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Thread: Help to narrow camera choices - autofocus is most important

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    Help to narrow camera choices - autofocus is most important

    I need camera selection advice or experience (good and bad) with the following cameras considering:
    1) Ease/consistency of autofocus may be most important to me.
    2) How fast it autofocus and takes a photo is also important.
    3) I take photos for my daughter's concerts inside the school auditorium and my wife takes outdoor bird photos.
    I list #1 because I currently have autofocus trouble with my Olympus C-765 and am tired of doing master resets. I've heard the Kodak may have similar autofocus issues.

    Here's the cameras I'm considering:
    1) Canon PowerShot SX110 IS 9 MP 10x zoom
    2) Kodak EASYSHARE Z1012 10.1 MP 12x zoom

    A feature I like in the Kodak is HD video mode (1280x720 30fps) as I plan to use the camera to take occasional movies.

    I've read the general advice for buying a digital camera (e.g. intended use, etc.) but greatly appreciate any specific opinions or considerations on the models listed above.
    Last edited by larrewl; 17th March 2009 at 05:55 PM.

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    Re: Please help me narrow my choices

    Hi larrewl,

    Good to have a new member, welcome.

    First thing I would suggest is searching those model numbers on this forum, as I know we have people with the "SX110" and "Z1012".

    Here's a few random thoughts and (maybe) facts (without research, I reserve the right to be wrong!)
    a) I have an older Fuji a bit like the S1000, it's been fine
    b) From memory 1) and 4) are compacts, while 2) and 3) are more like DSLR shape, is size important?
    c) I believe all EXCEPT the Panasonic TZ5 offer manual control, this may give more versatility
    d) Since none are SLRs, for distant birdie pics, your wife might find the electronic viewfinder of say the Fuji better when working zoomed in, peering at a rear LCD in daylight doesn't often work well. Others may have this feature, e.g. the Z1012 comes to mind.
    e) My daughter has a Pan TZ5, as far as I know it's OK, but I haven't had a chance to play with it myself yet.
    f) Results in school auditoria may be disappointing with any of these, you may have to bump up the ISO to get an exposure (unless a well lit stage, but even then there will be dark patches), then you'll have image noise to deal with
    g) I suspect most, if not all, will shoot movies, but beware they don't hold much (timewise) on a memory card, movies are best done with a movie camera
    h) Beware some still cameras won't allow zoom and/or focus while recording, I don't know what applies to these
    i) The movie sound is likely to be disappointing too, more audience than performance!

    If you get a chance, please drop by the Common Room forum and pop a "hello" with some background info into the Introduce Yourself & Welcome Other Members (2) thread.

    Hope you find that useful,

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    Re: Please help me narrow my choices

    Thanks for the quick response. I've narrowed it down to:

    1) the compact Canon PowerShot SX110 which is half as thick but has marginal VGA video performance, and

    2) the Kodak EASYSHARE Z1012 which can have autofocus problems but HD video mode (1280x720 30fps) and the optical zoom can be used while recording.

    My wife told me to choose and size doesn't matter. I'm afraid the Canon's video recording will be unacceptable and we may miss shots with the Kodak due to autofocus. I'll take your advice and search the forums here for more info hopefully.

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    Re: Please help me narrow my choices

    Is upgrading to a "full blown" SLR an option at all?

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me narrow my choices

    Quote Originally Posted by larrewl View Post
    ~ My wife told me to choose and size doesn't matter. ~
    No, I'll resist, I must be strong

    With the Z1012, does the auto-focus still work (while recording, I mean)?
    and if so, how quiet is it? Same for zoom. Still cameras are not noted for quietness of these functions, even when they record video, whereas a movie camera is.

    Might be worth doing that search (here) and locating our member with one and sending a personal message (PM) to him. To check the video capabilitites are as great as any manufacturer would wish a prospective customer believe.

    Undoubtedly, you will be less disappointed with what you buy if it is designed and used primarily for one thing, still or video.

    If you have to, make a choice now determined for still, then get a movie camera later?
    (Rather than compromise BOTH bits of functionality)

    Hope it helps,

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    Re: Please help me narrow my choices

    We've got a budget of $200 for camera and accessories so we're not looking for a "full blown" DSLR. Based on our 35mm experience, we wouldn't be using a bulkier DSLR as much either.
    We've decided to buy the Kodak EASYSHARE 10MP 12x zoom as my wife found a great deal. I'll post my experiences and questions on another thread in this forum in the next few weeks. I really appreciate the opinions and food for thought.

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    Re: Please help me narrow my choices

    Quote Originally Posted by larrewl View Post
    We've decided to buy the Kodak EASYSHARE 10MP 12x zoom as my wife found a great deal.
    Great news - we'll look forward to seeing some of your first photos here

    Just be sure to check out the store your buying from thoroughly first - there are some absolute horror stories out there (try searching on "reseller ratings" and "sonic cameras" to see what I mean).

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    Re: Please help me narrow my choices

    Hi larrewl and welcome.

    We all hope you have good experiences with your new camera and don't worry, it is the eye of the photographer that is the most important aspect, not the quality or size of the camera. And we can all improve!

    You will find that we only dispense truly constructive criticism and we will help everyone regardless. (and hopefully you will be able to do the same for others in due course).

    I look forward to more posts.

    Ian

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    Re: Please help me narrow my choices

    Overall, my experience with online purchases has been good. I don't work for or own any stock in Adorama. I use them frequenlty and have always been pleased. I just placed an order a few minutes ago. Returns are not a problem and they have been around for a long time. I have used the phone service and the person who helped me with a question was knowledgeable. You can search for lower prices, but I sometimes wonder where that stuff comes from and who will answer your questions or help with problems.

    There is not full line camera store where I live. If there were, I would likely be a customer for the service. I would pay more, but I would get more. I worked in a camera store for a number of years and service was what we provided.

    I think I will add my two cents worth. You are exepecting too much from one camera. I have just returned from Greece and Turkey and I carried two cameras -- one for a wider telephoto lens and one for a telephoto zoom. It's hard to get coverage that broad with one camera.

    Good luck and good shooting!

    BillTexas.

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    Re: Help to narrow camera choices - autofocus is most important

    BillTexas and others,
    I really appreciate you sharing your opinions and good advice.
    I imagine we'll find that it makes a poor video camera but will be good for the majority of our photo opportunities.
    Where do I post photos and get other advice on this forum?

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    Re: Help to narrow camera choices - autofocus is most important

    Quote Originally Posted by larrewl View Post

    Where do I post photos and get other advice on this forum?
    Hi Larrewl,

    Sorry, I missed this part of your post. You can post images in any forum - but best to pick a forum that best fits with what you need help with (but don't worry if you get it wrong - we can easily move them for you )

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    Re: Help to narrow camera choices - autofocus is most important

    I would recommend you to go for the Canons cause they have a better performance level. Sony always comes with complications. Canon G10 would be my choice
    G10 has a wealth of features and is an excellent camera for shooting outdoor shots. Check this list http://www.checkcost.co.uk/digital-cameras/c/4368/, may be you'll find the one you are really looking for. Also you can read the reviews for each so that you have a better idea.

  13. #13

    Re: Help to narrow camera choices - autofocus is most important

    Hi

    Have a look at the Leica C-Lux range. I did notice that the C-Lux 3 is 250. I have the C-Lux 2 and it is excellent.

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