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Old Aug 23, 2007, 9:56 AM   #1
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I previously posted under the band competition scenario (main purpose). After reading, re-reading numerous posts here and other resources, and getting more and more confused:?, let me re-phrase :-)

Which digital camera w/manual controls would you recommend for a beginner?

This beginner would like to learn and advance skills, hence the request for a camera with manual controls.

Picture-taking would range from band competitions (FIELD LEVEL) to baseball games, with everything in-between, kids, babies, still objects (as a point of interest and learning, such as flowers, birds, whatever)

Many thanks for your time and patience!



Juanita
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Old Aug 23, 2007, 10:34 AM   #2
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The so-called bridge cameras could be a very good start. The FZ50 comes to my mind with all its manual controls. That's the best non-DSLR in this respect. It's cheap and versatile and can prepare you for a DSLR when you will be ready for it.
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Old Aug 23, 2007, 10:38 AM   #3
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I think you could follow either of two paths. You could buy a camera that has no limits (i.e.: Nikon D80, Canon XTi, etc.) or you could buy a good all-around camera (i.e.: Canon S5, Panasonic FZ50, etc.), discover its limits, and if possible, learn ways to accomplish your objectives while staying within those limits.

Your stated goals are fairly broad, so a good dSLR will serve you well, but it should be easy to use so you'll be able to hit the ground running, yet grow into it.
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Old Aug 23, 2007, 10:42 AM   #4
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Delius wrote:
Quote:
The so-called bridge cameras could be a very good start. The FZ50 comes to my mind with all its manual controls. That's the best non-DSLR in this respect. It's cheap and versatile and can prepare you for a DSLR when you will be ready for it.
TCav wrote:
Quote:
I think you could follow either of two paths. You could buy a camera that has no limits (i.e.: Nikon D80, Canon XTi, etc.) or you could buy a good all-around camera (i.e.: Canon S5, Panasonic FZ50, etc.), discover its limits, and if possible, learn ways to accomplish your objectives while staying within those limits.

Your stated goals are fairly broad, so a good dSLR will serve you well, but it should be easy to use so you'll be able to hit the ground running, yet grow into it.
There. Does this help? :-)
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Old Aug 23, 2007, 11:01 AM   #5
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Both of your comments help tremendously!

I'll await feedback from other members as well.

While I'm eager, anxious and willing to learn and upgrade, I don't want to be frustrated and not be able to take a photo because I am totally dependant upon knowing all manual control functions.



Thank you!

Juanita
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Old Aug 23, 2007, 11:12 AM   #6
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Juanita19 wrote:
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While I'm eager, anxious and willing to learn and upgrade, I don't want to be frustrated and not be able to take a photo because I am totally dependant upon knowing all manual control functions.
Don't worry, even DSLR have some sort of "Dummy" mode which is fully automatic, you just point and shoot.
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Old Aug 23, 2007, 11:29 AM   #7
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That's comforting!

Something that's not going to be too heavy either, as I in what's called the "pit crew" for marchind band competitions; meaning I am pushing/lugging/carrying band equipment and don't want to leave camera unattended or break it.
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Old Aug 23, 2007, 11:30 AM   #8
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juanita,

I intentionally avoided your earlier post due to...well...this thread seems a bit more... sedate. At the risk of starting another P&S vs. DSLR war (they erupt quite frequently here), may I suggest you consider a good DSLR-like camera. Rather than buying a DSLR with at least two lenses to cover the various scenarios you've described (and then realize they are not enough), a bridge camera, like the Fuji S6000 would give you a wide angle (28mm) to moderate telephoto (300mm) in one package. It has manual controls (as well as auto settings) including a manual zoom and focus ring, good high ISO/low light performance, good macro performance, it's easy to use and learn on, and it takes decent videos (which you can't take with a DSLR). It can handle allof yourstated photographic interests with ease.

Once you learn the basics of photography, you can decide if you want to move up to a DSLR, or stay with a P&S camera.At least by then you should know what type of photography you are most interested in and can decide what types of lenses you need to invest in.

Good luck with your decision.

the Hun
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Old Aug 23, 2007, 11:32 AM   #9
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Due to much greater security steps in force at most stadiums across the nation, in most cases, you cannot bring in a"professional camera with interchangeable lens." That seems to eliminate any DSLR camera, as i have been told.

However, there are many very good ultrazoom/bridge cameras, with full manual controls,on the market that run in price from around $(US) 200.00 to over $(US) 500.00. For example the highly rated Sony H-2 camera (IS, full manula controls and 12X optical zoom)can be purchased on ebay for less than $(US) 200.00. If you to purchase a brand new camera, the Fuji S-700 (No IS, 10X optical zoom, full manual controls) camera is also available for a bit more than $(US) 200.00. The Kodak Z-712 has IS, 12X optical zoom, and full manual controls. It sells for $(US) 230.00 to $(US) 250.00.

A brand new Sony H-2 runs around $(US) 250.00 to $(US) 300.00. It has IS, 12X optical zoom and manual controls. The Panasonic FZ-8 camera has IS, 12X optical zoom, and manual controls. It is selling for between $(US) 275 to $(US310.00. The Fuji S-6000 camera does not have IS, but it does have manual controls, 11X optical zoom, and is the only camera listed in this group with excellent high ISO capabilities. It is elleing for $(US) 320.00 to $(US) 350.00.The highly rated Canon S-3IS is a real bargain, as the Canon S-5IS has recently been introduced. Itcan be purchased for around $(US) 280 to $(US) 300.00 The S-3IS has IS, 12X optical zoom, and manual controls.

The top of the shop is inhabited by the Canon S-5IS which has IS, 12X optical zoom, and manual controls and it has received excellent reviews. It is selling for around $(US)430.00 to $(US) 500.00. The Sony H-9 with IS, 15X optical zoom, full manual controls. It is selling for $(US) 425.00 to $(US) 460.00. It has received mixed reviews. The Olympus SP-550 camera has a whopping 18X optical zoom along with IS and manual controls. It has received mixed reviews and it is selling for $(US) 415.00 to $(US) 480.00. The Fuji S-8000 has not yet been relaased. It will hax IS, 18X optical zoom, and maulal controls. It is slated to sell for around $(US) 400.00. Lastly there is the soon to be introduced Panasonic FZ-18camera with IS, 18X optical zoom, and manual controls, slated to sell for $(US) 399.00.

So Juanita, as you can see the choices are many in number. I priced everything out for you as budget is always a concern. In terms of learning more about photography, your local Community College might be a very good resource for course that could be really useful for you. If you can narrow your camera choices somewhat we can be much more specific. I hope this is helpful and something of a start in your search. Everyone of the cameras that I have listed have a fully automatic mode to get you started quite easily and have between 6mp to 8mp of resolution.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Aug 23, 2007, 12:44 PM   #10
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Sarah you're right except your comment about the S5. I think the FZ50 is the top of the shop. It handles like a DSLR without being one.

There is also the new Kodak Z812 IS not yet out. It's supposed to have a HDTV (1280x720 @30fps) video mode.

Are you confused now Juanita?
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