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Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Old 03-01-10, 02:04 AM
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Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

So I have an old Canon a590, and I decided I wanted something a little different. I wanted at least 10x optical zoom, and 9-10mp. It'd be nice if it recorded in HD as well, but not a deal breaker. I wanted to keep it around $300 tops.

The first camera that popped into my mind was the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-H20. It's $200 at Office Depot, and that seems like a pretty good deal.

Now I need the camera guru's here to tell me if that one sucks or if there is anything better for that price range.

I'd love to be able to be at a ball game and do some burst shooting of say a batter or a big play. Is a camera like the one I mentioned going to do that decently or do I need something better? I know I am not gonna get any magazine worthy photos with a $300 camera, but it'd be nice if they were pretty good.

Also, what's the major draw for the digital SLR cameras? I'm not a big photo guy so why are they so much more expensive? Would spending $400-$500 on one of those be worth it, or would it be a waste of time and money for someone that isn't a die hard photography buff?

I really don't care where I get it, but the easiest places would be Amazon or even Wal-Mart or Sam's Club because I have some store credit burning a hole in my pocket.

So by all means....enlighten me.
Old 03-01-10, 07:52 AM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

http://www.dpreview.com/
Old 03-01-10, 08:47 AM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

read - http://forum.dvdtalk.com/tech-talk/5...al-camera.html

I picked up the Panasonnic ZS3 for Christmas, very happy with it. I wanted the super zoom and the HD video in a small camera.

It is $244 at amazon right now

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-.../dp/B001QFZMD8

Not sure what Costco's current deal is, but I paid $250 there in December and got a 2gb mem card and a leather case included.
Old 03-01-10, 10:29 AM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
read - http://forum.dvdtalk.com/tech-talk/5...al-camera.html

I picked up the Panasonnic ZS3 for Christmas, very happy with it. I wanted the super zoom and the HD video in a small camera.

It is $244 at amazon right now

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-.../dp/B001QFZMD8

Not sure what Costco's current deal is, but I paid $250 there in December and got a 2gb mem card and a leather case included.
Absolutely. I have the older TZ5 model and absolutely love it... the ZS3 sounds like it is even better.
Old 03-01-10, 10:34 AM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

I'm in the same boat. I have an 18x Panasonic Lumix which I like a lot but need something pocketable, so I've been looking at:

The Canon SX210IS 14.1MP Camera with 14x Optical Zoom

Figure after some cashback or other deals it could be had at a lower price point. But if you're looking for right at this moment... not sure.

The ZS3 looks like it'd kick ass as well, and I can vouch for Lumix, though I always had slightly better luck with Canons in low light.

Last edited by RichC2; 03-01-10 at 10:37 AM.
Old 03-01-10, 10:57 AM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

The ZS3 is a great little point and shoot.

The ability to go to a MLB game and take good shots in burst mode is going to be tough with any point and shoot. They just don't take pictures fast enough. From the time you press the shutter until it actually takes the picture is too much of a lag.

D-SLRs are great, but you need to know how to use them. If you just plan on putting it in auto (green box) mode and hoping for better pictures than a P&S, you will find out quickly that you made an expensive mistake.

P&S are made for exactly that, pointing and shooting. D-SLRs are not. If you plan on learning something about photography, then by all means pick up a DSLR. Read the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson and in a few hours you will have the groundwork to start learning.

But it is an expensive hobby. We all started off thinking a $500 camera was expensive. Once you really get in to it, you realize $500 is very cheap.
Old 03-01-10, 04:25 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

So since I am just a photo n00b, I should just stick with the advanced point and shoots?

That Panasonic one you linked is actually the other one I looked at. Is it better than the Sony? I don't mind if the camera is a bit bulky, a pocket sized camera wasn't like a huge thing for me.

I guess I should wait and get a DSLR after I learn more.
Old 03-01-10, 04:33 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

define "better" ??

