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  • Need camera advice please

    I've been having a lot of trouble with my camera for a while now, though I had always attributed it to bad batteries. I bought about 6 sets of rechargeable batteries - energizers, duracells, and even a few other brands. I've spent over $100 in rechargeable batteries over the past year or so and NONE of them work. Some never worked at all, and once I've tried them in my camera, they won't work in ANYTHING - I have tried recharging them and using them in the tv remote, among other things - but they are completely dead.

    Unfortunately, I never thought about this being a problem with the camera itself, so I never had it checked out. Now it's off warranty, which is a problem.

    The Camera is a Canon PowerShot S2 1S. The Canon representative said that he thinks that the problem is the internal circuit board, and that it is not worth fixing... he said that it would be less expensive to break down and buy a new camera!

    To be honest, I would like to get a better camera because I do love taking pictures, but I'll have to pick up a lot more freelance work or something before that happens. I am in no position to buy one right now.

    I only have one set of (old) batteries that still work in the camera, and they aren't completely reliable. I can't buy more to carry as spares, because they just won't work in the camera. It's really frustrating when I do go out and want to bring the camera, because I never know if it will work or not.

    I need to start watching for sales but I don't even know what kind of camera I should look for. I've been impressed by the shots posted by people using digital rebels, but I am not really sure about how versatile those cameras are withouth buying a whole bunch of lenses - and again, I'm really strapped or cash. I was expecting to use this camera for at least a few more years before I started looking to upgrade... but the Canon rep said that I am lucky that none of the batteries have exploded in the camera yet!

    I'm not sure what to look for. I would like to be able to shoot RAW, I like being able to customize my settings and have a decent understanding of aperture and all that, and I'd like something with decent zooming capacity (the powershot has a 12X optical and 48X digital zoom, though with a higher end camera I would imagine tha this would be achieved with a zoom lens). My powershot is a 5 mega pixel camera, and I wouldn't want anything less than that, but that's probably the least of my worries.

    Does anybody have any advice to point me in the right direction? I'm not even sure what to look at.

    Thanks for reading this far.
    "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

  • #2
    are you considering getting a dslr? i've been wanting to get a dslr camera for a while, but i think they start at like $600 :\
    portfolio | daily image | reffee

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    • #3
      Morea, I can offer you some advice in this area....I own the Digital Rebel, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I also have a Canon Elph for my smaller pocket camera needs....I just got this one not too long ago....both are great. I use my rebel for client product shots, concert photography, and nature/misc. other photo shots...its a bit cumbersome to take everywhere w/ me - tho I have a backpack bag for it which is helpful for transporting and carrying it around. My Elph is used more for snapshots or for when I don't feel like carrying around the larger camera...

      With the Rebel, yes you would need to buy lenses....and you COULD do away w/ the kit lens, though it isn't all that great. But one or two lenses is all you would really need. I work with Two lenses - a nice zoom lens with IS, and the other is a Prime 50mm 1.4 lens which can be used for a large variety of shoots.

      It all comes down to what your budget is, what you want to do with the camera, and how long you think it will be before you can or want to upgrade again - in my opinion.

      Not sure what type of problems your having, or what kind of batteries your camera takes. But if you've had yours for a while, it probably is time for an upgrade!
      | Valerie |
      "Make sure the fortune that you seek is the fortune that you need"
      -Ben Harper

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      • #4
        Lenses are definitely a foreign language to me at this point... to be honest, I have a better understanding of french right now

        I would love a DSLR Tom, but like you said, the cost is prohibitive. That is probably what I am going to be looking at though, because I don't want to spend the money and then have to upgrade again within a few years. I would be content to hold on to a camera for 5 years or more, as long as it was reasonably versatile.

        I find that the PowerShot is weak in low light conditions and also for taking macro shots. (The little Casio Exilim I used to use took much better macros), and the PowerShot also can't shoot RAW.

        I consider myself little more than an enthusiastic hobbyist when it comes to photography... I really enjoy it, and I do take most of my own shots for any design projects, but I am not marketing myself as a photographer by any means.

        I'd like to be able to take nice macro shots, and also have some zooming ability. Those don't seem to go together in less expensive cameras. I also like to have the ability to customize my settings, but I do use and appreciate the presets that come on the camera when I need to get an unexpected shot off quickly without much time to think about it.

        I am not even sure that I'm explaining this very well... but when the time comes, I would rather invest a little more in something that will last longer.
        "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

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        • #5
          Do you have CS2 or higher? Because CS2 is really the first Photoshop that supports RAW. I recommond checking out Steve's Digicams. He has a wealth of information on there. More then you can even hope for. He also has a list of his favs which is worth checking out. It's what I referenced before I bought my camera two years ago.
          http://www.steves-digicams.com/best_cameras.html

          Looking back now, I almost wish I would have spent a little bit more and gotten a digital slr, but if money is an issue don't bother. It's a nice easy to carry camera good point and shoot with alot of options. Not much zoom only 4x optical, I don't bother with digital zoom. 7.41 Megapixel makes up for it. It's also very rugged, which is good because it has survived some drops.
          Less be more.

