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Old 10-10-2012, 05:57 PM   #46
hakepb
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Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
Based on the side by side you posted, I see the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 as having a few big advantages over the others, as well as a couple of disadvantages.

First the disadvantages -- the FZ200 is much bigger than the other cameras. It is not a compact camera. So if you truly want a compact camera that can fit in your pocket or easily fit in your purse, then cross if off the list.
Also, it's about $550 from what I saw online -- For just $100 more, you could get the RX100. Or for around that price, there are lots of other options. You can get the Sony Nex5N for about $500, and it is a much better all-around camera than the FZ200. You can even get a true SLR for around that price.

Now the advantages of the FZ200 compared to the other 3 on your list, at least according to the comparison you posted:
-- Faster lens. Aperture of 2.8, and it appears to be that way throughout the zoom. That's a much faster lens than the other 3 cameras, especially at maximum zoom.
-- Ability to shoot in RAW mode. This is great if you like to do post-processing in lightroom, or want to build your own HDR images.
-- More manual control than the others. More manual control means more freedom to override the auto and get the picture you really want.

But for the size and price of the FZ200, there are other cameras that should be on your list. Many of those cameras may have inferior zoom, but will be superior in every other way, including in image quality.
That said, for the specific purpose you've been doing -- Shooting your daughter from the stands, the FZ200 is a great choice. The extended zoom and the 2.8 aperture would really do a great job in that situation.

If you were to add other considerations in that price range:
You could get a Canon Rebel T2 with 2 lenses, including a 75-300mm zoom for just over $600:
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Digital-...9876598&sr=1-4

For under $500, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V .

For $500, the Sony Nex-5N: http://store.sony.com/p/Sony-NEX-5-1.../en/p/NEX5NK/B. It lacks the super zoom, without adding a lens. But you would have a SLR-sized sensor in a pretty small body. And can add a better zoom later on. (A good zoom lens can be added for $350).

Also in that price range, you can get some great refurbished and used cameras. Try B&H Photo, for example:
A Nikon D3100 with 2 lenses (including a zoom lens) for $515
A Sony Alpha A55 with kit lens for $530. (Since it takes old Minolta lenses, you can actually add a zoom lens cheaply, under $100. For my Sony SLR, I basically just use old Minolta lenses.)

So really, if you are looking in the $500+ range, and are looking beyond compacts, then you have lots of great options beyond the FX200.

Of the 3 compacts that you listed, the Sony Cybershot HX30V is probably the best but they are all pretty close. I happen to think Sony excels at smaller-sized cameras. (The NEX series seems better than rival bridge cameras. The RX100 is the best pure compact.). Of the 3 compacts you listed, the HX30V has superior ISO range, more megapixels, and a slightly faster lens than the other 2.
The NEX-5n is very, very compelling at that price point. As a kit it is almost a "poor mans RX100" and has most of the great Sony extras i enjoy like Panarama and HD video. The NEX approaches out of the world brilliant if you score a Minolta prime because there are some inexpensive adapters that let you use A mount lenses at full manual. (And 2 very nice, very expensive Sony adapters that get auto metering and for even more you get the mirrors/sensors for full auto phase detect). But adding a NEX-specific zoom gets pricy when the OP needs zoom at the end of the year.

I haven't shopped it too much, but it looks like you can get an Olympus PEN E-PM1 and a zoom lens up to 150 mm (300mm equivilent) at B&H for $599..and that would be another nice system to get into that is photographically better than any small sensor P&S.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:38 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
Whether or not you get great photographs really comes down to you, not the camera. The camera is just the tool. 20x optical zoom is a lot of reach, as long as you have the wide aperture or lighting to go with it you'll be able to get the shot. If it's less than idea lighitng and you have a smaller aperture on the long end then it might make it more difficult to get the shots you want.
may i ask that that means? i honestly don't know...i haven't gotten to that point in the book yet, lol.

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The NEX-5n is very, very compelling at that price point. As a kit it is almost a "poor mans RX100" and has most of the great Sony extras i enjoy like Panarama and HD video. The NEX approaches out of the world brilliant if you score a Minolta prime because there are some inexpensive adapters that let you use A mount lenses at full manual. (And 2 very nice, very expensive Sony adapters that get auto metering and for even more you get the mirrors/sensors for full auto phase detect). But adding a NEX-specific zoom gets pricy when the OP needs zoom at the end of the year.

