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Recommend me a digital camera for $500

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  • Recommend me a digital camera for $500

    My old Canon has shat itself, so I'm in the market for something new. Unfortunately I don't have Hewie's budget, so $500 will have to do.

    A couple of things:
    - Brand wise I prefer to buy a camera from a camera company. I'm sure sony and panasonic do nice work, but I'd take a nikon or canon any day
    - I'll choose features and image quality over inflated megapixel numbers
    - I like open format storage and power options, so prefer rechargable AA batteries and nothing proprietary like memory stick
    - Size isn't a big consideration, I'd rather have a larger optical sensor connected to a good lens than something that can fit in my slacks without ruining the lines of the garment.

    So far I'm looking at things like these:
    Digital Cameras Side-by-Side, 3 cameras: Digital Photography Review
    The S5 IS looks pretty decent for the money.

    Does anyone else have any recommendations?
    Last edited by Barfridge; 15-01-2008, 08:40 PM.
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  • #2
    Mate, depends of course what you're chasing.
    I'll bring my Canon A570IS along on Sat nite if you'll be there:
    - only 7 meg (but this means larger surface area per pixel, better SNR).
    - Offers manual focus, macro focus, AV, TV and full manual exposure modes if you want to get creative.
    - Fast powerup and bugger all shutter lag.
    - AA batteries & SD card
    - Can hack the flash to shoot in RAW mode.
    - Has all the usual bullshit in Auto stuff, IS, face detection blah blah blah
    - Available if you shop around for just over half your budget, leaving you more beer money or cash for goodies like a tripod, bag, beer, etc.

    I bought it for underwater work. It's not an SLR - but it offers most of the common SLR functions and gives some decent results.
    "Once upon a time we would obey in public, but in private we would be cynical; today, we announce cynicism, but in private we obey."


    • #3
      Fucked if I know which camera to buy, but the advice I'll give, is FFS buy one with rechargeable lithium batteries.

      For your own sanity, please don't buy one powered by AA batteries.
      Last edited by Ken Oath; 15-01-2008, 08:39 PM. Reason: You try spelling after a bottle of fine red wine


      • #4
        Ken: I prefer to run off rechargable NiMH AA batteries, because in 1-2 years when the crap themselves I replace them for $20. When the rechargable pack craps itself in 1-2 years....I have to sell a kidney.
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        • #5
          Want compact: Go the canon ixus range.
          Want more features but chunky: Go the canon powershot range.
          Want big fruit: Go the EOS range. (350D's with lens are available on ebay for $700 if you can squeeze it.)

          I'd avoid AA battery camera's like the plague. (Where possible.)
          The battery that came with my ixus is still going strong over 2 and a half years and +10,000 shots later.
          Have two batteries for the 350D and NFI how many shots that's taken now. Still good.


          • #6
            What type of photos do you like taking?
            Do you like fiddling with settings or just point n shoot?
            Riding - Living the dream...


            • #7
              I do like stuffing around with a bit of photography, but have never really invested the time of money into it.

              Dugy: something like this would be perfect
              Canon EOS 350D with TWIN LENS KIT + loads of extras - eBay, Digital SLR, Digital Cameras, Lenses, Cameras. (end time 17-Jan-08 20:00:00 AEDST)

              Now to inflict you all with example of my past photography. These were all taken with my 5 year old 3.2mp canon A70

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              • #8
                Yeah, Fridgey - have to admit, with eBay the popular camera models are pretty cheap to get new LiPo or LiIon batteries for. And even my 2700mAh brutes get flogged by the camera - it eats them fast. My one biggest annoyance with this camera, really. Two one hour dives, using the flash most of the time but trying to switch it off in between shots to save power (makes a big difference) and the camera usually shits itself halfway through the second dive...

                Edit: If you can pick up a 2nd hand 350 with a kit lens or two at the right price, you're about 11tybillion times ahead of a point n shoot. IMO.
                "Once upon a time we would obey in public, but in private we would be cynical; today, we announce cynicism, but in private we obey."


                • #9
                  What about this BF.

                  New, but only the 1 lens.

                  Canon EOS 350D LensKit+4GB CF+1Yr Int'Wty+Bat+Gift-ABTQ - eBay, Digital SLR, Digital Cameras, Lenses, Cameras. (end time 17-Jan-08 19:14:05 AEDST)

                  Note: You cannot get 'international warranty' on the camera body.


                  • #10
                    Ok, so from those type of pics i would say that your after quality pics rather than happy snaps and you don't mind spending time composing.

                    What starfish said about looking at 2nd hand digi slr would be a great option.

                    Honestly don't worry about the rechargable batteries they use in the cameras these days, they are great. AA just suck. If you do insist on AA i have to recommend Sanyo eneloops AA's they are definitely the best rechargable on the market.

                    If you do want to stay with compact cameras try looking at the canon G series. They tend to be the best you can get b4 going to slr.

                    Edit: Discount Digital I have bought from these guys who give great prices.
                    Riding - Living the dream...


                    • #11

                      I'm still selling. Except in-camera flash is not working. I bought it to a camera repair shop in morley who said it will cost anywhere between $100 and $300 to fix.

                      $500 and its yours.


                      • #12
                        My opinion Barfridge is that all the current compacts have too many megapixels crammed onto the sensor, makes for bloody noisy pics from ISO400 upwards. The compacts worth getting are 2nd hand ones from 1-3 years ago. I just picked up a Canon S2IS from this board, and I reckon it’s better than the current S5IS. My other compact is a 4megapixel Canon A520, its an absolute star I love it. Both of em take AA batteries. If size is not an issue though, check ebay for a Nikon D40 body, they are starting to get very cheap (last I looked they were at the $600 mark with a kit lens). I have a kit lens you can have cheap if you want. If you can find a Fujifilm F30d or F31D BUY IT those things are supposed to be awesome because they have a larger than normal sensor. Very hard to find now. Or a 2nd hand Canon G5 is supposed to be great too
                        the universe is hostile


                        • #13
                          BF i have to agree with most here and suggest the possibility of a second hand or new older DSLR. The images you posted suggest you think a little more about things before pressing the shutter than the average point & shooter would.

                          Do yourself a favour and open up a little more creative freedom with a DSLR.
                          In complete darkness we are all the same. It is only our knowledge and wisdom that seperate us. Dont let your eyes deceive you.
                          Its the little things that make the difference
                          Originally posted by IPIT on relationships
                          If either/both of you can take a dump with the other person being next to you within a week of meeting them then you're in with a VERY good chance.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Aphex View Post
                            Do yourself a favour and open up a little more creative freedom with a DSLR.
                            +1 .. For not much more coin than you planned to spend you can get a "new" entry level DSLR kit on ebay.


                            • #15
                              I love my Canon Ixus 75 - it probably doesn't have the zoom you would want but the rechargable battery lasts for aaages and it does funky stuff with colour!! And fits in your purse so nicely