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Thread: Canon SX510 HS Digital Camera (Bridge)

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    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    Canon SX510 HS Digital Camera (Bridge)

    Hello Everyone,

    Just wanted to know if anyone owns a Canon SX510 HS ditial camera (Bridge) would love to hear you experiences. Especially with the battery life.

    Other camera recommendations also welcome

    This cam does for around R3000.

    Thanks,
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    How heavily are you planning to get into photography?

    You are always better of buying a (D)SLR because you are then free to use different lenses. The Canon EOS range is very good. Many camera shops deal in second hand equipment because people constantly upgrade their stuff. I purchased my Canon 7D and all my lenses second hand.

    Lets say you buy a camera like the Canon 450D and a lens or two. You may decide to buy a flash later or even a prime lens. You may then decide to trade the camera body on a 70D to get better speed etc. The nice thing about following the route that I suggest is that you have a very good upgrade path with the ability to trade your old equipment.

    The SX510 is a nice camera but your are locked into its limitations with no means to upgrade other than sell it and buy another.
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    Adrianh is absolutely correct. I bought the SX50HS a while back simply because I wanted to take very nice pictures without having to lug a heavy camera around with a heavy bag full of lenses. I am not too sure what all the differences between the SX50HS and SX501HS are but I think they are similar bridge cameras. I have had wonderful fun with mine and as I have no desire to any further into the photography game this for me was definitely the right purchase for me. If anything I would have liked to have a camera with the new wi-fi facility but that was not available when I bought mine.

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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    It depends on the use scenario. The (D)SLR's are great cameras (best quality photos you can get), though all in all they're a LOT more expensive than the "pocket" cams and even the pseudo-DSLR's like this one. Also, lens-wise you'd need a whole range of lenses to be able to accomplish what these do - you can easily budget (including the lenses) for around R20k to get the exact same range from a DSLR. Though as adrianh's said, you can add at a later stage and upgrade by component - so you don't need to buy the entire thing once off and some of it you can get 2nd hand or go with Sigma lenses (usually much cheaper than the branded stuff while being close to the same quality).

    If you're going for near-professional pictures - then I'd suggest taking out a loan and going for a DSLR. If you're only going to take some pics on a few of your outings and they're mostly just close by stuff (i.e. you're not taking intimate pics of a lion 1km away) then even a pocket cam should suffice. One thing the pocket cams don't have is large lenses to catch lots of light during low-light pictures, so you end up over-using the flash. The pseudo cams usually have close to the same intake size as SLR's, but not as refined. If you're half-way in between, AND have the issue that you don't want to carry an entire suitcase of lenses with you, then these pseudo SLR's are just the ticket.

    My dad has a D50 (his first digital after his manual Pentax SLR wich he had since the 70's) and when he saw what my FZ8 could do, he basically got green in the face. "Bloody snot nose with his cheap c#@p!"

    One thing you can simply ignore in every cam (pocket / pseudo / SLR) is its "digital zoom". It means less than nothing. All it does is crop the image, so your 16MP image is now only 4MP. You could have done the same thing at home using any image editor. If you're looking for zoom, focus only on optical zoom. And then, very important if you're going to take long range shots, get something with optical image stabilizing built into its lens - NOT digital stabilizing. Else you're either going to have to get a tripod/monopod as well, or you're going to end up with blurred pics when doing anything beyond a few meters away from you.

    Then also, MAKE SURE the thing uses a Li-Ion battery, else you'll have to carry a suitcase of batteries with you.

    If you are going with one of these pseudo SLRs, then rather compare their zoom range on the equivalent true SLR 35mm cameras. Less than 24mm is basically what's called fish-eye (the pics look stretched out and are usually only used for "artistic" photos), 24-38 for wide-angle (like in taking an image of a close-by building), 32 to around 60mm being a standard lens range for indoor shots (usually the same as a pocket cam), most SLR zoom lenses then range from around 50 to 300mm (usually sufficient for taking to the Kruger), and for telephoto long range shots the lens gets longer - I've even seen stuff over 1000mm - but then you need a tripod for the lens as well as the camera.

