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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:34 pm 
I have just gotten into taking photos and videos in the last ~18 months. I currently own a Canon ELPH 300 HS. It is a quite a nice, tiny camera that takes nice stills in proper light and equally good video in 1080p.

The reasons for me wanting to upgrade include:

- Want more manual control (doesn't have to be full manual operations though)

- Would like something that offers better IQ for stills

- Would like a FAST autofocus

- Mechanical/manual focus AND adjustable aperture would be awesome

- Would like some zoom, but this is not mandatory like those listed above

I have just learned about RAW shooting, unsure what that entirely entails...not sure if I would be able to fully take advantage of it.

I have been researching superzooms like the Canon SX40 HS, interchangeables like the Canon 1 V1 and others of both types. (just so happens I can get either of those two for $299 right now, but open to the others).

I take portrait photos and landscape photos when I am mountain biking, running, rock climbing and vacation shots including the caribbean, mountains, etc.

BUDGET: I would like to stay around $400, BUT I am willing to spend upwards of $600.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:51 am 
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Location: United Kingdom
Have you considered buying used equipment?

If so, you can get something one of the three Panasonic GF series bodies (in very good/excellent condition) with the kit lens plus a telephoto zoom lens for within the top end of your budget.

It won't reach as far as the Canon SX40 HS but it otherwise meets all of the criteria you set and at a given focal length (same on the 35mm equivalent), I'd put good money on any of the GF models offering more detail because of the much larger sensor.

RAW shooting is a really simple concept - RAW image files are the digital equivalent of negatives from film photography. They make post processing (developing) much easier than processing with the JPEG files most cameras produce. An easy example how it can benefit you is that if you shoot RAW as well as JPEG, you might find that your white balance is off or certain colours are too pronounced or under-pronounced. You can correct that with JPEG files but it can become a lot of work. With RAW, on the other hand, you can make such corrections in minutes if not seconds. The downside, however is that RAW takes up a lot of storage space so you would have to look into buying more or larger capacity memory cards as well.

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

CSCs: Panasonic DMC-GF3
Lenses: Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:44 am 
Rorschach wrote:
Have you considered buying used equipment?


Where would you recommend I look? Any other viable options?
Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:58 pm
Posts: 816
Location: United Kingdom
GoBirds wrote:
Rorschach wrote:
Have you considered buying used equipment?


Where would you recommend I look? Any other viable options?
Thanks!

I know some are reluctant to do it but eBay and Amazon really are home to a lot of bargains - I got a refurbished GF3 with a 14-42mm lens in excellent condition (the box was pretty beaten up though) for the equivalent of $322 from eBay a few months ago.

There are also the Olympus E-PL1 and E-PL2 cameras that you can get with a lens for within your budget. The E-PL1 would be easier to get with a kit lens and a telephoto zoom lens for within $600 though it's not impossible for the E-PL2.

To make things easier and to help keep them in budget, almost all of the Micro Four Thirds lenses are compatible with the Olympus E-PL and Panasonic GF series so you can mix and match lenses and bodies from the different brands.

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

CSCs: Panasonic DMC-GF3
Lenses: Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6


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