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Old Mar 9, 2011, 2:45 AM   #1
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Default Point and Shoot for cute yet fast moving baby!

Hi all, we are in the market for a new point and shoot and we are totally overwhelmed! We just had a baby a few months ago, so we have definitely been much more active on the photo front!
We currently have a canon powershot SD870 and have enjoyed it for some time. Unfortunately, the screen is going out on us.
Here are the sorts of things we are interested in:
-fast shutter speed, ability to take several photos quickly (babies do cute things so quickly!)
-good pictures in low light
-easy to use. I am most likely just going to go on auto, so I don't necessarily need crazy modes. Although, my mechanical engineer husband does like to tinker
-video (not totally crucial, but its handy)
-size: i like that I could put the SD870 in my pocket. I would stay like to stay somewhat small, but it doesn't necessarily have to fit in my pocket.
-image stabilization. I have seen this come up on a lot of new cameras and that sounds handy.
-price: no more than $300

I have been looking (briefly) at the panasonic FX75K since amazon has it on sale right now. But I am totally open to other brands. I have liked nikon, olympus and canon in the past.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be very much appreciated!!
Thank you!
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 6:42 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mariacg View Post
-fast shutter speed, ability to take several photos quickly (babies do cute things so quickly!)
-good pictures in low light
I think you need to keep your expectations in check a bit.
First, a bit of clarification: "fast shutter speed" and "ability to take several photos quickly" are two different things. When looking at "ability to take several photos quickly" you want to look at the camera's burst rate or frames-per-second (FPS). That will tell you how many photos per second can be taken WITHOUT FLASH. When you're using flash, things are different. Usually when you use a built in flash you'll have to wait 1-3 seconds or more between shots for the flash to recharge.

Now, the biggest issue is still going to be the relatively slow time for that first shot if you're not pre-focused on your baby. That's the tough part - waiting for the camera to start up and focus. When you're not shooting active children people don't tend to notice that lag time but in your situation you'll still notice it.

As for good pictures in low light - I wouldn't expect much without the use of flash - especially with an active baby. I say this as a father & uncle. I have a professional DSLR and pro grade lenses and flash is essential with that equipment. You can't expect a small-sensor digicam to get a lot of quality in-home low-light shots of an active baby.

I'll let others chime in on digicams in the $300 range. I just wanted to help set expectations before you spent your money - you're looking at a challenging task and it's one that you have to adjust your expectations on.
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 10:30 AM   #3
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JohnG is 100% correct, Mariacg-

There is no "silver bullet" out there than can do all of what you want for less than $300, with at least 5X optical zoom. The use of flash will be essential (again as JohnG said in his post) even in a rather brightly lighted home, and particularly at night time.

Stopping the quick motion of a child is very challenging. In 99.7% of any photo environments, flash will be required. The best suggestion I can make, and it will not address everyone of your "bullet points" is the Canon SD4000 which only has 3.8 zoom, but does have a fast F2.0 lens.

The FX75 does have a F2.2 lens but that is only at 24mm. As soon as you begin to zoom that lens the light gathering ability of the FX75 drops dramatically. In addition Panasonic is charging a lot for that not really needed touch screen capability.

All of our eight children are grown-up and have their own families. But I am still well aware of how difficult taking photos of small children really is. What you are asking for is really best done with a DSLR camera with some pro-quality lenses, so any solution you might decide upon will be a compromise solution.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 11:02 AM   #4
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Default Thank you!

Thank you Sarah and John for your replies, I really appreciate the information! I will definitely look into the SD4000. I wish I could go the DSLR route but I think it would just be too bulky and expensive, I imagine. I am definitely willing to compromise. I think the most important things to me would be the size and the ability to take pictures quickly and easily.
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