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  • Camera Recommendation?

    I know there are some very good photographers on here, but I thought I’d see if there was any advice for low-end equipment for a low-end photographer. There is a ton of digital photography stuff out there on the web and it’s hard to sift through.

    We lost our camera (Canon 790IS P&S) o nthe last day of our vacation and so I’m looking for a replacement – needs are primarily for snapshots of our daughter and vacation pictures. I’m looking for a new pocket/P&S camera. I know SLR offers higher quality, but I’m can’t justify the size – even an SLR doesn’t take good pictures when it’s at home on the desk.

    I was pretty happy with the image quality of the Canon 790, although I hated the scroller wheel on the back. It also didn’t do very well with low-light/nighttime shots, but I gather that most P&S fail in this regard. In the Canons, should I go with something like the SD960 or SD1400? Or is it worth paying more for the S95? Anything in Nikon/Sony/Fuji/Pentax worth looking at?

  • #2
    Kevin, I am a DSLR guy and do not know much at all about P&S cameras. Year before last year, when my wife and I decided to get my son a nice P&S camera, I used Steve's Digicams as my Go To source. We bought the camera (Fuji) that was recommended for the price range we wanted to spend and have not been disappointed with it.

    Here is a link to the Best Cameras section:

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/best-cameras.html

    I hope this helps. Good luck.

    Mike

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    • #3
      Check bhphoto.com for prices as well when you get to it. They have a great return policy-both my brother and sisterinlaw only use them and they have side jobs taking professional photos for people so they frequent that site.

      They just mailed me their 80 lb catalog too.
      -Greg

      Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple. - Barry Switzer

      HO's Basement Take 2

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      • #4
        There are 2 places that I use to buy camera stuff. B&H and Amazon. Both are top flight. Well, in fact, I just bought an iPad 2 from B&H. It should be here on 3/30. Does that mean that I am going over to the Dark Side?

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        • #5
          Thanks for the link, Mike. His highly recommended camera's seem to be the one's that had been popping up elsewhere too.

          I probably over-analyze decision like this. On one hand, I usually own electronics for along while and woul dliek to get good bang for hte buck. But on the other hand, they are probably all decent and the $$ invested is not too large anyway. Heck, I have a few nice-looking 8x10 photos hanging up that my wife took when we were on vacation in England and Scotland several years back - and those were taken on a 4MP Hewlet Packard (hardly known for their camera prowess).

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          • #6
            Adorama, and J&R are also good sources. B&H is probably where I would start, though.
            LG 60PS60/BD390/Integra DTR-6.9/RS850/RS450/200/RS300/MFWx2
            LG 42LH30/BD590/Peachtree Nova/Parasound HCA-1200/PB Minis

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            • #7
              Nothing beats a SLR for quality, but I have a Sony TX5 that is waterproof for 30 minutes down to 10 meters. I love this pocket camera in that I get the shots I would otherwise miss; swimming pools, beach, water parks, amusement park rides.

              I too vote for Amazon and B&H.

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              • #8
                I know nothing about photography, this is why I love my Canon point & shoot. People see the pictures and ask my all the time what kind of camera I have, it does a great job with mimimal work on my part.

                The IS system is mechanical instead of electronic, leading to fewer artifacts. I think that may be one of their strengths.

                All pics that I have taken and posted online thus far come from this camera, if you want examples.

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                • #9
                  I haven't been keeping up on the latest and greatest. But I bought my wife a little red Canon point and shoot for Christmas that she really loves and it takes pretty great pictures for it's pocketable size. It a PowerShot SD 780 IS Digital Elph.

                  Best....Carlo.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the recommendations!

                    Next question - even mid-to-lower end cameras offer a lot of manual options (ISO speed, white balance, etc.) Is there a good website (or library book, I suppose!) that would offer a good introduction on how to use the various features on the camer for times when "Auto" just isn't cutting it? For example, on our last vacation, a lot of the indoor shots under incandescent lighting didn't look good.

                    I like the concept of the "bracket mode" some cameras have where it takes 3 pictures at different exposures to better ensure that you get the one you want.

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                    • #11
                      Not camera specific, but considered to be the bible for learning how to shoot. Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. You should buy this.

                      http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-.../dp/0817439390

                      I don't think you will like using bracketing for the purpose you mentioned. Folks typically use it to produce HDR photos.

                      Learn the fundamentals of exposure. It is not difficult and will enable you to take some nice shots.

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                      • #12
                        http://www.dpreview.com/learn/

                        If you like the idea of a smaller camera with interchangeable lenses, give the Panasonic Lumix some consideration.

                        http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/PanasonicDMCGF2/
                        LG 60PS60/BD390/Integra DTR-6.9/RS850/RS450/200/RS300/MFWx2
                        LG 42LH30/BD590/Peachtree Nova/Parasound HCA-1200/PB Minis

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                        • #13
                          • Narrow down the camera list.
                          • Download the manuals.
                          • Read each from cover to cover.
                          • Then go to sites that allow you to select images from specific cameras to see real world output. Studio shots are too easy to perfect. Search birthday parties and such.
                          • Buy the camera that best meets your expectations.


                          * I find that I never get really good pictures indoors with the P&S compared to my DSLR. Many are acceptable, but not up to the level I get using my prime lens and speed flash. Just my 2 cents.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the reading recommendations, Mike and tjcarst. I requested the Understanding Exposure book from my library and read the dpreview site while I waitied for it to come in. That was a good order, as the Peterson book expects a basic level of understanding that I probably didn't have before reading the dpreview site.

                            The dpreview book is also geared at a different type of person than me (he mentions shooting outdoors, natural light only) but the advice seems quite valuable nonetheless.

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                            • #15
                              Over the last couple years I've been using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 or later model cameras and been very happy with them. Compact size, excellent zoom capability, and great picture quality (Leica lens). Last weekend I went to buy a new camera for myself, fully intending to get a Lumix. I ended up getting a Sony DSC-H70. About the same size and also excellent picture quality (Sony/Zeiss relationship), what tipped the scale for me in a big way was the sweeping panorama feature. Nothing better than a P&S panoramic shot instead of having to piece images together. I'm absolutely loving this new camera, far better pics than my trusty old Nikon Powershot.

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