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Merlin

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I've always wanted a decent camera but I am an absolute loss as to which make and camera to buy!Looked at the Sony HX1, reviews say its an excellent camera but has no flash because of where Sony put the microphone! EH! You can tell I haven't a clue. Whats an SLR anyway! Do I need one? To cut to the chase I want this camera for wildlife photos,so zoom would be great, but which one? Also close ups of the minor wildlife ie:- grubs, caterpillars and the like. Then there are scenic views. Basically I need a good all round camera! All the sites I've been on are very confusing,some say this or that camera good and others say stay away from them,some I've found are good at one thing and not so good at others. So I need HELP. PLEASE! Any ideas? All help gratefully accepted. Cheers.

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Whatever you buy this year will be "outmoded" next.

But my little Panasonic Lumix is the by far the best performer I've ever had; and it cost about a fifth the price of any of the earlier Canons. It's also small enough to keep with me all the time - and is streets ahead of the Ixus I bought for this same reason.

All the technicals are pointless if you miss the shot; so start with an ulta compact and aim to keep it with you. If you can do that then you might want to think about something more expensive. If you still find that you don't have a camera with you when you need it then you've saved yourself a bundle on something which maybe would only have produced marginal improvements, and would certainly have become rapidly outdated.

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Yes,it doesn't matter what your're looking for it's 'outmoded'just as fast as you buy it! Maybe I'm wrong but I don't fancy a compact,been there etc etc, want something diferent, maybe I'm being too fanciful, but thanks for your input.Cheers.

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An SLR is a single lens reflex camera it means that when you look through the viewfinder you are looking through the actual lens that will be used to capture the image via a mirror and prism. When you press the shutter release the mirror moves out of the way so light can reach the sensor. This is why the viewfinder goes dark when the image is being captured. with a compact you are usually viewing the image on an lcd which gets it's output from the sensor directly or a seperate viewfinder that is usually only used for framing.

I think the reason you are being drawn to an slr is due to the fact that they are usually associated with interchangeable lenses not necessarily because of the SLR vs non SLR arguments. When you say wildlife what do you mean? do you mean fast moving animals that will be wary of you getting too close or more close-up macro stuff like you stated? If you're doing both then interchangeable lenses will definately be handy but the price can soon add up.

What 3g says about having something you can carry around all day every day is good advice you will soon get fed up of lugging an SLR around everywhere. I keep my older IXUS which is a great point and shoot on me every time I leave the house and take the SLR whenever I know I'm going somewhere specifically to take photos. Also you will need to spend some time getting to know the controls on your SLR to make sure you don't miss a great photo opportunity.

With a compact you will be limited on the zoom but even an SLR will usually just come with something like an 18-55mm zoom lens. with an entry level SLR you are usually getting a camera with a slightly smaller sensor than a pro model so an 18-55mm lens will be equivalent to about 30-90mm on a standard film camera which is less than most compacts. Some are sold with optional 18-200mm zoom lenses which will be much better for your wildlife shots and would give you an equivalent focal length of 30-320mm.

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or SLR = expensive/ for the serious/ avoid if not tech savvy or not certain what F numbers and iso are! (you can always just stick it on auto)

With a compact you will be limited on the zoom but even an SLR will usually just come with something like an 18-55mm zoom lens. with an entry level SLR you are usually getting a camera with a slightly smaller sensor than a pro model so an 18-55mm lens will be equivalent to about 30-90mm on a standard film camera which is less than most compacts. Some are sold with optional 18-200mm zoom lenses which will be much better for your wildlife shots and would give you an equivalent focal length of 30-320mm.

not exactly true! you can get a few compacts/ non SLR with quite good zoom ranges depending on your bank account!

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not exactly true! you can get a few compacts/ non SLR with quite good zoom ranges depending on your bank account!

Yeah which is why I asked Merlin to elaborate on what he meant by wildlife shots. A compact may or may not be suitable for what he is trying to do.

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4G, the animal life I was hoping to capture on 'film' are timid creatures so getting close would be a problem ie deer, foxes etc also close up of fauna, insect life and such like!

This is very confusing to a rank amateur like me, trial and error is a certainty, I just do not want to be put off by getting the wrong camera and sickening myself because I can't use it to it's capabilities. Some of the things I have seen while sitting on the river bank or fishing lakes or even chasing a small white ball round the golf course,well these sights are once in a lifetime and not one caught on camera!

Maybe a camera club will be helpful,do they still exist?

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plus1thumbs.gif

I'm at the same stage. I'd LOVE to get into it all, but have no idea where to start with cameras, and everyone i have spoke too gives differing advice!:unsure:

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Maybe a camera club will be helpful,do they still exist?

cambois, ashington, blyth and morpeth all have there own (bewarned there full of old people and wierdo's) :lol:

plus1thumbs.gif

stop with the patronising gifs!

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4G, the animal life I was hoping to capture on 'film' are timid creatures so getting close would be a problem IE deer, foxes etc also close up of fauna, insect life and such like!

This is very confusing to a rank amateur like me, trial and error is a certainty, I just do not want to be put off by getting the wrong camera and sickening myself because I can't use it to it's capabilities. Some of the things I have seen while sitting on the river bank or fishing lakes or even chasing a small white ball round the golf course,well these sights are once in a lifetime and not one caught on camera!

Maybe a camera club will be helpful,do they still exist?

Well, you've just made your own case for a modern quality compact!

IMHO optical image stabilisation, multi-point auto focus, and time to first shot is more important than all the stops and lenses you can stuff in a camera bag. If the image is blurred, or you miss the shot completely completely because you're fiddling with settings, or you simply haven't bothered to pack a camera because it's too bulky, then you've got nothing to show for your investment.

The optical image stab on my little Lumix is amazing, and is the nine point auto focus. I has a pretty good quality 5x zoom that's strong at the wide angle end (almost exactly the same field of view as the totally huge wide angle lens fitted to the Cannon G3). It also does exposure framing, multi shot and excellent video with good sound. A complete no-brainer for not much more than £100.

My main point again is that if you buy a compact, keep up the interest and move on to an expensive SLR then you haven't wasted any money. The compact will always come in useful as back-up. If you buy an expensive camera and it gathers dust (as many many do) then you've wasted an awful lot of money.

In my case the SLR was always left at home and I was using my phone camera. If you aren't already using the camera on your phone a lot, then it's probably not a camera you need, it's a David Bailey type image! wink.gif

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Good sound advice 3G and taken on board! Thankyou for your input, a quality compact it seems at this point the direction to be heading! Cheers.

Who's David Bailey :lol:...............just kidding :D

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