To me, yes, the Panasonic ZS3 is a better camera than the Sony DSC-H20

x2 more zoom (10 vs 12) - and on the other end, the panny does a 25mm wide angle (awesome for room shots)
The panny is smaller and lighter (significantly)
The panny will allow you to zoom in movie mode
SDHC memory cards (instead of Sony's memory stick)


I really can't see one thing the Sony does better. Except maybe battery life (but you can always buy a second battery).

I am also not a Sony fan boy, so perhaps I have overlooked something? Can anyone see anything the Sony does better?
Old 03-01-10, 04:34 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

The canon sx200 is really more competition for the ZS3 than the sony is

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerSho...7482849&sr=1-2

but it costs more and has it's own other issues...
Old 03-01-10, 04:40 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

i would never discourage anyone from learning photography. i just want you to know what you are getting yourself in to.

photography is an expensive hobby. when every photographer starts out they say they will start with a kit and they don't need much more. but then they go out and shoot something specific and their equipment isn't capable so they buy another lens, another flash, triggers to fire them off camera, studio lights, backdrops, filters, etc.

my (digital) "kit" started off as:
Canon 40D - ~$800
Tamron 17-50/2.8 - $450
Canon 70-200 f/4 IS L - $1000

I now have almost 10k invested in photography.

I just wouldn't want you to buy an SLR and think that putting it in auto, or a mode like "sport" will take better pictures than a good P&S.

If you are interested, read that book I suggested. It's $16 on amazon and is an easy read. If that makes you decide to buy a DSLR, read it again when you have your camera in hand.

Have you considered a bridge camera? They look like mini SLRs, have a superzoom and you can control almost everything manually (aperture/ISO/shutter speed).

Canon G11

If you decide to go with a DSLR, or if you have more questions, feel free to PM me. Or email through here. I can also point you to some links that you can read up on beginner photography stuff instead of buying that book which may help you make your decision.

Canon Rebel
18-55IS
55-250IS
2 Hoya UV filters
all for around $700. That is the minimum you need to start.
Old 03-01-10, 04:48 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
read - http://forum.dvdtalk.com/tech-talk/5...al-camera.html

I picked up the Panasonnic ZS3 for Christmas, very happy with it. I wanted the super zoom and the HD video in a small camera.
I agree. I had a Fuji that I really liked but the ZS3 is even better.

I added a 8GB microSDHC card for about $18 and the thing can record an hour of very decent looking HD video. And it zooms in video mode too!
Old 03-01-10, 07:25 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
define "better" ??

To me, yes, the Panasonic ZS3 is a better camera than the Sony DSC-H20

x2 more zoom (10 vs 12) - and on the other end, the panny does a 25mm wide angle (awesome for room shots)
The panny is smaller and lighter (significantly)
The panny will allow you to zoom in movie mode
SDHC memory cards (instead of Sony's memory stick)


I really can't see one thing the Sony does better. Except maybe battery life (but you can always buy a second battery).

I am also not a Sony fan boy, so perhaps I have overlooked something? Can anyone see anything the Sony does better?
The Sony can zoom in movie mode as well. I agree with you on the memory stick issue, though. Is the Panasonic worth paying an extra $50 or so for?
Old 03-01-10, 07:31 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Originally Posted by X View Post
I agree. I had a Fuji that I really liked but the ZS3 is even better.

I added a 8GB microSDHC card for about $18 and the thing can record an hour of very decent looking HD video. And it zooms in video mode too!
Hmm, another vote for the Panasonic. Maybe I should go with that. Is there anything it doesn't do that the Sony does?
Old 03-01-10, 07:34 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
i would never discourage anyone from learning photography. i just want you to know what you are getting yourself in to.

photography is an expensive hobby. when every photographer starts out they say they will start with a kit and they don't need much more. but then they go out and shoot something specific and their equipment isn't capable so they buy another lens, another flash, triggers to fire them off camera, studio lights, backdrops, filters, etc.

my (digital) "kit" started off as:
Canon 40D - ~$800
Tamron 17-50/2.8 - $450
Canon 70-200 f/4 IS L - $1000

I now have almost 10k invested in photography.

