i am a bit of a amature (well pleb really) when it comes to Photography. im just seeking advise on which camera to buy, i belive i have narrowed it down to two, the Canon EOS 400s or the Nikon Coolpix P80.
The Canon seems to be the better camera, being an SLR obviously would create better photos for WEB and publishing, but the ease of the point and click appeals, plus size, and at 10.1 million pixels, 18x optical zoom is the difference that great?
Any advice appreciated.
I'm no expert by any means. But I am in the market for a replacement camera too. Up to now I've been using a Canon Ixus 50 for still shots, which has nearly had it! - AND a separate Sony Handycam for movie footage.
I wouldn't /won't bother with two camera devices again, i.e. (a) one for still shots, say another compact point-and-shoot; plus (b) a separate movie recorder. It's just too much money tied-up in technology and excessive bulk to carry around. What's more, I'm one of those people that just keeps on leaving things behind in restaurants and motel rooms. It's only a matter of time before I leave behind a camera somewhere, so the less I have of them around .. the better, eh?!
Instead I'm looking to acquire something that 'does it all' - like a compact general-use 'mid-range' still camera with some SLR-like performance, plus that will also take decent movie footage. I've been looking at a Canon PowerShot G9, with plenty of memory. It's been around for a while now too, and therefore is surely due to be succeeded with an upgrade model soon, which is why the retail price is dropping rapidly. You can pick-up a brand new'un for £250 (around the same price range as the two you're looking at) - and when the G10 (or G11) comes out, the price for a new G9 should drop through the floor. But when this happens a new G9 will still be good enough for me and what I'll be using it for.
That said, I've just briefly looked at some reviews of the Canon EOS 400 and the Nikon Coolpix P80. They're obviously both great cameras, although the larger Canon appears too bulky and sophisticated for my amateur approach and needs. Gotta love the 18x optical zoom of the Nikon, BUT I'm wondering how easy it would slip into your pocket? This is a very important consideration for me. The Canon Powershot G9 is just about compact/small enough to fit comfortably inside a jacket or trouser pocket; I'm not so sure about the Nikon in this regard though.
Good luck with your choice. I may be influenced by your final decision, so do please let us know how you get on.
If you're looking for a combi unit, with emphasis on good video recording, then one of these is certainly worth a look:
A friend of mine has one and has got some fantastic results on and off bike, and the camera element is surprisingly good quality too. It is waterproof (and so certainly mud and splash proof) and using SD cards to record means there are no tapes or hard drives to get damaged or skip etc.
The only thing you will need is a few extra batteries, and they are camera specific not AA type, so a charger is required - but it is a compact and robust unit, and would probably prove ideal for RTW type travel recording and photography?
Go for the one you can deal with !
I know many people buy SLRs for its look and can't use them. Always makes phone calls to ask how to do/how to use.
They look at the manual but can't understand menthality well. Confuse and give up.
If you are not good at the photography, not enought to deal easily with a SLR, or it looks too big to carry, etc. Go for point and shoot cameras. But a good brand like Nikon Coolpix or similar.
If you think you can learn, have ambition to use and get familiar with SLR, ok go for SLR.
It sounds like you like to buy a point and shoot more than SLR.
Once, a friend asked me to buy a good point and shoot camera from Singapore. I bought a good point and shoot camera. They called me several times. Got how to use it course but failed.
Don't frighten yourself and go for the one you can easily use...
Bazza, I bought a Canon PowerShot A630 just to carry on the bike with me and it has turned out to be a great inexpensive camera. I bought it just to get started in digital media with thoughts of upgrading later, as I still use a 35mm SLR. I find more and more that I leave the bulky film camera at home. Here is a review of the camera at dpreview.
Canon PowerShot A630 digital camera specifications: Digital Photography Review
They have tons of cameras there for you to choose from and usually list where the best prices are for online purchases. One of my reasons for getting this camera was it runs on four AA batteries that you can pick up most anywhere. I use rechargables as they last a long time between charges.
I bought the Coolpix P80 last week and I'm no expert either but I have a few thoughts on it.
Back in the day I was a die-hard 35mm user and did not want anything to do with the digcams when they first came out. I had a ancient Pentax K1000 that I did the most amazing photography with, mostly through trial and error but I've never matched anything close with a digcam.
I still have my many Pentax lenses and I'm waiting for the DSLRs to come down a bit over the next year or two and I'll dive back in , hopefully with satisfactory results.
