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Thread: IS this camera okay for me.

  1. #1
    honey's Avatar
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    IS this camera okay for me.

    Hi everyone, i am a complete novice and am trying to choose my first digitcal camera! and am just so confused by it all
    I saw one i liked called a 'panasonic fs7' it seems to have all things a basic p,s has, do you think this is a good camera for a beginner.
    I can,t go over this price, and just want to take pics mainly too post on forums, don,t need to print at all, subjects will mainly be children and pets.
    Thankyou for any advice , if someone can spare a few minutes to answer this i will be very grateful.

  2. #2

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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    I would recommend going online and using google or some other search engine to view those in your price range. Don't overspend now, cause you gonna need that money when you move up to a DSLR. And you probably will, lol. Then do a little research on the ones you find highly recommended to see if they have the features you would like. Then check , like you are for any people who may have the camera(s) and see what they think. Lastly, narrow it down by trying out the different models at your local camera store. The people working there probably see a lot of problems most people are unaware of so I would trust their judgement in what they think will work as well. If you've already done all this and have settled on the Panaonic (I am not familiar with that model) sorry just trying to help.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Hi Honey,

    Whether it's right partly depends upon whether you do see it as a stepping stone to something more serious later.

    Chris's advice is fine, here's a bit more info to help you interpret what you research.

    If you're confused by it all, by all means ask questions here at CiC.
    With a brand like Panasonic, you're unlikely to go wrong, there are hundreds of P&S cams out there, granted not all in your price range, but still oodles of 'em. I expect they are all designed to be easy to use for a beginner, or they wouldn't sell.

    Having reviewed the FS7 spec on the Panasonic website;
    Optical Image Stabilizer
    Intelligent ISO Control
    Face Detection
    Intelligent Scene Selector (Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Macro)
    Digital Red Eye Correction
    These are all good things to have for what you want to do.

    The biggest limitation I can see is the 4 x optical zoom I'd ignore those nasty digital zoom figures and even the "Extra optical zoom" - as both patently achieve this by limiting the technical quality of the image by throwing away pixels, so your reasonable 10MP camera soon becomes a lot less!

    The zoom range; 33-132mm in 35mm equiv., is probably a good compromise, but if you did find a model with a wider range (5x or more), I'd pick one that starts at 28mm (equiv.) as it will be better for indoor shots of groups. The other reason for a bigger zoom range at the telephoto end (say to more than 200mm equiv. ideally) would be the ability to do telephoto portraits of kids (or pets) unobserved. However, this might be asking a bit much at this price, I don't know the market well.

    On FS7, the exposure is Auto only, but with some overides for difficult scenes when you need them.

    You will need to get a memory card for it, the internal 50MB will soon fill up (in < 10 shots). Go for a 4 or 8MB SDHC, you won't need fast or expensive (e.g. 15MB/s will be plenty).

    Hope that helps, any further questions, especially if I have used jargon you don't understand, just holler,

  4. #4
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Thankyou for your replies hoffstriker and Dave

    Dave would it be cheeky of me to ask you to recomend a camera for me, i do feel a bit embrassed at my limited knowledge, but i don,t want to make a mistake in regretting my buy
    Zoom is important to me but as i won,t be taking major landscape pics i thought a 4x zoom would be good, i do like to take pics of the dogs/kids swimming and they do go pretty far out !!! should i go for a bigger zoom camera do you think ?
    I will stretch my budget for the better camera, i googled a few more and saw a kodak
    z915 thats a 10x zoom , do you think the bigger zoom will be better Dave .

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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Hi Honey, I'm home!

    (sorry, couldn't resist!)

    I think that, like you, a lot of people worry about making a "wrong" decision when considering purchases like this, but the reality is that - for a given price - most manufacturers have virtually identical models.

    So in reality it's not so much a case of "this $200 camera being better than that $200 camera" as it is a case of "will my $200 budget be sufficient to buy a camera that will do all that I need it to?".

