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Old Nov 22, 2007, 1:46 AM   #1
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So I want to get a new digital camera, and I'd like some advice. I'll do my best to describe my situation, but let me know if I should be considering anything else.

I've got a very basic knowledge of photography, did some shooting in high school with my dad's 35mm SLR, but really haven't done much in the past 5 years. I have an older digicam, really just something to shoot pictures with friends and such. I want to get a new digital camera that I can use to learn more about shooting, and shoot more. I'm definitly looking for something with manual features, and something that I can grow with. I don't know much now, but I'm a quick learner and really don't want to be limited down the road.

For arguments sake, I'll say that I'd like to shoot a variety of things, landscapes, urban, nature, really anything.

I know most people will probably say that I'm better off spending a little more to get a DSLR, but the reasons I want to stay away from them are:
Cost - it looks like they're mostly a little bit more than I would like to spend
Size - I would like to use this camera sometimes when my main goal is not necessarily to take pictures (i.e. travel, touristy things, hiking, etc) and I think that DSLRs and the superzooms are so big that I won't end up taking them.

I've read reviews on all of these cameras, and here's what I've drawn from them, tell me if I'm right/wrong

The A720 looks like a really good deal, however the smaller sensor makes me think I might not notice as much image quality difference between this camera and say an ultra compact.

A650 has a lot of nice features, sounds like it's a really great camera that I could grow a lot with. The only thing missing that I would like is RAW format. Granted I'm still a beginner with this, but from what I understand it would be great to be able to learn how to control editing and finishing the picture more even after it's taken off the camera.

G9 looks like it has everything of the A650, plus RAW, might be the best choice, but getting a little higher than I wanted to spend.

LX2 seems like an interesting camera, has the RAW and also a little bigger focal length, but I'm worried about what I read in regards to the image noise. I think that image quality is really the main goal, if the images are noisy, then what good is the camera? Am I blowing this aspect out of proportion?

Let me know what you think, or if there are any other cameras that would fit my needs better. I'd like to keep my range 400 or below, but if it means a great camera with no compromises, I'd stretch.
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Old Nov 22, 2007, 10:35 AM   #2
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The Canon A-720 or A-650 are both excellent choices. Consider the Canon S-5 with the hotshoe is you want to expand your photography with a good external flash that both tilts and swivels. I would stay away from the Panasonic, especially if you were going to use high ISO settings.

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Old Nov 23, 2007, 4:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for your response Sarah, that's kinda what I was thinking regarding the Panasonic.

It looks like I'm leaning more towards the A650 or G9, so I'll be a little more specific about my questions regarding the difference between these two.

As I see it, the main difference would be RAW format in the G9 and not in the A650.

My question is whether it is worth paying the extra almost 100 dollars for the RAW format capabilities? I think I would like to eventually learn how to shoot in that style, but I'm wondering how much can really be done with a picture in RAW format that would be different than shooting in JPEG? Is there really a lot of potential for making great photos, or is it something that I would probably spend a lot of time working on only to get the end result as good or worse than if I had just shot in JPEG?
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Old Nov 23, 2007, 5:30 PM   #4
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NYMusicTeacher-

Yours is a very subjective question. Let me approach it this way: do you enjoy post processsing your photos using photo editing software such as Photo Shop Elements 5.0 or 6.0 (the most current version)??

If you do, you are a good candidate for RAW. Because in RAW every photo must be post processed. Adobe ACR can be added to elements very easily. What can RAW do? Using Adobe ACR you can essentially re-take the photo after the fact. If that kind of workflow appeals to you, then RAW might be just the right "fit" for you.

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