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Jackie Sparrow
09-15-2010, 08:50 AM
Feels like my last camera thread was just a few months back :P

Anyway, I want to invest in a new pocket camera. I currently have a Canon which has great functions but I'm not happy with the zoom (in my opinion, you can't zoom out enough if you stand really close to someone/something), it takes ages to focus (I was at a concert this weekend and that really pissed me off!), I'm not very happy with the picture quality and the flash (options) are not very satisfying (too bright).

It doesn't need to be an extremely small camera (I will keep my old one). So tell me what brand you have, if you're happy with it and what you can recommend :)

Thanks,
Mrs. Sparrow

Anita18
09-15-2010, 09:30 AM
Small point-and-shoot cameras all have pretty crap flash. I try to avoid using flash at all, and with good ISO and exposure controls, most of the time I get away with it.

For the not-zooming-out-enough, you'd want something that can do wide-angle. Like, the zoom would start at 28mm instead of 35mm.

I have a Panasonic Lumix TZ4 and I LOVE it. The pictures are great, and I love that there's semi-manual options but the auto does quite well too. Did I mention it had a wide-angle to 10x zoom? Everyone I showed it to at 2009 Worlds wanted one, especially after seeing how awesome the zoom was. :lol: You can see those pics here: http://picasaweb.google.com/a.cheng06/2009WorldFigureSkatingChampionships

I was very pleasantly surprised by how well the exhibition photos came out, in particular.

My sister has a Canon Powershot SD1000 and aside from a lens problem (which apparently are common with those Canons), she really likes it. Mostly because it's super-tiny, hahaha.

If you're interested at all in some of the technical stuff, this site is pretty much the Bible of digital camera reviews:

http://www.dpreview.com/

allezfred
09-15-2010, 10:20 AM
We're looking at getting a new compact camera for Mr. allezfred and I got to use a friend's Lumix over the summer and was very impressed by it. The picture quality was amazing. :eek:

*Jen*
09-15-2010, 02:00 PM
Another vote for a Lumix. I've had mine for two years - it's a TZ5 or TZ15 depending on where you buy it, and the picture quality is amazing. I don't plan to buy another for a long time :)

WindSpirit
09-15-2010, 02:02 PM
Anyway, I want to invest in a new pocket camera. I currently have a Canon which has great functions but I'm not happy with the zoom (in my opinion, you can't zoom out enough if you stand really close to someone/something) I didn't get this part. What camera do you have right now? The model and the number should be on it. Do you need a longer zoom than that?


it takes ages to focus (I was at a concert this weekend and that really pissed me off!), Um, a pocket camera and a concert (very difficult lighting) doesn't go together, ever. When it's dark-ish (and it's usually is), it won't focus fast enough, and still if someone moves it's going to be blurry. And of course grainy.


I'm not very happy with the picture quality and the flash (options) are not very satisfying (too bright). You should be able to reduce the flash, at least on some cameras. As for Canon... I have a dSRL from Canon. I love it. My pocket camera? Sony. I haven't checked all models from Canon, of course, but from the few I have I didn't like them at all. Especially the picture quality.


It doesn't need to be an extremely small camera (I will keep my old one). So tell me what brand you have, if you're happy with it and what you can recommend :) I have Sony DSC-W90. It's from 2007, so it's quite old, but I've been rather happy with it (except for a month or two when it refused to turn on, lol). I don't know what they have now.

Some genereal advice:

- don't go for a lot of magapixels. Pocket cameras don't usually have a processor that can deal with so many megapixels = your pictures are going to be grainy and crappy.
- a longer zoom is not always better. Optical zoom is better than digital.
- compare picture quality from selected models, I always do it. That's what I care in my camera the most (links below)
- read reviews

From the website Anita already linked to, here's cameras by rating: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/default.asp?view=rating

There's only one point and shoot in the Gold Award section: Canon PowerShot SD 4000 IS/IXUS 300 HS (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonsd4000is/) Check it out.

Let's see. Only 10.1 megapixels: that's a plus. Autofocus:


As with all IXUS cameras that we've used AF on the SD4000 IS is generally very reliable, and pleasantly fast in normal operation. In low light, an AF assist lamp helps provide enough contrast for the system to 'lock.' It can slow down and lose accuracy in the very lowest light but generally, as you'd hope from a camera of this type, you can generally point and shoot away without having to worry about focus to any real degree.