    Compact cameras (aka "point and shoot" cameras) can take a great shot - but because of the size of their sensor and lenses, they need fairly ideal conditions, whereas SLR cameras (bigger, with interchangable lenses) can always take a better shot in poor conditions, but of course they're more bulky and they cost more (and I think it's fair to say that they have a much bigger learning curve too). So I'm not trying to steer you in any given direction, just enlighten you a little

    Good advice from Dave (as usual) - only other thing I can think of is trying to read as many reviews of similar models that you can find.

    Looking forward to seeing your first posts here

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Honey, I'm home!
    Oh Colin, how could you?

    To be honest, I typed it in my first reply too, but then I thought; I bet Honey has heard that a zillion times before and deleted it.

    Anyway, the rest makes sense - and gets me off the hook

    I would definitely recommend forming your own opinions from reading reviews, you'll also pick up some knowledge from the exercise.

    I might steer you away from some manufacturer's, or towards others, and then you get unlucky with a purchase and end up hating me!

    Good luck and hope to see some pics, then we can help you get the best from whatever you go for.

    Cheers,

  7. #7
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Thanks guys for all your advice, i will look around a bit more to find my camera.
    When i get my camera i will be back with pics!!!
    At mo only using my mobile so pics are pretty poor

    Thankyou everyone for being so nice and friendly, i am going to like it here

    I will be back soon , love Honey xx

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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Oh Colin, how could you?

    To be honest, I typed it in my first reply too, but then I thought; I bet Honey has heard that a zillion times before and deleted it.
    That's the difference between you and me Dave ...

    ... I'm FAR more shallow!

  9. #9

    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by honey View Post
    Thanks guys for all your advice, i will look around a bit more to find my camera.
    When i get my camera i will be back with pics!!!
    Good forum name you have there. Are we permitted to start threads off with "Hi Honey"

  10. #10
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Go for a 4 or 8MB SDHC, you won't need fast or expensive (e.g. 15MB/s will be plenty).
    *GB?

  11. #11
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    Good forum name you have there. Are we permitted to start threads off with "Hi Honey"
    Please do, i like it

  12. #12
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries
    Go for a 4 or 8MB SDHC
    Quote Originally Posted by Joy View Post
    *GB?
    Ah Yes, well spotted, last time I got this bit right and said the transfer speed was GB/s too

    May be next time I'll get both right (?)
    or both wrong

    (I'll say it before anyone else does )

  13. #13
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Hi all you Big ZOOMERS, honeys back!!!
    Still not got my camera, but soon i hope then i will be posting my pics, see you all soon laters Honey xxx

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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    %&^#! had a whole long thing typed out then i clicked something bad and lost it all, ill try again, excuse me if it seems a little sumarised.

    Some kodak Z series are known for having a very poor shot to shot time, e.g my z8612 can reach up to 10 or so seconds shot to shot once the buffer is full, worth looking out for in reviews to see if it applies to the z915 you were looking at or any other kodaks you decide look nice.

    If you plan to get creative further down the line, try to see if the camera you get has PASM modes, these will offer a whole range of creative control, letting you learn and experiment with photography.

    For side by side reviews of a bunch of superzoom camera, try http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/q209grouplongzoom/ http://www.trustedreviews.com/filter...=19&submit.y=2 or http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q109superzoomgroup/ which covers quite a range in depth, which could help you pick the best for what you are after.

    Finally, having recently played with it, i would recommend going for a member of the canon powershot group if it gets into a shortlist, there is a very easy and safe to use extra firmware known as CHDK (search for it in your favourate engine) which opens up a whole world of extra features in your canon such as saving in raw, bracketing, extra long exposures etc, dslr style features. Additionally it lets you run scripts on it to do things like time lapse photography/movies, motion detection scripts etc, certainly worth a consider.

    Hope this is usefull if ive gotten in fast enough.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 11th September 2009 at 11:49 AM.

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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by honey View Post
    Hi all you Big ZOOMERS, honeys back!!!
    Still not got my camera, but soon i hope then i will be posting my pics, see you all soon laters Honey xxx
    And in a flash, she was gone!

    ... who was that reflective entity?

