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  1. #1
    Joined
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    To our resident camera buffs...

    Is this camera worth getting for someone that isn't into professional type cameras and photos? What I mean by that is that this is going to replace a Fuji A303 (linky) --- Thanks for any and all input...
    Crunching various BOINC projects under the Swordfish username, for the PCPER Froggies.

  2. #2
    Joined
    Oct 2001
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    5,886

    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    Joofoo, it looks to be a good buy. I have the PowerShot S60, and it`s also a 5MP. It takes great pictures. At least yours has Image Stabilation(good feature). So i say two thumbs up.

  3. #3
    Joined
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    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    It will take better pictures but that is comparing apples to oranges. It is about 3-4 times bigger and you may get tired of carrying it.
    Brian

  4. #4
    Joined
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    UK
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    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    I'm no expert, but that 12x optical zoom should also give you plenty of flexibility.

    I have a 4MP Sony S85 (quite a few years old now, was 800 when it came out). It takes great point and click shots outdoors, but indoors it always adds an orange tinge. It does have a great macro mode though, so it great for taking close-ups, like down to postage stamp size. It's a feature I find I use a lot, so it's always something I'd look for.

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  5. #5
    Joined
    Nov 2000
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    Toronto, Canada
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    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joofoo View Post
    Is this camera worth getting for someone that isn't into professional type cameras and photos? What I mean by that is that this is going to replace a Fuji A303 (linky) --- Thanks for any and all input...
    Great camera but the new one is out now S3 IS. Not sure if you picked this one cuz of price
    Q6600 @ 3.0Ghz
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  6. #6
    Joined
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    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    That's the camera I recommended to my sister-in-law. She has three kids and wanted a "swiss army knife" camera. The large aperture gives it an edge in low lighting versus most other point-and-shoots. The 12X zoom is great when you're stuck somewhere other than the front row. The flip out view finder is a bit gimicky - until you actually need it and then it's great. She's been very happy, though I doubt she's used 1/10th of the camera's abilities.

    Good observation by bk up there. This is a bulky camera. Not like you can throw it in your pocket as an afterthought. As JCB noted, it also is not current, but the S3 doesn't bring much more to the table, IMHO. The view finder is a tad bigger, the case is a nicer shade (black vs silver), and it claims a higher ISO rating.

    I personally opted for the A700. It's only a 6X zoom and doesn't have the IS, but I got it for $260 back in May and it's a great travel camera. It does OK in low light, but you need a tripod or steady hand to really take advantage. I got great night shots on the strip in Vegas just by leaning against a street light or similar. In another year or two I intend to get a digital SLR for the "tougher" shots of the kids in school plays, etc.

    Anyway, yeah, great camera. If you don't have a problem with the size/weight, it should do everything you could hope.

  7. #7
    Joined
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    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    Just for laughs, here are two shots from Vegas this past summer. The first is up on Fremont Street and the second is the Phantom of the Opera banner outside the Venetian. No tripod, just setting up the camera right and leaning on something for stability.




    Note, the pictures are on Charter and it tends to be a bit dodgy.

  8. #8
    Joined
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    Southern Ontario
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    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    A few years ago I was looking at getting a high end point and shot camera. I was looking at the G series camera. It would have been very similar to this S2. Considering the Fuji website doesn't offer any optical statistics. I can only guess at it's abilities.

    Personally, I would highly recommend the Canon. I can almost garentee that it is a better camera then the Fuji. The Fuji is designed as a compact point-and-shoot. While the Canon has put more emphases on the Optics. Also, the Canon can take advantage of the higher quality optics since it is a 5MP camera while the Fuji is only a 3.25MP.

    Of the few Fuji cameras I've deal with, I haven't been overly impressed. But it doesn't mean that they aren't good cameras. I think the Fuji cameras try to be more 'user friendly.' But I'm sure that you wouldn't have any problems learning the Canon. And the Canon won't let you down.

    The real question I must pose to you is what's more important to you, is it size of camera? Or would you rather have higher quality images? If you're looking for absolute portability, then of those two try the Fuji, else go with the Canon. But if you're really looking for portability, there are some other Canons that would suite this while maintaining high quality images.

