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Old Feb 8, 2010, 6:30 PM   #1
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Default Looking for a camera for my parents

Well, my parents have been using the same Canon Powershot A80 since about 2003 now and are looking for something new. I am the technology guy of the family so I am researching it for them and they will likely buy the camera I recommend them. I believe they would like to spend between $200-$300 or so on a camera and it would be best if it was able to do both good P&S oictures as well as have a few advanced features should my mom get back into photography like she was back in the film days. I would also think a good zoom would be nice for them, something 8x or greater probably.

I am currently looking at the Canon PoweShot SX120 IS and the Kodak EasyShare Z950. They both appear to be very nice models and we are used to Canon cameras as I have had a few and they have been using theirs forever. The biggest problem I see with the Canon is the poor noise above 400 ISO and the Chromatic Aberrations that are present. I am looking for any suggestions into other cameras that would fit the bill from any company and will greatly appreciate the suggestions.
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Old Feb 8, 2010, 6:37 PM   #2
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just to help a little bit. what are your parents shooting habits. do they tend to shoot more outside scenery shot, indoor flash shots, etc. give a little idea of their preferred shooting as this will have some impact on what camera would suit them best.
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Old Feb 8, 2010, 6:45 PM   #3
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just to help a little bit. what are your parents shooting habits. do they tend to shoot more outside scenery shot, indoor flash shots, etc. give a little idea of their preferred shooting as this will have some impact on what camera would suit them best.
Well, it's really a bit of everything. They use the camera on vacations to take pictures outdoors and also when they have family gatherings to take pictures of the family and decorations and especially our dogs, lol. They aren't extremely discerning quality wise, I just want them to have a nice camera.
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Old Feb 8, 2010, 6:57 PM   #4
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i will give you a couple good options with some pros/cons. see if that helps you out.

Panasonic ZR1 ($215) - 8x zoom with good wide angle (25mm), fantastic outdoor image quality, great HD video with stereo, the lens has one of the best image stablizers in compacts. however, the limit of this camera is the flash output is a bit small and it tends to gain up the ISO to boost flash performance which can introduce some noise.

Sony H20 ($225) best flash output for a compact, will choose a much lower ISO when shooting flash giving a much better indoor picture. however, the lens does not have a good wide-angle (widest is 35mm) so it can be limiting for landscapes and cityscapes, however it does have a good 10x telephoto, so if they don't use the wide-angle much this is a great option. hd video as well.

Canon Sx200Is (299$) this has just been replaced by the 210is, so the price has fallen below the 300$ mark. nice 12x zoom starting at a good 28mm wide angle. flash output is under the sony, but above the panasonic. so this is a bit of a compromise between the 2 aforementioned models. however the flash pops up every single time its turned on, which can annoy ppl. again, good hd video.
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Old Feb 8, 2010, 7:41 PM   #5
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i will give you a couple good options with some pros/cons. see if that helps you out.

Panasonic ZR1 ($215) - 8x zoom with good wide angle (25mm), fantastic outdoor image quality, great HD video with stereo, the lens has one of the best image stablizers in compacts. however, the limit of this camera is the flash output is a bit small and it tends to gain up the ISO to boost flash performance which can introduce some noise.

Sony H20 ($225) best flash output for a compact, will choose a much lower ISO when shooting flash giving a much better indoor picture. however, the lens does not have a good wide-angle (widest is 35mm) so it can be limiting for landscapes and cityscapes, however it does have a good 10x telephoto, so if they don't use the wide-angle much this is a great option. hd video as well.

Canon Sx200Is (299$) this has just been replaced by the 210is, so the price has fallen below the 300$ mark. nice 12x zoom starting at a good 28mm wide angle. flash output is under the sony, but above the panasonic. so this is a bit of a compromise between the 2 aforementioned models. however the flash pops up every single time its turned on, which can annoy ppl. again, good hd video.
Ok, the SX120 IS is only $199, that was one of the reasons I was considering it was because the price was really good, but I will read the reviews on those 3 cameras as well as see what other suggestions people have.
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 2:52 PM   #6
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I guess no one else has any suggestions.
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 2:55 PM   #7
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bose-

Please don't discount the Canon SX-120, at $199 it is a great buy, providing your parents do not have a need for wide angle, or HD video.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 3:45 PM   #8
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bose-

Please don't discount the Canon SX-120, at $199 it is a great buy, providing your parents do not have a need for wide angle, or HD video.

Sarah Joyce
The PowerShot A80 they have now was 38mm on the low end while the SX 120 is 36, so they should be more than fine. They also have never used the video function that I know of.

The main thing that scares me about the SX 120 is the poor performance at higher ISO settings.

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Old Feb 9, 2010, 5:31 PM   #9
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bose-

That is a decision only you can make. However, based on my own experience, I have found that ISO 800 is the highest ISO that is really usable. Your parent's A-80 topped out at ISO 400, I believe.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 6:19 PM   #10
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bose-

That is a decision only you can make. However, based on my own experience, I have found that ISO 800 is the highest ISO that is really usable. Your parent's A-80 topped out at ISO 400, I believe.

Sarah Joyce
You are correct. It seems that it would be a very nice camera for them, I can suggest it to them while continuing research for a little while.

The other thing that worries me is the time between pictures for the SX120. That is the biggest complaint my mom has with the A80 is the photo to photo lag and the SX120 takes longer than my 2 year old S5 IS. I will look back at the times for the A80 and my old A510 and see what they were, I just don't want my mom to end up with a camera she doesn't like.

Last edited by bose301s; Feb 9, 2010 at 6:52 PM.
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