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View Full Version : Please suggest a GOOD compact camera




gazfocus
Jun 17, 2008, 04:38 PM
Hi

Thanks to the overwhelming suggestions on this forum and another, I have today bought a Nikon D50 dSLR and I am loving it already :-)))

However, I am also looking for a compact camera that I can just keep in my pocket or bag so I've always got a camera everywhere I go (I would normally use a camera phone or something, but camera phone quality is rubbish).

I'm not too fussed about Megapixels but obviously has to be in line with current standards, and I would like a camera than has some form of image stabilising/anti shake.

My budget is an absolute maximum of 200.

Thanks



iBecks
Jun 17, 2008, 04:44 PM
Hi

Thanks to the overwhelming suggestions on this forum and another, I have today bought a Nikon D50 dSLR and I am loving it already :-)))

However, I am also looking for a compact camera that I can just keep in my pocket or bag so I've always got a camera everywhere I go (I would normally use a camera phone or something, but camera phone quality is rubbish).

I'm not too fussed about Megapixels but obviously has to be in line with current standards, and I would like a camera than has some form of image stabilising/anti shake.

My budget is an absolute maximum of 200.

Thanks

Panasonic Lumix - TZ3 would be well under 200, best compact camera iv'e come across.

You may even be able to get the newer model TZ5 for 200 if you shop around.

Eraserhead
Jun 17, 2008, 04:45 PM
Is the Lumix TZ the replacement for the Lumix FX?

I have a Lumix FX and its really good.

iBecks
Jun 17, 2008, 04:48 PM
Is the Lumix TZ the replacement for the Lumix FX?

I have a Lumix FX and its really good.

The TZ range have a 10X optical zoom, not sure if it's a replacement though.

QCassidy352
Jun 17, 2008, 05:01 PM
Panasonic Lumix - TZ3 would be well under 200, best compact camera iv'e come across.

You may even be able to get the newer model TZ5 for 200 if you shop around.

or their close cousin, the TZ4K. Somehow it's actually cheaper than the TZ3 on amazon (at least in the US).

reclusivemonkey
Jun 17, 2008, 05:52 PM
If you've already got a DSLR, I would go for the smallest and most compact one you can get so that you carry it everywhere you go. That's the only downside of a DSLR, its a lot to lug about. Something that is always with you to capture things you would normally miss would, IMHO, fill the gap that you DSLR will leave.

emorydunn
Jun 17, 2008, 06:05 PM
I posted this on another thread about compact cameras:
Personally I recomend the PowerShot SD1000. I have ahd the camera for about a year and never had a complaint about it.
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=145&modelid=14901

It's a small and compact camera but also has a ton of cool features built in. Oh, and did I mention it's cheap? I didn't, well the " Suggested Retail Price" from Canon's site is $200 (Hey! That's gone down from when I bought it... grr...)

I almost forgot to mention, it has a viewfinder AND a big screen. Something that is getting harder to find in point-and-shoot cameras, I think the viewfinder makes a huge differance.

gazfocus
Jun 17, 2008, 06:15 PM
I posted this on another thread about compact cameras:

Thanks. I had been looking at Canons (particularly the SD860/870 IS) because of the image stabilization.

I'm suprised no-one's suggested a Sony...are they not as good as Canon?

taylorwilsdon
Jun 17, 2008, 06:27 PM
Thanks. I had been looking at Canons (particularly the SD860/870 IS) because of the image stabilization.

I'm suprised no-one's suggested a Sony...are they not as good as Canon?

Sony (like all mfgs, but even more so) loves to smush tons of megapixels onto tiny sensors that would better fit cell phones. Their P&S's are nothing to write home about.

gazfocus
Jun 17, 2008, 06:33 PM
Sony (like all mfgs, but even more so) loves to smush tons of megapixels onto tiny sensors that would better fit cell phones. Their P&S's are nothing to write home about.

That's good to know....I never liked the camera in my Sony Ericcson phone to be honest. Just thought the P&S's would be better quality...I'll look into the Canon cameras then :)

Thanks

harcosparky
Jun 17, 2008, 07:15 PM
As a dedicated CANON SLR User I can say----> I love my Olympus 770SW P&S

Not sure what the current model is but the thing is ......

