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Old Mar 20, 2008, 10:10 AM   #1
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Hi. I REALLY need some help in picking my 1st ever digital camera. I'm extremely indecicive, so plz bear with me. What I want in a camera: 1) Ultra compact and/or pocketable. 2) $300< 3) When it comes to megapixels, I don't know. All I know is that I will not be taking alot of pics and megasizing them or printing them out. Maybe rarely, if my mother wants a pic for a frame, but like I said, very rarely. So I'm assuming standard?? 4) Standard Optical zoom. I dont need ultra zoom. Also, if it has both digital and optical, it must have a feature to disable digital because itll be pointless for me. 5) Optical image stabilization is neccesarry. I am very figity and take pics at night also, so its a must. 6) Manual controls arn't needed. To be honest, I'm a 21 year old college student. I want to be able to take beautiful pics on the go anytime, anywhere and leave it in AUTO!! I dont plan to be a photograher, nor do I plan on really messing around anything to change focus, iso, etc. I just want something thatll take amazing pics with no blurr or fuzziness with the touch of a the button. (also its because im a newbie, but w/e) 7) This leads me to another thing... AF. Wait do I need this?? I used my friends canon and nikon, and when i hold down the shutter button just a little bit, it auto focuses. I think this is a good thing, and if it is, I WANT IT!! 8) Built in flash is a MUST! I will take photos during the day alot, but also at night. By "night," I mean clubs, bars, parties downtown chicago, restaurants, events, concerts, etc. Ya know, the random stuff. I think I'm like the normal consumer, who wants to be able to take pics at night (by using flash) and have his pics actually turn out well without blurry, distorted, messy pics. 9) Movies. I want it to be able to take movies, pretty good video clips. When I put a large SD card in there, i want it to be able to take long, decent videos, even if it takes up all my memory temporarily. 10) THe LCD. I want it to be at least 2.5inches. Hopefully good resolution, anti-reflective/protective from the sun, and easy and fun to use. It can be up to 3inches, I dont really care. 11) that brings me to another thing, the optical viewfinder. I dont really care if I have one or not. I realize many manufactuers are just going away with it to compensate for the bigger LCD screen. From what I hear anyways, the viewfinder is so small, its hard to use it anyways, hense having none wouldnt bother me at all, considering im an amateur whos never used one, and likes the lcd anyways, assuming its not useless in sunlight. 12) plz have somewhat good battery life! At least 200 pics plz without dying every minute. 13) Oh, and a redeye removal tool! Considering I'll be taking pics with the flash at night time, I dont want all my pics to be red eyed, nor do I want to have to edit them on my computer individually. 14) SD compatible. Okay, so I really do apologize, but I really do need some help making a good choice, because I want be getting a new one anytime soon. Oh, btw, for any of your recomendations, can you zoom in on a video? If not, that's fine, jw. Thatd be cool, especially if the images didnt get ruined by it. Anyone who can help me would make my day by recommending some great cameras for my needs. Thankyou, have a great day! -Alex
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Old Mar 20, 2008, 2:59 PM   #2
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All the major digital camera companies make ultracompacts that would meet your needs. Canon, Panasonic, Sony and Fuji make good small cameras. For Canon, all the cameras in the SD series are good. The new SD1100 has been getting excellent reviews. For Panasonic, the new FS series has been getting very good reviews. Sony's top ultracompacts are the T series, but they are very expensive and have touch screen controls, which some people don't care for. Sony also makes the W series, which are more affordable and get very good reviews. Fuji's new ultracompact, the Z100fd, is very popular and gets good reviews.
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Old Mar 20, 2008, 11:43 PM   #3
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As AndyfromVA said, all of the major brands would do well. I would get an SD card, find a couple of camera shops near me and go see each of the major brands and their models. Take a few images with each camera, hold each one and play around with the menu systems and see what appeals to me.

I have an older Canon SD500 and it does everything other than being image stablized and that is really the only thing I would add. I will say, that the movies on the units are not out of a camcorder, so they are not going to be absolutely stellar, but they should be just fine. The Canon series might be a tad thicker that some of the others, there are thinner models, but you have to decide for yourself.

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