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Old Sep 12, 2007, 5:35 PM   #1
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The expertise here is far beyond my goals or needs, but I would appreciate any camera buying suggestions you have for me.

I am looking for a fairly simple but fast point and shoot digital camera. I mostly take vacation and family photos. My antique Powershot A60 served me well for several years, but is is failing. The LCD is fading, pictures often have lines across them- it's time to let the poor thing retire, I think.

I take some vacation pictures, but most of my pictures are of a speedy toddler in settings ranging from the park (bright) to my living room (not so bright.) My only complaint with my A60 has been the time lag between when I push the shutter button and when the picture is taken. The lag before subsequent photos is also too long.

I would like a camera that has a good automatic mode, but will also let me make some adjustments as I get better with it. I'd prefer to keep the price around $250 but can be flexble with that. I've been reading up and talking to sales reps and the Panasonic Lumix keeps coming up, as do Canon's 640, 710, and 1000.

Thank you!


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Old Sep 12, 2007, 5:59 PM   #2
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MarchMom-

Canon has several cameras that might work out perfectly for you.

Canon A-570IS Camera:

This is an ideal camera replacement offing 4X optical zoom, Image Stabilization, 7.1mp and you will find the controls very similiar to your A-60. However, its shutter delay is minimal (roughly 3 to 4 times faster than your A-60. Because the A-570IS uses just 2 AA sized batteries, the flash recycle time does take a few seconds.

Canon A-720ID Camera:

This camera is somewhat physically smaller than the A-570IS, but instead of 4Xoptical zoom like the A-570IS has, the A-720IS has 6X optical zoom and 8mp of resolution. It too uses just 2 AA sized batteries, so expect a few more seconds on the flash recycle time.

Canon SD-850IS Camera:
This camera, like the A-570IS has 4X optical zoom, 8mp of resolution and a special wide angle position on its lens that allows the camera to easily take photos of large groups and landscape scenes. It also has a full metal case, increasing its durability. It uses a Lithium Ion battery instead of AA sized batteries.

While I have own four Panasonic cameras, I have not had a great deal of luck with them. The Panasonic cameras do very well indeed outside, but their image quality falls off rapidly when the flash is used indoors, or the ISO setting is increased above ISO 200.

I hope this gives you a good starting point. As always we are always here and ready to help you. Have a great day!

Sarah Joyce

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Old Sep 13, 2007, 2:33 AM   #3
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Thank you!

Based on reviews and input from friends, I'm only looking at the Canons now. I like my Panasonic camcorder, but I'm happy to stick with what I know for a digital camera.

I've read Cnet's comparison of the 570, 640, 710, 720, and 850 and the differences seem pretty trivial for what I want to use the camera for. If I understand it correctly...

- The 640 has 2 more mp than the 720, the 720 has more zoom capability. But both are so far above what I've been happy with all this time that I don't think it matters which one I go with.

- The 640 doesn't have Image Stabilization.

- The 570 is the slowest of the bunch shot-to-shot, but still a lot faster than I have now. It has 7mp and the same zoom as the 640, but costs $100 less.

- The 850 has a lithium ion battery instead of AA's. Does this mean it can take subsequent shots with flash faster?

If I got all that right, I think I'm leaning towards the 720 so I have more camera to "grow into" and as much shot-to-shot speed as I'm going to get without spending a lot more money. (Of course, no stores actually HAVE 720's for me to go play with first.) Did I get all that right? :lol:

Thanks again!




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Old Sep 13, 2007, 8:40 AM   #4
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MarchMom-

IMHO I believe that you get more "keeper" photos, if the camera that you are using has IS, or image stabilization. Beyond that you are very correct, all of the cameras I have listed, and that you have investigated, are indeed very high quality cameras. A great portion of the selection process has to do with three rather important factors:

(1) Your budget

(2) The physical size and dimensions of camera that you desire.

(3) How the camera feels in hand. Meaning, is the camera comfortable in your hands. Are the controls within proper reach for your finger span and the like.

As you have already done your "homework" with CNET, and the various reviews, you are also aware of the prices. Next you must forecast or project your photographic "needs" both now and in the future, to determine what features are essential for you. The final step is to visit a camera store or the so called "big box" stores to take the cameras in hand and to confirm their relative physical size, and how they feel in hand.

The search may indeed feel tedious at times, but, so too, there is an element of fun in it as well, as you are striving to get the camera that is the perfect "fit" for you. It is quite like finding the perfect birthday present.

Good luck, and have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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