intrusion behind the lens. I was all set to pull the trigger on it, but, despite the great reviews, there were very few peeople that would recommend getting it and quite a few that recommended NOT getting it.

YMMV, caveat emptor.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:03:47 AM EDT
Here is a nice Kodak camera..

www.dpreview.com/news/0209/02092408kodak645h.asp

16 Megapixel for $12,000..

Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:05:48 AM EDT
kodak ls753 it's 5mps and rawks....best cam i've ever had and super easy to use...i think i paid like 200something but that was last year i'm sure it's gone down in price...good luck!
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:22:26 AM EDT
Cannon
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:27:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sixgunsblazing:
Cannon



+1.

I took a Canon PowerShot SD300 with me to Iraq, it survived in one piece and takes great pics. It uses standard SD cards which are getting pretty cheap, unlike Sonys which still use proprietary memory cards I believe. It's a great little camera, and now the SD400s are out which are 5M pixels. You'll have to spend some money to get a bigger SD card, I think they come with 16 Mb cards:

Camera
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:44:40 AM EDT
I would prefer not to go with sony in part because of the memory sticks. It's not a definate "no deal" but I'm leaning away from them.

Rik, I do want a dslr but I would have a hard time justifying it because I just take random shots here and there. It just seems like overkill.
I have heard about the S2 IS but then I read it doesn't do very good night shots at all. I was almost set on it too.

kindstranger, I have also heard of the F10/11 and F30. Again, I don't like xD memory. I'd rather have SD or CF. Do you know if the F30 will continue to use xD?
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:31:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By de8212:
Rik, I do want a dslr but I would have a hard time justifying it because I just take random shots here and there. It just seems like overkill.



It's not, for the price you'll be paying. Besides, when you outgrow a point and shoot, you're stuck with an obsolete camera and not much to show for it. When you outgrow a DSLR, you still have the lenses and just have to buy another body.



I have heard about the S2 IS but then I read it doesn't do very good night shots at all. I was almost set on it too.



Then get the Sony V3. It has infrared night vision capability for both pictures and movie clips, laser rangefinding for focussing in complete darkness and it can take Compact Flash card.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:37:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2006 8:39:22 AM EDT by JohnTheTexican]
I'm a big fan of Canon's SLR film cameras, but I've had very bad luck with their powershot digital cameras. On one, after a very short time the battery that came with the camera just wouldn't hold a charge and the three aftermarket replacements I bought had the same problem. My son bought a different Canon model shrotly after Christmas, and it's quit working too. Neither of these cameras saw any hard use and the batteries didn't get left in the charger overnight or anything. THere seems to be a problem with Canon's proprietary batteries. They just sort of suck.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:49:31 AM EDT
+1 on Canon (buy the A series); takes normal AA batteries and standard SD memory cards.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:51:37 AM EDT
tag-

good poop here.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 9:14:55 AM EDT
Painful as it can be, typing this reply, since I am a Nikon shooter:
Canon DSLR have very good high ISO (low light) capability, because of their excellent noise reduction routine.
The new Nikon D-200 is priced beyond $500, and the D-50 will not hack the low light stuff. :(

For P&S, seems like Sony done very good job with the low light capability, better than Canon, just like their video cameras.

If you wind up making your mind on a P&S or an advanced digital of any brand (Kodak, Sony, Nikon, Canon), look at the label where they are made. I aviod the Chinese made one both on principle and quality.

Just my 2 cents.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 9:17:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By leungken:
Painful as it can be, typing this reply, since I am a Nikon shooter:
Canon DSLR have very good high ISO (low light) capability, because of their excellent noise reduction routine.
The new Nikon D-200 is priced beyond $500, and the D-50 will not hack the low light stuff. :(



Not to hijack this thread, but the D200 has some problems at high ISO as well, caused most likely by squeezing 10+MPs onto the same size chip.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 9:35:36 AM EDT



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally Posted By leungken:
Painful as it can be, typing this reply, since I am a Nikon shooter:
Canon DSLR have very good high ISO (low light) capability, because of their excellent noise reduction routine.
The new Nikon D-200 is priced beyond $500, and the D-50 will not hack the low light stuff. :(

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Not to hijack this thread, but the D200 has some problems at high ISO as well, caused most likely by squeezing 10+MPs onto the same size chip.



A small quantity (less than 5%) of the first batch D-200 exhibit what the user called banding when shooting at high contrast area, like shooting ISO-400 and at light bulb using RAW crop at 200% or larger. The process is sort of stupid, since it is not a realistic photographic situation. Some shooters also discover what they call Type 3 banding when shooting indoor towards brightly lighted windows, which are more realistic situation. Even then, post processing the picture will elminate the banding pictures, and Nikon offer free service to correct the banding problem.

Almost 99% of the rework and the second batch seems not to be exhibiting banding.

