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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 1, 2012, 6:11 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
eswope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21
Default Best camera under $300?

Hi all,
I just posted a brief intro in the welcome forum.

I have several cameras, most showing their age (in terms of specs)

1 nice minolta slr (film)
several lumix in the house-hold (mine: the original tz & fp3 for travel)
old minolta P&s with nice lens, but .3 mp, an olympus, 1 mp

I have read a gazillion reviews, and getting more confused by the day in large part because of ever-changing prices, and conseqently options.

If I could afford an fz200, there would be no discussion, i would already have it.

Living on an artist's budget with tastes that do not match.

1) macro is very important, as is clarity. I will be photographing a lot of glass (for sale) need good shots.

Would like a longer zoom for kiddie pics (some in stadiums, and such... band performance, not sports), so burst less important.

Had the field narrowed to 2 or 3, and then I walked into costco.

My first question is How much difference in terms of quality is there between the fz 60 & fz200 (if burst rate is not important?)
Would I be better off with an fz 60, or FZ150 (used)... the latter costing a bit more

lumix G3. i am certain takes nice pics, but do not want to spend a huge amount on lenses (or I would have purchased the g5 when i found it for $350... at new egg last week) (gone in under 5 min, btw)...while I pondered whether it was worth buying if I couldn't afford a zoom lens

Pentax x-5, very cheap, lowest $ of the lot (at 229), good macro, have not seen many reviews and do not know much about the quality of the lens

Those were the top contenders until i walked into costco and saw that they have the canon sx500is for $249
the fujifilm hs50: 299
sony hxnv for 219
and nikon v1 for 279

Pocketable is nice, but quality is much much much more important.

sooo I read some more reviews, looked at photo galleries and, am still torn
more or less ruled out the fuji (though the articulating lcd is nice... also avail on the pentax, and fz150)


In brief, the prime contenders are still the lumix Fz60 vs a used FZ 100 or 150
and the pentax (because of the macro, which gets down to .5 cm)
have not seen many reviews of the pentax. in fact, i believe the only real review is here.


Yes, I also travel, and take photos around hawaii, but landscape is secondary to macro photos of tiny works in glass, and school performances; hence the desirability of the compact zoom.

Less impressed with what i see in the galleries from the canon than the folks who have written it up, and feel they put small and cute before function, but I am willing to be corr3cted if someone has direct knowledge of the camera.

Thanks in advance,
Lisa

Will note that i chave an fz60 en route from amazon because I wanted to lock in the sale price, But... Amazon is very good about returns.

Last edited by eswope; Dec 1, 2012 at 6:14 PM.
eswope is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 2, 2012, 3:26 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bangor,North Wales
Posts: 3,734
Default

I think I'd wait and see what kind of results you get from the FZ60.
If you're happy with the results... job done...
SIMON40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 10:47 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
eswope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21
Default

Thanks. I am thinking the 60 might do it, but... testing is not an option if I want to be able to return it (should another option seem like the better choice). It has to be returned effectively untouched since it is new. On a used camera i could probably test it and return w/o penalty. I do not want to abuse their policy, ir pay 25% fee for returning it used.
eswope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 2:51 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bangor,North Wales
Posts: 3,734
Default

I'm pretty sure the FZ-150 is a better camera for several reasons- but as you have nothing to judge the FZ60 against,it may prove perfectly adequate for what you want- though I guess that depends on your expectation level.
If you wanted to go really "budget", maybe Panasonics LZ20 might suffice also...?
Since the introduction of the Canon SX50hs the SX40hs is now very affordable- and a very fine camera in my humble opinion.
SIMON40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 5:01 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 294
Default

I think the FZ60 is basically an FZ150 in the FZ45 body. No hotshoe or articulating lcd, etc.

I'd expect it to perform almost identically to an FZ150. It uses the CMOS sensor, not the CCD of the FZ45.
BBbuilder467 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 10:57 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
eswope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21
Default

Thanks for the feedback. I looked at the pentax more because of the extreme macro than the price tah (though it looks pretty nice for circa $200). I think the 150 is a better camera from larger sensor, to shutter speed, and "bells & whistles" like the articulating lcd. I think what I would miss most on the 60 is the 15,30, 60 sec options in night mode on the 150 (as the 60 only goes to 4). The main issue being that to get it to close to the same price range I'd have to go with used (though there are reliable and knowledgable sellers of used equipment around).

I will give the canon another look. I don't think the is compares but had not considered going a gen back with the higher ends (as i did with the lumix).
Thanks again!
eswope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 3:38 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bangor,North Wales
Posts: 3,734
Default

BBbuilder467- there are several internal differences between the FZ60 and the FZ150- most notably the 17.5 megapixel MOS sensor- quoted as 16.1mp as this is the area of the sensor used in still capture.
It doesn't have RAW capture and whilst being able to shoot at a similar speed to the FZ150, its buffer is so much smaller- only maintaining its highest speed for 3 frames- and much a similar story in 5fps mode.
It also misses out on the slow motion movie capture- again due to the inferior processor or buffer.
SIMON40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 9:19 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
eswope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21
Default

Thanks for the clarification. I am leaning more and more towards a 150 (the 200 still being out of range)... but I would rather have a camera to grow into than want to replace it in a year or 2 (which is more expensive). Might be worth reconsidering the micro 4/3 for that reason... but, i do want the zoom while the kid is still home (off to college in a few years, and have missed to many pics because I did not have an adequate zoom)

Looked again at the Canon, and saw several (seemingly well informed) people comment on constricted iso starting with the 40. Someone reviewing the 50 commented that even if you go to manual you can not get iso below 100. if that's the case, it makes for pretty limited utility.
eswope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 5:04 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bangor,North Wales
Posts: 3,734
Default

The restricted iso setting on the Canon SX40 (and presumably on the SX50) is when you're using long exposures in Manual/Shutter priority mode- exposures in excess of 1 second are restricted to iso 100 only(not higher)- though I believe there is a software "hack" to override this.
Frankly, however, I'd only be using iso 100 during long exposures anyway, to keep noise levels down. With up to 15 seconds available, you should be able to cover most low light scenarios.
I've owned the SX40hs and currently own the FZ150- both are very versatile little chaps given their price and couldn't really fault either. I only went the way of the Panny for the swifter auto-focus and the faster burst modes- and the single "shot to shot" time is excellent if you keep the "image review" off.
One area I found the Canon superior,however, was in low light/high iso use- such as during an intimate gig/concert or such like- where I though the Canon performed really well given its small sensor club membership..!
Here's a couple taken with the now departed SX40- both at iso 1600, from roughly 30 feet away-
Attached Images
  
SIMON40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 4, 2012, 4:44 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
tizeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 382
Default

Of the ones you listed, the Nikon V1 @ 279 is probably the best in terms of picture qyality hands down - althought none are bad. Although I usuallt see it much higher (399) so are you sure that is not 'refurbished' at that price? Althogh it is handicapped with needing a separate flash and the lens will be the shortes range.

Costco does have good return policies year round, And many stores, like Best Buy, have extended return with the holidays - usually without penalty. Just be sure to keep all itemd in the package and not fill in the warranty card.
tizeye 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 11:39 PM.