Monday, November 1, 2010

Camera ?

Well, my camera starting giving me problems a few months back with it's flash. Now it has begun to be very moody and somedays I can snap pictures and other days it won't snap a single shot. Being a mother of 5 beautiful children who do very entertaining things, who look extrememly cute and who create many moments that NEED to be captured I can not live with a camera like this.

So, I have a few choices that Kyle has enough State Farm points to buy. And I am hoping some of my camera savy sister in laws will give me an opinion.

Should I stick with one similar to my own who gives me great quality shots, offers me much to learn (that I keep thinking I will take classes to do someday but never find the time for) or should I switch to a smaller, no learning needed type camera with great zooming capabilities w/out having to buy another lense? The truth is I am having such a hard time learning anything trying to read on them. I need to take a class. I LOVE taking pictures and hope someday to grow in this area not just for the sake of my family but to bless others with family pictures like what Jill has done for so many of us. I also am trying to be realistic about my life as a homeschooling mom that leaves me about no extra time on a regular basis. I'm afraid I will be disappointed with the quality of the images I get on a small camera. Okay, I can vent all day on my confusion but I will leave you with some pics of the choices I have w/in the State Farm Point Catalog options.

Nikon D3000 or D5000

Canon EOS Digital Rebel 10MP

Canon Powershot G11 10.3MP
Nikon Coolpix P100 10.3MP

Please give me some honest feedback... I'm LOST!


Amy and Family said...

oh and it should be noted that I obviously take a ton of action shots and indoor bad lighting shots of my volleyball star!

Brett said...

My first thought was to be sure and stick with the major brands - I bought a Sony and finding accessories is a bit tough sometimes... but it looks like State Farm already has that covered since you only posted Nikons and Canons.

After that, I have two considerations. First is that camera technology is improving rapidly. To date a big part of the improvements have been in megapixel density, but we're getting to the point where that's less and less of a concern for most users (in my opinion 12-15 megapixels is plenty for casual and hobbyist photographers - unless drastic cropping is necessary). So my guess is that over the next 5 years or so, the improvements in digital cameras will focus even more than ever on features affecting picture quality, rather than cramming more pixels into a shot. In which case, if you think it'll be a few years before you'll be ready (aka "have time") to really learn photography like you want to, it might be worthwhile to get a camera that's "just fine" now, and get a great camera later.

The second consideration, since you're taking action and indoor shots, often in larger areas where a flash is less effective, you might want to put a lot of weight into high-ISO performance of the cameras. My Sony a100 does great at 100, 200, and 400 ISO but when I've got very little light and push it to 800 or 1600, I get a lot of noise. If you can get a camera that has better performance at the higher ISOs, you'd be able to get good shots in low-light without blurring your volleyball players.

The Nikon D3000 has an ISO range of 100-1600 with a special 'boost' to get to 3200.

The Nikon D5000 has an ISO range of 200-3200 with a special 'boost' for 100 and 6400.

The Canon Rebel has a number of different models with ranging ISO performance; can't tell from the picture which one is offered.

The Coolpix P100 has an ISO range of 160 to 3200.

The Powershot G11 has an ISO range of 80 to 3200.

It might help to do a search of demo shots for each camera at their highest ISO rating, just to see for yourself how much noise each camera has.

Certainly there are other considerations, but hopefully this will help point you in a good direction.

The Holyoaks said...

That's a lot of information there, Brett.

I have the Nikon D5000. And it has been a wonderful camera! I love it.

BUT . . . I'm ready to upgrade to something more complicated and above my head. Hahaha. Anyway, I want to sell my camera! But I don't accept payment in State Farm points so my guess it that you're not interested. :) Maybe there's something else you could get with your points and just buy the camera from me also???? It was a nice try.

If you know someone who might be interested LET ME KNOW! I will sell it for a sweet deal. Kiff says I need to sell mine first but I'm so lazy it might never happen.

Ok. Honestly, unless you are shooting in manual it doesn't really matter which of those cameras you get. They are all comparable. I would, however, stick with either Nikon or Canon.

Good luck!

The Mid-Cart Parentals said...

I'm clueless, but highly entertained by both Brett's & Jill's comments nonetheless.

I'm ready to upgrade to a higher pixel myself & I'm leaning toward Ashton Kutcher's recommendation of the Nikon COOLPIX S8100 - "The 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor in the COOLPIX S8100 allows for high-speed operation, exceptional low-light performance and outstanding image quality."

In reality, I do not have the patience to learn all the manual settings necessary to take Brett-like or Jill-like photos so the expense is wasted on me. The above "aim & shoot, no-brainer" mentioned above takes clearer pictures than mine & it's a lot less intimidating & little more affordable to replace when I break it or lose it. :)

The McGraths said...

I'm not sure. I have a cannon Rebel XSI and it is way over my head. My flash is sticking too so I think I'm gonna take it in and have it maintenance. Hopefully that will help. Sorry I'm no help.

I think mom just has a crush on Ashton Kutcher.

Rochelle said...

TAKE me with you if you go to a class. Brett amazes me with how smart he is. Ashton was suppossed to be Carson's name, but I got outvoted by ALL my boys. It had nothing to do with Ashton Kutcher though. :)

Dave Abercrombie said...

Hey Amy,

I've kinda heard Nikon was the top of the line, although I've been impressed with Canon at times. Last year I got the Nikon D90, and the pictures are amazing.

For smaller cameras, I think in general you'll find that the bigger lens, the better the indoor and action shots will be. I use a Canon PowerShot SX200IS ($200 at Walmart, 12 Mpixel) for the small camera, and it kicks butt for a small camera. The lens on it was much bigger than all the rest, and I'm sure it's the reason why I get really decent shots for a "pocket" camera.

One thing about the Nikon D90, it takes HD video, but doesn't track the focus. The Canon pocket camera has a decent video mode, so we usually use it when we want some easy video.

Brett said...

I hope I'm not overwhelming you with too much information, but I thought of one more consideration if you're thinking of shooting any video clips with your new camera.

Digital cameras use one of two types of sensors to interpret the light coming through the lens, CMOS and CCD. Both are pretty comparable for picture quality, but CCD generally takes better motion-based video.

CCD sensors grab the entire frame all at once; however, CMOS sensors record light from top to bottom. In a quick still image, if things aren't moving too fast, this isn't usually a problem but for video it can cause the motion to 'wobble' (here's a quick demo showing the distortion caused by horizontal movements -

If you're not looking to take any video, don't worry about the sensor technology; if you're looking to take video of sports and other faster movement, you might consider a camera with a CCD sensor. Unfortunately the models you listed mostly come with CMOS (G11 has CCD but low resolution video, the D3000 has CCD but no video capture).

Gpa Paul said...

I have a great Olympus OM1 that takes great pictues on Kodak Film. O wait. I guess I am truly out of this conversation.
P.S. don't convince mom to get anything but a throw away camera.

Amie Porter said...

If its in your budget, the big Nikon all the way!!! Gotta catch those fast moving kids.

The Millers said...

Wow! Lots of information out here. enjoyed reading the responses! Please find out if Jill's camera is still for sale!? I'm really interested if so! :)So, did you make a decision yet?