  9. #9
    Joined
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    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    Thanks for all the feedback guys... and few of my responses to questions brought up.

    We understand it's bigger, but we are looking for better picture quality. Kids are getting older and doing more things and Fuji just isn't keeping up. (Just about every pictur from a recent wedding came out like garbage!)

    We are not anywhere in the need of a SLR camera and this seemed to fit between the low end point and shoot (our Fuji) and the high end SLR cameras that we have no need for.

    Price is somewhat important as I'd like to keep this between 300-350 maybe a little more if the deal was great. This is going to my wifes super secret Christmas gift in addition to the couple of other things she already knows about.

    If there is a better camera I'm missing for the price range please let me know.. I'm a n0ob in the camera buisness.
    Crunching various BOINC projects under the Swordfish username, for the PCPER Froggies.

  10. #10
    Joined
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Montana
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    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    Well I got some questions for the camera guys...

    Namely fluff and SP, didn't you guys get the same camera?

    Need to get a good high quality digital camera for the wife, and hopefully a couple of lenses if budget allows. I haven't started looking yet, budget would be up to 1K for camera and a decent telephoto lense if possible. She would also like to be able to use a macro lense for close-ups.
    Tyan S5397 2x X5450 16GB - SuperMicro H8DCI 2x 275 8GB - Iwill DK8X 2x Opteron 250 2GB


    Take a Kid FISHING!

  11. #11
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    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    If $1k is your budget, then you'll probably be looking at the Digital Rebel XTi.

    It's a very solid platform. You'll have the same options for lenses and flashes as any of the other Canon Digital SLR camera as they all use the EOS system.

    I've got the 30D camera body. It's about as high as you can go without getting into 'professional' prices. I think it cost me about $1600 (Canadian dollars) complete with starter lens. But the XTi should be within your budget.

    I had the first generation of Digital Rebel and I really loved that camera. The main reason I upgraded was for a faster camera. The original DR had a one point something second start up time, where the 30D is only 0.15 seconds. The Digital Rebel XTi has a startup time of 0.2 seconds so it would be good too. The other reason I went with the 30D was for it's high speed 5 fps (frames per second) shooting. The original DR had only 1.5fps, yet the DR XTi has 3fps which is good as well.

    The DR XTi also has pretty high Mega Pixels. With 10.1MP, the new XTi destroys my original DR which only had 6.2MP. Even my 30D only has 8.2MP. Yet at this point I wasn't really concerned with MP. But more is generally better so long as you've got quality lenses to accompany it.

    The original lens that Canon provides with the DR XTi isn't anything to write home about. But it is good enough to get you started. Heck, I still use that lens a lot on my 30D. It's just if I'm going for high end clarity then I switch to one of my good lenses.

  12. #12
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    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    Thanks SP, looks like a nice camera. Just browsing around I see all kinds of packages with different lenses etc, and different amounts of flash memory. You think that camera would keep her happy for a few years? Is 2GB flash near enough to get started? She takes lots of 35mm photos with her aging minolta setup, and unfortunately it appears those lenses won't work with anything digital these days as Minolta went boobs-up.

    I'd like to get her a couple of lenses and a flash. And a reasonable amount of memory. After that she can spend her own money.
    Tyan S5397 2x X5450 16GB - SuperMicro H8DCI 2x 275 8GB - Iwill DK8X 2x Opteron 250 2GB


    Take a Kid FISHING!

  13. #13
    Joined
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    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    With my 8.2 MP 30D, I am able to get some 355 shots on a 1GB card using the high resolution jpg mode. That's taking with taking a lot of pictures with a low depth of field (ie, intensionally blurring the background). But on a blank 1GB card the camera estimates only 264 shots.

    Now with a 10MP camera these numbers will be a little lower. But even still you should be able to get 400-500 shots on a single 2 GB card! If you play with the RAW settings on the camera, I'd estimate you'd get only 200 shots per 2GB card. Even still that's a lot of shots so long as your wife clears the card every time she copies it to the computer. And I'm sure you'll see to it that they are properly backed up so she can't use the 'I don't trust the computer' excuse.

