What can I get in 200-400 range for first camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by zebraman, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. zebraman macrumors member

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    #1
    Im and im thinking about getting into photography this summer as a hobby. I want to know what I can get for 200-400 dollars since thats the most ill spend. What are recommened camera's or brands for beginners. I just wanna try it out dont wanna spend too much in case i dont end up liking it. Also any other things you would recommend for a beginner?
     
  2. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502

    reclusivemonkey

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    #2
    I have a Canon Powershot A650 IS. Its got a 6x optical zoom and takes 12 Megapixel photos. It has full automatic settings, with a whole range of presets for various types of photography. However, you can also take control over pretty much everything in the manual mode for if you want to start to take control. It also takes movies. It uses standard AA batteries and has a flip out adjustable LCD screen.

    Powershot 650 IS

    Canon periodically have cashback offers, so if you can hang on for one of those, I saved 25% on the price of mine.
     
  3. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Suggestions are usually going to follow Nikon or Canon lines, but almost any (name brand) manufacturer will give you a good camera in that range.

    I assume you're looking for more of a point and shoot than a dSLR though?
     
  4. zebraman thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Yea Im not looking for an SLR type of camera. Just a good camera for someone who wants to get into photography. I've always liked the sony brand but idk if their good for what I want.
     
  5. jalagl macrumors 6502a

    jalagl

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    #5
    Check out the Canon SX-1000 and the A720 IS. There's also the Digital Elph line if you want a pocket camera.
     
  6. zebraman thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Where can i see pictures that these cameras have taken? I would like to see their quality. Also though im mostly interested in point and shoot ive been looking into the Nikon D40.But I dont know how the whole SLR thing works with the lenses and if they include any
     
  7. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    If you can afford it and you want to take 'photographs' I would go for the D40. It comes with an 18-55mm kit lens which is a bit wider (angle of view) than most compact cameras' but not as long ('zoomed' in). You'll have more control, image quality and, in my experience, better resale value.
     
  8. davidg14 macrumors newbie

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    #8
    500 dollar..
    I would recommend a canon though. very good for a semi pro ;)
     
  9. wgilles macrumors 6502

    wgilles

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    #9
    If you are looking for a semi pro camera I would get the D40.
     
  10. martinmartin macrumors 6502

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    #10
    If you are not too concerned about size, I might recommend the SX-1000 as well.

    If you want a very small camera, I would recommend the Canon SD 870, primarily because of its wide angle lens. Keep in mind that you generally lose a lot of optical zoom when you go for the smaller cameras. I might recommend that you never use the digital zoom and only consider optical when shopping around.

    If you want something 'in between' the 2 cameras I mentioned above, you might want to look at the Panasonic DMC-TZ5K. This has a 10x optical zoom in a relatively small camera. Also can take HD videos, but there are issues (focusing problems) with that function, so don't put too much stock in that feature.

    FYI I have a Canon SD20, SD 870is, & Rebel XSi. I previously owned the SD750, SD 1100is, and Panasonic TZ5K - but returned all 3 of these.
     
  11. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #11
    D40 is not semi-pro. D300 (maybe D80) is.

    D40 is a consumer-grade SLR, no question about it.
     
  12. Somepix macrumors member

    Somepix

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    #12
    Manual

    For sure, you want a camera with manual control of aperture, speed, iso, ...

    P&S camera are nice because you can experiment a lot with macro, landscape, ... for very few $$.

    Later you will buy a DSLR and you will know what kind of pix you like to take and what kind of lense(s) you need.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #13
    You can get a good used Nikon DSLR for $350. Look around for a Nikon D50 with 18-55 "kit" lens.

    If you don't like it you can sell for the exact same price you paid. If you were to buy a $250 point and shoot it would be a far less camera and at the end of summer have little resale value.
     
  14. jalagl macrumors 6502a

    jalagl

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    #14
    You can use flickr's camera search: http://www.flickr.com/cameras/

    PowerShot SX100 IS
    PowerShot A720 IS
     
  15. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Many manufacturers are dropping their high-end cameras in favor of sub-$200 offerings (this is in the P&S world). You could probably get away with only spending $150. Check out Canon in particular, they're supposed to offer 2 to 3 cameras in that price range by the end of the summer.
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #16
    You need to define "Photography". If that includes anything that moves you do want an SLR. Shutter lag on those P&S cameras prety much means you will be shooting static subjects. Just watch how everyone uses their P&S. Everyone asks the subject not to move and for good reason. Also you will find the the smaller camera offer not control over depth of field (DOF) even if they allow you to control the aperure with those short lenses DOF is almost always very large.

    Had you asked about buying a camera for vacation snapshots that was pocketable then I would say go for the small pocket camera but you say "wants to get into photography" which to me means making images is the primary activity. Where as the vacation shooter is there for the vaction and the camera is secondary as most. That's my definition of "photography", that shooting is the primary activity. For that a $350 SLR would be perfect. It's in budget and there is almost zero risk because it has already taken the deprecation hit.
     
  17. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I prefer Canon for lots of nit-picky, obessessive type issues, but if you want a fun camera with great features in that price range, and this is your first camera, the I'd strongly recommend the Panasonic TZ5. You can find it online for as low as US$270 (though it's usually around $300). 10 times zoom, great movie mode, small and light, easy to use.

    There are reasons why Canons are better, but a lot of it's nit-picky (I'm guilty as the next), but if you've never had two cameras to compare, then you won't know what you're missing, and you are very likely to love the TZ5.
     
  18. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

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    #18
    Not according to Ken Rockwell.. :D

    (Okay, Okay, just being humorous, don't flame me)


    But seriously I would go with the D40, the kit lens, and then pick up a used 50mm 1.4 on Ebay or from your local camera store.
     
  19. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Normally I wouldn't address a joke so seriously, but I think there's an important distinction between a pro camera and a camera that can/should be used by pros. The D40 is better for certain tasks where the bulk of a "pro" body might get in the way--maybe this is what Rockwell is referring to?
     
  20. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #20
  21. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

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    #21
    I think you got it right, Termina..


    Also the OP should consider a used D40 body, and a couple used manual focus primes. That is some pretty awesome value right there.. A used 1.4 50mm Nikon is around $80 at your local camera shop, and then an 18 2.8 for another 60 - 100.. And then you can pick up a 100mm 2.8 for another 100 a pop, and you'll be all set :D..
     
  22. zim macrumors 65816

    zim

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    #22
    I believe that Rockwell likes the weight and overall quality of the D40 as his day to day camera, he recommends it over the D60 and 80. He had me sold on the D40 as an alternative/upgrade to my D70s... yet after trying the D40 in the store I went running back to my D70s, love the D40s screen but didn't fall in love with the camera. That said, I would highly recommend the D40 for anyone else as it is a good camera, possibly better then my D70s??

    My personal recommendation for the OP is the Nikon D40 but also for them to head off to Target (Target currently has the D40 at a reduced price), Best Buy, etc.. and try them out.
     

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