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View Full Version : Which camera to buy?


kanjii
08-27-2007, 11:58 PM
I am looking at a Canon S3IS, Sony DSC-H5, or a Kodak Z712IS.

All have pretty good rating with 6-7 mega pixels and 12x optical zoom. All takes beautiful pics, but the Kodak is the easiest to use. What do you think? Kodak is the least expensive followed by Sony, then Canon.

noobplayer
08-28-2007, 12:02 AM
i would go with either the canon or sony, i would go with canon since i think their quality is better than sony's

noobplayer
08-28-2007, 12:03 AM
also do u really need that big zoom? wat r u using the camera for? i would think people would prefer the small little ultraportables one

koopa_troopa
08-28-2007, 12:12 AM
I think Sony uses their own expensive memory format, which I am not a fan of. So I would avoid it.

Deuce
08-28-2007, 12:18 AM
Yeah - I thought that Canon would be the way to go, too...

... until I compared photos from the Canon S2IS to the Olympus C-750UZ a couple of years ago.

The Olympus produced a much, much higher quality photo. I was incredibly disappointed in the Canon. It seemed that they skimped on just about everything imaginable in that camera. I would assume the same can be said about the S3's photo quality.

Megapixels mean very little. Camera companies keep pumping up the number of megapixels, because they know that consumers know nothing about this stuff, and will automatically assume that the more megapixels a camera has, the better quality photos it will produce.
Not so at all.
First off, I have a 4 MP camera (Olympus C-750UZ). It can produce very, very nice 12x18 inch prints. The majority of people will never print anything larger than 8x10 inches.
While theoretically, an 8 MP or 10 MP camera will be able to produce poster size prints, of what use is that to the average consumer?

Further, the compression ratio a camera uses is infinitely more important than are the number of megapixels. My C-750UZ has a much better compression ratio than most cameras with up to twice the number of megapixels. That means that in its original, unaltered form, my 4 MP camera will produce larger size files than most 6 MP cameras.

Of course, more and more cameras have RAW capability. But not many people are willing to make the necessary efforts (considerable) to tweak RAW files...

Fee
08-28-2007, 12:26 AM
Panasonic DMC-FZ7.

Check it out, it might be worth considering (and then run it through one of those price comparison sites, I found mine at Beach Camera for a much better price than anywhere else). :)

Deuce
08-28-2007, 12:46 AM
Panasonic DMC-FZ7.

Check it out, it might be worth considering (and then run it through one of those price comparison sites, I found mine at Beach Camera for a much better price than anywhere else). :) The main problem with Panasonics is the proprietary lithium battery and charger. This means a replacement battery will cost over $50, and may be difficult to find, as well.

I prefer cameras that function using AA batteries - much easier to find, and much cheaper.
But ALWAYS buy rechargeable AAs - because alkalines will only last you a day in these cameras.

scotus
08-28-2007, 01:46 AM
Check out Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, and others. Since these companies are not as popular as Canon and Sony, you can usually get a bigger bang for the buck. I love my Fuji S6500. Much better picture quality than from Canon S3IS or G6.

TripleB
08-28-2007, 04:56 AM
Sony....I have the H2 and my niece has the H5....neither one of us has had a problem, fantastic pictures, quick shutter speed (going from one shot to the next Sony is the fastest..important if you plan to take pics one right after another), high quality, long battery life, and different memory card isn't that big of deal.

TripleB

OrangeOne
08-28-2007, 05:20 AM
Deuce speaks the truth in regards to megapixels. Personally, and without seeing any of these models, i always advise people that once you're beyond 4mp, it's no longer a factor. Lens quality, and lens-size, absolutely is. A 4mp, say, 6 year old digital SLR will still take a much better picture than a ultra-compact with 12mp, but try and convince the average consumer that. I've stood next to a guy with my 6mp Nikon D70 SLR, and had them, holding a compact, ask how many MP my camera was. Of course, I could have asked them their lens size, or max aperture, and they would have thought I was speaking a different language, or trying to cover up for my 'only 6mp' :).

Buy whichever takes the best photo, and make sure it has a nice big lens. Size does matter somewhat when it comes to cameras....

kanjii
08-28-2007, 08:25 AM
So, if MP is longer an issue at over 4MP and lens are the factor...wouldn't Canon, being all camera and video only company, and Sony with the Carl Zeiss lens and who bought Minolta, be the better choice. I know Olympus is also a good camera company and also Kodak and Nikon.