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          • #6
            Yup, I bought CS2 last year.

            Thanks for the tips. I'll check out those links.
            "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

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            • #7
              digital slr cameras tend to last a while from what i've read. check out the nikon D40, that's the one i've been eyeing, its for starters. you'd probably spend quite a bit more on lenses too :\ also note that you need special lenses in order for autofocus to work on that model.
              portfolio | daily image | reffee

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              • #8
                I just bought a Sony Power shot w55 (7.2 MP) and I am pretty impressed. Outside of purchasing a dslr, I am extremely happy with it so far. Takes fantasic macro and landscape pics and has idiotproof settings.

                It's not a lens changeable SLR but it pars up with it on compatibility.

                My last camera (lost at the zoo) was a Canon Digital elph, and while it took great vibrant pics, the macro and landscape features sucked hard.

                If you are shopping for the "pocket weekend" camera, I would definitely check it out. I got a sweet deal on it for $219 (before tax).

                Ill post some experimentation with macro I did last night later today to show you.

                Cheers
                "You're just jealous because YOUR hat doesn't have a clock in it!"

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                • #9
                  Morea, if you get your camera from say wolf camera or something, you get free digital camera classes to help you understand what your doing...I use these forums for my camera info needs:

                  www.photography-on-the-net.net
                  www.dpreview.com

                  both are EXCELLENT sites for info.

                  I am very against the PHD cams you have no control over the outcome, and cannot shoot in RAW. If as you say are more than an enthusiast, its worth taking the time to learn the ins/outs of a DSL, lenses, and how it all works. There are online classes, local classes I am sure, and TONS OF BOOKs for reading pleasure.
                  | Valerie |
                  "Make sure the fortune that you seek is the fortune that you need"
                  -Ben Harper

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                  • #10
                    from what i understand the main advantages of a digital slr camera are higher picture quality (ie less noise), lower lag time and quicker startup, interchangeable lenses (ie you can get fast lenses for great action shots, etc), and less depth of field (so you can take those closeup pictures with a nice blurry background).

                    the disadvantages are that they're generally heavier, more expensive obviously, and you have to worry about dust getting into the camera while you're changing lenses.
                    portfolio | daily image | reffee

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                    • #11
                      Morea,

                      Look into the Panasonic Lumix cameras. One of the content directors has one here at JI, and he has been very happy with it. They use Leica lenses, which are very good.

                      Here's a review of the one he bought:

                      http://www.dpreview.com/news/0607/06...nasoniclx2.asp

                      Here's a link to the other Panasonic cameras:

                      http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Panasonic/

                      -Steve

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                      • #12
                        Hey Morea,
                        It's nice to finally be helping you for a change instead of the other way around.
                        Now, I've been using SLRs since I was a kid pretty much, but with the digital models, it couldn't be easier. Not only do they have preset modes like sports, landscape, and auto, but since its digital you should pick it up quickly just by reading the manual, and clicking away for a day.
                        As for lenses, I wouldn't worry about it until you get the basics down.
                        As a designer, it's definitely worth the cost just so that you can have control over the final image.
                        Former GD. Current Photographer
                        http://ascottmccauley.com/

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                        • #13
                          The advantage of having a DSL is that it is what TRUE PHOTOGRAPHY is all about - YOU have full control over EVERY ASPECT of your image creations. The Quality of the photo will be larger, and fully editable in everyway if you shoot in RAW - which gives a higher resolution and less noise overall....

                          No matter what camera you use however, unless your shooting in ISO 400 or higher, your going to have some noise...that is why it is best to shoot at ISO 100 because you produce MUCH LESS noise. ]]

                          I'm quick to change lenses, and in the last 4-5 years i've had my rebel (shooting in dusty locations even), I've never had dust on my sensor or inside...just have to get good and quick on changing lenses!

                          Also, a lens is not really considered "fast" all that means is that the lens is better - it lets in more light - offers lower f/stops....if you have no knowledge of working w/ an SLR camera PERIOD - regardless of whether it is digital or not, you should DEFINITELY educate yourself....esp. if you want full control using Manual - which is all I use to shoot....
                          | Valerie |
                          "Make sure the fortune that you seek is the fortune that you need"
                          -Ben Harper

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DesignerScott
                            Hey Morea,
                            It's nice to finally be helping you for a change instead of the other way around.
                            Aww, thanks Scott! I appreciate the tips!


                            Great advice, everybody. This is very helpful!
                            "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot

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                            • #15
                              Hi Morea, when I was buying my Nikon I was set to spend about 1400 ($2800?) on a Nikon D200 and a lense, but then I came across this site:

                              www.kenrockwell.com

                              It offered some great advice. I ended up spending 500 on a second hand Nikon D70 and a new lense.

                              Anyway, like you I'm no expert but like to dabble and it helped me so thought it might help you too (the site is a bit jumbled so finding the articles can take time but they're worth it)

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