    The basic lens I was talking about is the EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6. This is probably Canon's cheapest lens (worth maybe $200 Canadian). Basic explanation of the lens:

    EF - The lens belongs to the EOS line.

    -S - This paticular EOS lens will only function on the 30D and lower digital EOS cameras.

    18-55mm - Is the focal length of the lens. Because there's a range given, it's a zoom lens. A standard focal length is about 50mm. That should be about as wide as the human eye can concentrate on without moving too much. In other words, this would give you no real magnification. BUT, all cameras that can accept the -S series of lenses require a correction factor to be placed on the focal lengths. You'll have to multiply the focal length of all the lenses you use on that body by a factor of 1.6. Thus this lens will function like a 29 - 88mm lens. So have a look at here existing lenses and see how 29-88mm compares.

    f3.5-5.6 - This represents how much light can be allowed into the camera (f stop). The lower the number the more light that will be allowed in. This allows you to take pictures in darker areas with out slowing the shutter speed down as much. The only trade off is the lower the f stop number, the shorter the depth of field. Depth of field is the difference in the distance the closest and farthest object that remains in focus. On my one lens that has a setting of f1.2, I can actually get someone's nose in focus yet have their eyes out of focus. Most lenses out there will be able to handle f4. One last point on f stops, seeing as this lens is listed as f3.5-5.6, it means that the lowest f stop setting depends on the zoom settings. At 18mm Focal Length, the lens can offer an f stop of f3.5. But at the 55mm setting, it can only offer f5.6.

    Now for a couple of other terms you may see in a Canon lens name:

    USM - This is the type of focusing motor used by the lens. USM stands for UltraSonics Mechanism. The USM lenses will focus faster then non USM lenses. Also USM lenses should not make any noise at all (honestly, the 18-55mm lens isn't that loud at all...but it does make noise).

    IS - These lenses have an optical image stabilization system built in. They allow you to take pictures at slower speed (allowing more time for light to reach the camera's sensor) without suffering from as much camera shake.

    L - The Canon L lenses are made with Canon's top quality glass. These lenses are usually noticeable by the beige colour with red pin stripe.

    Getting back to the original 18-55mm lens, it's obviously isn't Canon's best lens. It's far from it. The focusing ring on the end of the lens tends to feel a bit loose after a while, and the images just aren't as sharp as the more expensive lenses. Yet, I used it for probably 6,000 shots on my first Digital Rebel camera (I took over 10,000 shots before selling it - Not one problem with the camera ever!). And to save some money when I upgraded to the 30D, I bought the same lens again (I sold the original lens as a package deal with the old Digital Rebel). So I wouldn't discard this lens completely. It's a good starter lens. But you will notice the difference if you upgrade.

    One last thing on this lens, you mentioned close-ups. This lens is rated as a Macro lens. That means it can focus close up if you need to. This particular lens can focus as close as 0.9 feet away from the lens.

  14. #14
    Joined
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Southern Ontario
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    40
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    13,184

    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    ST, I guess one thing you should do is have a look in her camera bag and try to find out what lenses she has already. It would be nice to get a list of focal lengths, f stops, and complete model names so we can have a look at what quality these lens are.

    As for a flash, if you can afford it, this is a great flash Speedlite 430EX. I've used it and I own it's big brother (the 580EX). This flash is by far the best bang for your bucks. This flash can do just about anything it's big brother can do, but it's much cheaper.

    The two biggest differences between the two flashes are the 580EX has a slightly longer range (hence will eat batteries faster), and the 580EX can be used to control other 580EX or 430EX flashes wirelessly.
    Last edited by Spankin Partier; 11-17-2006 at 05:31 PM.

  15. #15
    Joined
    Oct 2001
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    5,886

    Re: To our resident camera buffs...

    I`m with SP, just got my Rebel XTi last Thursday(going out with it this weekend), and it`s agreat camera.

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