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Old Aug 3, 2012, 2:35 PM   #1
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Default please help us find our perfect little digital camera

Hey, it's time to go shopping for a new camera. :-)

And I really need advice!!

We've been getting by with the 8MP point and shoot in my Samsung i8910 phone for the last couple of years, and it's actually served us pretty well. But now we have a good idea of what we really want in a camera, and I'm hoping that this year's offerings are going to get us pretty close.

So here are features important to us:

1) good battery life
2) good low light performance (indoor shots without flash, etc)
3) ability to take continuous multiple shots (something like 10 fps would be ideal)
4) shoots 1020p video thats not too compressed (so we can grab frames later without too much blur)
5) fast startup time
6) portability - I'm used to something that can fit in a big pocket, the celphone camera was ideally handy...

What's NOT too important?
1) Megapixels - the vast majority of our pics end up being 1200 pixels for emailing, etc. We probably don't ever need more than 10mp, to be honest!! For us - 14, 16 mp is just wasting the battery and probably slowing down the shooting...

2) Zoom - a little is OK, but it's not critical for us

3) Manual controls - sometimes we need to adjust exposure, and maybe use spot metering, but we're mostly OK with "point and shoot on full auto"

So... what's a currently available camera that "does it all" - ideally a 10mp camera with great lens, great low-lux sensor, and continuous shoot capability, that can also do fullHD video?

And can such a beast comes in a very compact package with great battery life??
Perhaps even one of the new crop of "ruggedized" models ( water-proof, drop-resistant)??

Any and all advice to steer me towards (or away from!) certain models would be greatly appreciated
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Old Aug 4, 2012, 10:55 AM   #2
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Might be some ideas in this thread:
Rugged camera with best image quality - is ?
Lumix TZ60
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Old Aug 4, 2012, 2:20 PM   #3
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thanks for the lead :-)

I'm looking hard at the Canon PowerShot Elph 310 HS - for a lo-budget (nearly discontinued) camera it has got several good points for us:

1080p video
decent aperture (3.0)
relatively quick continuous hi-res shooting (3.5 FPS)

Anyone have experience with this particular unit ( or would recommend something better?)

I've found the 'best pics' (content if not quality) seem to come from grabbing frames out of video, so continuous shooting mode is extremely interesting...
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Old Aug 5, 2012, 3:02 AM   #4
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if you're only planning to shoot in auto mode, the elph series are nice cameras, and the 310 is very well liked by a large number of people. some say it's their favorite camera. i like the 510 and the sd4000, but they're both very different cameras in the elph line - one has full manual settings and f/2.0, the other has a touch screen that i liked. you might also look into the 300, which has a faster aperture, and can still be found some places.
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Old Aug 5, 2012, 4:55 AM   #5
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Depending on how "bijou" you want to be.... maybe consider Nikon's J1...?
10mp,fast autofocus,FAST burst modes,and even PASM modes should you wish to indulge- even if they are in the menu as opposed to being on a dial.
Pocketable also with their 10mm f/2.8 lens attached- and pretty good in low light for a smaller sensor...
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Old Aug 5, 2012, 2:32 PM   #6
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J1 is beautiful, but pretty big and not available locally.

ELPH 310 is out of stock now every where in town.
We're currently leaning towards a smokin' deal I found locally on Canon ELPH 500 (IXUS310).. at 4x2x1 inch, i think its the biggest camera we can manage.

(I'd love to have something half as thick, but not many contenders out there with aperture 2.0 )
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Old Aug 9, 2012, 6:32 PM   #7
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Followup: bought the ELPH 500 (IXUS310). At $168 it was the best deal locally available. Tested today, results are encouraging.

1) outdoor pics VERY SHARP, colors very good, indoor shooting very good
2) battery life - got 256 12mp pics, plus 8 1920x1080 short video clips (total about 5 minutes) before low battery warning. The canon spec claimed 220 pics, so I'm not disappointed.
3) 3MP burst mode works great, its firing off about 8 frames per second continuous, I tried a couple bursts of ten seconds or so, it didn't fill up, or slow down. Focus is excellent.
4) video quality is EXCELLENT, really sharp, good colors, smooth playback
5) screen is EXCELLENT, very sharp, and I was out in VERY BRIGHT FULL SUN for an hour today, and had no trouble whatsoever seeing the screen, even though the brightness was on the default ( 3 out of 5). I can contrast that starkly with my OLED samsung 'camera-phone' where bright sun made the entire screen invisible...


1) the P mode continuous shooting is disappointing, as it only manages about 1 frame per second at any size (I tried 12 mp, 6 mp, 3 mp...). Seems you get to do that as long as you want, but it's nowhere near the published spec ("approximately 3.4 images per second"...) That's using a Lexar Professional 600x UHS-116 meg card which my card reader could access at 35 M/sec

2) as reported in most reviews, the touch screen is not very responsive. Maybe 1/3 the reaction of my cel phone. I'm getting better, but it's still a pain to get it to click or drag when I want it to (and running the calibration didn't help much). Not so bad I would dump the phone, but certainly 'takes a lot of getting used to'!
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Old Aug 10, 2012, 12:11 AM   #8
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when i had the elph 510, i didn't have the problems some people had with the touchscreen, but i used a fingernail rather than fingertip. perhaps that might also help with the 500?
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Old Aug 11, 2012, 3:25 PM   #9
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I would seriously consider the new Panasonic FZ200 - at $599 a wee bit expensive - but I betcha you'll never look back.

~fz50 fan~

Last edited by capnblinski; Aug 11, 2012 at 3:27 PM.
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Old Aug 11, 2012, 4:43 PM   #10
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I am a semi-pro aviation photographer with serious Nikon gear. However, for my P&S I have been very pleased with the Canon S90 (latest model is the Canon S100). Here's a recent sample (compact size, manual controls, f/2 aperture and great IQ and low noise due to a image sensor that is larger than those in your $200 P&S camera.
Carnival Rides

Also, here is a review from a source that I rely on : http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/s100.htm#rex

The S100 is more expensive than your run of the mill P&S, but the results reflect the premium price.

Good luck.
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