Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 7, 2009, 5:08 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 21
Default

Looking for a camera to replace our Kodak DX6440 that has lasted us 6 years and been a wonderful camera for our uses.



We just need a camera for family functions, (inside and out), summer time walks by the water, winter time walks in the mountains, for our trip to the Caribbean on a cruise this winter, for a wedding reception this summer....as you can see, just your normal, daily family stuff.



Here is what I've looked at using Steve's site and a few others. Would love input from everyone.

Also, in easy to explain terms, could someone tell me what Focal range means? There is one camera on our list that has the largest focal range at 36-180mm, I'm assuming since it's the largest of the models we're looking at, it means it's a better one? My husband and I searched online but can't find easy explanations for us senior folks.



Here are the models:

Nikon S550

Nikon S220

Nikon L20

Olympus FE340

Olympus 1010

Olympus FE5010

Kodak Z1285

Canon A590IS



I would sincerely appreciate some info on one and/or all and if you have suggestions for models not listed, please post. The one model we are leaning towards is the Nikon S550



Thank you for helping us. We wanted something easy and that takes great pictures for our 50th anniverseary this winter on our cruise.


Just adding a small edit: Sorry, I forgot to sign my name like I see everyone else do.



My name is Melanie



melmg is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 7, 2009, 5:33 PM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Welcome.

When looking at point and shoot type camera models (versus a dSLR with interchangeable lenses), the manufacturers give the "35mm equivalent" focal range (the actual focal lengths of the lenses are much shorter).

In the case of the Nikon S550, that range is 36-180mm. That specification is designed to let you know the angle of view you have from wide to long. A shorter focal length will give you a wider angle of view (for example, the 36mm end of the zoom range with that model) for less apparent magnification. The shorter the focal length (meaning the wider the angle of view), the more you can fit into the frame from a given shooting distance. The longer the focal length (meaning a narrower angle of view), the less you can fit into the frame from a given shooting distance (and you may only be able to back up so far).

For General Purpose use, a starting focal length of 36mm is probably OK. But, in some conditions, you may find that it's difficult to get all of your subjects into the frame (for example, a group photo in a small room). So, sometimes a lens starting out a bit wider (shorter focal length) can be desirable. A longer focal length (for example, the 180mm end of that model's zoom range) can help to pull in distant subjects (so that they fill a greater percentage of the frame for more detail).

Here's a page that may help you understand it better. Click on where it shows "35mm Film" under the image (not digital, which is for dSLR models, since you have the "35mm equivalent focal ranges).

Then, use the slider at the bottom so that you can see the impact of using a shorter or longer focal length (the view you see will change with focal length).

http://www.tamroneurope.com/flc.htm

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 2009, 5:38 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 21
Default

Oh thank you so much. What a wonderful explanation and thank you for linking us up to read more. You were very kind to post and help us. Thank you again





That was a wonderful site. Thank you again.





OK Gang, help this "little old lady" find her camera.



Any thoughts on what we listed or should have listed/looked at?
melmg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 2009, 6:30 PM   #4
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Patience. ;-)

Not a lot of members have used many of those cameras, and I haven't see any images from the Nikon model you're interested in yet to see how it stacks up.

If someone has used one of those models, they'll probably chime in with their thoughts if they see the thread. You may see replies an hour from now, or days from now. It varies by thread.

A good place to start your search is Steve's Best Camera's List, which contains a list of models deemed to be a good value within their market niche. Make sure to read the review conclusion sections for camera you're interested in. It's the last page before the sample images in each camera's review here. That's where you'll see some comments on how a camera stacks up (performance, image quality indoors and outdoors and more).


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 2009, 8:30 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,870
Default

Melanie,

Welcome to the forum. I see you have done a lot of research, and have come up with quite a large list of potential cameras. But I have to ask you - how did you determine that all of the cameras you've listed will be adequate to serve your needs? Although you didn't tell us, it would appear that you are looking for a compact camera, with a price equal to or less than $200. If that is true, then I probably should just keep my mouth shut...but I can't...

You want to take pictures of the outdoors...scenic views...waterfronts...mountain vistas...awesome tropical beaches - but not one of the cameras you've listed has a wide angle lens to capture all of that beauty! You want to photograph family gatherings, inside and out...but without a wide angle lens, how do you plan on squeezing everyone into the scene? And how good are those cameras in low light settings as you will encounter in the average household? How powerful are the flash units?

Take a look at the Fuji F100fd....now I'll shut up...

The Hun

rinniethehun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 2009, 8:59 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 21
Default

rinniethehun wrote:
Quote:
Melanie,

Welcome to the forum. I see you have done a lot of research, and have come up with quite a large list of potential cameras. But I have to ask you - how did you determine that all of the cameras you've listed will be adequate to serve your needs? Although you didn't tell us, it would appear that you are looking for a compact camera, with a price equal to or less than $200. If that is true, then I probably should just keep my mouth shut...but I can't...

You want to take pictures of the outdoors...scenic views...waterfronts...mountain vistas...awesome tropical beaches - but not one of the cameras you've listed has a wide angle lens to capture all of that beauty! You want to photograph family gatherings, inside and out...but without a wide angle lens, how do you plan on squeezing everyone into the scene? And how good are those cameras in low light settings as you will encounter in the average household? How powerful are the flash units?

Take a look at the Fuji F100fd....now I'll shut up...

The Hun
Quote:
I'm going to take a look at it right now. Thank you for the suggestion and never apologize for helping out others. I, for one, appreciate you "opening your mouth"
Quote:
How did I determine? Well, they are a big step up on what we already have and all are almost, almost similar in some features. They all have a little more of one or another thing.
Quote:
I read a lot of Steve's reviews the last couple weeks before posting my question. Wanted to make sure I posted an informed question
melmg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 2009, 10:20 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 617
Default

Quote:
The one model we are leaning towards is the Nikon S550
The S550 has received very mediocre reviews. If you're sold on Nikon, the S560 has received much better reviews.


AndyfromVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 8, 2009, 11:17 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 21
Default

OK kids, after a day of reading more, great information from here, and a few emails that were so helpful from some members, we've changed our list and present it for your input.



Olympus SP-565UZ

Canon SX110IS

Panasonic TZ5

Fuji F100FD

Sony DSC-H10 (now we saw a H10/B model...that looked like the same as the H10)



Now, I realize we changed quite a bit but you all are so helpful you made us reconsider our choices and we just want to make a perfect choice.



I thank you all again for your help.



Your friend,

Melanie

melmg is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:54 AM.