Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 30, 2009, 10:46 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 37
Default Need new camera, baby on the way

Hi all. I have some time to get this, but I figure I should start posting now. I have had a Canon G3 for about 6 years or so just for general picture taking, vacations, parties, etc. It takes great pics, but sometimes the lag is unacceptable, especially in poorly lit area and I miss shots where something happens quick and can't wait for me to get the camera out. Even when we went to the zoo recently, it was hard to get pics of some of the animals in the shady areas that were a little far away. So anyways, since my wife will be having a baby this summer, I figure this is a good excuse to buy a new camera, especially for when it starts moving around. So I am trying to decide on an advanced P&S or a DSLR. One thing I really love about the G3 is the swivel LCD. I seem to use that a lot to get good overhead or low to the ground shots. The Nikon D5000 looked interesting to me because of that feature. I havent done a ton of research, but do other DSLRs have that? So in order to get the results I am looking for, mainly the ability to grab the camera and get off a quick shot without worrying about lag or a long start up time, do I need to go the DSLR route, or will I be happy with something like a Canon SX 20IX or similar to that (I just chose that as an example because of the tilt screen)? Is changing the lenses a hassle, or is it not a big deal?

Another thing I woudl be interested in is the video quality. I was thinking I would need a camcorder too, but it seems like most video shots that would be taken would be pretty short. Even if the kid was doing something, it would probably be just a minute or two clip most of the time wouldnt it? I have made slideshows where I put photos and short clips together and that works out well. Is the video quality good in these newer cameras (and in HD)? Or do you think it would be a good idea to have a camcorder too?

As far as budget and size goes, I would like to keep this under $1000 (probably more like 700-800) but am flexible. I am thinking the size won't be a big deal because if I am going somewhere and my intention is to take photos, I will bring it. I don't even bring my G3 everywhere because I find that bulky. But if we go somewhere where we might want a photo, then I just have my wife bring her small coolpix that fits in her purse. Ok well I have a little while to get this, but I figure I better spend my money before the baby is born because once it is, then that probably means no more toys for me!
JM667 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 30, 2009, 11:15 PM   #2
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

well if you are mostly happy with the G3, but desire speedier performance. the new G11 from Canon offers much quicker start up times and shot to shot times than the G3 generation of digicams. and has the tilt screen as well. the new G11 shares the new sensor with the S90 that does quite well at high ISOs (helpful in low light). so that is one option. it does not offer HD video though.

the sx20is you mentioned is another good digicam option. offers a much more generous zoom than your G series and has one of the best implimentations of HD video in a digicam. the downside is it does not fair as well in high-ISO (low-light) as the new G11.

of course moving up to the d5000 (and other dslrs) you will get even faster performance and much improved high-iso capabilities. changing lenses is not a big deal really imo, especially if you prepare for the event. if you are shooting indoor group shots you know to have your normal zoom lens on, if you go for a day at the zoo, its pretty easy to bring the telephoto. however, keep in mind that most dslrs (d5000 included) are not designed to use the lcd to compose, they actually do pretty poorly when using the LCD to compose the shot because it changes the autofocus method. i think you would be disappointed trying to use the LCD for anything other than very still objects like macros.

one dslr that does work quite well when using the LCD to compose is Sony's A550 (also the 380, etc) as it has a separate live view sensor allowing it to fully make use of a dslrs fast AF. for someone wanting to use the lcd to compose on a dslr, the a550 is probably the best camera for that purpose. however, sony does not offer any video on their dslrs.

so basically it is going to come down to prioritizing and compromising. deciding which factors are absolutely most important to you and which are secondary.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2009, 1:58 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 37
Default

Thanks for the reply. First off, I did not realize that using the LCDs to compose on the DSLR was bad. I guess it makes sense though now that I think of it. But would it be just as good though as using it on a non DSLR? If not, than maybe the swivel is not that important. As far as being happy with the G3, I am happy with the pictures it takes, but not the speed. I have even played around with simple point and shoots that people have that I know and am amazed at how fast they focus, so I can image that the newer higher end models really focus well. I am interested in learning more about photography too and using manual settings and stuff. Even with what I have now, I like to play around with the shutter speed and stuff for different effects. Are DSLRs good to use in auto mode though first from the beginning, or do you need to know a lot about what you are doing (which I would be willing to learn)? I guess I can't have everything in one camera so I gotta figure out what is most important.
JM667 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2009, 7:36 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

'Live View' is nice with a small, light P&S, but with a big, heavy dLSR (relatively speaking) with a big, heavy lens (relatively speaking), using 'Live View' can be a pain (literally.)

