Time to upgrade?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras & Equipment' started by DisneyDame, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. DisneyDame

    DisneyDame Member

    I've been looking at all the ads for digital cameras (holiday shopping time already?!), and I'm seeing P&S cameras up to 8+ Megapixels for pretty reasonable prices. I'm currently using a 2 year old 4.1 MP Kodak EasyShare that I've been pretty happy with except for its low-light shots. Is it time to ask Santa for an upgrade? Why or why not? Recommendations?
  2. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    well, pat,

    my opinion on megapixels isnt "more is always better". there are other issues to consider, such as manual or semi manual controls vs. full auto, quality of the lens and zoom range, cost of upgrading (will your flash cards be compatable, etc.), and how happy you are with your current camera. if you have a particular model that you are interested in, i would suggest going over to www.dpreview.com, www.fredmiranda.com, or www.steves-digicams.com/, and look up the reviews for that model. if you tell me what you are interested in, i can research it a bit for you as well.

    as far as low-light capability, low-light requires either time, high ISO, or a fast lens to obtain the exposure. when i do my night photos in the parks, i use low ISO, slower lens, and as much time as needed to get the shot (tripod is mandatory).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  3. Scott

    Scott Member

    I agree that you shouldn't get caught up in the megapixel race - but having said that, I personally wouldn't get anything less than 5 megapixels. Cameras are progressing so fast these days that last year's models are old, and 2-year-old cameras are ancient!

    Which camera should you get? Mostly, it depends on how much money you want to spend (isn't it always that way?). I'm somewhat familiar with Canon's line of p&s cameras. If you want to stay small & compact, I'd go for one of their "SD" series cameras, especially the SD700IS or SD800IS (the "IS" part stands for Image Stabilization, which will help you eliminate camera shake when hand-holding). One step up from those cameras is the Powershot S3 IS, but its a little bigger in size (it won't fit in a pocket, for example). Canon's best small camera these days is the Powershot G7 (just came out last month). Its a bit bigger still, and of course more expensive.
  4. MickeyBabe

    MickeyBabe Member

    I am using a Nikon coolpix 4300 and am ready for an upgrade. One reason is that it is slow on the take. I often get photos of people moving away as they thought it was done taking the photo. :-\

    I think good Image Stabilization is something I wouldfind useful.

    I would also like a smaller sized camera with a bigger viewing screen.

    What do you think of the Sony cameras?
  5. whitewatersf

    whitewatersf Member

    I have a fuji Finepix that I use for taking nature scenary. But I needed something small to take into the parks with me. I recently purchased the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5


    I really like this camera. It has no view finder but a large (2.5") screen. While being a point and shoot you can still adjust some of the settings to help get the perfect shot. And to help with shaky hands it has image stabliazation built in. This is true image stabilazation. While there is a setting to speed up the shutter speed, action shot mode, the camera helps with shake by actually adjusting the lens as you take your picture. This has helped to get better shots while walking or getting bumped by other people.

    It is 6mp, takes 2AA (great battery life as well), and uses SD cards.

    If you have any questions about this camera e-mail or post them up

    Happy shooting
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  6. I personally use a 5.0mp Sony Cybershot, which I bought 3 years ago when it was more or less top of the line in terms of point-and-shoot cameras go. There wasn't too much out there at or above 5, and I was then under the impression that more mp's meant better pictures. However, I soon realized that unless I was planning to make poster prints of my shots, I really didn't need all 5 of those mp's, and in the interest of fitting more pics on a single memory stick, I now typically shoot on the 3.1mp setting. The pics look just as fantastic in terms of quality, but are just a little smaller. The size isn't really an issue though, because even on the smaller setting, they are still larger than will fit on my screen without zooming out a ways.

    Getting back to the original question though, about whether or not to upgrade from the 4.1 Kodak... I wouldn't, simply because like I said, even 3MPs will give you fine quality and a plenty large enough image. As long as you are happy with the photos you are getting (which, apparently you are), there's no need to spend the money to change to a new P&S camera. Unless you're upgrading to a completely new type of cam, such as going from P&S to SLR, I wouldn't bother upgrading. Low-light shots will always give you difficulty, and will require a lot of patience and more often than not, a tripod or equivalent (I personally love to use the tops of clean-ish* WDW garbage cans, which come pre-set up for me in the most convenient places!). By the way, I've seen the results of a 2MP Kodak EasyShare, and even for a 2MP cam, the colors on the Kodak were brilliant. Knowing that, I can't imagine your 4.1MP version is even half bad.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  7. Scott

