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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 19, 2010, 8:45 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
iowa_jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Central Iowa
Posts: 589
Default What camera am I?

I am approaching paralysis by analysis and need to re-think my camera wants and needs. So what camera am I?

My images will be used for the occassional 8x10 and smaller, but mostly for incorporation in HD video. Video for HD videos while we're at it.

My subjects include the normal parental unit types -
Kids in action
School plays (lower light situations)
indoor / outdoor scenes
museums (again with the lighting)

Form factor - sub-dslr is good, possibly a smallish dslr w/ a smallish lens. Compact is good, too if possible. Bottom line, something I can take along in a belt mounted bag or large shirt pocket.

Big zoom is good with a respectable wide angle <30mm. I suspect the smallish dslr could be post-processed to produce the zoom effect, so that unit wouldn't need the mega-zoom lens.

Aperature and shutter priority a must (I'll figure it out someday - I know the what but not the when). Bracketing would be nice, if I understand the term, but not necessary.

Price- <$500 is good, less is better, more for the perfect camera

What camera am I?

Thanks

Jim
iowa_jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 19, 2010, 8:57 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

On the DSLR front the olympus e520 with one lens and the sony a230 with one lens are the only 2 in your price range. Adding a second lens now will blow pass your sub 500 dollar budget. They are both allot better then a point and shoot, but do not expect great photo for the school plays. The oly is $420 the sony is $400. You get live view with the oly and a bit more feature, the sony is more basic. They are pretty equal in image quality.

http://www.adorama.com/IOME520K.html?searchinfo=e520
http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/54..._source=google

If you want a longer zoom lens, you can add it later when fund are available.

Your budget excludes any dslr with hd ablity. Sorry. You will need to move up to the 700 dollar range for that
__________________
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 19, 2010 at 9:06 PM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 19, 2010, 9:15 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

On the Bridge camera front and P&S

The Canon SX20 and SX1 both have HD and will fall into your budgeted range. SX20 and SX1 has good zoom range. SX1 has full HD at 1080, SX20 has it at 720.

On the point and shoot size the SX200 had very good range and has HD, But I would wait till after march. The rumor so the SX300 is coming out to replace it, with the ability to zoom in HD mode.

You will want a long zoom for school plays. They will not perform as well in low light as as dslr. But will give you the features you are looking for. Hope this helps.

So you may be a SX300 coming in March/April
__________________
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 19, 2010 at 9:55 PM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 19, 2010, 9:17 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Jim, you are the new Sony HX-5-

The new HX-5, due out in mid March pushes all your requirement buttons. It you desire a more conservative approach take a good look at the Panasonic FZ-35. The FZ-35 also hits all your requirements as well, albeit in a somewhat larger form factor.

Both camera choice are surely worth some discussion.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 20, 2010, 5:59 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
iowa_jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Central Iowa
Posts: 589
Default Dslr

How big is the T1i with the kit lens? I might be able to increase my budget but lugging the thing around is also a concern.

The Sx1, Sx20, FZ-35 are all apealing, but in looking at the specs they seem like a whole lot of camera wrapped around a tiny sensor - are they as a class of camera truly a step above the other 1/2-ish sensor models that warrant the price premium? I guess this is one of my bigger hangups at the moment.

Thanks

Jim
iowa_jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 20, 2010, 6:03 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
iowa_jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Central Iowa
Posts: 589
Default That didn't come out correctly-

Do the SX1, SX20, and FX-35 as a class of cameras warrant the premium price when similar sensored-cameras are available for much less? In some regards, it feels like buying a $200 camera for $400 without a quantum increase in photo quality because of the sensor limitations, rather just tacking on more features.

Is this idea crazy? Did I mention my paralysis by analysis yet?

Thanks

Jim
iowa_jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 20, 2010, 6:37 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
mrmacmusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Central Scotland
Posts: 274
Default

Hi Jim – I love your term "paralysis by analysis"!!

I think you make an interesting point... yes, the likes of the FZ35 (38 here in Europe) do provide more zoom reach, features and processing power for a few more bucks (or pounds) than their cheaper siblings. Better quality picture? I'm not sure.

Even a small DSLR with a single superzoom lens will be way bigger and heavier than one of the 3 'bridge' cameras you've mentioned, and I understand your concerns over lugging the thing about – it's one of the reasons I just sold my DSLR outfit.

