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View Full Version : Advice on decent point & shoot digital camera?


Gerrinson
10-05-2013, 12:57 AM
I'm looking to get my wife a new digital camera for Christmas, since her newest one disappeared when we were moving.

She likes the DSLR camera my sister-in-law has, but I know my wife, and she will not want to be bothered with carrying around a tripod & extra lenses. Or at least, it won't get more than 1 or 2 uses before the extra stuff is 'too much bother.'

I want to get a nice solid point & shoot, better than the 5 year old camera we still have. But what I know about cameras ain't much. I was hoping someone with more knowledge and experience could point me at a nice point & shoot camera. Most of what I'm looking for is: Good picture quality, ease of use, and a good optical zoom.

So, any suggestions?

And thanks in advance!

Sapphire Silk
10-05-2013, 04:02 AM
If you have access check out Consumer Reports. They usually have good recommendations.

My camera, that I've had for years, is a Fujifilm digital camera. It looks like an SLR but isn't. I can't remember how many megapixels, but not what cameras now have, yet it takes GREAT pictures. I've taken some stunning nature shots and landscape shots with it. So I like the brand well.

The human eye can only see so much, so don't get obsessed with megapixels. Look for ease of use and handling. Take a few test shots and see if you like what you see.

gremcint
10-05-2013, 04:58 AM
fuji cameras tend to come with a 2 year warranty whereas other brands just give you 1 so that's in their favor.

Shannarah
10-05-2013, 05:10 AM
I just bought a Fuji Finepix S2980 (to replace the Fuji S1500 that I dropped)
14mp 18x optical zoom. was about AU$158, so pretty cheap, looks like a dslr, has auto settings, ans some manual options. When recording video, the zoom is audible

mikoyan29
10-06-2013, 12:01 AM
My mom still uses the old Panasonic I had. It was pretty decent and gave me the bug to get a DSLR.

What do you intend to use it for?

TheSHAD0W
10-06-2013, 12:38 AM
If you're willing to spend the money, you might still want to consider a DSLR. They are still better for low-light and fast response than any of the P&S cameras, thanks to the size of the imagers. There are also lenses which are flexible enough that you'll nearly never want to switch it out; an 18-200 zoom lens (on a camera with a 2/3 size imager) will take most any shot a casual photographer will want.

Gerrinson
10-06-2013, 01:00 AM
Thanks for the advice so far.

As for how we would be using it: The pictures would mostly just be at family gatherings and the occasional trip out; photography isn't even at the 'hobby' level for her, which is why I don't want to sink my money into a serious camera, just one that's a nice upgrade to what we have now.

protege
10-06-2013, 01:14 AM
I too would recommend Fuji digital cameras. I'm actually on my second one. I picked up a Finepix S3200 to replace an older S3100. One feature that is awesome...is the "super macro" mode. That means I can get extremely close to whatever I'm photographing :)

It's me
10-06-2013, 03:04 AM
I always point people to Steve's Digicams:
http://www.steves-digicams.com
It's got reviews and recommendations...

mikoyan29
10-06-2013, 03:29 AM
Thanks for the advice so far.

As for how we would be using it: The pictures would mostly just be at family gatherings and the occasional trip out; photography isn't even at the 'hobby' level for her, which is why I don't want to sink my money into a serious camera, just one that's a nice upgrade to what we have now.
In that case go with one of the mid to higher grade Point and Shoots.

BlaqueKatt
10-06-2013, 03:46 AM
I got one of these (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0075SUK6O/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1) on amazon black friday/cyber monday sale-it was $199 on sale, best optical zoom of any compact point and shoot, 20x

Rapscallion
10-06-2013, 06:28 AM
I've had some pretty good results with an Ixus 230 by Canon.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2011/8/23/canonixus230hs - different name in the US mentioned in here.

I'm no professional, but it's made a load of my shots look pretty damned good. Fine resolution, great zoom, and if you're on my FB friends list then you'll see some of the snaps I've taken of bits of castles.

