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Old Jun 18, 2010, 12:30 PM   #1
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Default Best Camera NOT an SLR

As is obvious from my subject line, I don't even know how to ask this question. I'm not sure I'm ready to learn the complexities of an SLR, and yet I have become very dissatisfied with my Canon G7. So for now I am looking for the best digital camera that is not an SLR...the price really isn't the issue for me--it's the complexity of use and the size of an SLR. I'm a small gal, and I like to have the camera handy for quick photo ops. I scrapbook, and pictures are extremely important to me. If I just need to bite the bullet and learn about an SLR, then that suggestion is fine. But if anyone knows of an awesome point-and-shoot, please let me hear from you.

Thanks for all suggestions,
Barbara
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 1:26 PM   #2
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I just picked up the Panasonic ZS7 and so far love it. The camera fits just right and the auto features seem to work great for me.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 1:47 PM   #3
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Barabara-

I don't think that you should let the DSLR learning curve hold you back.

DSLR cameras like the Canon XS,XSi, and T-series are just cameras. They can be learned. It appears that you have handled the G-7, so this next step can be taken slowly and it will be a lot of fun.

DSLR's can be set-up to work rather simply, rather than presenting and dealing with unwanted complexity. The choice is yours. Please tell us the kind of photos you like to take, and those you would like to take in the future.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 1:50 PM   #4
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What is it about the G7 you are dissatisfied with?
Without a doubt, learning about PHOTOGRAPHY (very different than learning how to use a specific camera) can increase the quality of your photos.

From there it's a matter of how difficult the types of photos you are taking are technically and what your level of expectations are. That is what determines what cameras will fit your needs.

But, cameras still aren't miracle workers. So you can use the best DSLR on the market and still take bad photos. What we have to determine is: whether you're dissatisfaction is due to your technique or the capabilities of your current camera.

So, in what way is your current camera lacking? And can you upload a photo that illustrates your point. It may be we can help you change HOW you take a photo and that's a lot less expensive. Or, at least then we have a better understanding of the types of photos which aren't turning out and we can help determine what cameras can do the job better than the G7.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 3:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Barabara-

I don't think that you should let the DSLR learning curve hold you back.

DSLR cameras like the Canon XS,XSi, and T-series are just cameras. They can be learned. It appears that you have handled the G-7, so this next step can be taken slowly and it will be a lot of fun.

DSLR's can be set-up to work rather simply, rather than presenting and dealing with unwanted complexity. The choice is yours. Please tell us the kind of photos you like to take, and those you would like to take in the future.

Sarah Joyce
Well, I am now looking into a Nikon D5000. I've been told that it is a good entry-level SLR. So maybe you are right that I shouldn't let the learning curve hold me back. If I can start out with Auto Mode and then branch out, I'll probably be fine. Also, I hope it's not too huge for carrying.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 3:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
What is it about the G7 you are dissatisfied with?
Without a doubt, learning about PHOTOGRAPHY (very different than learning how to use a specific camera) can increase the quality of your photos.

From there it's a matter of how difficult the types of photos you are taking are technically and what your level of expectations are. That is what determines what cameras will fit your needs.

But, cameras still aren't miracle workers. So you can use the best DSLR on the market and still take bad photos. What we have to determine is: whether you're dissatisfaction is due to your technique or the capabilities of your current camera.

So, in what way is your current camera lacking? And can you upload a photo that illustrates your point. It may be we can help you change HOW you take a photo and that's a lot less expensive. Or, at least then we have a better understanding of the types of photos which aren't turning out and we can help determine what cameras can do the job better than the G7.
It seems that the photos have gotten where the lighting is not good. I'm needing to auto-correct almost every picture before I upload it to snapfish. Also, I get a lot of pics where the person's eyes are shut, or they have a weird expression--I guess it's the shutter lag that is inherent in a point-and-shoot? The G7 is letting light in, but only on the LCD panel--the pictures seem to be okay as far as not having a streak of light in them.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 3:18 PM   #7
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Forgot to answer the question of what kind of pictures I like to take....at this point, I mainly am taking pictures of family events, like grandchildren in concerts (have been using the P setting, and no flash, and then zooming, and have had fair results), birthday parties, camping, golfing, dining in restaurants, etc. I usually have pretty good luck with macro on close-up objects like my flowers, or wildflowers, etc. One area I really struggle with is that I would like to take good close-ups of my scrapbook page layouts to upload to my blog, and I have trouble with that. I do not have a tripod.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 3:29 PM   #8
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Maybe the lighting problem is because I am often in places where the natural lighting is not good? How do I attach a photo? It seems to be asking me for a URL for a photo upload....??
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 3:56 PM   #9
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Barabara-

Thanks for your posts. They help us a lot. A pivotal question, and a follow-up on JohnG's post is this: If we could help solve your problems with the G-7, would that take care of your issues?

You mention grandchildren in concerts without flash. Well that is understandable, as the G-7 has problems with noise at ISO settings over ISO 400. Noise reduction software such as Neat Image could also help with the noise that already exist in those photos. A DSLR could surely help a lot with High ISO/No Flash photos because of the DSLR's much larger imager. However, if those High ISO/No Flash photos represent a very small minority of your shots, it would be more cost effective to improve your shots with the G-7, and to forgo the DSLR expense.

The G-7 has a very nice hot shoe. Are you using an external flash on that G-7 hot shoe? It could really improve your family photos, birthday party, and restaurant shot a lot, if your shots are currently turning out dark.

Macro or close-up shots should be easy:
(1) set up the shot next to a softly lighted window
(2) Set the G-7 Camera to the Macro Mode
(3) Set the G-7 Camera to Auto ISO
(4) Set the G-7 Camera to Cloudy WB
(5) Set the G-7 Camera to "P" Mode
(6) A tripod is nice but not essential
(7) Keep the minimum camera to subject distance no closer than 4" to 6"
(8) Using the LCD screen for framing your photo press halfway down on the shutter release.
(9) Check the aperture and shutter speed that the G-7 has selected on the LCD
(10) Be sure you have at least 1/50th of a second on the shutter speed, otherwise you will need that tripod.
(11) Confirm that the focus has locked
(12) Gently squeeze the shutter to the full release point and take your photo
(13) Review your photo on the camera's LCD screen using the histogram
(14) The histogram profile should form a triangle in mid screen
(15) If the histogram is oriented to the left, and the photo displayed is dark, apply plus Exposure Compensation begin with EV 0+.7, and retake the photo. Check the second photo's appearance on the LCD and the histogram read-out. That triangle should have moved from the left side, back into center of the LCD.
(16) If you are still dissatisfied with your photo result, remember that Plus Exposure Compensation will brighten the photo and Minus Exposure Compensation will darken the photo.
(17) You will have to re-size your finished photo to post it on the web, as the native image right out of your G-7 is too large. Try initially resizing so that there are no more than 700 pixels on the largest side of any photo. Post processing and re-sizing is easily done with a photo editor such as Photoshop Elements 8.0

I will look forward to your reply. Thanks for your co-operation.

Sarah Joyce
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