EDIT Current Model is the 1030SW ( added a pic of the 1030SW )

Waterproof
Crushproof
Freeze Proof
Shock Proof


Here is some pics from the web ......

marioman38
Jun 17, 2008, 08:10 PM
My parents just got the Canon PowerShot A720 IS, which I will go ahead and recommend. At 145 (MSRP), it can be found well within your budget. The IS works phenomenally, as I have set it in Tv to 1/15, and the end result was a sharp photo, handheld with that long of exposure. The Face Detection I have had little time to experiment with, but it seems to work effectivly, maintaining proper exposure on faces. The Digic III image processor leaves the camera with exceptional battery life, considering it requiring only 2 AA's. My parents like the 6x optical zoom, as their previous Fujifilm had only 3x optical. They claim they can notice the effect of the IS specifically at longer zooms, but I can not verify.

Canon PowerShot A720 IS Review (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canona720is/)

Eraserhead
Jun 18, 2008, 06:23 AM
Just thought the P&S's would be better quality...I'll look into the Canon cameras then :)

Thanks

Unlike their SLR's Canon compacts aren't actually special.

onomatopoeia
Jun 18, 2008, 09:34 PM
Unlike their SLR's Canon compacts aren't actually special.

Care to delve into that statement a bit further? Without further detail supporting your opinion your post is pretty much thread spam.

cube
Jun 19, 2008, 12:07 PM
Most ultracompacts are too automatic for my taste, at most they have scene modes in general. Those with priority and manual modes are very rare.

ChrisA
Jun 19, 2008, 03:00 PM
Unlike their SLR's Canon compacts aren't actually special.

I don't think we can make general statments about brands. Yes, taken as a class Canon compacts are not much better or worse then Olympus, Nikon, Panasonic and so on. But we don't buy classes, we buy just one camera. You have to compare model to model not brand to brand.

It makes little sense to talk about "Canons". But we can say things about the "Canon G9". The OP asked for a "Good" camera so we assume he is looking for top of the line camera as he did not ask for a cheap camera or a small camera. The other one to look at is the Leica "d-lux 3" or the d-lux 2 or the Panasonic verson of either of these. These adn the G9 all have larger sensors than most other compact camera and unlike most other compacts, they all shoot RAW format

davidjearly
Jun 19, 2008, 03:54 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Fuji, specifically something like the F50. It is one of the best compacts out there with a reasonable megapixel to sensitivity ratio.

Well within budget too.

David

cube
Jun 20, 2008, 11:55 AM
No one mentioned the F31fd, F30, or F20 because he has an S6000fd/S6500fd that he doesn't like.

davidjearly
Jun 20, 2008, 12:11 PM
No one mentioned the F31fd, F30, or F20 because he has an S6000fd/S6500fd that he doesn't like.

And?

The S6000fd and S6500fd are bridge cameras - completely different from compacts like the F50fd or F100fd. Also the F20 is relatively weak compared to the F30, F50, or F100.

skiesforme
Jun 20, 2008, 12:13 PM
Canon SD1000 (period)

cube
Jun 20, 2008, 12:20 PM
And?

The S6000fd and S6500fd are bridge cameras - completely different from compacts like the F50fd or F100fd. Also the F20 is relatively weak compared to the F30, F50, or F100.

The F20 is just a more automatic F30 w/o ISO 3200. It's not weak.

If he doesn't like the low light performance of the S6500fd/S6500fd, he won't like the F30 (or the similar F31fd or F20) as the improvement is very small.

Later cameras are just weaker.

So there's nothing to recommend.

davidjearly
Jun 20, 2008, 12:56 PM
The F20 is just a more automatic F30 w/o ISO 3200. It's not weak.

Yeah, so it is weaker in that it has less advanced features and aimed at a different market from those with an SLR. In any case, I'm not going to argue over semantics with you.

If he doesn't like the low light performance of the S6500fd/S6500fd, he won't like the F30 (or the similar F31fd or F20) as the improvement is very small.

Again, the low light performance from the Fuji's I gave mentioned are better than any other similarly priced compact. To compare it to what you would expect from a camera the size of the bridge models is foolish. Of course it will not perform the same as the D50, but it produces excellent results for a compact.

Later cameras are just weaker.

Wrong. The F50fd has comparable sensitivity performance to the F30/31 and gives better results during daylight.

So there's nothing to recommend.

