Digital camera advice.... 900$ range...

nospleen

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I am looking for a good digital camera for someone who is dabbling with photography. I am looking to spend around 900 or less. I have a nice 4.0 Kodak right now, but I want more advanced features. What would you all recommend. I would prefer something easy to use, but still have some advanced features. Thanks!
 

mslifkin

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May 14, 2004
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New Jersey
nospleen said:
I am looking for a good digital camera for someone who is dabbling with photography. I am looking to spend around 900 or less. I have a nice 4.0 Kodak right now, but I want more advanced features. What would you all recommend. I would prefer something easy to use, but still have some advanced features. Thanks!
Hi,

You might want to take a look at a Nikon CoolPix 8800. You should be able to find one for around $899 or so. It's an 8 megapixel camera with a 10X optical zoom VR (Vibration Reduction) lens. It can be as simple as "point & shoot" or fully manual, along with both shutter and aperture priority modes. It takes movies, too, but I've never tried that function. It also has an electronic viewfinder, so what you see through the viewfinder is essentially what you get. And there is a display on the back that pivots out as well. I've got one, and I'm really happy with it. I use it when I don't feel like lugging my D100 around! Check it out.

Regards,
Marc
 

vtprinz

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Nov 30, 2004
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What kind of photography do you want to do? This makes a big difference.

Macro? Lowlight? Long Exposure? Portrait? Landscape? Architecture? etc etc etc
 

nospleen

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vtprinz said:
What kind of photography do you want to do? This makes a big difference.

Macro? Lowlight? Long Exposure? Portrait? Landscape? Architecture? etc etc etc
I live in Texas, so I will probably mostly be taking pictures of the local scenery out in the country.
 

Chip NoVaMac

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Dec 25, 2003
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A real bargain out there right now is the Olympus 8080. A fast (2.4-3.5) 28-140 zoom lens. Takes xD and CF memory cards. I know my shop just lowered the price to $699 on this model. The savings will help you get more memory cards and such.
 

vtprinz

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Nov 30, 2004
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nospleen said:
I live in Texas, so I will probably mostly be taking pictures of the local scenery out in the country.
Hmm, for landscape type work you'd probably do well with any of the 8MP prosumers. They're great for outdoor work, especially with tripods. They all lack quite a bit in the lowlight department, however.

Check out www.dpreview.com and www.luminous-landscape.com for some reviews. DPReview is very technical in their reviews, with lots of tests and comparisons, Luminous Landscape is much more usability oriented. Michael Reichmann (From LL) won't give any tests results, but he'll tell you how the camera works in the field. He gave much different ratings of the 8MP cams than DPReview did.

At the very least I'd say go to a local shop and see how they feel for you. I have the Sony 828, and despite some flaws, the way the camera handles and feels is by far the best of the bunch with its manual zoom and tilting body (which is much easier than a tilting LCD). The Nikon 8700 (now replaced by the 8800), to me at least, felt terrible in my hands. But that's a completely subjective view and you may find the opposite results.

Try to find one with good RAW support also. The 828 makes me wait a good 10 seconds after each RAW shot, and while that's not overly bad with landscape shooting, it could be an annoyance at the least.

I guess that's all I can think of.
 

Benj

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Oct 9, 2004
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Digital SLR's are a massive step up from even the very best of the prosumer/all-in-one digital cameras. Better images and fantastic lens flexibility. Plus any investment on lenses can be kept for future camera bodies (I still use 10+ year old lenses).

Canon EOS Digital Rebel / 300D is a fantastic camera with prices plummeting.

I'm not in the US so don't know too much about retailers, but this is almost within your price range and has a lens included (the USD 999 option - black or silver).

Mmmm. Cheap EOS.
 

vtprinz

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Nov 30, 2004
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One thing I forgot to mention,

If you can afford it, wait a month. The PMAs are around Feb 22nd, and it's basically the camera equivalent to MacWorld. there should be plenty of new cams announced then. I know Canon is claiming to have 20 new models this year (though surely not all at PMA). Of course, any new model will take some time to get to you (I ordered my 828 3 weeks after it was announced last december, took a month to get to me), but if you can afford to at least wait until you see what's coming out, you'd surely benefit (maybe just from a price drop on the current cams if a newer model shows up)



And I have reason to believe, though maybe just a guess, that Canon will upgrade their Digital Rebel. Quite frankly, it pales in comparison to the Nikon D70, at only $200 more.
 

