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Great starter camera for a noob?

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MightyJordan    8,068

Hey there. I've been recently looking at buying a digital camera over the past couple of weeks, mostly because I'm not satisfied with just the camera on my mobile phone. I'm not entirely sure what my budget for this would be, but I'm almost certainly ruling out DSLRs, unless it's possible to get a good cheap one for less than ?200. Second-hand, obviously, but even that's a bit scarce, so I'll keep my sights aimed at point-and-shoot cameras for now.

Just to give a little rundown of how it'd be used, I like to take pictures of interesting sights when I'm out and about, plus I'd love something that'd work great at concerts. One definite requirement is great battery life; almost certainly a battery pack.

I've seen a friend on Twitter selling a Canon PowerShot SX110 IS:

666675|dd21_8923-canonsx1103quart.jpg

Now that looks like a good camera (and from this review, it looks like it certainly takes good pictures), but sadly, it runs on AA batteries.

So basically, I'm after a camera that takes great pictures, costs no more than ?200 (unless the camera difference is more than worth paying a bit extra; don't mind second-hand either) most of today's typical features (image stabilisation, autofocus, etc.), and a respectable amount of megapixels (say at least 8MP). I'd really like to dabble in doing time-lapse videos as well, so a camera that has that mode on top would be a great bonus.

Thanks in advance. :)

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+Mirumir    5,636

I bought S95 for my dad. It's a great camera - small, sleek, stylish, and comparatively powerful - it takes decent pix in low light, but it may be over your budget, so you may want to check out a used S90/S95.

As for the SX series, there's a newer SX130 for 179 pounds MSRP :)

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MightyJordan    8,068

Ooh, I just remembered a photo gallery that I saw a couple of weeks ago! "World War II: The American Home Front in Color". There are lots of amazing pictures in that gallery, and the main reason why is because the cameras back then used glass lenses, whereas most cameras use plastic lenses nowadays. I know you can get glass lenses for pretty much any DSLR, but what about point-and-shoot cameras? I know you can't really change the lenses on those, unless you do a little modifications yourself, but are there many point-and-shoot cameras out there with glass lenses as standard? I've only come across one so far, which is the Nikon Coolpix S570. It looks like a great little camera, and it's pretty cheap, but reviews are only just above average for it, which is a bit of a shame. Does anyone know anything else? :)

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sc302    1,780

sx20 or sx30 is.

so what if it runs on AA's...it is easy to find batteries for in a pinch, rechargables are easy to get in masses. gl finding a rechargable battery when they stop making the one for that specific model you are looking at regardless of brand. I have no issues with AA's other than perhaps they may make the camera a little heavier.

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras/powershot_sx30_is

pros are the flip out screen, mega optical zoom

cons are the bulkiness of the camera. it is an advanced point and shoot with many manual features.

apparently the sx30 has gotten rid of the hot shoe and the AA batteries.

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MightyJordan    8,068

^ Yes, good point there; I never really thought about it that way. The only thing that really concerned me about using a camera that uses AA batteries is the battery life of it. Mostly due to personal experience with my mum's Olympus C350 ZOOM; that lasts just 5-10 minutes on a fresh set of AAs, but that is a pretty old camera. :p I just wasn't too sure about going down that route, even though probably nowadays, a camera that runs on AAs would last for at least an hour, and be as good as a dedicated battery pack.

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dragon2611    13

^ Yes, good point there; I never really thought about it that way. The only thing that really concerned me about using a camera that uses AA batteries is the battery life of it. Mostly due to personal experience with my mum's Olympus C350 ZOOM; that lasts just 5-10 minutes on a fresh set of AAs, but that is a pretty old camera. :p I just wasn't too sure about going down that route, even though probably nowadays, a camera that runs on AAs would last for at least an hour, and be as good as a dedicated battery pack.

Carry a at least couple of sets of high capacity NI-MH AA batteries.

At least with AA's you can get them fairly easily, even at the gift shop of the Zoo/whatever attraction you're at (Although they'll be a rip off price, but better than having a dead camera I suppose)

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Rigby    1,577

Running on AA batteries is a good thing, unless you enjoy paying for overpriced proprietary batteries.

The battery life problem you saw was probably due to using alkalines, but you're not supposed to do that. They don't have the capacity. Use Lithiums at the very least, and get a charger and a few sets of good Nimh batteries and you're all set. :)

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MightyJordan    8,068

AA batteries it is. So that narrows the field down a little bit. :p I'm gonna need all your help to narrow it down more.

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Rigby    1,577

AA batteries it is. So that narrows the field down a little bit. :p I'm gonna need all your help to narrow it down more.

I've always been fond of Canon and they have a wide range to choose from. Just don't be suckered into the megapixel myth; with the small CCD in most consumer cameras too many megapixels actually hurts photo quality. Besides, unless you are printing out billboards you don't need anything ridiculous like 14 MP. For most people 6 to 8 is more than enough. The SX110 is a pretty nice camera, here is a review (and you can look up other models here you may be interested in): Review

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MightyJordan    8,068

I've always been fond of Canon and they have a wide range to choose from. Just don't be suckered into the megapixel myth; with the small CCD in most consumer cameras too many megapixels actually hurts photo quality. Besides, unless you are printing out billboards you don't need anything ridiculous like 14 MP. For most people 6 to 8 is more than enough. The SX110 is a pretty nice camera, here is a review (and you can look up other models here you may be interested in): Review

Oh don't worry, I'm fully aware of the megapixel myth. Have been for years, thanks to cameraphones. :)

A friend of mine on Twitter is actually selling her SX110, and I did show a bit of interest in it. She put it up on eBay, but no one bid on it, and that was at ?70, so might be able to snap up a bargain there.

Does everyone reckon that'd be a good choice? :) I did ask her what the shutter count was on it, and it's only just over 2,000, so according to this page (admittedly, it's for the standard S110, not the SX110 IS), it's still got a long life left. :)

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MightyJordan    8,068

OK, managed to strike a deal for the Canon Powershot SX110 IS: ?70. :) I'll be paying on Wednesday; I'd just like to double-check with you guys if it's a good purchase or not? :)

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richardsim7    118

OK, managed to strike a deal for the Canon Powershot SX110 IS: ?70. :) I'll be paying on Wednesday; I'd just like to double-check with you guys if it's a good purchase or not? :)

Yeah, go for it :)

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techbeck    7,160

I bought the SX230 a month or so ago. Love the camera and it works great. Long battery life to and who cares about AA batteries. I have an old canon that is 6+ years old and the battery still works.

I have attached a few pics I took with the camera....

And then I have this one....

Camera suits me needs and then some. Takes good 1080 vids as well.

post-91978-0-04766800-1315848930.jpg

post-91978-0-34366800-1315848947.jpg

post-91978-0-59171300-1315849069.jpg

post-91978-0-77787300-1315849106.jpg

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