Actually there is. Any one of the F30/31/50/100 would be perfect for the OP and that is from personal experience. There is a reason that the F30/31/50 have had such favourable reviews.

netdog
Jun 20, 2008, 12:59 PM
Lumix LX2
10MP
RAW and JPEG
Video
Wide Angle Zoom (starts at 28mm equivalent - a really great feature)
Three formats - up to 16x9
Leica glass - and a big piece of glass at that for a P&S

If you should a lot in dark situations, also consider a Fuji.

cube
Jun 20, 2008, 01:01 PM
Wrong. The F50fd has comparable sensitivity performance to the F30/31 and gives better results during daylight.

Actually there is. Any one of the F30/31/50/100 would be perfect for the OP and that is from personal experience. There is a reason that the F30/31/50 have had such favourable reviews.

dpreview's Fuji forum is full of Fuji users complaining than the F50 IQ is worse than the F30.

He also asked with a camera with IS. That rules out the F31fd, F30, and F20 even if he could find one.

CMD is me
Jun 20, 2008, 01:37 PM
I've had both the F31 and F50. The F50 is not in the same league. The F31 is more than a stop cleaner hands down. I've tried many side by side tests. The F50 has terrible AE and doesn't have a lens shift IS, but a sensor shift which doesn't work other than for a marketing bullet point. If you want a good Fuji for low light, there is the F40 (Ritz re-brands it as the F45 -- same camera, but nicer finish) which is nearly as clean as the F31 but offers better AWB manners.

If you want a good sunlight camera I suggests either a Canon like the A720, SD850 or the Panasonic TZ4/5. You can't go wrong with Canon or the TZ which has a great lens, 10x zoom, WA, super IS system and is now on par with Canon for image quality (better than the TZ3 was).

BTW, I've owned all the cameras mentioned so I know how they function first hand.

davidjearly
Jun 21, 2008, 05:55 AM
dpreview's Fuji forum is full of Fuji users complaining than the F50 IQ is worse than the F30.

Well, I've owned both and can categorically state that it is not. The F30/31 do have slightly better noise levels at higher ISO's but there is really not much difference in my pictures and the extra megapixel boost is worth it.

He also asked with a camera with IS. That rules out the F31fd, F30, and F20 even if he could find one.

But not the F50.

CMD is me
Jun 30, 2008, 11:14 AM
(first off I didn't read all the above posts, but wanted to offer help)

Panasonic TZ5... I've had 10 compact cameras and have a picky eye. The TZ series is one of the best compacts out there. If size it's a HUGE issue, consider the Canon S5 which is faster (zoom speed, aperture range and speed of AF). If size is an issue and you don't care for the 140-280mm range, you may want to consider a Canon SD series -- the SD850 is a great camera (but lacks the TZ's range and the S5's speed)

Ja Di ksw
Jul 2, 2008, 09:08 AM
fujifilm f31d.

I was going to buy this camera, I was just putting it off and got completely burned. They upgraded to a new model, so this "old" one almost doubled in price since they aren't being made anymore. People who have it don't let go of it that easily.

Why so much for an old model? Because it didn't just follow the "let's slap more megapixels on it and people will want it" philosophy. Instead, they kept it at 6 MP (which, let's be honest, is enough. You're not going to print bigger than 14 x 19 prints from a compact). So instead of trying to cram tons of MP onto the sensor, they have a large sensor for the # of MP (well, relative to other compacts). This gives you better shots, especially at night. If you want to do pictures without good light, this is your compact!

spatlese44
Jul 2, 2008, 09:47 AM
I could use the same help. I'm buying a camera for someone. I want to get her the same camera I have: Canon SD750. Surprised nobody has mentioned the Digic III processor, which is pretty cool. I did a lot of work researching my first compact P&S, which was an SD300. At the time, the processor made the camera more responsive than anything on the market. Is the Digic still that far advanced?

Anyhow, the person I'm buying for has criteria that are a little different. What's the best image quality you can get for under $300 if you don't care how big the camera is. Compact doesn't matter.

bking1000
Jul 2, 2008, 03:38 PM
I've had both the F31 and F50. The F50 is not in the same league. The F31 is more than a stop cleaner hands down. I've tried many side by side tests. The F50 has terrible AE and doesn't have a lens shift IS, but a sensor shift which doesn't work other than for a marketing bullet point. If you want a good Fuji for low light, there is the F40 (Ritz re-brands it as the F45 -- same camera, but nicer finish) which is nearly as clean as the F31 but offers better AWB manners.

