Tips to buy a new digital camera?

1. Dec 11, 2011

fluidistic

I've a digital camera since 2005 and it started going bad maybe 1 or 2 years ago. Basically most of the time when I want to take a photo it turns automatically in filming mod. I have to wait/shake the camera in order for it to turn back to photo mod and that's pretty annoying; even more annoying if I have to take a quick photo. It's a Canon digital ixus 50.
When I had time to travel I liked to take landscapes and many other things. I like detailed photos so I guess that a 12 mega pixel camera would be awesome (vs the 5 of mine).
Do you have a good/bad experience with a particular model? I don't want a professional camera, nor a cheap/basic one.
Here are some photos I took.
PS:I'm going to upload them with resizing, going to take some time.
http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/158/img0338bb.jpg [Broken]

That was in Peru in 2005, near Pachacamac's ruins in south of Lima.
http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/1772/img1555do.jpg [Broken]

Buenos Aires in 2006.
http://img857.imageshack.us/img857/5292/1005j.jpg [Broken]

Mendoza, Argentina in 2006.
http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/872/1138w.jpg [Broken]
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At Iguazu falls in early 2007.
http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/1747/img2616g.jpg [Broken]

Ants eating common fig in Argentina.
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/6485/img3081p.jpg [Broken]

Caen, France in early 2009.
http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/9231/img3833q.jpg [Broken]

Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
2. Dec 11, 2011

KrisOhn

3. Dec 11, 2011

fluidistic

Yes I do, though I didn't read it entirely.
Andy Resnick wrote
So I'd like your opinion on what model to buy for a good camera but not professional.

4. Dec 11, 2011

turbo

When we adopted a rambunctious shelter-dog, I found it inconvenient to drag around the Canon DSLRs on our walks. I ended up buying a Panasonic DMC-ZS3. Small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, with an aspheric Leica zoom lens (great macro performance!). I bought that camera after seeing some of Andre's shots. I can't make a real recommendation because I have not kept current with digital cameras, or compared them.

5. Dec 11, 2011

KrisOhn

I would recommend an entry level Canon DSLR. I have the Canon T2i, which I bought for roughly $900CAD last December and since then the T3i has been released. For the most basic DSLR Canon offers, you would be looking at the Rebel XS, which I wouldn't recommend since it is a fair step below the performance of cameras that are only$100-$200 more expensive. For the non DSLR route, there are several decent point and shoot options, which have pixel counts in the 12Mp range. http://www.canon.ca/inetCA/subCategoryHome?msegid=2&catid=17&scatid=18 If I were to pick a camera for you to buy, I would suggest a Canon T3i, they're around$750 now and are quite good cameras, as long as you treat it right it would give you great, high resolution photos for years.

6. Dec 11, 2011

Andre

Sure you get quality with entry level DSLR's, but I would not go for a brand straight away. Nikon, Pentax and Sony also have rather interesting models. It really depends on what you think you need and what your future desire is. A superzoom is an incredible toy but SLR's clearly beat them for poster size enlargements as well as for low light, due to the sensor size difference, then there is also the micro four thirds

Maybe browse around http://www.dpreview.com/camerareviews/ [Broken] a bit first.

Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
7. Dec 11, 2011

fluidistic

Ok guys thank you very much. I know what I'll do. I'll go to several stores and take note of the models that looks reasonable to me and then check out reviews on the Internet and eventually post here to get your feedback. Because buying from Internet here in Argentina isn't a good idea, much less for electronics (I think the tax is 100% of the value of the product for electronics; while it is 50% for books!).
But so far I must say that turbo's suggestion looks exactly what I could look for. I've checked out the Canon T3i and this is what I'd consider slightly too professional for the use I plan to do.
Hmm I've just checked the price of PANASONIC DMC-FP5 (a model I can find here in stores) and it's much more expensive here in Argentina than what it looks on the Internet. 1800 pesos so about 420 dollars. On the Internet it's priced as low as 124 dollars on Amazon, this looks like a madness if I buy it in stores!
So I might consider buying from the Internet. Anyway I'm going to check out the cameras in the next days and then post here with all the details.

Edit: Nevermind guys. I just checked out the website of a common store in France and I can get much better cameras for much, much cheaper than here. I guess I'll wait 1 year to buy it, when I'll probably visit my French family. So I'll stick with what I've got for one more year.

