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Old Sep 25, 2009, 7:13 AM   #1
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Default Compact point & shoot purchase advice needed

I recently lost my trusty old Canon Powershot A520 in a burglary and am looking for a replacement. I'll be using it to take indoor close-ups of food dishes for my food porn (as I call them) blog entries, pictures of our 9-week-old Doberman puppy (and she wriggles and runs around a lot), self-portraits of my wife and me, pictures of friends (both indoors and out), landscape and scenery shots when we go island hopping and just around town (we live in Cebu City, Philippines). I want to be able to take short movie clips too. Rather than spending days reading through all of the fine reviews I'm asking for advise.

Musts: optical viewfinder for those bright sunny days that wash out an LCD screen (unless the screen can handle sunlight OK), around 3x optical zoom (or more) for framing shots, ease of use (i.e. automatic mode and menus that make sense), a decent-quality lens that's fast enough to capture a moving subject (the puppy), fairly long battery life, fast boot-up time so I can grab a quick shot when I see one, good color quality- pictures shouldn't have a redish, bluish, etc. cast to them but should look natural, red-eye reduction, a memory card.

Nice-to-haves: an optical stabilization system of some sort to avoid shutter-shake blurriness issues, compact shirt-pocket size so I'd be more likely to take it along everyday, a way to attach filters, a hotshoe that disables the internal flash when an external one's connected, a tripod mount, a large-enough diameter lens for night shots, one that uses standard AA or AAA cell batteries (we have rechargeable ones and a charger already).

The camera should be a known brand so I can have it repaired locally if need be, and find accessories for it such as memory cards, replacement USB cable if needed, etc. I'd prefer one from a known camera manufacturer (Canon, Olympus, etc.) but I'm open to considering other brands, especially if the lens is a known good brand. It should be able to be detected by Windows XP without special software other than perhaps a driver, if possible.

As with most people, the budget is an issue: I'm semi-retired, living on a fixed income. I'd like to keep the price down to under US$150, or 7,000 Philippine pesos. Less is better. (As a comparison, a Sony CyberShot DSC-T10 and a Fujifilm Finepix Z100fd are both offered at P10,000 each on a local classified ad site.) Don't worry too much about the price in your recommendations: if you think a particular camera would be good and it runs more like $250-$350 where you are, just say so and I'll do some pricing of that model locally. I'm thinking that an older model in the 4 to 6 megapixel range would do nicely. My A520 was 3.2 megapixels and as long as I'm getting a replacement anyway I'd like to improve on picture quality a wee bit.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 2:36 PM   #2
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Hi Jay
As you probably know already digital cams are very expensive here in the Philippines, for a compact cameras with optical viewfinders there is really only Canon and Sony, my Sony DSC-W300 cost P19,000 in Australia and saw the same camera in Ayala mall for P29,500, so check out Cebu Classified for a used camera.

Camera: Sony DSC-W300
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Old Sep 29, 2009, 6:06 AM   #3
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Thanks, Wirraway. (BTW I see you're also on the Living in Cebu forum: small world. huh?) I found a Sony DCS-W55 for under P6000 on eBay that I'm getting. It lacks an image stabilizer and uses a proprietary rechargeable battery but otherwise it looks to be about what I was looking for in a camera.
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Old Sep 30, 2009, 7:58 AM   #4
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No problem Jay that camera should get you by.
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