Would like some advice on a camera?

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atomicdanny

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Hi, I was wondering if anyone could help, currently i'm looking to upgrade from my Compact camera (a Casio EX H15 - although while its fairly good at certain things including its Super Macro / 10x optical zoom), its only really good in very good sunlight). I'm looking for another compact (I say compact (technically they are) but really mean the ones in between Compact and DSLR).

So far i've looked at (the Panasonic seems to be the better one but is also the most expensive from what I've seen) - but not sure what to go for really (out of the below or any other suggestions would be welcome :) ) - although the Panasonic would be the upper range of what i can spend (£360)

Canon Powershot SX40 -
http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/canon_powershot_sx40_hs_review/

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 - http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_fz150_review/

Casio EX-FH25 - http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_fz150_review/

Nikon COOLPIX P510 - http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/nikon_coolpix_p510_review/
 
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Tim R-T-C

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I use the older SX30 which is decent and very light with a whopping zoom but the images are rather grainy compared to my usual Canon 350. Might be worth having a look in a camera shop to see if you can get a second hand DSLR for your money. The jump in picture quality is remarkable.
 

Nym

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£360 you'll be struggling to get any kind of decent DSLR, I have seen Cannon Eos 1000Ds with 18-55m f/1.8-5.6 lenses kicking around at the £360 mark, but they would be very anoying for lack of features.

You're thinking of Bridge cameras, and to be honest, £360 you're struggling to reach the top end of the Bridge market, but again, being honest, I've never really looked into Bridges properly, but in the world of compacts, you can get a top end compact that would likely be as good or better than the low to mid end bridges.

I would recommend you head into a PROPER camera shop and have a play around the compacts and bridges, don't try DSLRs at that price, there has been a recent jump in the APS-C Sensors and everything post 2009 is holding it's value very well.

Looking at it you could get a very nice bundle deal at the price you're looking for with a half decent SD Card and bag. Also, the SX40 is one of the newest and up to date bridges I can find and uses DSLR tech rather than Compact tech, ie. The DGIC-5 Image Processor as used in the 650D, 5D and 1D-X (Albeit two of them with a DGIC-4 on the side in the latter).

http://www.jessops.com/online.store...ershot SX40 HS Digital Camera-82692/Show.html

Either way, I'd say go and have a play round the bridges, but if you twisted my arm I'd be recomending the SX40, because a lot of aftermarket kit will come out soon for the image processor, and it's the best processor available at the moment that gives a lot of power to the low light shots, I'm not to sure on the sensitivity of the sensor, but the sheet amount of glass on the end means it will be better in low light anyway.
 
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Benno

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£360 you'll be struggling to get any kind of decent DSLR, I have seen Canon Eos 1000Ds with 18-55m f/1.8-5.6 lenses kicking around at the £360 mark, but they would be very annoying for lack of features.

Not at all. Amazon currently list the Nikon D3100 with 18-55 lens for £349 and the Canon 1100D with 18-55 lens for £329. Both of these camera's would make a great introduction into SLR photography and have more than enough features.

I have seen Canon Eos 1000Ds with 18-55m f/1.8-5.6 lenses kicking around at the £360 mark

An f/1.8-5.6 lens, are you sure?
 

Nym

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Not at all. Amazon currently list the Nikon D3100 with 18-55 lens for £349 and the Canon 1100D with 18-55 lens for £329. Both of these camera's would make a great introduction into SLR photography and have more than enough features.
And the SX40 goes from a 35mm equivalent of 24mm to >800mm, hence needing to know purposes, not only that but also uses the much better DGIC5 rather than DGIC4

I'd never personally go for a 1100D or D3100 anyway, too stripped out to be down at consumer level.
An f/1.8-5.6 lens, are you sure?

No, I'm not sure...

Either way, an 1100D with stock lens woudn't have half the things you'd need to make it useable in the real world, such as; Bag, UV Filter, SDXC/HC Card(s) etc.
 

GB

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Either way, an 1100D with stock lens woudn't have half the things you'd need to make it useable in the real world, such as; Bag, UV Filter, SDXC/HC Card(s) etc.

To be fair, other than cards, you don't need the rest to make the camera usable and you would be in the same situation no matter what type of camera you decide to buy.
 

Nym

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To be fair, other than cards, you don't need the rest to make the camera usable and you would be in the same situation no matter what type of camera you decide to buy.

Does also stick you with a short lens that isn't much use when you push past about 150 - 200ft away (having used a stock lens extensively)
 

GB

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This is true, so I guess one would need to weigh up the pros and cons based on what they are going to be using it mostly for.

If were talking just rail photography then based on my own experience 18-55 would be very much suitable. However I can't comment on the optical quality of those specific lenses.
 

Nym

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Yeah, going from what I was trying to do with a stock lens and APS-C sensor (1.4x magnification factor) it was struggling to get much past the 4th OHLE mast from the end of Pt.9 at Piccadilly and keep focus and frame the image correctly, that would have been at 77mm Equivalent on a full frame (35mm).

If I was going back to do that kind of work again I'd be looking to pack either both a stock lens and a 70-300mm or a 50-200mm lens. I'd need two cameras though to be honest, wouldn't want to be swapping lenses all the time.
 

JohnB57

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I have to take issue with a couple of points where information is either wrong or confusing.

...the sensor in the SX40 is the same one as in the 1100D

Errm... No. Totally different sensor. The 1100D has an APS-C 1.6x crop sensor. The SX40 uses a 1/2.3" sensor that's tiny in comparison. The only similar thing is the megapixel count.

