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The Dark Room -- Photo Editing and Picture Taking. Advice, tutorials, questions on all things photoshop, photo editing, and taking pictures of beads or glass.

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  #1  
Old 2011-04-05, 12:44pm
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Default Can anyone recommend a decent under $500 camera?

I have an ancient Canon Elph Powershot, but I think it's time to upgrade. Any thoughts on a good replacement? This is a camera mostly for photoing beads and other art work, including DH's watercolors -- the Elph is fine for family happy snaps. Really appreciate the recommendations as I feel as if I have completely lost the thread of current digital technology and how to balance the cost with what is possible and my limites techincal abilities.
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Old 2011-04-06, 7:37am
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Nobody has a recommendation? I'm just looking for a very good point and shoot. The Elph has been great, but it's ten years old and has only five MPG, so I though newer technology might be an improvement. i have the impresion fromreading through this forum that one is probably as good as another. Wish my Canon AE1 was digital but alas... Wish someone had some thoughts on this as I find camera shop people less than helpful generally speaking.
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Old 2011-04-06, 7:55am
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For that price range, I would look at a Nikon Coolpix. They are great automatic cameras, but you have some control over it if you want to.
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  #4  
Old 2011-04-06, 8:07am
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I have a Canon A1000IS 10.0 mega pixels with a macro button. It takes killer pics. Does everything and was not that expensive.

There is a trick to it though. I have found that putting a single layer of a paper napkin over the flash is what works. You can see a lot of pics of mine here and on my blog. I never doctor them up. I just crop and resize.

Indoors I always have the lights off except when using my light box for my Artfire photos and you can see how the pics look there. No doctoring, just crop and resize.

I just recently took this pic: http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=191515

http://novatechgadgets.com/canon73.html It's PURPLE!!!!

I put a teensy tiny piece of tape on top of the camera and let it kinda hang the piece of napkin down over the flash. I don't want to turn off the flash completely.

This is my second Canon, I won't buy anything else.
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Last edited by Lorraine Chandler; 2011-04-06 at 8:09am.
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Old 2011-04-06, 8:12am
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Thanks, Squid. I have a feeling almost anything would do the job, but I thought folks here might have stronger feelings about what works well than they seem to. I know I am NOT a good photographer, and I'm know from what everyone has said in this forum that my skills makes more differeence than the camera, but my Elph is so old that I thought newer technology might help me a little bit.
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  #6  
Old 2011-04-06, 8:15am
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Thanks, Lorraine. That's some greeat info. I've always had Canon cameras and have had really good luck with them. I think I might take a closer look at this. Thanks!
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Old 2011-04-06, 9:05am
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Francesca, how about a newer Elph? Technology for digital cameras changes constantly and the newer models are so much better. Since you are already familiar with how to use an Elph, that would make sense to get a new one.

Or if you really want to upgrade, then perhaps look into a digital SLR instead of a point and shoot camera. Both Canon and Nikon have entry-level digital SLRs within your price range. You will need a set of close-up filters for macro photography. That's what I use.

B&H photo and video is a great resource. Give them a call and just chat with them about your needs and they will help you out. I spoke with them three times before finally purchasing a HD Camcorder last week!
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/browse...9/N/4294538916

Hope this helps.
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  #8  
Old 2011-04-06, 11:48am
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I've used Canon Powershots for years & years & love them. Just picked up a like-new Powershot S2 (with all the accessories) from eBay for $100 because it has macro and super-macro. (Someone here on the forum uses the S2 and gave it high references!)

HTH!
Lea
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  #9  
Old 2011-04-06, 1:00pm
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Thanks Hayley and Lea. I picked up a magazine with reviews of many of the Powershot models...it looks like there are about two dozen with various combinations of features. I might be here awhile trying to decide!
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Old 2011-04-06, 1:06pm
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Hey Fran, do a search here on LE for the recent discussion on the S2 -- it convinced me to try the S2. I was lusting after one of the G series!!!
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  #11  
Old 2011-04-06, 1:19pm
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Thanks, Lea. I just looked on eBay and there are a couple of less than $100 -- no accessories, but I think that's okay. I don't really have too much camera lust -- I think it's unnecessarily confusing. I just want it to work for bead pics and if possible DH's paintings.
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  #12  
Old 2011-04-06, 1:20pm
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I've recently got a Canon S95. Still learning how to run all the custom settings, but you can get good results just on auto too. I got it because you can do manual focus even on macro - I've had trouble with other cameras not being able to focus on murrini, even in macro mode.
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  #13  
Old 2011-04-08, 2:40am
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I have Nikion coolpix p100. It has 10+ megapixels and 26x optical zoom. Its macro feature is excellent It looks like a small digital SLR but isn't an SLR. If you've had the Canon Elph in the past it may be too bulky for your tatse

