What type of camera should I buy?

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What type of camera should I buy?

Postby mresto » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:21 pm

I'm going to India for a few weeks during August, which is monsoon season. Looking into buying a new digital camera for the trip. My concerns are being able to take good pictures at night ( the flash on my camera now doesn't work well enough to take pictures of things far away (more than 7 ft) in the dark), should I get something that can take wide angles?, and should i get a water/weatherproof camera since there will be lots of rain? Any advice on types of cameras I should consider or other features I might need would really be appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby sinecure » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:20 pm

There are some important information missing before I can offer any suggestions...

What is your budget?
How big do you want your camera?
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby DanielBMe » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:26 pm

Budget will dictate your choices from dslr to compact point and shoot.

You may want to check out www.dpreview.com. They also have a forum where you can post your needs and budget and will get quite a few decent recommendations.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby jimshu » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:38 pm

There's another point to consider -where do you intend to go in the future, after India?
Point and shoot pocket size cameras are fantastic.Their capabilities now are pretty awesome compared to just a few years ago.
One of their big advantages is in visiting cities and places where crime is a major.Where the last thing you want to do is wander along , calling attention to yourself being a tourist, because you've got this big camera bag draped around your neck.
Some of the places we've been to, that could have been a problem.But a good top range Sony pocket camera inconspicously tucked in a pocket was really useful, when video and larger camera had to be left in the hotel..
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby PaulTeolis » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:49 pm

questions to asks yourself.
- a camera you can fully control or something you can just point and shoot
- do you want to add lenses

what cameras have you seen that caught your interest

the other question to ask yourself, do you plan on printing your photos?
because if your end result is for the web or digital viewing, don't get hung up on megapixels. Most cameras now are in the 10-14 megapixel range which is fine, but don't waste your money buying something you will never benefit from...

and as for shooting in the dark, unless you want to walk around with a million foot candle xeon flood light, forget it. Flash pictures in the dark...a waste frankly. Slow exposures on a tripod is one thing, as there is creative control, but just blowing light at a subject to get something serves no photographic purpose.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby sinecure » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:39 pm

When I'm not shooting with my DSLR, I shoot a Canon SX110 IS. It's a great pocket camera when I don't want to worry about filing out a insurance claim if I break my SLR.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby AdamfromCanada » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:57 pm

mresto wrote:I'm going to India for a few weeks during August, which is monsoon season. Looking into buying a new digital camera for the trip. My concerns are being able to take good pictures at night ( the flash on my camera now doesn't work well enough to take pictures of things far away (more than 7 ft) in the dark), should I get something that can take wide angles?, and should i get a water/weatherproof camera since there will be lots of rain? Any advice on types of cameras I should consider or other features I might need would really be appreciated. Thanks!


As the others have said, budget will play a major factor. There's really a huge amount of options. I have taken a couple cameras on my last couple vacations, a big DSLR (Pentax K10D) with a couple of lenses, and a small underwater-capable point & shoot. I've found that gives me a fair amount of flexibility. I bought the K10D before I went to Africa because I've found point and shoots have some challenges in shooting moving targets, and I wanted to have a really good zoom for taking pictures of animals further away. The underwater camera is great for times when it's impractical to carry the much larger camera. If you're going out for dinner or drinks, or if you're heading to the beach, it's nice to have something small and inobtrusive (not to mention, it's less of a target for thieves and I won't be as heart-broken if it was lost or stolen.)

I chose the Pentax DSLR for some of its features. I liked the idea of the anti-shake and it's very dust and weather resistant. I still try to keep it out of the rain as much as possible though, and have to be careful changing lenses in certain environments.

