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Old Oct 16, 2009, 10:00 AM   #11
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I'll start with this ...
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The cameras I have considered so far is the Canon A1100IS but a turnoff is the low quality screen and it feels a little cheap in the hands. Also, the "comes in 4 colors" gimmick makes me suspect of it as well. On the plus side it is a relatively new model and has the Digic 4.
The A1100 IS makes a solid choice, if somewhat dull compared to the ultracompacts. I would be concerned about LCD quality too, most stores don't let us take their cameras out in the sunlight, so your ultimate protection on this issue is to buy from an outfit that makes returns easy. Of course "cheap in the hands" is a subjective call. At this price level I'm most impressed by the feel of Panasonic and Sony. My own Fuji F45fd is also durned "solid", but this model is discontinued and its followup F-series models are over $200. Fuji's J-series, S-series, and Z-series do not impress me so much as the F-series. At this price level almost all brands offer color choices, many of these cameras are purchased for teens. The latest, greatest processor is usually a Plus, but often a very, very subtle plus. If last year's model has key features the newest one lacks, I would buy last year's camera. And some of the makers are dumbing down their designs. For example the Canon A-series used to all include manual control.

Lots of choices, none perfect,
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 5:10 PM   #12
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I finally made a decision (I hope). Walmart dropped their price of the A2000 to $159 (while the A1100 dropped to $129). Looking at sample pictures side by side, the A2000 has sharper images and better picture quality I think. My only worry right now is the difference between Digic 3 and Digic 4 but I don't think it makes a big difference.
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 5:52 PM   #13
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The Canon SX-120 has also now come down to $199. The SX-120 gives a very usable 10X optical zoom both auto and manual controls, and excellent image quality. The SX-120 has better image quality than the A-2000. Here is a photo sample from the SX-120

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Old Nov 27, 2009, 7:31 PM   #14
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That seems a bit overkill being for my sister. It seems to be bulkier than what she wants and she doesn't need 10x zoom anyway.

Now if it were me buying a camera that looks like a good deal. I saw it in person at the store and it seems like a solid camera.
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