8. Dec 13, 2011

My $0.02 (0.08 pesos): Think about what your needs/wants are. For example, my wife's #1 priority is uploading photos to Facebook/Ofoto/etc. I am buying her a Kodak Easyshare camera, since those cameras make that function as simple as possible. You mentioned travel; perhaps your #1 priority is a small lightweight camera that you can put in a pocket and not think about how to use. Cost is (usually) another very important priority, but is one that can direct you towards a 'sexy' camera that does not really meet your needs. Your strategy to narrow down the list and check online reviews is a good one, just remember to cross-check different review sites to eliminate bias. I would argue not to wait another year, especially if you are frustrated with the camera you have now. Why not purchase directly from the store in France, or arrange with your 'French family' to purchase the camera and mail it to you? 9. Dec 13, 2011 turbo That's pretty fair advice. Would Argentinian authorities require you to pay taxes on a Christmas present from your family? Something to check into... 10. Dec 13, 2011 fluidistic Unfortunately yes. I will have to pay 100% of the price of the camera even though my family already bought it. If it cost around 200 euros, this means around the price of 1 month of renting an appartment in mi city. This would still be half the price I can get here, but twice the price any French guy can get. Though I'm currently searching on the Internet how they tax electronic products but don't find anything. I only see "50% of the price that the customers think the product is worth" but I'm not sure it's valid for electronics. I'm also reading horror stories of people in Argentina that bought product on the Internet, even from Amazon. I'm really not enthusiast in trying this. A friend of my girlfriend bought a laptop from a customers at half the price of what one can get in the USA. Basically the customers stole it and sold it to friends. This could happen with a digital camera; after all once my mother sent me several books and I never received them. 11. Dec 17, 2011 fluidistic My girlfriend is convincing me to buy a new camera. I've seen several model in local stores but memorized only 1 that looked nice and cheap compared to others. Olympus x 940. I've read some reviews on the Internet and checked out the characteristics of the camera. Some bad reviews were that it takes awful photos, horrible auto focus, flash too bright and the likes. Personally I don't like to use flash so this isn't a problem. But about the quality of photo, it matters to me and so does the auto focus. I wonder if those reviews were from people that doesn't know how to use it or serious photographs. Another criterion I consider important for buying a new camera is the ISO. My current cam is "bad" in this sense. I can choose ISO 50 to 400. But with ISO 50 I must not move a iotta in order to get a non blurry picture. While on ISO 400 (the one I'm using the most), the quality of the picture is really lesser. In the Olympus x 940 I think the ISO can go as high as 1600, so that I'm guessing that ISO 400 is still good quality for that camera, but I don't find any info on how the quality of the photos are when the ISO increases for that camera. By the way its costs will be around 250 dollars (around 1100 pesos). 12. Dec 17, 2011 turbo It is so sad that your import duties are so high on products that are so useful. It's not like the duties are protecting any manufacturing jobs in your country. Is Argentina expecting to become a powerhouse in the production of high-end portable electronics? (A joke, but probably justified when considering such high tarrifs.) 13. Dec 17, 2011 fluidistic Since the last president was from south of Argentina and now his wife is president, they want to favor the south province he was from. This means that they build electronic devices such as smartphones and to make them "cheap" for Argentinians, they must increase the cost of imported devices. So now a smartphone from Singapour looks rather expensive for Argentinians while smartphones from south of Argentina looks about the same price or less but with a sticker that says "made in Argentina", thus people buy that. I don't know if they do this also with digital cameras but that's a possibility. 14. Dec 17, 2011 Andre 15. Dec 17, 2011 fluidistic That would be a dream for me André to get either of those 2 cameras for this price! I just went to a local Kodak store, here's the price of some models I saw: Olympus x 940: 1050 pesos (about 244$) (somehow good review online)
Olympus FE-5030: 1200 pesos.(280$) (reviews doesn't look good on the Internet) Olympus x 43: 700 pesos.(163$) (reviews look horrible)
Kodak M522: 1100 pesos.(256$) (good reviews) Kodak M532: 1200 pesos.(280$) (good reviews)
Kodak M590: 1500 pesos.(350$) (good reviews) Samsung PL20: 1100 pesos.(256$) (very good reviews)
Samsung PL120: 1500 pesos.(350$) (also very good reviews in general but the price is very high!) Kodak C1530: 650 pesos.(150$) (good to very good reviews)

Most of these cameras have similar properties like number of mega pixels (12 to 14 I think), optical zoom between 3 to 5x. However the prices are quite different and I don't understand why.
Is it worth to jump on the opportunity to buy the Kodak C1530 considering it's much cheaper than the others? Or the Samsung PL20 is definitely better in terms of picture quality?
Can I adjust the ISO as I like for each one of these cameras? Because I don't like the auto ISO of my current camera and I fear I will also dislike the one of any of these cameras.

Edit: I forgot to mention another important factor to me: I prefer rechargeable batteries (that you plug into house current system) rather than common AA batteries. This eliminate at least the cheap (but looked amazing) Kodak C1530...

Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
16. Dec 17, 2011

AlephZero

FWIW I got a Nikon Coolpix S4 a few years back (sold in "factory refurbished" condition and bought it on Ebay, though ironically the seller was a large camera store about 15 miles from where I live!)

The S4 is 6 MPixel, max speed 400 ASA, 10x optical zoom (plus a 4x digital zoom, which IS just a gimmick). The design is very nice for a pocket camera, because the zoom lens and sensor are in a "barrel" attached to one end of the camera body that rotates through 270 degrees, and in the "storage" position (pointing up) the camera is a neat rectangular block shape rather than the usual "lens sticking out of the front".

The rotating lens isn't just a gimmick - I sometimes use my car as a hide for wildlife photography, and its handy to be able to shoot at strange angles through an open window or the sunroof and still see the viewfinder screen. If they bring out a new model with that feature, and the same general spec as the S9100, I would be tempted to upgrade.

