Camera for beginners?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sansa11, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. sansa11 macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2008
    I was doing some browsing in Best Buy earlier today and I noticed the Canon Powershot G10. It looked and felt incredibly nice in my hands and I felt comfortable taking pictures on it.

    I am an absolute beginner in the area of photography and am still trying to comprehend the differences of aperture and exposures. The norman P&S camera I have just isn't working out for me because it has no real manual settings, and I want to experiment new things.

    Is this a good camera for absolute beginners or should I go with something else?
  2. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    The G10 is a fine camera. The image quality will not be as good as a basic SLR like the Nikon D40, Olympus E420 or Canon EOS 1000D. If you want small, I'm sure it'll be fine. I personally would get one of the SLRs. Then again, the best camera is the one you've got with you.

    I'm sure someone else will give you more thorough advice.
  3. vorkorsigan macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2008
    If you want to learn about semi-auto and manual modes without the bulk of an SLR then it's fine. But, it is best as a second smaller camera to your SLR. The picture quality will never be as good as an SLR in the same hands.

    You need to decide what you want to do to make a choice. If you really want to learn photography then an SLR is best. If you want to take snaps and occasionally spend time to take a shot in AP or Man etc then G10 is a great camera.

    PS I steal my wife's 400D when the G10 just won't do it. Usually in low light. But she wants the G10 in good light!
  4. UMHurricanes34 macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    The G10 is pure convenience. An amazing camera in an amazing package. I'd love to have one on me at all times. It's extremely difficult to carry around a large and bulky DSLR with multiple lenses everywhere.

    To make this kind of decision you really have to assess your shooting style and habits. If you don't see yourself lugging around a large, bulky camera then by all means go for the G10. You won't be disappointed with it, I'm trying to keep myself from buying one.

    If you don't care about convenience and want to truly get involved in the wonderful world of photography, then a DSLR is the way to go.

    You'll be more than satisfied either way. There are also some cool attachments for the G9/G10 that allow for greater flexibility than any other P&S, and the G10 also gives you a lot of manual control over your shots. I see the G10 as the advanced user's P&S and the DSLR user's backup. It's a fantastic camera.

    It's also cheaper, and won't get you addicted to spending tons of money on nice glass.

    Lots of stuff to think about!
  5. SolrFlare macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2007
    The G10(or even better G9 if you can find one) or the Panasonic LX3 are both good choices for high end P&S cameras. They don't have the omph a SLR has, but are small enough to easily carry around. Both G10 and LX3 also give you enough manual control over functions to really let you experiment and get the nack for things. Then, down the line, if you still remain interested, you can pick up a DSLR and keep the G10/LX3 around for fun P&S moments.

    Here are a few sample shots from the LX3 to give you an idea of what you can do with high end P&S 3.jpg 1.jpg
  6. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    hmm, how come none of you guys recommend the Sigma PnS that has a DSLR sized sensor?
  7. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    Could use it, it's supposed to be pretty slow, and generally not be as refined as something like the G10. It's expensive and not all that small.
  8. sansa11 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2008
    Ok well I wanted something that I could use for years and not regret the purchase I made, so DLSR I believe is what I wanted. But even so, which one? There are so many choices out there and for beginner photography, I don't think the Nikon D90 is choice for that situation.:p Plus, it's way out of my price range.
  9. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    There are so many threads here regarding dSLR suggestions for beginners and such ... so what's one more. ;)

    Anyways, I'll go through my thought process and maybe it'll help you in your decision.

    1. I was growing frustrated with our P&S being so slow to do everything. Slow lag time; slow flash recharge; slow slow slow. I couldn't keep up with my then 2 y.o. daughter. Every shot of her was essentially half of her body ... the trailing half.

    2. Decided that we would get a dSLR. I knew that I didn't want to buy used (or refurbished). I had a bad experience way back and I typically won't buy anything used or refurbished unless I have a chance to check it out.

    3. Decided that I wanted to stick with the big name outfits for future support and such. Narrowed it down to Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Olympus. These were what I thought were the big names when I started looking. From there, it looked like most folks were either Canon or Nikon, so I decided to drop Sony and Olympus. I figured that there would be more help from users and Internet resources for Canon and Nikon.

    So I had it narrowed down to the D40 or the XTi.

    I decided to analyze the type of shots that I would be doing. Mostly, it would be of my daughters and of family get-togethers and vacations. Typical family stuff. Occasionally, I would want to take animal pictures at the zoo or maybe landscapes while on vacation. Nothing to artsy.

    But since the primary use would be of the girls, I decided that portraits was the way to go for me. I found that most/many folks use prime lenses for portraits and the faster the better. This is where the Canon has the edge. The inexpensive 50mm/f1.8 lens can AF on the Canon, whereas it does not on the Nikon. I could go with a Sigma 30mm/f1.8 on the Nikon, but it's several hundred dollars.

