Digital camera

  March Wind 21:14 06 Apr 2011
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Could you please recommend a good camera. I want a good zoom and lens also I want a view finder. I do not want one that I have to look at the screen. I have a minolta dimage 5000mp. Must be a big improvement on the one I have. I am told a bridge camera should be a good one, I do not want one that is too large

  Dragon_Heart 21:55 06 Apr 2011

How about the Fujifilm FinePix S1600 Digital Camera (12MP, 15x Wide Optical Zoom)

Any of the FinePix ranger would be a good purchase. I have used one for several years.

  ventanas 22:45 06 Apr 2011

The only drawback with the Fuji range is the lack of any Raw codec. Without one it's impossible to view the images in Windows.
I do have one though (S9600) and I use this independant app click here to view Raw files.
The same codec app also works with my Nikon and Olympus SLR's

  Chris the Ancient 09:40 07 Apr 2011

There was quite a similar discussion quite a while ago in Consumerwatch on this site. (Not a nag!)

click here

Quite a few ideas were bandied about there that might be worth having a read of.

  johndrew 14:44 07 Apr 2011

I have a Sony (alpha) 200 click here which I found fitted my requirements which are similar to yours. Mine is the slightly earlier version to this but the specification is much the same with a dioptre adjusted viewfinder and LCD display for camera settings and information.

For extra telephoto lenses there are plenty of alternatives to the Sony items to choose from. I find Sigma a decent option click here

  johndrew 14:44 07 Apr 2011

I have a Sony (alpha) 200 click here which I found fitted my requirements which are similar to yours. Mine is the slightly earlier version to this but the specification is much the same with a dioptre adjusted viewfinder and LCD display for camera settings and information.

For extra telephoto lenses there are plenty of alternatives to the Sony items to choose from. I find Sigma a decent option click here

  Ian in Northampton 15:03 07 Apr 2011

Ventanas: I don't understand. What do you mean that, without raw support, you can't look at images in Windows?

March Wind: I've used a FinePix S5700 for a while, and found it great. Generally, FinePix cameras are pretty well reviewed, and good value.

  Dragon_Heart 01:02 08 Apr 2011

If I can answer that for you "Ian in Northampton".

If you're working with photo's that are vitally important, then shoot RAW: any major exposure or color correction is easier to make.

The RAW image data is almost as it came off the sensor ie without corrections made by the camera.

Many but not all Windows applications will process RAW images but you will, as 'ventanas' said need a RAW codec ( a set of instructions which tell your software how to process the image data ).

In most cases JPG is fine but if you do wish to alter the image in any way ALWAYS use a copy of the original.

Working on any digital file is basically discarding data. You can not 'add' data but only alter or discard it.

  Ian in Northampton 08:57 08 Apr 2011

Thanks Dragonheart - interesting. I'm a snapper rather than a photographer, so that degree of control over the image is less important to me. It is as I suspected: Ventanas's statement was somewhat misleading. Of course you can view other file formats in Windows... :-)

  ventanas 12:06 08 Apr 2011

Sorry, but I don't think it was misleading, I was referring only to Raw files, I made no reference to any other format.
And yes you can view them in a program dedicated to doing just that, but if you simply want to browse through them in Windows Explorer, then you will need a codec. Fuji don't have one, and for that matter neither do Nikon since Win7.
So the need for a third party app.
Quite honestly there is absolutely no point, in my view, in shooting in any other format than Raw, and to process the images nothing better than Lightroom. I would never use jpeg.

  Ian in Northampton 17:45 08 Apr 2011

Ventanas: Let's settle on - perhaps the way you expressed it was ambiguous... :-) But I still need to take issue with you. It sounds like you're a serious photographer, in which case I absolutely take your point about raw files. But for those of us who just need to remove some red-eye, change contrast and saturation a little and eliminate the telegraph pole sticking out of someone's head, .jpg is just fine for editing.

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