View Full Version : What camera do you start to look at after a point and shoot?

11-04-2012, 02:31 PM
A friend but I have an interest myself... But where to start looking to buy/get a new camera but a "better quality" a step above the point and shoot which I think are decent.

Something that has a good zoom, just better camera maybe some entry pro level? Do they all do movie's.

Point me in some direction to research. :)

11-04-2012, 06:29 PM
I think it depends on several factors. Some years ago I got an Olympus SP-510UZ and it's way out of date already. Changing faster that computers are, it seems.

I guess you start with a budget and know what you plan to do with it. Do you want interchangeable lenses. Or just a camera with a zoom lens. Then how much zoom to you want.

One thing that I would consider is if the camera is compatible with computer. That's why I originally got the Olympus was they had Mac compatible software. Now a days with iPhoto that might be less of a factor.

Better quality lenses are worth the money as well.

I do believe you will now go down the next rabbit hole as you delve into this subject and I'm sure some one around here will come up with more than I have , but it's a start.

11-04-2012, 07:39 PM
First start with a brand or two that you like. Read up lots of reviews on their prosummer models. You will find adherents to every brand, so that is somewhat meaningless. I have always liked Nikon, so some years ago I did the research and bought one of their mid priced models. I like it. But now I own several lenses, and they are where the money is. So I can't easily go look at Canon.


11-04-2012, 10:29 PM
Looks like a semi pro starts about 1,000. more than needed. I think I'll start in the 350 to 600 dollar range and see where/what that gets me.

To keep it Simple. Not sure exactly what, need one good zoom for long range scenery or animals on said scenery. Maybe I'm not after multiple lenses. I'll start some reading tomorrow.

I've never owned a real quality camera or paid much attention to them.

11-04-2012, 10:41 PM
Cameras really have come along way in the last few years. Lens is key, though other factors certainly matter. I would say a min. of 5x zoom, but 10 or more gives great flexibility you will love.

For a hobbyist, I would look at something like this (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras/powershot_sx500_is). I have a similar (older) Canon, and it has been great. No complaints.

Google for reviews, and compare to similar listed models. Remember, anything on sale is usually old, and like most tech these days, the newer models are usually better, and thus worth the premium vs. the previous models on sale.

Oh, and pay attention to things like the kind of media it uses, and batteries.

11-05-2012, 09:42 AM
All makes sense. When you do your reviews, start at DP Review (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/). Reliable detailed hand-on. And a lot less commie than Google. Hate even going to Google for even the least search need.

11-05-2012, 10:03 AM
One other thing I will add: Big choice has to do with size. Not unlike computers, you pay more and get less for a smaller (pocket/purse) size camera. If you don't mind the bulk, you can get more bang for the buck with a larger camera, with a more conventional lense (that does not have to telescope down to almost nothing...)

So how big you mind toting around should be one of the first decisions. I like Ricks link. Looks like a great place to start. If you don't mind the bulk, this (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras/powershot_sx40_hs) is a alot of bang for buck. 35X zoom is crazy, in this price range.....at least it was a couple years ago. Don't think I have owned anything more than 12X, which was pretty damn good for stuff like zooming in to single player in a football game.

Lots of brands too. Nikon has rule the high end separate body line for decades, but are not as dominant in the hobbyist world. Last few I have had have all been Canons and one Olympus. Happy with all in their time, for the price. Digital used to be slow and low res (or expensive) but those days are over. Fuji, Panasonic, Sony.....all make some good cameras.

Oh, and viewfinder. Do you need one? Older cameras had fairly small and dark LCDs, and I did not much like them to be able to quickly tell if focus was correct, etc. Now however, I suspect that they are big enough and bright enough that many folks would never use the viewfinder. No viewfinder = smaller and cheaper.

11-05-2012, 06:12 PM
To further the direction Matt took, I see Costco has a coupon for $80 off the new model http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras/powershot_sx500_is]Canon SX500 IS. Very similar, same class as the one he linked earlier, just this years model. Here's Costco's page for it:

http://www.costco.com/Canon-Powershot-SX500-IS-Digital-Camera-Bundle.product.100014454.html]Costco SX500 page


11-05-2012, 06:15 PM
I don't know squat...

Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm IS II Lens and EOS HD Movie Mode (Black)
Canon Rebel XS 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
Nikon D3000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens
Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens
Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera and DIGIC 4 Imaging
Nikon D5100 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera

11-05-2012, 06:26 PM
With Cannon what's the major difference between the EOS Rebel and PowerShot lines?

