What type of camera should I buy?

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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby bluesforshoes » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:16 am

I travel with a Fuji S9000. It has most of the features of a DSLR but with a fixed lens and a slightly smaller (and lighter) body. It takes very good low light photos (without flash) and can be easily stashed into a duffel or backpack. It's been with me everywhere from Honduras to Tibet and has the added benefit of running off of four AA batteries. It also has two different memory card slots, so when one fills up, I can switch to the other without any fuss. And I've been able to make excellent 20"x30" prints from photos taken with this camera. It was around $600 new a few years back.

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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby kris_nyc » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:16 am

For $400, I'd recommend one of the few "superzoom" cameras available from Panasonic, Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus or Sony. These cameras are a great middle ground between P&S and DSLR. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/q109superzoomgroup/page16.asp

I have a Panasonic FZ18, bought last year, which I've taken to Italy, Iceland, Morocco and several US states. It has tons of manual controls similar to a DSLR, but is much smaller and lighter. It can also be used as a point and shoot. Also, it has a great lens with 18x optical zoom (28-504mm equivalent). I've considered upgrading to a DSLR, but to get one plus a lens with the same zoom would cost me a couple thousand dollars. You can find one now online for under $400. Panasonic has also come out with a newer model, FZ28, but I've read that the FZ18 is more user friendly.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby jimshu » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:54 am

Yeah, I know what you mean Kris.I just picked up the Canon SX10 IS.
20x optical zoom.Up to 10megapixel.
Just what I need for Africa without chatting to my bank manager.Or even more daunting....my wife!
But yes a nice camera.Well balanced,feels good, and shoots very good clear images.And what's more, makes one look like a professional.Weeeelll almost....

So now I'm looking at the new generation HD video camcoders.70 times optical zoom.With 4 mp still function . And so small.!
10 years ago bought a 3 mp Sony digital.Gee that was a neat camera.Cost a fortune then.Lowlight sunsets stills were wonderful.But the size of a brick!LOL
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby kris_nyc » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:10 am

Jim, how are you finding the battery life on your Canon? I see it uses AA batteries. I've had bad experiences with them before (they also tend to be heavier) and prefer lithium ion. The battery on my Panasonic can last two full days on a trip.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby jimshu » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:35 pm

Embarrasing story Kris...... :oops:
I've had a few cameras,all been supplied with rechargeables.So plugged in the recharger I bought as an extra separately, and woke up next morning with my lovely wife going crook about the hole in the carpet!They had leaked as they were not rechargeables.Now you don't want to do that.....duuuuhhhh :oops: :oops:

Haven't used it much so can't tell how long they last.So I have 2 sets of 4 lithium batteries, and will take a charger.

The voltage in most of Africa is 240 so if you're coming from the States you may need a converter.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby jimshu » Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:04 pm

Just been over to Daniel's photos and came across reviews of the Canon SX10 IS I just bought.All good reviews.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_op ... anon_sx1is

Thanks for that link Kris, and Daniel for the photos.Wonderful.
So good site for checking out other people's experiences with cameras.
As to the Canon SX10, it seems to be a great interim step up from a point and shoot, before serious money is spent on a DSLR.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby DanielBMe » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:20 am

One thing to consider is what you will be taking photos of. If you are doing a wildlife type of trip, then you would definitely want a dslr and a good zoom. I was the only one in my group who had a 300vr zoom and was able to get so many shots that the others couldn't. It makes a big difference.

The other thing I want to recommend is that don't get a new camera just before leaving for your trip. Buy it at least a month ahead and really learn it and play around with the settings to get the most of it. A few people in my group bought a dslr (canon rebel) and really didn't know how to use it and were getting some fuzzy pics. They thought something was wrong with the camera. I took a look at it and took some shots and they all came out nice and sharp. I ended up giving a basic lesson on how to use a dslr. Last thing you want is to get home and then be unhappy with your photos after spending the money to buy a new camera.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby jimshu » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:29 pm

Great advice Daniel, and main reason I bought it early this year.And playing around with it you find all the main features and how to use them....without having to refer to the booklet which is 2cm thick!

Now just a tip---I am really amazed how expensive cameras are supplied with lens caps which are separate with no attachment method .So easy to loose them.
So out with a drill, a 1mm drill bit, a hole drilled in the side ....carefully, and threaded with good strong thread.So whenever it is removed, it can never be lost.
And make sure it's not a hole positioned where fine dust will penetrate the cap.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby thecakeisalie » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:38 pm

jimshu wrote:Now just a tip---I am really amazed how expensive cameras are supplied with lens caps which are separate with no attachment method .So easy to loose them.
So out with a drill, a 1mm drill bit, a hole drilled in the side ....carefully, and threaded with good strong thread.So whenever it is removed, it can never be lost.
And make sure it's not a hole positioned where fine dust will penetrate the cap.


