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Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Dad's advice for buying a camera 1

My daughter, Melanie, is buying a camera back in Oz. We've been having an email dialog over the past few weeks. I decided to post it here, a bit at a time, as it may be useful for other camera buyers.

Hey Dad,
I'm looking for a new camera, for about $500. Am thinking maybe a Sony A230. Other thought was a canon EOS XS. Got any opinions?
Love Mel

Hi Mel

Just having a quick look at the cameras on your short list. Have you decided on an SLR for any reason? An SLR is for serious photography. Is that the direction you want to go? It doesn't make you a better photographer. It gives a good photographer more options provided they are prepared to spend more money. Had a quick look at the review of the Sony A230. If you buy the cheapest version, the lens you get is 18-55 mm. That gives you good wide-angle but do you ever need it? (I rarely do.) It doesn't give you much zoom. If you want to get zoom, then you also need to buy the 55-200 mm lens or you can get a kit with the two. (Maybe $200 more.) And that still doesn't give you as much zoom as I have with my Panasonic fz20. If you want still more flexibility and better photos you buy more lenses such as a portrait lens or macro lens. (another few hundred $ more) This is the way of SLRs. You keep adding to them. You end up with lots to carry around and you can spend quite a lot. It's a good way to go if you are serious. But not the best way if you just want quick snaps.

Not sure if you actually get a built-in flash in the A230 from the review. (Surely you must) They are recommending an external flash which is better than built-in anyway but more expense and more to carry. The A230 is a cheaper version of the A330 and A380. They have more features such as a fold-out LCD screen which I'd be prepared to pay more for.

That's some quick thoughts on that one. Haven't seen the camera of course, just going on the (brief) review. Haven't checked on the Canon. Maybe tomorrow.

BTW, I finally have internet at home. You can catch me on skype from time to time if you want.

And how's the baby in the belly?



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