AAAA
08-28-2007, 09:21 AM
kanjii, Check out the 'best cameras link' on http://www.steves-digicams.com/

Also in pbase.com search for pictures from each of the cameras on your short list to see what results other photographers managed to get using them.

LuckyR
08-28-2007, 11:11 AM
Another idea: In my review of this issue (admittedly for a simpler grade camera) the Canon software (Powershot) was touted as producing better images even with the same specs as other common brands (Kodak, Nikon, Minolta, Oly etc).

OrangeOne
08-28-2007, 02:49 PM
I should have said - and you've probably already been there, but www.dpreview.com is an amazing site and has been for years...

xtremerunnerars
08-28-2007, 03:19 PM
My mom has a digital rebel eos from last year. It works out for us because a client of my dad sells his camera every year to buy the newest model and my dad buys it as a gift for her every 3 or 4 years.

The camera is damn good, but like everyone else says it's the lens that matters once you get to a certain point. The lens she has is huge and it takes great pictures from everywhere.

Lakoste
08-28-2007, 03:47 PM
Panasonic DMC-FZ7.

Check it out, it might be worth considering (and then run it through one of those price comparison sites, I found mine at Beach Camera for a much better price than anywhere else). :)

I spent an extended weekend using my friend's FZ7 a couple months back, and I was very impressed. It had the regular "Heart" mode that made taking pictures very easy, and there were a lot of extra options if you know what you're doing. I wasn't expecting there to be manual focusing, which was a pleasant surprise. The 2.5" LCD was a nice feature, but a tad dull compared to the viewfinder, which I used the majority of the time anyway. I actually just printed out some of the photos the other day, and they came out pretty good actually, I'll post a few once I go on my laptop.

About the battery, I used it for a couple days and I only recharged once, and batteries are far from $50 (http://www.microsupply.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=18216&currency=USD).

Take what I wrote above with a grain of salt, I'm not that savvy when it comes to digi-cams, I don't even own one:-|. I'm still using 35mm (Canon EOS 3)

I'm sure DD will pop in here to show us "noobs" who's boss;)

Deuce
08-28-2007, 08:41 PM
Obviously, digital SLRs produce better quality images than more compact cameras - mostly due to the superior lenses and CCDs. But there are trade-offs...
SLRs are bulkier - they won't fit in your coat pocket - especially with extra lenses.
To get the same Macro capability as many of the more compact cameras, you'd have to buy an expensive lens (the Macro capabilities of the more compact digital zoom cameras is amazing - some will focus on an object that is physically touching the lens.

Here's a good site with the most detailed reviews I've found...
http://www.imaging-resource.com/ (http://www.imaging-resource.com/)

OrangeOne
08-28-2007, 08:57 PM
Obviously, digital SLRs produce better quality images than more compact cameras - mostly due to the superior lenses and CCDs. But there are trade-offs...

Yeah, for sure. In fact, as I re-read my post, it was meant to simply champion lens-size over megapixels, when it comes off as championing DSLRs, which wasn't at all my goal.

I'd never tell someone trying to buy a sub-compact / compact / etc to go buy an SLR unless they were trying to use the sub-compact or compact for something it very much wasn't made for (like sports photography), and there are some amazing compacts out there thesedays.

Edit: Oh, and as you say, CCD-size & quality is another relevant fact. Most people wouldn't guess that a larger CCD, even with less of those lovely megapixels, will capture the same image. 12mp on a CCD the size of a thumbnail in a sub-compact isn't equal to 12MP on a 'full-size' CCD in a Canon...

Deuce
08-28-2007, 09:58 PM
No doubt SLRs are best for action shots - but I'm still amazed at what a much smaller camera is capable of doing.
From my Olympus C-755UZ...

http://i15.tinypic.com/6gl2fpt.jpg
http://i13.tinypic.com/5yc121j.jpg
http://i13.tinypic.com/4q7045y.jpg

LarougeNY
08-28-2007, 10:00 PM
Be sure to check out casio too. They make great cameras. The exilim series have 7.2, 10.1 and 12 megapixel cameras, the 10.1s really nice. great for action shots too. beautiful quality

Deuce
08-28-2007, 10:04 PM
For the uninitiated, these have all been reduced in size - the originals are much larger (4 Megapixel).

All handheld...

http://i12.tinypic.com/52kwojo.jpg

http://i15.tinypic.com/4umyqlf.jpg

OrangeOne
08-28-2007, 10:08 PM
Some nice pics there. Especially impressive are those which have been taken from up in the stands, and were probably taken with some aperture-reducing zoom too....

