• POINT & SHOOT, YOUR BEST CHOICE OF CAMERA ?

  • Discussion of photography and videography techniques, equipment and technology, and links to personal railroad-related photo galleries.
Discussion of photography and videography techniques, equipment and technology, and links to personal railroad-related photo galleries.

Moderators: nomis, keeper1616

  by GOLDEN-ARM
 
Looking to replace an older Minolta, "point & shoot", fully automatic camera, with a better one. Not looking for bells&whistles, just a good, reliable, high quality camera, to "drop in a roll, and start shooting". Any suggestions. Price range not too important, but prefer under $300.00 for the thing. THANKS....... :wink:

  by Amtrak31
 
I have a Kodak DX6490. 4 Megapixels. 10 x 380 mm zoom. It takes very nice crisp photos! I got it for $350. :-)

  by MikeF
 
Are you looking for a film camera or a digital camera?

  by pgengler
 
If you're looking for digital (though your "'drop in a roll'" comment suggests 35mm), I have a Canon Powershot A80 I've been using. There are some things I don't like about it (slow to turn on, a bit of a sluggish zoom, and some other things I can't quite remember) but nothing that would make me feel like I wanted to replace it with a different P&S.
(If you wanted to see how pictures could come out with it, my photo gallery (shameless self-link) has a whole bunch, of various subjects in various situations, with plenty of trains to be seen. The quality on the latest ones isn't so great, but that's due to the lighting, not the camera.)
Last edited by pgengler on Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by GOLDEN-ARM
 
My bad, I kinda figured "drop in a roll" was self explanatory. I have a digital that I use for ebay listings. I want a film camera. My ideal camera would have the size, shape and feel, of an AE-1, but would be fully automatic, with "point and shoot" being all that was needed, to operate it. Auto exposure, ASA and focus, as well as auto flash. The "little" camera I have, while easy to carry, leaves a lot to be desired, in the final product. The view finder has a "image centering" box, that is visible, when you look through it. The problem is, it never captures what that box in the viewfinder says I am looking at. This, plus other issues,, make me want a good sized, high quality, fully automatic camera. Thanks again..... :wink:

  by MikeF
 
If you're not dead-set on buying a "point-and-shoot" camera, I would recommend an entry-level SLR, which will produce better quality images than a P&S and allows for more manual control if you should ever want it. Try a Canon EOS Rebel T2 or a Nikon N55. Both are usually sold with consumer-grade zoom lenses and run between $200 and $250 for the kit. Neither is a professional camera by any means, but both are decent entry-level fully automatic SLR's that are perfectly capable of producing excellent images. Try these links for specifications (and a reputable place to buy a camera):

http://www.adorama.com/CAT2K.html

http://www.adorama.com/NKN55K.html

  by GOLDEN-ARM
 
Thanks Mike, I will check these out. Any other suggestions, still appreciated. Mike, is there something that is above an "entry level" camera, with the features I listed above. I just sold my AE-1, with all of the lenses, winder, flashes, tripods, etc., to get into something "quicker" to operate, and easier to use. I would leave this camera in my grip, to carry while working, for all of those shots I get a chance at, while running. Might be able to go a bit higher, pricewise, but it would depend on the quality, and ease of use, and "quickness" of the camera. (not waiting for it to power up, slow build-up time, between flashes, quick auto-winding, etc...) Thanks again..... :wink:

  by MEC407
 
Do you have a specific price range that you're looking at?

These are my favorite compact (pocket-sized) 35mm point&shoot cameras:

Olympus Stylus Epic -- has a very nice, very sharp f/2.8 lens and very accurate exposure system (even good enough for slide film). Water resistant. $80.

Olympus Stylus Zoom 80 -- not quite as sharp or compact as the Epic, but the 35-80 zoom lens will get you closer to far-away subjects. Water resistant. $80.

If you want a point&shoot that has the look and feel of a full-size 35mm camera, take a look at these:

Olympus IS-50 Zoom -- 28-120 zoom lens, advanced SLR features. $180.

Olympus IS-5 Zoom -- similar to IS-50, but with longer zoom (28-140) and panorama capability. $240.

Last but not least, there are the true SLR cameras. While these aren't point&shoots, they all have a fully-automatic mode that does all the work for you -- focus, exposure, flash, etc. Essentially you get the simplicity/ease-of-use of a point&shot, as well as the versitility of an SLR, and best of all, the ability to use different lenses if you so desire.

Nikon N55 Kit with 28-80 Zoom Lens -- an excellent, compact SLR with a choice of full auto, full manual, or anything in between. $200.

Canon Rebel K2 Kit with 28-90 Zoom lens -- very similar to the Nikon N55 in terms of features and capabilities, but with a more "sporty" appearance. $200.

