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Old Sep 29, 2010, 8:48 PM   #1
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Default Looking for advice

... isn't everyone that posts in here, though?

I originally hopped into the thread about the P90 but then I realized I'll likely get seen here much sooner judging by the activity in the forums. So I'm cross-posting, my apologies.



Here's the scenario. I have a Canon point and shoot camera which has served me really well for a year. But my hubby took my camera overseas with him and told me to go camera shopping for myself and to get myself an upgrade. I don't necessarily want to go all the way to DSLR ... I'm reluctant to spend $700-800 on a camera and still need to buy extras for it after that.

My Canon is 12MP with a bit of zoom but nothing huge. And it takes good pictures, but it does lack in certain applications, like low lighting or in large rooms like a gym or auditorium.

He was looking at the Kodak Z981, it offers 14MP and 26X optical zoom... plus some toys... and it's under $300 at Staples this week but I don't know much about it or how good a camera it will be? (Someone told me Kodak digitals are prone to problems, but they might have just been brand-biased.)

I did spend some time on the weekend with a Canon Rebel EOS and that was really REALLY fun as I've never handled a DSLR before ... although someone else there had a Fuji that was similar and they really liked that one... and then someone else told me to go Nikon... it seems like it all comes down to preference.

I guess I'm looking for suggestions on cameras that would meet my need for a "better" camera, or a confirmation that the P90 will work for me. I'm not a pro by any stretch, but I would like to get back into the amateur photography hobby that I have gotten away from in the last few years.

I need one that can handle:

- shots of my kids running around (indoor and out)
- sports (mostly kids soccer, swim and dance but occasionally motocross or racing)
- portraits that I can print out to 8x10 or 16x20
- indoor shots in a gym or auditorium (my cell phone handles this better than my Canon, but maybe just because I haven't learned it well enough)
- outdoor shots both close up and far-off that I can use online and/or in print

I want it to have a good flash for indoor settings... a good optical zoom (don't much care about digital zoom)... I want it to be able to auto-focus because I need to be able to take quick shots and I don't want to be stuck fiddling... and I don't want to completely break the bank.

I should mention too (forgot in the other thread) that I live on an air base and it would make my day if I could get decent shots of the various jets and such flying over my house every day!

The idea of macro sounds cool; I used to have a Kodak years ago that had it but I never did much with it. Some toys would be fun but I'm not really hung up on needing things like automatically posting to Facebook. LOL

So after all that rambling... am I on the right track with the Nikon, or should I be looking at something else? I'm a completely blank slate as far as brand preference. I do have fairly small hands but the Rebel fit just right so anything that size or a bit smaller is good.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 9:11 PM   #2
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Indoor gym shots will be really hard for any point and shoot. The bad lighting is something they really can not handle to well.

Also you want to shot action, that mean you that you will need a dslr AF speed to keep up with the move the action. None of the point and shoot will be able to keep up with this.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 9:11 PM   #3
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Hello and welcome.

Well to me it seems you want the ability to take shots spontaneously if you want (i.e. point and shoot capability on the go) and get some shots that you put some thought into. Well a DSLR might require you changing lens sometime so may not be best for you.

However a bridge camera that's more than a simple point and shoot, has 1 lens, good zoom ability and can be as easy or as complex and thought out as you prefer.

So with bridge cameras say your budget is $350-$450 you can get some good stuff there:

1. Canon SX 30 IS (has 36x zoom but people have complained a bit about image quality and its not out yet)
2. Nikon P100 (has 26x zoom but again image quality concerns by some?)
3. Panasonic Lumix FZ-100 (24x zoom with very good image quality).

I'm not biased, but I researched these cameras recently and infact I went with an older proven FZ-35 which only has 18x zoom but the picture quality was a proven winner. I didn't want to gamble with the latest and greatest so got that. But there is an upgrade to my camera called the FZ-40/45 (depending on whether you're in the US or abroad).

However the FZ-100 is a version with more features and an articulating lcd screen but costs a little bit more.

I think you might want to look up these models reviews before you buy them though and maybe check them out at a store to see if they're for you.

Also I'm sure you'll find more great advice by other posters.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 9:22 PM   #4
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kaaryn-

Welcome to the Forum. We pleased that you dropped by.

