View Full Version : Digital Camera Suggestions

09-08-12, 08:48 PM

I'm after a new digital camera i currently have 7 meg 3x optical zoom Olympus Camera.

Both camera i had in past been Olympus seem simple to use.

Im after a improved camera with a decent optical zoom over 10 and one that good in low light.

Any suggestions appreciated.

I did see a Olympus VR310 but when i read review on it said you can't zoom in when recording video, would this be possible with other models?

Chris Cool
12-08-12, 01:22 PM
Hi and welcome.

Need to know you budget and what low light subjects you wish to record.

As for zooming whilst filming. There are quite a few that do.



12-08-12, 10:12 PM
Thanks. Under 150 if possible, as look into a DSLR after. Low light just times when in dark places etc. I decent camera to carry about that good deal.

Chris Cool
13-08-12, 12:03 PM
I shoot with a Panasonic TZ7 & TZ10. My brother uses a TZ30. There was also a TZ20.

The TZ stands for Travel Zoom. These were over 300 when they first came out so Panasonic did a slightly cheaper versions with with mono sound, no GPS and no highly compressed movie files. These were also around 250!

So, I had a look round for you and found the Panasonic TZ18 that has been reduced to 140. Just in your budget. Read about it here Clicky (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_tz18_review/) ---------------- Buy it from here Clicky (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004I1KOMG/ref=asc_df_B004I1KOMG9182065/?tag=pgelec-10-96-21&creative=22118&creativeASIN=B004I1KOMG&linkCode=asn)

If you can afford to go 10 over budget. Then you could buy the Panasonic TZ20 from here Clicky (http://www.buyacamera.co.uk/search.asp?RecId=PANCA5001) ------ Read about it here Clicky (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_tz20_review/) It has a higher resolution touch screen plus lots of other goodies that may interest you.

Have a look at the zoom range and quality on my TZ7 to give you an idea of what the TZ18/TZ20 is capable of Clicky (http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?71760-TZ7-zoom-range-%287-images%29&highlight=zoom+range+images%29)

With regards low light photography. I carry a pocket tripod and use that pressed up against lamp posts, bus stops, benches, on walls and pavement etc. together with the 2 second timer. The 2 second timer stops you shaking the camera when you press down on the shutter. I also never shoot above 400 ISO as the pictures become noisy/grainy - try to shoot at 100 to 200 unless you must get the image. ISO explained Clicky (http://digital-photography-school.com/iso-settings)

And don't forget. Post processing is an important part of photography and should be used to sharpen and enhance pictures taken with your camera. If you don't have an imaging editor, then use the one in my signature below. There are 32 video tutorials-Clicky (http://ictpublish.com/pixlr/) to get you started. The most useful is the Adjusting levels-Clicky (http://ictpublish.com/pixlr/Videoes/06_Levels/06_Levels.html) and for even more adjustment. The Curves tool-Clicky (http://ictpublish.com/pixlr/Videoes/07_Curves/07_Curves.html) is a must (it's my favourite all-in-one adjuster). My Resize-Crop-Sharpen tutorial below, will get your pics ready for the internet or whatever :cool:



13-08-12, 03:12 PM
Thanks Chris

Plenty to look into. I didn't know whether to stick with Olympus, i could spend more depends whether look into a SLR though that could be too technical for me!

This type camera going be massive improvement on what i have so give good read up. Thanks :)

Chris Cool
13-08-12, 03:22 PM
Panasonics have been top of the travel zooms for quite a while. That's why I suggested them :)

If you want to know what it's like to drive a DSLR, then look here Clicky (http://web.canon.jp/imaging/enjoydslr/index.html)



19-08-12, 06:50 AM
I was at friends the other day had go a Bridge Camera. Don't think want one them, some features seem good but some pics don't come out well.

Looking in to DSLR or Compact system Camera. Thinking System Compact Camera could good for me as less bulky. I do have digital magazine here with reviews in but from last year

Chris Cool
19-08-12, 02:16 PM
I was at friends the other day had go a Bridge Camera. Don't think want one them, some features seem good but some pics don't come out well. Probably down to operator error...