I just wouldn't want you to buy an SLR and think that putting it in auto, or a mode like "sport" will take better pictures than a good P&S.

If you are interested, read that book I suggested. It's $16 on amazon and is an easy read. If that makes you decide to buy a DSLR, read it again when you have your camera in hand.

Have you considered a bridge camera? They look like mini SLRs, have a superzoom and you can control almost everything manually (aperture/ISO/shutter speed).

Canon G11

If you decide to go with a DSLR, or if you have more questions, feel free to PM me. Or email through here. I can also point you to some links that you can read up on beginner photography stuff instead of buying that book which may help you make your decision.

Canon Rebel
18-55IS
55-250IS
2 Hoya UV filters
all for around $700. That is the minimum you need to start.
That Canon you linked, that's a bridge camera? Isn't the Sony as well? I saw some DSLR's for $450 at Amazon, wouldn't it be better to pay less and get one of those?

I'll take a look at the book you mentioned, too.
Old 03-01-10, 11:05 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
The ZS3 is a great little point and shoot.

The ability to go to a MLB game and take good shots in burst mode is going to be tough with any point and shoot. They just don't take pictures fast enough. From the time you press the shutter until it actually takes the picture is too much of a lag.

D-SLRs are great, but you need to know how to use them. If you just plan on putting it in auto (green box) mode and hoping for better pictures than a P&S, you will find out quickly that you made an expensive mistake.

P&S are made for exactly that, pointing and shooting. D-SLRs are not. If you plan on learning something about photography, then by all means pick up a DSLR. Read the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson and in a few hours you will have the groundwork to start learning.

But it is an expensive hobby. We all started off thinking a $500 camera was expensive. Once you really get in to it, you realize $500 is very cheap.
The book is from 2004, but there's another one called "Understanding Photography Field Guide" that came out last year by the same author.

Which one would you go for?

I found two potential DSLR's at Sam's Club I might pick up. One is the Canon Rebel XS, an extra lens, a 2gb card and bag for $600, the other is the Canon Rebel XSI for $600. How do you guys like those models? They seem to have gotten good reviews.

Last edited by nickdawgy; 03-02-10 at 04:17 AM.
Old 03-02-10, 05:11 AM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

you can get a nikon d5000 over the xsi. its a bigger step up and a better camera. its currently $640 on amazon.
with that said unless you are willing to learn how to use it i would go for a p&s. its not very hard to learn, at least to the point where you will be taking decent pictures. also if you take sports photography or low light photography then a dslr is for you. the d5000 cant be beat for low light under $1000. unless you consider the step up nikon d90, and really they take the same quality pics.

also you will need to get used to using the view finder instead of looking at the screen. "live view"is nowhere near as good as on a p&s. though it can be usefull. the d5000 also has a flip out screen which is nice.

edit...i just saw you want burst mode. the d5000 does 4fps. also you might want to get just the body and then pick up a 18-105 lens used.
the 55mm lens wont get you very close. or get the kit with lens and a 55-200 lens.

Last edited by chino77; 03-02-10 at 05:15 AM.
Old 03-02-10, 05:47 AM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Originally Posted by chino77 View Post
you can get a nikon d5000 over the xsi. its a bigger step up and a better camera. its currently $640 on amazon.
with that said unless you are willing to learn how to use it i would go for a p&s. its not very hard to learn, at least to the point where you will be taking decent pictures. also if you take sports photography or low light photography then a dslr is for you. the d5000 cant be beat for low light under $1000. unless you consider the step up nikon d90, and really they take the same quality pics.

also you will need to get used to using the view finder instead of looking at the screen. "live view"is nowhere near as good as on a p&s. though it can be usefull. the d5000 also has a flip out screen which is nice.

edit...i just saw you want burst mode. the d5000 does 4fps. also you might want to get just the body and then pick up a 18-105 lens used.
the 55mm lens wont get you very close. or get the kit with lens and a 55-200 lens.
The D5000 sounds cool, I might look into that. It looks like it's $658 now on Amazon. I would have spent that much on a $600 camera anywhere else because of the nearly 10% tax rate here in LA County. I can get different lenses later, just wanted to learn how to take the next step in taking pictures.