If you want a good sunlight camera I suggests either a Canon like the A720, SD850 or the Panasonic TZ4/5. You can't go wrong with Canon or the TZ which has a great lens, 10x zoom, WA, super IS system and is now on par with Canon for image quality (better than the TZ3 was).

BTW, I've owned all the cameras mentioned so I know how they function first hand.

I second most of this. SD870 for wide angle, but short zoom. VERY nice pics in full light. Stumbles a bit in darker settings. a720 for more manual control. Downside is two AAs mean slow flash recharge. Same issues as SD870 in low light, but does have more zoom. G9 for best IQ compact cam coupled with easy menus and good zoom, but no wide angle and it's not as small as the others. (DP1 has better IQ, but fixed lens and lousy menus)TZ5 for super zoom and easy menus. Good IQ, but some people have some issues with the TZ5 IQ. Nice pocket sized.

To summarize:
If you want an all-rounder with best IQ and don't mind a mini-brick, then G9. If you want the very best IQ in a tiny size, and don't care about zoom or ease of use then DP1. If you want the VERY best all-rounder, but can sacrifice a bit of IQ, then TZ5. If you want strong all-rounder for full light shots, a720. If you want shirt pocket sized, with auto settings, wide angle and great full light shots, than SD870.

bking1000
Jul 2, 2008, 03:41 PM
I could use the same help. I'm buying a camera for someone. I want to get her the same camera I have: Canon SD750. Surprised nobody has mentioned the Digic III processor, which is pretty cool. I did a lot of work researching my first compact P&S, which was an SD300. At the time, the processor made the camera more responsive than anything on the market. Is the Digic still that far advanced?

Anyhow, the person I'm buying for has criteria that are a little different. What's the best image quality you can get for under $300 if you don't care how big the camera is. Compact doesn't matter.

Full light, or low light? If full light, just about any Canon a series (a720, for example). a650 is a VERY nice camera, but I'm not sure if it's under $300 at this time. How much is the Canon SX100 or S5IS? They might also be a good contenders. However, under $300 and good performance in low-light do not go well together. Maybe try a used Fuji f40?

And yes, Canons are still quicker than other makes, but the gap has narrowed significantly. The TZ5, for instance, is just a hair's breadth slower BUT you get 28-280 and HD video -- something no canon will give you.

jywv8
Jul 22, 2008, 04:59 AM
(first off I didn't read all the above posts, but wanted to offer help)

Panasonic TZ5... I've had 10 compact cameras and have a picky eye. The TZ series is one of the best compacts out there. If size it's a HUGE issue, consider the Canon S5 which is faster (zoom speed, aperture range and speed of AF). If size is an issue and you don't care for the 140-280mm range, you may want to consider a Canon SD series -- the SD850 is a great camera (but lacks the TZ's range and the S5's speed)

You know... I bought a TZ5 last week and ended up returning it after a few days of test shooting. I loved the features, build quality, size, weight. I even liked how it looked. I really wanted to like the camera. I wasn't expecting miracles, since it is a compact and all. But I was so disappointed by the image quality. I ended up exchanging it for a PowerShot G9, which I am really happy with.

I'm no pro or pixel-peeper. Maybe I was doing something wrong. But even my well-lit outdoor shots with the TZ5 were coming out so farking noisy. I couldn't stand it.

CMD is me
Jul 23, 2008, 11:55 AM
You know... I bought a TZ5 last week... Maybe I was doing something wrong. But even my well-lit outdoor shots with the TZ5 were coming out so farking noisy. I couldn't stand it.

Hum... that's odd. Not much you do too wrong when using a TZ5. The color mode can make a difference. "Natural" is more like Canon where as "Standard" is a touch more saturated has more sharpening. I've seen several TZ5 vs G9 posts and they are VERY close when used with similar settings. That said, on strictly IQ alone, I think Canon does a slightly better job with exposures. My S5 is always spot on. If I want the best IQ and fastest speed, I'll shoot with the S5. BUT if I want a compact camera with near Canon PQ, I grab the TZ. As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you and the S5 doesn't fit in a pocket!