Rapscallion

Chromatix
10-06-2013, 02:22 PM
I currently use a Panasonic Lumix. It has a Leica lens (which is the important part of any camera) and works respectably well. It's even small enough to fit in most pockets and even some phone/iPod cases.

The lens is *far* more important than the megapixel count. A three-megapixel sensor with a really good lens will take better pictures than an eight- or twelve-megapixel sensor with a poor lens.

crazylegs
10-06-2013, 05:03 PM
The human eye can only see so much, so don't get obsessed with megapixels. Look for ease of use and handling. Take a few test shots and see if you like what you see.

This, most certainly this. The size of the sensor, the quality of the lens and the ability of the processor all have important parts to play in the ability to take good images.

Even if they don't have a review of every camera on the market most digital camera magazines will have a 'what to look for' section somewhere so you know what you're looking at with P&Ss.

TheSHAD0W
10-06-2013, 05:11 PM
The human eye can only see so much, so don't get obsessed with megapixels. Look for ease of use and handling.
This, most certainly this. The size of the sensor, the quality of the lens and the ability of the processor all have important parts to play in the ability to take good images.

Thirded; in fact, I think many cameras have gone too far in the megapixel count. The smaller the pixel size, the fewer photons it can receive, and the more it runs up against the laws of physics. That's why I like DSLRs, since with a larger imager they can devote more real estate to each pixel.

In your case, though, for just taking pictures of people at family gatherings, a good P&S is likely to be adequate.

crazylegs
10-06-2013, 06:53 PM
Thirded; in fact, I think many cameras have gone too far in the megapixel count. The smaller the pixel size, the fewer photons it can receive, and the more it runs up against the laws of physics. That's why I like DSLRs, since with a larger imager they can devote more real estate to each pixel.

Absolutely. My D300 with 12.3mp is more than I'll ever need. Seeing as I don't blow up beyond A3 then I'll never need more than this.

TheSHAD0W
10-06-2013, 08:27 PM
Absolutely. My D300 with 12.3mp is more than I'll ever need. Seeing as I don't blow up beyond A3 then I'll never need more than this.

Heh. Well, more pixels are handy if you're going to be doing any significant cropping. I also have a D300, and am pretty happy with it.

I do still lust after a D600, though; at 24 megapixels, it's a lot, but it also uses a full-frame sensor, so the pixel density is about the same as the D300. I'd have to buy new lenses though, so it'd be quite an investment.

Mer-Mer
10-08-2013, 02:38 AM
I have an Olympus TG-630. I got it basically brand-new from our local video game store. The guy basically told me the person who traded it in is an idiot that buys electronics brand new on sale and then brings it in to try to make a buck. It's pretty amazing. It takes pictures in almost near darkness, all the pictures look pretty decent, takes short videos and has a ton of different settings, but you don't really need to fool around with them if you don't want. It's shock proof from 5 feet, waterproof to 16, crush-proof and weather-proof. And it has a pretty quick shutter speed. I got it b/c my sweet 16 birthday present barely even turns on anymore with brand-new batteries. (This one has a rechargeable one). And the shutter speeds don't even compare. It's like comparing a little 4 cylinder VW Beetle to a Mustang. I love it. However, it retails for about $200. I got mine for I think $71 or $79 dollars. Everything was still in the original packaging. I totally recommend it. But no matter what you get, you want a really fast shutter speed. My last one was slow, even compared to other ones at the time I bought it. As a result, any pictures my mom took were of the ground.

crazylegs
10-08-2013, 11:12 AM
I do still lust after a D600, though; at 24 megapixels, it's a lot, but it also uses a full-frame sensor, so the pixel density is about the same as the D300. I'd have to buy new lenses though, so it'd be quite an investment.

I got mine as a step up from my D70 - the difference between the two is enough to make me realise it's all the camera I'll ever need with my ability and use.