Author Topic: Camera Advice Please  (Read 8758 times)

Offline Graham_and_Karen

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Camera Advice Please
« on: March 27, 2008, 12:32:34 PM »
Not directly to do with Plakias but I'd appreciate forum members' thoughts on small, lightweight digital cameras.

Specifically, I'm thinking of buying a Pentax Optio S10 and was wondering whether any forum members already had this camera. If so, I'd appreciate hearing what you think of it.

At 10MPix. it's more than I think I need (7MPix. would be enough for our 'snaps') but it's small, lightweight and at around 130, just within my budget.

The other camera that I'm considering as an alternative is the Olympus FE280 (aka C520) so experiences with that would also be useful.

Offline John R

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Camera Advice Please
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2008, 12:53:24 PM »
Quote from: Graham_and_Karen
Not directly to do with Plakias but I'd appreciate forum members' thoughts on small, lightweight digital cameras.

This thread could go on............. and on

For some years I've been bringing a relatively heavyweight, fairly sophisticated digital camera (Olympus C-765 with 10x zoom lens). Nothing compared with Chris (Harribobs) beautiful Camera set up which requires a trailer on the back of his hire car  

I longed for a lightweight and recently acquired a Canon IXUS 70 (7.1 megapixels) and find the photo quality - particularly the colour rendering to be vastly superior to my (once) much more expensive Olympus and I now don't bother with my Olympus unless I am certain I will need it's 10x zoom capability. The Canon is very small indeed and I am very pleased indeed with it. It should be obtainable for about 130. It has both viewfinder and a VERY good LCD screen.

John R
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 04:21:18 PM by John R »

Offline Ploppy

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Camera Advice Please
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2008, 02:06:11 PM »
Yes this thread could go on and on, I love talking about gadgets  

For starters Graham you can check out review sites, here are a couple:

DPReview
Steves Digicams

In the past I have favoured Canon point and shoot compact cameras for their generally superior image quality. However these days it is much more of a level playing field.

There are a number of factors that will determine what you end up with, i.e how many pixels, how much optical zoom, do you need manual controls, good movie mode etc etc. Oh yes and price of course!

Another thing to consider is usage. Will it be a general snapshot camera? Will you be taking lovely panoramics of Plakias? If so then you might want to look for a camera whose lens starts quite 'wide'. Most compacts (including the S10) tend to start at around 38mm which is not too wide and wont allow you to squeeze in a lot of that scenery. Look here for a comparison of Focal Lengths.
If you do want to go 'wider' then Panasonic make quite a range of cameras that start at 28mm including some well regarded 'super-zooms'.


Once you have narrowed it down to a couple of models you can start bargain hunting. For example you can get the Pentax S10 for 106 delivered from Pixmania via Amazon.

Another option is to buy a refurbished camera, my last couple of compacts have been refurbs off eBay and I have had no problems with them. In some ways it can be seen as safer as every refurb that goes out the door has been through the full QC which is not always the case for new models.

Cheers,

Paul
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 02:18:14 PM by Ploppy »

Offline Graham_and_Karen

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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2008, 05:10:42 PM »
So far so good - I was hoping my question might generate some interest. I'd already studied the review sites and, if it were down to me I'd probably go with a Canon IXUS or a Sony Cybershot but it's actually going to be Karen's camera so weight, size and feel have been significant in narrowing down the choice. Your point about focal length is a good one Paul - 38mm is not ideal - I'll certainly go to the comparison site. Karen would like more than x3 optical zoom but unless you are using a tripod, I'm not sure it would be that much of an advantage. The Pentax Optio Z10 has x7 optical zoom but it's a few mm too large for Karen's liking.
One of the things I've considered important is the time from switch on to first shot and the time between shots - most of our photos are taken with little preparation and taking a couple of similar shots of the same thing so we can choose the best.
It's incredible how many different models there are to choose from - even from one manufacturer. Comet and the like have a fairly limited range. We're off to Jessops at the weekend for more 'hands-on'. As for price - I've bought from Pixmania before and been happy.
 

Offline Ploppy

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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2008, 09:20:59 PM »
A lot of compacts are 3x zooms but there are more and more 4/5/6 & 7 ones coming out. Then there is the super-zoom cameras with 10/15/18 times zooms but these tend to be a lot less pocketable.

There are a couple of trade-offs with larger zoom ranges. One is that optical quality tends to suffer, especially at either extreme of the zoom range. Another point as you alluded to is that as the focal length increases so does the need for a higher shutter speed to eliminate camera shake and the blurry image it causes. In bright sunny weather outdoors you should be ok even with the longest zooms, but with less light available you may need to use a tripod. An alternative would be to get a camera with image stabilization which helps to eliminate camera shake. I have it on a couple of my SLR lenses and it really works well.

 I like the look of the Canon IXUS 950 IS but it may be a little more than you want to spend. Can get it for 167 off eBay.

