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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:58 pm 
Hi everybody. For the last couple of days, I've been reading and reading stuffs on camera and my choice is nearly finalised (im on a tight budget)

Based on my research and features set, I've come with the following:
Budget: ~$220-230
Type: Compact/bridge
Zoom: At least 10x
Mpixels: Dont matter
ISO: Average low light pics will do. (Not crappy pics tho:P)
Video: HD 720p at least.
Continuous shooting: Not important but would be nice (sx130 is doesnot do it)

So this budget and features have got me to the sx130 is.
Any better recommendations on the above features and in this price range guys? ANY camera model will do if they are as good/better.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:57 pm 
MountainKing - Hi, welcome aboard! You do realise that in your price-range, you're asking for quite a few features...

Some cameras will have some of them, others will have others of them - getting all in one "under $250.00" camera isn't usual these days.

You didn't say if the camera must be tiny, shirt-pocket size, or if something a little bigger but still light and fairly compact, will be okay. I'll take your description as meaning, "compact TO small-bridge".

You don't mention a Viewfinder. Sure, in lower to midrange P&S, Viewfinders aren't very "trendy" at present. Not having them allows the Makers to build much cheaper cameras and make more profits. However, for sunny or bright cloudy days, where glare on LCDs can make LCD-only cameras tricky to use, or for "moving targets", they can be very useful.

Also - as you want more than 10x Zoom - being able to hold the camera very steady is critical - and the "triangle" stance, camera to eye, elbows tucked-in to body, is steadier than holding the camera out in front to use an LCD.

Also - while "power-packs" are now very fashionable in P&S - AAs for we hobby/family users can be a big advantage. Good rechargeables are low-cost and often do more shots than similar power-pack cameras per charge. And if you have a long day out, or go on a trip - are you really going to have 2 or 3 spare, charged power-packs along? If the camera uses AAs, and you run out of charged spare sets - you can buy AA-Alkalines anywhere.

The SX130 you mention uses 2 x AAs, so I'm assuming you don't mind using AAs. The cameras which use sets of 4 x AAs are particularly good on numbers of shots per charge, and more so if you like doing HD Video.

(Compare my 4 x AAs Canon SX10 - 550-600 shots on AA-Eneloops, with the new Canon SX30 - 370-400 shots on its power-pack.)

So - to fit your budget - and your needs-list - doesn't really have many cameras to select from. Actually, my godson's "needs" are pretty similar to yours, and all last year he kept borrowing my old Fuji S2000HD... Which is not really too good a camera. But he liked it for - viewfinder, zoom, and plenty of shots per set of Eneloops...

For Christmas I bought him a Fuji S1800 (almost identical to the S2550HD sold in some regions.) It's the "2 generations later" and much-improved, descendant of the old S2000HD.

The US price I Googled at USD$229.00 - so right on your budget.

It has 18x Zoom, and 12Mpix - more than enough for good prints.

In this price-range, you don't get "very good" (for P&S) low-light, high-ISO, performance (like the Fuji HS10 at around twice the price.) But I tried Donny's S1800, and found that from ISO 64 to 400, noise is good, to "acceptable", and ISO 800 is "getting quite noisy". There is an auto-setting to hold the ISO into the 64-400 range, if needed.

It has "full Modes" - Auto, Program, Aperture and Shutter Priority, and full Manual.

You don't get high-end Fast Continuous in this price range, but the S1800 will do unlimited 1.3fps at full resolution (same as the much pricier new Canon SX30, actually), but also does 3.3fps for 10 frames at "M" image size. (Which is 2,816 x 2,112 pixels.) That covers up to 3-seconds of target movement - and actually works rather well! For "movings" - pets, small kids, sports, so on, Donny's delighted with that.

There's also a faster rate - but the frame-size is too small to be useful/printable.

