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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 16, 2015, 11:48 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: detroit
Posts: 39
Default What Camera Should I Buy?

I recently decided that i wanted a camera, but have no idea what to look for. My phone, a Kyocera Presto, includes a camera, but i am looking for something (a lot) better. Ultimately, i am open to getting a smartphone or tablet if that is best. I once used one to take a picture for a friend.

I don't really need a camera. To me, it's a fun toy that is quite useful during events, recording projects, and even magnifying small print. I'd also like to play with video capability, so i can (pretend i will) upload something to Youtube.

When i just started looking right now, i started looking at $100-$200. I have no idea what i should be looking at, but i feel like i'd have to justify spending more than that, such as it being significantly better for just a little more or be something it's not worth purchasing without.

FWIW, 15 years ago, or so, when i had more money and time to waste, i purchased a Nikon Coolpix for about $1000. The camera died some time ago from water damage, but i still have a 2x lens, fisheye lens, and tripod that gave me hours and hours of fun.

I would appreciate suggestions, even if only to a guide that would help me identify what i actually want.
chacham is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 16, 2015, 1:47 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
VTphotog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 4,214
Default

This is a pretty open-ended question, so you may get a lot of responses or next to none. It would help if you could narrow your interests down a little more, or give some priorities, such as image quality, portability, zoom capability or interchangeable lens, etc.
Here is a place to start looking around to get an idea of what is available in various categories:http://www.steves-digicams.com/best-cameras.html
VTphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 16, 2015, 2:04 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: detroit
Posts: 39
Default

Thank you for replying.

Yeah, i guess it's a result of me not knowing what i want. I don't even know what to care about!

I don't think it's yes or no on each item. It's more of a scale. Let's me try to address the items you mentioned:

image quality - low quality is not good, must be acceptable quality. Better is a plus.
portability - should not be bulky. easy to carry. Fit in pocket is a plus.
zoom capability - digital zoom means little to me (the computer can do that) basic optical zoom important, after that a plus.
interchangeable lens - not important.

Between portability, zoom, and image quality, portability is the lowest of the three. Thinking about it right now, i might have a slight preference for image quality over optical zoom. Not sure though.
chacham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 17, 2015, 2:20 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 223
Default

A small travel zoom camera, like the Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40), could fit your needs.
Rudi
rudimaes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 17, 2015, 8:13 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: detroit
Posts: 39
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rudimaes View Post
A small travel zoom camera, like the Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40), could fit your needs.
Rudi
Thank you. I just looked at it on Amazon, where it is listed for $249. ebay has a Japanese red model at $185, saving quite a few dollars.

Could you please give me a little more information as to why this one is good or better than others for me. Is it just that it meets what you think i want?

Anyway, looking at reviews on Amazon:

5 star - 75 ratings
4 star - 33 ratings
3 star - 14 ratings
2 star - 12 ratings
1 star - 9 ratings

The love it (5 star - 7 ratings)/hate it (1 star - 9 ratings) ratio is not that great, which gives me pause. (Unless such a ratio is normal for cameras.) Even pitting 1 star and 2 stars (21 ratings) against 5 stars and 4 stars (108 ratings) means about 1 in 5 did not like the camera.

Most of the negative reviews where because it broke, the UI was not what they preferred, or some specific feature was not working as the reviewer wanted. So, it does not seem that bad.

Please, if you would be so kind, give me even just a little more to go on.
chacham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 17, 2015, 9:43 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 601
Default

it's small, has decent image quality, a long zoom. the touch screen can be surprisingly handy. and for the price, it's got a lot of features. btw, any camera with a power zoom can freeze - you'll see lens errors throughout every brand. it's only a small percentage, but it happens.
pcake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 17, 2015, 10:13 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: detroit
Posts: 39
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcake View Post
it's small, has decent image quality, a long zoom. the touch screen can be surprisingly handy. and for the price, it's got a lot of features. btw, any camera with a power zoom can freeze - you'll see lens errors throughout every brand. it's only a small percentage, but it happens.
Thank you. Maybe that's the one i want then. Though, i wish i was convinced a bit more.

Checking Amazon, the Panasonic DMC-ZS50K is scheduled to be released on March 23rd. That's this coming Monday. Is it likely that this would effect a price drop worth waiting the few days for?
chacham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 17, 2015, 10:19 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 601
Default

it's already dropped in price quite a bit (notice what the ZS40 is still selling for), and the ZS25 is only a few bucks cheaper, but it probably couldn't hurt to wait a few days.
pcake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 17, 2015, 10:52 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: detroit
Posts: 39
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcake View Post
it's already dropped in price quite a bit (notice what the ZS40 is still selling for), and the ZS25 is only a few bucks cheaper, but it probably couldn't hurt to wait a few days.
OK, i'll wait. Also, someone else might respond with another model. Who knows?

FWIW, the aforementioned Japanese model on ebay is completely Japanese (even the menus), and from the Q&A on Amazon, it seems it would not accept the English firmware update and there are different options (or orderings). So that's not an option. Though, there is a refurbished one for $210. Refurbished should be just as good, and at $40 cheaper, it looks like a good deal.

Last edited by chacham; Mar 17, 2015 at 10:56 AM.
chacham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 17, 2015, 11:30 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 601
Default

not all refurbs are equal. some camera stores do their own "refurbishments", but personally i feel better about a manufacturer refurb with a warranty - in fact, i just ordered a refurbished SX50 direct from canon with a full year. but i've seen sony cameras that only had a 3 month warranty.

you might also want to look at used cameras at keh.com - they come with a 6 month warranty.

i really liked my canon SX230, and found image quality improved with the SX260, which i also owned. i haven't owned the 280, but while the SX260 isn't small enough for a jeans pocket unless you wear baggy pants, it is small enough for a smaller jacket pocket, and i was quite happy with it. not sure if you can find them now.

btw, if you aren't familiar with the comparometer, it might help.
http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM
you can easily compare 2 cameras' images side by side in a variety of ISO settings at full size.
pcake 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 7:00 AM.