Camera Search Help

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Manning, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Manning macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2007
    #1
    I am looking for a camera, but I am kinda lost. I want something that will last awhile and provide good quality pictures and has RAW format. I am going to college next year and want to work in graphic design, so I want good pictures that I can work with in PS and Lightroom. However, I don't know what kind of camera to look at. So far I have look everywhere from the compact to dSLR. I am starting to narrow it down.

    If I got dSLR, I want something cheap such as the Nikon D50, which I can get for about $500 with lens. However, that is more than I want.

    For the megazooms, I have looked at the Fujifilm FinePix S9100, which will still run me into the $400's.

    On the compact level I am currently looking at the Lumix DMC-LX2. Which will cost a little under $400.

    I figure its most likely between the Finepix or the Lumix because of the price issue. Can I expect to get high quality photo's with the Lumix, even though it is a compact?

    I am just worried that anything that isn't a dSLR, won't provide me with a good quality camera. Is that correct, or can I be just as happy with the Lumix or something similar to it?

    Thank you so much.
     
  2. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    #2
    I don't think you should go for a DSLR, since it doesn't really sound like you need one (and, a DSLR will only leave you itchin' to buy more lenses.. which quickly adds up).

    A high end digital point and shoot will definitely still give you quality photos (relatively, obviously). For instance, I had a Fujifilm FinePix e900 before my Canon XTi, and that thing was great (RAW support, fully manual if you wanted it to be, 9MP..). That only runs about $300 now, and there are others around that price point and above that will meet your needs.

    As you start narrowing in on a few, check out dpreview for their reviews to help you make a final decision.

    Edit: You might also want to start at their buying guide, which could help point you in the right direction.
     
  3. Manning thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2007
    #3
    I looked at the e900 earlier today. Can you please post some more opinions on them, if you don't mind? I would really appreciate it. I have looked at cnet and dpreview.com for some ideas, I will go look some more at the e900.
     
  4. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    #4
    Well I'm not really sure what more to say other than "I liked it and the photos it took" haha.. but here is dpreview's page on it.. there is also 27 owners opinions there, so you can get a good feel for what people think. I did a lot of research before buying it though, and I really only found good things overall (of course there were some complaints.. but you don't pay $300 and get a perfect camera!).

    Here's another pretty good, in-depth review of it.
     
  5. Manning thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Thanks for the link, I have been reading those user reviews. I really appreciate your help.
     
  6. BurtonCCC macrumors 65816

    BurtonCCC

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    #6
    Definitely check out DPReview. As for point and shoot cameras that have RAW support, I'm not sure. My only advice is just to make sure you'll looking at optical zoom rather than digital zoom. If you decide to go for a Canon DSLR, make sure you know that the three entry level DSLR (XT, XTi, and 20D) pretty much all take the same quality pictures, despite the price differences.

    Daniel.
     
  7. Manning thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2007
    #7
    Right now I am looking at the DMC-LX2 and the e900. The LX2 looks like a much better camera, but has complaints about high ISO shooting. I don't know much about camera's, but will shooting in high ISO be a factor if I am taking RAW photos?
     
  8. BurtonCCC macrumors 65816

    BurtonCCC

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    #8
    It all depends on the camera. If you're not shooting in RAW, the white balance that the camera assigns might contribute a small amount to the amount of noise at each ISO level. Generally, however, ISO noise is ISO noise, no matter what other settings you use. RAW is a feature made for post-processing though, so Photoshop tools can be used to lessen noise moreso than in a shot taken with JPEG format.

    Sorry. That didn't help you at all. :rolleyes:

    Daniel.
     
  9. jlcharles macrumors 6502

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    #9
    The 20D is a discontinued camera. It's been replaced by the 30D and it isn't an entry level camera, but more of a midlevel prosumer model.
     
  10. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    #10
    I'm fairly certain he knows that the 20D is a discontinued camera. But now that it can only be found used, its price is about the same as the XTi new, and is somewhat considered to be on the same level, but better in some ways (ergonomics, for one).
     
  11. Manning thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2007
    #11
    Thanks for everyone's help. I am reading about the E900 and it says the RAW feature is buried in the Camera's settings. Is there any way to make it more assesible?
     