We have been down the gym shots scenario before and come to the proven conclusion that the only kind of camera to handle that kind of photo environment is a DSLR camera, as most gyms will not allow the use of flash.

My suggestion is to take a look at the Pentax Kx DSLR which has lots of high ISO capability.

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Old Sep 29, 2010, 9:48 PM   #5
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That one looks interesting, thank you! I hadn't come across it yet. I love that it comes in red... but the price is out of my league right now unless I find one second-hand. I'll keep my eye out, though. The Lumix FZ100 sounds nice as well although I'm not sure where I'd be able to get one. I'm trying to locate a camera store somewhere within a reasonable drive, where I might be able to actually see some of these.

Let me take the gym problem out of the picture since that seems to be the most complicated situation... I'll chalk that up to needing to wait til the budget is bigger.

Just looking through Amazon.ca (limited local shopping options) I am seeing these in my price range. I'd like to keep it under $500 for the camera especially since I'll need to get a case and whatnot. Are there any that really stand out as "YES!!" or "NO!!" ?

Canon EOS Rebel XS 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black) $449.98

Fujifilm FinePix S1600 12 MP Digital Camera with 15x Long Zoom (Black) $193.62

Olympus SP-800UZ 14 MP 30 X $349.99

Canon PowerShot SX120IS 10 MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Images Stabilized Zoom and 3-inch LCD $199.00 (less zoom, but the price is good...)

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 10 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 30x Wide Angle Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) $ 449.99

Kodak EasyShare Z981 14MP Digital Camera with Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 26x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Lens and 3.0 Inch LCD $280.44

Olympus PEN E-PL1 12.3MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens (Gold) $524.99 (a little more than I want to spend, but if it's worth it....??)

Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR 12 MP Digital Camera with 15x Wide-Angle Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) $323.30

Pentax X90 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 26x Super-Telephoto Triple Shake Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Black) $329.99
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 10:03 PM   #6
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I looked up Future Shop's website, there is one of those a couple of hours away. They have the FZ40K for $449.99 which puts it in my range. So I'll put that on my potential list as well... (I posted more but it said it needed moderator approval before it would be posted. Too long, maybe?)
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 10:57 PM   #7
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Listen to mtclimber!
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 11:06 PM   #8
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The FZ40 will not be able to give you the performance in the low light and action shooting you said you want to take. The k-x is a good camera that can perform well at high iso, and have a good AF system to be able to keep up with the action.

Depending on how bad the gym lighting is, you may need to even go with a prime lens for the low light action. Which will give the canon T1i or T2i a slightly better option as it has more lens option. And they will also have very good iso performance like the K-x. And they also have the best entry level AF system for shooting action.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 11:58 PM   #9
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I'm not sure where my other post disappeared to... it seems to be lost in cyber la-la land....

I took a look at the KX and it looks awesome, I love that it's red, but it's way too much $$$ for me right now (like I said, I'm really reluctant to spend $700-800). I'm hoping to land in the $500 area at most especially since I'll have to get a bag etc for it (not going to fit in my little pouch!).

I did go on to Amazon.ca and Future Shop and found a surprising number of cameras in my price range that seem to offer what I'm looking for. I posted the list in the post that hasn't materialized yet but will I assume appear in its proper place a few posts back. I was really surprised to actually see the Canon EOS Rebel XS within my price range, as well as Olympus SP-800UZ, Fuji Finepix S1600 and HS10, Kodak Z981, Pentax X90, and the Canon SX20IS. The Nikon D3000 also fits in there, albeit at the upper end.

Say I take the gym factor out of this. Because I can live with it if I can't take amazing pictures of my kids' soccer practise right now, and I can just say that I will need to upgrade sometime down the road to have a camera that will do the extra-amazing things for me. Will any of these meet the rest of what I'm looking for?

Last edited by kaaryn; Sep 30, 2010 at 12:07 AM.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 12:10 AM   #10
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The af system the the issue with all the point and shoot that you are considering. You will not be able to keep up with the soccer shots. As they do not have a system that will be able to keep up. You can get luck with the prefocus and wait for the action to come into the area you focus on. But you will not be able to track the action then shoot.
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