Another option is the IXUS 75 currently 109 at Tesco Direct.

or how about the Panasonic FX12 for 95 at Play.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 09:28:19 PM by Ploppy »

Offline John R

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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2008, 07:51:11 AM »
Quote from: Ploppy
Another option is the IXUS 75 currently 109 at Tesco Direct.

That is an excellent buy. These cameras seem to have all the + qualities mentioned in discussions so far. My 70 has the same workings and it is quick to switch on, quick between photos, long battery life. Stores 600 high quality photos on an inexpensive 2gb SD card. The wide angle is a true 5.8mm which equates to 26mm in 35 mm photography terminoligy. Anyway you seem to have the idea about narrowing things down so keep looking - my opinions are biased on a my purchase with which I am very satisfied. I did very little research and did an impulse buy at an airport shop !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John R

Offline Ploppy

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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2008, 02:51:13 PM »
Camera Price Buster

is a great website for finding good prices on cameras, lenses, accessories etc.

Offline Ploppy

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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2008, 03:34:32 PM »
DPReview has a handy side by side camparitor (is that a word?)

Here is a comparison of the Canon IXUS 75 (SD750) vs Pentax S10 vs Olympus FE280

Offline Ploppy

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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2008, 03:46:05 PM »
Quote from: Ploppy
Another option is the IXUS 75 currently 109 at Tesco Direct.

Also don't forget to use Quidco for a further 3% off and also Tesco are offering Triple clubcard points for the next couple of weeks. That brings the effective price down towards the hundred mark.

Yes I really am a bargain nut  (though in reality it just means I end up buying a load of crap I don't really need  )

Offline Graham_and_Karen

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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2008, 04:36:41 PM »
Quote from: Ploppy
Quote from: Ploppy
Another option is the IXUS 75 currently 109 at Tesco Direct.

Also don't forget to use Quidco for a further 3% off and also Tesco are offering Triple clubcard points for the next couple of weeks. That brings the effective price down towards the hundred mark.

Yes I really am a bargain nut  (though in reality it just means I end up buying a load of crap I don't really need  )

When I looked today, the IXUS 75 was not on the Tesco Direct site - they only had the IXUS 70 at 119

Offline John R

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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2008, 04:41:31 PM »
Quote from: Graham_and_Karen
When I looked today, the IXUS 75 was not on the Tesco Direct site - they only had the IXUS 70 at 119

I prefer my 70 over the 75. The 75 might have a slightly larger screen but does not have a viewfinder. The works are otherwise identical. I had the choice between 75 and 70 and chose the 70. They also both have the same very small footprint indeed.

John R

Offline Ploppy

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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2008, 04:43:11 PM »
Quote from: Graham_and_Karen
When I looked today, the IXUS 75 was not on the Tesco Direct site - they only had the IXUS 70 at 119


Yes looks like that offer is now over. Discontinued here.

               

Offline Graham_and_Karen

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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2008, 04:44:03 PM »
Quote from: Ploppy
DPReview has a handy side by side camparitor (is that a word?)

Here is a comparison of the Canon IXUS 75 (SD750) vs Pentax S10 vs Olympus FE280


Thanks Paul - I'd used that site for other comparisons. Very useful. I know Karen also likes rounded corners as on the Olympus - more comfortable in your pocket. My influence on the decision has to be very subtle otherwise she will think I'm getting the camera for myself.  I'll probably know after the weekend which one she wants.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 04:48:28 PM by Graham_and_Karen »

Offline Ploppy

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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2008, 04:56:27 PM »
Quote from: Graham_and_Karen
When I looked today, the IXUS 75 was not on the Tesco Direct site - they only had the IXUS 70 at 119


You could snap this up IXUS 70 + Printer

for 99 which is less than the camera on its own! Can't imagine stock will last long.

EDIT: Use TDX-CLHD voucher for 5 off
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 05:00:31 PM by Ploppy »

Offline Graham_and_Karen

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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2008, 07:13:46 PM »
Quote from: Ploppy
Quote from: Graham_and_Karen
When I looked today, the IXUS 75 was not on the Tesco Direct site - they only had the IXUS 70 at 119


You could snap this up IXUS 70 + Printer

for 99 which is less than the camera on its own! Can't imagine stock will last long.

EDIT: Use TDX-CLHD voucher for 5 off

Wow - that is a bargain ... but only if it's what you want.  We have rarely printed photos and for the odd one or two photos it's cheap enough to send them to an online company for printing. Not being photographers, we will probably make our decision for all the wrong reasons but it seems that we're unlikely to be disappointed with any of the ones we've considered so far. If we end up buying online, I'll certainly need to search thoroughly for discount codes - www.myvouchercodes.co.uk seems to be a reasonable site. Quidco are great - I'm due to get 50 back from car insurance we got through them recently - not bad seeing as the quote was also just about the cheapest. I've just seen your link to CameraPriceBuster. Thanks.