It has Std HD Video - 1280 x 720 - in MJPEG (Motion-JPEG), with audio, at a good 30fps. MJPEG is much easier to convert/edit on a home PC or laptop than the common H264/MOV. (it converts easily with free software to 720 x 404, to make compliant NTSC or PAL DVDs.) It also does VGA - 640 x 480 - at 30fps in MJPEG. That's a good size for sharing or uploading to sites. The quality in this camera is quite good.

For low-light images - with tripod or a good rest - Shutter speeds are 1/4 second to 1/2000th in Auto, and 8 seconds to 1/2000th in all other Modes. If 8-seconds "doesn't sound like much" - you can get surprisingly good low-light images, with tripod, in Program or Manual - from 2-5 seconds, and ISO 200 (depending on just "how low" light) or ISO 400.

There's also an adequate Flash - Fuji claims up to 26ft... Bit hopeful, from what I found - but up to 20ft, quite okay

And - we highly recommend Sanyo's AA Eneloops... Very good indeed. (And no, sadly, I don't have shares in Sanyo...!)

While this isn't a deluxe advanced-functions camera - when looking for an "under $300.00" camera for Donny, I couldn't find anything else with the features and abilities in that price range.

Any questions - post back.

Dave.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:18 am 
@Dave:
First of all, thank you for such a long and informative post to shed light on my plight!. About camera size, it does not really matter as long as the price is ok. Price first, then size.
Viewfinder would be nice but I do understand that they add cost. So while not essential for me, it would be a nice addition but again, I would not mind at all with one camera with no viewfinder.
Concerning the zoom, it has to be at LEAST 10x.
Read your post about the fuji camera. Sounds very tempting actually! I’ll check the reviews and hope shipping is not too much ;-).
PS: Of course, sanyo eneloops ftw :P If you have any more suggestions or tips, I’ll be glad to listen mate. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:50 am 
MountainKing - If you haven't tried using a non-viewfinder camera outdoors on a bright day, you might try to borrow one - and a camera with a viewfinder, then compare them.

Most of the P&S cameras without viewfinders have fairly short zoom - for example, the over-$500.00, technically very good (f/2.0, even!) - Canon S95, has no viewfinder, and at only 3.8x zoom and over twice your price, isn't on your list.

However, at 15-18x+ zoom, you have to be able to hold the camera very steady - and track moving objects easily.

A camera at $230.00 with a viewfinder, isn't adding to the cost. That is - it's inside your budget, anyway.

Dave.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:46 pm 
Thanks for your inputs guys. I went through the proposal of Dave (s1800) and also compared s2500 and 2800HD against the canon. I also saw that the L110 was in the same price range.

After viewing sample pics from a reputed website, I finally opted for the canon camera. Thank you guys for your valuable inputs.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:14 pm 
I am curious what you bought. I just bought the Canon SX130 is in Canada and I am undecide on it so far. I love the features, don't love the batteries and had some trouble shooting video.

Did you buy a camera and if so, what did you get?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:07 pm 
Mommalyze - With a P&S camera you're actually much better off with 2 or 4 AAs - if you do it properly - than with a Li-Ion power-pack.

You've probably just used the 2 x AA Alkalines Canon supplies in the pack... With not very good results. Because of the "3 x AA options" - Alkalines are the worst. I have 3 Bridge-Zooms that use 4 x AAs each - and yes - in the back pocket of the bag, there's a chain-store cardboard strip of AA-Alkalines - for "desperate-emergency" use, only!

Otherwise all 3 run on AA-Eneloops - the Canon SX10 gets 550-600 shots per charged set - the "battery-hogging" Fuji HS10 gets about 450+, so on. The old Fuji S2000HD usually isn't along on photo outings - it lives in the end pocket of my shopping-etc carry-bag as a snaps-camera - and gets about 400 on Eneloops.

I have 5 sets of 4 x AA-Eneloops - the 2 'main use' cameras have 2 sets each - usually plenty of power for a weekend or few days away. And of course - unlike having Li-Ions - the 4 sets with the cameras can be rotated through either SX10 or HS10.

