What Camera Should I Buy?

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by gino_lee, Aug 3, 2008.

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  1. gino_lee

    gino_lee Member

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    Hey guys, I'm currently in the market for a new digital camera.

    I've owned the old Canon Digital ELPH SD400 4Megapixel (2004) and loved it for the size, manual controls (which i didn't use often), and the fact that it had dials so I did not need to go through menus.

    After that started malfunctioning, I inherited my dads Casio Exilim Z60 6 Megapixel. It was a small camera that was very fast. I liked it, except for the fact that my old SD400 tool pictures with more detail and better colour.

    I then took my dads Canon Powershot A700 6Megapixel. It reminded me so much of the SD400 that I loved. I loved having the manual dial again, but the size was just too much for my pocket. I ended up being reluctant to take it anywhere with me, even though I really liked the pictures.

    Now I'm going to china and want a camera that I will WANT to carry around and use. so here goes..



    Budget

    * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.
    - Approximately $300 CAD. But if the camera is good, I will spend more.

    Size

    * What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
    - Compact or Ultra-Compact. I'm looking for something that will fit in the pocket.

    Features

    * How many megapixels will suffice for you?
    - Even 4 MP was good enough for me. I don't care about the number of megapixels. I DO CARE ABOUT DETAIL and QUALITY. I found it horrendous that the SD400 took pictures with more detail and clarity than the Exilim z60 when I zoomed in on them in the computer.

    * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x)
    - Optical Zoom of 3X, but 4X of 5X is good too. If its a good camera with a good lenz I would rather just crop it.

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
    - Image Quality is high on the list.

    * Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)?
    - I do, but I find that most of the times I don't use them that much. But always good to have.

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for?
    - Mostly to take pictures of people, scenery and touristy things. Night shots or shots in bars and clubs. fast flash cycle times would be preferable.

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
    - Most likely not more than A4 sized paper.

    * Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
    - it will happen, but probably not "lots".

    * Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
    - I like to. fast camera cycle times are good.

    Miscellaneous

    *Are there particular brands you like or hate?
    - I'm very much used to Canon cameras and was looking at the IXUS line. But the new SD890 IS seemed big, and a little expensive, and lacked 720p video.

    Are there particular models you already have in mind?
    - SD1100 IS, SD770 IS, etc., Panasonic Lumix FX20, FS-35 (i like the 720p video and wide angle)

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)

    - I want Optical Image Stabilization, not a fan of bumping ISO up.
    - I need a camera that uses SD cards, I have a bunch and would rather keep using them.
    - would like video recording that does not result in a ridiculously large filesize (ie, some sort of compression)
    - I am a fan of manual controls, like using dials. ie, to switch between, camera, videos, playback, scene/manual mode
    - I like the CHDK program for Canon that hacks the firmware to enable more options.
    - After using a couple of Canons i NEED to have a battery meter in the camera
    - International warranty is definitely a plus.

    any suggestion are greatly appreciated.
    TIA!
     
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    There are very few small cameras with manual controls. The Panasonic FX500 is small (smaller and thinner than the SD890IS), has optical image stabilization, very good picture quality, high definition video and full manual exposure controls, including aperture and shutter priority. It also has a touch-screen interface. The downside is that it probably exceeds your budget.
     
  3. gino_lee

    gino_lee Member

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    oh yes. the FX500. You're right, I don't think I will spend around $400 on a camera this time around. Not sure how I feel about the touch screen, but i don't think i really need Shutter/Aperture priority controls. A full manual mode would be ok. But i guess they don't come without the other.

    I haven't noticed manual tactile controls on cameras lately. Although it does look like the FX35 has some kind of a dial thingy in the pictures, but the reviews don't mention anything of it.
     
  4. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The Canon A590IS, Panasonic LZ8 and Nikon P60 are smallish cameras with manual controls that can be bought for $200 or less. All three have received very good writeups.
     
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