Last edited by nickdawgy; 03-02-10 at 05:51 AM.
Old 03-02-10, 06:50 AM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Way to show that Photography is an expensive hobby. In 17 posts he went from spending $200 to ≈$700.
Old 03-02-10, 10:01 AM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

I would get a Rebel over a d5000. The focus motor issues limiting which lenses you can use kind of bothers me. And I am someone who likes Nikon bodies over Canon bodies right now...but at the higher end (above the d90). I like Canons entry models better than Nikon though.

Canon has some very nice affordable lenses that Nikon just doesn't offer. While that is something to consider further down the road, you are investing in a system.

And Nick, don't worry about that book being from 2004. It is the most recommended book by photographers to beginners. Every new photographer should read it. Aperture will always be aperture. How you take a picture/exposure never changes, only the tools change and that you can learn in a manual.
Old 03-02-10, 12:36 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Originally Posted by Nifty03 View Post
Way to show that Photography is an expensive hobby. In 17 posts he went from spending $200 to ≈$700.


My wife would say the same thing.
Old 03-02-10, 12:38 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

So would it be better to get a Rebel XS with some extras for $600 or the XSI with no extras for $600?
Old 03-02-10, 04:04 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Originally Posted by nickdawgy View Post
So would it be better to get a Rebel XS with some extras for $600 or the XSI with no extras for $600?
xsi over the xs.
honestly though unless you think you will be buying a bunch of old used lenses down the road. i would consider the d5000. the d5000 is a better camera but if you want to use older lenses that will auto focus and meter you will have to buy the newer more expensive lenses. unless you plan on picking up old canon lenses from ebay then the price difference is only a couple of hundred bucks. if all you plan on getting is a short range zoom and a longer zoom than there wont really be much price difference.

also the xsi is a 2yr old camera the d5000 is less than a year old. the d5000 is more comparable to the t1i. but its $750. also the xsi is a really good camera, just not as good as the other 2.
you should also go to the store and mess around with each camera. best buy will have all 3 on display. see how it fits in your hand, what the build quality is like, the menu, button layout.
Old 03-02-10, 06:08 PM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

I ordered an XSI from Amazon for $560 shipped. I played with it in Sam's and I liked it. They also had the Nikon D3000 there. Target had the D5000 but it was $750. Amazon raised their price on the D5000 to $676.

I figured for my first DSLR, $560 was better than $676

I hope I didn't make the wrong choice. I can always return it and exchange it later.

What about a SDHC card for the XSI? Is it best to just get the cheapest 8-16gb card or does a more expensive card really make a noticable difference? What about a good case for the camera as well?

Last edited by nickdawgy; 03-02-10 at 08:13 PM.
Old 03-03-10, 12:25 AM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

the xsi is a great camera. im sure you will be happy with it. im surprised they kept raising the price so much on the d5000. i just got one from adorama for $510. it was a nikon refurb though. still its like brand new.

have fun with the new camera. if you end up liking photography it will become an addiction.
Old 03-03-10, 01:26 AM
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Re: Time For A New Digital Camera... suggestions?

Originally Posted by nickdawgy View Post
What about a SDHC card for the XSI? Is it best to just get the cheapest 8-16gb card or does a more expensive card really make a noticable difference? What about a good case for the camera as well?
Generally, the higher price point cards have faster read/write times. If your doing a lot of burst shooting, a higher speed card would certainly decrease the amount of time the camera writes the image to the card and thus allow you to take more images faster before the cameras write buffer fills.

If your doing just general shooting, you would probably not notice the difference in the write speeds of the card.

My wife and I have an XS and really enjoy it. Our next camera will probably be an XTi, as we would like the HD video recording.

It's amazing the quality of camera you can get now for about $500. Our first digital camera was a Sony S70 that we bought for close to $1,000.

Enjoy your new camera.

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