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Old Jun 5, 2009, 3:19 PM   #1
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Default First Camera - Need P&S (Pocketable Prefered)

All right. I honestly have no clue about cameras and have never really owned one.

I'll be going on vacation with someone visiting me from out of the country in a few weeks and finally found the need to own a camera.

I've been looking through these forums and other places and there's a million different cameras. Really don't have a budget so whatever price is fine.

Will be taking indoor and outdoor pictures. Would prefer it to be pocketable (even a bit bulgey is fine, just don't want a monster) as I don't want to have to carry a case and crap with me every where. Just want the best without worrying about noisy/grainy pictures and work good in both indoor/outdoor without having to go to DSLR/Prosumer/monster cameras.


Last edited by xilo; Jun 5, 2009 at 3:37 PM.
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Old Jun 6, 2009, 9:31 AM   #2
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As a very general rule the Canon and Sony brands have strong noise reduction, for less grain. Though some photographers would rather have a bit of grain along with more detail. Here is a link to another thread on basic camera selection -


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Old Jun 6, 2009, 11:35 AM   #3
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Consider the Panasonic ZS3 or ZS1. They have very good reviews, and are in Panasonic's Travel Zoom family. Their lens gives you the option of a good wide angle (25 mm equiv), and zooms out to 12x optical (300 mm equiv). Operation is designed to give you good results in Intelligent Auto, or 27 Scene modes. Plenty to choose from, if you care to try. They are small, but may not fit in your shirt pocket.

If that is too large for you, consider a shirt pocket camera from the Canon SD series; SD780 IS, SD960 IS, or SD970 IS. You can use the Compare Now feature on the Canon website, as well as read reviews from users of these cameras.

All of the point and shoot cameras today use a small image sensor, so expect image noise to be present in shots taken at higher ISO settings (usually ISO 200 and above). You can use noise software in post processing to mask some of this with available free software like Noiseware to make images look better without over processing.

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Old Jun 6, 2009, 2:07 PM   #4
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About 5 years ago I picked up a Canon SD500. The only thing I would add would be IS or image stabilization. Its 7MP and does indoors and out just fine. That said, I gave it to my son and bought a Panasonic for some very specific reasons (wide angle, etc.). I also like the Panasonic line also. Between the suggestions, you really can not make a bad selection.

I would suggest the Canon SD870 only because it has the lowest pixel density - which will generate less noise than the others - with all else being equal. You only really need 6MP, and this is 8MP more than enough. We bought one at work, and it operates just wonderfully.

The Panasonic ZS3 should also be an absolutely wonderful camera too. It has a longer zoom. If you select this unit, just put it in IA mode and forget it, as the camera will do everything - other than point itself and push the shutter.

Both should be easy to use.

What ever you buy, get an extra battery, and consider a 8GB SD card or larger (maybe two if you are planning on taking a lot of pictures). Other than that you should be good to go.

Hope that helps....

Last edited by interested_observer; Jun 6, 2009 at 2:11 PM.
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Old Jun 7, 2009, 12:47 PM   #5
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Another vote for the Panasonic ZS3 and ZS1. They may be the perfect compact walking-around/vacation cameras - at least right now. Fantastic zoom range of 25-300mm (you'll appreciate 25mm for indoor shots and group photos). And Panasonic's Intelligent Auto function works very well, indeed. If you're concerned about 1080p high-definition video and an LCD with higher resolution, go for the ZS3, which runs $399 or slightly less. If you're only concerned with still photos (the lower-resolution LCD won't affect photo quality), then opt for the ZS1, which can be had for $299. Also... always buy an extra battery for any digital camera and make sure they're both charged up when you leave the house or hotel room.
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