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Old Nov 19, 2008, 9:29 PM   #1
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Hi all,

I'm hoping to spend under $150 (if I include web shopping) on a new point-and-shoot, but might spend $200.

My main criterion is overall image quality. (I don't know if saying this is necessary on this forum, but please hold the sarcasm--thereAREother criteria one might consider.)

Assuming all other things are equal among three or four hypothetical point and shoots--say, a Nikon, a Sony, aPanasonic, and an Olympus; does the "Zeiss" lens on the Sony or the "Nikkor" lens on the Nikon, or a "Leica" lens on the Pana really beat the Olympus, which doesn't have a separate fancy name on its lens? Would those lenses make any noticeable difference at this price level?

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Old Nov 19, 2008, 11:14 PM   #2
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Among small, relatively inexpensive point and shoots, Canon, Panasonic and Sony GENERALLY have the best reputation. Nikon, Olympus, Fuji and Pentax GENERALLY are on the next level.

However, within each brand the camera models vary in quality, so you can't assume that all models from the same producer are equal in quality.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 12:23 AM   #3
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Image quality will be moot if the camera is out of focus. And focus performance is an area where the inexpensive cameras can be at odds. Not just brand-to-brand, but also model-to-model within the same brand. So I would suggest checking reviews for specific models instead of relying onlens name reputation.

Kelly Cook
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 11:20 AM   #4
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I doubt thateither Sony or Panasonic put top grade lenses on their bottom line cameras. You would probably have to spend over your preferred minimum to see a Leica or Zeiss lens. Even so, that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get great picture quality from one of those lenses in an entry level camera.

In digital photography, overall image quality is affected by a combination of the quality of the lens, the sensor and the processor. If any of those three elements is lacking, don't expect too much. Not too many (if any) entry level cameras are going to excel in all types of photography. Most will do well in outdoor pics in bright sunlight...most will not do well in available light photography or flash photography. You need to know which ones are best for the type of pictures you plan on taking.

Oh, and be very carefull where you buy online...lots of scam dealers out there - lots.

Good luck.

the Hun

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