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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since we seem to have quite a few photography enthusiasts among our ranks, I would like to beg for some advice.

I currently have a point and shoot Canon AS590IS, which stays in my cargo pants pocket nearly every day. I've already busted the LCD once and replaced it. I take it kayaking, hiking up on high bluffs, into the woods, in caves, and any number of places where one little slip and you'll hear either a clunk or a splash and it's gone.

If a camera is expensive or bulky I won't take it to places where I take the best photos. But, my tiny little camera has never taken as good of photos as my old 35mm SLR did. I need to compromise.

While I would love a full DSLR, I'm leaning toward the point and shoot hybrid type (larger lens but not detachable.)

Right now I'm debating a few models, but am open to others:

Canon SX30IS
Nikon P100

I like to take photos of animals, so I want as much optical zoom as possible, the disadvantages of that I'm aware of are it decreases image quality (white noise?) and the tighter it's zoomed the harder it is to hold still. I'd like to keep it around $300, if it was worth it might go up to $400, but much higher than that and we get in the realm of cameras too expensive to risk having in the vehicle a lot and in locations where it might easily be damaged.

Any ideas on some good cameras that fit my intended task, or things to look for in a camera that leads to higher quality (aside from higher cost?)
 

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I personally haven't checked out those cameras, but the pro reviews say they're excellent cameras.

I like the Canon's 35x zoom compared to Nikon's 26x. Keep in mind that using the larger zooms, the more you have to make sure the camera is steady.

I also like that the Canon can take the newer SDXC cards. But I've always been partial to Canon. Over the years, I've bought more Canon cameras than Nikon. It's just a personal preference. I'm an amateur enthusiast, some of my friends who are more serious into cameras like Nikon, some like Canon.

You can see pro reviews here :

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camera-r ... eview.html

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camera-r ... eview.html
 

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If you do wind up going over the $400 limit, think of Canon T1i and T2i. Both have removeable lenses and are bigger like 35 mm. Same for comparable Sony cameras. The nice thing about both of those units is they have a stabilizer in the lense. Long photo with the zoom? No problem. I am looking at both brands and the prices. Niether brand will fit into your cargo pants pocket.

If your going over $400, you need to look at these cameras. The T2i is way better at 18mp than the T1i, but it also costs nearly 25% more. The T1i is a 15.1 mp camera, and takes all the accessories of the more expensive T2i.

My suggestion is evaluate what is important to you. Image quality, or transportablity.

CompUSA.com has about the best prices on both of these the last time I looked. But that was over a week ago...

Good luck in your hunt!
 

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I have the exact same camera, the A590IS. Did you know that it's one of only a few point-and-shoots that can accept add-on Canon and Vivitar lenses and lens adapters?

Press and hold the button on the lower center of the front side of the camera, and rotate the lens ring counterclockwise until it pulls off. There's an index marker on the ring, right under the "r" in the "PowerShoot A590IS" emblem.

You may have already known that, but just in case you didn't, you could spend money on better lenses instead of an entirely new camera.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions so far, I'm looking into them.

JP, thanks, I did know about that feature, pretty cool for a point and shoot. I'm not sure it would quite do what I hoped for.

As for size, I'm planning to get a pouch or something from a army surplus or tactical supply that will attach to my MOLLE/PAL webbing on my backpack, or to a belt. Might be bigger than pocket size but I'm still going to try to keep it portable as possible. I have a Camelbak MULE and if it won't go in or on it I try not to pack it.
 

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My bad! I forgot the "new" Canon SX30. It's a 14 (? or thereabouts) MP camera with a 24 -840 zoom lense. All for the price of a lense. It does have a larger body than most point and shoots, but it has lots of features and a heck of a lense. Plus it accepts the old and the new memory cards! Heck of a deal at $369 most places. It could fit into a belt mounted "camera bag".

I'm looking at one now. Let me see if I can get you a link.

Simple search resolves to : http://priceclicks.com/product/view/654 Whopping big deal $330.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
jonas1022 said:
My bad! I forgot the "new" Canon SX30. It's a 14 (? or thereabouts) MP camera with a 24 -840 zoom lense. All for the price of a lense. It does have a larger body than most point and shoots, but it has lots of features and a heck of a lense. Plus it accepts the old and the new memory cards! Heck of a deal at $369 most places. It could fit into a belt mounted "camera bag".

I'm looking at one now. Let me see if I can get you a link.

Simple search resolves to : http://priceclicks.com/product/view/654 Whopping big deal $330.
That would be the one I'm eying. Thought the zoom was pretty nice for a camera it's size. I handled one at walmart and got to looking into it more. (I won't buy it there, they want too much.) I really liked it when I first seen it. I already like Canon's interface, and my 590 has been tough as a brick, despite the screen incident which was my fault. (Easy enough to fix.)