Looking in to DSLR or Compact system Camera. Thinking System Compact Camera could good for me as less bulky. I do have digital magazine here with reviews in but from last yearThere are plenty of up-to-date reviews on here. Select a few that interest you, then come back and ask about them.


19-08-12, 02:41 PM
Thanks Chris, what's your views on Bridge Cameras. Sorry for all questions just want make sure make right choice.

A lot compact system cameras are very pricey. I'll have good look on site come back you. Thanks I appreciate the help.

Chris Cool
19-08-12, 03:52 PM
Thanks Chris, what's your views on Bridge Cameras. Sorry for all questions just want make sure make right choice. No worries!

Bridge Cameras and small compacts like the Panasonic TZ30 are best in Good Daylight! If you want to shoot when lighting is poor, then you have to use a tripod. It doesn't have to be a large one. I use a pocket tripod and rest it against lamp posts, bus stops and on walls, benches, pavements etc using the 2 or 10 second timer. The advantage with the smaller sensor is the long zoom!

Here are two of the best Bridge cameras IMO that are worth a look at.

The Panasonic FZ150 CLICKY (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_fz150_review/) has the smallest sensor that is found in most Bridge and Compact cameras and is very good in good light! Google for best prices!

The Fujifilm X-S1 CLICKY (Fujifilm X-S1) has a larger sensor, so is better in low light. Google for best prices!



27-08-12, 01:38 PM
Ive been looking at these Olympus cameras SZ-31MR


Olympus E-PM1 Compact System Camera

Is worth paying extra one these or sticking to panasonic? I will look into a DSLR Camera next year i think. Just need some time to save up for one and of course research.

Chris Cool
28-08-12, 01:38 PM
Hi Claire

The Olympus SZ-11 seems to offer the same sort of things the Panasonic has. I have not seen any images from it.

The Olympus cameras SZ-31MR offers better low light photography but have not seen any images from it.

The Olympus E-PM1 Compact System Camera is one of the Micro Four Thirds with a much bigger sensor than the SZ-11 CLICKY FOR REVIEW (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/olympus_epm1_review/) that gives much better images in low light and if you want to print at A3 size. I'm not sure I would get the E-PM1 and a DSLR later though. Either one system or the other. Also worth a look is the Olympus E-PL3 CLICKY. (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/olympus_epl3_review/)

The travel zooms as in the SZ-11 and Panasonic TZ30 are fun cameras to use, mainly in good daylight and there is no need to carry extra lenses.

You only really need large sensors if you are going to do more than just post images on the internet, or want to send them to an Agency to make some money, or print up to A3, or for Exhibitions etc.



29-08-12, 07:44 PM
Thanks again Chris, I've made mind up now lol, think going go with what you orignally suggested the TZ20.

I will look into one the others next year some time.

This be good camera big improvement on what currently have the photos look decent, and neat carry about.

Thanks :)

Chris Cool
29-08-12, 08:57 PM
Okey dokey!

Come back and let us know how you get on with it.


25-09-12, 10:06 AM
Hi Chris,

I havnt gone ahead and bought it yet. I started a Photography course last night. With my Olympus camera it was pretty pointless.

As we needed find these on camera

Aperture: A/AV.
Shutter: T/Tv.
ISO: Sensitivity/Film Speed:
Exposure Compensation
Zoom Ring
Focal Ring
Focus Settings: Focus modes/Buttons
Shutter Release: Lock focus/Half press
White Balance

I noticed my Phone had few settings, ISO, White Balance.

Having looked back at http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/reviews/compactcameras/editors-choice/128848/1/panasonic-lumix-tz20-review.html

Can see got dial and is set out like DSLR. Do think have most settings? Be step in right direction as my Olympus is basic.

My tutor said make sure has manual settings? Could you confirm this?

After this camera as you always need pocket type camera im think i be looking into a Compact System Camera less bulky than DSLR's I like the look of the Panasonic Lumix GX1.