I like the advice Jimshu, but since even you recognized the disadvantage of a hole in the lens, I would recommend gluing an attachment on the outside of the cap, rather than drilling. A small plastic loop with some epoxy will do the trick (do not epoxy the string itself, which is less likely to hold), with no permanent damage to the cap. If the glue job becomes excessive, bulky, or awkward it can always be sanded off and reapplied.

Option B is to put the stupid thing in your pocket! (Don't even tell me you don't have pockets :wink: )
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby AdamfromCanada » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:50 pm

thecakeisalie wrote:
jimshu wrote:Now just a tip---I am really amazed how expensive cameras are supplied with lens caps which are separate with no attachment method .So easy to loose them.
So out with a drill, a 1mm drill bit, a hole drilled in the side ....carefully, and threaded with good strong thread.So whenever it is removed, it can never be lost.
And make sure it's not a hole positioned where fine dust will penetrate the cap.


I like the advice Jimshu, but since even you recognized the disadvantage of a hole in the lens, I would recommend gluing an attachment on the outside of the cap, rather than drilling. A small plastic loop with some epoxy will do the trick (do not epoxy the string itself, which is less likely to hold), with no permanent damage to the cap. If the glue job becomes excessive, bulky, or awkward it can always be sanded off and reapplied.

Option B is to put the stupid thing in your pocket! (Don't even tell me you don't have pockets :wink: )


When I was in Singapore, one of the little camera shops gave me an elastic string that wraps around the barrel of my lens and sticks to the lens cap. A little less dangerous to your equipment than drilling tiny holes in it!
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby jimshu » Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:15 pm

Don't worry guys, I am a master driller!LOL.There's enough room on the clip mechanism for a tiny tiny hole..
Hey, done that because guy we travelled India with lost his lens cap on his expensive Canon.He reckoned that was about the third time.Dusty place.
And even he was amazed my crappy little Sony Digital was designed with a thread attached cap!

Took Daniel's advice and been playing around with it.Gee, there's a whole host of settings I never realised were there....we dumb amateurs!
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:48 pm

Funny that you all mention cap keepers. I have them on all my SLR lenses but the thread separated from the elastic on my 18-55 lens and I subsequently lost the cap halfway through this last trip. I will be making a run to a camera shop to get a replacement tomorrow but no real worries as I generally kept the camera inside my holster case and have UV filters on all the lenses.

I am working on my photos from the DKNJ trip -- am copying all 4536 photos to another directory so I can resize, categorize and relabel them then will upload to a website for general viewing. I will say right now though that I wish I'd bought an 18-200 lens to complement the 100-400. Instead I had the 18-55 and 55-250 that came in the kit and had many times when I was messing around with changing lenses between those two. No issues with dust like Daniel mentions from his DKTO but I could have missed a few shots with all the lens switching.

I was somewhat doubtful when I bought the 100-400 and 2x Extender but I am SO happy I did. I got some tremendous pics at 700 or 800 mm settings despite having to go to manual focus when I used the Extender. In fact, I had so many issues with the autofocus on my Canon XSi that I frequently ended up preferring to use manual focus to ensure I got the shot I wanted.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby Zuleika » Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:04 pm

Interesting.
I already have the 17-85mm and the 70-300mm Canon and like you am already a little fed up with all the swopping around of lenses. I too am thinking of the 18-200mm but am concerned with the quality so havent done so yet. I would be interested to hear of anyone who does have this lens.
The only other thing is to get a second body. But then we are getting heavy!
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby IncaTrail50 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:44 pm

I agree with ExplorerWannaBe back there about the Olympus 1030 type P&S. My daughter has the 1050 model she took to Iqaluit Nunavut (Canada). It is waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof. It took great pics at -40'C (which were crystal clear when enlarged to 20x30inches), survived a lengthy snowmobile-ride snowstorm and splashing with icewater during the drilling for an ice-fishing hole. It also took almost continuous pictures for three hours in the -30'C windchill of a dogsled run. Best of all, the battery lasted for hours during that freezing temperature, still at almost full charge at the end. She bought the optional flotation attachment which doubled as a large wrist-strap able to fit over arctic mittens.
Granted - you won't need to worry about the freezeproof benefits of this camera in India :lol: but it is incredibly hardy. If it can take such good pictures underwater I imagine it will survive the monsoon 8) just make sure you have some ziploc bags of dry material to wipe the lens!
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby jimshu » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:21 pm

The only other thing is to get a second body. But then we are getting heavy!

Happens as we get older.......
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