My only real criticism of the S4 is that the autofocus is a bit temperamental, though I've "tamed" it by experimenting with ALL the preset options for landscape, portraits, closeups, etc and learning the differences in how they work. But that can still involve missing a shot while messing around with the menus to get to the right option. I very rarely use it in "default point and shoot mode".

17. Dec 18, 2011

Andre

Hmmm I can get the Nikon here for some 185 euro or \$240

18. Dec 18, 2011

fluidistic

Yeah, the problem is that in Argentina I would have to pay a ridiculous tax on imported product. I checked out yesterday and it looks like all the digital cameras they sell are made in Argentina. In order to favor internal production, they had to set huge taxes on imported product. I must buy at the price the Argentinians build the cameras, I have no choice.

19. Dec 18, 2011

Andre

Why not ask Maxima to bring you one from here, next time when she visits her family.

20. Sep 22, 2012

fluidistic

Hello people! I'm resurecting this thread because I'll go to France in January for about 20 days and will therefore buy a digital camera that I will probably buy on the Internet (it's near impossible to totally impossible to do it in Argentina, the situation worsened since I opened this thread and the prices in local stores can be as high as 5 times the ones I see on local stores in France by Internet).
I've checked out a lot of cameras in Andre's website http://www.dpreview.com/products/cameras/all. However I'm worried about prices there. For example when I see my old 2005 camera of 5 mega pixels, it costs about 600 dollars while a much newer and better camera of the same brand cost only 200 dollars. Does this mean that the prices are never changing with time or even increasing? Why is it so? That's insane and makes it hard for me to choose a camera there.
I'd like to spend around 200 dollars, or 300 maximum.

21. Sep 23, 2012

Andre

Last time when I checked prices of camera's in France, they averaged about 10% more than in the Netherlands for some reason. If you could manage to include Andorra in your trip, buy it there tax free, or maybe if you fly on the way out again in the tax free shops on the airport. Also maybe you can order it online in France to an address in France.

22. Sep 23, 2012

fluidistic

I won't go to Andorra, too far from where "I live" (well lived and still lives my mother) in France. A 10% more expensive than the Netherlands, I'm still incredily happy with this price. This is nothing compared to the prices I get in Argentina.
Basically I plan to order the camera on the Internet while in Argentina and send it in France; once I'm there I can get it instantly. Tax free shops in the airports could be an option but I'd rather have a particular model in mind, or a few ones.
Regarding the website http://www.dpreview.com/products/cameras/all, do you think it's good to buy cameras? I mean do you think the prices are more less what one could get in Europe/USA? I still don't understand why my old camera costs 600 dollars there; now that I think about it I paid it 385 euros in 2005 if I remember well.
For 200-300 bucks what should I look for?

23. Sep 23, 2012

Andre

Old camera's wont have vintage antique value so I concur with not understanding.

Which camera to buy is really a question of priorities. There are even great cellphone camera's. But apart from that, sensor size is the most important determinant of image quality, but it has more impact on the accuracy lenses. Everything is a trade off and thewre is little chance to get real impressive quality for a very low price.

So what do you want you're camera to be better at? More basic image quality? more zoom? better quality under low light conditions? Camera size? More control possibilities?

Not easy to say to go for that special camera but obviously the budget will be a limiting factor.

24. Sep 25, 2012

fluidistic

What I want that I don't get with my current camera is... neat photo (principally without noticeable noise) when the ISO is 400 which is my current maximum ISO. If I select a lower ISO I easily get blurry pictures because the camera takes too long to take the photo and I already moved my hands and therefore the camera. And if I select ISO 400 I don't get any noticeable blurring but I get a lot of noise which is a pain to me.
I don't really mind how it would perform with low light conditions. With 200 to 300 bucks I know the camera size will be pocket size, which I am fine with.
I like to get some basics controls like setting the ISO and image quality manually, remove flash (I found out that it eats a lot of battery power). As of nowadays I'm expecting a 5 times optical zoom, I don't mind at all the digital zoom.
I've found a camera that look good to me for 200 dollars, http://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/compacts/canon_elph320hs . There are some bad reviews on Amazon about the touch screen. Are we obligated to use the touch screen? I can't find any info on this.
There's also the Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS for 200 dollars on Amazon but someone wrote that he gets a lot of noise even at ISO 100.
That's really confusing to me.

Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
25. Sep 26, 2012

fluidistic

Ok finally I'll be deciding between 2 cameras. Namely between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 and Canon PowerShot ELPH 320 HS.
I did a side-by-side comparison on the website (http://www.dpreview.com/products/co...=panasonic_dmczs10&products=canon_elph320hs); the price is about the same (200 dollars for Canon, 208 dollars for Panasonic) cameras, I may buy it in stores in France after all.
I see somehow 2 huge pros for the Panasonic: Optical zoom of 16 times vs 5 times for the Canon (would I get lots of noise using it to such a depth, no matter what?) and the lifetime of batteries (Panasonic should last slightly more than 50% than Canon which seems a lot to me).
Do you think it's enough to choose the Panasonic over Canon? Maybe I'm missing something...