Beginner Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by lampdeskchair, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. lampdeskchair macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #1
    I'm looking to get into photography, more as a hobby. I'm looking for a good beginner camera to learn with. Would the Canon PowerShot S5 IS be a good choice? 349.99 is about as much as I wanna pay and probably all I would need as a photo n00b right? lol
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    For $100 more you can get into an entry level DSLR.

    When ever someone asks "what camera to buy" the first question
    everyone asks back to them is "What are you going to shoot?" How and where is the camera going to be used? what kind of picture are you planning to make.

    You have given us some clues. You said "photography, more as a hobby" This is very different than someone who wants to take vacation snapshots. "as a hobby" means images are the main activity and you have an idea in your head of what you want before you start.

    For a hobbyist one thing I don't like about the Canon line of point and shoots is that they don't do "RAW" format images. To bad. Features that I would look for are
    • manual control of focus and exposure NOT buried inside a menu. I want real buttons and knobs.
    • Raw format images
    • good optics, sharp with no color fringing.
    You don't need much else. Well, the abillty to control an off camera flash would be very nice.
     
  3. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #3
    Yeah, but that's also a huge investment into lenses, bodies, etc. for a number of years.

    If you can take a good picture, it doesn't matter so much the file format you took it in. There are plenty of pictures that I can say, "yeah, RAW would have been nice to have had then" but I also realize I may have missed those shots because I'd have been overwhelmed by the camera.

    I have a PowerShot S2 IS, and it did those things very well. (Well, 'cept for the RAW bit) Manual focus with an EVF is tricky, but possible, and I found the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages. Exposure control is a button right underneath your thumb. The lens was great, and it wasn't until I pushed it hard that I got purple fringing (pretty bad, unfortunately, because it was a great shot, but then again the camera was two years old at the time and didn't have a UV filter over it which didn't the situation... never any other problems, though)
    The S5 has a hotshoe, which is a great feature for an already great camera.

    It would be good to see some of your pictures to know what to recommend. But tentatively, I'd say, go for the S5. Learn with it. In a couple years, decide on a dSLR. But the S5 offers plenty of power.
     
  4. lampdeskchair thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #4
    Thanks for the tips guys, and yeah. As a hobby I'll be taking pictures of a little bit of everything.

    While lens are expensive from what I've seen, it would be nice to have the option now that I think of it. Hm, S5 would probably be the smarter purchase to learn with though.
     
  5. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #5
    PowerShot S2 had ultra-macro mode (0cm focus) to a 12x optical zoom (200mm+). S5 is similar. Do your research... you won't be happy with a kit lens, and lenses are much more expensive than you've said you can spend.
     
  6. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #6
    Those Canons have too small sensors and lack wide angle.

    I would prefer the Fujifilm S6000fd.
     
  7. lampdeskchair thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #7
    Yeah I'll go with the S5. :)
     
  8. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #8
    My recommendation? Rebel XT Body + 50mm f/1.8 lens.

    Add the 17-85 when you can.
     
  9. lampdeskchair thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #9
    This one? I thought the Rebels were much more expensive. This seems a little closer to my price range and cnet liked it lol. I guess I could cough up 50-100 more dollars. :p

    Edit:: 439.99 at butterflyphoto, wonder if it's a credible store. Hmm..
     
  10. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
  11. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #11
    That's the one. :)

    If you're interested in saving as much money as possible, I have the 18-55 kit and the 50mm f/1.8 that I might be willing to part with for a decent price.

    Amazon has the body only for $420.
     
  12. lampdeskchair thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #12
    Sweet, I'll let ya know how my wallet takes the news. (when I get paid lol) and might take you up on that offer. Getting it for a christmas present for myself. :D
     
  13. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #13
    Why go for an old and more expensive camera when the Pentax is new, good, and has built-in image stabilization?
     
  14. lampdeskchair thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #14
    This one? I wouldn't know, is it better? I've heard good things about Rebels, seem to be the popular choice from what I can tell. Of course I know nothing and am utterly confused on the subject lol.
     
  15. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #15
  16. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #16
  17. lampdeskchair thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #17
    Yeah I'm not worried about the megapixels, should be more then enough. I heard lenses are more important and such.

    They both look like great cameras, and Pentax is a bit cheaper. Anyone else with any input on deciding between them?

    Edit:: Watched a review on youtube on the Pentax, apparently it's rather slow and not very good for action shooting. A good chunk of the pictures I'm looking to take are gonna be action photos. Friends skateboarding, wakeboarding, and I'm looking forward to taking pictures of the boat drags when they come down to my town. Action photos are among my favorite and the Rebel (from what I read on cnet) is supposedly much faster then the others in its class. So for my needs the Rebel seems better right?
     
  18. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #18
    Thanks for starting this thread. I too am in the market and was really sold on the Nikon d40 (my price range is $500) and I picked one up and it felt nice.

    I then saw the Canon Rebel suggested here and figured it would be good since I already have 4 old Canon compatible Vivitar lens at home (non AF) and was told they'll only fit the Canon cameras.

    That being said and seeing the Pentax, will these lens fit the Pentax or does one have to buy Pentax specific lens (I can provide some numbers off the lens I have)

    I'm still debating but so far the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT with 18mm-to-55mm lens (silver) is in the lead with me.

    Sorry didn't mean to thread jack you.
     
  19. lampdeskchair thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #19
    Hah no problem, I've pretty much decided myself. :D
     
  20. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

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    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #20
    Rebel? Like I said that one is my front runner. Didn't like the small lcd panel compared to the nikon but since I already have canon lens I figured might as well go for it. My zoom might not be Auto focus but it beats shelling out more money for a lens I already own.

    Good luck with your choice.
     
  21. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #21
    If you eventually plan to get some other lenses, I would investigate the lens lines and prices and determine what would be realistic for you.
    Go also to places like keh.com to check out the used ones.

    There are not so many lenses in the current Pentax lineup as for Canon, but for the old ones Pentax should have the advantage, as it's still the K mount that they have been using for several decades. Canon changed to the EOS mount at some point, so you're restricted to that.

    For all brands there're excellent old lenses that are very affordable (see caveat about EOS). Actually, a handful are so good and rare that can cost quite a lot more than when they were new.

    While there's sometimes a lens rebate that applies when purchased with a certain body model, there's usually several independent Pentax lens rebates too. Look for the form.

    Canon and Nikon also have cashbacks sometimes, but Pentax appears more aggresive, and it seems it has been working lately.
     
  22. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #22
    Note that for Nikon you need at least a D200 to meter with manual lenses, so you have to use experience, camera histogram or standalone lightmeter with cheaper cameras. There are some really old lenses that you MUST NOT put in the camera or you might damage it.

    I don't know the metering situation with Pentax for old lenses.

    An important factor is that for Canon and Nikon there are only some specific and relatively or really expensive lenses with stabilization.

    With the K100D the stabilizer is in the body, so it works for all lenses, even the old ones.
     
  23. jlcharles macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wenonah, NJ
    #23
    I would never buy from them. Their rating is pretty terrible. A 5.35 lifetime is not good.

    http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Abe_s_of_Maine
     
  24. lampdeskchair thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #24
    Yeah, the Canon seems to be the right choice for me as well. :)
     
  25. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #25
    Beach Camera is about $20 more, and their rating is good.

    Having seen Abe's since a long time ago in the magazines, I was actually more wary about Beach, which I only found some time ago online.

    That said, I've only bought from B&H from the US, and it was a good experience.

    I was actually thinking of maybe ordering something from Abe's in the future, as Beach does not ship internationally. Thanks.
     

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