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What to look for when buying a camera?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well I need a new camera, I mostly take pictures of nature(sky, landscape, flowers) What should I look for in a camera for these things? My budget is $200-$300 or a bit over if that's what I have to do. What would you recomend?
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarvillio View Post
Well I need a new camera, I mostly take pictures of nature(sky, landscape, flowers) What should I look for in a camera for these things? My budget is $200-$300 or a bit over if that's what I have to do. What would you recomend?
At that price range, I'd look at the Sony DSC-H55, Panasonic DMC-ZS5, and Panasonic DMC-ZS7 new. For used, I'd look for a Canon G9 or G10 used (IIRC, the G11 used is still out of your budget).

Things to look for would be how sharp images are, the amount of artifacts, detail quality, and the amount of noise in the photos at different ISO values. The ISO noise depends on how big the image sensor is. Since the image sensor in most point and shoots are the same size, noise should be similar across the board. Instead, what would really matter is the sharpness and quality of sample pictures. This depends on the lens used by the camera and can't be quantified, so it's extremely important you look up reviews and look at their sample photos.

Something to not look for is the number of megapixels. Megapixels are a measurement of image resolution, not quality, and as long as the camera has more than 6MP you should be fine with the resolution.

However, if you're willing to stretch your budget by $100 and don't mind buying refurbished, might I suggest this?
post #3 of 12
You dont stretch your budget by all that much if you can find a point and shoot to turn in for the Canon Loyalty Program. If you're willing to spend BASE $300 (tax on top) then it's realistically only a difference of ~$20.
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post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MistaBernie View Post
You dont stretch your budget by all that much if you can find a point and shoot to turn in for the Canon Loyalty Program. If you're willing to spend BASE $300 (tax on top) then it's realistically only a difference of ~$20.
$300 is without lens, body only.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by r31ncarnat3d View Post
$300 is without lens, body only.
DANGIT r31, stop makin' me look bad!
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MistaBernie View Post
DANGIT r31, stop makin' me look bad!
post #7 of 12
What's important to you...

Do you want manual controls? Do you care how big the camera is? Do you want an ultrazoom? Will you be shooting in low light / indoors often? Do you want room for upgrading? (i.e. adding an external flash or lense)

Just some things to think about...Might help you narrow it down ...
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the input and suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by damian5000 View Post
What's important to you...

Do you want manual controls? Do you care how big the camera is? Do you want an ultrazoom? Will you be shooting in low light / indoors often? Do you want room for upgrading? (i.e. adding an external flash or lense)

Just some things to think about...Might help you narrow it down ...
I'm really liking the Sony DSC-H55 that was suggested by r31ncarnat3d. I don't really want to mess with lenses and stuff at this point. Needs to be relatively compact so I can carry it easily.
post #9 of 12
If you feel a bit lazy with manual settings, the ZS5 is also worth looking at. The Sony H55 only comes with PASM, whereas the Panasonic ZS5 has aperture priority (a HUGE want of mine) and shutter priority.

With the H55, I'm a bit miffed at the user interface for manual. It's a bit slow for my taste and not as intuitive/quick/easily accessible as my DSLR, hence my preference for aperture priority on a point and shoot. Still, the H55 does take great photos, and I got some shots I'm pretty happy with from it.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
What is aperture priority?
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