Recommend me a camera!

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Temple Meads

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Hey guys, I'm after an upgrade to a new camera in the near future methinks.

What I'm after:
Budget is about £200, could perhaps stretch a bit.
Preferably new, though I'd still like to hear about secondhand cameras that will be in my price range.
Any type of camera, but I'd like something a bit chunkier than a compact if possible.
At least 10x zoom.
I'd prefer a Li-Ion battery, but it's not crucial.
Would like something that's known to be decent for night photography.

Can anyone recommend something?

Cheers in advance :)
 
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The Informer

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Hey guys, I'm after an upgrade to a new camera in the near future methinks.

What I'm after:
Budget is about £200, could perhaps stretch a bit.
Preferably new, though I'd still like to hear about secondhand cameras that will be in my price range.
Any type of camera, but I'd like something a bit chunkier than a compact if possible.
At least 10x zoom.
I'd prefer a Li-Ion battery, but it's not crucial.
Would like something that's known to be decent for night photography.

Can anyone recommend something?

Cheers in advance :)

For a £200 budget I'd consider a Sony HD camcorder.

The stills off them are amazing, coupled with HD video you can't go wrong. Check others like Panasonic,JVC etc.

 

crewmeal

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Since I bought my Samsung Galaxy note phone my Nikon D30 has been confined to the cupboard. I was thinking of buy an HD video camera, but the phone does the trick so well. You can even edit your video then transfer it to your computer. To me the quality is that of high end cameras, even with the settings. If you have a Samsung TV with wifi you can show your videos and photos direct to it via the 'all share' app. I quite often watch HD movies that way without any loss of quality. A good example of this is Hugo, the boy who lives in a clock tower at a Paris railway station.

Ok so the down side is when you stick your camera out of a tour train window capturing the Dawlish sea wall the sound of the wind is not so good. Also there is no grab handle, so you have to be careful when belting through the bend at Newton Abbot.
 
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150001

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I've always had Canon. Very reliable and the quality of picture or filming excellent. I've got a Canon PowerShot A3300 IS and is great value for money. On maximum zoom (x20) the quality goes down but at x10 you're fine. If you want to see my pics taken with it, see my flickr page, and the most recent photos of the 172s is my camera. The Camera costs around £100-110 but after the case, cleaner and SD card, it costs £125. It is excellent and once you have learnt how to use it on Program mode, it works a treat!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/150001/
 

richw

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For a £200 budget I'd consider a Sony HD camcorder.

The stills off them are amazing, coupled with HD video you can't go wrong. Check others like Panasonic,JVC etc.


I've a JVC camcorder and it gives excellent stills, was around £200.

I also have a canon eos550d but that will be well outside of your budget unless second hand options are considerable
 

HughTFall

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@Temple Meads, I could say that the price might be a little bit out of your range but I guarantee you of a quality results. My friend is using that one for almost 7 years and still she's not thinking of replacing it. I was truly amazed by her camera.
 

Nym

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Christ, anything for night photography without using a flash and with a budget of £200??

Put a 1 in front of that and you could get a Cannon 5D Mk.2 with Full Frame Sensor, then splash another £450 on a 18-180 wide aperture Tamaron lens for it...

It is slightly confusing that you mention such a large zoom (and) good night photography, my experience says you can either shoot wide at night or not at all, unless you're doing long exposures, and even then without a specialist lens you're looking at not being able to push it much past 50mm, with no convertors, you just don't get enough light through smaller lenses, and any light you do get, at the cheap end of sensors (Normal CCDs that you get in low end bridges and all compacts) will burn out on any remaining light that comes through.

Personally if I was starting out I'd be looking at a lowish end Cannon 1100D or 650D, but these lack features that are helpful for railway photography (Fast continuous shoot speed, 1100D only managed 3.2fps)
http://www.jessops.com/online.store/products/80181/show.html

A basic starter on an 1100D would set you back about £370, but it can be added to with wider lenses and teleconvertors for better shots later, although on the size of sensor to get much better you need to push up to a 600D, but that's a big price jump.

Sonys tend to be twice as fast in the same price range, the a37 comes out at closer to £500, and 6.2fps, but even that is irritating when trying to get moving shots, and the Sony's data transfer speeds (from experience) is all out of ideas after about 7 seconds of trying to encode full res. Cannons on this rarely fall down, since even the 1100D uses the DGIC4 processor as it's a very new camera.

The main problem comes in that a stock 18-50mm lens simply can't cope and focus correctly on longer range shots, for example, at Piccadilly, you're lucky to get past 90 yards and keep the unit in proper focus without distortion, you need something at the 170mm mark to get decent approach shots, static is fine at 35mm, as are close ups, such as sitting near lineside for a passing unit, that brings me onto my next point;

An APS-C sensor is much better performing than a standard CCD in sports shots, if you wanted moving things and money was no object I'd be pointing you at the Cannon 7D with an 18-175mm lens and 1.4x teleconvertor, but that comes out at about 10 times your budget.

