Camera Advice Please

icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#1
I'm in the market for a better camera than I currently have. Thing is I dont know as much about the camera world as I wish I did. Are there any recommendations that can be made? Some quick explanations for what I should be looking for? My price range is right around $500, maybe a little more but hopefully less.... but generally in that range. So what should I look for?

Brand?
Styles?

Anything notable that you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
 

kiwi

The Original Kiwi
#2
What do you want it to do? How much thought do you want to have to put in the pictures you take? What is the main purpose of the camera?
 

dDave

Guardian of the Light
V.I.P.
#3
It all depends on what you want to do, tell us all what you want to do with it. Do you want a big one that takes amazing pictures? Do you want a small one that you can fit in your pocket?

And I'm sure that you're looking for good picture quality.
 

icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#4
What do you want it to do? How much thought do you want to have to put in the pictures you take? What is the main purpose of the camera?
The main purpose is pretty much just recreational. Obviously nothing professional I dont plan on selling any shots ;)

The idea that spurred the desire for a camera was the intent on taking pictures by ourselves with decent enough quality to put on a Christmas card.

I always put extra thought into anything so lets say I'll be aware of background, natural lighting and shading, and definitely complementary angles. So anything short of carrying around Light poles and shade structures I can handle. When I have to start doing that... I think I've made it more of a job than a rec hobby.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
#5
The first question is SLR or compact?

SLR's are better, they cost more, they are bulkier and need a case. They have more knobs and dials to play with, have different lens to attach and will produce excellent photos consistently(if your good). With SLRs you plan your photos & where you take your camera as you have to carry it with you.

Compacts are smaller, cheaper and fit in your pocket! They are usually pre-programmed and mostly automatic. They will struggle under some conditions and photo quality will not be as good as an SLR. As they are small and fit in your pocket they are ideal for carrying around, great for holidays and parties.

This is again what do you want for question. I find that with an SLR I actively go out to find photos, I'll go for walks and plan day trips and come back with a camera full of photos. With a compact I let the photos find me, I just put it in my pocket, I might take it out I might not!


For $500 you will be looking at a high-end compact or a low-end SLR. Both have their merits.
 

icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#6
I currently have a Compact Bushnell Outdoor Camera that I've used like you said "to let pictures find me".

I suppose I'm looking for the SLR style. I want to be able to go on a hiking trip with the intent of bringing back amazingly detailed pictures. So far every camera I've been interested in has been the SLR style.

Currently the Camera that has caught the most of my attention has been the Sony Alpha Series. More specifically... this one.. I figured $500 is a pretty decent investment in a piece of equipment I plan on using for a long while, might as well ask around and see what the experienced people know ;)
 

kiwi

The Original Kiwi
#7
No, don't go sony. I'll be back....
------
Nikon | D40 SLR Digital Camera Kit with 18-55mm Lens | 25420

or

Nikon | D60 SLR Digital Camera Kit with 18-55mm VR | 00025438

or

Canon | EOS Digital Rebel XTi Digital Camera Kit | 1236B001
------
Nikon and Canon both know what they are doing and also make the best glass. If you take care of your lenses, they will last you forever. As far as which is better between the two, they are so close you just need to look at the different features and decide which is more appealing.
 
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icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#8
Now that Canon one was #2 on my list. I'd actually seen it at Costco and the guy let me "demo" it. I really liked it but didnt want to commit to early. Its even cheaper at Costco than on that website by about 75-80 bucks.

Only reason I was more interested in the Sony model was because I've had such a great past with pretty much all Sony Products. Looks like I'll be saving up another hundred or so and going with the Canon.

Thank you all for the help, its greatly appreciated!
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
#9
I don't know anything about Sony cameras. Never used one.

I have a Panasonic FZ50
,it is allright and is one of the best for functionality, has built in 12x lens(which is awesome) and is known as a superzoom. The only downside is that there is a slight graining in the photos with some digital flecks appearing on certain colours. This is not that much of a problem though and only a professional would be critical. I only notice it once I import the photos to photoshop and view magnification is at 200%. This is my main camera and the one I take out for photographing

I also had a Panasonic FZ5,
It was stolen and the reason I bought the FZ50. I was very impressed with this little camera. It did not have the same ability as a full SLR but was a smart little entry level at got me into photography.

I also have a Fujifilm s5700,
This is the cheap one. I use it to just churn-out photos for the internet, where quality is not vital. Great value!


It is hard to go wrong with a Nikon or a Canon but then they will sit just above your price range plus then sometimes have the additional cost of lens. These are the cameras I use at University if not using my own.