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Digital Camera Recommendation?  
User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2610 posts, RR: 15
Posted (14 years 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2251 times:

Hi there

Now that I actually have some money saved up  Big thumbs up, I'm trying to decide on which digital camera I should buy. I'd like to keep it under $1,000 for the camera.

Basically, I need something more than a cheap point-and-shoot camera, but nothing so complex that only a professional photographer would need.

I am still an amateur photographer, but I hope to get more experienced, and so I want a camera that I can use to take advantage of various photography techniques, such as zooming in on something in the foreground while blurring what's in the background, motion shots, blur shots, time exposures, etc. I also would like to have a good optical zoom range, and lots of megapixels (3-5). I'd prefer lots of manual features.

I'll be using this camera for aviation photography of course, but also for pictures from the places I travel to, night shots, and up-close shots of various things. I'd be using it for a wide range of purposes, basically.

I'm thinking along the lines of a Minolta DiMage 7, Canon PowerShot G2, or Nikon Coolpix 5000. So if you can make a recommendation among these three, or suggest a different, I would be very grateful. Thanks so much!  Smile


18 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineScooter From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 878 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (14 years 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2145 times:

I don't have much experience with the Dimage 7 or G2, but I have played with a CP5000. Overall, it's a good camera, but there are a few issues that would make it a poor performer for aviation photography:

1. Blown highlights. I just don't understand what Nikon was thinking. If you don't meter the scene absolutely perfect, you'll get highlights that look really washed out (poor dynamic range). I can only imagine the frustration of shooting a white airliner in bright sun with this thing.

2. The SLOW lens. f/4.8 @ 85mm??? Again, what was Nikon thinking?? To me, this is absoultely unnaceptable for a camera in this price range.

However, I have seen some nice shots taken with this camera. It just seems that it would take a LOT of tweaking and experimenting to get consistantly good images.

Just my opinion, that's all...


User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2610 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (14 years 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2122 times:

Yeah that's pretty consistent with what I've been reading about CP-5000. Also, it's terrible with chromatic abberation. I've almost ruled this camera out.

Any opinions on the Sony DSC-F707 anybody?

User currently offlineTimmsp From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 221 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (14 years 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2089 times:


I use the DiMAGE 7 and am fairly happy with it.

There are few things I would change about it if I had the chance though:

a) Bigger zoom. It's equivalent to a 28-200 mm which is good for a wide variety of shots and great for my local airport. I almost got the DiMAGE 5 because it had a longer zoom.

b) Sometimes the autofocus wants to hunt a bit but once I got used to it I can anticipate it and correct it.

Other than that I think it is a great camera and now that it is under $1,000 it's an even better value.


User currently offlinePlanenut From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 107 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2065 times:


Just got my sony F707, I took the first shots today. If you would like an example, drop me a mail and I will send one on to you.

First impressions are that it is the best but a few errors on my part.

Steve (G.B)  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlinePeachair From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 369 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (14 years 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2037 times:

I highly recommend the DSC-F707. This camera is extremely intuitive, especially in the dark and low light situations. For aircraft photography, you can't beat the quality and resolution for the price. This is your best camera for under $1000.

Take care and good luck!

User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6660 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (14 years 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2020 times:

I'm also looking for one around that price.I'm saving up for one now. Big grin

User currently offlineGerardo From Spain, joined May 2000, 3481 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (14 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1996 times:

I got my Sony DSC F707 about 2 weeks ago. I would strongly recommend this camera. It has a fast lens, 5 megapixels, the pics are sharp and show a very good quality. I have uploaded some pics taken with the F707. Look for my pics (search for "Gerardo Dominguez") and look at the pics taken on 2.2.2002.


dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 9016 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (14 years 19 hours ago) and read 1987 times:

I have a Canon G1 powershot and I have been very pleased with the shots. I have finally gotten a shot to Airliners.net (More coming). The only lack is the poor zoom lens (only 3x optical), but there are converters out there. Since the G2 is the new brother of the G1, it would be a solid bet.


User currently offlineDazed767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5519 posts, RR: 48
Reply 9, posted (14 years 17 hours ago) and read 1972 times:

Just ordered the F707 last night, should get it by the end of the week, I can't wait!


