View Full Version : Need help choosing digital camera

12-25-2009, 03:36 PM
Hey guys first time poster and my apologies if this isn't in the right forum.

You know there is one thing going to review sites and reading about cameras but it's another thing getting possible help from everyday users pro or otherwise.

If there's one thing i love that it's recording video and taking photos and bring the the two together. Now mostly I have been using the school's equipment ( college student) But i need something to use on own my time. Here's the thing budget budget budget lol

I don't have a lot $ work with so for now i just want to use whatever i can to "practice" and have fun.

So with a budget of around $300 I'm looking for a digital camera that also has HD video option. I know there are a quite a few on the market but i was wondering if any of you had any experience or recommendations that can steer me in the right direction.

Thank you.

12-25-2009, 06:35 PM
Welcome to the forum!

We have a good thread on this http://www.photography.ca/Forums/f14/calling-all-enablers-need-camera-suggestions-5821.html

as well as a podcast How to buy your first DSLR (http://www.photography.ca/blog/?p=645)

Long story short though.... with a 300 dollar budget, Get a used canon 30D.

Do NOT get a point and shoot camera - they suck for learning photography.

Hope that helps

Mad Aussie
12-25-2009, 07:31 PM
Get a used canon 30D.
No good if he wants the HD Video though.

A 2nd hand Canon Rebel with vid might be the only chance if he can find one.

12-26-2009, 12:18 PM
woops thx MA - missed that he also wanted video.....

for 300? not sure that's doable though.

12-26-2009, 12:34 PM
It's not HD but the Canon SX120is is probably one of the best choices you can make for $300. Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital camera reviews - CNET Reviews (http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/canon-powershot-sx120-is/4505-6501_7-33765882.html)

I have the SX110is.

If you have a nice, large SD card you can take lots of video and it's fairly good quality. The still camera is great and takes wonderful photos. Runs on simple double A batteries which is very convenient and with rechargeable NiMH batteries very affordable. The Manual mode lets you control shutter speed, aperture, ISO, WB, and more.

If you are on a budget this is probably your best choice.

12-26-2009, 12:35 PM
For $300 and HD that's a tough one.. I do not think it is possible.
Your in a tough position for sure. A good lens will go for over $400 on a DSLR.

12-28-2009, 01:49 PM
ya it's gonna have to be a point and shoot. I mean it is what it is with my budget but honestly i don't wanna let that stop me.

here are some i came across maybe you guys have any opinion please share.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8 Review - Image Quality | PhotographyBLOG (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_fp8_review/image_quality/)

and here are the main rivals

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8 Review - Rivals | PhotographyBLOG (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_fp8_review/rivals/)

to me the bottom line i don't have high expectations with these cameras... 720p is available in many cameras, i just don't wanna miss out on something that might give a camera an edge on another.

i guess i am just looking for guidelines to get the best bang for my buck. if one camera is 720 and 12 mega pixel vs another camera that's the same what edges one over the other in terms of quality?

sorry i just get nervous cause i want to do my research and don't wanna walk into a store where a sales person might try to sway me into buying something i don't want etc.

12-28-2009, 02:35 PM
These are POINT AND SHOOT cameras and are NOT recommended for learning photography imo.... they are inferior learning tools and you likely won't be happy with either the video OR the photography.....All you need to do is take 1 shot of a target that is moving and you'll see....do it in the store as a test.

You want a DSLR...please trust me on this.

Since you can't likely get one that does the video....I'd nix the video. You can buy something (like the flip http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart_accessories&A=details&Q=&sku=616342&is=REG that also does mediocre video for 100.

12-30-2009, 11:02 AM
Have you thought about buying something second hand to start?

01-02-2010, 08:21 PM
i don't think you can get HD video in any camera for $300... the only ones to offer HD are high end DSLRs that run $2500 or more. a lot of point & shoot cameras shoot low-res video, but they're much more limited for serious photography...

Mars Observer
01-02-2010, 10:13 PM
Hi MDRJ! I hear what you're saying! Video is important to me as well. That's one reason I went Micro Four-Thirds (Panasonic Lumix GF-1).

If you can live without the video, there's likely a number of good choices on the used market.

But if you do need the HD video, and $300 is your budget, you probably are looking at a P&S. I think the Panasonic TZ5 may be the camera you are looking for??

Good luck!

P.S. I agree with the other posters here - P&S is *not* good to learn with (for that you'd need manual control over aperture and shutter speed, and exposure compensation... at the very least).

01-02-2010, 10:38 PM
Point and Shoot Elf series - approx 300
CANON SD940 IS BLK 12.1MP 4X W/A 2.7i
does HD video

Mars Observer
01-03-2010, 11:40 AM
I like Canon P&S cameras though... just a note and something to be aware of, typically optical zoom is not usable on the Canon's when recording video.

01-03-2010, 11:56 AM
I have one of the earlier ones. The trick is you have to set the zoom before you start filming. It will stay at that zoom level throughout. I really like that 940.

Mars Observer
01-03-2010, 02:05 PM
I'm seriously thinking about the Canon S90 (or next version) for my 'compact'. f2.0 is really appealing! But I do like my G10 too. Unfortunately neither the S90 or G10/11 do HD video, but the standard def. video quality on the G10 isn't bad. Of course, it doesn't compare to the Pano GF-1 video, or Sony CX12 camcorder but hey, it's a 'compact' :-) I sometime do think the best camera is the one you'll carry with you and use often.

01-05-2010, 12:30 AM
the Canon SD940 does hi-res video, but it's only 720p, not true hi-def at 1080p. to get that, you're into DSLRs like the Canon 5D2, or the Nikon D90/D5000, etc.

Vladimir Naumoff
01-05-2010, 11:02 PM
Just few days ago I was going over the Gregslist/montreal and I was amassed how chip you can buy 10D now, it was at $300. I payed $2100 when it first came out. I think I would get a Canon 10D over Rebel XL. You can not get good Nikon for that much money. I say 10D.