Chris Cool
25-09-12, 01:19 PM
Hi Claire.

If your on a course then I would get the Panasonic LUMIX GX1 (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmcgx1) Do not pass GO. Do not collect 200 LOL

This will have most of the control you need.

Some homework for you Clicky (http://web.canon.jp/imaging/enjoydslr/part2/2A.html) Learn about P, Av, Tv, M, aperture, shutter speed, Shutter/Aperture/ISO speed.



25-09-12, 02:15 PM
Easy if cost wasn't an issue, just no way i can pay 500 for camera at moment.

Thanks for link will check it out :)

Chris Cool
25-09-12, 02:44 PM
Ah Okay. Then how about back to the Olympus E-PM1 Compact System Camera at 229? Clicky for price (http://www.jessops.com/online.store/products/82660/show.html)
Clicky for review (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/olympus_epm1_review/) This is a real bargain and you will learn a lot from it :)



25-09-12, 04:25 PM
I'll recheck that one out. Will that be worth paying extra for instead the TZZ0 i set myself on getting?

Manual settings? Also what would the optical Zoom be?

Chris Cool
25-09-12, 04:56 PM
Will that be worth paying extra for instead the TZZ0 i set myself on getting?There are manual controls on the TZ 20 but they are limited due to the small sensor. The small sensor means that everything will be in focus. With the PM1 you will get depth of field so backgrounds appear out of focus like with DSLRs. Portraits look better with out of focus backgrounds as well.

The standard lens that comes with the Olympus is a 14mm to 42mm but due to the crop factor Clicky - note the sensor size 4/3rds (http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/techniques/camera-skills/mastering-your-camera/445465/focal-length-explained-focal-length-equivalents.html)you have to multiply the lenses by 2x. So, you in fact get a 28mm - 84mm lens.

The Olympus is part of the micro 4/3rds class of camera and there are a lot of different lenses you can add later if you want more zoom Clicky for a few (http://www.wexphotographic.com/four-thirds-fit/b3081)

The cheapest option is the TZ20 if you really want that long zoom and easy photography. The Olympus puts you in a totally different class of photography that needs a lot more thought and money if you add extra lenses.

I have to say that I rarely use the zoom on my TZ10 as I don't need to photograph the top of the Eiffel Tower, but rather the whole of it!

Come back if you want more help :)


25-09-12, 05:08 PM
I see what your saying, Just the Olympus E-PM1 looking at a video doesn't look like has manual settings.

Sorry keep coming back just alot to consider. Before i set self on getting TZZ0 and paying for something else later on. Tough choice appreciate feedback/Tips

Never thought be so hard lol, If win Lottery i have no problem lol.

Chris Cool
25-09-12, 05:30 PM
The Olympus has plenty of manual control as you have to adjust the lens to get the picture you want.

Have a look at this tutorial on Depth of Field (http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/depth-of-field.htm) and what stopping down the lens does to an image. There's no need to get too involved yet but look at the samples.

Stopping down the lens means more and more of the image comes into focus. With the TZ20, it's all in focus, so is ideal for landscape/ architecture/ street photography etc.

Photography is easy once you know the basics. Having a 'good eye' is what makes a good photographer. I'm still struggling LOL

Lets us know how you get on.


27-09-12, 09:29 AM
Thanks for help much appreciated! It's something im going to have seriously look in try and see it in shop. Also looking at link you have posted regarding lenses, looks like be better pay 300 with Jessops for two lenses.

I dont know much about lenses etc so will have read up. I not one these see it and buy types lol. Study Study ha ha

I know out my price range at min but i have seen photos of Panasonic GX1 look amazing! Will have to try post some!

Chris Cool
27-09-12, 11:24 AM
The Twin lens offer is good value and will get you off to a good start.

See some images taken with the Olympus E-PM1 Clicky1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/virtualjottings/sets/72157630247076270/with/7423555228/)

Clicky 2 (http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/albums/olympus-e-pl1-review-samples) Click on these samples, scroll down to download the Original to view at 100% and print if required.



