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Old 01-30-2013, 12:04 AM   #1
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Default Camera advice needed

I want to get a new camera. I have a little el cheapo Fujifilm JZ, old and temperamental (like me!). I don't want to spend more than +/- $500. What I want is a camera that I can use mainly for close-up and clear pics of my cards and other crafts, with the occassional pic of my garden, grandson, etc.
Any suggestions? Thanks for the help, in anticipation . . .
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:34 AM   #2
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Default Camera advice

My honest opinion would be not to think of anything other than a digital SLR camera. I have a canon and it is fantastic. When you press the button the photo takes and it is super instant. You also get to look through the viewfinder like the cameras you used to have, there is no holding the camera out from you and looking through the back of the camera. If you get onto Kogan you can get amazing deals for just the amount you are looking for. I recently purchased three (yes 3) for my children to take beautiful photos of my grand children and they have all said it is the best thing I have ever bought for them. You honestly cannot go past it. Good luck.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:45 AM   #3
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Canon all the way, especially if your grandson will be doing any cute things on stage at school. for a small one, canon sx 230 if you want a little larger camera the canon sx50.
great zoom, great in low light, great all around cameras. I have been so disappointed in cameras in the past then I got the canon sx210 (precursor to the sx 230) and I have loved it to death, I dropped it and smashed all the buttons on the back. it still works beautifully, and I keep it in my craft romm to take pix of my projects, but I had to rep;lace it with the 230 to use in other situations, while I was at it I bought the sx 50. I love, love, love them (if you couldn't already tell).
I am not a photog by any means and I almost always get fabulous pictures from these.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:00 AM   #4
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Well, I might be a bit biassed, but I have always had a good experience with Olympus, both point-and shoot and full-scale SLR.
I do have a Canon but I tend to consider it as an average camera that takes amazing videos, rather than a good camera. It is the one I carry round with me most of the time because it's only about half the weight and has a longer zoom, but if I am going out specifically to take photos it stays home.

One thing I'd suggest is going to a camera shop and trying out how they feel in your hand, the size of the buttons and so on. I was planning on getting a Nikon at one stage, but when I tried it in a shop I didn't like the feel of it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:40 AM   #5
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I use my iPhone to take most of my pictures now It's actually better than my real camera! So, if you have an iPhone you may not really need one. Other than that, I've had the best luck with Cannons. I got one after seeing what great pictures my friends cameras took. I really think they are the best!
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:52 AM   #6
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I have a Canon EOS Rebel DSLR and I love it. Most of the time, I use it on autofocus - it's no more difficult to use than any point-and-shoot and the photos are great.

I completely agree with the advice to visit a camera shop. They can steer you in the right direction and give you tips, too. I needed a good zoom lens for taking photos in a theater setting - it's really hard to get good photos taken from the dark and into a brightly lit stage. I went to a camera shop and the owner taught me how to use it on manual in that situation and I was amazed at how good the photos came out. Often, independent shops will offer classes, too.

But with a camera like this, you still get great photos even if you never do anything more than leave it on auto.

Mine was just over $400 and does not take video (which would have been more and I already have a Handycam).

Canon, Olympus, Nikon - all good brands.

(I just saw Minders recommendation about using the iPhone, but you'll want to consider the low resolution. If you want to crop and alter, you may not be as happy with the results. I often adjust shadows, etc., and crop my photos once I download them.)
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:15 AM   #7
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I've had Canon cameras before and I've been satisfied with their results. However, I LOVE my Pentax! I know that they aren't quite as popular as some of the other brands mentioned. I have two right now. One is a DSLR and the other has fewer options but can go underwater. I purchased this one because we swim a lot, go out in the boat, kayak, canoe, etc and I didn't want to wreck my "good" camera. The waterproof one takes great pictures too (happier with them that I was with the Canon). The biggest advice I can give is to go to a store such as Black's Cameras. They're really good about letting you "experience" the cameras you're considering. When you tell them what you're looking for, they're also great at pointing you towards some that you might like to try. Good luck in your search!
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:21 AM   #8
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I had forgotten all about Pentax! It should have been on my list. I have an old 35 mm Pentax.

Thanks for mentioning it - good to know they have a great waterproof one.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:53 AM   #9
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I just got a Canon T4i and have been beyond thrilled with it, but for my cards....I use my very humble, very old Canon SD550 point and shoot. It takes decent pix of my cards when I use the correct ISO, turn off the flash and use the Macro setting. But my "Big" camera is my new baby--love it for action shots of cycling, basketball, football, etc. Takes amazing photos.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:24 AM   #10
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I'm a Nikon fan, I would never consider anything other than Nikon. But, taking a good picture is not so much about the camera as it is your lens and lighting. Never shoot with a flash, use natural light as much as possible. I find them easy to sue and get great results from, even if you don't understand 90% of the different options on the camera. Plus, my older lenses continue to work on new models. I would suggest you visit kenrockwell dot com - he makes specific recommendations based on your need and budget, and has tons of helpful shopping and photography advice. He also recommends adorama, and they have great deals on refurbished cameras.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:24 AM   #11
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I have a Sony Cybershot...I love it. I have found, though, that my pics are sometimes only as good as my editing....I use Picasa for that. It was under $400 and is easy to use. Good luck. There are a lot of great cameras out there!
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:36 PM   #12
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If you have a camera store near you, I would recommend you go there and talk to a knowledgeable camera person. (Most often the big box stores have clerks that work in any section at any time so are not knowledgable about items found in the section where you encounter them. I 'feel' for them.) Hope you can find one like the one I had. She asked me what the camera would be most used for most and how familiar I was with the operation of a camera. She had me hold different ones, check out the placement of the various features, etc. She said that most manufactures have sales on various models and the prices are the same at the big discount stores as at the camera stores. This store also gave free classes with the purchase of a camera and the fellow who taught the class was very knowledgeable and patient since most of the students were like me, not photographers. Sorry to say but this camera store closed up last fall.

I did a lot of online research on various sites before I bought my newest camera and bought it at Best Buy from a knowledgeable clerk who was very helpful. (Kept checking re the price I paid and it is the same 4 mos later) I bought a Canon and the clerk said she has used many cameras since high school and thought the Canon cameras were the most user friendly.

Good luck in your search-
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:48 PM   #13
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I needed a new camera too, and since I don't have the $$ for one of the expensive cameras I bought this Panasonic Lumix for $179.

Love that it is small enough to fit in my purse, it takes great closeup photos using the macro setting and flash off. And I love the video feature it has, perfect to use for when the kids have a short play at school.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:40 PM   #14
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I have to agree with those who said Olympus. I have the E-PL1 and it's a micro DSLR. Very light if you want to take it with you. The bag I carry the camera body and 2 lenses is no bigger than a decent sized handbag. The auto feature is perfect for taking photos of cards. I paid around $325 for the entire kit.

I had a Canon Rebel before but I sold it, it was just too much camera. The E-PL serious is a great go-between for those who want to upgrade from a point n shoot but don't need all the features of a traditional DSLR that only pros understand.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:25 PM   #15
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Thanks to all you kind ladies who took the time to give me camera advice. I had been contemplating buying one online (we live way out in the country and I don't get to a big town often) but now that I read all the sensible advice above I realize that I really need to get a hands-on feel for it and must make the effort to get to a proper camera store, SOON! I'm getting itchy fingers. Many thanks to you all.
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