  16. #16
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    My teenage daughter is looking at cameras as she has enrolled in a h.s. photo class, so we are in the same boat. Her original choice was "Maria Sharapova's camera", whatever that is. I'm helping her put together a list of features (manual aperture and exposure control, glass lens, 28-150 optical zoom, etc.) and then maybe we can come up with a short list. CNET.com has some ways to compare features that I have found useful in the past.

  17. #17

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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    A quick google suggests that "Maria Sharapova's camera" is anything in the canon powershot range ( http://blog.fotolia.com/us/archive/001629.html ), ive used an A720 which is a very good camera, PASM, 36-200mm (6x optical), 8MP, 1.3fps continuous. Powershot is actually quite an extensive range, id try something in the A-range ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_PowerShot_A ) to start, or up into their superzoom range ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_P..._S.2FSX_series )if you are feeling more flush (you dont mention a budget).

  18. #18
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Honey,

    Whether it's right partly depends upon whether you do see it as a stepping stone to something more serious later.

    Chris's advice is fine, here's a bit more info to help you interpret what you research.

    If you're confused by it all, by all means ask questions here at CiC.
    With a brand like Panasonic, you're unlikely to go wrong, there are hundreds of P&S cams out there, granted not all in your price range, but still oodles of 'em. I expect they are all designed to be easy to use for a beginner, or they wouldn't sell.

    Having reviewed the FS7 spec on the Panasonic website;
    Optical Image Stabilizer
    Intelligent ISO Control
    Face Detection
    Intelligent Scene Selector (Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Macro)
    Digital Red Eye Correction
    These are all good things to have for what you want to do.

    The biggest limitation I can see is the 4 x optical zoom I'd ignore those nasty digital zoom figures and even the "Extra optical zoom" - as both patently achieve this by limiting the technical quality of the image by throwing away pixels, so your reasonable 10MP camera soon becomes a lot less!

    The zoom range; 33-132mm in 35mm equiv., is probably a good compromise, but if you did find a model with a wider range (5x or more), I'd pick one that starts at 28mm (equiv.) as it will be better for indoor shots of groups. The other reason for a bigger zoom range at the telephoto end (say to more than 200mm equiv. ideally) would be the ability to do telephoto portraits of kids (or pets) unobserved. However, this might be asking a bit much at this price, I don't know the market well.

    On FS7, the exposure is Auto only, but with some overides for difficult scenes when you need them.

    You will need to get a memory card for it, the internal 50MB will soon fill up (in < 10 shots). Go for a 4 or 8MB SDHC, you won't need fast or expensive (e.g. 15MB/s will be plenty).

    Hope that helps, any further questions, especially if I have used jargon you don't understand, just holler,
    Hi, me again,
    I have been googling away , still looking at cameras trying to make my mind up
    I think i might have found one a similiar price but could be better for me
    It is a fujifilm 5x zoom and has a 28mm wide lens, its the fujifilm J250 can,t seem to find much about it , do you think for the same price i,m maybe better off get this one Dave
    Thanks for any feedback love honey x

  19. #19
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Hi Honey,

    The zoom range is better (at both ends), so that's good, beyond that, not knowing it I couldn't say.

    I found a review on a site I use often Steves Digicams, its conclusion on this model wasn't so great (read it here). It's apparently not quick to use, or that high an image quality. The above link suggests some alternatives to look into.

    That's all I have time for now, must dash, byeeeeeeeeee,

  20. #20
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    Re: IS this camera okay for me.

    Thanks for the link Dave and everyones advice
    I am now leaning more towards the 'canon powershots' Lol i am so fickle at times the only thing that puts me off a bit is the small lcd screens on the ones in my price bracket

    I have been reading some reveiws thinking 'this is the one!!! ' then the reveiw usually ends up saying something negative then that puts me off !!!
    Good job i am not looking for a slr...much too complicated !!!

    Goodness knows what i will end up with in the end
    I think the more you look into it, the more difficult it becomes, what i have learn,t is there is more to getting a camera than just a big zoom lol

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