FYI, both Canon and Nikons pro series have exhibit banding, but in their release, the gear heads have not discover it. On the other hand, if you read DP review, one would have thought the sky is falling on the Nikon D-200.

My D-200 arrived perfect, no banding even if I tried.

Actually high pixel count problem is digital noise, not banding. Banding seems to be related with calibration and software. Other problem assocated with high pixel count is dead or hot pixel.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 9:56:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By leungken:
A small quantity (less than 5%) of the first batch D-200 exhibit what the user called banding when shooting at high contrast area, like shooting ISO-400 and at light bulb using RAW crop at 200% or larger.



I'm not talking about the banding, I am talking about noise levels at high ISO.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 10:13:09 AM EDT
Canon Powershot G6






Link Posted: 3/6/2006 12:05:13 PM EDT
That G6 looks nice darealickt. I wish they had that one at Best Buy. I'd like to put my hands on it. Hasn't it been out a while? Not that I mind, I just wonder if iI should go wiht newer technology. Wonder how it compares with the S2 IS?
I bought my wife and my mother canon sd200's a while back and they are really good cameras. That's kinda why I'm leaning towards canons.
I've also heard good things about the A610. I guess that would mean the A620 would be good as well.
And I'm not really looking for a "pocket" camera but the sd550 seems good also with 7MP.

So out of the S2 IS, the A610/A620, the sd550, and maybe G6????

This is very confusing.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 12:08:53 PM EDT

I'm not talking about the banding, I am talking about noise levels at high ISO.



Even the D-200 is not as good as the Canon 20D/30D and 5D for low light (as I said, it is painful for me to recommend Canon), but compare with the rest of the Nikon DSLR line (which basically max out at ISO 400), the D-200 have very good noise performance at ISO 800, and usable at ISO 1600, but then, how many people shot acid rock shows (low light, medium speed action, no flash), or fast moving action (lots of light, fast action, no flash) that requires true high ISO performance?

My experience with the D-200 so far, I am very happy with the ISO 800 performance, and next week, I am going to go to the Long Beach Aquirum, and I am going to test out the ISO 1600 and 3200 (pitch dark) perfromance.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 12:11:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2006 12:12:03 PM EDT by dolanp]
Canons are great. I have an Powershot S400 Digital Elph. Takes great pictures, has a reasonable amount of manual control, and it's small enough that I can slip it into a pocket and take it wherever. Many cameras are a real pain to take with you unless you want to lug it around in a bag or around your neck. May not be the best choice for low light though, but again it depends on where you want to take it and how easily.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 12:30:11 PM EDT
Wait two months.... The S3IS will be out. 6 Megapixels, and alledgedly much better high iso performance. Plus it's black with a larger display and same great 36-432mm lens.

M4-AK
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 12:47:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By M4-AK:
Wait two months.... The S3IS will be out. 6 Megapixels, and alledgedly much better high iso performance. Plus it's black with a larger display and same great 36-432mm lens.

M4-AK


Yeah, i see where canon says avaiable May 2006. I can wait if I have to but what is the real world benefit of the S3 over the S2? I know what their specs say but a 1MP difference won't be that drastic of a change, will it?
What else that I will notice?

Also< i ddon;t see wht the price will be. I would just hate to wait and see that it's double the cost of the S2 then can't find any S2's.

BTW my mind isn't set on the S2 or S3, so please keep giving input.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 12:49:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By leungken:

I'm not talking about the banding, I am talking about noise levels at high ISO.



Even the D-200 is not as good as the Canon 20D/30D and 5D for low light (as I said, it is painful for me to recommend Canon), but compare with the rest of the Nikon DSLR line (which basically max out at ISO 400), the D-200 have very good noise performance at ISO 800, and usable at ISO 1600, but then, how many people shot acid rock shows (low light, medium speed action, no flash), or fast moving action (lots of light, fast action, no flash) that requires true high ISO performance?

My experience with the D-200 so far, I am very happy with the ISO 800 performance, and next week, I am going to go to the Long Beach Aquirum, and I am going to test out the ISO 1600 and 3200 (pitch dark) perfromance.



I use ISO 1600 on a regular basis. There are certain events where a flash is not polite that I find myself taking pictures in on a regular basis: my son's Tae Kwon Do belt tests for instance.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 1:05:18 PM EDT
Casio Exilim zx750

7.2 mp and had great reviews on dpreview.com
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 2:39:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By de8212:

Originally Posted By M4-AK:
Wait two months.... The S3IS will be out. 6 Megapixels, and alledgedly much better high iso performance. Plus it's black with a larger display and same great 36-432mm lens.

M4-AK


Yeah, i see where canon says avaiable May 2006. I can wait if I have to but what is the real world benefit of the S3 over the S2? I know what their specs say but a 1MP difference won't be that drastic of a change, will it?
What else that I will notice?

