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Advice Needed on Digital Camera Purchase


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#1
SDRacer48

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Everyone,

I am going to buy my wife a new digital camera for Christmas. I am a nerd when it comes to technology in general, but I know nothing about digital camera and camcorders. Therefore, I have a few questions:

Is there a difference in picture quality and/or video quality when buying a small digital camera (Sony DSC-T700), a big digital camera (Sony DSC-H50), or a digital camcorder (Sony DCR-SR45)?

What are the most important specifications to look out for in regards to the best performance and picture quality for each type of camera (small, large, camcorder)?

Is the price range of $250 to $400 USD appropriate to get a high quality consumer digital camera / camcorder?

My wife is an amateur photoshopist, therefore she wants a camera / camcorder that can take real high quality pictures. The megapixel size isn't a big deal, she just wants the pictures to be crisp and clear. She also loves going to live concerts, therefore, she also wants it to be able to record short video clips with decent (excellent is not necessary) audio.

Also, if you have any suggestions as to which camera / camcorder I should purchase, please feel free. Like I said before, I am almost clueless when it comes to this.

Thank you very much for your help in advance.

Cody

#2
SDRacer48

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Everyone,

I am narrowing down my options. Please feel free to answer my questions and tell me what you think...

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T700 This is the camera that I would probably buy in the Ultra Compact category. The touch screen controls, built-in 4GB flash memory, and size are all pros. The low 4x optical zoom is a con.

I am concerned with overall picture quality. The review says "Keep in mind that at this low resolution, you don't really want to actually give the photos on the camera to other people or print from the album, and they simply look bad when directly connected to a large-screen HDTV." It also calls the picture quality "soft." I am not quite sure what this means.

If anyone has this camera, would you be so kind to take some random pictures (inside/outside/with flash/without flash) and post them untouched. It would be much appreciated.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 This is the camera that I would probably buy in the Full Body category. The 18x optical zoom, high resolution for both still photos and video, and the telephoto lens are all pro. The relatively big body is a con.

Again, I am concerned with the overall picture quality. I am assuming that the quality would be better than the Sony above, but would it be that much better. Would photo prints look good? Would I be able to display the pictures crisply on a large TV? Would I have to worry about the pictures being "soft"?

Again, if anyone has this camera, would you be so kind to take some random pictures (inside/outside/with flash/without flash) and post them untouched. It would be much appreciated.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H50 This camera is a close second to the Panasonic above in the Full Body category. The 15x optical zoom and high resolution for still photos are the pros. The "loud noise" it produces, and the lack of a significant telephoto lens are cons.

Would this camera be comparable to the Panasonic above? Or is the difference in quality very significant?

Again, if anyone has this camera, would you be so kind to take some random pictures (inside/outside/with flash/without flash) and post them untouched. It would be much appreciated.

My price range is from $250 to $400. So if you have any recommendations of a camera I did not list, please feel free. If you could also post untouched photos from the camera, it would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Cody

#3
SDRacer48

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Do you sometimes feel like you are talking to yourself?

I do... :)

#4
Mac Boy

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The cameras you mentioned won't disappoint you. Just don't take pics at the lowest resolution if you want to put them on an HDTV (use medium or high resolution). A 1080p HDTV has 1,105,920 pixels (1080px1024p). That's only 1MP! So a 5MP digicam will have more pixels that can be displayed.

Most PAS (point-and-shoot) digicams have about the same quality. Most DSLR cameras also have about the same quality. It can be argued that DSLRs take better pictures than PASs. But I've seen photos taken on a PAS that are far superior than those taken on a DSLR.

You can get a great cam with your price range, maybe even for less money. Goto www.dcresource.com to look up the model you want and see the example photos.

#5
SDRacer48

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The cameras you mentioned won't disappoint you. Just don't take pics at the lowest resolution if you want to put them on an HDTV (use medium or high resolution). A 1080p HDTV has 1,105,920 pixels (1080px1024p). That's only 1MP! So a 5MP digicam will have more pixels that can be displayed.

Most PAS (point-and-shoot) digicams have about the same quality. Most DSLR cameras also have about the same quality. It can be argued that DSLRs take better pictures than PASs. But I've seen photos taken on a PAS that are far superior than those taken on a DSLR.

You can get a great cam with your price range, maybe even for less money. Goto www.dcresource.com to look up the model you want and see the example photos.


Thanks for the advice and the resource you provided! :)

#6
Richboy455

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I would take a look at the Canon SX10 IS. Great camera that gives you the ease of use of a point and shoot but at the same time allows you to control some settings just like an SLR. Nice big zoom, easy to use, great image quality, this seems like just what you were looking for.

#7
Booptorsshego

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want to know the truth?

They still are not QUITE up to film..
Until I can set it up to take a pic the why I see it...
Adjusting being able to adjust vibrancy, and other options ON the camera, insted of using a computer..
FILM will still beat it. but film is dying a FAST death.
Digital is FAST and instant..

#8
Meatwagon

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as a pro photographer , this is what im telling everyone to buy. I have many different cameras, but my suggestion is go small, big, Canon sx series, sx10, sx20. Around $400 20x zoom and that lense is as sharp as can be! Untill your making solid coin from photos, then upgrade to an SLR, and be prepared to give up a lot of coin.





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