Suggestions for a good digital camera

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by max, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. max

    max Hall of Fame

    Jul 14, 2004
    . . . catching up a bit here; still use the indestructible 35 mm. film camera.

    What are good quality, reasonably priced digital cameras that you would recommend?

    What's the way to judge a good digital camera?
  2. Bowtiesarecool

    Bowtiesarecool Rookie

    Aug 27, 2012
    New Smyrna Beach, FL
    For the most part, sensor size. Everything else is just some non-essential feature. Megapixels are useless unless you're going to make enlargements, and nowadays, even a cheapo digi has enough to make 16x20s out of a 4x5. Go to the brand you prefer, buy the one with the biggest sensor you can afford.
  3. veloduffer

    veloduffer Rookie

    Jul 26, 2012
    What's your intentions for the camera and budget? If you want to do some serious type photography, you'd probably want a camera with a full frame (FX) sensor, like a Nikon D600.

    If you want something that is easy to carry for family photos and better than a point and shoot, look at the mirrorless cameras from Fuji, Panasonic and Sony.

    If you want a lightweight DSLR, the Nikon 5100 or 7000 are very good.
  4. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

    Aug 30, 2010
    My ladyfriend makes a living as a professional photographer, and she lets me use her Canon Rebel XSI, and I think it's pretty cool. (She hasn't used it in years, hence why I'm able to take it everywhere hahahaha!) It's a solid little camera that takes relatively good pictures in an outdoor setting. Inside it's not the best, but it can definitely get the job done. :)

  5. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

    Oct 5, 2010

    Film is still great.. but what do you pay for developing the film??

    What kind of photos are you mainly gonna be taking ??
  6. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

    Sep 30, 2009
    I'm no expert, but I've had a couple of Canon digitals that I like, and I like their software.

    I think almost all the new cameras have way more settings than I can comprehend and/or make use of--maybe if I used a camera near daily it would soak in some, but I don't.

    Whatever you get I bet you'll like it. Might want to get something basic (inexpensive) as a "bridge" to the next one you buy after you learn more about digital photography.
  7. davo81

    davo81 New User

    May 31, 2012
    It depends very much what you're looking for. The truth is that many of today's digital compact cameras are so good that there is little reason to buy a DSLR anymore. Unless of course you are ready to invest a lot of time in photo editing and/or really need the versatility of interchangeable lenses.

    I think the most important thing is "image quality" - which is very difficult to quantify (and subjective to some extent). You'll have to browse through full-size sample images of potential candidates.

    For me it's important to have a physical selector wheel that shows me whether I'm currently in manual exposure mode, aperture priority, or shutter priority. Only few compact cameras have that. Also important are a good menu, quick access to exposure control, quick access to turning the flash on and off, etc.

    I used to have two Canon PowerShot A cameras with which I was very happy but they both died (the first one after almost 5 years, the second one after a bit more than 3 years). Because of that, and because the PowerShot A series doesn't have large zooms anymore, I decided to get a Casio Exilim EX-ZR100. Casio is definitely not a classic camera company, and the image stabilizer is noticeably worse than Canon's, but you get a 24-300 equiv. zoom with decent image quality plus a huge number of slow-motion movie options which are extremely helpful for instance in tennis. It was succeeded by the EX-ZR200 (currently sells for about $300) which in turn was recently succeeded by the EX-ZR300 (currently sells for about $400).

    In terms of DSLRs I have an old Nikon D80 (with a Nikon 18-200, i.e. 27-300 equiv., and various other lenses) but simply don't use it anymore. Because of that, a couple of days ago, I've finally decided to sell it. In terms of current models the Nikon D600 is pretty amazing - full-frame sensor for only $2100. Less expensive DSLRs (such as my old D80) usually have a smaller sensor, i.e. you have to multiply the focal length by 1.5 or 1.6 to get the 35mm equiv. focal length.

    If I win the lottery I might go with digital medium format (Leica S for instance, seems to suit me better than the Hasselblad H system) but for the time being the Casio will be sufficient for 95% of my photo needs.

    A great website with very careful in-depth reviews and lots of full-size sample images for download is Take a look at cameras that received good ratings in, say, the last 6 months or so. That should help you to make a short list.

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