Also< i ddon;t see wht the price will be. I would just hate to wait and see that it's double the cost of the S2 then can't find any S2's.

BTW my mind isn't set on the S2 or S3, so please keep giving input.



It's not the megapixels. 6 is plenty. it's the image noise in low light, and feature set that's important. Won't know how clean the S3 is until they test one at Dpreview.com. But I'll say this. an S3 has all the tools on the camera. You don't need a bag full of lens.

M4-AK
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 3:19:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By de8212:
I would prefer not to go with sony in part because of the memory sticks. It's not a definate "no deal" but I'm leaning away from them.

Rik, I do want a dslr but I would have a hard time justifying it because I just take random shots here and there. It just seems like overkill.
I have heard about the S2 IS but then I read it doesn't do very good night shots at all. I was almost set on it too.

kindstranger, I have also heard of the F10/11 and F30. Again, I don't like xD memory. I'd rather have SD or CF. Do you know if the F30 will continue to use xD?



Yes, the F30 will use xD. I have mostly Canon (20D SLR, G5) but that little Fuji is worth the xD card (50 bucks for 512mb now). The low noise pictures at ISO 800 are really incredible.

Big Canon fan here, but that little Fuji really rocks when it counts: picture quality.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 4:44:37 PM EDT
I will look at the specs regarding the F30. Looks like it's not out until May also.

I am going to try and hold out until then and maybe see how the Canon S3 IS and the F30 compare.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 4:55:54 PM EDT


Canon A610 - Plenty of features and it doesn't break the bank
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:45:14 PM EDT
One word....Kodak
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:48:27 PM EDT
I agree with waiting. I have a Canon IS S1 and I like it enough I'd consider an IS S2. The only problem is the form factor is a bit large, but you get a 10x optical lense and image stabilization, which is very nice. I also like a lot of Fuji cameras and we have had a couple of their low end models. Apart from the price the xD memory chips are great. I did consider the Fuji F10 but it was $100 more than the Canon IS S1, and I like being able to use regular batteries in the camera. If you have $500 I'd wait a couple of months. It seems like new models come out and price for old models plumet in late Spring.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 6:02:49 PM EDT
My Fuji E550 SUCKS! The piece of shit started over exposing, banding, fucking up every shot I took right after I purchaesd it. Had to send it back to Fuji on MY dollar, I've had it just over a whole year, and it's back to the same old shit. I called Fuji and they said send it back (my dollar again) and they will let me know how much it will cost to repair the camera again.

My six year old Kodak DC240 still works fine.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 6:10:44 PM EDT
taag
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 6:12:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JDC_VA_USMC:

Originally Posted By sixgunsblazing:
Cannon



+1.

I took a Canon PowerShot SD300 with me to Iraq, it survived in one piece and takes great pics. It uses standard SD cards which are getting pretty cheap, unlike Sonys which still use proprietary memory cards I believe. It's a great little camera, and now the SD400s are out which are 5M pixels. You'll have to spend some money to get a bigger SD card, I think they come with 16 Mb cards:

Camera



I have the same camera, and I highly recommend it. Can shoot videao as well. Mine came with a 32mb card, upgrading to 512.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 6:14:32 PM EDT
Canon sd550. Here is a photo I took last weekend at Steamboat. Run was ROLEX. Reized of course.

Link Posted: 3/6/2006 6:19:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2006 6:21:25 PM EDT by Offspring]
I just got the Nikon Coolpix L1.

-6.2MP
-5x Optical zoom
-Compact
-Easy to use
-$249.99 at Best Buy

Link Posted: 3/6/2006 6:25:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By leungken:
Painful as it can be, typing this reply, since I am a Nikon shooter:
Canon DSLR have very good high ISO (low light) capability, because of their excellent noise reduction routine.
The new Nikon D-200 is priced beyond $500, and the D-50 will not hack the low light stuff. :(



The D50 high ISO is consiered o be the best among the consumer Nikon DSLRs.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 6:36:23 PM EDT
I'm very hapy with my Kodak Z7590. Its responsable for most of my railroad pictures in my Railroad photography thread. I was hesitant about skipping from my baby Kodak to a big and bad ass Canon, so I went with this to kinda bridge the gap. The quality has been just outstanding, and you can get all kinds of different lenses for it as well.

I paid $275+S&H from Beach Digital

It uses regular memory cards
10X Optical Zoom
3X Digital Zoom
Numerous Interchangeable Lenses.
Custom setting for night, day, speed, or whatever
It can take Digital video, with sound
5.something megapixel LCD screes
Digital view finder
The battery lasts forever
Some fancy smancy kraut lense comes on it, the same lense is used on some other very expensive cameras.
Its durable as hell
Its quick into action
Its automatic shots are very fast
It can compensate on its own for lighting shots

Its not the best in any category, but its near the top of the pack in everything, and the price is hard to beat
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