Time for a new digital camera.... suggestions please.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Joeytpg, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Joeytpg macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    I'm looking for a small digital camera to replace my 2 year old Canon Powershot SD300 (it's a 4.0 megapixels) So far it's been a GREAT camera. Compact, nice quality pics, easy to use.

    But as time passes i have a need for new camera. I really like Canon as a brand, but I would mind owning a Konica Minolta or a Leica. I don't really like Sonys (in the camera department at least) and haven't owned a Nikon/Olympus/Pentax/etc/etc........

    So what am I looking for? basically:

    -Small (even though I don't need the smallest camera in the market)

    -GOOD/EXCELLENT quality pics, in outdoor/indoor AND NIGHT modes. (This is the only thing I'm not really happy about my current camera.... the night mode is not that good.....pics are very shaky if you don't shoot with a tripod or hold the camera incredibly steady.

    -Good big screen size

    I'm not interested in touch screen, etc etc.....

    So far I have two in mind

    -Canon Powershot A720 IS: this one seems to be a GREAT camera....the reviews on cnet dot com are very good, only two things I don't really like. 1) Size (seems to me a bit bulky to fit a pocket), 2) Batteries (I think it still uses AA batteries, that OLD TECHNOLOGY)

    -Canon PowerShot SD870 IS: I pretty much like everything about this camera.

    I don't know which one to buy, since I've read the A720 IS is a better camera, but the size/battery in the SD870 IS is calling me.

    what do you guys say? plus if you have another suggestion, hit me please. :)

  2. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast

    Canons are very nice in the P&S category. You really can't go wrong with either model.

    The SD870 is going to be more of an automatic camera, whereas I think the A720 has some manual controls.

    Regarding the batteries, generally, AA batteries are an advantage. You buy a set of rechargable AA's and you're good to go. If you're in the field and your batteries run out, you can pop into the nearest store to buy some alkalines to get you through the day. With the compact rechargables, you're SOL unless you brought along your charger, and then you're waiting an hour for it to recharge.

    When you're talking about "night mode", it sounds like you're talking about what is called a Night Scene. This is where the shutter is held open longer. Both of the Canons have IS, which will help, but for these shots, you really do need a tripod (or at least set the camera down on something). Having an optical viewfinder helps in this situation since you can brace the camera against your face as opposed to holding the camera out in front of you. Not sure if either of the Canons have an optical viewfinder.

    Another camera to look into is the Panasonic TZ5. It's got a great 10x lens (that starts at 28mm, which is pretty wide). It also has HD movie mode (1280x720). The downside is that it doesn't have too many manual controls.

  3. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    I agree on the TZ5. Have had SDs and a G9, and just got the TZ5. Very versatile, though the IQ on the Canons are a bit better.

    I disagree on the batteries, though it's a common statement that AAs are better. The proprietary battery packs have proven quicker at flash recharge.

    I've had an SD300 and SD800 for a combined 3 or 4 years now, and I've always had one spare battery for both cams. The batteries are so small, I carry them in my pocket. One battery is always charged ready to go, the other in the camera. I've never run out of juice in the field between the two batteries, this included my recent trip to Disney, where I did 300 photos in 2 days, no battery issues.

    The custom batteries also keeps the SD very small.

    So, if you REALLY want small, small, small and you are OK with fully automatic, you will not be disappointed with an SD as long as you buy a spare battery. If you want more manual control, you'll need at least the A series, which are also great cameras -- great cost/performance ratio (more features than an SD at a cheaper price), but just a little slower and a little bigger for my tastes.

    The TZ5 would also be a great choice. The TZ5 gives you more feedback on shooting conditions than the SD though less control than the A series you're looking at.
  4. Joeytpg thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    thanks for the replies guys.

    I own a spare battery for my SD300, great choice to have.

    Well I thing the S series is out of the Q. since manual controls is not really my thing, and I really like the compact rechargeables, and the smaller body suits me better.

    I have no clue about Panasonics, are they reliable cameras? So far I've been a Konica Minolta/Canon guy...... and from seeing the latest Sony (horrendous pics!!) I wouldn't want the Panasonics to be the same.....

  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Gues what? The above two requirements are at odds. The larger the CCD sensor the better the low light ability of the camera. The smaller the camera the poorer it will do in low light. A simple way to understand this is to think of a sailboat. A bigger sail catches more wind right? Same with light. Bigger pixels catch more light. It's just a law of physics or geometry that you can't excape. You need large pixels to catch more light.

    So, if it's big pixels you want. then if the camera is small you want fewer pixels so that each one is larger. Look for a 6MP sensor and a lens that opens of to f/2.8 There are loads of cameras like that. The other feature that will help in low light is if the camera can save images in RAW format that you can work with them beter in Photoshop or the like.

    The best option for low light is a an SLR but you said "small" and SLRs aren't small. Next best after the SLR would be a larger point and shoot like the Canon G9. Is the G9 to large? If so them you will have to give up on low light. No camera can do it all. Some of use have two cameras
  6. tennez macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2007
  7. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    IMO you should check out the Leica Digilux 3.
    Some people may tell you the Lumix is the same camera only cheaper .... It definitely is not.

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