Camera Advice

Discussion in 'Photography' started by sweet_cheek, Apr 24, 2011.

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  1. As the title says...

    I am looking for a camera that would give me a good quality pictures, video option and quite good zoom. I must say that the zoom is really important for me as the camera will be used a lot during travels. So, I have come across Nikon P500 that has 36x optical zoom (it’s apparently 'astounding'). I don’t really know how good that zoom is as I don’t really have too much knowledge about such stuff. I have read several reviews but did not find any explanation. Any advice....

    I also thought that it would be maybe better to invest in a better camera and get SLR D3100. What would be the lenses equivalent for D3100 to have 36x or a bit higher zoom?


    Thanks :)


    SC
     
  2. Regarding Zoom. Firstly, ignore anything described as Digital Zoom as it is crap quality. Only take notice of the optical zoom, as that's the real thing and not some digital guesswork. Secondly, remember that anything over [about] 8 times zoom is hard to hold still enough to avoid some blur. So you need to steady the camera against something, or stick it on a tripod. Specially if you are focusing on a distant object. Unless you're not too bothered. Mind you, 8 times Zoom is quite a lot anyway, and frequently you won't use that much zoom. Having said that, even if you just rest your elbows on something solid, you can get a good pic with 10 x and more with a little practice.
     
  3. What Troy said is quite accurate (esp the bit about optical zoom versus digital zoom) but even then he hasn't gone quite far enough. Some cameras claim to have this magic 36x optical zoom, but it really isn't all that good. The equivalent in SLR lens terms would be something like a 700mm lens which really isn't practical or financially viable for most people. Also remember with a DSLR you have a much larger sensor than in a compact camera, so your image quality will be better anyway, meaning you don't necessarily need that 36x zoom.

    If you do plan to do zoom work, get a tripod. If you get a tripod, get a good one. What will you be taking photos of on your travels? Personally when I go to new places I like wider angle shots than zoomed ones, but each to their own. And on that note, giving away my hand as it were, why a D3100? Why a Nikon?

    Best possible advice - get into a camera shop (or two, or three) and get hands-on with the cameras they have in stock. My experience is that Nikons twist the wrong way (ie the opposite direction to every other make on the market), require at least two hands to operate even basic functions, and have fiddly visual menus. Canons on the other hand twist as standard (lefty loosey righty tighty), and can be operated with one hand using simple fuss-free menus without graphics all over the show. Equivalent to the D3100 would be something like the EOS 500D.
     
  4. I was just looking at Canon products. I have also noticed that Canon seems to have better reviews than Nikon has. There’s is no particular reason why I have chosen Nikon. I basically went on their web site and read all description for all cameras and chosen few that give an option of photos, videos and a good zoom in one within my price limit. The thing is that I want to combine all three, have a good quality of it and pay a decent price. I would really love to get a good SLR but at the present moment it’s rather impossible.
    I’m planning to go to few remote and mountainous places in Asia so ill be taking pictures of landscape but also people that live there. It’s actually taking photos of locals and their daily life that interest me the most and I would not want to cause any discomfort to them while taking photos therefore, I thought about a good zoom.
    I did go to few camera shops and it was helpful but I guess I need to read much more about technical stuff to understand what a shop assistant is talking to me about.
     
  5. What you're describing is called a "bridge" camera. One in the range between a compact and an SLR. Before I got my Nikons I was using a Kodak Z740 which has a 10x zoom and also does quicktime videos too. That model is old hat now and probably goes for £20 on E-bay. But a more recent model would be right up your street. Have a search for Kodak digital cameras and see if they have something that you fancy.
     
  6. Canon seem to be the one to buy, people I spoke to when I was looking couldn't praise it high enough. Ironically I ended up with a Pentax (very retro look) as my spec and monetary constriction couldn't stretch as far as a Canon.
     
  7. I'm not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination but I've had a Sony nex-5 for a few months and I've been amazed (from an unexperienced pov) at how good a phot they take

    Its compact but really does the job.

    Sorry no technical advice, but have a look at it
     
  8. for god's sake don't point it at yourself unless it's insured.
     
  9. My my so original... and tedious at the same time.
     
  10. PS All Pentax cameras are made by Samsung anyway. They used to be a major name in the camera world (the K1 was a great entry level SLR) but now the brand has been bought out by Samsung and nothing special.

    Go speak to a camera shop and they'll advise you on which Pentax's relate to which Samsungs. The Samsungs are generally cheaper despite being feature-set and build-standard identical, so you'd do better with one of them.

    That said I'd still buy Canon or Nikon, just for quality and compatibility. I have a 'cracked' EOS 300D from 2003 (Firmware cracked, bringing it up to EOS 10D standard, just plastic body and different controls, since the EOS 300D, unlike the 350/400 etc, was just a firmware-reduced EOS10D with a cheaper body an controls, but not actually optically different), and it still stands pretty firm alongside my EOS 20D from about 2 years later. Paired with a Canon 70-200 2.8 L series lens (non IS, couldn't afford) and a 24-105 IS L series, you can get great shots; either of those models can be picked up for very little now, you can easily get a Canon EOS 300D for under £100 and download the firmware crack off the webernet for a decent 7MP D-SLR for under £100.
     
  11. I like compacts because of the weight issue. If you're travelling a SLR is an added weight to be taken into account. But I guess it all depends on how seriously you want to take your camerawork. Zooms on compacts do not match up, plus some people prefer to make the decisions as opposed to letting the camera be the boss.
     
  12. On the same token, a lot of naive people seem to think that just 'having' a DSLR will give them better photos.

    They'll give the ability to take better photos, but they don't just automatically give you one.

    You see a lot of tourists wondering around London with Canon EOS450s with the in-the-box lens, in 'auto' operation mode. This probably won't actually give any better photo than the top of the range IXUS which actually cost less.
     
  13. Multiplication zoom stats (IE '36x') are a bit misleading really.

    The Sigma 100-800mm lens is an 8x lens.
    The Sigma 18-200mm lens is a 11x lens.

    Guess which one lets you read the names off pilots overalls as they low-pass over the runway, and which one barely lets you see what colour overall they're wearing.
     
  14. I have had a Sony Cybershot for a few years now. Compact and does everything you are looking for. I see the 14 megapixel is advertised on TV for £99, well worth the dosh and I might buy it for myself.