Before I've bought either of my cameras, I have done a fair amount of research online and visited a few camera shops to talk to the experts there. The camera shop guys all tend to have a favourite brand, which colours their judgement a little bit, but at the same time, they usually have a wealth of knowledge about the products.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby mresto » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:02 am

I do want something decently small, since petty theft isn't uncommon in India. My price range is somewhere in the $400 range or so and I do plan on traveling quite a bit in the next few years. I'll spend more if necessary but I also don't want to look like an easy target for theft so...?
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby DanielBMe » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:39 am

If you are going to do more travelling over the next few years you'll want to take some nice pics to cherish your memories. Personally I'd go with a budget DSLR, more specifically the Nikon D40 body only. Then get the 18-105vr lens. The Nikon D40 is small and light and is an amazing camera. Check out dpreview for a review of the camera. I had one before upgrading to the Nikon D80.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby PaulTeolis » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:08 pm

mresto,
you've mentioned theft several times. Wanting something small enough,
since petty theft is a problem, is a reason to think size, but don't make theft the "restriction" for what you feel you need in a camera. Get what suits your
use and budget.

Theft is a problem everywhere, and generally I find people who get their
camera gear stolen, or anything for that matter, make themselves a target by flaunting what they have or being very careless. And if someone is going to steal your gear they will, that is why you insure everything in the event this occurs.

I travel easily with 2-3 bodies, several lenses for both film and digital, not to mention all the little accessories you need. And I will continue to do so regardless of the potential for theft. The higher my awareness and understandings of a country I am in the more steps I take. In some countries its more of a problem that others and I have been in every possible situation possible with my gear shooting.

So if theft is a concern, it won't matter what you buy.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby AdamfromCanada » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:26 pm

mresto wrote:I do want something decently small, since petty theft isn't uncommon in India. My price range is somewhere in the $400 range or so and I do plan on traveling quite a bit in the next few years. I'll spend more if necessary but I also don't want to look like an easy target for theft so...?


At $400, you're probably looking at a point & shoot as opposed to a DSLR. Those will run you a fair bit more, especially if you want a couple of lens options.

Definitely be careful when you go overseas, but if you're being smart, you should hopefully be fine. I'm guessing that you're travelling with a tour, since you're on this website, and that makes you a more difficult target than if you're travelling alone. Don't flaunt your camera, no matter what it is, if you're in an area where there's lots of people, but that shouldn't be your overriding concern. You want to make sure you have a camera that can capture the images you need to.
Feel free to check out my travels on http://www.adammallonphotography.com
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby avonord » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:53 pm

Yea.. for $400, you can't buy a very good dslr. But you can probably pick up an old one with a kit lens though. Money aside, dslr does take a bit of learning curve to make the best out of it. On the other hand, it gives you tonnes of creative freedom. So, it really depends on the type of person you are. In terms of photo quality, dslr is way better than p&s. Just look at the sensor size (and cmos). And you are given the option to buy lenses further down the road (and gets very expensive very very quickly).

That said, there are some very decent p&s out there right now. The Canon SX1 now has a big sensor just like the dslr. And for most dslr, you can buy an adapter lens for wide angle if the stock lens is not wide enough for you.

If you are willing to spend more money for a new dslr, get the new canon t1i.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/25/cano ... -official/
Last edited by avonord on Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby avonord » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:58 pm

Oops.. the SX1 is $1000. Never mind. :)
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby mresto » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:38 pm

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the help
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Re: What type of camera should I buy?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:21 pm

Since your budget is $400, look at something like this:

Olympus Stylus 1030 Shockproof Waterproof Digital Camera, 10.1 Megapixel, 3.6x Wide Angle Optical Zoom, 5x Digital Zoom, 2.7" LCD Screen, Green
http://www.adorama.com/IOMS1030SWGR.html

You won't get a powerful flash with something like that but it's relatively inexpensive, decent resolution and the shockproofing and waterproofing are likely to set you at ease while traveling.

As far as the distinction between DSLRs and P&Ses go, a better photographer will get more from a DSLR but a good P&S is good enough for most people. Frankly, I've taken some of the best photos of my life with the P&S because it was just so easy and so handy. Your picture composition and instincts (what's the lighting like? how did you frame the subject? did you maintain focus on what you wanted?) will have far more to do with getting a good shot than whether the camera is a DSLR or P&S.
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