Here (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonsd4000is/page7.asp) you can compare picture quality with other models (if you have something else in mind and they have a review of it). Click the "JPEG" to see larger versions. Open both at the same time to compare them. I don't know if want to bother with that, but to me it's essential. Make sure you know what you compare them to, because some cameras on those lists are dSRLs, those are always going to be A LOT better when it comes to picture quality. Compare only to other point-and-shoot cameras. Oh wait, I just noticed you can click on the big image and will see the details in small windows from different cameras. Cool. Btw, don't bother comparing higher ISO than 800 (or even 400). ISO above 400 on point-and-shoot camera is always going to be crap.

I would also look at Canon PowerShot S90 (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons90/) The other one is too tiny for my taste. I had a chance to try another tiny Canon before (an older model) and I didn't like it at all. Btw, the lowest ISO you can choose is 80, and on the previous camera above you start with ISO 125. The lower the ISO the better quality of pictures.

genegri
09-15-2010, 02:08 PM
I second (or third) the choice of Panasonic Lumix. Their wide angle lenses for compact cameras are some of the best in the indurstry. I bought a Panasoic Lumix ZS3 and DH bought a Canon SX200 and we did a lot of side by side comparison.

The results of our tests - the Panasonic came on top.

There is no over exposure with the Panasonic, which Canon does ever so often.
The image is sharper expecially for nature pictures, like trees with lots of little leaves.
The color is a bit more realistic, though not as vivid as the Canon.
The size is a little smaller than the Canon.
The menu is a bit messier to use than the Canon, and you can't manually set shutter speed or exposure, etc, which I dont like.

Also, you can go to dpreview.com to check their more professional comparison. Anyway, good luck with whatever you choose!

ETA, anita already mentioned dpreview.com. heehee

NancyNC
09-15-2010, 02:42 PM
I currently have a Canon which has great functions but I'm not happy with the zoom (in my opinion, you can't zoom out enough if you stand really close to someone/something),

This isn't a function of the zoom. Standing close to someone/something and taking a picture (I'm thinking of a flower close-up) requires a better macro function. Some small cameras are better at that than others.

My small Canon (I have a PowerShot, I think it's the SD1200 but don't have it here to check) actually has a really good macro function for a point and shoot - I took some amazing close-ups in the Galapagos. In fact, some of my photos were better than my husband's using his Canon Digital SLR, and at about $800 less cost. He was annoyed by that. :lol:

Jackie Sparrow
09-15-2010, 05:34 PM
I should have been more precise: Since I'm gonna keep my pocket camera (for snapshots etc.), I will probably go for a bigger model but not reflex.
Also, I need to add that waterproof would be a fantastic feature. At the concert this weekend it rained heavily, my camera didn't give up luckily but I'm not sure it would have lasted much longer.


Small point-and-shoot cameras all have pretty crap flash. I try to avoid using flash at all, and with good ISO and exposure controls, most of the time I get away with it. Thanks, I'll be looking out for good ISO then. I try to refuse flash as well but usually the pictures are too blurry then.


For the not-zooming-out-enough, you'd want something that can do wide-angle. Like, the zoom would start at 28mm instead of 35mm. Thanks.


I have a Panasonic Lumix TZ4 and I LOVE it. The pictures are great, and I love that there's semi-manual options but the auto does quite well too. Did I mention it had a wide-angle to 10x zoom? Everyone I showed it to at 2009 Worlds wanted one, especially after seeing how awesome the zoom was. :lol: You can see those pics here: http://picasaweb.google.com/a.cheng06/2009WorldFigureSkatingChampionships

I was very pleasantly surprised by how well the exhibition photos came out, in particular.

My sister has a Canon Powershot SD1000 and aside from a lens problem (which apparently are common with those Canons), she really likes it. Mostly because it's super-tiny, hahaha.

If you're interested at all in some of the technical stuff, this site is pretty much the Bible of digital camera reviews:

http://www.dpreview.com/ Thanks for the fantastic advice!


We're looking at getting a new compact camera for Mr. allezfred and I got to use a friend's Lumix over the summer and was very impressed by it. The picture quality was amazing. :eek: :cheer: You're an expert, I trust your word :)


Another vote for a Lumix. I've had mine for two years - it's a TZ5 or TZ15 depending on where you buy it, and the picture quality is amazing. I don't plan to buy another for a long time :) :cheer:


I didn't get this part. What camera do you have right now? The model and the number should be on it. Do you need a longer zoom than that? I have the IXUS 70, about three years old.


