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Old Apr 2, 2010, 7:56 PM   #1
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Default Budding photographer needing advice..

Hi everyone,

I've always loved photography and have finally decided to make some attempt at pursuing it. I was wondering if any of you could recommend a decent P&S camera to get me started. Ideally I would like a dslr but I just cant afford one right now (student). What I'm looking for is something relatively cheap (~200 or less) that offers alot of features I can toy around with to learn. I'm not expecting anything too fancy but something a little more advanced. I've been looking at the Sony H-20(which I've seen recommended here), the Canon sx120, and the Kodak Z950. Any other recommendations? Also, I've been looking at the Kodak Z915. I know it is not near as good at the others, but I've seen a good deal of reviews on it and CNET ranked it 5th on their list of best digital cameras (http://reviews.cnet.com/best-digital...tColumnArea1.0). Also it's about a hundred dollars less than the others ~100 vs ~199. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!!
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Old Apr 2, 2010, 8:29 PM   #2
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Default Under $200 Digital Camera

rushr-

Welcome to the Forum. We're delighted that you dropped by.

The Sony H-20, although it does not have a wide angle position on its zoom offers, 10X optical zoom, has the best Auto Mode and built-in flash unit in the compact zoom class cameras, can do HD video, allowing you to zoom while filming.

The Panasonic ZR-1 can be purchased for around $200. It has 8X optical zoom with a nice 25mm wide angle. It does standard video, and you can zoom while filming, but the indoor image quality it reduced due to a small, weak built-in flash unit.

The Canon SX110 or SX120 can also be purchased for around $200. They have 10X optical zoom, no wide angle,and standard video.

The Samsung SL420 is 12mp, 5X optical zoom, standard video, is credit card sized and about 5/8" thick. It sells for $110.

The Kodak Z-915 and Z-950 are OK cameras. They have to be at the bottom of the list, as their image quality is only fair, although their size is convenient, and they do standard video.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 2, 2010, 10:19 PM   #3
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No mention of Fuji F70 EXR ? For a 'budding' photographer who wants to "toy around", I think it offers more 'learning' and from the forums here, the image quality looks tops in its price range. I've not used it but am in the same situation as rushr, and it is at the 'head of the list' for me right now.

I have seen pics from the Canon SX110 firsthand and it seems to be more 'point and shoot' and is very capable of great images.
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Old Apr 2, 2010, 10:29 PM   #4
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Have at it, if you desire, Charlie-

The Fuji F-70EXR is realistically only a 5mp camera due to the EXR system.The Auto Mode does not work well at all, and to obtain the best image quality multiple small manual adjustments are constantly needed to make the EXR system work.

I own and use the F-70EXR in my classes, but to get that good image quality takes patience, a lot o'f re-setting of the cameras controls, and a good measure of photo know how. Most students in my digital camera classes at the Community College, will always choose the Canon SX-110, the Sony H-10. or the Panasonic FX-500 to shoot with during our workshops, rather than the Fuji F-70EXR. And yes, Charlie, I do have a bit of experience, as I have already posted more than 13,000 times on this Forum alone.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Apr 2, 2010 at 10:36 PM.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 12:02 AM   #5
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I don't disagree with any of your points. That is the point. The SX-110 is a great point and shoot camera that will give really good results as you (and I) stated. And so you don't think the extra work that the F70 EXR requires benefits learning photography as far as 'forcing your vision' from the camera ? I'm not trying to be facecious or argumentative, I really want to know as it is one of the reasons I'm so interested in the F70. "patience, a lot of re-setting of the camera controls" I am more than willing to have/do, if a) it will result in a better final image and b) will help me learn how to manipulate other cameras down the road.

So are you saying that even if a person is willing to take the time to learn how to use the F70, the resulting image quality will only be equal to or less than with the other cameras you mention?

Additionally, are you saying the learning curve (to surpass the image quality of the point and shoot cameras you mention) is too steep for anyone but an experienced professional ? If so, I may avoid the F70 myself.


For me a lot of the 'art' of photography is in manipulating the camera to produce your vision. True point and shoot cameras take a lot of that away, I think. And so for me, learning 'the hard way' is a plus. But if the F70 cannot ultimately give me better images than the cameras you mention, or if the F70 is beyond what an amateur like me can learn to manipulate, than I will pass on it.

From what I've read in the forums, the F70 is NOT for casual users who just want good family / vacation pictures. I was under the impression that for those that had some photography knowledge and who were willing to learn the camera, it would give superior results to other cameras in its price range. Is this wrong?
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 1:13 PM   #6
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Thanks for an excellent post, Charlie-

The realism is this: the great majority of folks who post here in this particular folder are looking for a very easy to use camera that will produce reasonable image quality. The majority of our posters want automation, and although they may have the desire to learn photography in depth, they want a camera that will easily get them started in taking photos.

Your point of view, is best expressed here:

"For me a lot of the 'art' of photography is in manipulating the camera to produce your vision. True point and shoot cameras take a lot of that away, I think. And so for me, learning 'the hard way' is a plus. But if the F70 cannot ultimately give me better images than the cameras you mention, or if the F70 is beyond what an amateur like me can learn to manipulate, than I will pass on it."

That point of view, Charlie, may indeed make the Fuji F-70EXR a perfect camera from you. I wanted to warn you ahead of time about the end result photos really being 5mp photos, not 10mp photos, and the fact that you may have to re-set to I applaud you.he camera for each and every photo, as the photo environments change. That is something that not everyone who frequents this folder, necessarily want to do. So I applaud you, Charlie.
o go for it, Charlie
I can fully understand your position. As a young person (teenager) I was just like you. I am, myself professionally trained, because I apprenticed with a leading graphics photographer. In the Navy, I commanded a Photographic Squadron, and continued my photographic learning. After 32 years of flying commercially, I retired as a Boeing 747 Captain/Instructor. Today I teach photography for our state university and Community College system.

So go for it, Charlie. I think you will really enjoy the Fuji F-70EXR. It will be a real opportunity for you to be creative.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Apr 3, 2010 at 1:22 PM.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 7:24 PM   #7
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And Sarah is modest with it too Charlie LOL.

I agree with you, for someone who is looking for more than a point and shoot then the EXR is a great way to go. When I shoot, I expect to be changing settings for each situation, this is a part of photography. It was when we shot film and it is now we shoot digital (well, to be honest if I'm only using my Canon SX1 I don't bother much, just stick it is P as I'm generally just doing snaps).

As for the OP, we can't conclude if the learning of the EXR system as well as the skills of photography are going to be too much so possibly it is going to be beter for them to just focus on technique rather than camera settings.

As for the 5mp over 10mp argument, that is a silly one, the EXR when set up produces much better results than can be expected from a normal 10mp camera, in a similar way that if you pulled out an old 6mp dSLR it would still beat the 10, 12mp P&S cameras out there now.
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Old Apr 4, 2010, 8:59 PM   #8
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Thanks. I feel a little less trepidation now. I'm planning to get a Canon SX110 for my wife who wants a true p&s for herself and the F70 for me. I gave my 'old' Fuji F10 to my son as he loves it. And yes, Sarah, the avatar is actually a 'self portrait' taken by him a few years back for 'effect'. He's 20 now and more 'mature' now, I suspect in a short time he'll want the F70. :-)
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Old Apr 4, 2010, 9:11 PM   #9
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Charlie-

It sounds like you have a good plan. Congratulations!

Sarah Joyce
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