Looking for a good, relatively cheap camera.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by angemon89, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. angemon89 macrumors 68000

    angemon89

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    #1
    Hey everyone, I need help choosing a good quality camera for my family. I have been wanting to purchase a camera for a while because my parents Sony DSC-T1 takes horrible pictures.

    What I'm looking for is a good quality camera that can take great up close pictures and that can take good pictures indoors as well. I would prefer a Sony camera not to exceed $250.

    My main concern is with pictures that are taken indoors and up close because this is where my parents current camera fails at life. All indoor pictures come out looking extremely blurry, and I can't take an up close picture to save my life.

    What I'm looking for in up close pictures is just to be able to capture surface textures of the things I am photographing, whether it be an up close picture of a flower or something I want to sell on eBay.

    I was looking at the DSCw 120 on Amazon, and it sounds nice and all, but all the negative reviews have me worried. Will this camera be able to do what I want it to do??
     
  2. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #2
    Those are called macro photos. If you buy a cheap tabletop tripod ($10 or so from Best Buy) and use the camera's self timer to trigger the shutter, it's pretty easy to get clear macro shots with inexpensive cameras. You're best off turning off the flash too and just going with ambient light as the flash kind of washes things out. For example, from my old Canon SD400 on an el cheapo tripod (it's thumbnailed - click for a larger image):

    [​IMG]
     
  3. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    I'm a fan of any of the Canon Powershot SDxxx models. I've had a number of them (none have broken except for being stepped on, etc.) and get handed down. The picture quality is good, the price is very nice, and they use SD cards.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    With Point and Shot camera once you pick a brand and a price you've picked your camera.

    What you really need is an SLR. Scrounge up another $100 and for $350 you can have a good used Nikon D50.

    If yu want a quick fix to your close focus problems buy a #3 diopter. These look like filters and if yu shoot through them you can focus closer. They make adapoter that lat small P&S type cameras use filters.
     
  5. angemon89 thread starter macrumors 68000

    angemon89

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    #5
    Wouldn't I be able to achieve the same thing by just placing the camera on a steady desk and using the self timer? I have tried that before and the images are still very blurry up close, in all light situations.

    I'm pretty sure it's the camera at this point. I think they chose looks over function when they made the DSC T1.
     
  6. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #6
    It looks like your current camera has a macro mode. Are you using it? According to this DPReview feature summary for your camera, normal focus goes down to 25cm while macro mode will focus down to 1cm.
     
  7. angemon89 thread starter macrumors 68000

    angemon89

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
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    #7
    Could you take decent up close pictures with Powershot cameras?
     
  8. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #8
    [​IMG]

    I dunno, have a look at the first photo and you tell me. I'm fairly sure I could take a sharp photo with your Sony, providing it has not been damaged in some way. If you review page 22 of your manual, I suspect you could too.
     
  9. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    Using the macro mode (the "Flower" setting in the UI) it's not problem. It's designed for small distances down to about 1.4"x1.06". The key is a stable base of some sort.

    This stays within your budget. Obviously a DSLR will take better overall photos but the price goes up.
     
  10. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #10
    Agree with Cliff3. Most of these small cameras take good macro shots. A couple of things to remember. There is a "minimum" focus distance. The objects can't be closer than X (it's different for each camera). You may be too close for your Sony. Also, many cameras require that you go into "macro mode"

    Finally, make sure you have enough lighting. Lighting is tricky with macro, as sometimes you get so close, you block your source of light.

    If you are looking for a reason to get another camera, then go ahead and get one. Canon's are better than Sony's anyway, IMO. But, you can likely save a couple of bucks by learning how to use the Sony. And, by the way, if you don't learn the above, your new camera will have the same issues, too!
     
  11. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #11
    Out of all the P&S Cameras I've tried, the Canons tend to have the nicest photos with less noise and high quality - for the price.

    Here's the one I got for work, a very cheap PowerShot A470 for about $90 and it's still pretty nice comparing to others. Canon tends to be quality across their whole line of cameras - from cheapest to most expensive.

    See the pics I took below - both had to be resized for upload... pics taken with no flash at high ISO...

    Good luck...
     

    Attached Files:

  12. angemon89 thread starter macrumors 68000

    angemon89

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    #12
    Wow, I had no idea about macro mode on my camera. I was able to take some pretty detailed pictures (thanks mooneyflyer!).

    However, I am still looking for a new camera as this one is pretty beat up already. I think I will go to Frys to check them out in person. The powershot line definitely sound like a good buy.

    Thanks for all your help guys!
     
  13. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #13
    ^^^

    You're welcome!

    For everyone's benefit, please post what you ended up getting and some sample pics!

    :p
     

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