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-   -   Canon Powershot SD300 vs. Sony DSC-P100 (

dbphilips Nov 22, 2004 3:37 PM

I want to buy a new digital camera, and am stuck in choosing between these two right now: Canon Powershot SD300 and the Sony DSC-P100. These are my criteria:
  1. Ultracompact (easily fits into pants pocket) [/*]
  2. Takes great pictures (for an ultracompact) [/*]
  3. 4MP or 5MP [/*]
  4. 3x optical zoom [/*]
  5. Takes good movies, so I don't have to buy a new camcorder too (my old one broke) [/*]
  6. LCD around 2" (or bigger, of course) [/*]
  7. Convenient media and battery configuration [/*]
  8. Good battery life [/*]
  9. Rugged, so that I don't get too nervous when my 12-year-old son uses it (or I forget that its in my pants pocket!) [/*]
  10. And, oh yeah, around $300 is okay
I know, I know, you're gonna want to know what kind of picturesI take. Well, I am a father of 3 kids and 1 dog, so its the usual for my demographic:
  • Kids, dog, family - indoors / outdoors - typically 10 feet away or so [/*]
  • School plays and school band concerts [/*]
  • Kids playing soccer, tennis, etc. [/*]
  • Birthday parties [/*]
  • Vacations [/*]
  • Occasionally scenic shots of nature, buildings, etc.[/*]
Thanks for your suggestions and input!

smc Nov 23, 2004 9:58 AM

Both are great picks and I think pretty equal.

SD300 a little smaller, purple fringing issues

p100 a ittle cheaper, a surprisingly so-so review from cnet, only one I've ever read that said anything bad about the p100, memory stick more expensive (MS pro vs fast SD)

JimC Nov 23, 2004 10:08 AM

dbphilips wrote:

  • School plays and school band concerts

If you are outside of the flash range (which is reasonably short with these models -- you'll see the ranges in the specs), don't expect to get usable shots indoors without a flash or tripod. You'll havehigh noise (from increasing ISO speed) and/or motion blur (from shutter speeds that are too slow for the lighting conditions).

Indoor photos without a flash or tripod are very challenging for a camera (what looks bright to the human eye, is not to the camera's lens).

For these types of photos, you'll need a camera capable of shooting at higher ISO speeds, as well as a very bright lens. None of the subcompact cameras are going to fit this criteria (you're getting into DSLR territory).

Now, you *might* be able to get by with one of the models using a stabilized lens that's able to maintain a constant aperture throughout the focal range indoors. But, depending on the lighting, you may even find the quality from some of these to be unacceptable (depending on the viewing/print sizes needed).

See this thread for an explanation of why indoor photos without a flash or tripod is difficult (and you'll likely be outside of the flash range for indoor concerts and plays):

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