Best camera under $500

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TSX, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. TSX macrumors 68030

    TSX

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    Im looking for a camera that takes nice pics for under 500. Im not a professional/hobbyist photographer i just need something that's going to be fairly easy to use and take excellent pics for under or maybe around 500. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #2
    Cheap, easy to use, small and light, 24 mm wide angle, ƒ2.4 aparture and SD card, I give you Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W380 (or the very similar WX1).

    Should cost half your budget, or less...

    Went to China recently for a 24 day holiday, with only this camera (and my girlfriend with her WX1). Was a bit worried about not bringing a DSLR, but the resulting images was very, very nice and the small size made it very easy to travel with and very unobtrusive in a crowd...
     
  3. TSX thread starter macrumors 68030

    TSX

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    For some reason they dont sell the dsc-w380 in the US.
     
  4. Philscbx macrumors regular

    Philscbx

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Location:
    Mpls Mn
    #4
    YouTube HD content of the Panasonic ZS3 for USA, or the same unit in the UK as the TZ7.
    I purchased 6 of these, and everyone is total amazed at the quality, and it fits in your pocket.
    They came out last spring at $400, and now have dropped about $50, maybe more.

    If you in anyway you don't like it, I'll buy it.
    I got all of mine at National Camera.
    One is never enough at wedding or party.

    I have over 10k in Canon pro gear, and I rarely risk taking it with in the truck as much as I used to.

    Just head to any pro camera shop, and try it out.
    Best Buy does not have rights to sell them.

    You will see reviews galore at Amazon, dpreview, and many other highend camera sites.

    The next step up are the 4/3's semi pro built compacts.
    Check them out if you want to grow into the features.

    Good Luck
     
  5. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #5
    Could you be a bit more specific? How big? Do you want a pocketable camera? Do you want a long zoom?
     
  6. TSX thread starter macrumors 68030

    TSX

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    Size really doesn't matter, but more features in a smaller camera would be nice. I would like to have more than 5x zoom.

    Has anyone messed with an Canon SX210IS or the Panasonic ZS7?
     
  7. MacRodster macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    #7
    If you want a DSLR I must recommend the Pentax k-x, it's a fantastic little DSLR for the price. One of the smallest if not THE smallest DSLR on the market.: http://www.google.com/products/cata...og_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAYQ8wIwAA#

    If you want something smaller, I would recommend the Canon S90 which shoots RAW as well as JPEG, has Full Auto and when you want to be more creative, you can venture into manual modes like Av, Tv etc....: http://www.google.com/products/cata...GKDte3-Qay5O2NAQ&sa=title&ved=0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p
     
  8. funkboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Location:
    elsewhere
    #8
    Another vote for the Canon S90, or perhaps a G11 if you want something with a little more meat to it.

    Whatever you do, for this kind of money be sure to get something that shoots RAW and not just jpegs. I still occasionally process a RAW image shot from my coolpix 5700 back in 2002 with lightroom 3, and the results with a modern image processing engine and good post-prod are pretty impressive from such an old compact camera.

    Just for grins, I did that just now with a photo I shot with that camera 8 years ago on a cross-country skiing trip:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Artsifrtsy macrumors newbie

    Artsifrtsy

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    Sep 29, 2009
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    Eureka Springs AR
    #9
  10. Arisian macrumors 68000

    Arisian

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    China
    #10
  11. Woodrow72 macrumors member

    Woodrow72

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    Utah
    #11
    my vote goes for the G10/G11 they have almost everything you could want. The new G11 has a larger sensor as well, closer to DSLR size.

    You can change Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, White Balance, and a lot more. You can shoot in RAW and regular JPG.

    You can also use Nikon Speedlights if you shoot in manual. (not that thats something you'll do but cool to know)

    They are great cameras for the price and what you get.
     
  12. autumnmike macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #12
    For a compact. The s90 is awesome. Very nice to have 2 control rings. The smart auto as they call it takes some great photos too. Add in best in class low light. And it's small enough that you'll take it more places and don't have to say, damn wish I had my camera right now
     
  13. Arisian macrumors 68000

    Arisian

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    China
    #13
    He speaks truth.
     
