#1
I'm taking a 2 week trip to Japan next month. What's a good, low cost(under 300) camera?
Reply
#2
As good as smartphone cameras are getting these days, I'm not sure a $300 camera would be an improvement over the camera you likely have in your pocket.  I've seem comparisons between an iPhone 7 and a $3k canon 5d mkIII and the main difference was marginally improved low light capability and depth of field.  I doubt a $300 camera has as good low light as a reasonable smartphone and for $300 you're in point and shoot territory so you won't get the depth of field you would get in a DSLR.

If the camera in your phone isn't good, I'd look into putting that 300 into upgrading your phone and/or getting a set of add-on lenses.  As the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you.
Reply
#3
These days if you have a smartphone the answer is often "the one in your phone". Ubiquitous and rapidly improving phone cameras have rapidly hollowed out the low end of the dedicated camera market (higher end changeable-lens cameras still have a market). There are some compact cameras with optical zoom, which was something I personally wanted in a compact camera (I have a sony rx100, which I like apart from it being a touch bulky) but they may be out of your budget range.

You don't say which currency -- 300 pounds, 300 dollars, 300 yen...
Reply
Thanksgiving Sale: 30% OFF Basic, Premium & Premium PLUS Subscriptions! (Nov 13 - 22)
JapanesePod101
#4
The Canon pocket camera with a mechanical zoom lens I purchased 5 years ago for about Y30.000 has some older specs. But the picture quality is so much better than what I get out of a phone.

In particular, the photos I take of people with the Canon are just much more exciting. And the percentage of great photos is much higher. No idea why as the lens, sensor and electronics are not top-tier. But the more serios lens and dedicated hardware "of size" certainly make a difference.
Reply
#5
(2017-09-06, 2:28 pm)pm215 Wrote: These days if you have a smartphone the answer is often "the one in your phone". Ubiquitous and rapidly improving phone cameras have rapidly hollowed out the low end of the dedicated camera market (higher end changeable-lens cameras still have a market). There are some compact cameras with optical zoom, which was something I personally wanted in a compact camera (I have a sony rx100, which I like apart from it being a touch bulky) but they may be out of your budget range.

You don't say which currency -- 300 pounds, 300 dollars, 300 yen... My currency is dollars
Reply
#6
(2017-09-06, 3:38 pm)cae99v Wrote: My currency is dollars

East Caribbean dollar?
Australian dollar?
Bahamian dollar?
Barbadian dollar?
Belize dollar?
Bermuda dollar?
Brunei dollar?
Canadian dollar?
Cayman Islands dollar?
East Caribbean dollar?
United States dollar?
Fijian dollar?
East Caribbean dollar?
Guyanese dollar?
Hong Kong dollar?
Jamaican dollar?
Kiribati dollar?
Liberian dollar?
Namibian dollar?
New Zealand dollar?
Singapore dollar?
Solomon Islands dollar?
Surinamese dollar?
New Taiwan dollar?
Trinidad and Tobago dollar?
Tuvaluan dollar?
United States dollar?
Reply
#7
I bought a nice point and shoot camera a few years ago for right under $300, about the same time I purchased a Nexus 5 phone (which isn't exactly known for its great camera quality). While the standalone camera was my method of choice for taking nicer photos initially, once my Nexus 5 picked up a software update to allow it to take HDR photos, I really prefer it in most instances now. HDR is truly a game changer for photos, because now my photos aren't all either washed out in white or too dark to see anything. The only time I still use my point and shoot camera is if I need to zoom. So here's another vote for a smartphone camera, as long as it does HDR!
Reply
#8
(2017-09-06, 4:13 pm)mintou Wrote:
(2017-09-06, 3:38 pm)cae99v Wrote: My currency is the AMERICAN dollar. Do you have anything useful to add or are you just trolling because i didn't specify which dollar?

East Caribbean dollar?
Australian dollar?
Bahamian dollar?
Barbadian dollar?
Belize dollar?
Bermuda dollar?
Brunei dollar?
Canadian dollar?
Cayman Islands dollar?
East Caribbean dollar?
United States dollar?
Fijian dollar?
East Caribbean dollar?
Guyanese dollar?
Hong Kong dollar?
Jamaican dollar?
Kiribati dollar?
Liberian dollar?
Namibian dollar?
New Zealand dollar?
Singapore dollar?
Solomon Islands dollar?
Surinamese dollar?
New Taiwan dollar?
Trinidad and Tobago dollar?
Tuvaluan dollar?
United States dollar?
Reply
#9
I personally bought a Fujifilm Instax Wide camera and brought it to Japan (I got a kit with 20 exposures for ~$160) and I LOVE IT. The pictures it took were a lot different than what your camera would take, and the colors and whatnot made it great for taking pictures of people as well as objects (reds were especially strong on the film).

