View Full Version : Digital Camera purchasing (any advice)

01-24-2006, 02:09 AM
Well, I have some nice shots taken with my Olympus D580 I've been meaning to post, but I'm definately looking for a nicer camera, especially now that I have a good income. I was looking at a $349.99 Fuji this afternoon I almost went for; 4.0 MP, 6x optical zoom, manual override with aperture or timer settings (up to 15 seconds). My father convinced me to take a look at the Fry's ads this weekend because his Camera (which had all the same features minus .8 Megapixels, but with a 10x zoom) was going for only $200. He's also not sure about the quality of Fuji's product

What I'd like to look at:

-$300 - $350
-5 MegaPixels
-10x Optical zoom
-Manual settings for apurture and timing (Night shots... i work until 1 AM and then chase SDIV trains until 2 sometimes)
-XD Card supported, I have over $100 worth of XD cards already, I'd like to keep that infrastructure

Any recommendations beyond that Fuji? (Forget the model number)
They're holding it for me through tomorrow


01-24-2006, 04:29 AM
Fujifilm Finepix S5200 5.1MP. 10x zoom. Not stabalized, so to get good pics on the tele end, you'd need a tripod. I'd get it online here (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007GIXSI/qid=1138076363/sr=8-3/ref=pd_bbs_3/103-3487522-8639827?n=507846&s=photo&v=glance) or here (http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4052221) for about $300-350 or at Ritz Camera for $380

01-24-2006, 04:36 AM
I think I was looking at the S5100... the S5200 was 399.99.

01-24-2006, 08:43 PM
Dose the camera have a compleatly manual mode? some of them have shutter priotity [S], aperture priority [A], programe auto exposure [P] but no manual mode [M]. manual mode is esental for night shots. cause in it you can set the shutter speed and the aperture. in aperture priority you set just the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed it feels is needed. in shutter priotiy you set the shutter speed, and the camera set the aperture that is appropriate. in auto mode the camera sets both.

another thing to consider is if it has an electronic viewfinder. this means that you have a very small LCD screen in the viewfinder of the camera instead of the traditional optical one (SLRs are somethign totaly differnt b/c they view throught the lens that is used for the exposure). I am not a fan of the LCD viewfinders that have become incresingly popular on digital cameras. For daytime shooting they have horable contrast. for night time shooting they are even worse. Useing one at night time you'll get an all black screen, excpet if you have a stong point of light which will appear as a point of light. its pritty much like your shooting not without a viewfinder.

One other quick comment. Generaly the bigger range a zoom lens has the slower the lens gets, and the immage quality gose down. The aperture range on big zoom lens in not always that bad, but up towards the long tele end it will often get slow. Many large zoom lenses especialy in digital point and shoot cameras have very bad pincoushin and barrel distortion at the end ranges of the zoom.

so just a few things to think about... didnt really answer any of your questions there, but hope it can help a bit. Have fun with whatever you get and good luck shooting.

01-25-2006, 02:57 AM
www.dpreview.com (http://www.dpreview.com)

Check this site for reviews/opinions...

01-25-2006, 05:41 AM
Granted my opinion is biased towards SLR's, but if you have a "good income", and your present camera is working just fine, you might consider stuffing away cash.

This is the same advice I offer up to many people that ask this question, digicams are fine and all, but if you truly want to learn about photography, an SLR is ultimately going to be the way to go. Almost every SLR has a range of options from fully automatic to fully manual control, you can unlock more features of the camera as you become more comfortable with your own skill level.

You can lay your hot little hands on the body of an SLR for anywhere between 500 and 900 dollars depending on what you want for capability.

The added benefit of getting an SLR is that you can simply start buying lenses (aka "glass") as your photography skills evolve. You can begin buying lenses based on what type of photos you want to take and the lenses can be interchangeable with bodies. Assuming you stay in the same camera family such as Nikon, Canon, Fuji, etc.

There are many schools of thought on what type of lenses are needed for rail photography, or photography in general, but that is a decision for the person taking the pictures.

Forwarded for your consideration,

01-30-2006, 04:59 AM
Well, I did read your guys' posts, I worked my workweek, and I discussed with my father and Sister's fiancee what would be good for my uses. My father yesterday left out an ad for me and today I picked up an Olympus SP-500UZ. I'll post a few test shots in the coming days as I figure out how to use it.

01-30-2006, 05:54 AM
with regards to some of the earlier posts:

Sean, by no means am I looking to go fully SLR, but my father does have an old Nikon (I believe) with a slave flash and telephoto (don't know the specifics, few years since we've taken it out) which is great for SLR work, so if I ever find myself in need.....

It has S, A, M, and P, Video, and two others I don't recognize (I think one may be for multiple shots to become panoramic, the other may be the 15 second time, I have to read the instructions). I've gotten it to hold up to 15 seconds and gotten some nice shots.