And the SX40 goes from a 35mm equivalent of 24mm to >800mm, hence needing to know purposes, not only that but also uses the much better DGIC5 rather than DGIC4

I'd never personally go for a 1100D or D3100 anyway, too stripped out to be down at consumer level.
The DIGIC 5 processor only really comes into its own on large sensor high MP dslrs, but it's good with noise and with a small sensor like this, you need all the help you can get so nice to have. However, the 1100D may be stripped down, but on a modest budget, it could well be the right tool for the job - I would go for it over a non-SLR every time. By the way, I'd suggest forgetting about 35mm equivalent focal lengths. It's more or less meaningless and pretty confusing to anyone who's never used FF or film.

Yeah, going from what I was trying to do with a stock lens and APS-C sensor (1.4x magnification factor) it was struggling to get much past the 4th OHLE mast from the end of Pt.9 at Piccadilly and keep focus and frame the image correctly, that would have been at 77mm Equivalent on a full frame (35mm).
There isn't a 1.4x crop sensor as far as I'm aware. 35mm on 1.5 crop is 52mm and on 1.6x crop, 56mm so not sure where the 77mm came from. But as I mention above, forget the conversion. It's confusing unless and until you use different format bodies and even then, only to understand the effect on DoF. By "stock" lens, I assume you mean a kit lens, most of which are 18-55mm so actually quite a useful range to start with, are inexpensive, can be pretty sharp and in the latest version, include image stabilisation.

It's good to try to help, but advice needs to be accurate.
 

Nym

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I have to take issue with a couple of points where information is either wrong or confusing.

Errm... No. Totally different sensor. The 1100D has an APS-C 1.6x crop sensor. The SX40 uses a 1/2.3" sensor that's tiny in comparison. The only similar thing is the megapixel count.

The DIGIC 5 processor only really comes into its own on large sensor high MP dslrs, but it's good with noise and with a small sensor like this, you need all the help you can get so nice to have. However, the 1100D may be stripped down, but on a modest budget, it could well be the right tool for the job - I would go for it over a non-SLR every time. By the way, I'd suggest forgetting about 35mm equivalent focal lengths. It's more or less meaningless and pretty confusing to anyone who's never used FF or film.

There isn't a 1.4x crop sensor as far as I'm aware. 35mm on 1.5 crop is 52mm and on 1.6x crop, 56mm so not sure where the 77mm came from. But as I mention above, forget the conversion. It's confusing unless and until you use different format bodies and even then, only to understand the effect on DoF. By "stock" lens, I assume you mean a kit lens, most of which are 18-55mm so actually quite a useful range to start with, are inexpensive, can be pretty sharp and in the latest version, include image stabilisation.

It's good to try to help, but advice needs to be accurate.

I had looked a bit more into this and the sources I was using were highly misleading and lead to this information being posted in error, apologies for this, the 1.4 crop figure was on a 55mm focal length (furthest point on a kit lens) with a 1.4x crop APS-C in a Sony DSLR.

Will remove parts of the previous post now correct information has been provided regarding the SX40, yes, I did mean a kit lens.

Following this review I'll butt out of this, but will maintain that the SX40 is a half decent bridge camera, but depending on usage, an Eos 1100D may be a better option.

Apologies all...
\
PS: I tend to go with 35mm equivs because a long time ago I used to use film, and have played around with a full frame device previously, so knowing this has been helpful, I'll also now move on to say that in low light, now knowing the sensors are different (thanks to poor websites I didn't know before) if you want low light shooting, pick the 1100D or 3100D every time, or save some money and get a 650D or 550D with dual lens kit. (Extra £200ish)
 
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JohnB57

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Call me pedantic...

Sony crop DSLRs are 1.5x, as are their NEX mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (fantastic piece of kit, but not the best for transport or sport) and Nikon's DX DSLRS as they also use Sony sensors.

The 550D is a great recommendation - probably the best value new DSLR right now at around £550 for the twin lens kit from a grey importer. The 650D is the latest of the xxxD line and by all accounts, superb in every way, but with only the 18-55mm included, it's £589.

As you'll gather, I'm a Canon/Sony NEX user and a photographer before a rail enthusiast. Other brands are available if anyone could offer advice.

Incidentally Nym - sorry if I came across a bit snotty. Didn't mean to...
 

Nym

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Nah, no more so that I normally do, although I generally come across as more of a t*** than snooty...

Was on a Sony Alpha A290 with 'stock lens' 18 - 55mm, and it really struggled with any kind of distance on said lens, managed some reasonably high shot rated until the processor couldn't keep up, didn't know Nikon used Sony sensors, but Nikons don't tend to fit comfortably in my hand, still, neither does the A290 (crushes my fingers short) it's only really the 60D, 7D and 5D that actually fit in my hand...

You can get the 550D twin lens kit now from Jessops by walking into the shop and walking out 10mins later with the kit, for just £550, although with the additional kit I'd be adding on that comes up to £700 - £750 (Filters, Cards, Possibly a Battery Grip...).

Personally waiting until I have more money to burn then will get the next version of in the xxD series, 650D is 'better' in some aspects, but even the 60D lacks some features that I'd like on my camera for what I'd be using it for (short action, landscapes, transport, portraiture, etc) basically general purpose, don't need the sports capability of the 7D, but I do like a fast shot rate. Everything is pushing me toward a 5D MkIII or top end Nikon, but I don't have that much money to play with, so it's looking like a 60D, or just save all my money and get a 1100D to actually be able to make some money off the off lucky shot or by doing low level events first..

Also; yes, I could guess...
 
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