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Old Dec 25, 2006, 12:11 AM   #1
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Hey all, I haven't been following the camera market in awhile (I go into hibernation for the winter) and I'm wondering if anything new and great has been realeased.

I currently use a Kodak P850 and have been very impressed with it. However I was wondering if there is anything out for fairly cheap ($300 or so) that would be worth upgrading too.

My problems with the P850 are mainly just the horrible low-light performance. Even at it's maximum ISO of 400 the shots are almost unusable due to noise. So basically, does anyone have any great suggestions?
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Old Dec 26, 2006, 2:47 PM   #2
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$300 is pretty limiting for what you've described. For around that amount you could get a decent ultrazoom (Canon Powershot S2 IS) , OR you could get a camera with decent high ISO performance (Fuji F30 or F20), but both will typically cost a lot more.

Your best bet may be the Fuji S9000. You can get it for $390 at buydig.com, which is far less than everyone else. It may even be a mistake so you might need to act fast on that one:

http://www2.buydig.com/shop/product....;sku=FJFPS9000

If none of that is sufficient, you should consider spending a bit more. You can get a Pentax K110d DSLR without the lens for about $334 after a $50 mail in rebate, and tack on a Tamron 28-200mm lens for $130 at beachcamera.com. It's probably the highest quality you could get for that money. I think there are 28-300mm lenses available as well at other stores for around the same price, but typically more zoom range means lower quality (more vignetting, chromatic aberration, poor macro, etc...)

For about $100 more you can get the K100d which has anti-shake built into the body which can allow for slower shutter speeds hand-held, especially at telephoto. This can really help in low light situations.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 26, 2006, 3:17 PM   #3
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morag,

Probably the best non-DSLR camera, suitable for wildlife, with good low light performance, within your budget is................................................ ..............uh..
................................................uh .................................................. ............

Just kidding - Fuji 6000FD. With the current $50 Fuji mail-in rebate, you should be able to pick one up for around the $315 to $325 range.

the Hun

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Old Dec 26, 2006, 7:03 PM   #4
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Thanks all, I'm thinking that I just can't really justify an upgrade right now then. I've only had my Kodak P850 for a fairly short time. I just wanted to know if there was anything significant right now to replace it with besides just moving up to a DSLR. I think I will wait awhile, probably for Kodak's next installment in the P-series.

And my $300 price range, well I live in Canada so our prices can be pretty messed up. For example, somebody suggested a $400 camera on here once and all the local stores sold it for $900+. Although I will take a look at that Fuji when I decide it's time to upgrade. Thanks all.

Just to follow up on that, the Fuji S6000FD sells for $500 in my area, and nobody even carries the Fuji S9000.:?
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Old Dec 26, 2006, 7:38 PM   #5
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There really isn't anything that would be too much of an upgrade from the P-850.

The Fuji S6000fd only zooms to a 300mm equivalent, and at maximum zoom it's f4.9. For most wildlife shooting, you will be able to shoot at lower ISO anyway, and your P-850 will zoom to 432mm with a 3.7 maximum aperture. I like the fact that they included a wide angle (28mm) on the S6000 instead of a longer zoom, but the longer zoom is generally better for wildlife. In some lower light situations you might do better with the higher ISO abilities, but other times you will be better off with the extra zoom.

And I'll add that some of the better wildlife shots I've seen from digicams have been from some of the Panasonic superzooms, which also suffer from noise at higher ISO. In most daylight you'll probably do OK with ISO 100-200.

The Fuji S5200 has a 38mm-380mm f3.2-3.5 zoom with a modest improvement in higher ISO capabilities over what you have now, at a reasonable cost. But in some other ways it might not be an upgrade.

But you might be better off working with what you've got and watching as prices fall on entry level DSLRs like the Rebel XT, Pentax K110D, and Nikon D40 and D50. Those long tele lenses also get expensive there though, you'd probably want a 70-300 at least to start.


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Old Dec 26, 2006, 10:22 PM   #6
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Kenbalbari, you're post is confirming what I've been thinking. I just can't find a suitable upgrade. My plan is to wait about a year, and then if nothing worth upgrading too is available, I'll consider a DSLR (just consider seeing as I'm 16 and I've never spent more than $300 on one single item in my life, so a DSLR would be a big thing)

I would definatly miss the 432mm zoom on my P850, and I also need to factor in that I spent some money on a teleconverter which likely wouldn't work on those fuji cameras, so I'd be dropping from 734mm with TC down to 380mm. I would definatly miss that.

THanks for the help.
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 1:03 PM   #7
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Morag, I definitely know how you're feeling. A year ago a got a Panasonic FZ30 which has a great zoom range (up to 420mm), good image quality and is quite a fun camera to use. However, I kept finding myself in situations where I was really pushing the limitations of the camera, like trying to shoot around dusk or in darker indoor environments. So, I did a lot of research and settled on getting myself a DSLR. In fact I just ordered a Pentax K100d like 30 minutes ago :-).

Here's the problem with digicams; while they are for the most part getting better as time goes on, they are also getting worse. While they are getting faster and having more powerful processors built into them, they are also constantly cramming more megapixels onto the same sized sensors and worsening their low light performance. It'll probably be a few years before there's a new innovation in sensor technology that can overcome the limitations of current sensors and allow for higher megapixels as well as better low light performance.

The other problem is, much of what you spend on a digicam is wasted in the end. Once it breaks down, it's typically too expensive to repair, and you can't remove the lens and use it on another camera, you just have to get rid of it.

That's where a DSLR starts to look like a better value. While you do have to plunk down a pretty big chunk of change at first, you end up with significantly better image quality and down the road your cameras are much cheaper because you can hang on to your lenses, which you can also sell, sometimes for a profit, if you want to move on to something new. That's partly why I went with the Pentax, because there are so many cheap lenses available already, and with built in stabilization I don't have to buy stabilized lenses. I just hope they don't go out of business any time soon.
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 2:22 PM   #8
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Thanks Corpsy, I think I will in fact take the route you're suggesting.

My plan right now is to put down some money at the end of every month, I'll aim for $40-$50. And then I'll wait for my P850 to break down or just get too old for me, likely in a year or so. I'll then take the money I have, add some extra change and buy a DSLR. In the meantime, I will likely improve more with a camera being pushed to it's limits then I would with one that makes every shot easy. There we go, I have a plan, thank you very much everyone.
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 2:22 PM   #9
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Thanks Corpsy, I think I will in fact take the route you're suggesting.

My plan right now is to put down some money at the end of every month, I'll aim for $40-$50. And then I'll wait for my P850 to break down or just get too old for me, likely in a year or so. I'll then take the money I have, add some extra change and buy a DSLR. In the meantime, I will likely improve more with a camera being pushed to it's limits then I would with one that makes every shot easy. There we go, I have a plan, thank you very much everyone.
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