Jan 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm #1298154
Im actually taking a digital photography class and need to buy something this weekend. So most likley it needs to be a common model found in stores. I dont really care if its DSLR because I am a huge noob so as long as the camera is capable of high end shots…
I'd like a return policy if things dont work out, and my budget is around $450, but honestly If I can spend $150 -200 then that would be better. Also, it would be nice if It was light enough for backpacking, but mainly its for this class.Jan 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm #1944839
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
If you are taking a digital photography class, then ask the instructor what kind of camera is recommended. Many instructors are very specific, even if your requirements are vague ("capable of high end shots").
–B.G.–Jan 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm #1944842
It depends, because not all students can afford high end DSLR's which is what he wants.
Just start naming cameras guys, please. I need to buy something tomorrow…Jan 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm #1944845
Chris WBPL Member
Cheap, high quality, and you can grow with it….I'd go Nikon D3100 or Nikon D5100 (better but a bit more money).Jan 17, 2013 at 6:59 pm #1944852
That Nikon seems reasonable, should I bite the bullet and go DSLR then? What about decent point and shoots? Is there such a thing?Jan 17, 2013 at 7:06 pm #1944855
Jeremy and AngelaBPL Member
@requiemLocale: Northern California
as long as the camera is capable of high end shots…
That could be your smartphone camera, depending on how large you want to print. You just need the vision and creativity to make it work.
That said, the D3100 is probably the cheapest you'll get a decent dSLR for new. A compact model like the Canon S100 <strike>wouldn't have the manual exposure controls you likely need for the class.</strike>
Edit: S100 does do manual! (Thanks Michael R.)Jan 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm #1944870
Michael RayBPL Member
You can shoot the S100 in full manual mode, choosing ISO, shutter speed, aperture, focus, exposure compensation, flash compensation, white balance. Certainly not as fast to tweak it as a full-size camera. And it's small, light and can shoot RAW. $279 at Amazon.Jan 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm #1944872
Ive been researching all the ones you guys posted, keep em coming! thanksJan 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm #1944877Jan 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm #1944880
Wouldnt even know where to start…Jan 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm #1944894
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Often in the description of the photography class there will be a mention of the type of camera gear that is expected. If it is not mentioned, then the instructor will tell you.
–B.G.–Jan 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm #1944902
Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
Cannon G11Jan 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm #1944921
What do you guys think about this $150 camera, Nikon Coolpix L610.Jan 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm #1944922
Mike In SocalBPL Member
If you are taking a photography class, I'd recommend getting a dSLR. I'm a Canon guy but that Nikon D3100 is a good deal. While many of the compact cameras also have manual mode, it's not always easy to quickly change various settings because of smaller form factor and typically fewer buttons which sometimes means you have to switch modes to change a particular setting like aperture. If you want something in between a dSLR and a compact, seriously consider the Fuji HS30EXR for just under $300.
MikeJan 17, 2013 at 11:49 pm #1944924
I looked at that Fuji, what about its less expensive version the Fujifilm S4500?Jan 18, 2013 at 1:53 am #1944929
for $150 for a bundle, will this camera do closeups though?Jan 18, 2013 at 5:09 am #1944938
Adam RothermichBPL Member
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Most point and shoots have a macro mode, and it looks like that camera is no exception. Don't let the big, complicated exterior fool you though, that camera has the same tiny sensor as every other P&S, it just has a giant (relatively speaking) lens stuck in front of it.
If you keep it out of low light situations you should be able to get adequate pictures with it, just know they aren't going to have the detail or dynamic range on something with a larger sensor. You'll also never be able to get the shallow depth of field people seem to associate with "high quality" photographs.
If you're going to go shopping today, try looking around for deals on older model Olympus or Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras. You might be able to find a good deal on an Olympus EPL2 or Panasonic G3 which will both be leaps and bounds better than that Fuji. I had a G3 for a time and really liked it. I wish I could have kept it but I had to fund a new Nikon body so I sold it. I'll probably buy another MFT camera at some point so I can have a "small" camera.
Take a look at this to get an idea of the differences in sensor size:
AdamJan 18, 2013 at 8:00 am #1944962
Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
A Canon G11, G12, or S100 would fit your requirements.
Some of theses cameras are now shipping without a printed manual. whatever you get, make sure you have access to the complete user manual or you will be really frustrated trying to set up features like exposure or flash compensation or spot metering.Jan 18, 2013 at 8:33 am #1944969
Nick HBPL Member
I would skip on getting a point and shoot if you are actually interested in photography. DSLRs are great and I love mine, but bridge or mirrorless cameras might are worth looking at. They are smaller, but usually have the same level of controls and interchangeable lenses. There are usually good deals to be found on entry level Panasonic models. Right now you can get a GF5 with lens for $300. Nikon 1 series cameras are another option if you want small. Lot of good deals have been floating around for Nikon J1 and V1 cameras.Jan 18, 2013 at 11:05 am #1945006
@ken_bennettLocale: southeastern usa
I'm a photographer at a university and do some (limited) teaching.
The problem with most point and shoot cameras is that you don't get as much manual control over the camera, and even with that limited control, you will find it difficult or impossible to get certain effects.
That said, I've had a few students use p+s cameras and they did learn something. (Usually learned that they wanted a DSLR. :)
Your local big box or Costco or whatever will have a very limited selection, but really any inexpensive DSLR from Nikon, Canon, Pentax, or even Sony will be fine. It will come with a "kit" zoom lens, which is also fine. It shouldn't be hard to keep this under $500. Don't feel like you need the latest model — a previous generation will be fine, and usually much cheaper.
If you can hold out a couple of days, you can buy a used camera and lens kit from KEH.com. I've been using them for years. Buy something a couple of years old and get it for way less. They have a D3100 kit for $400 and a D5100 kit for $465. Call up and ask them for advice.Jan 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm #1945040
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Newegg happens to have the Panny GX5 w/ kit zoom for $300, which is quite a deal. It cannot take an auxiliary viewfinder and it's possible the instructor prefers a camera with a viewfinder (the Panny G5 has a built-in EVF–highly recommended). At least it will have full manual controls (a typical photo course requirement) and the format allows for shallow DOF to accomplish subject isolation via aperture. The good news–it will make a great backpacking camera, as it's very small and light.
I'd avoid compacts for a photo class–too many limitations.
RickJan 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm #1945060
I think im either going to get a sub $200 point and shoot, or spend the money and get a $500 DSLR.
This is really a lot to take in, I need another day atleast before I buy.Jan 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm #1945082
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Five years ago, I segued off of a serious photographer friend's extensive research and got the same Pentax Optio W60 for a Grand Canyon float trip because of the extremes of waterproofness and shock resistance it offered. It also offers a pretty wide-ranging optical soon (5mm – 25mm) but contracts into a pack-of-cigarettes-sized unit so it's always in your shirt pocket (on a leash) ready for use. It's got more modes and settings than I'll ever use and it does video.
Around town, mostly I use my iPhone just because I always have it with me. But I learned long ago that salt water kills phone INSTANTLY and so I'll throw this Pentax in my pocket for a day on the ocean, beach, river, etc, when I leave my phone in the car or in a sealed dry box.
Undoubtably, Pentax has a newer model of a it-takes-a-licking camera with more megapixels by now. Or, when I last looked there were some W60s in oddball colors (pink) new on ebay.Jan 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm #1945873
I am probably going to buy the Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR tomorrow morning.
Its on sale and its going to be under $300 out the door.
Thanks for everyones help, but I am such a noob I dont think I am ready for an expensive SLR.
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