Me? I'm interested in the FZ38 as a more convenient all rounder, and just joined here for some advice too (see "Buy now or wait" post)! Personally, I do appreciate the better image quality from a large sensor, and would love to see a fixed lens super-zoom micro 4/3rds camera (think GF-1, 430k 3" screen with f/2.8 FZ38 lens on the front). I think that's what camera I am, but I'm not sure if Panasonic agrees it would be a seller...

Bottom line – you always get what you pay for. If you will use the extra features on the more expensive camera, then it's worth the extra money.
mrmacmusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 20, 2010, 8:17 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

Iowa_jim

The T1i is not that big with the smaller kit lens. But will be bigger then the 2 bridge camera you mention, and current the price has gone up as the instant rebate ended this past Saturday. But it will do everything you want to do. And it has the best Auto Focus system out there. And they like to compare it's performance to high level cameras, and it does quite well in those camparo tests.

If you want a good dslr with hd and 2 lenses save a little money look at the pentax K-x. It shoots at 720 but will perform great in low light. Adorama.com has it, once you place it in the cart the price drops to 720 for the 2 lens kit with the longer zoom. The 2 lens kit with the short zoom will run you about 650. It is the same size as the T1, the t1i has jump back up to about 950 with the 2 lens kit depending on which site you visit.

Yes all the bridge camera is allot of features wrap around a smaller sensor. That is why they will not match the performance of a dslr for the school plays requirement like a dslr will. Also you may get away with the short zoom if the school auditorium is not that big.

But the higher price of the bridge camera over the 200 dollar point and shoot does give you allot better performance. And it gives you allot more features and control also over a point and shoot.

Hope that helps.
__________________
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 20, 2010 at 8:19 AM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 20, 2010, 8:25 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

To Jim and Mr. Mac-

Yes, in the final analysis (I could not resist that) The Super Zoom or Bridge cameras do produce better image quality than the lower level P+S cameras. And yes, cameras like the FZ-35/38 also have a high ISO capability as well with ISO 800 always available, and ISO 1600 also available if you use some noiseware, as well.

Yes, a DSLR is once again, a rather large step of financially and a step up in image quality as well. However, it is a larger kit, and if you decided that you wanted a DSLR with the equivalent lens of the Super Zoom's lens, then the price sky rockets well past $1500.00 in a hurry and the kit becomes even larger. So there is a trade off involved in any analysis of the DSL versus the Super Zoom. They each represent a step up in image quality and $$.

The price on an entry level DSLR camera with a kit lens, of generally 18mm to 55mm on an APS-C DSLR, is about $150 to $200 more than a super zoom so it is natural to compare the two. However, the easiest way is to view each of the super zoom and DSLR steps as progressive improvements in image quality.

However, there are more factors to be considered as well. On factor, which often times is overlooked or glossed over is the fact that the image right out of a DSLR camera are somewhat soft and unsharpened. With DSLR cameras the expectation is that the photographer is going to post process every one of his or her shot to tweak them just the way he or she desires. So there is indeed a different sort of work flow involved with a DSLR camera.

That is enough for now, we look forward to a more extended discussion as we progress with this thread. Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 20, 2010, 1:19 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
iowa_jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Central Iowa
Posts: 589
Default The rest of the story

Hi all! The term 'paralysis by analysis' is from the fire service. Those guys have to make the biggest decisions early in an event, when they have the least amount of information. Or sometimes they don't - hence the term. But enough of that...

So the $400 camera is a step above a $200 camera with the same or similar sensor because of lens capabilities and/or quality and its post-processing ability.

And comparison between a big-zoom bridge camera and an entry-level dslr is an apples-to-oranges approach. For another $100 we gain a huge sensor that we can't do so much with, given a simple kit lens, unless we have a longer term plan to invest much more $$$.

My post-processing abilities are limited to photo-shop elements, and frankly limited even more since I can barely use the auto correct features and clone-stamp tool. Perhaps a dslr is not where I want to be.

Sounds like a bridge camera is what I am. The FZ-35 has a nice price and feature set, while the SX20 is tempting as well. Since I'm planning ahead for a vacation, I'll wait to see the newer models comming out as MtClimr suggested - the SX300 or others.

Thanks!

Jim
iowa_jim 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 9:23 AM.