Recommendation for small digital camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Badandy, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. Badandy macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #1
    First off, I am quite intimidated (not really, but in awe) of all of you professional and amateur photographers on this board. So basically, I have really simple needs, I don't need anything that you would want or desire.

    This is what I want: I want a very small (like the size of Sony T series, or of the Kodak V series (which is slightly larger than the T)) digital camera that will take good quality photos (but not professional) to use for just printing out small photos or uploading them to the internet. I guess the most important thing is form factor, I really want a great looking camera that is just cool to whip out and snap a few pics, as you can tell I am really not a serious picture taker. Ideally, I wouldn't want a 500 dollar camera like the T30, hoping for a good camera with reasonable resolution in a lower price range.


    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. ksz macrumors 68000

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    #2
    I would recommend something like the new Canon PowerShot A430, which can be had for US$150 or less.

    Reasons for recommending:

    1. Uses the Digic II image processor (same processor used in all the new models, including the very high end dSLRs).

    2. 4x optical zoom!

    3. 4 Megapixels. This might sound small, but some of the lowest noise and sharpest digital pictures in my experience were taken with an old Canon G2 (also 4 MP). Because point-and-shoot cameras have very small image sensors, the lower megapixel rating means it uses bigger photo-sensitive elements (pixels). This means lower noise and higher per-pixel sharpness.

    4. Uses two AA batteries. Whenever they run out, just buy a new pack or purchase your own rechargeables.

    5. 640x480 movie mode.

    6. Canon picture quality. Some may think the colors are overly saturated, but most find Canon's picture quality to be among the best.
     
  3. Badandy thread starter macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #3
    Is it true that less megapixels result in increased quality (to a point)?


    Is there something similar with just amazing looks, I really like the look of the Sony T5 right now. Do people generally like that or is there an equivalent?


    EDIT: That camera does have some really great features though.
     
  4. ksz macrumors 68000

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    #4
    It is generally true that larger pixels (individual photodetectors in a digital image sensor) have less noise and better sharpness because (a) they capture more light, which in turn induces stronger currents [photoelectric effect] as light levels change, and (b) the optical resolution of the lens itself is more than sufficient to accommodate the resolution of the image sensor.

    There are several credit-card sized cameras including the T5 (which is pretty good for beginners), the T9, Casio Exilim, Fuji FinePix Z1, Nikon CoolPix S series, etc.

    All of the current models are good enough. Beware of some Panasonic models, though, because they exhibit very high noise (my Panasonic DMC-FX7, for example, is really disappointing in the noise department).

    For a bunch of user reviews, click here, pick a manufacturer, and subclick on a model of interest.
     
  5. Badandy thread starter macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    #5
    Thanks a lot for the help. The Exilim series look particularly good for the price and look great as well. I think I will check those out.


    EDIT: I read through all of those cameras and it looks like the Exilim S600 is what I am looking for. It can be had on pricegrabber for 248 even though it is a 350 camera and looks like it has a bunch of features. Does anyone have this camera? now I need to decide whether I should get it in Orange or Silver
     
  6. hkramer macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2006
    #6
    I was actually thinking about getting the same camera but have heard that the exilim series isn't great on Macs (I have a MacBook Pro and would want to import my photos into iPhoto). Has anybody had any experience with the using the Exilim series on a Mac?
     
  7. extraextra macrumors 68000

    extraextra

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    #7
    I have an Exilm camera, works fine, connects quickly and there are no problems.
     
  8. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #8
    I have the Casio Exilim Z-750 and never have experienced any problems with images on my iMac.... However, I do not use the camera to upload directly, I use a card reader, and that way there are no issues.
     
  9. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #9
    I was reading the thread, thinking of how I could be offer some assistance. That's when I skimmed over Clix's post, and mistakenly thought the Casio said Canon.

    I swear I did a Warner Brothers cartoon style quintuple-take.

    :D
     
  10. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #10
    :D :D Hey, I'm really not a Canon-hater!! I just prefer Nikon for my DSLR gear.... Actually, the reason I have the Casio at all is because last summer I was in a situation where I didn't have any camera with me and was not going to be able to get back home for a while, so one day I said, "I've just GOT to have a camera!" I was in a pretty rural area of North Carolina so there were not a lot of options, but I went to the local Radio Shack and lo and behold they had a couple of Casios and some other P&S cameras (HP or something). I remembered having seen some good comments about the Casio line of cameras so bought one and was really rather pleased and surprised with that little camera. It was great to be able to stick that in my pocket and have it with me wherever I went and the image quality, while not up to my DSLR, certainly was more than acceptable.

    Now, had that Radio Shack had a couple of Canon P&S cameras I undoubtedly would have come home with one of them, but they didn't....
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    To add to this:

    Digital cameras have sensors that generally come in 2 sizes: one is the larger 1/1.8" sensor, and the other is the smaller 1/2.5" sensor. If you can find a camera with the larger sensor that's around 5-6 MP, that's absolutely fine. All of today's cameras that have 7-10 MP will use the larger 1/1.8" sensor size so that each pixel can be larger and produce less noisy photos, but since there are so many pixels, the pixel sizes are still very small and will be noisy.

    I'd aim to get a 5-6 MP camera with a 1/1.8" sensor. I have a Canon SD300 4 MP camera with the smaller 1/2.5" sensor, but since it's only 4 MP, the pixels are still quite big and so it doesn't produce unusably noisy images in low light. :)

    I don't think the brand matters much for those really thin cameras, but Fuji, Casio, Canon, Olympus, Kodak, etc....likely all make some nice small cameras. :)
     
  12. serpent macrumors member

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    #13
    I was looking for a pocket sized P&S also, leaning towards a DMC-LX1. But the new Samsung NV series has now caught my eye! The NV7OPS or the NV10 @ $399 and $349, if these live up to all of Samsungs' hype not only are they priced right, they should be damn good cameras!

    Serpent

    FS: D70s/18-70/xtrabattery/hoodsman$750
     
  13. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a

    ZoomZoomZoom

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    May 2, 2005
    #14
    I've gotten chances to play with the earlier models, the newest of them being the S500 (which I recommended to my roommate, who bought it and is very satisfied with it). Great camera, good quality for a P&S, and ridiculously portable. Although I get technically better with my D70s, he gets all the candid, fun moments because all he has to take around is a thing the size of a small credit card stack.

    Orange is hott.
     
  14. DaftUnion macrumors 6502a

    DaftUnion

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    #15
    If you look at any photo enthusiast site...usually 5 or 6 of the top 10 cameras are Canon...also goes for top sellers on Amazon.

    I'm not saying that other brands don't make great cameras...but I'd have to say that Canon is among the top or the top for cameras.

    Just some food for thought...but buy whatever camera appeals to you.:)
     

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