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Liam
13-09-2006, 05:21 AM
I know there are a few keen and talented photographers on the forum, so I'll chuck this up here.

Basically I'm in the market for a new digital camera. My 5-year old little 2MP kodak is past its best and the battery cover is cracking, and I figure its time I upgrade to something a little more powerful.

I want to get some sort of fancy SLR type of thing, but I dont want to spend more than 700 or 800 bucks on it. Ideally, it would be a widely available model, so I could pick one up before the aviation weekend I'm attending on Saturday. The test flight of the collection's newly rebuilt Spitfire XVI is something I'd like to get some pictures of.

So...any suggestions? Don't be afraid to go out of the price range as I'll make exceptions for really good equipment, but I'm trying to save to get a car for myself so an $800 limit would be ideal.

acliff
13-09-2006, 07:12 AM
800 aussie dollars?

I'm going to assume its about 2.5 aussie dollars to the pound.

For anything moving, you're going to need fast focussing. Ideally an DSLR with a expensive telephoto lens would be great, but other than that a superzoom compact will suit most needs fine.

Ones with fast focus:

Canon powershot S3 IS http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod3203.htm

Panasonic DMC-FZ7 (especially with fast focus mode)
http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod3295.htm

Sony DSC-H2
http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod3352.htm

Out of those, the FZ7 is the most compact and probably has the best lens. They are all superzooms, so should cover most situations you'd find yourself in. The Canon can be used as a weapon if all fails. They all hover round the $500-600 mark, and should be faily easy to find.

If compactness is an issue:
Panasonic DMC-TZ1
http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod3291.htm

Won't be as fast or as responsive as the 3 above, and you'll be missing advanced manual control. But its really really small, has a good lens and has antishake like the above 3.

Can you elaborate on what you want, so it'll be easier to choose?

Liam
13-09-2006, 10:49 AM
I'm not particularly sure what it is I want exactly - I know I want an DSLR, preferably with a good zoom on it and things like anti shake and anti blur. Interchangeable lenses would be great too.

WTF is that big thing on the Panasonic? Digital zoom pretty much means shit, doesnt it?

The Panasonic one looks good. The Canon is nice but no rechargeable batteries is a drawback. The Sony looks great but my memory cards arent compatible. I don't know a lot about these things so I'm prepared to listen to the advice of someone who does...which of those 3 would you recommend?

Digital_Ice
13-09-2006, 11:14 AM
WTF is that big thing on the Panasonic? Digital zoom pretty much means shit, doesnt it?

the lens hood? it protects the lens from the elements... especially rain and irritating light sources.

and yes... digital means bugger all

and lastly, i know you asked for cliffs opinion but hey. personally i'd go for the pana

Liam
13-09-2006, 11:41 AM
It would be removable, yes?

It looks fucking awful.

acliff
13-09-2006, 11:49 AM
When pointing the camera at the sky, it can be various useful for minimising glare from the sun.

Digital zoom is pretty useless, all it does is crop the picture. You'd be better off keeping it on the optical zoom and cropping the picture in photoshop afterwards. Much much less image degradation.

The zoom range will go from wide angle (mild) to extreme telephoto which should cover everything you need to do.

I would go for the panasonic also, because its more compact than the others, and is kinda cute. Only downside is that high ISO image quality is not great. But then again, no compact digicam will have high sensitivity sensors like DSLRs. Check this massive review for pictures and opinions:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz7/

Something like this: http://www.dirtcheapcameras.com.au/store/product.asp?idProduct=834

I would get that if you had the cash, and the desire to go DSLR.

You can get a samsung DSLR with the same lenses as the pentax above for £400 quid which is cheap as chips, as the lenses are worth about £150 a piece. Look for the Samsung GX1S twin lens kit. It is without doubt the cheapest way to get into DSLR photography... while having great quality, size, very low weight, high sensitivity, great compact lenses, and quick response time. I have to admit, I have a fondness for it because Samsung are Korean, and its a rebadge of a Pentax camera...

Liam
13-09-2006, 12:12 PM
The more I research that little Panasonic, the more appealing it is. I'll try and stop into a camera shop on the way home from work tomorrow and ask some questions about it.

Thanks for the advice thus far :)

hasselbrad
13-09-2006, 12:46 PM
It would be removable, yes?

It looks fucking awful.

But it keeps lens flare down and enables you to shoot objects in the sky with ease...like a Spitfire XVI. ;) Lens hoods are our friends.

acliff
13-09-2006, 02:09 PM
But it keeps lens flare down and enables you to shoot objects in the sky with ease...like a Spitfire XVI. ;) Lens hoods are our friends.

The one on my 28-80mm f2.8 lens pretty much doubles the length of the lens. Makes me look like a paparazzi bastard. Shame I need it as my lens flares like crazy without it

Liam
25-09-2006, 06:28 AM
I picked up the panasonic today. Missed the aviation weekend with it, but still. I'll post up my experiences later on.