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Old Jul 6, 2013, 03:57 PM   #1
quagmire
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Best middle ground camera?

My mom needs a new camera. She loves the photo quality of my Nikon D60 DSLR, but still wants the compact size of a point and shoot.

I was looking at the Canon Powershot SX160 IS. People seem to like it, looks to have a decent lens, etc. Only complaints so far is poor image quality in low light situations. But for $200, can't really complain. It does use standard alkaline batteries and eats through them( can always get rechargeable ones).

Any other suggestions? I know Canon and Nikon are considered to be among the best of camera makers right now. I would probably put the budget at $300.

EDIT: What about the Nikon S9500 and the Canon SX280 HS?
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Old Jul 6, 2013, 06:05 PM   #2
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My mom needs a new camera. She loves the photo quality of my Nikon D60 DSLR, but still wants the compact size of a point and shoot. ..
There is little difference between point and shoots. The big jumps in image quality occur when the sensor size is made larger. Your Nikon D60 has a MUCH larger sensor then any of the little P&S cameras.

A compromise is the Nikon Jr 1. It is close to your budget and smaller then a D60.

Also the D60 is cheap now on the used market. She could buy one (body only) for about $160. But if it is to big

My opinion is that today no one needs a P&S camera. Use a good cell phone camera and an SLR. Keep the phone with you all the time and the SLR for more serious work. If the SLR is to large go for a "mirror less" system or 4/3rds or whatever.
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Old Jul 6, 2013, 07:01 PM   #3
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There is little difference between point and shoots. The big jumps in image quality occur when the sensor size is made larger. Your Nikon D60 has a MUCH larger sensor then any of the little P&S cameras.

A compromise is the Nikon Jr 1. It is close to your budget and smaller then a D60.

Also the D60 is cheap now on the used market. She could buy one (body only) for about $160. But if it is to big

My opinion is that today no one needs a P&S camera. Use a good cell phone camera and an SLR. Keep the phone with you all the time and the SLR for more serious work. If the SLR is to large go for a "mirror less" system or 4/3rds or whatever.
I was about to say too expensive at $500, but saw Best Buy was selling it for $289( sale ends today).

But, what kills it is the lens doesn't go back in to the body so my mom won't be able to put it in her pocket.

The reason why the iPhone won't work is that it has no optical zoom.

A point and shoot is still relevant for her.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 11:05 AM   #4
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I would recommend the Fuji X20 (or the X10 if you can still get that for a discount): it's still compact, but comes with a decent lens and has good image quality.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 11:23 AM   #5
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If she likes the Nikon quality, get her a Nikon P&S. Has she played with the software on your camera?
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 11:32 AM   #6
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I would recommend the Fuji X20 (or the X10 if you can still get that for a discount): it's still compact, but comes with a decent lens and has good image quality.
Again, lens doesn't go back into the body.

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If she likes the Nikon quality, get her a Nikon P&S. Has she played with the software on your camera?
No she hasn't. Then again I haven't either. I just keep the D60 in its automatic modes. The pictures still come out great for me.

I am also looking into the Nikon P7700 and Canon G15. Both look pretty compact with the lens going back into the body. It seems to be the best of both worlds between a DSLR and a P&S. Best Buy has the P7700 for $389. Above the budget, but may get them to stretch it for that price. The cheapest I've found the G15 is $450. Definitely not going to get her to stretch it that far.....

The Sony competitor looks to be the best in class( at least best for her) as it looks to be the same size of a regular P&S, but with a good lens. But that is $650.....
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 12:33 PM   #7
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I been using a Panasonic Lumix ZS15 for about a year and pleased with it. I think the current equivalent is the ZS20 or ZS25. Powerful Leica zoom lens. Lens retracts into the body on mine.

edit: make that ZS

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Old Jul 7, 2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jessica Lares View Post
If she likes the Nikon quality, get her a Nikon P&S. Has she played with the software on your camera?
There is no "nikon quality". They make nice SLRs and some other cheap cameras. Same with Canon. With both the quality is all over the map and depends on the model.

Realy in the end it all comes down to the physics of the sensor size. Larger sensors are always better.

Other things, aftr the sensor size that matter:
1) Optical image stabilization, can reduce blur in low light. Look for that
2) A "fast" lens f/2.8 or better
3) the physical distance between the flash and the lens the greater the distance the better, it will reduce red-eye.

The next thing to worry about is shutter lag. Many small P&S camera take a LONG time to trip the shutter after you press the button. SLRs are the best at this with almost zero lag. (yes if not done right SLRs can lag)


The above features, especially sensor size, mater a LOT more than the brand. Look for #1 and #2.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 01:56 PM   #9
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I have a Canon G12 that I'm happy with. The G1X is out now http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canong1x
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 02:33 PM   #10
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Take a look at the Sony RX100 - possibly the best P&S available! They have just announced the mk2, so prices for the original model should drop.

If I remember correctly, it has the same size sensor as the Nikon 1 (1") & is very compact & has great image quality
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 02:45 PM   #11
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There is no "nikon quality". They make nice SLRs and some other cheap cameras. Same with Canon. With both the quality is all over the map and depends on the model.
I don't like Canon in the lowend myself. I've used them in film SLR, DSLR, and P&S to register a characteristic that I don't like about them, so actually I don't like them period. Casual use anyway. My Sony cameras have always given me better results, and the same with my current Nikon COOLPIX which was in the $200-300 range (but it looks like a smaller DSLR, so not in your interest).