Thing brings me neatly to Bridge cameras, I'm not a fan of these for what the're used for, the're semi DSLRs with fixed lenses, and are very good for things like extreme sports at the high end bridges (~£400) tend to be very rugged in construction compared with the equivilant DSLR cameras.

And by the time you manage to find a bridge with some decent glass in it and a decent sized sensor you're pushing £350 anyway. For example the Cannon Powershots http://www.jessops.com/online.store...ershot SX40 HS Digital Camera-82692/Show.html
But this will distort like hell and might not be what you're actually looking for in a camera.

To be honest what I'd say is either look at the high end compacts with a £200 budget, because Bridges and SLRs are out of budget for them, since a decent bridge is starting at £350 and an SLR setup would cost you £374.99 for a bundle with card and case, then another £15 in filters and £10 in odds and sods, I wouldn't go out with anything without a UV filter on, unless I was shooting at night and the F number was imperative, since it protects the lens quite nicely.

Either way, feel free to ask me or my better half some more questions (I'll pass them on).

I'll leave you with a shot that shows what happens when you get the settings right on a low to mid end DSLR running at 55mm and f/6.3 with a 1/200exp 100ISO on a Sony α290. (Stock Lens)

View attachment 11844

PS: Last thing I'll say is go into Jessops, not Jacobs, not Argos, not Currys, PC World, Comet, Asda, anyone like that; Jessops, and have a feel around the Bridges and lower DSLRs and see if you like the feel of them, if I was starting out in railway photography I'd either be looking at a Sony Alpha 37 or Cannon 1100D, probably the latter due to the improved lens offerings from Tamaron.

Jessops have much better service than any of these and know what the're talking about, they also don't lock their cameras away permanently and expect you to not want to play with what you're about to spend a lot of money on. Secondary to this if you do buy from them, get the insurance...
 
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GB

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@Temple Meads, I could say that the price might be a little bit out of your range but I guarantee you of a quality results. My friend is using that one for almost 7 years and still she's not thinking of replacing it. I was truly amazed by her camera.

The 7D was only released the back end of 2009 wasn't it?
 

Nym

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Just had word from the other half, he's saying go for a high end compact or spend the extra and see if you can find a 1000D or 1100D, 1000D would be cheaper, but isn't available in Jessops at the moment as it's an older camera.

And yes, the 7D was back in 2009.
 

GB

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IF you go the way of a DSLR with interchangeable lenses, think long and hard about the brand and any potential future upgrade paths.

Once your settled with a brand and start buying different lenses its very hard to switch to other makes.

For me I'm Olympus and I'd have to get rid of all my Olympus hardware if I wanted to switch to say Nikon or Canon which will be very costly.
 

gswindale

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Jessops have much better service than any of these and know what the're talking about, they also don't lock their cameras away permanently and expect you to not want to play with what you're about to spend a lot of money on. Secondary to this if you do buy from them, get the insurance...
I'd check your home insurance policy details before forking out for a product specific insurance policy.

From my information from somebody working in a claims centre for a company that provides "insurance policies" for the likes of Best Buy/John Lewis and they will do everything they can to avoid paying out - especially if you are completely honest about the cause of the issue.

The only advantage you may have is that you may get a tempory replacement quite quickly if it needs repairing, but over the years I've never had such a need for anything like that.
 

Nym

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IF you go the way of a DSLR with interchangeable lenses, think long and hard about the brand and any potential future upgrade paths.

Once your settled with a brand and start buying different lenses its very hard to switch to other makes.

For me I'm Olympus and I'd have to get rid of all my Olympus hardware if I wanted to switch to say Nikon or Canon which will be very costly.

Very good point, my other half is now stuck with Sony until he upgrades his camera, and this is limiting his shots as he's reluctant to invest in a longer lens for the Sony, as they won't fit the cannons that we're looking at.
 

Temple Meads

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Just had word from the other half, he's saying go for a high end compact or spend the extra and see if you can find a 1000D or 1100D, 1000D would be cheaper, but isn't available in Jessops at the moment as it's an older camera.

And yes, the 7D was back in 2009.

I must say thanks for the extensive advice you've given in your last 2 posts, it really is useful, and has certainly given me a lot to chew over.

I am aware that given my budget (which is pretty non negotiable tbh) I'm going to have to compromise, I wasn't aware that high zoom and night photography weren't happy bedfellows, and this does make things harder, as it's very hard for me to choose between the two.

I will consider buying from Jessops rather than Argos if the price is right, but the discounts tend to be larger in the latter, so I might be rather nasty and have a gander in Jessops, then buy the camera from Argos :P

Thank you again for your help Nym.
 
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