Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

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Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by philhoward » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:27 pm

Probably a whole can of worms here!

Off to the Malta Classic soon and the pics I took last year didn't do the moving parts (racing) any justice. The old 8MP Fuji bridge camera I've got took too long to think about taking a picture although took much better quality pics so I switched to the iPhone 6 soon after - at least I got the subject car before it went out of shot BUT the picture quality was lousy by the time I'd zoomed in being a digital zoom only. Probably only need somewhere around a 5x zoom in all reality though.

Not fussed if new or second hand, but budget is only about £200 - I'll only probably use it a few times per year so not worth splashing out on anything fancy.

Any suggestions?


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Corky » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:35 pm

I bought one of these for my 10 yo son. http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/cameras-an ... 9-pdt.html .

He got some pretty good pics of the cars on track at Curbs. It has a few manual features too if you want to play with DoF or SS.

The 35X optical zoom is very good indeed.

As with most of these types of camera, you have to use the focus lock if the thing you're photographing is moving quickly. It handles various light conditions pretty well.

A bargain at £140 IMO


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by philhoward » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:42 pm

Cheers Steve - I started looking on Amazon and got far too many results very quickly - hence after some real world advice.


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by AJL Electronics » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:07 pm

Could I just put in a negative for Sony please? I made a decision along with many large corporations, never to buy or promote Sony products ever again. The straw that broke the donkey's back was the " Rootkit" fiasco. When caught out, their response was (paraphrased) "Our rights are more important than the privacy of customers".

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BM ... it_scandal


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Corky » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:11 pm

That wouldn't put me off buying Sony Andy. Many corporations have been involved with practices that don't sit well with their customers. Taking it to its logical conclusion you'd end up never buying anything unless it was from the local organic tree hugging farm.

I really like Sony stuff. Just bought one of their smart TVs with Android OS. It's brilliant !


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by AJL Electronics » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:19 pm

Fair comment Steve, but it certainly explains the plummetting fortunes that they have experienced since. Seen a Sony shop lately? ;-)


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Corky » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:34 pm

No, I keep searching for a Ratners too as I thought their jewellery was such good value :lol:


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by doncontrols » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:33 pm

I used to have a negative on Sony for the format they forced on you with their mp3 players. However, if you fell out with every company that upset you in any way, you would soon be buying nothing at all. I have changed, after being a long time Canon user, to a Sony camera, and it is superb. Not cheap, but quality and functionality are brilliant. I would be more inclined to buy something because it was the best choice, than because a company had annoyed me in the past :)



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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by scimjim » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:24 pm

I think the Nikon D3100 entry level DSLR that Sarah has, can be found s/h with a lens in budget (and is then expandable)?


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by AJL Electronics » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:36 pm

That's the one I own. Very happy with it.


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Roger Pennington » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:45 pm

Jim's right.......

......but I would be a bit wary of recommending that course of action :)

A DSLR is great, if you want to get into photography, explore the creative possibilities, add extra lenses, and so on. It gives a faster response and longer battery life. But I sense from the original question that a DSLR may be OTT for your requirements? I get the feeling that what you're after is a camera which will be complete in itself, that you can just sling over your shoulder and be prepared for whatever the day brings (especially if it's motorsport)?

A bridge camera provides, as the name suggests, a bridge between the two extremes - a compact camera, which really isn't suitable for motorsport, and a DSLR, which definitely is the "weapon of choice". A bridge camera will give you a through-the-lens viewfinder (essential for sports), and an optical zoom range that an average DSLR user would kill for, combined with a size and weight much nearer a compact camera. The downside is that the smaller sensor area which makes all this possible, means ultimately lower picture quality, though whether you'll notice if most of your photos are going on the web, is a moot point. Canon, Nikon, Panasonic Lumix are all alternative makers with a foot in the bridge camera camp.

If you do decide to go DSLR, then Canon and Nikon are the two leaders in the field. Personally, I'm a satisfied user of Canon, but I don't think there's a lot to choose between them.


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by philhoward » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:07 pm

I've been trying to wade through the sea of cameras and it's like running in quicksand.

Corky - thanks for the recommendation but call me daft but I like a proper viewfinder rather than using a screen. I've already got a point-and-shoot I don't use as I just can't get on with looking at it in a screen - my vision wanders (same as I get with using the iPhone instead).

Jim - DS3100 is on the radar.

On my new philosophy of rather buying an older, but better spec (rather than the latest), I've spotted a pre-owned Nikon D40 cheap. I know it's almost 10 years old and isn't blessed with a big MP count (which I don't really need) but I recall it being a model of note?


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Corky » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:17 pm

That's a fair comment Phil. I like a proper viewfinder too.

If you're thinking 2nd hand, then don't discount Sony SLRs. They own the firm that used to be known as Minolta. Minolta made some absolutely cracking SLR cameras back in the day when you had to put film in them. I have a Sony SLR and all the lenses from my old Minolta SLRs fit straight on.

Mine's a 14mp, but I would argue that the clarity and sharpness of my photos is far greater than those taken on the 20mp bridge camera.

Anyhow, as Sony SLRs don't attract Cannon or Nikon tax, they make great buys 2nd hand.


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Nick » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:23 pm

My newish Nikon Coolpix S7000 is very good, with long zoom and good image stabilisation. Frankly unless you are getting serious it is difficult to justify anything bigger. Downside, no viewfinder as per 95% of modern camera's (short of SLR's) was about £120 I think. Don,t get hung up of the number of pixels. In truth anything less than full SLR will not have lenses capable of doing better than about 10 magapixels

I have an older Digital SLR Nikon but rarely use it now.


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Roger Pennington » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:31 pm

I'd agree, a direct vision viewfinder (whether optical or electronic) is an essential for sports photography IMHO (personally I prefer it for all subjects, tbh).

I don't know the Nikon D40 specifically, but Nikon and Canon are the market leaders, so anything from them is likely to be good. With any S/H camera it's a good idea if you can, to check for signs of hard use or ill treatment. Normally you can also check the total number of photos it's been used for (I'm not sure how Nikon implement that) which can also give a good indication. Most entry-level cameras like the d40 are rated at about 50,000 mtbf (my original Canon was rated at that, it's now up to about 150,000 and still going, though it's now only used as a spare)


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