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Railfan Technology > Help buying a digital camera?

Date: 04/23/19 19:52
Help buying a digital camera?
Author: RRBaron

I still shoot film! However, I have backed-up using a Canon point-shot pocket sized digital camera. It's unpredictable focus and Res are not the best. So, I would like a better digital back-up. I rarely use a zoom except to better full the frame and still look like a normal 55mm. I would also like acceptable movie/sound. I can spend in the $400-$500 range. camera store guy says buy a Panasonic FZ70. But reviews are not the best. Any suggestions??? Quick, I'm going to Cheyenne! (PS: not very computer savvy--still have flip-phone, it works for me.) Thanks in advance! 

Date: 04/23/19 20:54
Re: Help buying a digital camera?
Author: robj

Just as potential Cheyenne date is shortly approaching so is the time to acquire a new camera and become familiar enough to be confident in any result.  If you have a Canon already that might be the way to go.
Googling best point and shoot camera under 500 gets you a bunch, two Cannon pop out.  They are all going to be zoom, from your note you want to stay with a small zoom.


Canon Power Shot G9X looks pretty good. Images stabilization is a big plus. It has a small zoom 24-84mm, fast F-stop and iso to 12800.

No personal use but the Powershot has always been a good choice, I use Nikon so no prejudice.  Again this is a short zoom camera since you did not express interest is a lot of zoom.

B & H camera online or Adorama in New York are top choices to get fair price

I haven't used a P/S for a while but my wife has one and get pretty decent results.  Most have scene settings for the type of photo ie sports setting will favor shutter speed, sunset will preserve highlights etc and that seems to work pretty well.


I see a lot of people talking about 500 or 600 mm zooms which I consider for the birds. Smile.  But you will be out in open country so want to think about your zoom range but you know howt you like to shoot.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/23/19 20:58 by robj.

Date: 04/23/19 21:33
Re: Help buying a digital camera?
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

Date: 04/23/19 21:35
Re: Help buying a digital camera?
Author: wa4umr

There are some rather decent Point-n-shoots out there and some SLR formats without interchangeable lenses that look like they would do a nice job.  These cameras have come along quite a bit in the last few years.  I don't recall the model numbers or cost but I seem to remember that they were in the $500 range and their zooms extended out to over 300mm.  They won't be the same as a DSLR with an expensive lens but unless you are looking at extreme detail, you won't notice the difference.  The automatic functions are very good these days.   Be wary of anything using "digital zoom."  Digital zoom just uses part of the available pixels.  A 5-megapixel sensor might become a 2.5-megapixel sensor (or smaller) when using the digital zoom.

I was about to he the send button and I went to the Canon website.  They have refurbished cameras at s decent savings.  The Powershot SX60 HS looks like a pretty good deal.  It has a 65X optical zoom, 21 to 1365mm, image stabilizer, 16.1-megapixel sensor, and it will record video.  $350 for a factory refurbished unit.  Sometimes the refurbs are just units that have had the box opened.  They can't sell them as new, in the box.    https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/powershot-sx60-hs-refurbished  I post this just as a suggestion.  Nikon has a similar camera.  


Date: 04/23/19 23:46
Re: Help buying a digital camera?
Author: norm1153

May I suggest one in Sony's RX100 series.  RX100 Miii and the next, Miv are pretty good for your use.  eBay has them still new in the box for pretty good prices, and I believe you'd find one in your budget.  I had the RX100 Miii and miss it enough, that I'll be in the market for one again.  (I have a Canon EOS 5D Miv for my "serious" camera.) 

Date: 04/24/19 00:11
Re: Help buying a digital camera?
Author: clem

Lurch_in_ABQ Wrote:
> Consider a smartphone:
> https://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/galaxy-s10/camera/

The reviewer at Ars Technica did not have much good to say about the S10's cameras. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/04/galaxy-s10-review-for-1000-samsung-needs-to-offer-a-more-complete-package/ 

Date: 04/24/19 06:37
Re: Help buying a digital camera?
Author: NormSchultze

There are numerous buying guides and reviews at www.dpreview.com

Date: 04/24/19 11:31
Re: Help buying a digital camera?
Author: RRBaron

I have read many buyer guides, CR and etc. Looks like I may settle on a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10. Any comments? Don't need long lens, do want Canon non-focusing system. 

Date: 04/24/19 13:43
Re: Help buying a digital camera?
Author: Floridarailfan

Doesn’t the LUMIX have a viewfinder? That is a great feature. I have a Nikon Coolpix 9900, which takes good stills and video, but it only has an LED screen which is hard to see in some lighting situations.

Posted from iPhone

Date: 04/24/19 13:53
Re: Help buying a digital camera?
Author: CNWJim

Panasonic Lumix LX-100. I own this camera. It's a hundred bucks over your range, $597.00 from B&H. I had a Lumix LX-7 and loved it. The LX-100 has a big sensor and makes very good images. Also packed with functionality for a film guy like you (and me) to play with. Small, fits anywhere. On full auto as a P&S it's almost unstoppable. In full auto has a +/- dial on top to compensate for backlight, etc.
Here are the details, B&H is brilliant.


Date: 04/24/19 15:50
Re: Help buying a digital camera?
Author: Frisco1522

Several years ago, I bought a refurbished Canon SX1S and it has done a great job for me.   Looking at the Canon ad, I could be tempted with this one.  Problem is that I don't shoot RR photos any more.  I have no interest in contemporary railroads.   Where was all this great stuff when steam was still around?

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