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Old Jul 23, 2009, 11:59 AM   #1
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So I do computer geekery for a property management company. When we do apartment checkouts we take pictures of whatever the tenant damaged or left behind. I need to buy several dozen cameras for our upcoming 'big move-out day', and I'm looking for camera advice. I can't spend more than $150 per unit, it must take AA batteries, it must take good interior pictures with mixed lighting, it must be moderately easy to use, and it should be relatively durable (as much as a digital point-n-shoot can be).

Among others we've had Canon PowerShot A-series units before and they've always done a competent job. It looks like the A590 that we've got about ten of is EOL, so I got an A1100 IS to test it out. I was pleased with the pictures it took, (though some seemed a little soft), but one thing that worries me is that when set to auto, the camera is constantly auto-focusing itself anytime you move it, so I'm worried that long-term the mechanical innards aren't going to last.

Any ideas? I'm open to different brands and models as long as the job gets done.

Thanks!
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 1:31 AM   #2
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Canon is tops for AA powered compacts. Take away the AA requirement and then several other cameras would come into play.

Kelly Cook
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Old Jul 26, 2009, 10:28 AM   #3
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Jim-

How about the very dependable, highly rated Canon A-590 IS camera? It sells for around $(US) 125.00 to 130.00 and uses two AA batteries.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 26, 2009, 1:25 PM   #4
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Are you confusing end of life with discontinued? Having a model discontinued, just indicates that it will not be made nor marketed into the future. It does not have the same meaning of end of life where service or parts become unavailable. My 5 year old Canon SD500 has been discontinued for quite some time (4 years), however parts and service is still available. Given its metal case, it was perfect for my son's use and I had the screen replaced 6 months ago after the original one cracked after almost 5 years of use.

I would think that something coming up on discontinued would be the perfect solution for you. Sounds like you need +/- 50 units. Retail outlets would be happy to clear their inventory with a nice price reduction at that quantity. Going either discontinued or EOL does not mean that the camera will not take pictures, and Canon is still supporting the unit.

There are plenty of places selling the unit as new and some as used.

http://www.google.com/products/catal...lers#scoring=p

You can even get them refurbished (and maybe buy some spares).

http://www.refurbdepot.com/CANON_Pow...S_2462B001.cfm
http://www.ecost.com/detail.aspx?edp...LAID=367079120

and Canon still has them on their website...

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=16336

hope that helps....
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Old Jul 28, 2009, 1:00 PM   #5
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I’ve had several cameras with continuous focus and I always have it on. It doesn’t seem to cause reliability problems. It does tend to affect battery life though. It is almost a necessity for LCD-only and EVF cameras, but that doesn’t apply to the A1000.

One reviewer said continuous focus turns on in quick mode, which would lead me to believe it is menu selectable otherwise.
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Old Aug 19, 2009, 8:44 AM   #6
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FWIW, I went with the A1100's. I set them to Program instead of Auto so they wouldn't do that focusing thing (and to force my people to actually focus the camera on what they're shooting instead of treating it like a Polaroid). I think it worked out well. Now hopefully they hold up for a few years to make the purchase worthwhile.
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Old Aug 19, 2009, 9:19 AM   #7
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Thanks for the report Ultra Jim-

Welcome back! Canon usually supplies good quatilty cameras, so they should hold up fine.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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