Need help buying a digital camera here is what I am looking for...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mcease, May 31, 2004.

  1. mcease

    mcease Guest

    I am looking for an well rounded camera that I can take on trips to
    take some fairly high quality photos. I am willing to spend up to $600
    - $800 CDN which is probably 450-600 USD. I am looking for something
    that can take long range photos, photos in low light conditions,
    photos with color depth, etc. I will be taking a mixture of photos for
    example, some will be of people, and others will be strictly nature
    shots. I would like to be able to capture nature shots that are wide
    and nature shots that are in the distance as well.

    Any suggestions on the specs to look at; for example, a fast lens,
    digital zoom, etc etc.

    Ps I am new to the digital world and dont really know what specs to
    look for, so if you have any suggestions it is appreciated.
    mcease, May 31, 2004
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  2. mcease

    Seymore Guest

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  3. I'll second the nomination for the Sony DSC-F717.
    I would also like to nominate the Canon G5, Excellent camera that you can
    definitely get *NEW* for $500 - $600 US

    Abe's of Maine
    Sony DSC-F717 $548.99US
    Canon G5 (not available)

    MP Superstore
    Sony DSC-F717 $547.95US
    Canon G5 (not available)
    Canon G5 $519.00US
    Sony DSC-F717 $711.40 US
    Canon G5 $524.00US
    Sony DSC-F717 $577.00 US

    Tyrone Jackson, May 31, 2004
  4. You'll have to compromise somewhere. A long zoom usually has a somewhat
    high f-number, limiting what you can do in low-light conditions. You could
    get a digital SLR with interchangable lenses, but not at your budget. Most
    cameras offer digital zoom. It is a marketing ploy, not something useful.
    Marvin Margoshes, Jun 1, 2004
  5. The short answer: check out links like these: (or it may be image-source, forget

    The longer answer:

    There are quite a few cameras in this range that work great. In your
    case, since you mentioned "long distances" I'm going to guess you want
    a long zoom range.

    By the way, speaking of zoom--and to answer a question of
    yours--digital zoom is WORTHLESS. All it does it electronically "crop"
    the image; it is not a "true" zoom, and it degrades image quality.
    Focus instead on OPTICAL zoom (it's all I'll mention in my

    Since you want an exceptional zoom, that leaves out excellent cameras
    like these (I'd say):

    * Canon Powershot G3 or G5
    * Sony DSC-V1
    * Olympus C4000
    * Nikon Coolpix 5400
    * Olympus C-5050

    Instead, these other cameras could do the trick:

    * Nikon Coolpix 5700.

    I just got one of these. Note--this is what I'd call a "hobbyist"
    camera, that is, a camera for photography-types interested in taking
    more than snapshots. It has manual features galore. For your purposes
    it has an 8x zoom. It cost $1000 just last year; now, with some lucky,
    you may be able to get about with $500 after rebate (until July, Nikon
    has a $150 rebate on this camera).

    * Sony DSC-F717

    Someone just mentioned that. It's an outstanding choice in fact. Its
    5x zoom is great, and it probably autofocuses better than the 5700 in
    low-light; it has a laser beam which helps with that. Also a
    "hobbyist" camera like the Coolpix 5700. Its lens is a bit "faster"
    than the Nikon, too. Costs like $600 right now.

    * Kodak DX6490

    No, I don't consider this to be a "hobbyist" camera in the same league
    as the other two--or the other list before it. But it's fine for
    everyday stuff, and if it's zoom you want, it has it--10x of it, in
    fact. It has a HUGE 2.2" LCD too. It's great if you want
    "snapshooting" power. Costs like $500 last time I looked.

    The list before--they would be great choices if you don't mind a
    little "shoeleather zoom." Their zoom usually goes to like 140mm or so
    (35mm equivalent)--not bad, really. (By comparision, in the 2nd list,
    the 5700 goes to 280mm, the Sony 717 goes to 190mm, the Kodak to

    And they have great capabilities. The Nikon 5400 shines with a 28mm
    wide-angle equivalent position--all the rest typically are 35mm--and
    the Olympus C-5050 has a f/1.8 lens. The C4000 is somewhat
    cheaper--only $250 or so. The G3 is just a great all-around "hobbyist"
    type of camera--a gem if you can find it. Same thing for the Sony
    DSC-V1, though it lacks "RAW" (a "photographer's" feature).
    Larry R Harrison Jr, Jun 1, 2004
  6. In that price range, look at the Sony F717 and the Panasonic DMC-FZ10. You
    are going to have to get something with a pretty good telephoto. There are
    trade-offs with each of these. The Sony has an AF assist lamp, which is very
    important for night shots; the Panasonic lacks this. I'd choose the Sony
    based on this.

    The Olympus C8080 would be ideal, but it's out of your price range at about

    Steven M. Scharf, Jun 2, 2004
  7. mcease

    mcease Guest

    Thanks for the replys.
    I would trade off low light for distance I think. Right now I am just
    using a point and shoot film camera...I have just got into the idea of
    getting a fairly good camera for nature shots. The reason why I wanted
    a camera that takes low light pictures is because on my last trip to
    Las Vegas my evening/night pictures did not come out too well. For
    those of you who have been to Vegas know that the city looks the
    nicest at night. My future shots will be of landscapes on trips. Will
    I need a camera that takes low light pictures for sunset shot? If not
    I am definately willing to trade off the low light spec for a camera
    that shoots long range photos, and captures a wide angle.
    mcease, Jun 3, 2004
  8. mcease

    mcease Guest

    I have now increased my budget and am looking at the Canon Digital
    Rebel. What are your opinions with this camera? Will I be happy with
    it for the areas I mentioned? eg low light, long zoom, wide angle
    mcease, Jun 7, 2004
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