11-05-2012, 08:36 PM

My experience started with the old film cameras. You have a lens that has the ability (zoom lenses only) to magnify something far away or just the opposite up close. Inside the lens is a device that makes a large or very small hole for light to pass through. The larger the hole (this is called the f/stop 1.8 = large hole where f22 is a very small hole) the more light passes through the lens, but the depth of field is shorter. So when you focus on something closer and have a 1.8 f/stop you have a shorter field that is in focus. Like a portrait of someone. You can thus cause the face to be in focus and the background out of focus. Or if you are out in nature and wanting a picture of a landscape, you will opt for a smaller f/stop say f22, which will increase the field of focus so that everything will be in focus.

But here is the problem your camera has a speed setting also. You need so much light to make a photograph. In a very bright area you can use the smaller f/stop without any problem. But in low light places you have to slow the speed down so much that any movement (wind blowing branches) is blurred, but if you open the f/stop to 1.8 the area that is in focus is reduced. This can be compensated by using faster film (opps no more film). So some cameras will allow a faster memory card, which costs more of course.

The zoom lens does make a difference. I have a 10X Zoom and that has been lacking for my preferences. If you want a close up of something far away, 10X is now where near enough. Some camera have a farther zoom but it is done via software as opposed to the lens. Make sure the lens is at least 15X all by itself. Check the aperture of the lens (f/stop)

Rick is spot on with the web site for reviews, I've used them before and they are great with the information. It might be that a really good point and shoot will provide more of what you need than you think. Think of it this way, you can spend all this time researching cameras while you wait for the 27" iMac to become available. :)

11-05-2012, 08:45 PM
Think of it this way, you can spend all this time researching cameras while you wait for the 27" iMac to become available. Sounds like a good plan. :D

11-06-2012, 01:08 PM
A decent slr/dslr can be found in a single lens camera or not? or Do I need to point myself to multiple lenses. Will that push me over a 400 to 500 dollar camera/lens.

comments / anything ... I'm searching out Cannon's site and some new terms..

11-06-2012, 01:28 PM
A single lens can satisfy, especially one that goes from around 24 to 700MMish. That is a pretty wide range. A bunch of the upper range is accomplished by only using the center of the light sensor - electronic magnification instead of optical magnification. The picture quality is not as good as optical magnification, but to do that with optical mag costs a bundle and most of the time using the lower magnification non electronic mag settings is plenty. Like any standard camera lens, 28 to 70 MM. That is a common high end standard length lens and a single lens camera will do that range pretty close to as good, especially for the money.

I would not be afraid to pick a brand SLR and then start comparing capabilities and reading reviews.


11-06-2012, 04:41 PM
What are or where are the differences in these two camera's... your feedback should help me understand this better. How much better and/or why?

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS -- $470 ish here (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras/powershot_sx50_hs)
Canon Powershot SX500 IS -- $350 ish here (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras/powershot_sx500_is)

I read that the SX50 was much preferred over the SX40. Now my friend is currently using an 8 MP ?? MP and is a 4 year old point and shoot. She does not use many features but wants good photo's without the fuss and loves to zoom. Multiple lens is going to be a hassle. So a high quality camera that will be used more like a point and shoot.

11-06-2012, 10:27 PM
SX50 is a lot smarter camera. Can do more video and picture modes. That is the first thing I notice. The 50 is also more sensitive, so it has a wider range of lighting and speed capabilities. Here's an example:


500: Auto, ISO 100/200/400/800/1600

50: Auto, ISO 80/100/125/160/200/250/320/400/500/640/800/1000/1250/1600/ 2000/2500/3200/4000/5000/6400

That is a LOT of difference if a person will be shooting in varied lighting and high motion settings. Make a big difference in controllability in motion piture shoots as well.


11-07-2012, 02:00 AM
What a truly sweet camera the SX50 HS is. The reviews rated it 4.92 our of 5. I want one.

1. Lots more sensitivity (like Rick says) means you can take pictures in much lower light or stop action w/o blur.

2. It has a LCD screen & a view finder which if you have bright sun at your back you can actually see what you are looking at. I think a view finder is essential. In fact I almost never use my LCD screen, better for composing picture and for focusing.

3. More Zoom, can you ever have enough?

4. Higher resolution on the video 1080 not 720

Amazon has a package (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-Digital-Wide-Angle-Stabilized/dp/B009I2TP7K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1352279070&sr=8-2&keywords=PowerShot+SX50+HS)

I think you were supposed to take more time on this project, waiting for that 27" to become available.

11-07-2012, 10:40 AM
So I see the SX50 is "more camera" and more $$$'s

Can you have too much sensitive? Would the SX50 be a more complicated camera to use or work. Will there be a much learning curve.

Is there a middle if road camera?

The SX500 would probably do everything she needs and more.

11-07-2012, 10:52 AM
Now I think you are asking the right questions. And you are narrowing them to a reasonable range.