User currently offlineMark2102 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 350 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (14 years 16 hours ago) and read 1973 times:

I got rid of my Olympus camera because it kept on shorting and got a Fuji Finepix 4900. I think it is great and it was $799.99 USD. It has a 6X optical and 4.3 megapixles. It has all the features I like. Much better than the C-700 and C-3020 I had! My dad has the Dimage 7 and does not like it for one reason. Batteries die in about 15 pictures. You get 5 if you use a flash. My dad just got a Sony 707 over the weekend and loves it!


User currently offlineTimmsp From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 221 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (14 years 14 hours ago) and read 1957 times:

Should have tried Powerex batteries. I've got two sets. A fully charged set usually lets me take around 90-100 pics, which is fine enough for me because I can only take so many bad shots in one day!

User currently offlineEricp From Singapore, joined Jun 2001, 53 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (14 years 13 hours ago) and read 1958 times:

Mark, get someone (service center or a camera repair shop) to check out your battery ... you should get more shots than that off one charge.

On my 6900Z, I can shoot about 100 pics if I'm aggressive with power conservation (ie. not use the large LCD too much, except for weeding out obvious throwaways). With my 2 batteries I can make it through 1 day of shooting, especially if I couple it with my film cameras  Smile

These Li-on batteries supposedly don't need to go through charge-discharge cycles, but on my first use I charged it overnight (about 8 hours), and let it go down to battery warning state before I recharged it. Now I happily recharge it in the "middle" of a cycle, ie. I don't wait for it to drain before I recharge.

Get another battery, follow the instructions (in the 4900 manual), and see what performance you get.

By the way, getting back on thread for Shawn, I'd add my vote for the Sony F707V, simply based on my observation of the results in a.net. I'm very happy with my 6900Z (and won't change it, not because I can't afford it, but it works extremely well for me, now that I've learned to work past its limitations), but the lens on the Sony seems better (but at a higher price  Smile/happy/getting dizzy.


User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2610 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (14 years 13 hours ago) and read 1955 times:

Thanks everybody for giving me lots of good advice!

The F707 looked good from the beginning, but I think all the postive feedback here has really sold me on it. Now all I have to do is go price shopping!

But what about the Canon G2? I hear it is quite a nice camera as well, and it gets a significantly higher rating than the F707 at www.dpreview.com, a popular digital camera website. So can anybody tell me what the G2 has that the F707 doesn't, or vice-versa?

Again, thanks for your time!


User currently offlinePaulc From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (14 years 10 hours ago) and read 1956 times:

Out of the D7 and Sony F707 - the D7 wins every time (IMHO) - one of the main reasons being that Sony memory stick is significantly more expensive than compact flash cards.

The only thing to do is to go to a photographic store and ask to have a go with both - the D7 is much smaller & lighter.

I would also recommend www.dpreview.com - as this give comprehensive reviews of both cameras.
Initially the D7 was expensive but as the first 5mp digical camera I guess people were willing to pay for that. Now the price has dropped (not by much in the UK though) and will continue to drop as new cameras are introduced. UK prices are still much higher than US -the D7 is still between £700 - £800 ($1000+) but i have seen it on the net for $700 approx so shop around.
You will also need some powerful batteries (NiMh 1800ma recommended + a charger)

English First, British Second, european Never!
User currently offlineScooter From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 878 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (14 years 5 hours ago) and read 1944 times:

one of the main reasons being that Sony memory stick is significantly more expensive than compact flash cards.

Not anymore!! There was a recent price drop on MS, and you should be able to find 128mb sticks for less than $80US now. Still, a touch more expensive than the CF equivalent, but it's MUCH better than it was.


User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2610 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (13 years 12 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1923 times:

Any info about the Canon G2 that you can offer?

User currently offlineLN-MOW From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1916 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (13 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1906 times:

I'm surprised noone has mentioned Olympus C-2100 .. it has a 10x optical zoom, all the bells and whistles, and is also easy to use for an inexperienced user. Check out Gregg Stansberry's pictures from Atlanta - he has some awsome shots with that camera.

I also have a couple of successful ones, check out:

- I am LN-MOW, and I approve this message.
User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (13 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1892 times:

I like my Nikon Coolpix 775, its pretty good but its probally way below what you are looking for. Oh well I like Nikon but the Sony 707 is pretty good for the price and its not to hard just to pick up and shoot.

Oh well heres some of my stuff with the Coolpix 775

At worst, you screw up and die.
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