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Old Jun 4, 2009, 4:14 AM   #1
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Default Need camera recommendations around $300

I used to own a Sony DSC-H1 (it may have been a 2 or 5...I forget!). It was stolen from me, and I haven't replaced it. My husband ended up to purchase just a cheap-o Panasonic camera at Christmas a year ago...small, adequate...but I've never liked it.

He's offered to buy a camera for me for my birthday. I think our budget is anywhere between $200-$400...but $400 would be a stretch for us, but maybe I could talk my husband into it if's it's a great deal. I'd like to stay under/around $300 if possible.

We take indoor and outdoor pics...no sports or anything...just young kids playing and posing! Ironically, I was really comfortable with my sony camera because of the size - I think I want a larger camera like that. Although, maybe my opinions are skewed because the smaller camera that we have now is cheap...so of course I don't like it! I'm not opposed to a smaller camera...I just think I took more "steady" pictures with the larger one.

I hate how when I shoot, the picture actually takes 3 seconds later...lol...so I'd like a camera that actually takes the picture when I want it to! Clarity when zooming would be nice too. I don't care about whether it's a Sony stick or a regular card. Doesn't matter. Preference might go to the card vs. stick, but again not a deal-breaker either way. I have a Sony laptop, but who knows how long that will last.

I've been shopping on Costco's website to see if they have any deals. I don't think I need the "latest" model as long as it has the functions that work for me. Haven't really started looking elsewhere though. Do I dare look for used?

Suggestions on cameras?

I really appreciate the advice from the experts!
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Old Jun 4, 2009, 10:15 AM   #2
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I bought a Panasonic FZ28 at Costco a couple of weeks ago. It's a fine ultrazoom with lots of options. It shoots quickly and, once you're familiar with the controls, you'll get sharp, well exposed pictures most of the time.
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Old Jun 4, 2009, 4:56 PM   #3
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I don't necessarily need to buy from Costco...it was just some place that I was researching. I'm not sure if I'm sold on a Panosonic to be honest...was thinking more along the lines of Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc.

I keep reading reviews and not many have steered me away...what to do!
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Old Jun 4, 2009, 5:13 PM   #4
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Looks like my hubby may be narrowing down the options...

Canon SX10IS, Sony DSC-H50, or Panasonic DMC-FZ28

Thoughts on those?
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Old Jun 5, 2009, 3:44 AM   #5
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If you must stay under $300, get FZ28. It's cheaper than SX10. If you do lots of video, FZ28, despite having HD video, is not that good (due to pathetic audio). SX10, despite being VGA, does better video, because the audio on sx10 is much better (sound is a major part of any video). As for H50, I don't know much about it. No comments.
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Old Jun 5, 2009, 11:57 AM   #6
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Nanseev... here's a link to a comparison test of the major superzoom cameras from about six months ago. It comes down to a virtual tie between the SX10 and the FZ28... but for a variety of reasons the testers say they personally would go with the FZ28. It's interesting reading... at least show it to your husband if you don't want to read through it all.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q109superzoomgroup/

Let us know how it goes.
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Old Jun 5, 2009, 1:42 PM   #7
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Fabulous! Thank you for that link...exactly what I was looking for.

Here's a question...if we could increase the $$ to maybe around $500 (I work on tips, so maybe I can make some extra $$ before I need the camera), is there a camera/group of cameras that you would recommend?
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Old Jun 5, 2009, 6:28 PM   #8
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Well, honestly, regardless of price, the finishing order is still the same for the megazoom point and shoots as indicated in the review above. But... if you're targeting $500, you could move up to a DSLR. Sony's A200 is available with an 18-70mm kit lens for $499.

But... THIS is currently what I think is the best deal for an entry-level DSLR... a Pentax K2000 with both the 18-55 and 55-200mm kit lenses... available now at B&H (very reputable) for $529. I don't know how long this will last. I have a Pentax K200D and it's a peach. The K200D and the K2000 are very similar technically. But the K2000 is a bit smaller and lighter and lacks the K200D's weather-proofing. But the K2000's focus speed and burst mode are both a bit faster. Cracking value for an entry-level DSLR. Check out the link:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...EG&A=details&Q=

Not only is the K2000 a solid entry-level DSLR... but it includes a variety of scene modes that will make it easier for someone moving up from a point and shoot. Many higher-level DSLRs are pretty much all manual control (or close to it), which can be intimidating for some one who's used to point and shoots. With the K2000, you can start out with a small step up and then move on to partial-manual and full-manual control as you gain experience and confidence. So you won't outgrow it very quickly. And any fancy lenses you might buy for the K2000 down the road will be usable on more upmarket Pentax cameras. But can can also work with the two kit lenses provided forever if you like. You can do the same thing with some of the entry-level DSLRs from other camera makers - but I haven't seen a deal like this from any of them. I recommend this camera and this deal highly.

But if you don't want to spend that much all at once, Buydig (also reputable) has the K2000 with only the 18-55mm kit lens for $439:

http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.a...mid=200&ref=cj

Last edited by Biro; Jun 11, 2009 at 6:18 PM.
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