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Old Mar 12, 2009, 5:11 PM   #1
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I have been reading through the "Best Cameras" on this site and can't seem to find anything to fit what I need. I presently have a Nikon D50 (DSLR) and an older ultra compact Minolta 3mp. I am never satisfied with any of the pictures I get from the ultra compact. There are times when I do not want to lug around the DSLR. Is their a camera made in the compact (standard size) that would satisfy a DSLR user? I am looking for something in the $300 range. The super zooms are too big for my needs. I would like at least a 5x. I don't think there is any reason for me to stay within the Nikon family for a camera like this. I don't think anything would be compatible with my DSLR.
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 6:52 PM   #2
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How about the Canon SX110 or the Sony H10? They both have 10X optical zoom, but I think they're smaller than the superzooms. I would probably go for the Canon.
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 7:09 PM   #3
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I shoot some high end Canon gear, and keep a Sony F828 in the car all the time, but carry around in my pocket most all the time either aSony DSC-T500 (has HD video, too, whichmakes up forits lack of a viewfinder) or a Sony DSC-W170.

Both cameras take very good photos for their similar sizes; my wife and I trade out a bit and she seems to prefer the W170 most of the time ... it has a bit better, less noiser low light (in-the-home) ability. I also bought one for my daughter for her baby shower gift and she happily takes tons of indoor baby shots.

Almost any P&S is a "red-eye-special" what with the flash located so close to the lens, BTW.

Nonetheless, boththe W170 and the T500produce excellent outdoor photographs, but the T500 does not have a viewfinderand thatcan be a problem in very bright sunlight.

Obviously, the lenses are the main issue between the P&S and the dSLRs, so there really is no comparison. But as pocket cameras, always ready just in case, both of the above Sony variants do very well.

All around, because of the T500's lack of a viewfinder, I recomend you look at the Sony DSC-W170.
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 8:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for your input. I did not see these cameras in my searches.
I like the looks of the Canon SX10 and Sony F828. They might be a little big for what I need. I do like the idea of the HD video on the T500. I did not mention it earlier, but I do want it to take video. This camera is for my 14 year old son who will be traveling over seas this summer. I wonder how good the new hybrid cameras are? I am willing to spend the money for that is small, but yet takes good pictures, and video.
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 9:25 PM   #5
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Have you thought about a Canon A720i ? I bought mine from Amazon for just under $200 last summer, and I use it as a snapshot camera. The controls are very easy, and everything can be over-ridden. It uses two AA batteries which are available everywhere.

The only minus (as far as I'm concerned) is that the camera has no .RAW or .TIFF mode.

(More information: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/spec...non_a720is.asp )

- Wil
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 9:53 PM   #6
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How about the Panasonic TZ5? It has 10x optical zoom (28-280mm equivalent) and shoots 720p HD video at 30fps. Metal body and compact size, too. Some reviewers complain about noise reduction and low-light performance, but there are a lot of happy TZ5 owners out there. The TZ5 doesn't offer manual controls, but it does offer a variety of scene modes, an "intelligent auto" mode that picks a scene mode for you and full automatic. If this is a second camera for general vacation-type and family-gathering snapshots, the TZ5 will work just fine. What's more, it can be found easily for well under $300.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonictz5/

http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/d...onic+lumix+tz5
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 10:02 AM   #7
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Good recommendations again. I now see that the A720 and the TZ5 (TZ4) were both listed in Steve's Best Cameras. I must have went through the list too quickly, or had my sites set too high at that time.

A720
If the camera does not have RAW, it would be OK. I rarely shoot raw on the D50. I like the idea of the AA's on this camera since power may not always be available for where my son will be traveling. 6X is a decent zoom. Any ideas of the low light and speed of operation performance?


TZ5
I like the HD 720 video on this.
10x is a lot of zoom on a small camera. Is this camera larger than it appears? How pocketable is this?
You mention poor low light capabilities. Do you know if this is just the typical low light performance seen on these types of cameras, or is this poor performance compared to other P&S cameras?
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 11:40 AM   #8
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One of my daughters - an art major - has been very pleased with her A720, including low light and macro work. If you do want raw, you can always use CHDK.
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 12:04 PM   #9
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Mole, is your daughter accustom to using a DSLR?
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 4:04 PM   #10
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No, she uses an old film SLR, but neither of us can afford a DSLR at this point. She has won a number of awards with photos from her A720 though.
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