    The other criteria was ergonomics. We went to BestBuy to play around with them one day. To me, the feel between the Nikon and Canon was similar. I could deal with either. For my wife, she preferred the Canon.

    So there it is, we went with the Canon.

  10. sansa11 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2008
    Wow thank-you so much that was very helpful.

    I took your advice and analyzed the shots I would be taking and it's mostly architecture, black & white, long exposure pictures. And of course the occasional family pictures.

    Like yourself, I am undecided between the Nikon D40 and the Canon XTi.
    So, I'm going to my local Best Buy and trying both out. If one of them fits my specifications better, than I'll post an update.

    Once again, that was a very helpful response, it really helped me narrow down my choices.
  11. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    For about $50 more than the G10, you might as well go with a dSLR on sale...

    I tried going with a like-dSLR (Panasonic FZ8) but missed an SLR so much, I ended up with one anyways...
  12. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Just remember that this thing is huge and hardly pocketable. Beware if you plan on toting everywhere.
  13. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Yes, maybe if you are just begining - an inexpensive like-dSLR (around $250) would be your best bet - like what I did with a Panasonic FZ8.

    Then, when you graduate to a a real dSLR, you can keep the older camera as a backup.
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    With those subject try out each camera on a tripod as that is the way you shoot architecture and long exposure. Pick of the IR remote control and play with that too

    One thing that is very important but you can't do it at Best Buy is to look at lenses. Best buy only caries a very limited selection of low-end cheap lenses. Likely not the ones you'd really want either. Which lens you choose matters more than which body so take a long look at what's available.

    The D40 and XTi are both the "camel's nose in the tent", or "sales man's foot in the door". In other words an entry level DSLR body is just a small part of the system. But enough to get to locked in for life to a company.

    Choose the company based on the "big picture". What happens is you buy a body, say the D40. Then you needs lens so you buy a Nikon mount lens. And then a flash unit and then in 3 to 4 years you have to replace/upgrade the body (YES you WILL. dslr bodies are like computers. technology moves onward) so you next body will also be Nikon. It is very hard to switch brands later So make the decision based not on the features of a $400 body but on the total line up of bodies and lenses available from each company. You will be pretty much tied to the company for many years or even decades. That little dslr body really is the tip of the iceburg when you look at the system you might own in 5 or 6 years
  15. sansa11 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2008
    Well, there is a RitzCamera that is 10 minutes away from my house. I think the selection there of lenses and bodies will be more helpful in the end to my local Best Buy. Like you said, (although I don't know much about them) I noticed they didn't have a large selection of lenses.

    My family has already been locked into Nikon. My mom bought the bought the N60 film camera back when it cost her a pretty penny. After that, we haven't bought anything SLR. We did buy 2 Nikon P&S cameras though. And we also had an Olympus P&S.

    I understand that the bodies are like computers. They do get outdated, just like everything else. I also don't mind carrying around a big dSLR. I know they can get a bit bulky.
  16. hhlee macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2005
    i agree with gkarris.

    you have plenty of power in an inexpensive dslr-like camera. in particular, if you're going for architecture, there is no real need for a dslr. all you need is an ability to adjust for exposure time (if in the dark) and aperture (for depth of field).

    dslrs are bulky and often times i find myself carrying around only my digital elph.
  17. hhlee macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2005
    sure about that? once you go slr, you tend to carry around lenses as well...
  18. sansa11 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2008
    I'm not worried about that really. I won't be able to buy any lenses any time soon but I do plan to do so in the future. Of course I would like to be able to invest in lenses, but for now it's just the camera.
  19. jakfrost macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    DSLR research...

    Well I couldn't stand it any longer and took the plunge and upgraded my P&S ( Canon SD880IS ) to the XSi (or 450) Canon. On sale during Boxing Week at Best Buy here in Canada for 629.00 Can., ( 520.00 US ) with the kit lens. Also picked up the 55-250 IS and the 430EXll while I was there. Total cost 1200.00.

    I had the same problem with 3 grandkids, age 2,5,7...couldn't get all 3 of them in the same picture...ever. They were just toooo fast for the P&S. Now the 880 is the 'back-up' camera.

    I've only had it for 4 days and am super pleased with the results, especially with the EX flash. Using flash bounced off the ceiling/walls makes some wonderful exposures. No more red-eye, eye glasses flashback, etc. Who needs a soft box?? :). Maybe someday but for now I am just happy to try and learn all the features of the new camera. That should keep me busy until I save up for some really good glass...

    PS, is anyone using the bundled software that comes with the Canon Rebel series these days?

  20. Mpulsive81 macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2006
    McKinney, TX
  21. jakfrost macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    Thanks, I'm trying not to look at the 'grey' lenses...drooooooool. I'll save those for next Christmas.

    My NY Resolutlion is to learn how to use what I have, effectively. AND how to use my Lightroom 2 with any kind of authority.

    Any suggestion for a poor country boy, too far from the city to take advantage of night classes at the community college in post production :eek:: ?


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