Photography on a budget : Part 1

Entry Level Compacts

$249.00 to $700.00

For a good many people a simple point and shoot camera is all one will need. They generally take reasonable photos of the family and still objects. They have a short to medium lens, typically in the 2 x to 15x optical zoom range  and some offer digital zoom (which I wouldn’t recommend using).

Some of the models available are:

Canon SX200IS @ $699.00

All prices shown are in new Zealand dollars.Prices will vary from country to country.There are cheaper models available in the $100.00 to $190.00 price bracket and they too will take adequate photos.They however come with little additional and limited functionality

The models shown above will provide good quality images for the beginner or

Canon-a3000-is @ $249.00

traveler who wants a light weight, compact unit that is easy to use. All these models offer a 10 to 15x optical zoom which gives them a great deal of versatility.They also sport a good range of controls so that the user can set the camera for differing requirements. The Canon SX210IS could be considered too expensive for the entry level type camera but if the budget can stretch to it, you will find it a very capable unit. There is a wealth of information available on the internet for you to read regarding these cameras. It is well worth the time to research your purchase. User reviews can be especially helpful in this regard. At the end of the day any of the above cameras will return good results and should suit the

budget accordingly.
fujifilm-s1600 @ $ 399.00
fuji jx250 269.00
Mid Level Cameras$650.00 to $1000.00

For those who are a little more serious about their photography there is a range of cameras available that can be used in a variety of modes from, point and shoot auto settings to programmable semi-auto mode or full manual.  These cameras are characterized by the fixed zoom lens and their similarity to the DSLR. All offer optical zoom from 15 to 35x. This enormous reach enables the photographer with a tripod the capability of quality telephoto zooms at budget prices. The equivalent zoom lenses in the DSLR range of cameras would run into thousands of dollars per lens.

canon-sx30-is @ $799.00
Olympus-sp800uz @$739.00
Panasonic dmc-fz35 @$749.00
Pentax X90 @$775.00
fujifilm-finepix-hs10 @$999.00

These cameras offer almost the same amount of versatility as a DSLR but at a much lower price point. As with all things the trade off for having a fixed lens camera of this type is a much smaller CCD or CMOS sensor, which can in certain situations compromise image quality. These cameras generally have a higher learning curve and are therefore aimed at the serious amateur or well seasoned enthusiast.There are of course still other cameras that fit this category of camera. Those shown above are some of the most commonly available models. All will do an excellent job once the user is familiar with the workings of the camera they choose. For me the Fujifilm HS10 is the camera to buy. Its 30x zoom and wide angle 24mm lens,coupled with full manual zoom control rather than power zoom, DSLR size, tilt-able LCD and large array of manual controls, as well as live view make this the camera of choice. It was these qualities and not price that in the end convinced me to buy the Fuji. It is well suited to type of photography that I do.

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