05-10-12, 09:51 AM
1 Last question!!

Before i go out and buy Olympus Pen E PM 1 the only thing that lets it down is Auto - White Balance

Would this affect it much? I not in know on what setting actually does at min.

Also would be worth paying a bit more for the Olympus Pen - E - PL3?

Not sure if much difference between two models, i know the E-PL3 has dial were the E PM 1 doesn't. Whether it's same with White Balance i have to check.

I know going down in price with new pens coming out.

Thanks again

Chris Cool
05-10-12, 12:34 PM

Forget about Auto White balance. I never use it unless under artificial light. On very sunny days I use Daylight or Cloudy and on cloudy days I use Cloudy. Cloudy gives a warmer picture. When you start using RAW Clicky (http://www.olympusamerica.com/crm/oneoffpages/crm_raw.asp). You can change the White Balance afterwards so it don't matter :)

As for the Olympus Pen - E - PL3 Clicky (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/olympus_epl3_review/). I like a dial and I Just loooove the tilting screen LOL.


05-10-12, 02:04 PM
Thanks again for reply Chris and sorry to be a pest!

I pefer dial not too fussed about the Screen tilting.

Thanks for your input, much appreciated im getting close to my purchase now. Helps when someone is in the know, i dont know enough yet :)

Chris Cool
05-10-12, 03:17 PM
Okay, well let us know how you get on ;)

In olden days when men were bold. I used to shoot at waist level. Gives a different perspective. Get a small pocket tripod for ANY camera Clicky (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hama-Digi-Pod-Compact-Pocket-Tripod-For-All-Sigma-Cameras-/200739255749?pt=UK_Tripods_Monopods&hash=item2ebcfdf5c5). Set the timer to 10 seconds. Focus on subject. Press the shutter and put it at ground level. You may be pleasantly surprised lol


21-10-12, 10:45 AM
Thanks that looks handy that tripod and for a little price! Seems a Bargain!

I still get my camera, will be off to currys to hopefully have demo as one in jessops the battery ran out!!

So for 400 Compact System Camera is Olympus E PM1 Best Choice? I did look into the Nikon 1 J1 it didn't have option to do Panorama shots which would be useful!

Must try sort for this concert next month. Need decent zoom for 02 Arena :)

Chris Cool
21-10-12, 02:14 PM
Hi for the money the Olympus E PM1 is super value. It's down to the operator next as to what results you get. You don't need a long zoom as that restricts shutter speeds. Far better to crop the centre of the image as there are plenty of MBs to play with...



21-10-12, 06:27 PM
Ah thanks for that, thought i would need a zoom to get good pic of singer as im in the upper tier. What mainly use to edit pics just Photoshoot? im sure i'll sort it out!

Just need tripod any you recommend?

and i need suss out all these different memory cards can get!!

Chris Cool
21-10-12, 07:11 PM
Well, I'm not saying you will get the singer on their own. But more of the group or band.

You can use Pixlr in my signature to crop your pics. You won't be allowed to use a tripod at the venue. Use the 2 second timer so you don't shake the camera .

As for memory cards. I use Transcend 16GB from Amazon.


21-10-12, 07:19 PM
Ah I see. I don't need tripod for concert. Just for outside use. I think for concert I be using ISO 800 setting. I check card out thanks I know different speeds!

Chris Cool
21-10-12, 07:41 PM
The light will determine the shutter speed and ISO setting. The lower the ISO, the better the image. Shoot when the stage is brightest. Just take plenty of shots lol.

Okay about the tripod. I use SLIK Clicky (http://www.slik.co.jp/slik_com/) myself - the heavier the better. TBH, I use the 2 second timer a lot when taking landscapes etc. I also have a pocket tripod that I rest against lamp posts, pillars on walls and benches etc.

When you get the camera. Take some distant images at ISO 800 on full zoom, then crop the middle and see what you get - you will then know the limitations of the zoom and camera.