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  #14  
Old 2011-04-08, 6:10pm
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Hey Duane, Thanks for the suggestion. I actually thought the Elph was a little small. I have pretty small hands, but the Elph does not feel secure and sometimes, I find it makes it hard to depress the shutter without moving the rest of the camera because there's so little to hold onto. I also have a Powershot IS2, but it only has 5 MPG, so I've been using the Elph. I find the Powershot easier to hold and shoot.
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Old 2011-04-12, 11:56pm
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Don't know if you bought a new camera yet, but I would go for the Canon Powershot G12. I have the G10 myself and a G9 and G12 at work. It's a great little wide angle camera lightweight, but big enough to hold steady.
It also has RAW format, which captures more information then jpg. I think it is just under 500.00 and maybe less on Amazon. good luck
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  #16  
Old 2011-04-13, 8:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamin' Francesca View Post
Hey Duane, Thanks for the suggestion. I actually thought the Elph was a little small. I have pretty small hands, but the Elph does not feel secure and sometimes, I find it makes it hard to depress the shutter without moving the rest of the camera because there's so little to hold onto. I also have a Powershot IS2, but it only has 5 MPG, so I've been using the Elph. I find the Powershot easier to hold and shoot.
Francesca, does your IS2 have a good macro mode? 5 megapixels are plenty for everyday photography so don't let that deter you from using the camera if it works better for you than the Elph!
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Old 2011-04-13, 9:46am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lea Zinke View Post
I've used Canon Powershots for years & years & love them. Just picked up a like-new Powershot S2 (with all the accessories) from eBay for $100 because it has macro and super-macro. (Someone here on the forum uses the S2 and gave it high references!)

HTH!
Lea
This is what I have: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Canon+-+...20is&cp=1&lp=1

$399 Canon Powershot SX20IS (macro and supermacro)

And people tell me my photos are quite decent.

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  #18  
Old 2011-04-14, 5:26pm
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Wow, Laura, your photos are certainly more than decent! I will have to take a look at the one you've recommended. Oh, and thanks for the suggestion, Hayley. I hadn't thought of going back to the IS2 because it's really old, but maybe I should try it. The macro setting was not bad if I remember correctly.
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Old 2011-04-14, 5:37pm
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Oh, and one other question for the experts. I had a Canon AE1, which I absolutely loved. Ancient technology, but I had some pretty expensive lenses. If I decided to buy a Canon DSLR, would they fit the new lens mount or has that changed?
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Old 2011-04-14, 5:39pm
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I am not familiar with the Canon lines of film cameras (used Nikons then) . . . but it depends. If the Canon AE1 is both manual and automatic, the lenses will probably work. My ancient fully manual Nikon lenses won't fit with the DSLRs. You can call B&H Photo and ask!
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Old 2011-04-14, 6:53pm
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Thanks, Hayley. I think I might all them, but I'm afraid I already know the answer. The AE1 could be used in fully manuel mode or you could pick a shutter speed and the camera would select a corresponding/appropriate f-stop. DH has several Nikon bodies and some nice lenses, but we know those don't fit the new DSLRs. Sadly, most of the film stuff is now completely worthless. I'd love it if they'd make a digital back for one of the film SLRs.
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Old 2011-05-05, 6:54pm
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I'd go the used route. I paid $475 for my EOS 300D back when it was only a year or two old.

Check out www.keh.com. They carry tons of used stuff, and it's all checked out before they sell it.
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Old 2011-05-05, 8:12pm
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Nikon Coolpix! SO easy to use and these days they are under $200, and I believe even under $160. I can't imagine using anything else because I learned to use this one so quick and when I tried using other brand cameras that belonged to other people, I was terribly befuddled, and took some pretty bad pictures until I could replace my Nikon.

I have my L4 which I have had since early 2006, and it's till going strong. Prior to that I had the 4300 which was $400 new in 2002, and it broke only because it had been dropped on the lens one too many times.

They really are user friendly and the manual is easy to understand. The Nikons these days use AA batteries, which is very convenient. Better than if you have a rechargeable specific to a model that burns out and then you have to hunt for one on ebay and they can be expensive. Something to think about.

Best buy has a good price on theirs, and I believe Walmart carries them too.
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Old 2011-05-05, 8:13pm
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[quote=Lisi;3519458]Nikon Coolpix!

Soooo easy to use and these days they are under $160. I can't imagine using anything else because I learned to use this one so quick and when I tried using other brand cameras that belonged to others, I was terribly befuddled. I was stuck and took some pretty bad pictures until I could replace my Nikon.

I have my L4 which I have had since early 2006, and it's till going strong. Prior to that I had the 4300 which was $400 new in 2002, and it broke only because it had been dropped on the lens one too many times.

They really are user friendly and the manual is easy to understand. The Nikons these days use AA batteries, which is very convenient. Better than if you have a rechargeable specific to a model that burns out and then you have to hunt for one on ebay and they can be expensive. Something to think about.

Best Buy has a good price on theirs and I believe Walmart carries them too.
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