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    drizzle
    drizzle  1 United States
    5 Sep 2012 - 5:40 AM

    Well, right now I have a GE X500 with a 15x optical zoom, and though I like it, it certainly is not the best. I got it so i wouldn't spend too much money and would still be able to experiment with my love of photography. I'm considering investing in a much better camera at some point in the next few months (not now) and usually like to know what i'm planning on getting beforehand. So...

    I've been looking at the Nikon COOLPIX 6510 with a 42x optical zoom and etc (click here to see the camera). Like I said, I'm not planning on investing in it right now (it costs $396, so I'd prefer to wait until I'm 100% positive!), but I like to plan for it and save my money.

    Yes, this is a big jump (that's how I roll) but to me it seems like if it's something I want to pursue then I ought to get something pretty good. I have already bought myself a car and have two jobs, so basically by the end of the month I'd probably have plenty to buy this (though I won't that quickly). But like I said, I don't want to waste my money either... Does anyone have experience with this camera, or do you know of one in the $400-$500 range that may be better?

    Thanks guys =3

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    MattB1987
    MattB1987 e2 Member 2403 forum postsMattB1987 vcard England
    5 Sep 2012 - 7:07 AM

    Well if I was in your position I would try and get a decent second hand DSLR to begin with, I started of with a second hand Canon 300D which cost me £100 off ebay and done me proud and I was glad I did. I then moved to a newer camera the Nikon D3100 with the kit lens which from the looks of the US Amazon you can pick up for less than $500 which makes it possible for you maybe? It was a very good camera, and the reason I suggest getting a DSLR or possibly a CSC is because once you get more and more into your photography you will almost inevitably want to get one and at least this way you don't have to save up twice! Smile

    From a personal point of view when I got my first DSLR it put me in a different frame of mind, because I had a more serious camera I therefore took taking photos more seriously which led to me getting more into the world of photography and hopefully better at it.

    Hope this helps.

    Matt

    cedled
    cedled  1 Philippines
    5 Sep 2012 - 8:37 AM

    I agree with MattB1987. A Nikon D3100 or or even a D5100 would be a better upgrade than the P510. You can purchase a new lens later if you really need the long zoom.

    Don't get rid of your X500, though. You would probably want something to fall back to when you need to pack light Wink

    ianrobinson
    ianrobinson e2 Member 41106 forum postsianrobinson vcard United Kingdom8 Constructive Critique Points
    5 Sep 2012 - 9:48 AM

    Just be aware when choosing a dslr, it can start getting expensive so the last thing you want to do is choose for example canon, buy some gear for that then decide you want to change to Nikon.
    Nikon and canon are not compatible so therefore be wise and choose wisely.

    I did they very same when i started, i chose to go olympus and brought quite a bit of equipment for it.
    I had it a year and realised the limitations so i wanted to upgrade and thats where it got expensive as i went to canon.

    User_Removed
    5 Sep 2012 - 9:55 AM

    It really is difficult.

    I use a Nikon D800 and an Olympus PEN E-PL3. I have about 8 lenses for the Nikon dSLR and 3 lenses for the Olympus CSC. My wife uses a Nikon P7100 compact.

    And here's the rub. Probably only about 5% of the photographs that I take with the dSLR could not be taken equally well with the CSC and probably only 5% of the photographs I take with the CSC could not be taken equally well with the compact.

    Put it another way. When you start spending more and more money on cameras, the marginal improvement you get in flexibility and image quality is proportionally much lower than the increase in expenditure.

    So, if you think a compact will meet all of your important current needs, go for that. If and when you find that camera to be restricting your creativity, then consider whether the increased performance you seek is worth the extra cost.

    If the photography bug really bites and if your approach to value-for-money is as irrational as that suffered by most of us, then in 5 years time you will have $20,000 worth of kit and will be wondering if you really need it all! But, until that bug bites, take it in small steps.

    Good luck.

    drizzle
    drizzle  1 United States
    5 Sep 2012 - 1:42 PM

    Thanks everyone! I'm mainly checking out the Nikon D3100 and 5100, but I'll look at some others too. Thanks for the input!

    kodachrome
    5 Sep 2012 - 4:54 PM

    Its the old adage of diminishing returns of expenditure over gain in performance. The higher you go up the price chain, improvements in performance become less of an issue.

    You can't go wrong with either the Nikon D3100 or D5100. There's always Micro 4/3 if you don't want to go down the DSLR route. I would aim for multi purpose zooms such as the Nikon 18-200 or similar from another make rather than lots of primes, unless of course you want primes. As the last poster said, people build a kit up over time, may be spending lots of money and perhaps some lenses are hardly ever used, may be because a zoom covers the focul length, if this is the case sell it.
    Whats the old saying, if you have not used some thing for over 12 Months, then you don't need it. This applies to all my wife's electrical kitchen gadgets if you see my point but she won't listen.

    Think before you leap.

    Kodachrome

    drizzle
    drizzle  1 United States
    6 Sep 2012 - 3:48 AM


    Quote: Its the old adage of diminishing returns of expenditure over gain in performance. The higher you go up the price chain, improvements in performance become less of an issue.

    You can't go wrong with either the Nikon D3100 or D5100. There's always Micro 4/3 if you don't want to go down the DSLR route. I would aim for multi purpose zooms such as the Nikon 18-200 or similar from another make rather than lots of primes, unless of course you want primes. As the last poster said, people build a kit up over time, may be spending lots of money and perhaps some lenses are hardly ever used, may be because a zoom covers the focul length, if this is the case sell it.
    Whats the old saying, if you have not used some thing for over 12 Months, then you don't need it. This applies to all my wife's electrical kitchen gadgets if you see my point but she won't listen.