Memory card link Clicky (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002WE4HE2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350848369&sr=8-1)


23-10-12, 09:27 AM
After my shop in Currys yesterday. The Olympus models after having a go i think really need go with one with White Balance.

I think the Sony NEX5, Panasonic GF3 are my main options or going down DSLR Route with Cannon EOS 1100d would i get into a concert with a DSLR tho?

I do like Tesco/Currys/PCWorld you can just pick camera up switch on and have a play.

I ruled out Olympus and Nikon 1 J1.

If i do go down the DSLR route then i will need a neater camera for night out etc. I seen the Nikon S9100 for 99 in Tesco which looked a good buy!

You must be sick of my posts by now, it is a bit back to drawing board i must admit hardest thing i shop for but be good when i get right one!

Least ruled a few out now!

31-10-12, 03:04 PM
I have been mate, really good site.

Just after bit info on DSLR, i be comparing both models tomorrow in shop. I be buying a WB750 inless anything better for similiar price?

I have a camera tomorrow and both sorted within a week, just want to make right choice with a DSLR.

Chris Cool
31-10-12, 03:49 PM

The Samsung WB750 is as good as any in the small sensor range. Read about it here Clicky (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/samsung_wb750_review/)

I've got lost as to what you are considering with regards DSLRs, sorry!

31-10-12, 05:25 PM
Thanks, I off shopping tomorrow so i hopefully come back with a WB750 if it's in stock!

On DSLR i looking at either the Cannon 1100D or Nikon D3100 prob know more when i tested them in shop, I get one lens with either of camera i pick and get an extra lens in a month or two.

I imagine be plenty choice with lenses which ever i pick!

Also i think it be the WB750 I Take to concert, not sure i get in with a DSLR!

Chris Cool
31-10-12, 07:39 PM
With regards DSLRs, both the ones you mention are entry level, so need a good going over before you decide...

I notice for example that the canon 1100D has a smaller LCD screen and video is not HD. It also has no cleaning system...

A lot depends on where the controls fall and how easy it is to change ISO, WB, EV etc.

Have fun ;)

01-11-12, 11:05 AM
Thanks :)

Yes plenty to consider, i read reviews too long, need go test them out!

Shame that no WB750 left and wont be gettting any more, been told new model WB150 is similiar shame doesn't have Manual Controls according to What Digital Camera Magazine!

Nightmare 3 weeks to get a camera ha ha!

Chris Cool
01-11-12, 11:57 AM
You can still get the Samsung WB750 from Amazon Clicky (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-WB750-schwarz/dp/B005LC1Q7I/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1351774353&sr=1-1)

01-11-12, 06:40 PM
Thanks Chris, You can get the WB150 for 100 now so i have to check that out.

Regarding the DSLR's i checked them out today. After waiting in queue an hour i got to test them.

The cannon 1100D looks and feels cheap plastic to me, good point the menu easy to use and simple.

Nikon 3100 feels better in your hand to be honest, So think i be heading for that, Im sure soon pick the menu up!

06-11-12, 05:57 AM
You must try Canon g12
i love my G12 so much..very good in low light too!

20-11-12, 07:53 AM
Got WB150 well impressed with it plenty features to be creative. Love the live panorama mode.

It get me in good practise for when get my Nikon D3100 with having the Manual settings.

I got some tips of my tutor last night for concert im attending later this week, said best leave in aperture priority and lowest f which is 3.2 then give me great depth of field. on high iso.

If you have any tips to concert tips please share, im sure i'll need flash wont I? :)

Chris Cool
20-11-12, 08:49 AM
Hi, glad you like the 150.

You never use flash at a concert unless in the front row as it won't reach! Always turn it off!

I would put the camera in Auto mode and shoot some shots in the lounge or hallway at home and see how the images look.

You are not going to get perfectly clean shots at the concert but acceptable ones with some noise. The Auto setting will set the ISO high so check after the first couple of shots.

Try using the 2 second timer as this will reduce camera shake. You press the shutter then steady yourself ready for the camera to fire.

Have fun :)