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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:02 pm 
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Location: Italy
Hi Gordon and hi everybody at Cameralabs.com,
I'm writing from Italy so forgive my english!
I must admit I got addicted with your video reviews, so before asking my question I thank you guys for doing this useful job.

I need your advice. I really got into photography with my good ol' Yashica FX super 2000 so I would have liked a DSLR to start my digital life. Unfortunately they're all out of my budget. I'm afraid I'll have to wait some time before I can put my hands on one of 'em. I can spend up to 250 Pounds!

That's how we get to the point. I decided to buy me a digital camera, a compact one. But I love good quality photography and I need manual controls. I can describe myself as an enthousiast, as you say. But not really a professional, I guess.

What camera would you say it's good for my needs, listed down here in priority order:

- Good image quality (that's obvious, I know, but when you say a camera shows noise at 100 ISO, well, I wouldn't like it, I guess);

- Shutter and aperture priority (I liked the way the Canon g7 and g9 manage the thing!);

- If possible, more than 3x (not necessarily much more, but.. you know, like 4, 5 or 6x would be enough);

- Good (decent, let's say!) quality with low light;

- Slimness;

- Speed;

- look and feel (love retro style, love the Sony slims too)

- wide angle

- good quality display

- onscreen grid

- movie capability

- flip out screen

End of the list!!
By the way, what about RAW mode? I never used it but I think it's better to have it, isn't it? although it seems to be an unusual feature on compact cameras unfortunately.

So

I loved the G9, but what about its price?!
I loved the pannie LX2 with its wonderful widescreen, but what about noise and noise reduction?!
The DMC FX30 isn't bad at all, but the image quality? Even at 100 ISO?!
Maybe the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX100?
Or the new Canon PowerShot A650 IS?
Or would a good and handy sony do a fine job too?

Just to be clear, I won't ever need to make a poster out of my pictures, I'll need to watch 'em on my computer and print the best ones in 30x45 cm max. And I'm *mostly* going to shoot at low sensitivities (100-200 ISO).

They're too many! I'm so confused!
Ok, that's it. Sorry for being so detailed! :roll:

And again, THANKS.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:19 pm 
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CoberSober wrote:
...I loved the G9, but what about its price?!

Hi CoberSober,

A warm welcome to the CameraLabs forums.

It's great to see you have already done your research. I wish I could respond in as much detail (I am sure others will help out) but how about this for food for thought. I did "this Google search" and it seems you can get a G5 for only a few pounds/euros over your budget. Isn't it always the way that you find yourself tempted to spend just that little bit more? :) Good luck with your search.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:55 pm 
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Nikon D40 w/18-55mm Kit lens is £249.99 just now and its a DSLR!

Sure you don't get a lot of the things you want on your compact list plus you are stuck with the 18-55 focal length, but you did start off with saying a DSLR is out of your price range - so maybe there is some luck after all!

Not sure on prices of another Nikkor lens for the telephoto end, but I'm sure you can get a Sigma Nikon Mount 70-300 lens for £149 with macro mode.

Obviously the second lens is out of budget but still, that can be bought later if needed.

AS for compacts, the G6 is apparently a great Compact, so if you can find if for under £250 I'd suggest that or a second hand (Already there might be some) G9!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:35 am
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Location: Italy
Thanks for your quick answers! :D
I sure will take into consideration your suggestions. I'm studying the pros and cons of the latest members of the canon g series and because I'm gonna buy the camera in at least a month, maybe I could have the opportunity to find a used g9, though I'm afraid it'll be difficult. But, who knows?

The real issue with DSLR, in my situation, is the low flexibility and quality of lenses in the short run (assuming that you ain't got enough money). I could also get a DSLR body for a reasonable price, but, believe me, here in Italy, if you wish to have a basic lens you gotta pay a considerable bit more than I can afford (round 330 Pounds). I'll wait until I get a decent job (I'm still at University!).


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:37 pm 
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Hi there, welcome to Camera Labs.

I know virtually nothing about compacts...but I do know this.

The Nikon D40 kit will produce far better images than practically any compact. In fact, I would image a compact's only benefit, image quality wise, might be an extended focal length.

My two cents.

Good luck.

Zorro 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:51 pm 
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Welcome!

As DD_nVidia has already said, the Nikon D40 is relatively affordable. You can get it for about the same price as the Canon G9. It's a beginner's camera and it does have its limitations, but it is a DSLR.

I'd say you won't regret it if you go for the D40. But be aware that you will need to get a big SD memory card, as you'll certainly find yourself wanting to shoot more and more photos with it. You just have to keep pushing the shutter release button. And then you'll want to get all that nice Nikkor glass and the remote, the tripod, the filter, the... you get the picture (no pun intended).