There are brands who make lowend products that are similar in quality to their mid/high range ones. In my experience, Canon nor Olympus are one of those companies.

Which is why I said that if she likes the Nikkor lens on his camera, then staying within the Nikon family is his best bet.

Definitely agree with your points though.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 04:46 PM   #12
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I think she is leaning toward the Canon Powershot SX280 HS. Went to Best Buy and checked out the cameras. They didn't have the Nikon P7700, but did have the G15. The G15 is a tad too big for her tastes. That rules out the P7700 due it is bigger than the G15.

The Nikon 1 would be a great camera if it wasn't for the interchangeable lenses. She just wants something that she can put in her pocket and take it out quick to get the picture.

The Sony RX100 is still $650 at it's lowest price point....

And the review at Camera Labs says the SX280 produces a better picture with less noise and a bit sharper due to the sensor only having 12.1 MP and not cramming 18-20 MP onto the same 1/2.3 inch sensor. And she seemed to find the Canon easier to use over the S9500.

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Ca...HS/index.shtml

Right now it's either the 280 or the S9500 with both of us leaning toward the SX280. Especially since we can get the SX280 for $40 less from Amazon.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 05:06 PM   #13
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I shoot a Nikon DSLR, but for carrying around daily I love my Canon Powershot S100. It has a bit wider aperture than the SX280 so it does great in low light. The lens is not that long, however.

Definitely do not buy a PAS with alkaline batteries. They tend to eat through them. Have her get an extra rechargeable to carry with her for swap out, but unless you are shooting a lot, a the rechargeables last a long time.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 05:18 PM   #14
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I shoot a Nikon DSLR, but for carrying around daily I love my Canon Powershot S100. It has a bit wider aperture than the SX280 so it does great in low light. The lens is not that long, however.

Definitely do not buy a PAS with alkaline batteries. They tend to eat through them. Have her get an extra rechargeable to carry with her for swap out, but unless you are shooting a lot, a the rechargeables last a long time.
My parents like the 20x optical zoom of their old camera. The S100 only has 5x optical.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 07:15 PM   #15
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Sony RX100, Lumix LX7 or some Fuji small camera. Canon and Nikon are way behind when it comes to anything but DSLR. To a certain point, they live of their reputation. Some people even think that there is a "Nikon quality"...
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 08:57 PM   #16
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What you want is really incompatible: collapsable lens, 10x zoom, dslr-like image quality, cheap. Such a thing does not exist. The Canon S110 is one of the best point & shoots on the market for instance, but it's »just« a good point & shoot. From your posts, I gather, though, that in the end, you prioritize size and compactness over image quality so that camera may be worth a look. Regular people usually don't mull over image quality the way we do.
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Old Jul 7, 2013, 09:08 PM   #17
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What you want is really incompatible: collapsable lens, 10x zoom, dslr-like image quality, cheap. Such a thing does not exist. The Canon S110 is one of the best point & shoots on the market for instance, but it's »just« a good point & shoot. From your posts, I gather, though, that in the end, you prioritize size and compactness over image quality so that camera may be worth a look. Regular people usually don't mull over image quality the way we do.
I know hence why I tried to get my mom to consider the G15 or the P7700 because they appear to be the best compromise between DSLR quality, but compactness of a P&S. But, she wouldn't go for it. Best Buy didn't have the P7700 to see, but did have the G15. It's an incredibly compact camera. Even I would consider it as a potential replacement for my D60( not looking, just saying).

I'm not that big of a photographer, but I appreciate the photo quality of the DSLR over a P&S. I have gotten great shots using my D60. Most notably Robinson Cano's 100th career HR and Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit.
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 12:06 AM   #18
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If Nikon, then V2. with adapters you can use it with DSLR lenses.
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 11:15 AM   #19
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I've been happy with the Nikon AWS-100.
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 01:06 PM   #20
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She should know that shes not going to get anything like DSLR quality with a compact point and shoot, so what your camera looks like is irrelevant if she wants a compact. A compact isnt going to look much better than a modern phone unless you go top of the line.

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Old Jul 8, 2013, 01:29 PM   #21
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For me, nothing holds a candle to the Sony RX100. It's compact, has a great lens, and a good sensor (which is better than the one found in a D60). The Canon G1X, Nikon Coolpix A, and Sony RX1 all pack DSLR quality into a small package, but for price, size, and performance, the RX100 is my choice. It's my everyday camera (Olympus E-M5 and Nikon D800 are my backups ).
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 02:40 PM   #22
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Have you considered the Nikon P330?
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 09:33 PM   #23
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Went with the Canon SX280. What decided it was the fact the Nikon could only do 5 continuous pictures and took forever to process them. While the Canon does 7 and was faster in processing it.
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Old Nov 3, 2013, 11:53 PM   #24
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How is the battery life and wifi connection? I'm almost thinking about pulling my trigger on this model but review isn't too great. May be they figured out the issue by now on the battery indicator glitch? Have you encounter the same issue? Were you able to solve the problem with mac ?

Also looking at their older model sx260. But I wonder if the low light setting is a good as the sx280 ?
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Old Nov 5, 2013, 10:23 PM   #25
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RX100 is the king of the compact cameras, worth every cent of the high asking price IMHO
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