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Old Sep 21, 2009, 3:24 PM   #1
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Default Need suggetions for a camera

I am in need of a digital camera and have no idea where to start. I am a Realtor and that is what it will mostly be used for, but I also run a website where I want to be able to have high quality pictures taken. A lot of the times I need to be able to take pictures of houses from the road which may be a few hundred yards away, so I know I need a decent zoom. I have not been very into photography before but I have been using my girlfriends camera, not even sure what type it is, and I have really enjoyed taking pictures of the countryside and mountains and such. Unfortunately, my budget right now is only around $200. In a few months I plan on having more money that I would like to put into it, but I definitely need a camera now. Is there a camera that I could get now for around $200 now and be able to update stuff on it like new lens and stuff like that, or would it be better to just try to buy a cheap camera now, and then when I get more money go to a much better one? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, because like I said I don't know a whole lot about cameras at this time. Thanks.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 1:42 AM   #2
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There are lots of cameras to pick from at that price. Most any of them would be Ok. The one that stands out in my view, for your use, would be the Panasonic TZ4. No longer sold new, you would need to hunt around for a used one, which should be well under $200. Here is a link to another thread discussing this camera -

Holiday camera - landscapes, landmarks and people

Kelly Cook
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Old Sep 23, 2009, 5:09 PM   #3
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The replacement to the Panasonic TZ-4 is the new Panasonic ZS1, which is a bit more than Chew's budget, but it has 12X optical zoom and a wonderful 25mm wide angle position on the lens that would make it ideal for indoor real estate photos.

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Old Mar 7, 2010, 8:54 AM   #4
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I also am a Realtor and stumbled on your post as I was doing research for a photographic inservice at the office meeting. Invariably someone asks your same question, so trying to develop a handout by price category as I review recommendations at various sites. My personal camera is a DSLR and way out of your pricerange.

While my research is "in progress" the Panasonic ZS1 (around $250) mentioned above is consistenly a top recommendation at various sites. Too soon to comment on others, particurally below $200.

As you review various cameras - realestate specific issues are:
1) Wide angle of at least 28mm equivalent. They will give that measure in the specs - look for 35mm (film SLR camera) equivalent. Avoid cameras where the minimal zoom is 35mm equivalent which, unfortunately, rules out some good cameras in your below $200 range like the Canon SD1200. Zoom length is not important in realestate, but may be important for other personal uses.

2) Flash - they are all bad in the P&S beyond 8 feet and will be a universal "weak point" in every review you read. After all, you can only expect so much from that little sliver flash on the front of the camera. What to pay attention to is how the camera handles low light, in what is called "noise". That is really what elevate the Panasonic to the top in comparison reviews I've read.

3) Don't be swayed by the megapixels.

Hope that gets you started. Unfortunately, many of the reviews/comparisons I've read now have obsolete cameras, and sence they come out so fast, reviewing entry level P&S cameras individually is unrealitic with reviewers focusing on mid to high end.
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