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Camera recommendation


 
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MarkB_MI
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:41 am    Post subject: Camera recommendation Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Earlier this year I was looking for a digital camera that met my requirements: compact with a viewfinder. Such cameras have become quite scarce as manufacturers have been eliminating viewfinders, apparently in order to have bigger displays. I need a viewfinder for photographing fast-moving planes at Oshkosh. I've given up on SLRs, because they're a pain to drag around so you seldom have one when you need it. Also, I've been very disappointed in the quality of digital cameras; drop one, or let it get dirty, and they're pretty much junk. After some research, I found a camera that seemed to meet my needs, the Fujifilm X10. I've had mine now for about 11 months now, and have been real happy with it. I thought I'd post a recommendation for anyone looking for a similar camera.

The X10 is quite a bit different from the typical compact camera. As soon as you pick it up, you can tell it's well-made. Very little plastic is visible; it's machined from a block of magnesium and is made in Japan rather than China. It closely resembles an Leica film camera. The most obvious things are the absence of either an on/off switch or zoom buttons. Instead, there's a mechanical zoom ring on the lens that also serves as an on/off switch. Pick up the camera, give the zoom a twist and it's ready to go. No waiting around for the camera to start up and no fiddling with zoom buttons.

The camera has a bewildering array of modes and options, including aperture priority, shutter priority and manual metering modes. I usually leave it on the Programmed mode setting, which works well most of the time. There are a bunch of other advanced modes I haven't had much chance to experiment with, although they seem quite useful. Although the lens zoom range is only 4X, the camera has a digital zoom that doubles that to 8X with essentially no loss of quality. I programmed the custom function button to toggle the digital zoom, making it very easy to use.

My biggest complaint about the camera is the limited functionality of the viewfinder. It is a simple optical viewfinder with no other information. Some of the more expensive cameras in Fuji's X series have electronic viewfinders, but they're more expensive than the X10 and lack its compactness. I also understand there's a known bug with early versions of the camera which causes bright points of light to be rendered as "orbs". I haven't seen this problem myself, but I intend to send mine in to get the sensor upgraded, which fixes the problem.

Internet price for the X10 is around 500 bucks delivered.
Fujifilm X10

 
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rabbit
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: Camera recommendation Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have quite a collection of film type cameras, SLRs with multiple lenses. I find the current line of digital cameras difficult to use, can't see and compose on that dratted little postage stamp. I would sure like it if I could get a digital back to retrofit on one of my old ones. Especially like the old through-the-lens viewfinder - can still see through one of those. Digital doesn't do it for me!
 
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VernMI
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Camera recommendation Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We were Canon fans until we found the panasonic cameras. Panasonic-DMC-FZ150K and Panasonic-DMC-FZ47K-Digital canmeras are very high quality and have glass lenses and the thread for a filter. Light weight and take very clear pictures. The Fuji cams don't seem to have very strong bodies, take fuzzy pics,a and don't have the filer thread on the end of the lense body.
 
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VernMI
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Camera recommendation Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We bought our Panasonic camera from Newegg as they had the best price and we had a discount code that we were able to use. We were able to buy the FZ47K last year for $185. Wife has used it for a year and absolutely likes it as it offers depth of field control for her wildlife and flower shots. It amnazes the SIL who has a $2500 Canon monster SLR. Wife can take shots faster than he can and they are clearer than his shots.
 
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ss55
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Camera recommendation Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Mark,

Are your old SLR camera lenses Pentax or Ricoh compatible? So far all Pentax digital SLR's can use older PK/A manual focus and autofocus lenses made from 1985 to today. They can also use older P/K lenses and screw mount lenses from the 1970's, but you have to set the aperture manually. Today's SLR lens prices can start at about half the cost of the camera. The old PK/A lenses now sell for 10 to 30 cents on the dollar compared to their new prices back in their day. $20 to $50 buys most non-professional autofocus PK/A lens.

Pentax digital cameras are not full frame yet, so they only use the best center 2/3's of the old lenses. The down side is the old lenses act like their focal lenght is 50% longer on a digital camera compared to on a full frame 35mm SLR, i.e. a 28mm lens acts like a 42mm lens on a digital camera, a 100mm acts like a 150mm and a 200mm acts like a 300mm. Older lenses are heavy by todays standards, but they are also better quality than todays kit lenses. You can experiment with some very good quality older lenses for very little money.

You can also install an old-style split-image focus screen in a digital SLR if you like to use manual focus lenses often.

I have not been happy with the picture quality from a newer pocket digital camera. On paper 12 megapixels resolution should be outstanding, but the new plastic lens falls short of the glass lens on a 10 years older 3 megapixel camera.
 
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MarkB_MI
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Camera recommendation Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Vern, most of the Fuji X series cameras have glass lenses, very tough bodies and filter threads. The threads on the X10 are 40mm, but you can buy inexpensive adapters to use the more common 52mm filters.

I didn't consider the Panasonic compacts, because I restricted my search to cameras with a viewfinder.
 
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SweetFeet
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:13 am    Post subject: Re: Camera recommendation Reply to specific post Reply with quote

VernMI,
Can your wife take really good quality close-up shots with her Panasonice FZ47K?

I would like to be able to get really clear close-up shots in my junkyard photos. But my digital Sony Cybershot just does not cut the mustard. And not sure I want to carry around a big, heavy camera wiht a huge telephoto lens.
 
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MarkB_MI
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:04 am    Post subject: Re: Camera recommendation Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You need a camera with "macro" capability; preferably one that allows manual focus.
 
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1970-1655
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Camera recommendation Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I bought a GE X500 a little over a month ago. It has the big display as well as a viewfinder. My wife has always had problems in brighter light. She has been doing very well with this camera. I bought it at WalMart online and had store delivery. Would I purchase this camera again? Absolutely.
 
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