If you want a dLSR that can shoot video and has an articulating display, your choices are narrowed to the Nikon D5000 and ... well, the Nikon D5000. But let me say that shooting video with a dSLR is a big compromise. Camcorders have significant zoom ranges, but take crumby still images. DSLRs with typical zoom lenses are very good at taking still images, but their limited zoom range (comparatively) makes them less appropriate for video, and while superzoom lenses with longer zoom range are more appropriate for recording video, they don't take very good still images.

So even after you've compromised on your dSLR selection, you'll have to compromise every time you use it.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2009, 10:51 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Jm-

Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased you dropped by.

A lot of technical advances have been made since the Canon G-3 was introduced. Even P+S camera focus much more quickly and under much lower light condition than in the past. The Canon G-11 camera than Hards mentioned is a very good example of the forward technical progress that has been made in P+S cameras.

Not only does the G-11 have an articulating LCD screen, which is very convenient, It focuses fast, has twice the zoom of your G-3, and even handles numerically high ISO settings up to 1600 and 3200, in a pinch with ease.

So as I see it, JM, the first decision to be made is do you really need a DSLR camera which will require several lenses and easily double or triple the physical size of your camera kit and cost substantially more, or is the DSLR camera the proper solution?

Take your time and examine what is being offered in today's camera marketplace. Some very surprising advances have been made and even some new camera types created, such as the compact super zoom category, where pocket sized cameras now have 10X to 12X of optical zoom. Camera fitting into to this new category are camera like the Canon SX-200, the Sony H-20, and the Fuji F-70EXR. There is a lot to explore in today's cameras.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2010, 4:11 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 37
Default

I will check them out and try their speed out in the store and decide whether I want a DSLR or not. But regardless, would it probably be a good idea to get a separate camcorder anyways, even if not a real expensive one, rather than depend on the camera for all video?
JM667 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2010, 7:15 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JM667 View Post
... But regardless, would it probably be a good idea to get a separate camcorder anyways, even if not a real expensive one, rather than depend on the camera for all video?
Absolutely.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28, 2010, 2:40 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 37
Default

Hello again. I have looked some cameras up online and handled them a bit everytime I go to a store that has them since I posted here last. As someone mentioned before, I guess the first thing I need to do is figure if I should go the DSLR route or and advanced point and shoot. I thing the two factors would be price and size. For price, I see something like the G11 in the $450-$500 range. Then I see some DSLRs for just a couple hundred more or so than that, so that really isn't an issue. For size, I am thinking that a lot of pictures, especially of the child, will be taken at home, other peoples houses, etc., and since the camera will just be laying around I won't have to worry about carrying it, that is not an issue. If we are going to to the zoo, park, on vacation, etc., I would plan to bring it and don't think that would be problem either. I would probably put it around my neck, which is something I never did with my camera now, so that was very inconvenient taking it in and out of the case or just holding it. I think even if the camera were larger, it would be much more convenient around my neck than a smaller one would be in and out of the case. So the question is on the other times, like going to the store, or for a walk, or something else where I don't plan on taking pictures, is would I bring a mid size camera with me all the time, or just always bring the small one we have anyways? I really can't see me packing it around, as the G3 is not that big and I don't even bring that to the places like I mentioned earlier. So after all this rambling, maybe size is not that big of a deal. After reading specs of the G11, I see the time from power on to first shot is around 2.2 seconds. With a DSLR, is it pretty much instant? I know at the store when I tried one, it took a little time for it to power up and for the display to go on, but you can still just turn it on and take a picture immediately before that screen fires up, right? I think what I am trying to figure out is, if I get a higher end P&S, am I going to feel slightly disappointed if I am trying to take a shot really quickly or in low light? And is even an entry level DSLR better than an advanced P&S? Even if used in mostly auto mode (at least in the beginning because I plan to learn more about photography)? I hope I have given a little more input so that you guys can come back with some more advice. Thank you!
JM667 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28, 2010, 3:05 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

If you do decide to go the dslr route, you may want to look at the pentax k-x also. It has the best low light sensor in the "entry level" dslr market, and only the canon t1i rivals it on this point being the only 2 cameras in this segment with 12800 iso. The T1i is a more expensive camera, currently over 1000 dollars with 2 lenses. The K-x is price at 650 with a 2 lens kit 18-55 and 55-200mm. Or spend 80 dollars more and get the 2 lens kit with the 55-300mm lens. There is plenty of growth with this dslr over the D5000. And more features like in camera HDR are some nice art filters if you do not big into post production work but want special effects.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.

Last edited by shoturtle; Jan 28, 2010 at 3:11 AM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28, 2010, 3:09 AM   #10
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

in low light, yes a dslr will always be better than and advanced p&s. and they are quicker to 1st shot, no shutter lag, autofocus much better, etc.

it sounds like from your post that you are ready to move into the dslr.

the k-x and t1i are both great entry-level dslrs.

nikon's d5000 is good, sony's 230 is a good value for the money. the oly 620 offers a wealth of features for an entry-level camera.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:40 PM.