Finding a good used/discontinued camera....

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by grantw, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. grantw macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    #1
    I'm looking to buy an inexpensive digital camera. I'm into film/video so definitely want full manual controls such as focus, shutter, exposure, etc. But I'm really only going to be using the camera to shoot locations and to storyboard and such.

    So I'm looking for something used/discontinued that I could find on ebay for under $300. I just don't know what to look for when I'm getting a camera thats older as far as technology goes.
     
  2. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #2
    Do you want ultracompact, compact, bridge, or DSLR?
     
  3. grantw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    #3
    probably bridge or DSLR. How big is the price difference. If I go DSLR I'm just interested in getting one lens.
     
  4. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #4
    If you buy a bridge, I would look that it goes down to at least 28mm equiv.
    Then you have to choose between photosite size and megapixels, stabilization.

    With the 6MP Fujifilm S6000fd/S6500fd you maximize photosite size, but it doesn't have stabilization. It goes for about $200 on ebay.

    For about $300, you can go DSLR and get a Nikon D50 with kit lens, for example. The image quality will be better, but you won't get the long zoom of a bridge.

    I also don't know how good bridges are for manual focusing, for example (they may have an electronic coupling, not mechanical, BTW).
    But you should know that for DSLR, some inexpensive lenses don't allow just to manually retouch when you are in autofocus mode, you have to switch them to MF first.
     
  5. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #5
    A Nikon D50 or D70s on ebay or at Nikonians.org
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    Either an older Canon Rebel or Nikon D50. Bolth were sold with a "kit" 18-55 f/5.6 lens. The body and lens is easy to find now for $350 but you can find then for $300 with not much looking around.

    THe SLR has a larger sensor. You will get much better images because of the better sensor. Also I set it will not be long before you decide you want another lens
     
  7. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #7
    It's easy to find a used Canon Digital Rebel XT with kit lens for under $300 on craigslist or ebay
     
  8. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #8
    Do you shoot film SLR now? If so you should stick with that brand as the lenses are often/usually compatible. Almost any Nikon lens from the last 40 years will work on a Nikon SLR, for example. Sony bought Minolta's camera business, so lots of Minolta glass will work with Sony camera now, etc.
     
  9. Rockies Photo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #9
    You can purchase a 20D, which is 4.5 year old tech, for around $250. It was announced in August 2004, and started selling in late Sept/ early October 2004. The 20D uses the body housing, that is presently still used by the 50D. Not much has changed except the Menu layout, increase in LCD size, & Megapixel counts. :)

    Here is a Review Link, if you desire to learn more info about the 20D.
     
  10. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #10
    I got the Panasonic FZ8 "bridge" - missed my SLR (sold off most my film stuff), and got an Olympus E-500 kit.

    Was so dissapointed with the Panasonic and loved the Olympus, I sold it and got a second Olympus body, the E-420, which is pretty compact, only slightly larger than the FZ8 (and fit in the same case...) ;)

    Do yourself a favor and stay away from those "bridge" cameras - most use the tiny P&S sensors.

    I also got a sweet deal on a 20D used, which I will use for renting long telephotos (too expensive to own).
     
  11. wbaetz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #11
    Sorry for the nubee question, what exactly is a "bridge camera"?
     
  12. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #12
    "bridge" between a Point & Shoot and a dSLR. Also called "like-dSLR".

    They have a viewfinder that shows what the lens is viewing and a long zoom - no detachable lenses, though.

    Harkens back to the days of those non-interchangeable lens film SLR's.
     
  13. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #13
    keh and b&h photo video both have used camera departments. I haven't personally bought anything there, but the reviews for both places are generally very high in terms of the quality. They rate everything for condition, and most people are pleasantly surprised that the condition is at least as good if not better than rated.

    Anyway, may be more reliable/trustworthy than ebay.
     
  14. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #14
    Go bridge, and go Canon G9. It'll be the best bridge P&S camera you can find with great manual control that's actually easy to use.
     
  15. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #15
    The viewfinder is electronic, and NOT like the one in the Panasonic G1.
     
  16. wbaetz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #16
    Thanks. That's what I have now, an Olympus C2100 UltraZoom. I've actually been very pleased with the pictures that come out of it, but it's starting to act flakey, and I want something with higher resolution. Trying to decide whether or not to make the step up do a true dSLR or go with another "Bridge".
     
  17. wbaetz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #17
    So you're saying that most "Bridge" cameras have viewfinders that approximate the view through the lens as opposed to true dSLR's? But the Panasonic G1 is a "Bridge" camera with a true viewfinder?
     
  18. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #18
    No, the G1 is not a bridge, it is an EVIL, and it has a revolutionary LCOS electronic viewfinder.
     
  19. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Location:
    I'm calling the cops
    #19
    Another yes on the G9. In fact, any of the Canon G series from 7 and up are good.
     
  20. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #20
    G7 was a serious downgrade, specially the lack of RAW.
     
  21. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #21
    I've got to go along with those who say get either a Nikon D50 w/kit 18-55 lens or a Canon Rebel (don't know which one is equivalent...) and kit lens. They're easy to use, have 'normal' viewfinders, 28mm equivalent lenses, quick response time compared to non-dSLRs, and more flexibility - not to mention better image quality. The D50 has a really decent built-in flash that is a lot more usable than most bridge/point 'n shoot cameras. If you can get one with lens in good shape for $300, it's a good deal. Plus, you can use any old Nikon lens with the D50 because it has the old lens screw-drive, as well as electrical contacts for newer lenses with built-in motors and image stabilization. The form factor of the D50 is bigger, and more substantial in the hand than the D40-D60 series, which is why a lot of people liked them better.

    Good luck.

    PS: Since video is your field, any recommendations on best budget HD camcorder? (note: not trying to actually change the topic... but just asking for a point in the right direction... :))
     
  22. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #22
    ^^^ Sony Webbie HD (bet you'll make the shots look like they're from a Canon XL1) :eek:

    ;)

    OP - Yes, if you're going to spend as much as a close-out, used, or refurbished dSLR camera, forget P&S or "bridge" entirely...

    P&S are great fun, but wouldn't spend over $200 for one.
     

Share This Page