Digital camera recommendations?

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Hey everyone,

I am in the market to buy a new digital camera but I am not that knowledgable about them. I was like 4 or 5 years ago when there weren't as many as there are now, but I haven't bought a camera in half a decade and I feel clueless! Is there anyone here who can help me with some recommendations based on a few requirements I have as well as a general price range? I certainly hope so!

I will be using it for semi-professional use, I do freelance graphic design so high resolutions are important to me. Also, I'd like a camera that has a rechargable battery. I don't need anything so high-end that it has interchangable lenses or stuff like that. Also, I'm looking to spend $500-750 Canadian dollars. Oh yeah, RAW photos would be nice but I think that feature is too high-end for my price range.

If any of you have purchased a camera similar to what I'm looking for I'd really appreciate hearing about it. Or if you've heard of a camera that sounds like what I need, please do let me know.

Thanks everyone!



  • Reply 1 of 7
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    I have not a digital camera, but my interest on the subject led me into this model. It is from a manufacturer not very well known in the digital imaging like other big names, but this camera is difficult to beat in its category. Look here for a detailed review. In the same site you will find numerous other reviews for other cameras.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    algolalgol Posts: 833member
    That's a cool camera. If you want one that is smaller and has more pixels the canon S70 is great. The picture quality is really good (and large) with 7.1 mega pixels... however it only has a 3.6 times zoom. I own the S70 and really love it... lots of settings and features too. You should def check it out.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    One thing to consider is what kind of resolution you really need.

    5M cameras are more than enough for print sizes up to, say, 18" wide. Resolution also comes into play if you expect to do heavy cropping and want decent results from a small section of the original image.

    So instead of putting the money into more pixels, consider a 4-5M camera with a great lens and features like a fast shot rate and good ergonomics.

    I like Canon's cameras a lot. The Powershot G5 is sort of "last year's model"--5M instead of the current G6 at 7M, but other than that is largely the same camera. It has an excellent lens, traditional "SLR" body style, great battery life, and a really nice fold out LCD screen (which is great for taking shots from odd angles or positioning it so you can see it under sunlit conditions, and why I like this style of camera better than the smaller cameras with a fixed LCD).

    And you can pick it up for under $500 US, as opposed to around $600 for the G6. Of course, there's nothing wrong with more pixels, but the camera manufacturers push resolution the same way PC manufacturers push clock speed-- after a certain point, it's a largely artificial metric for which camera is "better" (unless you're planning wall size prints).
  • Reply 4 of 7
    applepiapplepi Posts: 365member
  • Reply 5 of 7
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    Just to generalise a bit I've always found Canon and Panasonic to produce the nicest images on digital cameras and Panasonic's latest cameras really strike a good balance I find between control, ease of use, features and picture quality, but that's a personal preference. Normally at the entry level I prefer Canon while higher up the price range I prefer Panasonic. For ultra zooms it's hard to beat the FZ20. I really haven't seen much that competes if you're willing to pay the high price.

    I've found Sony often did a poor job on reds and the additional memory stick costs aren't worth it, Fuji and Pentax have noise reduction algorithms that are way too aggressive for my liking meaning you lose a lot of sharpness.

    Olympus produces nice photos but I'd rather go Canon or Panasonic, get equally good photos and not pay the excessive XD card prices (I can get 512 MB SD cards for substantially less than a 256 MB XD card and a 256 MB SD card = cost of 128 MB XD card here).

    I will say I dislike the fact that Panasonic neutered the FX2 even if I don't use movie mode (no sound in movies). That annoys me and was unnecessary but the picture quality is excellent.

    Really at entry level I'd look to Canon or Olympus if you can't afford a Powershot A85, or dislike the size. The LC70 is a nice camera too. For ultra compacts I love the FX2 or FX7. I actually prefer the FX2. Ultra zooms Panasonic all the way.

    For the record Panasonic has been reasonably big in video cameras for a while and they've carried the expertise to cameras pretty well.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    kinkkink Posts: 6member
    Get the Sony DCR - HC18E. I have it and it is pretty good for the price.

    A tip: Do not switch between DV tape makers. Choose one and stick with it. Either Sony or Panasonic or any other you like and keep using just that one. Word is that switching between tape makers on these Sony camcorders creates some shite inside that screwes up the machine. Speculation? Perhaps, but why risk it.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    ybotybot Posts: 329member
    Thanks everyone for all those suggestions! I really appreciate it!

    I was seriously debating the Canon but then I took a look at Nikon and was really impressed with what I saw. Olympus didn't really seem that impressive to me. I also am apparently the only consumer who finds smaller digital cameras less appealing than large ones. I much prefer something big to these credit card-sized tiny little things. So that ruled out entire product lines for me as they were far too small.

    In the end I ended up getting a $600 Nikon CoolPix. I couldn't argue with the price and it has enough optical zoom and megapixels for what I need. Also, it has the ever-handy image stabalizer on it too. I found the menu system made a lot of sense and it has a lith-ion battery which is good as I hate buying batteries more than anything.

    So thanks again everyone for all the suggestions!

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