I think I took about 70 or so shots while I was there. I used it in conjunction with my phone camera.

I admit the film is annoyingly expensive, but you can save a decent amount by buying in bulk (100 shots) on Amazon.

Also, don't check the film as the xray they used for checked luggage is really strong. Should be totally fine going as a carryon and I had no problems.


It was also a great conversation piece... I have a strong memory of being in line at Bookoff with some クソゲー. I looked around a little and saw this old man behind me who was just staring at it really intently. I explained to him it was an instant camera and showed him some of the photos I took... great for Japanese practice Smile
Edited: 2017-09-07, 9:02 am
Reply
#10
(2017-09-06, 3:38 pm)cae99v Wrote: My currency is the AMERICAN dollar. Do you have anything useful to add or are you just trolling because i didn't specify which dollar?

mintou is right to troll you because it took you like three posts to say that you are looking for a camera under $300 US. On top of that the formatting of your posts sucks, which combined with your three tries tells me something about you as a person. I will refrain myself from making ad hominem comments, although you sure deserve some.
Edited: 2017-09-07, 8:38 pm
Reply
#11
Here's what I have found useful when taking pictures on trips:  a camera that doesn't use batteries. (Do they produce them anymore?).  The advantage is the batteries don't run out and it doesn't need to be recharged.  You do need batteries if you want to use the flash attachment but for outdoor shots it's nice never having to worry about the batteries running out. 

Here's the camera my father gave me a long time ago:  the good old Olympus Trip 35 (made in Japan).  I took this with me on a trip to Europe and the US West Coast and took hundreds of pictures with it. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_Trip_35


I'm not suggesting you use this exact camera, just saying that not having to worry about batteries running out was a BIG help on a long trip.  Plus with the retro look, I had a couple of people come up to me and say like Man, that camera looks cool.
Reply
#12
(2017-09-08, 6:50 am)phil321 Wrote: Here's what I have found useful when taking pictures on trips:  a camera that doesn't use batteries. (Do they produce them anymore?).  The advantage is the batteries don't run out and it doesn't need to be recharged.  You do need batteries if you want to use the flash attachment but for outdoor shots it's nice never having to worry about the batteries running out. 

Here's the camera my father gave me a long time ago:  the good old Olympus Trip 35 (made in Japan).  I took this with me on a trip to Europe and the US West Coast and took hundreds of pictures with it. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_Trip_35


I'm not suggesting you use this exact camera, just saying that not having to worry about batteries running out was a BIG help on a long trip.  Plus with the retro look, I had a couple of people come up to me and say like Man, that camera looks cool.

Are batteries really that big of an issue? At least for the handful of dedicated point and shoot cameras that I have used, the batteries tend to last several days between recharges even with heavy usage.
Reply
#13
(2017-09-08, 7:52 am)Zarxrax Wrote:
(2017-09-08, 6:50 am)phil321 Wrote: Here's what I have found useful when taking pictures on trips:  a camera that doesn't use batteries. (Do they produce them anymore?).  The advantage is the batteries don't run out and it doesn't need to be recharged.  You do need batteries if you want to use the flash attachment but for outdoor shots it's nice never having to worry about the batteries running out. 

Here's the camera my father gave me a long time ago:  the good old Olympus Trip 35 (made in Japan).  I took this with me on a trip to Europe and the US West Coast and took hundreds of pictures with it. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_Trip_35


I'm not suggesting you use this exact camera, just saying that not having to worry about batteries running out was a BIG help on a long trip.  Plus with the retro look, I had a couple of people come up to me and say like Man, that camera looks cool.

Are batteries really that big of an issue? At least for the handful of dedicated point and shoot cameras that I have used, the batteries tend to last several days between recharges even with heavy usage.

I may be a bit  paranoid about batteries because a couple of times in my life the camera battery died at a critical moment. 

The worst was when I was meeting a famous author at a book signing and I handed someone my camera to take a picture of us shaking hands and right then the battery died and I didn't get my picture!
Edited: 2017-09-08, 8:19 am
Reply
#14
(2017-09-07, 8:37 pm)Inny Jan Wrote:
(2017-09-06, 3:38 pm)cae99v Wrote: My currency is the AMERICAN dollar. Do you have anything useful to add or are you just trolling because i didn't specify which dollar?

mintou is right to troll you because it took you like three posts to say that you are looking for a camera under $300 US. On top of that the formatting of your posts sucks, which combined with your three tries tells me something about you as a person. I will refrain myself from making ad hominem comments, although you sure deserve some. Mintou could have just asked which dollar. They didn't have to be a d*ck about it...
Reply
#15
(2017-09-07, 8:37 pm)Inny Jan Wrote:
(2017-09-06, 3:38 pm)cae99v Wrote: My currency is the AMERICAN dollar. Do you have anything useful to add or are you just trolling because i didn't specify which dollar?

mintou is right to troll you because it took you like three posts to say that you are looking for a camera under $300 US. On top of that the formatting of your posts sucks, which combined with your three tries tells me something about you as a person. I will refrain myself from making ad hominem comments, although you sure deserve some.
Your posts also tell people about you as a person, but and wouldn't like what they say.
Edited: 2017-09-10, 1:10 am
Reply
#16
(2017-09-09, 1:58 pm)cae99v Wrote: [...] Mintou could have just asked which dollar. [...]