I haven't shopped it too much, but it looks like you can get an Olympus PEN E-PM1 and a zoom lens up to 150 mm (300mm equivilent) at B&H for $599..and that would be another nice system to get into that is photographically better than any small sensor P&S.
so the olympus would be better than any of the other cameras mentioned?
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:40 PM   #48
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i had to go to officemax at lunch today anyway (needed something for work), so i thought i'd check out the cameras. unfortunately, they don't have display models anymore, because people were breaking them. all they have now is cards you take to the register. BOO. i wanted something i could actually handle, "play with" (for lack of a better term) and check out.

i realize officemax isn't a camera store, but, to be honest, i live in a small city, and we don't have a camera store; so, i figured, since i was there anyway, i'd see what they had.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:47 PM   #49
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i'm now looking at this sony camera....thoughts? this is really past the upper end of my price range; but, for a great camera, i'll pay it. can't go more than $500, though.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:47 PM   #50
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The NEX-5n is very, very compelling at that price point. As a kit it is almost a "poor mans RX100" and has most of the great Sony extras i enjoy like Panarama and HD video. The NEX approaches out of the world brilliant if you score a Minolta prime because there are some inexpensive adapters that let you use A mount lenses at full manual. (And 2 very nice, very expensive Sony adapters that get auto metering and for even more you get the mirrors/sensors for full auto phase detect). But adding a NEX-specific zoom gets pricy when the OP needs zoom at the end of the year.
.
Nothing "poor man" about the Nex5. It's a true SLR-sized sensor. So potentially, it can get better results than the Rx100. The main advantages of the Rx100 are just that it is more compact, and the great included lens. As to cheap Minolta lenses, that's what I used with my Sony A100.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:24 PM   #51
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may i ask that that means? i honestly don't know...i haven't gotten to that point in the book yet, lol.



so the olympus would be better than any of the other cameras mentioned?
Aperature is basically how much light can get through the lens. A bigger aperature (measured by a smaller f/# ,confused ) helps a bunch in lower light circumstances. And a bigger aperature gives you the more narrow depth of field with the nice Bokeh (fuzzy background).
Long End should be the end of the zoom (ie 20x)


In most photographic circumstances, the PEN camera with the m4/3 sensor would be far superior (color accuracy, dynamic range..) to the cameras you list because the sensor is many times larger.
With just the kit lens, the PEN would have about the same zoom range as your current camera, but the pictures would have more detail and crops would be less grainy.
But with the travel zoom and super zoom cameras you list, the zoom does make for much more interesitng composition of DD in a marching band performance.
If you got a 300mm+ zoom lens on the PEN, (with the crop factor, 300 = 600 equivilent) it would be photographically better than all cameras on your list and have an equal zoom.

Zoom is expensive for bigger sensors, so that's why travel zoom and superzooms are attractive to some.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:31 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by momof1princess View Post
i had to go to officemax at lunch today anyway (needed something for work), so i thought i'd check out the cameras. unfortunately, they don't have display models anymore, because people were breaking them. all they have now is cards you take to the register. BOO. i wanted something i could actually handle, "play with" (for lack of a better term) and check out.

i realize officemax isn't a camera store, but, to be honest, i live in a small city, and we don't have a camera store; so, i figured, since i was there anyway, i'd see what they had.
That's too bad. Best Buy should have a decent selection (but may not have Panasonic) and Walmart and Target have a limited selection with available cameras to hold.

To your earlier question, the HX30 will give you rarkable pictures in great lighting, and the more I think about it, you should get enjoyable pictures in college stadium lighting.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:54 PM   #53
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i'm now looking at this sony camera....thoughts? this is really past the upper end of my price range; but, for a great camera, i'll pay it. can't go more than $500, though.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html
The HX200 has the same sensor and electronics as the HX20 (no wifi like the HX30). I think that's MSRP and its not unusual to see an extra $100 off.

It has a lens that has a fractionally wider aperature. (Lower f/) I have not seen anyone prove that it can result in better pictures. But if my math is right, it would have a better f/4.5 at 500mm and that might make a difference for you with a faster shutter speed or lower ISO.
And the greater zoom may help you some, too.

The 200 also has the EFV, tilt screen and a control ring like most bridge cameras.

But the HX200 is in the same class as the SX40 and FZ150.. The FZ200 is a much better beast. On dpreview.com one of the better HX200 owner and Sony Talk forum posters (and a big Sony proponent through the years) has "left" for the Panasonic forum and is contemplating the FZ200.

The HX200 has been relegated to a nice budget choice (if you can get one on sale)
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:00 AM   #54
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Nothing "poor man" about the Nex5. It's a true SLR-sized sensor. So potentially, it can get better results than the Rx100. The main advantages of the Rx100 are just that it is more compact, and the great included lens. As to cheap Minolta lenses, that's what I used with my Sony A100.
I was just talking about the kit lens. The RX Zeiss lens is a bit sharper. Now if you got the $1200 Zeiss prime for the NEX, the NeX wins, as it should for the price
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:55 PM   #55
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[QUOTE=momof1princess;46408408]may i ask that that means? i honestly don't know...i haven't gotten to that point in the book yet, lol.[.quote]

Aperture is the opening of the lens that lets in light. You can make it bigger to let in more light or smaller to let in less. THis also affects depth of field, but that's a different discussion altogether.

