Another Question on what camera to buy..

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by lisadoc_98, Jan 14, 2013.

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  1. lisadoc_98

    lisadoc_98 New Member

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    I am looking at purchasing a camera for personal use, not for professional photography. However, I would love to do professional quality pictures with it. Having a great image is the most important thing to me and the cost of course. I would like a camera that we can take family photos with that look professionally done. I am aware that there is more to great image than just a camera, lol. I would also love a point and shoot suggestions as well as Digital Camera suggestions. Do I really need something more than a point & shoot also?

    Budget: I would like to stay around the $200 or below price range, but I am flexible with this some. I guess no more than $500 including lens.


    Size: Size isn't important.


    Features:

    Megapixels- I am new to this, but I guess I want at least 12.. someone could probably tell me more. I just want good quality images.

    Optical Zoom- Not sure on this one also. I would like to take images of my family, not far distance pictures. However, it would be nice to be able to use the camera for other distances besides up close. So I guess basically, almost like a studio pictures but I do plan to shoot a lot of photos outside. So I guess I also need a camera that will work outside with lighting.

    “Image Quality” (scale of 1-10)- 10, since I am new to all of this, I will also be a beginner at editing any images if need or anything, so the better the quality is what I am looking for.

    Manual Exposure Modes- I don't know what this is. lol. I just want a camera that I can take good quality pictures inside home and outside. Just for personal use, but want professional quality images. I do have a child, 8 years old and we are planning on adding to the family soon. Again, I am a beginner, so basic I would guess is best for me. :)

    General Usage

    Generally Use- Family photos indoor & outdoor

    Big prints- possibly, but probably nothing more than an 8x10 or the next size up.

    A lot of indoor photos or low light photos- Yes possibly

    Shooting sports and/or action photos- My daughter plays soccer & cheerleading so this would be helpful, but not super important

    Miscellaneous

    Brands you like or hate? I like Nikon and Cannon but I am open to any suggestions.

    Particular models you already have in mind- I have been looking at the Nikon D models and the cool pix series, but honestly with all the cameras out there, I am confused with all the info.

    Need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) - Not that I am aware of.

    THANK YOU!!! For any of your suggestions.
     
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    As with anything else, when it comes to digital cameras, generally speaking the more you pay the higher quality you get. But keep in mind that your picture taking skills are probably the most important factor in getting a good picture, despite the quality of your camera. Another thing - that not everyone needs a super camera. For instance I recently purchased a small Canon point and shoot, largely for taking indoor snapshots, and it does a great job. But it's not the camera you'd want for taking pictures of a fast moving sporting event like a soccer game.

    For your purposes, probably the most important factors are having a camera that is fast focusing that can take your action shots without blur. And, further, a camera that has a substantial zoom lens so you can take closeup shots of your daughter while she's playing soccer and cheer leading, even though you may be a distance away.

    Since you're a newcomer and have an upper limit of $500 I wouldn't recommend one of the Nikon "D" series. These are digital SLR cameras and are harder to use than a point and shoot. Further, when equipped with a long zoom lens it will be bulky and exceed your price limit.

    Instead I'd recommend the Sony HX20v. It's a small camera that's very quick in all respects, takes nice looking pictures and has a long 20x zoom lens that's great for closeups. Image quality isn't as good as one of the Nikon D cameras but the Sony is much less expensive (around $300 online) and much easier to use.

    Here are some sample images:
    hx20v - Flickr: Search
     
  3. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    That is a lofty goal. I started out with photography as a hobby a half century ago. I've been shooting with DSLR cameras for the last few years. And I'm still working on getting my images up to professional quality.

    You can get very nice images with a camera like Andy recommended. Which you may have difficulty telling the difference from a professional image. Even though a professional photographer would see the difference. So even if professional quality is the goal, look on this as a progression of steps. With the Sony a sound first step. In a few years you may want a more advanced camera, or you may not. Only time will tell.

    Kelly Cook
     
  4. jamesbarns

    jamesbarns New Member

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    I agree with Andy. The Camera is fantastic and very quick. The pictures look great and it is just an overall great laptop.
     
  5. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The HX20v is a better camera. They each have about the same lens range (21x zoom for the Nikon, 20x for the Sony) but the Sony is half the size and weight of the Nikon, runs on a rechargeable battery (the Nikon uses 4 AA's) and has a more advanced sensor for better low light images. Plus the Sony is much quicker than the Nikon - quicker focusing and quicker shot to shot speed. Finally the Sony has a better movie mode and a built-in GPS. The Sony is more expensive than the Nikon (about $290 vs $195) but worth it.

    I have the Canon Elph 110 HS, which is a fine little camera with very good image quality (good in low light as well) and excellent movie quality. It has a 5x optical zoom.

    The Sony HX20v has a back-illuminated CMOS sensor, which gives improved image quality in low light (my Canon Elph 110 HS has the same type of sensor). The Sony will work well for almost all shooting situations.
     
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