  14. Eaton Photos macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    KY
    #14
    I vote for the G11 over the S90.

    I've owned both, and have extensive image libraries from both bodies. Will share images upon request/ link to galleries.

    Shot Raw & Jpeg on both. Key features that sent me to the G11, were: Much battery life, more Zoom, Better feel in hands (S90 kept slipping everywhere), external hot-shoe, non-motorized on board flash, and overall a more feature packed body.

    I liked the S90, while we had it, and it went with us on a trip through FL, to Key West, Savannah, GA, & back home. But once that trip was over, we exchanged it for a G11. Since then the G11 is used practically every day. I'm a photographer/ videographer, we have 2 kids under 2, and the G11 works perfectly, when I don't want to take my bodies/ lenses everywhere. Also works great with External Flashes & Pocket Wizards. :p:D:p
     
  15. #15
    For only around 300, I'm very happy with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-Z3. It doesn't do RAW images, but I think it's a great camera nonetheless for a non-pro photographer.

    Here's what I like about it.

    It looks nice. It has a big, very detailed 3" screen (about 460K pixels). Leica lens. It has a wide 12x optical zoom. It records very good HD 1280x720 movies at 60 FPS, it has built in stereo mics and Dolby digital stereo sound and the software on it is easy to use, and it's really compact and easy to bring around.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. trueresolution macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    MA
    #16
    Canon G11 or the S90. The S90 has a pano feature for shooting panos in camera...
     
  17. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #17
    I'm going to suggest the Fuji F70 EXR, since you want a long zoom. It's a fine camera, and good value. Not as good as the Canon G11 or S90 for image quality though. The alternative would probably be one of the Panasonic long-zooms, the TZ series.
     
  18. FarNorth macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
  19. supersize macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    #19
    I just got the Sony HX5v/B and I think it's awesome. It's light enough to carry around. it shoots great low light, panorama mode is cool, shoots 1080i at 60fps. 10 shot per second burst mode. GPS with compass for geotagging. and runs about $300-$350us.
     
  20. TSX thread starter macrumors 68030

    TSX

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
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    Texas
    #20
    How hard is a G11 to use for a non pro photographer.
     
  21. blockburner28 macrumors 6502

    blockburner28

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  22. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #22
    If you had about $50 more, you could go for the Sony Alpha NEX 3. It's a micro 4/3s, which is basically a smaller DSLR.
     
  23. Eaton Photos macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    KY
    #23
    The G11 is not aimed at Pro Photogs. While it does have more advanced features, than many of its counter-parts, in all reality its' quite simple to use. My parents bought an S70 in 2004, and though my mother is not technically inclined whatsoever, she learned how to use most of its features. Now that the S70, has reached the end of its lifespan, my parents are looking into the G11. Luckily for them, we own one. My parents have taken it on a few road trips, to visit friends, and they have been impressed by its simplicity & ease of use. Plus its IQ is wicked. Canon did a great job, downsizing the pixel count, and increasing the overall IQ that the G11 creates.

    For someone who prefers to use the Auto Modes, they are there, same as on the lower priced A Series models. But for the $$$, the battery life is Great (300-400) shots per charge, and the G11 has a lot of features/ capabilities to grow in to, as the desire to do more with the camera, increases.

    Hope this input helps.
     
  24. rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #24
    I have the Canon SX210IS and I love it. It takes great shots and the 14X optical zoom is great. If I had to choose again, I would really look at the Panasonic Lumix ZS7 (I think) for it's GPS geotagging capabilities at about the same price (the ZS7 wasn't out yet when I bought my Canon). The compactness of the SX210IS is great and is so much more convenient than the larger point-and-shoots IMO. It's no big deal to grab it and go and I can throw it in my pocket, where a lot of the ones others are suggesting can't do that.
     
  25. bsamcash macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA

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