nospleen

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vtprinz said:
One thing I forgot to mention,

If you can afford it, wait a month. The PMAs are around Feb 22nd, and it's basically the camera equivalent to MacWorld. there should be plenty of new cams announced then. I know Canon is claiming to have 20 new models this year (though surely not all at PMA). Of course, any new model will take some time to get to you (I ordered my 828 3 weeks after it was announced last december, took a month to get to me), but if you can afford to at least wait until you see what's coming out, you'd surely benefit (maybe just from a price drop on the current cams if a newer model shows up)



And I have reason to believe, though maybe just a guess, that Canon will upgrade their Digital Rebel. Quite frankly, it pales in comparison to the Nikon D70, at only $200 more.

I can wait, I would hate to miss a good discount, or improved technology for the current prices.
 

nospleen

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How is the Canon EOS 300d? I just looked at some sample pics on dpreview and they looked great.
 

lasuther

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Feb 13, 2004
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nospleen said:
How is the Canon EOS 300d? I just looked at some sample pics on dpreview and they looked great.
Its a great camera. I believe the is still a rebate going on with it. You get $100 off of the camera. Also, if you buy a couple of lenses they will triple your rebate. I recommend this camera. Check out www.photo.net for a good review. Here is the review of the lense that comes with the camera.

http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/efs18-55/review/

lasuther
 

nospleen

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Between the Olympus, the Nikon, and the Canon, which is the best one? (The ones mentioned in this thread)
 

budugu

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gwuMACaddict said:
nikon d70 with the lens that nikon packages with it.
I second that ... D70, next rebel (cheap) or may be canon D20. Donot spend close to 1000$ on a point and shoot + fixed lens!
 

jhershauer

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Feb 3, 2003
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The 300D is an excellent camera. It sounds like you're looking in the right place for information. Read through the review on dpreview, and check out the 300D forum. There's a ton of good information there. I waffled back and forth between the 300D and some of the all-in-ones like the 8080, but in the end I was swayed by the larger sensor size in the SLRs. Well, that and the fact that I already had a compatible lens and external flash from my Canon Elan IIe film camera.

I bought my 300D with 18-55mm lens kit in November for $870 from Amazon, plus there's a $100 mail-in rebate from Canon until 1/31/05 (or up to $450 or so in rebates if you buy additional Canon lenses). At $770, I just don't see how you could go wrong with this camera/lens. You could even get an E-TTL external flash and stay at your $900 budget.

At this point, I plan on saving up for some really nice lenses, knowing that spending money there won't go to waste. I can just swap in a new camera body when I decide the technology and price point is such that it's worth upgrading.

Jeff

nospleen said:
How is the Canon EOS 300d? I just looked at some sample pics on dpreview and they looked great.
 

budugu

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Sep 8, 2004
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There are new Pentax and Minolta DigitalSLRs (definitely reliable) ... you should be able to get them for cheap .... Consumer DIgicams you want to get a sony/canon (wrt canon G2/4 - i hated the skintone they had..no texture and people look more like smooth clay objects but they should have changed it by now) ...nikon CCDs are Sonys anyways. Nikon has a very bad control placement which i feel is annoying (non-traditional knobs). But the best DSLR is D70 (low end consumer oriented).
 

Chip NoVaMac

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Dec 25, 2003
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nospleen said:
Between the Olympus, the Nikon, and the Canon, which is the best one? (The ones mentioned in this thread)
Sorry for a non answer of sorts. They are all great cameras IMO. The 300D has interchangeable lenses (as well as the D70). The 8800 has a great zoom and VR. The 8080 has a pretty fast lens for its class, and has the feel of a more substantial camera.

The best one is the one that you will use most. The 300D and D70 are fairly large cameras. If you want compact the 8800 and 8080 are good bets. The 8800 has vibration reduction built-in, but the 8080 has a wide angle zoom lens.

Buy from a local dealer that you can trust. Try them out. Good luck on the search.
 

nospleen

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jhershauer said:
The 300D is an excellent camera. It sounds like you're looking in the right place for information. Read through the review on dpreview, and check out the 300D forum. There's a ton of good information there. I waffled back and forth between the 300D and some of the all-in-ones like the 8080, but in the end I was swayed by the larger sensor size in the SLRs. Well, that and the fact that I already had a compatible lens and external flash from my Canon Elan IIe film camera.

