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CommanderJameson

Original Poster:

22,096 posts

109 months

[news] 
Monday 18th June 2012 quote quote all
Not for me, for my sister.

At the weekend I went a-visiting and had my camera with me, with the 50mm f/1.8 prime on it. I took the opportunity to get some shots of my neiceseseses. Jen was most impressed with them, especially the ability to isolate the subject with the power of bokeh. She currently has a fairly crappy Kodak EasyShare thing, which is quite frankly all sorts of horrid. And it's pink.

So the budget is £200 (with little flexibility), and the potential compact replacement is an IXUS 230 HS. Great little compact, auto-everything, etc etc.

But what about an 2nd hand 350D? It seems that one of these with a kit 18-55mm or the nifty fifty is easily doable for £200.

Too old? Any problems likely to be lurking in a 2nd-hand body or lens, assuming a reasonably reputable seller?

ETA: I'm pointing her at a Canon because, dear Nikonauts, I'll have to answer all the questions, and so it makes life easier all around.


Gad-Westy

6,749 posts

96 months

[news] 
Monday 18th June 2012 quote quote all
If she likes the shallow DOF look, then a compact is always going to disappoint. I think you know the answer...

Canon's generally disgust me. My stomach is churning just thinking about them. The worst of all the 'c' words etc.... tongue out however my father, for his sins, is a Canonist and until recently a 350d was his weapon of choice. Not a lot wrong with it so far as I could tell. That and a 50mm would be great but it will be a whole new world compared to little zoomy compacts, especially pink ones! Is she ready for such a dedicated device? Maybe the 18-55 would be a better compromise or ideally both.


Edited by Gad-Westy on Monday 18th June 14:58

LongQ

9,962 posts

116 months

[news] 
Monday 18th June 2012 quote quote all
If you can find a Canon S90 (used) you would get an f2 lens that, used with a modicum of knowledge, can do pretty good DoF so long as the subject is reasonably close and whatever is behind it isn't. Should be well under £200.

Basically the same as an S95 with slightly less going for it in the video department but I would assume that 1080 HD video as opposed 780 would not be a big enough problem to to put anyone off.

You might also just about get a 400D with kit lens for the money but I suspect the compact would be carried more.

Edited by LongQ on Tuesday 19th June 23:09


Edited by LongQ on Monday 8th October 09:28

Derek Smith

19,784 posts

131 months

[news] 
Tuesday 19th June 2012 quote quote all
I don't know if this might be a consideration but I've just bought a Panasonic Lumix FZ150 'bridge' camera. It was bought for a specific function and also to be used as a camera to tote around with me for family occasions/holidays/that sort of thing.

I've only had it for three weeks but I have to say I am impressed. It does everything I want and does it well. The burst facility is excellent especially when I'm photographing my grandchildren.

The anti-shake is very good. I've used it hand-held on full 24x zoom and the resulting images have been excellent.

The HD video is impressive as well.

There's full manual, shutter/aperture priority, lots of clever prgorammes, and all in a lightweight yet apparently sturdy body.

I don't think I will ever return to SLR.

JDRoest

1,126 posts

33 months

[news] 
Tuesday 19th June 2012 quote quote all
CommanderJameson said:
But what about an 2nd hand 350D? It seems that one of these with a kit 18-55mm or the nifty fifty is easily doable for £200.
I'm about to do a job for the next couple of months with 4*400Ds. (When one breaks I can move onto the next one easily).

Least I paid for a 15k body (old owner reckons about 15k exposures) was about $150, but it did take about 25 Ebay auctions for me to win that one. In dollars, you can easily pick up a 400D/Xti with kit lens for under $250, so I'd think you could hit around the £200 quite easily if you persist for a 400D or so.

What I discovered in all the bidding was that any camera that showed any signs of wear got the lower bids (even if it wasn't in the description).
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flat-planedCrank

3,656 posts

86 months

[news] 
Tuesday 19th June 2012 quote quote all
If you want the ability to project narrow DOF then I'm not sure if any P&S will fit the bill?

It'll need a large sensor + fast lens...

Seight_Returns

985 posts

84 months

[news] 
Wednesday 20th June 2012 quote quote all
flat-planedCrank said:
If you want the ability to project narrow DOF then I'm not sure if any P&S will fit
It'll need a large sensor + fast lens...
I think that's it in a nutshell.

I have an S100 (as well as a 7D and a 400D and a bag on lenses) and whilst it is indeed f/2 at the wide end and the effective focal length scaled up for a 35mm frame size is 24-120mm , it's actual focal length is 5.2-26mm - and it's the combination of apperture and actual (not effective) focal length that determine depth of field, and depth of field for f/2 and 5.2mm is still pretty deep unless you're very close to the subject.

