Sunday, May 28, 2006

Digital Camera Envy etc

Dear friends who know SO MUCH STUFF!
I am in the market for a digital camera. I have more or less narrowed it down to these three choices, although I reserve the right to add to this list at any given point.
I am fairly settled on the superzoom, as I think I would enjoy its capabilities. However, I am open to arguments about why I should get something smaller & with less zoom. I am, however, settled on not getting an SLR.
Here are the major differences, as I see them.
  • The Panasonic Lumix has a hot shoe, which could be very exciting. The model I am looking out has been replaced with a less positively reviewed model, which means the one I am interested in is cheaper, but also, older.
  • The Fujifilm Finepix does not have stabilization, which is bad. It's the cheapest of the bunch, though only slightly.
  • The Canon S2 IS is a Canon, which makes me like it a little bit more than the others. Features-wise, it's in-between the other two, but does have 12x optical zoom as opposed to 10x. I'm not sure how much difference I think that would make to me.
I am also open to suggestions of similar cameras. I didn't see any Nikons or Olympuses that particularly impressed me, but again, I'm open. I invite your commentary and advice. Indeed, I beg for it.

Indecisively yours,


Jenni said...

I'd take the Canon. Not just because I like mine, but I'm also very satisfied with the quality of the pics (mine, too, has 5MP). Furthermore it loos like the Canon is a least a bit smaller than the other ones. Another thing which stands out is the display. You'll love it: Great quality and... tataaa: the "vari-angle" display is something you won't want to miss. Really, it's so comfy! Trust me! :-)

ruth said...

well, i have eliminated the fuji due to its lack of manual focus. just an update.
i am leaning towards canon.

Joe Mohan said...

In response to the questions you left on my blog, I do indeed use a digital SLR. A Nikon. I see that you have decided against a digital SLR, but I'm going to offer some reasons why I think you should reconsider. I have no idea if any of these reasons will be relevant for you, but I will move forward because I like the sound of my own typing.

The major benefits of a DSLR over any of the cameras you list here isn't found in the feature set; it's all about flexibility and ease of use. Even the most advanced digital point-and-shoot with manual settings and manual focus and all of that can't offer a few features that have been basic to all SLRs for like half a century.

- being ready to shoot exactly when you are (these other cameras take 2-3 seconds to start up while the lens extends, etc.)

- taking a photo right when you hit the shutter (non-SLRs generally have horrible shutter lag and superslow autofocus). Related to this is the fact that what you see through an SLR viewfinder is exactly what's happening at that moment, rather than a split second-behind as is the case with LCDs.

- zooming with a flick of your wrist instead of pushing a little lever and waiting 5 seconds

- having your choice of lenses, obvs

- way, way better battery life

- DSLRs generally place all of the important settings on easy to access buttons on the camera body, rather than buried in an arcane menu system

- finally, a DSLR is just like every other SLR you'ever used, but with with a few digital features added on. Shorter learning curve.

So, there are my big arguments. It just seems like the features you find important (hot shoe, focal length flexibility, manual control) have always been intrinsic aspects of SLRs. The two main drawbacks of SLRs, of course, are price and size. They're coming down in price though; the Nikon D50 and Canon Rebel XT are available with nice kit lenses for $670 and $780, respectively, from Amazon. Definitely pricey compared to what you're looking at, but I bet in the long (or even short) run you'd find it worth the money.

ruth said...

yes. i already have several lenses compatible with the canon rebel, so i could buy the body for somewhat cheaper.
there are two reasons i've eliminated going with DSLR.
1) the bulk. I know they are not so gigantic, but I find the size of my 35mm prohibitive for traveling. Especially if I want multiple lenses, which, let's face it, i probably will. so, i fear that if i do buy a DSLR, I will end up packing it with my telephoto, my 50 mm, and my wide angle, and then, leaving it in the hotel room because it's too damn heavy. I know that the cameras I'm looking at aren't supertiny, but they seem like a good compromise between the two extremes.
2) i can identify no need in my life that would be fulfilled by RAW images.

i just wanted it to be easy...

Joe M. said...

Okay, a few more things. I know that Nikon makes an 18-200mm vibration reduction lens that's not actually too big and gives you a nice 10x wide-to-tele range. I imagine Canon makes something similar. One lens, all your needs! As for RAW, you don't need to use it; you can happily shoot all the JPGs you want. BUT you might want to shoot RAW if you have the ability. You can shoot now and change your white balance and exposure later. Comes in very handy when you don't expect it.

Also, the Rebel XT weighs ~300 grams more than the S2 IS. A different yeah, but you get so much more flexibility in those 300 grams.

But of course, the decision is all yours. Obviously I think all of the trade-offs are well worth it, but perhaps not for you. I would just recommend going to a camera store and seeing if they'll let you borrow a few cameras for an afternoon and experimenting with them: carrying them around, seeing how they fit in your bags, shooting different stuff, etc.

ruth said...

camera update:
after much deliberation, and some not-nice words exchanged with big box proprietors, i have ordered the canon. i will let you know how it goes.
thank you!

Jenni said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jenni said...

very good choice... and I'm really curious about your pics!