I've had two compacts and I presently own a D40. To me, there's no comparison. Even at my beginner level, I'm able to consistently take better photos than I did with the compacts. I also have a feeling of slow but steady improvement.

Bottom line: get the D40. :)

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Last edited by luis on Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:09 am 
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Hi Cobersober - I'd agree with the others - if you can afford a D40 kit, you'll get MUCH better quality than a compact - and the possibility of expanding with extra lenses in the future.

If you're absolutely set on a compact though, the Panasonic FX33 (successor to the FX30 which we're reviewing in the near future) is nice, as is the Canon Ixus 860IS, but neither will let you adjust the aperture and shutter. There's always the Fujifilm F50fd, but it doesn't have a 28mm wide angle.

If you're into photography and concerned about image quality though, I'd urge you to go for a DSLR - even a cheap one whill outperform a high-end compact.

Gordon


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:51 am 
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Hi CoberSober,

I don't know whether this will help but here goes...

I have reproduced my take on your wish list (your priority order) and added my own view on how it impacts the DSLR vs Compact question.
  • I can spend up to 250 Pounds! - Compact
  • Good image quality - DSLR
  • Shutter and aperture priority - Rules out most (but not all) compacts
  • If possible, more than 3x - Either
  • Good (decent, let's say!) quality with low light - DSLR
  • Slimness - Compact
  • Speed - DSLR
  • look and feel - Compact???
  • wide angle - Either
  • onscreen grid - Compact (at your budget)
  • movie capability - Compact
  • flip out screen - Compact
  • I really got into photography with my good ol' Yashica FX super 2000 - DSLR
Looking at that list, provided you can find a DSLR within budget (don't forget the option of a used body in excellent condition), the DSLR wins the day as it satisfies slightly more of your criteria, particularly at the top of your priority list. However, if you need movie capability then, as far as I am aware, that completely rules out a DSLR for you.

The guys are quite right that a DSLR gives better image quality but if your wish list includes one or more items that definitely rule out a DSLR then it might help if you do a quick post to that effect. That way we can stop suggesting you buy a DSLR (and you did say you had already decided to buy a Compact).

As for the G9, it's still very new so, with luck, prices may fall a little once the initial demand tails off. By the way, when you say "Compact" are you including the Superzooms and Bridge Cameras in your list of possibles? If so then have a look at Gordon's Superzoom Buyer's Guide.

Bob.

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OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:35 am
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Location: Italy
Thanks for your in depth answer, Bob!

The thing is I decided to get an entry level DSLR without having a clear idea on what they could cost. Now I know their price, I wondered if a compact could be a fair comprimise to my needs. I stepped into Gordon's video tours and I focused on compacts to see if one of them could satisfy my needs for some time, before buying a *real* camera.

Then I started thinking "Well, maybe it's not so bad, you know, handier, fits in a pocket, good for travelling... I think I'm gonna get one of those little compacts". I tended to exclude the superzooms because once I went on compacts I said "well let it be handy and small, at least". I mean if this is going to be a compromise, I'd rather get a pocket-sized substitute until I get a DSLR!

This doesn't necessarily mean that I wouldn't buy a D40 if I found a VERY cheap one! After all, they're right when they say I should try and get a D40. It's only I ain't got enough money.

And, you know, I should get my camera before the end of january 'cause I probably will have the chance to travel 'round US for a while (that's why I'm so poor from the "camera point of view"!) and I'd like to come back with lots of gooood shoots! (A good answer could be: "well, stay 3 days less and get that freakin' D40, you cheap miser *******!" :wink:. Interesting point.. I'll take it into serious consideration :roll:)

It would be nice to record some video too, but it's not so important.
After all your kind advices, I will probably see if I can afford a D40 with a fairly flexible zoom lens right before leaving.

But just to keep this interesting topic (to me, at least :lol:) alive I'll ask it again. Maybe it could be useful for someone else too!
Shouldn't I have enough money to get the D40, what compact would meet my needs the most in your opinion?

Your turn!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:11 pm 
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The movie modes on almost every compact or super zoom arn't that good, but its a still camera first, so thats to be expected.

The D40 fits your budget...so why not get it! OR while in America, get one in America at the Duty Free (or TAX free w/e its called over there) for cheaper than £250!

I would probably buy the camera over spending an extra few days, but I would do that for a lot of tech products so I don't really count for that, but don't cut your trip short just to buy a camera.

Try and get one in America, and it should be even cheaper there!

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Canon 17-40 F/4L USM + Canon 24-70 F/2.8L USM + Canon 28mm F/1.8 USM + Canon 70-200 F/2.8L USM IS + Canon 85mm F/1.8 USM
Canon Speedlite 580EX II + Canon Speedlite 540EZ + 2 x Nikon SB-80DX
Cactus V2s Wireless Trigger - 5 x Cactus V2s Wireless Reciever

MY FLICKR!


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