If doing a lot of HD video with the HS10 unexpectedly - the "SX10's" sets of Eneloops can be used in the HS10 - and if needs be - the SX10 can run on Alkalines from the 12 on the 'emergency' card strip - it only gets 350 shots on Alkies - under 300 if some Flash is used - and thaaat's getting down into "Li-Ion" pack territory - pretty slack!

Check the numbers of shots the Li-Ion power-pack Bridge Cameras do - compared with those using 4 x AAs - with Eneloop option.

Canon lost a LOT of Bridgey-Users by putting the "trendy" and penny-dreadful Li-Ions into the SX30 and SX40... The SX30 has a tiny Li-Ion NB-7L that in actual use gives about 320 shots, no flash... Many Users complained - and the SX40 has a "much bigger" NB-10L Li-Ion that that gives a "massive" 360 shots in use, no flash... Great - except the SX10 and SX20 doing 550-600 shots on Eneloops make both of 'em look "trendy-silly"....

Oh - and if you were going into a remote area - backpacking, or into a country with few facilities - if your camera uses AAs - you could lay-in a stock of AA-Lithiums - lighter than Alkalines or rechargeables - and I can witness that in an SX10, Eveready Energizer Ultimate Lithiums (Sydney, $14.00, pack of 4) - will run an SX10 1,122 and 1,039 shots - second set included 28 shots flash at mid setting) - only tried 2 sets (experiment on another forum, actually - I didn't believe an SX10 would do "waaay-over" over 1,000 shots on them - and I lost the bet!)

As for smaller cameras - compare the Canon A1200 and A2200. These are almost identical entry-level P&S cameras. The A1200 has a Viewfinder and runs on 2 x AAs. My godson recently was given one (he asked me and I helped him choose it, gift had "about $100.00" limit, from his Gran) - got 330 shots on the Canon Alkalines supplied with it.

He changed to Eneloops (the Fuji S1800 I bought him some time back, is of course a 4 x AAs device...) - and immediately got over 500 shots on a charge... He experimented a bit - and now says the LCD is a "battery basher" - as, viewfinder only, he can get just under or over 600 shots - LCD only - about 400-425 - and "using both" - LCD on tripod for the HD video, so on - about 500.

Oh - the very similar, but no-viewfinder, A2200 - claimed 280, Reviews say "250 or so, without flash" - from its tiny Li-Ion...

If the Makers are going to continue this "no-viewfinder" P&S trend - have larger and power-munching LCDs as the only aiming-option- and also insist on under-powering them with tiny Li-Ions - they might think of copying their DSLR Departments - where cameras, even with large "Professional" capacity Li-Ions - do have "grips" that can be stuffed-full of AAs - and as they say - Eneloops, preferaby...

Now - let's see - with the SX50 - will Canon make Li-Ion exchangeable with an optional 4 x AAs holder that replaces the wimpy power-pack? Quite "do-able" - as in the physically about same size K-R DSLR - Pentax does exactly that. Or - will Canon provide an AAs-carrying "Grip" for the SX50... :lol:

They'll need to do "something" - because if I was buying a newer Bridge Camera right now - apart from Fuji's HS20 (I have the HS10, and won't buy the downgraded HS20) - every brand has Li-Ions... And if I was going to be stuck with a Li-Ion camera - the Panny FZ150 cooks the SX40 for JPEG and RAW IQ, HD video, 12fps and saves 12 images Continuous - and the 1,020mm equiv optical reach does have attractions.... :shock:

Regards, Dave.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:48 am 
THank you for your reply. Buying a camera has been really painful this time. We got a great deal on the Canon SX130 is, but then were going back and forth with price match between stores. In the end, I wondered if I should have went with the extended warrently of 1 year over manufacturer with STAPLES instead of no warrently at FUTURE SHOP. AHHH. Regrets, questions, etc, etc.

I like the camera but I am wondering if I could have bought a smaller compact with the same features.

I don't know what I'll do.

Do you usually buy extended warrenty?


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