Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Help Us Shoot Our Livestock...

Now that I have your attention we really do need your help shooting our livestock, but when I say "shooting" I'm talking about taking pictures! From time to time I have come to you guys for some specific advice or help and I have never been steered in the wrong direction. So, after realizing our camera was slowly beginning to add a growing purple line to our pictures we began looking for a new camera. First we looked online, then we went to Best Buy, and finally we came home really confused.

A camera has become an important part of our farm as we have spent more time writing about our experiences and as we have had the opportunity to share a little bit about sustainable farming over on the Epi-Log. We need something that we can use to take outdoor pictures of life on the farm and of course plenty of family snapshots. It is amazing how much cameras have changed since we bought our first digital about five years ago.

So, these are the cameras we have come up with:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS5K (10.1 MP)

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W150 (8.1 MP)

Canon Powershot SD1100IS (8.0 MP)

It isn't like this is our top three or anything, but these are the ones that we were able to handle at Best Buy and liked the best. I would love to hear about your experiences with any of these brands or models. We have loved our Canon, but seemed to like the Panasonic and the Sony a little more this time around. Let us know what you think! Oh, I forgot to mention we are trying to land in the $200'ish range.

On the Farm Front:

Not to leave you hanging on the farm/building front I'll give a quick update. Yesterday we were able to take the camper out to the farm so we have a place to lay the kids down when we work late. While we were out there I walked around the pigs a little and was happy with their growth. I'm really looking forward to them this winter!

Also, we spent a little time caulking the cracks around the posts. This will help keep the creepy-crawlies out ... we hope. Tomorrow evening I'm heading up it the rafters to run some more wire. Less the one month until we have to move out of our current house ... anyone wanna have a work day ;)

Edited - This is Becca, Ethan's wife.  I'm hijacking his blog because he is working at the house with our plumber - and because I know his password! :)  Thanks, everyone, for the great suggestions.  I just found out, however, that Canon had put a faulty component in their cameras around the years we bought ours.  This causes many of the camera displays to go out and/or produce distorted pictures.  They are replacing or fixing these cameras free of charge, even if the warranty has expired.  That's what I call great customer service!  Here's the number if you have one with problems too: 1-800-828-4040

So, thanks again for your suggestions.  Please feel free to keep them coming since it might help someone else who is looking for a camera.


Tim said...

I prefer Canon cameras - they always seem to have the best picture in my humble opinion. I don't have experience with that model though. I have a PowerShot SD850 that I really like.

Did somebody say work day? :)

Wayne said...

We have a Canon SD800IS and owned a previous Canon before that. They take great pictures, are very simple and tiny. The only drawback is they are prone to breaking where the lens gets stuck. Canon seems willing to fix them, but both of our cameras has broken with a lens error. (for example:

I can't says if the others are any better, but we still love the Canon.

Steven said...

I have a LUMIX that looks very similar to the DMC-TZ4S but it's only a 6mp. We got the cheaper model and my sister and her husband found one with the same specs that was a better model, metal exterior instead of plastic, etc. Ours takes good pictures but theirs is alot faster to take a picture and be ready for the next. Often you have to wait for ours to save the picture and let you take another. We've over all been really impressed with Panasonic Lumix cameras. That being said, I've never tried the other cameras that you listed so they may be better.

Robert said...

Go to a camera shop.

We had to get a new camera recently. Best Buy confused us. We went to Ritz Camera and they helped us pick out our camera. They were the same price as Best Buy, but with better knowledge.

We decided on a Nikon. Canons are good, too. Before the Nikon we had a Sony CyberShot.

Everett said...

I actually just read a great comparison on the best digital cameras under $300. Check it out: .

PS: I signed on to a site that allows you to write in questions for Nancy Pelosi and mine was specifically about why there was no subsidies cap in the new Farm Bill. I hope they pick it because I want an answer!

Jack said...

I have a Canon PowerShot A540 (maybe a European model) whose specs appear to be very similar to the one you mentioned, we are very happy with it. My wife uses it a lot to take pictures of my races (I'm a marathon runner) and our container garden. If you go to a good camera shop they can give you advice - but it would probably be cheaper to buy it on the Internet.

Good luck with your farm building project, it's interesting following your progress. I wish I could come over to help.

Jack in Germany

The Kramer Family said...

I'm a photographer and a Canon girl myself. I always stick to the camera brands to buy cameras from such as Canon or Nikon. Sony even makes DVDs among an assortment of other things to where as Canon has strictly mastered the art of making cameras.

Thats my two cents. I shoot with digital SLRs and don't know much about point and shoots. But, don't think you could go wrong with Canon.

Good luck!

Ethan Book said...

Thanks everyone for the tips! I have to admit that I was leaning towards the Canon also because we have liked the one we have so much. Plus, as you mentioned Kramer Family they are a camera company. When I sought advice on our first digital camera purchase I had someone tell me the exact same thing so that is why we have a Canon now...

On the other hand we have been very pleased with our Panasonic MiniDV camera ... ohh ... so many choices!

But, as you may have noticed it seems that we may be able to get our camera fixed. I would like that because I have been eyeing some DSLR's. With all the pictures we have been taking lately I thought I may want to see what else is out there. I had been experimenting with some of the manual controls on our camera (until it got that darn line) and am thinking about taking the step up....

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