    Scott Member

    MainStreet, please let me try to convince you not to do that! When you change from the 5mp setting to the 3.1mp setting, your camera is throwing out pixels that you might not want to delete. Sort of like the endless JPG vs. RAW arguments that you see on some photography forums, but this is worse. Digital storage is so cheap these days that I would recommend that you shoot at your camera's best resolution to get all the data that you can. You can shrink the photos later on your computer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  8. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    agreed. you paid for the megapixels, you might as well use them or you're cheating yourself. you can get 1gb cards of all kinds for $20 now, so you might as well use the full rez. of your device. you will kick yourself later when you want a nice print of a photo you took and you can only get a little one due to the lack of rez.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  9. Sadly, that's the one downside to having the Sony - it uses Memory Sticks, which are for some stupid reason much more expensive than just about every other form of digital media. The cheapest 1gb Mem Stick I found with a quick search just now was $45 (bestbuy.com - I know it's probably not the cheapest I can find, but I only have a minute). At those prices, I'm again limited by my college-kid budget, and have to stick to the three 128mb sticks I already have. But just this past Sunday, for example, I nearly filled all three of those, and that was shooting on the 3.1 setting. There is no way I could have taken as many shooting on 5.0. I agree with you that I should use them if I had the storage capacity to do so... I just don't have it, so I don't usually shoot that way.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  10. Scott

    Scott Member

    Don't forget - Santa is on the way!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  11. DisneyDame, if you're happy with your camera, that all it matters. As far as low-light performers I'd suggest Fuji F30 or my current favourite, Canon SD800 IS. What do I like about this camera? Real wide angle lens (28mm equivalent, fits my shooting needs) and more than acceptable ISO 800 and a very effective IS. Fuji's high ISO is actually better than Canon by one full stop (its ISO 1600 shots are very acceptable) but the lack of IS and 28mm makes me lean more towards the Canon.

    Just my 2 cents... which in the internet world means absolutely nothing :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  12. MickeyBabe

    MickeyBabe Member

    Kelly... I have been looking at the Cannon SD800 IS myself. (I pretty much have it narrowed down)

    In an effort to contain cost, what, if any, difference is there between the 700 and the 800?
  13. here are the 'upgrades' available on the SD800, the ones with asterisks are the ones I deem essential

    1. 28mm lens instead of 38mm * (for my shooting style, anything beyond 30mm is not wide enough)
    2. cleaner high ISO, clean ISO400 and very useable ISO800. ISO1600 is admittedly garbage * (for "night snapshot", set ISO to 400 or 800, turn fill-in flash on, snap away and you'll get the background lights - see my next post for sample pics)
    3. face detection on the SD800 (essential if you're sharing the camera with kids, or if there are multiple faces auto DOF is activated making most, if not all, faces to be in focus) *
    4. faster startup time * (any delay in startup time may make you loose the essential shots)
    5. faster shot to shot interval
    6. shorter shutter lag (not that this is not important, but SD700 IS is already pretty fast and the improvement on the 800 is negligible)
    7. better battery life
  14. same scene taken with ISO 100 (top) versus ISO 1600 (bottom). Flash on for both pictures.


    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  15. Scott

    Scott Member

    I'm a fan of the Canon "SD" series. They're good performers for their size. The SD800 seems to be a great camera for tagging along. Interestingly, the next model up in the series, the SD900, appears to not have Image Stabilization.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  16. yeah, it doesn't make sense to me too. ???
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  17. MickeyBabe

    MickeyBabe Member

    Yes... I noticed that and that is why I am considering the SD800 instead of the SD900.

    The faster shot to shot interval and shorter shutter lag are vital to me consider what I am working with now. (Very frustrating) The battery life is also a great plus. Now how to "suggest" the exact model I want to my hubby for my Christmas list! ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  18. suggest that you need a Canon 30D with battery grip with 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens. When he popped his eyes due to the price, tell him you'll settle for an SD 800 IS. It'll feel really affordable for him at that point. ;D

    PS: if you don't mind sharing, what kind of shots do you need to take? I don't want to recommend something that in the end is still not suitable for your work.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  19. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    That's funny! :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  20. nick.jeschke

    nick.jeschke Member

    I use a Canon Powershot S3 IS! Its wonderful! I just need to figure all the preferences allot better!

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