Photography/What camera

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QUESTION: Steve, HI!

I so need your advice. I am a total rookie to the world of photography and camera's.

My fiance wants us to have a GOOD camera, that will be able to bring out the best in our honeymoon photos. She also wants one that would be able to sit on a little stand; this way, we'd be able to take our own photos, and not be dependent on somebody else to take our photos.

Of ALL the camera's available in the market today, what make and model would you recommend?
Kindly suggest your top 3 picks (just in case the one you recommend isn't available)

Approximately, what are we looking at, price wise?

Thanks a bunch!

ANSWER: Hi Matthew,

The first thing you need to do is consider what budget you have for the purchase of the camera for your fiance. Cameras come in all price ranges, and generally speaking the more you pay, the higher the quality of the camera and lenses.
 
Within any given range, the available cameras are usually pretty much the same.  I would, however, stick with the major manufacturers such as Canon and Nikon.

There is plenty of debate amongst photographers regarding which cameras are best, but basically, if you spend, say 300 on a Canon camera, you'll receive as much bang for your buck as if you were to spend 300 on a Nikon, or any other make.  The real quality gain within each supplier range only comes when you spend more money, but then the same applies again.  A 500 Canon will do much the same as a 500 Nikon, etc.

At the end of the day, much will depend on aesthetics - which do you think looks nicest, feels nicest to use, and which feels most instinctive?

So the starting point is your budget.  Decide how much you would like to spend, then look at cameras within your budget range.  Shop around to try a few cameras out, then go for the one which feels and looks the best to you.

Whichever camera you choose, great photography comes from the photographer, not the camera.  I would recommend that you reserve a little of your budget to purchase a good general guide to
photography. A 20 spend on a good photography guide will be a better investment than an extra 20 spent on a camera.

I should imagine that most cameras these days will have screw mount threads underneath to support mounting the camera on a tripod.  Check with your supplier before purchase, or if online, check the camera speck carefully first.

Hope this helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your prompt reply, Steve!

I don't think I'd want to shell out anything over $400. I'm looking for something compact that is easy to carry.

That said, what would be your top 3, Value-for-Money choices? (in your order of preference)
What do you think about the Canon G12, Nikon P300 and the Panasonic Lumix DNC-LX5?

Thanks again!

Answer
Hi Matthew,

Please don't take this the wrong way, but as a professional photographer I don't take the time (or even have the time) to personally test each consumer camera that enters the market, so have no personal knowledge of these cameras specifically.

Here is a link to a very similar comparison

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/panasonic-lx5-vs-canon-s95-vs-nikon-p300-15928

Here is a G12 vs S90 review

http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon_PowerShot_G12-vs-Canon_PowerShot_S90

Looking at these 2 reviews alone I would personally opt for the G12.

It looks nicer (to me).  It has a strong battery life.  It has options for external flash.  Faster max shutter speed.

In reality, the differences may or may not matter to you, and you may disagree about which camera looks best.

Put any of these cameras in the hands of a good photographer, they will take better photos than any of the others in the hands of a less good photographer.

In other words, the cameras are much the same, it's what you do with them that matters.  So back to square one - I recommend you buy your fiance a good general photography book as well as the camera ;-)

Have a great wedding, an even better honeymoon, and please do send a link to your photos!!  

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Steve Ramsden

Expertise

Wedding Photography related questions General Photography related questions

Experience

10 years full time wedding photography

Organizations
British Insitute of Professional Photographers Master Photographers Associaton Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers

Education/Credentials
Numerous training courses with some of the world's highest rated wedding photographers.

Awards and Honors
Federation of European Photographers Silver Award 2009 - one of only 2 UK wedding photographers to reach this standard. MPA Yorkshire Region Classic Wedding Photographer of the Year 2009 MPA Yorkshire Region Best Wedding Album 2009 MPA Yorkshire Region/Mario Acerboni best set of 3 images from one wedding 2009. MPA UK National Awards Best Licentiate Print 2009 MPA UK National Wedding Photographer of the Year 2009 Runner Up. BIPP Yorkshire Region Contemporary Wedding Photographer of the Year 2009 BIPP Yorkshire Region Classic Wedding Photographer of the Year 2009 BIPP Yorkshire Region Overall Wedding Photographer of the Year 2009 BIPP Yorkshire Region Classic Wedding Photographer of the Year 2011 BIPP Yorkshire Region Social Photographer of the Year 2011 MPA Yorkshire Region Classic Wedding Photographer of the Year 2010 MPA Yorkshire Region Contemporary Wedding Photographer of the Year 2010 MPA Yorkshire Region Overall Wedding Photographer of the Year 2010 MPA Yorkshire Region Overall Photographer of the Year 2010 MPA Master Photographers Association BIPP British Institute of Professional Photography

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