Hope this helps!

  by GOLDEN-ARM
 
Thanks again, for some more input. Still looking for the one that will be the best all around deal. i will check out those last 3, you listed. Never had a nikon, just Minolta, and Cannon's, so I will have to do a little more research. Thanks :-D

  by GOLDEN-ARM
 
Just looked at the N55, in the link, MEC provided. Looks pretty sweet. (too bad they don't do it in all black, instead of black and silver) Seems to have everything I am looking for, plus ability to upgrade lenses, if I ever got that ambitious about it. Is the price in the ad a decent price ($199.99), or is the used one a better deal, at $129.00 ? I know somewhat, of the pitfalls of buying used, but not everyone trashes their stuff, before they sell it :wink: Will have to go see one in person. You know how much I don't want to go to the camera store. They wont be happy, unless they talk you into leaving with a Haaselblad, with all the accesories. (guess it must be the commission) Thanks again, Regards :wink:

  by MEC407
 
$199 for the kit at B&H is a very good price. Generally you won't find prices better than B&H or Adorama (and if you do, it's usually a scam). However, if you are thinking of buying used, I have had excellent luck with KEH Camera Brokers. Their prices are very reasonable, and their condition rating system is fairly conservative -- i.e., a camera that they rate as "Bargain" is what many camera stores would call "excellent," and a camera they rate as "Excellent" is what most camera stores would call "like new."

Their web site is www.keh.com

If you prefer black (as do I), this might be right up your alley: Nikon N65 (Black) in "excellent plus" condition at KEH for $133. The N65 is similar to the 55, with a few extra bells and whistles. Add a Nikon 35-70 zoom lens for $49 and you've got yourself an excellent, sturdy, all-black kit for a great price.

Last but not least, if you decide to go with a Nikon, you will not be disappointed. I use both Nikon and Canon and I love both. Which one I choose depends on my mood, but both companies make good quality equipment. Personally I like Nikon lenses a bit better than Canons, but that is only a personal preference. They're both very good. The selection of used autofocus lenses for Nikon generally tends to be larger than the selection for Canon, which is something to consider if you are budget conscious. If you choose to go with a brand new kit, then it just boils down to which one feels better in your hands, as that's really the only major difference between the two companies.

  by GOLDEN-ARM
 
MEC, do I understand you in that the N65 is basicaly the same, as the N55, except it's black ? Same features, ease of operations, etc ? You feel they are reliable, as far as used goes ? And, is this a simple, "point and shoot", if I have it set in the auto mode ? I preffer a black camera (I don't know why, though. Just dont like chrome, or silver. ) and I will check out the site you suggested, to see what they've got. I lost some killer shots, here on the CSOR, due to my Minolta not being up to the task. Thanks again, for the input. Regards :wink:

  by GOLDEN-ARM
 
Jusst checked them out, and I tried to call, but they were closed. Wondering about manuals, len caps, original packaging, etc. Will try them again in morning. The lens is not the same grade as the body. Will this make a difference, or is it just cosmetically flawed. ( I know you don't personally know, but you seemed to understand their grading system) Looks like the one I want, wondering about getting it new, and price on that/accessories, etc. Will keep looking through these links you gave me. Thanks again :-D

  by MEC407
 
GOLDEN-ARM wrote:MEC, do I understand you in that the N65 is basicaly the same, as the N55, except it's black ? Same features, ease of operations, etc ? You feel they are reliable, as far as used goes ? And, is this a simple, "point and shoot", if I have it set in the auto mode ?
There are a few differences, mostly cosmetic -- otherwise they are pretty much the same in terms of features and ease-of-use. In auto mode, all you have to do is aim and fire. The camera will do everything else for you.

  by MEC407
 
GOLDEN-ARM wrote:Jusst checked them out, and I tried to call, but they were closed. Wondering about manuals, len caps, original packaging, etc. Will try them again in morning. The lens is not the same grade as the body. Will this make a difference, or is it just cosmetically flawed. ( I know you don't personally know, but you seemed to understand their grading system) Looks like the one I want, wondering about getting it new, and price on that/accessories, etc. Will keep looking through these links you gave me. Thanks again :-D
Usually the used stuff won't come with manuals, packaging, etc. unless otherwise specified, or if the condition is listed as "Like New" or "Demo."

Unfortunately the N65 is no longer available as new; Nikon discontinued it last year. They replaced it with the N55 and the N75, and neither of those are available in all black -- just silver.

If you can live with the chrome/silver, the best overall value would probably be the new N55 kit at B&H, which is only about $20 more than buying a used N65 and a used lens.

I took a quick look at Canon's current lineup, and all of their non-professional SLRs are silver now. If you want black, you have to move up into the $350+ range.

Here is something that might work for you: Canon Rebel G (Black) with instruction book in excellent condition for $94. Very easy to use, not as many features as the aforementioned Nikons but certainly capable of what you're planning on doing with it, and will work with any Canon autofocus lens, such as this 35-70 zoom for $41.