No one can answer those perfectly phrased questions for her. That is what reading the reviews and a long balance of the check book is for. Then a gut check.

Both cameras will be nearly so simple to start using as a point and click. And then they get a little harder as you add capabilities to the user's knowledge. Just because one camera has a much greater range doesn't mean it is actually harder to use, just that the lists of settings and the programed auto abilities can make spectacular pictures out of crap sandwich circumstances.

Canon is REALLY good at programming for a wide range of users, and a lot of the money in the better model comes from including a huge range of programmed in capability that is fast and easy to learn. (this comes from a lifelong Nikon user who finds Nikon tends to force the user to learn more tricks to get the camera to perform as well)

The only reason choosing a camera is so hard is because the cameras themselves are so friggin similar. Canon has an entire page of cameras that can take nice photos ranging from $125 to $1200. Hence the only way to stay sane doing this is to narrow the search to a couple that sound capable of the task and then do the research on the reviews.


11-07-2012, 11:01 AM
It's clearing up. I just need to read some comparable reviews in camera's like this.

Cannon has a few lines. Do I want to stay with an SX?? What is primary difference with an EOS or EOS Rebel? Better / worse or go by the specs?

So the SX50 would be a good choice to both use right away and grow into with use.

11-07-2012, 12:55 PM
If you move up to the EOS, whichever model, then we're talking interchangeable lenses. Whole different ballgame. The lenses tend to be narrower in use, you won't find a 24MM through 1200MM effective length, instead you will end up buying 2 or 3 lenses to accomplish that.

11-07-2012, 01:04 PM
I see now. No need or desire to change lenses now. This is coming together. I should look at another brands now that I can kind of keep Apples to Apples and oranges to oranges.
I do like Cannon and know it would be a good quality camera.

11-07-2012, 04:35 PM
What's the difference or "is there?" - a "SLR-like (bridge)" compared to a "Compact SLR" in camera body?

11-07-2012, 04:56 PM
Like yeungfeng mentioned, the SX50 SLR has a viewfinder as well as a LCD screen.

A bridge camera skips the viewfinder, all you have is the LCD. I think the term 'bridge' came from way back when these new intermediate capability cameras were named that to indicate they were bridges between point and shoot simple cameras and SLR cameras with their interchangeable lenses and high end feature sets - like a viewfinder that looks through the lens system.


11-07-2012, 05:48 PM
Without going nuts searching the SX50 HS Amazon package is nice. The SX500 IS I think would be too. Why is the SX50 worth another 150 bucks more. It is better on paper. I'm looking at comparable Nikon Olympus. I know Fuji, Panasonic, Sony.....all make some good cameras but going to just ignore the searching and go with well known. I'd get more frustrated and buy the Cannon anyway.

You once mentioned wallet Rick, it's getting time. :D

11-07-2012, 07:40 PM
Read the reviews, that is first. The SX500 may be too new of a model for many sites to have reviews.

Main difference is the 50 has a lot more range and is closer to a true prosumer camera than the 500, which is nice but leaves out several big ticket items - like all those video formats and speeds 4 times faster than the 500. Programed functionality will be tremendous difference. The SX50 is flat kick ass feature set. But you are right, you can get the 500 at Costco for half the price.

DP Review of the SX-50 (http://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/compacts/canon_sx50hs)

DP Review of the SX-500 (http://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/compacts/canon_sx500is)


11-07-2012, 07:45 PM
Read the Amazon Reviews of the SX-50 on its sales page (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-Digital-Wide-Angle-Stabilized/dp/B009B0MZ1M/ref=lh_ni_t). Wow.

11-07-2012, 08:07 PM
Review of the SX500 was ugly at Amazon.

11-07-2012, 08:16 PM
If it gets ugly I would look at other high end SLRs. New camera, all it takes is funky bugs in the software - just like a computer. Is a computer.

11-07-2012, 11:32 PM
Rick we are on the same page with this camera. The DP Review had reviews from owners = 4.92 of 5. That is wow. I don't really need a new camera, but it sure makes me want that one.

Randy try to find something better, that will fill the vacant time slot, don't knkow if you can though.

11-08-2012, 07:56 AM
This is a VIDEO (http://www.amazon.com/gp/mpd/permalink/m27Y1ARJQ1PN1S/ref=cm_ciu_vr_moY5M0EJEJSCJ5) shot with the SX50 camera. Unbelievable.

11-08-2012, 09:56 AM
Damn. THAT is impressive.

11-08-2012, 12:19 PM
I'm not finding much wrong at all with that Canon SX50. I was looking at other sample photo's, zoom in's... etc from it and damn looks good.

This Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 (http://www.dpreview.com/products/panasonic/compacts/panasonic_dmcfz200) has no reviews on this site but seems to pop up as a "favorable" camera also. Good Amazon reviews. (http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-FZ150K-Digital-Camera-Optical/dp/B005HQ50SO/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1352402447&sr=1-1&keywords=Panasonic+DMC-FZ150K)

I really think the Cannon will be a good choice or better said a safer buy. :)

11-08-2012, 02:11 PM
The Canon SX50 (http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductListingViewAll_10051_10051_-1_17755) scores lower than others here.

11-08-2012, 02:37 PM

Have you considered a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, rather than a reflex/SLR or P&S?

It's kind of a hot segment right now.

The point and shoot market has been decimated by smartphones. So camera makers are looking to recover somehow by offering cameras that are a step above smartphones and P&S but in some respects not quite a full DSLR. And MILCs design-wise sit right in between.

Like a P&S there's no mirror, which you find in a nearly all (D)SLR. Flapping up the mirror is a (noisy) mechanical operation which limits shutters speed, although there are some high performance DSLR that can crank out impressive shots per sec. MILC like P&S don't have mirror flap noise and some of the high end MILC can best the DSLR in terms of shots/sec. No mirror, no prism like DSLRs, so MILC are more compact too -- so closer to a P&S rather than a DSLR.

P&S often don't have the best lens, and you're stuck with what comes on the camera. That's why DSLRs benefit from having interchangeable lens for quality, range, etc. MILC like DSLRs have interchangeable lens, they're often bigger than the typical puny lenses that come on P&S so the quality can be better, and you also get some options like DSLR. Not to mention with digital, I find I want to upgrade my camera (bodies) like computers every couple of years. With interchangeable lenses, you keep them, and just get new bodies -- and I find it easy enough to trade-in bodies. I find it nearly impossible to trade-in a P&S.

Since it's a newish segment, you typically don't find the same range of lenses for MILCs as you do with DSLRs. But in some cases, like Canon, there's an adapter for their new Canon EOS M which lets you use (D) SLR EOS lenses. Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, etc. have MILCs -- again, it's the hot segment.

I have a full size big-ass Canon DSLR body and a bunch of Eos lenses. For knock around quick snaps, I was using a P&S until I got my iPhone, which is what I use now. For better quality and to have something light, I'd take an MILC like the Canon EOS M over a P&S any day. I'd also go Canon because it means I can use all my current EOS lenses and flashes. Look at the very bottom of this page:
That's a Pro 70-200 L lenses mounted on the new EOS M with the help of an adapter. Don't ask me how on earth you could actually shoot that rig hand held, but it cracks me up that you can do it.

Canon went super small with their EOS M, which was announced only a few months ago. See this, which gives some idea of the size of EOS M against a typical Canon DSLR.


11-09-2012, 10:59 AM
(this really is beyond a "point and shoot") the s100, (or earlier s95) can do a whole lot (probably more than most can get out of it, plus it is so small and light you'll have it in your pocket when you see that great photo) Canon PowerShot S100 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide-Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom........check it out. Nikon 5100 or 3100 also good with many lens options.......remember SMALL AND LIGHT with simple lens options!

11-21-2012, 03:46 PM
Well I've looked, searched, posted over at DPReviews forum...

Tough. The following two are looking good at just under 500 bucks now.

Nikon D3100
Panasonic DMC-FZ 150
maybe the Canon SX40 / SX50

Down to my last DPComparsion (http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=canon_eos1000d&products=canon_sx40hs&products=canon_sx50hs&products=nikon_d3100&products=nikon_d5000&products=panasonic_dmcfz60&products=panasonic_dmcfz150&products=panasonic_dmcgh3&products=panasonic_dmcg5&products=sony_dschx200v&sortDir=ascending)

But so do these all have benefits.... and some specials and deals through the holiday seasons. maybe.

Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm IS II Lens and EOS HD Movie Mode (Black)
Canon Rebel XS 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
Nikon D3000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikon Zoom Lens
Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikon Zoom Lens
Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera and DIGIC 4 Imaging
Nikon D5100 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera
Canon Powershot SX500 IS Digital Camera Bundle Amazon (http://www.costco.com/Canon-Powershot-SX500-IS-Digital-Camera-Bundle.product.100014454.html)
PowerShot SX40 HS here (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras/powershot_sx40_hs)
Canon PowerShot SX130 IS 12 Megapixel Digital Camera with 12x Optical Zoom, 3" LCD, Optical Image
Nikon D5100 review - expensive
D5000 - expensive
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200


11-22-2012, 06:58 AM
and go with the Nikon 3100! Get out there and shoot! Remember it's not the camera that takes great photos, it's you.