Deuce
08-28-2007, 10:17 PM
The Nadal and Hantuchova photos (the two from higher up) were actually taken using the digital zoom, as the optical zoom wasn't enough.
For viewing on a computer, digital zoom is fine. I wouldn't try printing a digitally zoomed photo more than 5x7, though.

Deuce
08-28-2007, 10:30 PM
About the battery, I used it for a couple days and I only recharged once, and batteries are far from $50 (http://www.microsupply.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=18216&currency=USD).
I was talking about a battery from the camera manufacturer.
Personally, I'm not sure I'd trust the 'no name' batteries like the one you linked to - I'd be skeptical of how long they'd last.

By the way... Olympus has a couple of digital SLRs that allow a 'live view' through the LCD screen in back of the camera - just like the more compact cameras.
No other camera company offers this in a digital SLR as yet (but it is no doubt coming).

Elina
08-29-2007, 03:40 AM
Panasonic DMC-FZ7.

Check it out, it might be worth considering (and then run it through one of those price comparison sites, I found mine at Beach Camera for a much better price than anywhere else). :)

I would recommend also Panasonic. I've had their camera (previous version to that model) for two years and I like it very much. Easy to use and takes great pics.:D

Lakoste
08-29-2007, 01:26 PM
I was talking about a battery from the camera manufacturer.
Personally, I'm not sure I'd trust the 'no name' batteries like the one you linked to - I'd be skeptical of how long they'd last.

You can buy replacement batteries from Panasonic? News to me...
By the way... Olympus has a couple of digital SLRs that allow a 'live view' through the LCD screen in back of the camera - just like the more compact cameras.
No other camera company offers this in a digital SLR as yet (but it is no doubt coming).
Off the top of my head, I know that Canon and Panasonic both offer this "live view" technology in at least one of their dSLRs, so your data might be a tad bit outdated.

Koz
08-29-2007, 05:42 PM
I have a Canon S3IS. I like it very much. Here's some pics I took at the Cincinnati tournament a couple weeks ago. All shots were taken at a good amount of zoom, so the image stability was doing its job well. I'm still learning how to use it though.


http://img390.imageshack.us/img390/7018/cincy2007034croppedmedict2.jpg
http://img390.imageshack.us/img390/9653/cincy2007039croppedmediqe7.jpg
http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/6403/cincy2007216mediumnr5.jpg
http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/3927/cincy2007285croppedmedilw9.jpg

Koz
08-29-2007, 05:42 PM
http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/176/cincy2007003mediumna5.jpg

OrangeOne
08-29-2007, 05:58 PM
These only show up 'about the same', which holds up pretty well for the other cameras used in this thread.

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r205/OrangeOne555/38-dechyFHVolley.jpg

With a bunch of zoom:

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r205/OrangeOne555/ivanoFH.jpg

OrangeOne
08-29-2007, 06:07 PM
One with plenty of light:

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r205/OrangeOne555/Kimb.jpg

One with not-so-much light, heading into darkness:

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r205/OrangeOne555/HantuchFH.jpg

Random shot:

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r205/OrangeOne555/whoisit3.jpg

Nice shot:

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r205/OrangeOne555/30-Vakulenko.jpg

Deuce
08-30-2007, 02:23 AM
Off the top of my head, I know that Canon and Panasonic both offer this "live view" technology in at least one of their dSLRs, so your data might be a tad bit outdated.
Ok - I found the Panasonic one you refer to (which is made in conjunction with Olympus), but which Canon digital SLR offers the 'live view'?

renhoek
08-30-2007, 03:34 PM
Ok - I found the Panasonic one you refer to (which is made in conjunction with Olympus), but which Canon digital SLR offers the 'live view'?

Canon EOS 40D
http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canoneos40d/

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canoneos1dsmarkiii/

Deuce
08-30-2007, 11:50 PM
Ok - but the EOS-1 is a professional SLR, and the D-40 is $1500 (and brand new).

The Panasonic L-1 and upcoming L-10 are also in the $1200 to $1500 range.

If I may slightly rephrase my original mention of the 'live view' element in dSLRs, Olympus makes the only dSLRs with a 'live view' that don't require a bank loan to purchase.

kanjii
08-31-2007, 12:09 AM
Hey guys,

I found a floor model of the Dony DSC-H5 for $229. Bought a 2 year extended warranty just in case for $50. Not too bad of a deal. With the money I saved, I guess I could even get the Kodak Z712IS for $199.