I bought my 300D with 18-55mm lens kit in November for $870 from Amazon, plus there's a $100 mail-in rebate from Canon until 1/31/05 (or up to $450 or so in rebates if you buy additional Canon lenses). At $770, I just don't see how you could go wrong with this camera/lens. You could even get an E-TTL external flash and stay at your $900 budget.

At this point, I plan on saving up for some really nice lenses, knowing that spending money there won't go to waste. I can just swap in a new camera body when I decide the technology and price point is such that it's worth upgrading.

Jeff

So the 300D does come with a lens right? I can always upgrade to a nicer lens once I get more involved and my technical knowledge grows. On dpreview, I have to say the 300D pictures looked great to me. Does it have an internal flash at all?
 

spacepower7

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May 6, 2004
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The Canon 300D is the same as the Canon Digial Rebel. It is essentially the same (internally) as the Canon 10D which I bought 1.5 years ago for 1500USD.
It's a great camera.

Important in photography, the glass in front of the sensor. If you are going to get serious, get a camera with interchangable lenses. Many pros still use a Canon 1D which came out several years ago. It's only 4 megapixels, but with a good lense, still takes amazing photos, better than most 6-8 megapixel consumer cameras.

I recommend:
Canon Digital Rebel 679USD(without lense) 769USD(with kit lense) after 100USD rebate
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=297501&is=REG

Nikon D70 900USD(without lense) after rebate
 

nospleen

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You guys/gals are awesome. I really, really appreciate all of the time you all have taken to help me out. :)
 

vtprinz

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I'm going to go against the crowd and say that I really don't like the Canon 300D. It has great image quality, I'll give it that much, but that's about all I can give it. It's slow, it has dumbed down features, and the plastic body feels cheap. Just doesn't feel like ~$1000 worth of camera.

I can't say I'm a fan of the menu system or button layout either, but that's a matter of personal preference.

If you can afford the extra price, I HIGHLY suggest the Nikon D70 instead. It's more than worth the extra money. And I'm not saying this out of brand loyalty, I don't own any canon or nikon equipment (well, I do own a canon close-up lens)

I worked at Ritz Camera for a while, and despite the 300D having a higher commission than the D70, I'd still try to talk people out of the canon and into the nikon (unless they already had canon lenses)

Almost all Ritz locations should have both of those cams in store, play around with them for a while and you notice a huge difference.



ps- if you like the rebel more, I have heard reference on the web of a hack to unlock all of the block features, I don't know how it's done, but I'll leave the research up to you if you decide to go that route
 

aricher

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Feb 20, 2004
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I love my Digital Rebel and yes there is a hack for it that makes it almost the same as the more expensive EOS. I won't post the link here - just google "Digital Rebel Hack" It's the first link that's there. Basically you download the firmware onto your CF card and then load it into the camera off of that. Works like a charm
 

nospleen

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vtprinz said:
I'm going to go against the crowd and say that I really don't like the Canon 300D. It has great image quality, I'll give it that much, but that's about all I can give it. It's slow, it has dumbed down features, and the plastic body feels cheap. Just doesn't feel like ~$1000 worth of camera.

I can't say I'm a fan of the menu system or button layout either, but that's a matter of personal preference.

If you can afford the extra price, I HIGHLY suggest the Nikon D70 instead. It's more than worth the extra money. And I'm not saying this out of brand loyalty, I don't own any canon or nikon equipment (well, I do own a canon close-up lens)

I worked at Ritz Camera for a while, and despite the 300D having a higher commission than the D70, I'd still try to talk people out of the canon and into the nikon (unless they already had canon lenses)

Almost all Ritz locations should have both of those cams in store, play around with them for a while and you notice a huge difference.



ps- if you like the rebel more, I have heard reference on the web of a hack to unlock all of the block features, I don't know how it's done, but I'll leave the research up to you if you decide to go that route

It seems that the D70 is the better of the two. (According to dpreview.) But, I can find the 300d with lens for around 775 before the 100 rebate. It seems the D70 is around 1000 with the lens. Do you know of anywhere to get a better price on the D70? I am going to decide between these two. But, I am concerned that if the plastic body feels cheap, then I willl regret paying that much for the 300D. But that big pricetag of the Nikon makes me nervous too. :D