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Old Dec 6, 2007, 11:52 PM   #1
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...and this time for a nice P&S digital camera. It isn't to be for me (as I am satisfied with my DSLR), but for one of our daughters.

We want to get her a nice one, for Christmas, and I thought that I had zero'd in on one for her, earlier today, until I learned that it did not have a viewfinder. She absolutely does not want one where the composition has to be viewed via the LCD screen, and I don't believe that 'movie mode' is a desired feature. It does have to be at least 5-megapixels (as I am sure that she will wish to print out some 8x10's occasionally). One that would take decent photos in low light settings would be nice also, as well as a minimum in the regards of shutter lag.

She loved my Olympus C-740UZ (though the shutter lag was a little difficult for me), before it gave out on us (it calls for a formatting of any card - even new ones - every single time that they are inserted).

So, I am hoping that someone, here, might be able to steer me toward a nice little digital camera for her.

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Old Dec 7, 2007, 2:46 AM   #2
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Alas the viewfinder on compact cameras is a vanishing feature.

Fewer and fewer have them and for those that do - well they're usually pretty awful.

I believe the Canon SD/IXUS range still include the viewfinders. That range is a big favourite with females in the 16-35 age group. From my own personal observations, not market data. (My wife, her sisters, most of their friends that I've seen at parties, etc.)

Very nice cameras too, though not the cheapest! Just a warning though, although they do have a viewfinder, 95% of people use the LCD because it's actually easier and more accurate (and doesn't take too long to adjust to it).

The much-delayed Sigma DP1 will have an accessory finder available when it ships, but that is probably a subject for next Xmas.
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Old Dec 7, 2007, 8:19 AM   #3
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If she wants something similar to your old Olympus, you may want to consider buying her an ultra-zoom. There are many out there that have an optical viewfinder. Kodak has the Z812IS and Z712IS, Canon has the S5IS, Fuji has the S700 and S8000fd, Sony has the DSC H3, Olympus has the SP560, Panasonic has the FZ8 and the FZ18. The catch is that they are all rather large (and expensive), not something that most teenage girls (I assume your daughter is a teenager) usually want.
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Old Dec 7, 2007, 4:36 PM   #4
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If you can find one, a Sony T series is a wonderful little camera. I've had mine a little over a year and it allowed me to sell my Nikon CP990 and move on to a DSLR for more serious stuff. There's enough sophisticated stuff to keep the photogeeks occupied and creative, but its also simple enough to hand to grandma and have her take a decent picture by just pushing the shutter button.

I carry this T30 with me everywhere I go on a daily basis. The battery lasts forever, it has a viewfinder, a monster of a 3" LCD, steady-shot option, and there's no external telescoping lens or leaf closure in the lens to get stuck. I had that problem with a previous Canon Powershot. My background is graphics & industrial design, and I think its also one of the best looking and most ergonomic on the market.

Sony has upgraded this T30 to T50's, T100's, and T200's. Mine has 7.2 MP, and the newest ones have 8.1MPs. The T200, T50, and maybe some others have a touch-sensitive back sort of like the iPhone/iTouch. The T30 and T100 have conventional P&S buttons which I sort of prefer. These cameras come in chrome and black models... I have the black and the piano gloss finish has held up well considering how much I use it, but I do keep it in a conveient simple leather "wallet" so its small enough to easily slide into my pants pocket.
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Old Dec 9, 2007, 1:51 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone, for your thoughtful responses. I will be researching the cameras mentioned here and, hopefully, will be able to come up with something nice for our daughter. She's 16 years old, and a great daughter.

I was just speaking with her, and sharing the information (gathered here) with her. It turned out that the reason she stood against composing shots via the LCD screen, is because of feeling that she'd have better control of the camera, by using it in the conventional shooting position. It was her feeling that this would help to ward against blurry shots due to arm movement. But I did explain that many offerings now come with some sort of 'steady shot' feature incorporated within. That made her feel better.

So, now, it is about trying to find her a good one out of the many models that are out there. I see that some come with embedded rechargeable batteries, meaning that the entire camera would have to be put in the charging state, whenever the batteries became depleted. Those that offer the ability to change out AA batteries are probably few and far between. But we'll see what I can find out :-).

Thanks again ~ to everyone.

Blessings to all.
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