    I've not used that particular model before, but have used similar stuff. I know Cannon makes some pretty nice cams, both dSLR and pseudo. From my experience:

    • My first one (which I lost on a hike, else I'd still be using it) Panasonic Lumix FZ8 with a Leica lens was to this day the fastest zoom/focus/aperture adjusting cam I've ever seen (including my friend's Canon D7). Only issue was it's lens range & mega-pix is a bit poor in comparison to today's micro-zoom lenses (i.e. the new pseudo DSLRs). I bought it in 2005 for just under R2000. That gave me a compact light-weight camera with lens range equivalent to a SLR 35mm's 36 to 432mm lens. Here's a writeup I did for my hiking club on one of the 5 day trails I was on, including pics from this camera: http://www.footprint.co.za/giantscup.htm . Here's the full range of pics over that 4 day period on one single charge of the battery: https://plus.google.com/photos/10267...O-qyOze4KmVwwE
    • After I lost it in the Wolkberg nature reserve, I bought an Olympus SP-560UZ due to the "specs" being higher on the lens (27-486mm). But I took it back within a week, because the batteries were 4x AA and lasted only around 50 shots (without flash). And its focus was terribly slow and inaccurate. The one and only hike I did with this camera, used up 3 sets of batteries on the 1st day: https://plus.google.com/photos/10267...COXo8o7R4t3AWg
    • I when I took back the Oly, I went back to the Panasonic Lumix range (I love those Leica lenses!). This time a FZ18 with 28-504mm. Though focus was a bit slower than the FZ8, the rest of the usability was about the same. A hike I did with this one: https://plus.google.com/photos/10267...KHCofio75b0mQE You can see the focus speed issue on the pics where the people were walking across the rope bridge, I need to be more patient with this one on low light action shots.


    From the specs this sounds like an awesome camera, and if I was in the market for a new one, I'd definitely look at this as an option: http://www.dpreview.com/products/can.../canon_sx510hs

    BTW, that DPReview site has lots of very good info on all cams available. But still, when you go to the shop - ask to actually use it there and try to see just how easy / difficult its setting are. Especially for the non-SLR stuff, you want something which you can quickly adjust with minimal fuss.

    Edit: sorry ... messed up on those pics. I thought I did the Giants Cup using the FZ8,was definitely the FZ18. Here's one I did with the FZ8 https://plus.google.com/photos/10267...CKXRk6XGwvvaGw ... for sure this time
    Last edited by irneb; 27-Feb-14 at 09:08 PM.
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    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good replies and the nice review websites

    I am kinda in the market for something that is not too cumbersome to take along on vacations etc... so the sales guys recommended this camera.

    Will have a look at a few more reviews and stores. having a look at the cameras in real as irneb suggested is actually the best thing to do. You get a good idea of the the functionality, grip, zoom, etc...

    Abit of a side question, has anyone used generic batteries in their camera's instead of the manufacturers? Reason I am asking is I would like to get 1 or 2 extra batteries for my camera so it lasts while im out and branded batteries can cost a packet!

    @Malcolm McKie how is the battery life on your camera?
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I use a Canon original and a generic side by side in my battery grip and they both work fine. You should get a generic that your camera shop recommends. I'd be very weary of sticking a no-name brand that I got from the corner café in the camera. The last thing you want is for the battery to destroy the camera.

    I suppose one could consider Sigma, Tamron & Nikkor to be generic brand lenses, but even so, they are all really good and in no way inferior to the OEM lenses.
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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singhms View Post
    Thanks for all the good replies and the nice review websites
    You're very welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    I suppose one could consider Sigma, Tamron & Nikkor to be generic brand lenses, but even so, they are all really good and in no way inferior to the OEM lenses.
    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by Singhms View Post
    Abit of a side question, has anyone used generic batteries in their camera's instead of the manufacturers? Reason I am asking is I would like to get 1 or 2 extra batteries for my camera so it lasts while im out and branded batteries can cost a packet!
    Now there, I've had nothing but failures with the Panasonics. Have specifically asked the camera shop for a brand they recommend only to find that the contacts don't actually contact when inside the cam. But due to their long battery life, I have yet to go on even a long trip where the battery has died on me (if I fully charged it before going). Have sometimes forgotten to charge, since usually it would only need to be charged every 3rd weekend trip I do (averaging around 150 pics per trip).

    What I did have to do is upgrade the SD card. An 8GB is simply not enough, fills up twice on a single charge.
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    I think that the Powershot SX50 HS is a better buy.
    Range-wise yes! My troubles with it is "Below avg battery", "slow lens" & stabilization isn't great: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/cano...hot-sx50-hs/11
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    hmmm...It certainly has some downsides. Not being able to access the memory card whilst on a tripod is also not very nice.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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