  12. Manning thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2007
    #12
    I was reading a review of the E900 and it said that Photoshop wouldn't recognize the RAW format from the camera.

    Can anyone please point me towards some other RAW capable camera's that are similar to it, or comment on the LX2
     
  13. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    #13
    Nope. It's not terribly hard to get to though, and once you set it in RAW, you can continue to shoot in RAW until you change it back to JPG.

    That's definitely wrong. We shot in RAW all the time and used Photoshop to tweak and create HDR images.
     
  14. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    #14
    On a more general note, why is RAW capability so important to you anyways? It doesn't really seem like your needs warrant that. Just shoot in .jpg and resave as something else (Tiff, for instance) as soon as you open it up on the computer (since jpg throws out information every time you save).
     
  15. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    #15
    I own a Canon PowerShot S2 IS. Not a RAW-capable camera, but if you save its JPEGs into TIFFs, you should be fine. The PowerShot S3 IS has a 6.0 megapixel CCD and a good lens which is probably more important than direct-to-RAW/TIFF, because if the picture is crap to begin with, the file format won't fix things. And at its highest settings, the JPEGs aren't all that bad, especially when re-saved as TIFFs.

    Don't discount non-native RAW/TIFF cameras... you'll probably seriously limit your choices to more expensive cameras that may not be best for what you need.
     
  16. Manning thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2007
    #16
    I should stress that I am a beginner and what I have read just sounded like RAW was an important feature. Plus I will probably enjoy tinkering with the image after I have taken than the actual taking of the picture.

    Thank you for the link to the Canon, I was looking at that too. So would it be better to use that and just save as TIFF?
     
  17. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    #17
    You can tinker with an image taken in JPG... :confused:
     
  18. Manning thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    Yes, I know. But I read you can do alot more with a RAW image
     
  19. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    #19
    As you are a beginner, I would suggest shooting jpg's. You can experiment later with raw if you really want to.

    FJ
     
  20. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    #20
    What do you want to do to your images? I've been shooting JPEGs for 4+ years and I can count on one hand the number of times I've thought to myself, "Self, I really wish I had a RAW image file about now."

    Usually when I've botched the white balance or something. Then I fix it in Photoshop, and all's well.
     
  21. Manning thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2007
    #21
    Thank you for the info, I am going to get the Canon Powershot S3 since you guys informed me that RAW is not really needed.

    What does saving the JPEG as a TIFF do though?

    Thank you
     
  22. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #22
    That advice was erroneous - once the data is gone, it's gone - converting it to a TIFF isn't going to recover it. However it is hard to find a point and shoot that does RAW anymore (too bad; even my old Canon S30 had RAW mode).

    Derrick Story recently wrote about the Panasonic Lumix FZ8 camera, and he really liked it - BTW it has a RAW mode.

    To add my $0.02 to the discussion - if you can get a camera that does RAW, at some point you will likely be happy you made that decision.
     
  23. MacAnkka macrumors regular

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    Finland
    #23
    Every time you save a JPG file, some of the data is lost (jpg is a lossy image format). If you save a TIFF file, you don't lose any data (tiff is a lossless image format). If you are modifying pictures a lot, you are most likely saving them a couple of times, so it's better to use a lossless format like TIFF.

    You won't get any data back, that's true, but saving a lossy JPG again as a lossy JPG after a little bit of modification is going to result in an even worse image quality.
     
  24. Manning thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2007
    #24
    I am looking at that Lumix and seems to be better in every detail. Can shoot 16:9, has RAW, 1 more MP, cheaper, better aperature and faster shutter speed, and seems like the better choice.

    However, I have just read so many good things about the Canon. Would it be wrong to step away from that to the Lumix?

    Thank you again so much for all the help!
     
  25. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    #25
    Not erroneous - as MacAnkka already pointed out, although you've already lost information, you should still resave your JPGs as something else if you plan on resaving them in the future (ie: if you want to make changes/tweaks). The JPG file format throws out information after every save, so if you keep stacking that compression on top of itself, you end up with a pretty bad picture.
     

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