In the meantime, I wanted a point and shoot that gave me more capability and creativity than the standard and I opted for the Coolpix P80.
I really like it so far, the pictures are very crisp and it's easy to hold and use. It would fit into a coat pocket but not a shirt pocket.
There are many functions on the camera that I am still playing with. I really love the in-camera editing and D-lighting options. Just being able to rotate photos by in-camera editing is a pleasant thing to me LOL. The D-lighting gives you the ability to apply light to photos and get a different (sometimes better) result.
The macro is giving me a problem. I'm having a hard time focusing on objects if I'm within a few cms. I got some great flower shots standing back a few feet, but not the intense macro I was looking for and used to be able to achieve. I need to play with the Sports continuous shoot mode for action shots, there is too much of a lag time to try and take them singly which I discovered while attempting to shoot kids jumping into a pool. Disappointing but I need to work on a few things as well.
The zoom on the other hand, is great. I don't find compromises in photo or lighting quality, especially outdoors and the wide angle is awesome. Great for nature and scenery pics.
I don't miss the "luggage" of my many lenses and the tripod, flash, etc. along with the camera. This is a compact little number that is really quite easy to live with, and above all takes colorful clear photos and enables the user to experiment and improve their skills in shooting. I don't think I'll ever match the 35 slr creatively with this digcam, but the convenience is a wonderful thing.
I got the cam through Beach Camera for 327.00 so for that price I can't complain about the few glitches I am working through and overall I'm glad I bought it and I'm enjoying it a great deal.
I agree with the guys above - unless you plan to take a lot of action shots, there really is no need in lugging a digital SLR (and associated gubbins) around with you, especially on a bike!
As for film (or transparancy), there really is no point anymore - the current generation of digital '35mm' SLR's (especially Canon) really have come of age now - many Pro's use the D40 range (which are still 'affordable') with fantastic results... and more than adequate for full page A4 magazine work for example.
But really, for general 'travel' shots, the current digi-compacts also offer excellent results. I took all my SLR kit to the USA with me last year, but ended up leaving it with friends and bought a Fuji Finepix (9 mega pixel) for around £100 and used that instead - perfect to slip in your jacket pocket, and far less obtrusive for more candid shots you might want to take?
In fact I've had plenty of pictures published that were taken with my ancient little 2 mega pixel Sony DSC which I keep on a lanyard around my neck - it's one-hand simple to use, and more often than not gets a shot that would be impossible any other way...
Go for something simple and robust is my recommendation - don't try and ape every SLR feature, sometimes the camera's own limitations can actually produce 'better' results as you tend to concentrate on composition rather than rely on technical merit?
I've had several Canon digi cams over the years.
Well i've btten the bullet and gone and bought the Panasonic FZ8, some great advice given and all of it taken in, but i think Mollydogs pics did it for me, Tks,
The camera does everything i need and appears easy enough to use, compact enough, fits in my Tankbag with all the other at hand stuff i need, but i would'nt go any larger. i was hoping to get out today show off a bit with the bike, but it was not to be, ill put some shots up in the near future.
once agaion, thanks alot for the tips, web addresses etc.
I've been using a Fuji S8000 for 6 months or so which is a similar style to the FZ-8. SD card, 4xAA power with a 28-400 zoom. I've found it excelent for travel photography and when I'm touring it lives in my tankbag with no ill affects so far. It shoots pretty good video too but I do carry a panasonic SDR-10 for my onboard video. It's a shame that this little videocam only shoots stills at VGA, horses for courses. I use my camera phone for any other pics I take. It has a 3.2MP camera that even does panaramic shots.
A shot at 400mm with image stabalisation...
A shot at 28mm...
A panoramc shot from my K800 phone...
Congrats on the camera choice Bazza:thumbup1:
The BLack Raven of Doom in Baja (shot at about 300mm)
Patrick, I have been wanting to upgrade to the FZ-8 since the first time I saw it. How is the battery life on this camera? Is a 12v charger offered for it? Sorry for all the questions, I should have done more research, but since you have experience with this model you can tell me everything I need to know if you don't mind. My concern is being on the road for over a month where I will be camping most of the time and probably won't have access to electricity for charging.
many off/ons on just one charge.
Thanks Patrick, I can't help but think this would be the perfect camera for my trip to AK. With that much zoom and a small tripod I think I can get some great shots of Grizzly Bears at play.
I really don't want to get close enough to use the Canon!:eek3:
Judging by your photos I think it will do well on the landscapes as well.
Works good on just common everyday stuff too.
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