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Camera Advice & Reccomendations

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I know everyone's opinion will differ, but I'd like other's input/advice.

I need a new camera for picture taking of adoptables at the shelter.

The criteria are:
  • Take good pictures of things in motion
  • $200 - $300ish is the top end price range
  • quick shutter speed

That's about it. I take pictures of all kinds of animals, and usually not in the best lighting. I often do not use the flash, which makes the pictures worse. I'm probably going to get a point & shoot, as I'm afraid digital SLRs are out of the price range. I want the best bang for my buck.

The camera I'm using is a Canon, the one the shelter had was a Kodak (which I *hate*).

The catch is that if we get a camera, we need it within a week & a half. So, as we will likely have to order one online, I need to decide like now.

Suggestions or advice?
post #2 of 16
Hi Nat...
I don´t have this model but I´m happy with my Sony Ciber-shoot!..
this is my suggestion now that you going to invest....
Seems terrific and the price is more lees what the shelter can.... the respectable is about the megapixels that has!! are a lot!...

post #3 of 16
I whole-heartedly recommend that you get something with image stablization! I bought a new camera last year (even though there was nothing wrong with my Kodak except that it was huge), and I cheaped out and got a model without image stabalization. I regret that decision everytime I take a picture at night, zoom in on something, etc.

For what it's worth, the Canon I bought last year doesn't take nearly as nice of pictures as the Kodak I bought 4-5 years ago, despite a higher pixel count. The Kodak was ~$300 and the Canon was ~$150. I suppose you get what you pay for.

Oh, and watch the batteries on the cameras. If you choose a larger model, you can probably get away with regular rechargeable AAs. Small compact cameras almost always have ridiculously expensive battery packs.
post #4 of 16
In addition to a fast shutter speed you'll want a camera with high sensitivity (ISO), especially for low-light situations when you don't want to use flash. A large sensor is more important than the number of Megapixels. Another good feature is image stabilization.

Check out this website. Even if you don't order from them, they have good technical information on the various cameras so you can do a comparison. Click on the "specifications" tab under the individual cameras.

My personal preference would be the Pentax Optio, or the Pentax X70 if you want to go a littler higher. A couple of my friends have Sony, which they like, but I don't know what model. Nikon Coolpix also has a good reputation, although I've never used one.

Good luck in getting your new camera.
post #5 of 16
I recommend B&H Photo for buying a camera. On the website you can set filters for what you want. This link has filtered the cameras with image stabilisation that are $250 - 300 You can also specify many other features that you want, and read reviewa on the camera.

We have had Nikons for a while and are really happy with them as a brand.

Edit: ooh even more specific... these are cameras that are between $200-300, with image stabilisation, a large LCD screen (3"+), and take an SD card (which I think is better...).
post #6 of 16
Lots of responses here:

I love the canons though.... Not sure what they are priced like in the US, but my new one was $400 with tax (Canadian).
post #7 of 16
I have a Canon now that does pretty good. I know you said you didn't like the Kodak but my first digital was a Kodak and it did really well (but that was so long ago they were still making 3MP cameras so they may have changed).

The one thing I always look for in a camera is that is takes an SD card (can plug right in to my computer) and that it takes AA batteries, I can stop anywhere and pick up spares if I need to.
post #8 of 16
My camera is a Canon, and i specifically said that it was to catch movement.

It was approx £200 ($380), but it's brilliant!
post #9 of 16
I have a Canon that I love. I've had it for about 5 years, and it still works great.
post #10 of 16
I have a Panasonic TC3 - I like it well enough -but it's only ok in low light situations. Perhaps that has improved. It also has the proprietary battery.

Here is what I have heard from people whose cameras use double - A's... that the camera "devours" them.. so if you go that route - get rechargeable.
post #11 of 16
I would absolutely go for a camera with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery (not AA's, rechargeable or not). They last so much longer, recharge very fast, and you get a warning when the battery is getting low, so you shouldn't get caught out.

We have a Nikon Coolpix which has been great.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link Sarah, that is wonderful to have that comparison!

I've had the AAs vs. the lithium battery - while the lithium battery is $$$, I much prefer it.

So - if the ISO is 3200....does it really matter that it's only a 10 megapixels camera? I'm making a 10 year + investment here for the shelter, so trying to make the best decision.

I'm assuming there will be a fair amount of difference between 1600ISO & 3200ISO?

I'm liking the Nikon Coolpix L100, until I saw it takes 4 AA batteries. The Coolpix s710 isn't too bad, and it has the lithium battery.

Wait - now the Panasonic Lumix has an ISO of 6400?

I'm never going to be able to pick one out!
post #13 of 16
10 megapixels is still a heck of a lot, and enough for the sort of photography you're doing. My dSLR is 12 megapixels, and goes up to an ISO of 1600 and is great - most dSLR's (the lower end ones) only do about 12 megapixels, and are now doing ISO 3200 maximum. Any more than that, and it's just a gimmick. The higher the ISO the more grainy it gets anyway.

I wouldn't bother with a "10 year investment" camera. In 3-4 years whatever you buy now is going to be completely out of date in the way of charging, media storage, picture quality, and prices will be much cheaper again. Our Nikon Coolpix was around $400 when we bought it I think, and now the $200 camera are much better quality.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
OK, so I want a lower ISO? Like 1600 is good wtih 10 - 12 megapixels? I'm confused now.

The more I try to read & understand what stuff is, the more confused I make myself.
post #15 of 16
The difference between ISO 1600 and 3200 is one stop. Basically, if you are shooting at a shutter speed of 1/250 at ISO 1600, when you change to 3200 you can shoot at 1/500. You do get more noise at the higher ISO levels, which doesn't matter so much if you're just posting the pictures on a website. Prints do not look as good.
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
The difference between ISO 1600 and 3200 is one stop. Basically, if you are shooting at a shutter speed of 1/250 at ISO 1600, when you change to 3200 you can shoot at 1/500. You do get more noise at the higher ISO levels, which doesn't matter so much if you're just posting the pictures on a website. Prints do not look as good.

Either way Nat - for $250-300 you should be able to take good photos for a long time
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