Um, a pocket camera and a concert (very difficult lighting) doesn't go together, ever. When it's dark-ish (and it's usually is), it won't focus fast enough, and still if someone moves it's going to be blurry. And of course grainy. I am aware of the difficult conditions of a concert. That's why I would actually wanna go with something bigger with more features.


You should be able to reduce the flash, at least on some cameras. As for Canon... I have a dSRL from Canon. I love it. My pocket camera? Sony. I haven't checked all models from Canon, of course, but from the few I have I didn't like them at all. Especially the picture quality. I know that Canon reflex cameras are fantastic, that's why I got a Canon pocket but I find the quality much worse there.


I have Sony DSC-W90. It's from 2007, so it's quite old, but I've been rather happy with it (except for a month or two when it refused to turn on, lol). I don't know what they have now. I'll look into the Sonys as well then.

Great advice as well, thanks.




I second (or third) the choice of Panasonic Lumix. Their wide angle lenses for compact cameras are some of the best in the indurstry. I bought a Panasoic Lumix ZS3 and DH bought a Canon SX200 and we did a lot of side by side comparison.

The results of our tests - the Panasonic came on top. Cool! I'll definitely will do a proper research on Panasonic and Sony!

Anita18
09-15-2010, 06:12 PM
I didn't get this part. What camera do you have right now? The model and the number should be on it. Do you need a longer zoom than that?

Um, a pocket camera and a concert (very difficult lighting) doesn't go together, ever. When it's dark-ish (and it's usually is), it won't focus fast enough, and still if someone moves it's going to be blurry. And of course grainy.
What Jackie means is the wide-angle aspect, not the zoom. The lens needed to start at a smaller size.

Yeah, pocket camera and concert is usually spells disaster, which is why I was so pleased with the Lumix at a dark skating exhibition under spotlights. :lol: It's a little blurry sure, but the colors actually came out pretty well. My sister's concert photos with her Canon come out a lot worse, but she still tries. :lol:


Some genereal advice:

- don't go for a lot of magapixels. Pocket cameras don't usually have a processor that can deal with so many megapixels = your pictures are going to be grainy and crappy.
- a longer zoom is not always better. Optical zoom is better than digital
Oh yeah, more megapixels are definitely not always better. Unless you want to print giant posters of your photos, 4MP will do for most people. Really.

The Lumix has 10x optical zoom, you can even set it to only use the optical. I find that picture quality mostly has to do with the quality of light sensor more than anything else. Digital SLRs obviously have better sensors than a P&S, that's why they're so much more expensive. :lol:


Also, I need to add that waterproof would be a fantastic feature. At the concert this weekend it rained heavily, my camera didn't give up luckily but I'm not sure it would have lasted much longer.

Thanks, I'll be looking out for good ISO then. I try to refuse flash as well but usually the pictures are too blurry then.
Honestly, you'd be better off covering your camera with a sandwich bag than trying to find a waterproof compact camera. There are definitely waterproof cases out there as well (there are even webpages teaching you how to DIY one), I don't think I've ever heard of a waterproof camera that wasn't either super-expensive or a disposable.

What you want is a good ISO range and exposure control (making the pictures lighter or the shutter speed slower), as well as a camera with a good light sensor. The latter is what dpreview.com is for. :) Sure the pictures will be grainy on a compact using more than ISO400, but maybe all you want to do is post some cool thing on Facebook and don't care to print it. In that case, having ISO800 (or even 1600) will be what you want. Under low indoor lighting at night, that's the only way I can catch the cats doing something cool without using flash. :lol:

carrot
09-15-2010, 06:16 PM
The Sony TX-5 is a good waterproof camera but I'm not sure how much it costs. The picture quality is not as good when compared to the lumix but it still does a good job.

dbny
09-15-2010, 10:22 PM
Whatever you decide on, check it out first at Steve's Digicams (http://www.steves-digicams.com/), which is a huge source of digital camera info, reviews, and discussions.

Reuven
09-15-2010, 11:05 PM
I agree. Steve’s is a good forum, and the layout should be familiar to everyone here. I have to agree with the advice given here. Although I’m partial to Nikon (D5000), Canon’s small cameras are pretty impressive.

Kasey
09-15-2010, 11:12 PM
Just wanted to add my thanks in here, because I'm looking for a better underwater camera to take on vacation in a few months, and have been comparing Fuji/Canon/Olympus.....now I'll add the Lumix to my comparison list! :)