What I'm about to say gets more technical, but I'll try to keep it in plain terms.

They get that f/number that designates aperture, like f/2.8, basically by dividing the focal length of your lens by the actual measurement (in mm) of the opening. This is why a larger opening has a smaller number. It also means that f/2.8 at 100mm will be a larger physical size than f/2.8 at 28mm. So if they make a lens that only goes to f/2.8 at 28mm when you zoom out your maximum aperture number will represent what we think of as a smaller apeture even though the opening likely hasn't changed much or might have even gotten physically larger, which is the really hard part to wrap your head around. Now, if you're like me you're thinking that if the opening is the same size or mabybe even larger it should get the same amount of light. But it doesn't because it takes more light to get down the barrel of the lens when it's made longer. It balances out somewhat.

And if I totally lost you, don't worry. I didn't really get it until a teacher showed me with a lens that had been cut away. Just keep in mind that the thing to remember is smaller aperture number=bigger opening. Bigger opening=more light.


Quote:
so the olympus would be better than any of the other cameras mentioned?
My advice, and others will disagree, don't get too wrapped up in specs. Great specs can help, but they're not everything. You have to find the right fit for you. Make a list of features you want. find the cameras in your price range that have those features. Go play with them. Reading reviews, both personal and paid professional, is great. But it only tells you how the camera works for someone else and that's just a fraction of the story. And the results from a camera can vary greatly depending on the user. The RX100 is a good example. I've seen work from 2 different photographers on this board from that camera. One was really impressive work that would totally sell me on that camera. The other looked like run of the mill point and shoot images that had me easily dismissing the camera. Along the same lines, what one person considers amazing images from a camera another might think are just OK or even bad. It's all really, really subjective.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:53 PM   #56
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My advice, and others will disagree, don't get too wrapped up in specs. Great specs can help, but they're not everything. You have to find the right fit for you. Make a list of features you want. find the cameras in your price range that have those features. Go play with them. Reading reviews, both personal and paid professional, is great. But it only tells you how the camera works for someone else and that's just a fraction of the story. And the results from a camera can vary greatly depending on the user. The RX100 is a good example. I've seen work from 2 different photographers on this board from that camera. One was really impressive work that would totally sell me on that camera. The other looked like run of the mill point and shoot images that had me easily dismissing the camera. Along the same lines, what one person considers amazing images from a camera another might think are just OK or even bad. It's all really, really subjective.
This is a very key point. Many people, especially this day in age, get too wrapped up in the numbers and forget that you have to be able to use the camera to get that great shot you're aiming for.

Expanding on the above, I'd say look for a set of cameras, within your actual price range (or just slightly above if you can swing it but would rather not) that have the features you need (good zoom, faster (lower aperture) at the long end, decent sensor) and compare those (like you have already ). Find one that fits your hands and allows you to navigate the menus and make sure it's not a dud by checking reviews (though, this should probably go above, you can reorder my steps).

Beyond that, don't get too wrapped up in "what's best", as you'll never end up getting anything that way .
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:22 AM   #57
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okay guys, these photos were taken last night with my same old camera (canon powershot A1100IS), but i bumped up the ISO to 800 from 400.

they look okay, until they're cropped, then they're pretty grainy.

this is the original photo:


IMG_0378 by iluvamystery89

this is the cropped photo:


Eryn-2 10/12/2012 by iluvamystery89
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:07 PM   #58
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The noise that happens when you crop in is just part of digital photography like grain is with film. It's why most of us keep getting new cameras as technology progresses. Newer technology generally means less noise.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:25 PM   #59
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That noise at ISO800 looks better than my previous, circa 2005 Sony W7 at ISO400, so yes, better high ISO performance is usually one of the main improvements in newer cameras.
It is also a good lesson on the advantage of the FZ200's fixed aperature f/2.8 lens. Your camera at max optical zoom is at f/5.6 and required ISO800 in that circumstance. Since the FZ200 has a 2 f/stop advantage, it would be taking that shot at a much cleaner ISO200.
My HX30 is also f/5.6 at full zoom, so it would also need ISO 800 at full zoom, but at least you would not need to crop that picture and would wind up with a higher quality print.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:53 PM   #60
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apparently, i can get a nikon D3100 at wal-mart for $499. good camera? the reviews are okay. my cousin owns this camera, and says it's a good one, but he uses it on auto, so i'm sure he's not getting the best photos he could.
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