How to buy a good camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by eternalvoyageur, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. eternalvoyageur macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hello ! I am looking to buy a digital camera. I don´t have a lot of money, but I would like to make a good choice with the budget that I have.

    Basically, I would like to know whether it is important to buy a camera of a good brand. I see in the shops some cameras that have a lot of features etc, and are cheap, by some unknown brand. It is tempting, but probably such a camera would stop working properly pretty soon ?

    What are your experiences with various brands ?

    Before, I used Sony DSC-P73. I heard that the problem with Sonys is that they are too automatic, with not enough manual functions. But as it was my first and only digital camera, so I don´t have anything to compare it with.

    Any advice and suggestions would be very welcome !!!
     
  2. blodwyn macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Start with the features you want the camera to support, which is based on the type of shots you will take. Do you need manual settings or do you want fully auto point and shoot? Is shutter response an issue for you. Do you need a DSLR with replaceable lenses. Do you intend to shoot night shots, portraits, macro, landscapes or whatever. Do you need large size prints or not. Etc, etc. When you know what you need from your camera, and you have your budget, you will probably (hopefully) have a short list of cameras that fit the profile.

    Then read the reviews and choose from the big name manufacturers
     
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #3
    dpreview.com is a good place to get a broader sense of your options as well.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #4
    What is an "unknown brand"? A brand that is unknown to you or unknown to someone else? I don't there is any brand that no one knows about.

    When talking about camera brands there are a few camera makers that have been in the business for many, many years and so you might expect them to continue to be around for a long time. The ones that come to mind are:

    Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax, Leica,

    And then there are some big electronics companies that recently got into making cameras. They have relatively little experience with cameras but have much experience with consumer electronics these are

    Sony, Casio, Sharp, and so on.

    If you want a "safe" bet your best option is to buy from the first group. But in real -life, most people upgrade their camera before it breaks. If the thing lasts three years that's good enough because you will want to replace it by then. Most camera break because of accident So the odds of having a camera last a long time depend more on you then on who made it.

    You can't go on brand name. Yes you might notice that 80% of the pros on the sidelines of a football game are shooting Canon but that means nothing if you are buying a point and shoot Those pro cameras share nothing in common with a small pocket camera.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    Buy a small camera from any of these companies:

    Nikon, Olympus, Casio, Fuji, Canon, Panasonic, Pentax, Sony, Kodak, or Samsung.


    If you want more manual features, the cameras are usually bigger, but take better photos because the lens is better. The super thin cameras are very convenient, but they're usually better for automatic shooting, as it's harder to change settings with those cameras. The manual features may or may not be there, but the ease of changing them quickly isn't.

    Casio makes some really good small and thin cameras, but so do all the companies I just named. :eek: Slightly larger "pro-sumer" cameras are a different story.
     
  6. ero87 macrumors 65816

    ero87

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    #6
    I love my Canon Powershot 600, here's a vote for that!

    so easy to use, mac-compatible, affordable, nice looking... really great.
     
  7. eternalvoyageur thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Thanks for all the responses so far.
    I would like a camera that has as many manual settings as possible, I don´t care much for the point-and-shoot.

    In germany (where I am right now) there are some small companies that manufacture cheap cameras, that have a lot of features. But the prices seem to be too cheap to be true... so, I suppose that there must be a catch somewhere. Probably cheap parts...

    Another thing, I am looking for durability. As I said, I´m on a budget, and I would like to buy a camera that will last for some years. I don´t see myself getting a new one every 2 years or so (unless I win the lottery).
     
  8. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #8
    What sort of budget are you thinking of?

    What does your current camera lack that you want?

    Do you have any links to these mysetirous German budget cameras?
     
  9. rot@ti.org macrumors newbie

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    Jan 21, 2005
    #9
    Buying a good low-cost digital camera

    One way to save a lot of money is to buy one of last-year's models. You can still get most of the features of the latest models, but the older models tend to be heavily discounted. For example, I recently bought a 6-megapixel Fuji camera that was priced about $300 when it came out two years ago but is now available for about half that.

    You can also save by buying refurbished models. Like refurbished Macs, this usually means the camera is brand new but was previously purchased, opened, then returned. Just make sure the one you buy is not missing any accessories that are supposed to come with it.

    My favorite site for camera reviews is http://www.imaging-resource.com/DIGCAM01.HTM. Any camera listed as a "Dave's Pick" is a good one. If you see an "unknown brand" that is not reviewed by this or another major review site, it is probably not worth the few dollars you would save from buying it.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #10
    Try looking for a used DSLR. The Nikons seem to hold their value to well but used Canon 6MP Rebels (Called "300D" in Europe, I think) are available cheap. Easy to find one for US$350 They are durable, and of course have all the manual controls exposed and not buried in some menu.
     
  11. macsockz macrumors newbie

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    #11
    I have found steves-digicams. com to be a great site to research cameras. He has a page that lists the "best" cameras in different areas such as super zoom,digital slr, digital slr under 1000, and by MP. Also has links to sites that sell the cameras and prices. Great info and also has sample pics for each camera reviewed.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    Problem with ol-Stevo's site is that he lists every damn camera into his "best of" sections. I mean, every DSLR under $800 will be in his "Best Budget DSLR" category. :eek:
     
  13. BanjoBanker macrumors 6502

    BanjoBanker

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    #13
    used DSLR

    I agree with ChrisA. Look for a quality DSLR that is a couple of years old. I have seen a Nikon D70 for $400 w/ the kit lens. All of Nikon's glass will work with it, so there are plenty of choices for later additions. Since you want manual settings, this seems the way to go. As far as durability goes, you can't beat Nikon. I have a 30 year F1 that stills works great. I use the glass from my D70 on it!
     
  14. iris_failsafe macrumors 6502

    iris_failsafe

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    #14
    Actually I wouldn't count SONY as an amateur, they are the king of CCD's and CMOS sensors (guess who makes the digital sensor's for Nikon's DSLR's;) ) and they hired Carl Zeiss to provide the lenses (hardly an amateur either). I have two SONY cameras and I am very pleased with them, they both have many manual functions and I must say the colours that they deliver are way better than any other camera I have seen.

    The models I currently own are the DSC W12 (5,1 mexapixels) and DSC W100 (8,1 mexapixels)...
     
  15. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #15
    I don't really agree with that. If someone wants to shoot everything from kids football games, weddings, trips to the beach, and other quick shots, the SLR may not be the one camera for everyone.

    To get the focal range you would need to cover all of this you will need to buy allot of lenses, or one really expensive large range lens. Some people neither need, or want to carry that amount of equipment.

    If you want something that can do lots of types of good quality shooting, and only have to carry around one camera, I would recommend something like a canon S3 IS, Powershot G7, or a Nikon equivalent for your one camera to do everything.

    Sure you can, with Canon ;) .


    I don't think being able to run 30 year old lenses is something this person is interested in! If it is, I retract my statement, but why? :confused:
     
  16. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #16
    I can't stand cameras made by electronics manufacturers. that's just a personal opinion. my parents once had a sony P&S and the lense fell off. it also took el crappo photos. friends of mine have casios, and they take the noisiest pictures I've ever seen. buy a pentax, canon, nikon, panasonic (yes, they are an electronics company, but they have leica optics), or samsung (which is just a rebranded pentax). they're real cameras.
     
  17. cube macrumors G4

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    #17
    Panasonic: Leica optics crippled by sensor noise.
     
  18. eternalvoyageur thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Thanks so much for all the responses. Most probably, I´ll be going for Canon, maybe the PowerShot A430 or A530...
    They have x4 optical zoom, lots of nice features, and are discounted for Christmas :D
     

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