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Old Aug 16, 2009, 1:34 PM   #1
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Default Opinons needed on camera choice

I have been reading reviews ad nauseum and would appreciate any opinions. A friend recommended this website to me as she found it helpful in making an informed decision in picking a good camera for her.

We are leaving for two weeks in Italy on Sept 24th. I have been researching cameras with more zoom....20X, etc...also higher MP. I am not a knowledgeable photographer. I enjoy taking pictures and during any given year I will take thousands of photos...but all amateur. With five children and a grandchild on the way, I want to capture everything. I capture school events, sports, garden life and any other personal events. I would like to be able to take photos while in Italy that can be enlarged and suitable for framing along with the normal tourist photos.

I was concentrating on point and shoot to avoid carrying around multiple lenses. Also, I am not always the daintiest with electronics.....droped three cameras in the last year, cracking displays.

Any help is much appreciated!!

thanks,
Suzi
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 2:12 PM   #2
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Default Hope you have a great trip to Italy

My wife and I took a cruise to Italy about 5 years ago. Out of all the vacations we've had, I would say that I'd go back to Italy in a heartbeat.
Beautiful place to visit, so many sites to see and photograph.

I realize that you stated that you would prefer to stay away from cameras using interchangeable lenses. But, this may be also a trip of a lifetime. One that you may never again recreate.

I would consider looking at the Panasonic G-1 camera coupled with 2 lenses. the 14-45mm and the 45-200mm. The G-1 is an extremely competent camera providing great versatility in a very small package. One that has enough Mpixels and a sensor large enough to recreate 13 x 19 prints if you get a shot of a lifetime. While, the lenses will give you the reach and sharpness that you need.

Here is a link to a trip review by Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscapes using the G-1 while on vacation in Costa Rica. It may help in your analysis. There is also an in-deth review of the G-1 on the same website- just look in the product review tab.

http://luminous-landscape.com/essays/field-notes.shtml

For what it's worth, I don't own one. Instead, I use the E-30 Olympus DSLR, a much larger and bulkier camera body. But, I would love to be able to take the G-1 on a trip such as the one you're going on.

Good luck with whatever you end up buying and have a great trip.

Zig
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 2:16 PM   #3
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Morning, You have not left a lot of time. If you go mail order, you essentially loose a week. So, probably the best opportunity would be from a local retail store. What every you do, you will want to pick up an extra battery (or two), so that while you are using one battery, the second will be recharging. You will also probably want to pick up at least one, if not two memory cards for the camera you wind up selecting (would suggest 8GB each, so that you will have enough for a lot of images).
  • Do you have a price range in mind?
  • How large of a camera are you thinking of - pocket size, purse size, etc???
  • Do you want to just do stills or would movies be of interest, too?
  • Have you gone to a retail store to see what appeals to you? Best Buy, etc? That might help to identify the size you may want and the price range. You said that you had other cameras - any particular brand you like better than others in terms of usability?
  • How large of picture would you want to print out for framing (in inches) 8x10?, 18x24?
  • The absolute highest MP is not all that necessary. Over 6MP is just fine, and 10MP produces excellent images for just about any use. You have to watch out, by going too high, you can incur unwanted noise in your pictures, especially with small sensor point and shoot cameras.
hope that helps...
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 3:17 PM   #4
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Thank you for both responses....they do help a lot!! I feel lost at times, lol!

I know I have waited until the last minute....I was so concerned about making the wrong decision. I have a friend who bought the Canon Power Shot SX10 IS for the trip and really likes it. I considered using my hubby's American Express points, but don't want to be limited to their selection.

Price range- while not the most important factor...I would say up to maybe $600 or so. Would go higher for the right camera. I'm notorious for always having a camera with me almost 24/7. www.mrsstigg.myphotoalbum.com is where I post most I have. They were all taken with small point and shoot...like Olympus FE-370.

I understand about possibly considering an SLR....my first instinct was to go that direction. I just wanted to be as dummy-proof as possible while still getting great pics. Our next big trip will be Sicily, but not for maybe two years. Otherwise, it will be everyday life and small trips in the US... New Orleans in November.

Since I mentioned sports, etc....I would like to be able to shoot still and action pics and also shot movie clips.

Size - we already have a couple that fit into a purse or pocket....so bigger is ok, but still easy to tote on travel. I won't be expecting to buy one that fits into my pocket or purse.

Been to camera stores....felt directed to specific brands and was not sure if they were genuine suggestions or more about pushing certain brands.

Photo size? I normally just have regular snapshot size photos, but woulud really like to be able to frame larger pictures....maybe 18 x 24 and such.

Noise in a photo? I am not experienced and not sure what noise is in relation to higher MP.

I plan to buy extra memory cards as well as back up batteries.

Again....really apreciate the thoughtful input!!!

Suzi.....39 days til Italy!!!
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 3:28 PM   #5
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Suzi-

The Sony H-20 is rated as a very user-friendly and very capable 10X optical zoom camera (37mm to 370mm) with excellent image quality and excellent flash range. Check it out at www.sonystyle.com where you can also get an extended warranty with an accidental damage provision (remember those two dropped cameras) that might be a good investment as well for you.

The Sony H-20 size is small enough to go into purse as well.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 12:58 PM   #6
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Suzi-

I was on www.amazon.com this morning (08/17/09) and I was very surprised to see the Canon SX-10 reduced in price to $306.34. It has been selling at a low of around $350 for the last several weeks.

So there is another camera suggestion for you.The SX-10 has a lot more zoom and a very nice hotshoe that makes it more attractive than the H-20. You might also shorten the learning curve on a new camera, by putting your head together with your friend who has the canon SX-10.

I hope this info helps.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 12:04 AM   #7
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Default Sx20 is

Any thoughts on the SX20 vs the SX10?

Suzi
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Old Sep 19, 2009, 6:16 PM   #8
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Suzi-

The Canon SX-10 gets my vote! It costs less and produces less electronic noise at higher ISO settings. However, you should keep in mind that both the SX-10/20 are ISO limited cameras. Image quality begins to go south when the ISO setting goes above ISO 250. That is why they added that nice hot shoe to those two cameras.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 6:35 PM   #9
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I am very much an amateur, so don't understand why the s10 would be better than the sx20....sorry for my ignorance!!

I bought the sx20 and now worry I made a bad decision...but I cannot find a sx10 locally now.

Also wondering about the right SDHC memory card...was thinking 8GB class 6 cards. I saw somewhere a class 10 card...did no know they existed.

Suzi
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Old Sep 21, 2009, 12:58 AM   #10
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Suzi-

The SX-20 will nicely cover your needs. IMO opinion, I would purchase 2 4gb class 6 cards. Cards do fail ocassionally, if you had two 4gb cards, you could still keep going with out having to purchase a card in Europe where they are very expensive, if one card had a failure.

You might also give some consideration to adding a Canon EX 430 external flash, or the smaller, new, and less expensive Canon EX-220 external flash to your SX-20. Have a great time on your trip.

Sarah Joyce
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