Only thing that bugged me about it is I don't know how good the photos will be with the SX30, I know sometimes they cram a lot of impressive numbers into a product without really designing it to properly handle the hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the links, been keeping me busy reading. Funny how different people will find different articles, I been searching too and came up with similar but different pages, so I'm reading them all. (In case anyone hasn't yet figured this out, I research something to death before I buy it. Sometimes it's worth it and I get a great product for a great price, (my A590 was a deal like that) but sometimes I think I should just go with my gut, buy it, and enjoy it regardless of if it was the best one or not.)

My biggest concern with the mega zoom on the SX30 comes from this comment and photo from a reviewer on Amazon relating to how the photo sensor can't handle the expanded capabilities as well: LINK

However, will that ever bother me? I mean I doubt I'll be taking spy photos from 3 blocks away of someone. JJ might have hit the nail on the head, just take and post more photos, don't worry about the technical details of it.
 

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I'm thinking it's light years ahead of most cameras out there, but they seem to be only good for a couple to four years and they become outdated now. It's what happened to my last camera. A very nice Nikon L1. It's 6 mp. Has a zoom, low noise on the print even at full out zoom. The downside is, even a cheap $59 Kodak has 12 mp now and nearly as much zoom. My Nikon cost my wife $399.00 just a few years ago. I was mad at her for buying it, it's tiny. I have big hands...figures, I'm a big guy! :yes: So, ultimately you want to make a purchase ( I won't call it an investment as it becomes worthless as soon as you buy it.) that will stand as much of a test of time and technology as possible. Otherwise, I, and I think anyone else would feel that they wasted their money.

The SX 30 does have a noise issue at full zoom, but what are they comparing that to? Today's other cameras, not what I am used to owning. Then again, it has image stability in the lense. The other cameras that are lower noise in imaging, do not have that feature. Trade offs... :wall:
 

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Airmapper said:
Any ideas on some good cameras that fit my intended task, or things to look for in a camera that leads to higher quality (aside from higher cost?)
You can't go wrong with Canon point-and-shoots, sir. They are the cutting edge of compact cameras. If you wanted to go larger and get a small size digital SLR, I would recommend the beginner Nikons (D3100 or D7000 are excellent and compact), but for the compact fit-in-the-pocket size, Canons are excellent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm leaning toward getting the Canon, all the complaints on it are from people who are really digging into details that are probably only the annoyance of professional photographers. I'm asking for a very broad range of abilities in a relatively inexpensive package, I don't really expect it to excel at all of them, and I'm very hard on a camera so I want to stay away from the true DSLR's.

Thanks for your help everyone! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Good news, I made up my mind! :D I got a Canon SX30 IS, came in a few days ago. I'm a little bummed I haven't been able to get any really cool photos, but Kentucky in winter is sometimes a sad looking place, all dreary, damp, and dull. However we got about 4 inches of snow tonight, so maybe I'll have some cool shots tomorrow.

So far I'm loving the features, it blows my A590 IS out of the water, as well it should given the difference in size and cost. One advantage in getting the Canon is I got upgraded versions of the software I already had, and both camera's are compatible, even use the same USB cable.

I have noticed a bit of noise in the images, but honestly if I wasn't looking for it I wouldn't notice. You have to zoom into the image, and by that point you see pixels, which the point of the zoom is so you don't crop into the image at all, you use the whole image. So overall I see where the pro's are coming from on the quality, but you need to compare apple's to apples, it's not a $2000 camera and lens, so I'm pleased with it.

With it I got a Transend 16GB Class 10 SDHC memory card, roughly 4,000 images at 14MP, a spare battery, as it uses a rechargeable one. (A negative to me at first, however I do have an AC inverter in the Escape, so in theory I can charge one in the truck if needed.) and a Mini-HDMI to HDMI cord for viewing on the TV. (It does have standard RCA A/V input, but for $3 I just ordered it while I had free shipping.)

Hopefully I'll be posting up some photos soon, I got lazy in the past several years of using the tiny point and shoots, rarely composing the shot or adjusting the frame (with only 4X there wasn't much room to adjust.)

Thanks once again for the help and advice!
 

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Good luck with the new Canon! It'll be nice to see some pics from it. :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Took the Escape out in the snow for some photos. I had the camera set to the "Snow Scene" mode.

I re-sized them for better web transfer.

Here is just the Escape:





And a few shots of the woods around the field, and the dog. He followed me all the way up there might as well get his 15 seconds of fame out of it.




I also took some video in 720p HD, still trying to find a program to edit the .mov format it uses, my older Canon used .avi I believe, and the different format isn't compatible with my favorite editing program.
 
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