I find a can get pleasing, shallow depth of field shots with my S100 if I get really close - it's still only a fraction of what can be achieved with a DSLR and a fast lens. Usual caveat though that shallow DOF photography takes a modest amount of knowledge, technique and practice - and even then the hit rate won't be 100% due to missed focus or focusing on the wrong subject.

So another vote for a Canon 350/400/1000D and a 50/1.8 from me.

DOF charts below that you can compare the DOF you can get from the faster lensed compacts with an SLR and f/1.8.

http://www.dofmaster.com/doftable.html

CommanderJameson

Original Poster:

22,096 posts

109 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
>attempting thread necromancy<

>incantations<

>IT LIVES<

Right, after she got all distracted by going on holiday, getting the eldest started at school, and all that jazz, The Camera Thing has reared its head again.

The goalposts have changed slightly (ha de ha). Now, the brief is: compact (for portability reasons) for £150ish, not fussed about features but quality is a priority as pictures will get printed - up to A3 size.

At this point I realised I know nothing about compact cameras.

The nearest I have to an answer is "Canon Ixus 220" but that seems to get mixed reviews.

I tried to get her to get a Fuji X100 (and then hate it so much she just gives it to me) but she saw through my transparent ploy.

Kermit power

16,680 posts

96 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I may be wrong, but I think it will take more than necromancy to get A3 prints out of a compact sensor won't it?

However good it might look on a computer screen, that's mid range DSLR printing resolution isn't it?

Whoozit

1,063 posts

152 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Kermit power said:
I may be wrong, but I think it will take more than necromancy to get A3 prints out of a compact sensor won't it?

However good it might look on a computer screen, that's mid range DSLR printing resolution isn't it?
I've printed A3 from an Ixus 5MP compact before. But the pics were in relatively bright sunlight. If the light was poor, you might struggle to get usable pics.

I was browsing the mpb photographic website today for a second Nikon body. I saw the D70 was up for grabs at £120. Add a 50mm 1.8 lens and that should be £200 delivered.

CommanderJameson

Original Poster:

22,096 posts

109 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Kermit power said:
I may be wrong, but I think it will take more than necromancy to get A3 prints out of a compact sensor won't it?

However good it might look on a computer screen, that's mid range DSLR printing resolution isn't it?
I'm going to try to say this without sounding snarky, but have you actually tried this, or are you just speculating? Also, are you experienced with printing from digital imaging sources?

You really, genuinely don't need 20+ megapixels to print A3-sized. A good 8MP photo will be fine. I've previously printed 6MP images at A3, and they were fine. I had printer colour profiles and a calibrated screen at hand and so could do the proofing required to ensure that the image lay within the printer's gamut whilst remaining visually pleasing.

However, the question is not "how many megapixels do I need to print A3" (the answer is, all else being equal, "six or more, but who cares because everything's ten-plus these days anyway"), it's "what compact camera gives the best image quality for £150?".

Kermit power

16,680 posts

96 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
CommanderJameson said:
I'm going to try to say this without sounding snarky, but have you actually tried this, or are you just speculating? Also, are you experienced with printing from digital imaging sources?

You really, genuinely don't need 20+ megapixels to print A3-sized. A good 8MP photo will be fine. I've previously printed 6MP images at A3, and they were fine. I had printer colour profiles and a calibrated screen at hand and so could do the proofing required to ensure that the image lay within the printer's gamut whilst remaining visually pleasing.

However, the question is not "how many megapixels do I need to print A3" (the answer is, all else being equal, "six or more, but who cares because everything's ten-plus these days anyway"), it's "what compact camera gives the best image quality for £150?".
I wasn't thinking of pixel count. I was thinking of pixel size.

I've not actually tried it, but I just recalled the reviews when I first went DSLR shopping said that my 450D would start to struggle without interpolation software used in post processing to print at A3, so I wouldn't have expected compact sensors to better it?

LongQ

9,962 posts

116 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
CommanderJameson said:
However, the question is not "how many megapixels do I need to print A3" (the answer is, all else being equal, "six or more, but who cares because everything's ten-plus these days anyway"), it's "what compact camera gives the best image quality for £150?".
You may need to consider its primary purpose too. For example if the most important need is to look good on screen then the choice might just be different to something that needed to look good on a print.

Or if family portraits (good skin tone and smooth but not over smoothed rendition ) are prime certain cameras might not be top of the list - but they could be top if landscapes, for example, were to be the most important captures.

There are many products available and more than a few will give decent results for most people but may disappoint others.

On the other hand if you are taking photos of kids or pets and cannot rely on posing the shots the only consideration might be how quickly the device responds to a press on whatever it uses for a shutter release device. Or, perhaps, the ability to easily add a more powerful flash unit to the mix.

At the price point there are likely to be some excellent products, many average products and a few real duffers. Bags of choice. Providing a full proof recommendation is not easy.