Let's take something out of all this, shall we? You will stop assuming that the USD is the only currency in the world, and in exchange, you will get more amicable responses to your comments. I hope this sounds fair...

(And if you put a little more effort into the formatting of your comments, I will be all over the moon Wink )
Reply
#17
Although I don't entirely agree I'll play devils advocate here and say, in the english speaking world, if you say "under 300" most currency you would be talking about would be roughly similar.

300 cad = 247.56 usd
300 gbp = 395.01 usd
300 chf = 313.68 usd
300 eur = 358.57 usd
300 aud = 240.81 usd
300 nzd = 217.41 usd

not to mention the 20-30 countries where usd is either the official or de-facto currency.
Edited: 2017-09-11, 3:16 pm
Reply
#18
When I told my sister about this thread she rolled her eyes and said sarcastically "the ONLY currency is the US dollar."

(She does work for a large US multinational so she may be a bit biased).
Reply
#19
> 300 gbp = 395.01 usd

That's a 25% difference, which is pretty significant.
Reply
#20
gbp aren't dollars so
Reply
#21
...and this whole thing started because somebody didn't even say 'dollars' so...
Reply
#22
they said dollars the moment someone asked what currency
Reply
#23
I don't think this thread was so exciting that people need to start posting highlights.
Reply
#24
Yawn...what was this thread originally about again?
Reply
#25
(2017-09-06, 1:08 pm)cae99v Wrote: I'm taking a 2 week trip to Japan next month. What's a good, low cost(under 300) camera?

That depends a lot on how you feel about taking photos, and how much importance you give to different factors, like portability, battery life, optical zoom (you can easily get a point and shoot with 10x zoom or somewhat more under 200 USD, probably close to 100 USD), dynamic range, low light photo quality, ease and speed of use, capability of wirelessly sending photos to other device, or directly to social networks, etc.

I'm not an expert, but my impression is that most current day phone cameras are ok for taking photos in good light conditions, but they fail at taking photos in low quality conditions, or when there's a lot of contrast, since they have a rather poor dynamic range.

Dynamic range means how broad is the range of luminance that can be captured in each photo. For example, if the camera has a low dynamic range and you take outdoor photos on a bright day, either the sky will become washed out and just a white mess, or the sky will look nice, but everything else will become shadows. With a camera with a much better dynamic range, your photos will be much better and you'll have to waste less time trying to adjust the exposure, etc.

Phone apps usually have a "HDR" ("High Dynamic Range") mode, but that's just a gimick. What "HDR" mode does is taking more than 1 photo, wich different exposures (for example, one where the sky looks nice and everything is a shadow, and other where people and buildings look nice, but the sky is a white mess) and blend them together to try to simulate what a camera with a better dynamic range would capture. This has several problems, like making images look plain, fake, giving the foreground a sort of "shiny aura", and can easily be abused and make photos look just bad. Also, since you're actually blending different images, the more movement in whatever you're shooting, the more chances the final result will be lousy and have artifacts.

Also is to note that even the most expensive phones usually have at most a 2x optical zoom, there a very few phones with optical zoom above that, and digital zoom just sucks, so good luck trying to take photos from a distance, or trying to get closer images from a landscape, etc.

As for connectivity, there are eye-fi cards, which are basically SD cards with integrated wifi capabilities, so you can use a regular digital camera for taking the pictures, then send them to your phone and share them immediately if you feel like it.

If you want to take the best photos your budget can allow, and are undecided in regards to which particular camera to use, you can go to Flickr and browse photos by the camera they were taken with, so you can get a feeling of the end result that each camera can produce.

Lastly, in some camera models you can use a custom firmware (like Canon Hack Development Kit -CHDK- for lower end cameras, or Magic Lantern for higher end ones) to expand its capabilities, like adding histogram, taking raw photos even on cameras that don't produce them out of the box, intervalometer, movement detection, time lapses, improving iso and exposure ranges, using scripts and more.

I'm not an expert, but I'm a somewhat nitpicky photo aficionado of sorts.

Happy photo shooting!
Reply