What digital camera should I purchase?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bs2511feist, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. bs2511feist macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2011
    Hey everyone, my parents are looking for a digital camera just for pictures for vacation, events, etc... We don't need anything that special, just a compact, good quality, easy to use camera.

    I came to the forum for suggestions about what camera we should get or maybe just what brand. We don't want to go over $250.oo and i just want to make sure we are getting the best quality camera for our money.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks - Ben
  2. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you can't enumerate any specific needs and features you want then we can only offer generic advice. So,..

    1) You don't need a lot of "megapixels" so don't let that sway your decision
    2) Look for the best lens you can. A low f-number is a good indicator, also if there is a range a low maximum. So, f/2.8 is good f/5.6 not as good, f/2.0 real good
    3) Don't bother with long telephoto range, learn to use your feet. Wide angle is good you can never have enough width.
    4) Most name brands are good.
    5) most "intro to photography" books are OK. But those that talk about composition and subject matter over "settings" are really good. Buy one. Reading this will do more to improve your photos than spending double of tripple on a camera.
    6) see #5 again, that is what matters most.
  4. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Random Sony Lumix, Nikon or Pentax Point and Shoot. The link below will answer most of your questions without our random wisecracks..:cool:

    Digital Photography Review

  5. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    Sony makes most of the CCD sensor chips found in P&S cameras now a days, so any brand really will be fine. Fuji has some nice stuff!
  6. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Elyria, Ohio
    Another vote for Sony. I used a touchscreen point and shoot for over three years. Great camera and it has a ton of value. It still functions well and even battery life is "as new." Disclaimer: I did not shoot 50,000 photos during a weekend, but mileage may vary. :)

    When I bought the camera it was 400 bucks and I bet now it is half the price I paid in 2007. Happy shopping and you are in good hands as a member of this forum. :cool:
  7. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    iPhone 4.

    Seriously. It has a pretty decent sensor, and with the multitude of apps, can be the most versatile P&S out there.
  8. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    +1 on the canon. Great form factor and they're built great. Solid features that are useful and not too gimicky, very fast image processor in every model I find. Quality of the images are crisp and life-like.

    Testament to quality- My old A80 from 7 years ago is still going strong.
  9. MSM Hobbes, Mar 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011

    MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    For nicer shots, I've my Canon 50D + various lenses,,, but in the price range you are talking about, I really like what I've got with my different Fujifilm cameras over the past ~15 years. Colours, handling, ease-of-use, value, and performance are great, IMHO. Might look at: http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/
    Such as the Fujifilm FinePix S3200 and Fujifilm FinePix S2950; they are bulkier than normal P&S, but the quality is excellent.

    If you / parents want more compact, the Sony CyberShots and/or Canon PowerShots are very good too... see what fits your & their hands best, and ease of use will be biggest criteria.
  10. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    If you want a camera camera, I'd say the S95. It has manual controls for when the mood strikes you, or if you're feeling adventurous, but retains the size of a P&S.

  11. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    It's not under $250 though, is it?
  12. daver11 macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Not sure, but don't get too wrapped up in mega-pixels. Mega-pixels just let you print the photo larger, but you will probably never print a photo larger than 8x10 and they all have enough mega-pixels for that these days. (More mega-pixels will capture more detail, but if the print you make can't show the extra detail, what difference does it make?) Check reviews for photo quality, reliability and ease of use.
  13. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2008
    I've seen the canon rebel xti on eBay and a local classified ad for little more than $250, including an extra lens.
  14. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Oct 19, 2009
    Cedar City, Utah
    Agreed. I may be popping my XS on ebay soon for 200ish. Poster if you can snag a dslr and have patience to learn it, there are also auto and scene modes, you will get amazing pics.
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Random Name Brand Camera will suit most uses fine.

    Other things to think about.

    1) Batteries. Especially if your folks do a lot of travelling. Does the camera take AA / AAA batteries or a camera specific battery? If AA / AAA then when travelling if they get caught short they can buy new batteries affordably and just about anywhere. Or they can travel with rechargeables and bring a generic recharging station for any number of gadgets.

    Camera specific batteries will require that they travel with that camera's battery charger. Camera specific batteries also cost more. I just dropped $70 on a 2nd battery for a new camera - I always have a spare battery (or set of AAs) for my cameras. Adding a $70 2nd battery puts your $250 to over $300. If you go camera specific, at least price them out so that there aren't any nasty surprises.

    2) How do you get the images from the camera to whatever storage solution your folks are going to use. This is pretty standard now, but it's good to talk this over with them to make sure that they don't need a particular solution.

    3) Take them to a camera store and have them handle the cameras. Often it just comes down to how it feels in the hand, and what colour it is.

    4) Don't pay any attention to digital zoom. All it's doing is cropping in the camera, and discarding pixels.

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