Camera questions


Alexandre recently wrote:

I was thinking upgrading my camera. Ideally, I’d like to get one before we go out in the south bay with the rest of the class. I would be willing to spend around $500 (potentially more if I can’t resist the temptation).

Could you give me a few references, and the criteria I should consider before getting a new camera?


The great news is that $500 gets you quite a bit of camera these days. The first question is digital or film? If you are looking for film $500 will get you a very serviceable Single Lens Reflex like a Nikon N80 or Canon T2 Rebel with a f1.8 standard prime lens.

On the digital side the Single Lens Reflex cameras are more expensive. For photography in general, and the purposes of this class specifically, I would suggest a digital camera with:

Shutter and aperture priority exposure modes
A wide range of manually-selected shutter speeds
RAW file output
ability to add wide angle adapters

An example I like is the 7 Mpixel Canon G6. It has a host of useful features (articulated rear display, intervalometer), shoots RAW, and has a sharp lens. This model is now a year old which means Canon will soon issue a replacement — and that the price is relatively low.

Canon G6

Canon G6

BTW, I highly recommend Phil Askey’s DPReview.com WWW site. It provides up-to-date news on digital cameras, useful forums, and detailed reviews. If a camera receives his (their?) Highly Recommended conclusion (as does the G6) then it is top notch.

Does anyone else have suggestions?

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