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Old Jul 3, 2008, 12:22 AM   #1
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New here to the forums and well figured this is where to start. Just recently got the photography bug which is by no means a bad thing. If you just don't ask the wife. I am not sure which way to go as far as a camera. I am really pretty new to photography. The primary things that, I will be photographing is my family, trips, wildlife (zoo animals) and a occasional airshow every now and then. I really like the point and shoot style cameras far easier and more in my price range. I also really like the DSLR cameras but don't know if, I want to jump to a DSLR camera that quick. If, I get to taking pictures and enjoy it plan to take some photography classes then at that time could justify letting go of more money for a DSLR camera.

I have a good friend who recommended that for the zoo pics a 40-150mm lens. Is there any point and shoots that will allow me to take this kind of photo's or has this zoom type lens but also meet my other requirements. I do realize that the point and shoots may not do to good for airshows for aerial shots. I lean toward the Nikon's however would possibly consider others. I was thinking an Nikon P80? Would like to stay in the $400-420 range at the most if possible.

Thanks

zoofan
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 1:20 AM   #2
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The Nikon P80 is a substantial investment for someone just starting out.

I'd recommend a less expensive camera with manual controls that will enable you to learn how to manipulate shutter speed, aperture and ISO. The Canon A590IS would be a good camera for that purpose. The A590IS also takes a nice looking picture.
http://www.flickr.com/cameras/canon/powershot_a590_is/
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 10:33 AM   #3
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ZooFan-

Having taken many zoo photos myself, IMO opinion you might find something more than the 4X optical zoom found on the Canon A-590, like the Panasonic LZ-8 (8mp, 5X optical zoom, with an EZ Zoom feature that takes you to 8X zoom with a one button push, full manual, a very small form factor, and auto controls, even including manual WB all for $149 at www.buydig.com).

Here is a Panasonic LZ-8 photo sample.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 2:55 PM   #4
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I'd like to address the airshow portion of your question. A P&S can shoot decent airshow pictures. I've attached one that I took two weeks ago of the P51-F16 commemorative flight. The important features to take decent airshow photos from my perspective are as follows:

1. Low shutter delay (click to capture time).

2. Fast focus speed, especially at long focal lengths. Focus speedis a significant part of the click to capture time for mostreal world photography.

3. Quick shot to shot times and decent sized buffer to allow several shots during a pass.

4. Long effective focal length. In P&S camera this translates to large zoom ratio, 12x or greater.

5. Optical image stabilization. Part and parcel of using long telephoto lenses

6. Eye level viewfinder. I can't imagine trying to track a fast moving aircraft with a long telephot lens while holding the camera away from my face.

Cameras available new in the market place meeting these characteristics include the Panasonic FZ18, Canon S5, and the Kodak Z712, Z812 and the Z1012. Of this group the two bargain cameras are the Canon S5 currently available at ~$320 and the Z712 available at $230 or less (recent reports have claimed $120 at Office Max.)

The Panasonic FZ18 may have a slight advantage in indoor family (group) pictures over the others due to its wider angle capability.

The Z812 and Z1012 have very fast click to capture times and fast shot to shot times but can't take as many photos at that speed before they run out of buffer space compared to the Z712.

The attached photo was one of 600 photos +3 short video clips I took with my Kodak Z612 during the Quad Cities Airshow.
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 3:51 PM   #5
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That's a nice photo, AC=

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 4:33 PM   #6
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mtclimber wrote:
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That's a nice photo, AC=

Sarah Joyce
Thanks Sarah. Nice to see you back in the community and providing help and assistance. I know you have pretty heavy bookings throughout the summer and fall but how long are you back this time?

A. C.


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Old Jul 3, 2008, 6:21 PM   #7
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A.C.-

We are just home until 07/04 and then we are off again. This time it will be for the Alaska season. We will be home again at the very end of the month.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 5, 2008, 1:54 AM   #8
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I have it down to 5 camera's that, I am really interested in that hopefully meet my wants in the camera. Which was good family pics, zoo pics (wildlife), trips and a occasional airshow. Now to pick the one that fits the bill best. My choices are down to the following camera's: Canon S5 IS, Nikon P80, Olympus SP-570, and two Panasonic models the DMC FZ-18 and the DMC FZ-50. Feel free to shed some light on these models, or even rank them 1 to 5 as I need all the help, that anyone is willing to give me. I appreciate all the input everyone has provided it aided me in going from a list of 18 cameras to consider down to 5 which would have been more difficult if great people on here would not have educated me as to what I am looking for in a point and shoot camera for my needs.

Look forward to reading more replies and making my final decision. Then educate myself more to be able to help others on this great site and forums.

Thanks!!!!!
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Old Jul 5, 2008, 9:16 AM   #9
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zoofan-

It is just my personal opinion, but I would focus on The Canon S-5, and the Panasonic FZ-18 and TZ-5 (if you are a video fan or desire a smaller size camera). It will make the selection process a good deal easier.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 5, 2008, 9:17 AM   #10
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The Sony H50 is also worthy of consideration. It's a new camera and hasn't received too many professional reviews (I hope Steve will be reviewing it soon), but the photos I've seen have been outstanding.
http://www.flickr.com/cameras/sony/dsc-h50/
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