My decision a year ago was for a Canon S90 but, hedging bets, I also got a G11 (more than £150 at the time). Each unit suits different usage needs whilst producing good results. A year on you might get S95 and possible G12 at the price points, though maybe not new.

If you want 'pocketable' pobably go for the S series (though they are not lightweight). If you want flexible and might like family self portraits and things, go with the G series and add a small external flash then used the articulated screen a remote control pose and shoot the pics. The G series is jacket pocketable and certainly handbaggable.

Other manufacturers will have similar options.

The challenge is somewhat complicated by the possibility of deals at the price but for older models where availability at the deal price may be very restricted - no guarantee that there will be anything for your sister to buy if deliberation takes too long BUT potential good value if a shopping list can be prepared in advance.

CommanderJameson

Original Poster:

22,096 posts

109 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
LongQ said:
CommanderJameson said:
However, the question is not "how many megapixels do I need to print A3" (the answer is, all else being equal, "six or more, but who cares because everything's ten-plus these days anyway"), it's "what compact camera gives the best image quality for £150?".
You may need to consider its primary purpose too. For example if the most important need is to look good on screen then the choice might just be different to something that needed to look good on a print.

Or if family portraits (good skin tone and smooth but not over smoothed rendition ) are prime certain cameras might not be top of the list - but they could be top if landscapes, for example, were to be the most important captures.

There are many products available and more than a few will give decent results for most people but may disappoint others.

On the other hand if you are taking photos of kids or pets and cannot rely on posing the shots the only consideration might be how quickly the device responds to a press on whatever it uses for a shutter release device. Or, perhaps, the ability to easily add a more powerful flash unit to the mix.

At the price point there are likely to be some excellent products, many average products and a few real duffers. Bags of choice. Providing a full proof recommendation is not easy.

My decision a year ago was for a Canon S90 but, hedging bets, I also got a G11 (more than £150 at the time). Each unit suits different usage needs whilst producing good results. A year on you might get S95 and possible G12 at the price points, though maybe not new.

If you want 'pocketable' pobably go for the S series (though they are not lightweight). If you want flexible and might like family self portraits and things, go with the G series and add a small external flash then used the articulated screen a remote control pose and shoot the pics. The G series is jacket pocketable and certainly handbaggable.

Other manufacturers will have similar options.

The challenge is somewhat complicated by the possibility of deals at the price but for older models where availability at the deal price may be very restricted - no guarantee that there will be anything for your sister to buy if deliberation takes too long BUT potential good value if a shopping list can be prepared in advance.
Excellent post, many thanks. At the moment, she has replaced the Kodak EasyCack with a Fuji S1000FD, and she hates it; it's fiddly to use, and it's too big (weight's not an issue; when you're used to lugging a couple of toddlers around, a few tens of grams difference on the weight of a camera is neither here nor there) but the main problem is that it's sloooooow. There's a 2-second gap (I'm not exaggerating) between hitting the shutter release and the picture being taken. There's horrible lag all the way through the (horrid) user interface, too. It's just not nice to use.

And she has two small children, which she likes to take lots of pictures of. So, yeah. Speed and simplicity and image quality (for pictures of children), and all the gimmicks (mega zoom, creative doodads, etc etc etc) are totally expendable.

The Canon S95 has been oft mentioned hereabouts, but it's out of budget.

LongQ

9,962 posts

116 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
CommanderJameson said:
The Canon S95 has been oft mentioned hereabouts, but it's out of budget.
I bought my S90 a year ago (Canon Outlet refurb offer but others were close) for £155 iirc. The S100 had just been announced.

Now Canon have just announced the S110 so one might expect the S95 to start to appear at or near the target price as people offload older stock. No certainty of that of course - depends what might be lying around in stock.

However although the Fuji sounds like a disappointment I would not expect that all other options will be better under all settings. Compared to a DSLR both S90 and G11 (and all the other non-slr cameras I have used) feel sluggish for shutter response. Some moreso than others and a few especially poor if certain settings are used. (Not a criticism, just an observation about how the design is intended or indeed neeeds to work for the features being deployed.)

danjama

1,712 posts

25 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I would and did put my money into a Canon 20d with some nice glass. Can't beat it, IMO, without spending bundles more.

littleredrooster

2,479 posts

79 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
For a versatile compact at that price, I can personally recommend either a Canon SX130 or a Canon PowerShot SX220. I've recently had both and they can be persuaded to take some excellent shots.

Wonderman

54 posts

78 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
S100 from digitalrev (HK) was £220 has hd video (came with uk canon battery charger), imagine the S110 should help prices go lower but I couldn't wait (present for birthday), only had a quick play at weekend but seems quite flexible and tbh will have to fight the mrs off as she won't use my 40D

sgrimshaw

3,671 posts

133 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Might be worth looking at the Sony HX20V if the budget will stretch a bit.

Cracking lens.

Also has a defocus background mode.

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