    Think before you leap.

    Kodachrome

    I'm not planning on jumping into it at all, but thank you. I plan to hold out for at least a few more months before investing in it. And thanks for the reassurance, I'll look into it!

    User_Removed
    12 Sep 2012 - 10:52 PM


    Quote: Dont just read on them, go into a store and handle them, see which one fits you, see which one has controls that make the most sense to you....

    That is often said and, to the uninitiated, it must make some sense.

    However, I disagree.

    My experience in over 50 years of serious photography is that you very quickly become accustomed to the shape, feel and controls of any new camera. The one that "instinctively" feels right when you first pick it up may not be the best for you.

    When I was making the transition from film to digital a few years ago I was using three cameras - a Nikon D80, a Nikon FM2N and a Mamiya RB67. Three more different cameras you would be hard-pressed to find. But the fact that they all felt very different in my hands did not become, in any way, a handicap.

    It's a bit like driving a car. If you are used to a Mini, then jumping behind the wheel of an Isuzu Pick-up might feel a little strange. But only for the first 3 or 4 miles. We very quickly adapt to handling new configurations and controls.

    drizzle
    drizzle  1 United States
    13 Sep 2012 - 1:27 AM

    Where could I go to be able to see and hold the cameras, may I ask?

    I agree with both of you, in a way. I'd like to actually come face-to-face with a camera before I buy it, but if it doesn't feel right I can adapt--though it would give me an opportunity to discover some of the new features too!

    thewilliam
    13 Sep 2012 - 1:15 PM


    Quote: Dont just read on them, go into a store and handle them, see which one fits you, see which one has controls that make the most sense to you....

    That is often said and, to the uninitiated, it must make some sense.

    However, I disagree.

    My experience in over 50 years of serious photography is that you very quickly become accustomed to the shape, feel and controls of any new camera. The one that "instinctively" feels right when you first pick it up may not be the best for you.



    As a relative newcomer to photography, only active since 1956, I see the importance of "making friends with your camera" as the Leica people would say. Some cameras just don't feel right in my hands whereas others feel perfect. I know which would be the wiser purchase and I know which is more likely to be in use several decades later. My first Hasselblad was purchased back in the 1970s and can still be used with a digiback.

    Expenditure on kit is very much reduced when we don't buy very often!

    onetrickpony
    31 Oct 2012 - 12:39 PM

    The biggest con of a DSLR is carrying it around. DSLRs also cost considerably more, when you start factoring in different lenses and stuff.

    To be honest, I'm also pretty skeptical of superzooms like the COOLPIX P510. Do you really need 42x zoom? I've been a casual photographer for 5 years now, and I've never had anything like that zoom capacity, and never needed it. It's just a gimmick really. 5-6X zoom on a compact will be sufficient for 90% of use. A lot of people think 'more zoom=better". Well, you own a 15X zoom camera already - how often do you actually take a photo zoomed in the whole way? Not often, I bet, and I bet that when you do, they are rarely (if ever) good quality.

    Also - remember the sacrifice of superzooms: they don't fit nicely in your pocket. This is a pretty big sacrifice on a practical level: it's the difference between a camera you take out everyday, everywhere, and a camera you only use once in a while. If I were you, I'd look at upper end compacts like the Canon G series which you can fit in your pocket. They will take just as good pictures as the superzoom.

    User_Removed
    31 Oct 2012 - 5:54 PM

    I can only comment on my experience.

    I went the route of the high zoom compact, also believing that there wasn't any difference between a high end compact and a low end DSLR .... well despite the zoom on the camera I still ran into many occasions where the limitations of the camera were vastly exceeded by what I was wanting to take a photo of, and became very frustrated. However I also resisted getting a DSLR because the whole thing about aperture and F-stop and all that seemed dreadfully complicated and none of the explanations I read online made any sense to me (even the one's labeled 'FOR DUMMIES' Tongue) (Seriously photographers need to learn how to make simple explanations that are actually simple). But my frustration with the compact finally overcame my resistance to a DSLR and I bought a Nikon D3100, mostly because of it's size. Both of us prefer handheld and lugging around a whacking great big camera + lenses didn't grab our fancy in the slightest. One of our requirements because of our preferences was that it had to be light and easier to keep steady without a tripod. (Try keeping 700 / 800g of camera steady at the end of the day when your arms are pooped).

    Honestly any one that tells you there isn't a difference between a DSLR and a compact is talking utter nonsense. I just have to look at the difference between photos without any magical instant improvement in the photographer behind the camera to see it. Also the range of what I can take photos of has improved dramatically. Those birds that were always annoyingly out of range are now in range, and other instances that are just too numerous to mention.

    My choice of camera has always been guided by choosing the camera that suited me ... I sat down and analyzed what type of photos we take the most. What preferences we had with things like weight, zoom, quality etc. I read lots of reviews looking for comments about the type of things we took pictures of ... so for example if a review of a camera said 'great for ... but not for macro' then that was off the list because we take a lot of macro-ish shots. etc etc.

    There are so many reviews out there and so many sites that do comparative reviews that its so easy to compare models in terms of how they measure up to your needs to find the right one.

    Good luck with the search.

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