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Old Apr 28, 2010, 3:06 PM   #1
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Default Which one would you recommend for a 1st time buyer - P & S in India

Hi all,

I've never owned a digital camera before, so I don't really know what I should be looking at. I've been reading up on these forums, but because I'm from India, many of the cameras suggested by members in other posts are either not available here, or are beyond my budget.

The immediate reason for wanting a camera is that my parents will be going on a holiday to Europe for a little over a week. So basically it'll be used for portrait shots with monuments/ statues/ scenery in the background. I'm not too sure about what type of night time shots might be taken, but a decent flash is desirable. Also, image stabilization [optical/digital?] is probably necessary because there is no knowing what type of shots a 3rd person who hasn't handled a particular camera is capable of taking. [Read- when my parents ask some passer-by to take a snap]. Also, ease of use is a factor because my parents haven't handled a digicam before.

Though I'm not into photography atm, I'd surely like to learn the nuances [with your help, of course] at a later stage. So I'd prefer a camera which allows some degree of manual control & tweaking of settings. [Have heard of Canon firmware which allows this but not too certain about other cos.].

About the batteries, I'm not too sure which is right for me. So I'm prepared to go for either type. And with video, I don't think I can expect much more than SD capability within my budget, but still 720p or the ability to zoom while filming would be a bonus.

So overall, I'm looking for an all-round performer within my budget, I guess. And that happens to be around the $150USD mark unfortunately, & not much more. Picture quality is the most important aspect, while size & looks don't matter much.

Since the choices available here in India are different from what is on offer in the US, I'll just list a few cams which fall within reach. Maybe you'll could tell me which is/are the better ones compared to the rest &/or give something of a hierarchy. Other suggestions for cams close to those listed in performance/price are welcome, of course.

TIA. Much appreciated.

Here's what's available-

Canon - a3000is, a1000is, a1100is

Nikon - s3000, s220, s230, l20, l22, s550, s570

Sony - s2100, s930, w310

Panasonic - fs4, fs42, ls85

Olympus - t100, fe25

Fujifilm - j30, z30, av100
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 7:20 PM   #2
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kidrow-

Welcome to the Forum. We 're delighted that you dropped by.

You have a real jewel among your choice list. The Canon A-1000is and A-1100is are very good cameras. One of those two would surely be my choice. The rest includes a lot of not so good cameras. Best of luck and we are always here to assist.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 9:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for your prompt [as usual!] reply, Sarah. Much appreciated.

So it is the Canons then. But which amongst the three would you choose - a1000, a1100, or the a3000.

From what I've read, the a3000 is the more recent launch, & the differences are mainly w.r.t. the LCD resolution, the missing viewfinder & the non-AA batteries. But it offers additional modes such as poster, vivid etc. So is it any better than the previous gen a1000/1100 [picture quality-wise]?

And between the a1000 & a1100, the only difference seems to be in the MP count. I'd read somewhere that more MPs don't necesarily mean a good thing because of the tinier size of the sensors. So does that have any bearing on the 10MP & 12MP difference here in this particular case?

& do you know if it's possible to fit a separate flash unit on these cams? &/or such similar useful accessories?

Thanks a lot. Much obliged.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 11:26 PM   #4
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i think the A3000IS would be a good choice too. the image quality seems to be pretty similar to the a1100/1200 and i think it is a bit thinner and slimmer.

i don't think you could go wrong with any of the canons. they are quite good cameras for entry-level.

flashes would have to be slave flash. there are many digital slave flashes that can be found on ebay or other online vendors. they have a little bit of a learning curve, but can improve you flash reach.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 11:33 PM   #5
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kidrow-

The best choice among the Canon cameras, in my opinion, is the A-1000. My friend Dustin is suggesting the A-3100, a newer and more expensive camera. Yes, a slave flash can be used with the A-1000 or the A-3100. I have attached a photo of a slave flash attached to a Panasonic ZR1 camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 30, 2010, 12:37 AM   #6
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Thanks for your replies, you guys. & thanks for pointing me in the right direction as regards the slave flash. Had read about it, but the pic really made it crystal clear. Thanks.

@Sarah - Any particular reason for choosing the a1000 over the a1100/a3000? The a3100 is a tad more expensive & beyond my reach. So I'll be limiting myself to any one of the three canons.

Thanks.
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Old Apr 30, 2010, 11:30 AM   #7
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kidrow-

The Canon A-1000 had the best professional reviews. Better than the A-1100 and the A-3100.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 1, 2010, 8:11 AM   #8
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Thanks for your reply Sarah.

But would you say that the a1000 receiving better reviews was because it was the 1st to be released, & as a result, more in-depth reviews were made as compared to the others [which seem to be basically the same camera]; or it really is better option? & if it's the latter, then what would you attribute it to? Cos spec wise, they don't seem too different.

Speaking of specs, it's strange that the latest release - the a3000 - has a DIGIC 3 processor, while the earlier a1100 has a DIGIC 4 processor. Any reason why Canon has opted to go back? [Maybe to cut costs?]. & do you think the jump from 3 to 4 is significant enough to choose the a1100 over the others?

& what is your opinion of the CHDK? Will it significantly open up options, if ported properly? Atm, a port for the a1000 is in progress at the forums, but none are available for the a1100 or the a3000.

I've just browsed through Flickr's camera finder & the a1100 section seems to have more artsy photos, compared to the other two. Of course, I realize that it may simply be because the a1100 users are more artsy [read talented], & not the camera tech which is responsible for the difference. Yet, having seen what's achievable has had a psychological impact, & I'm leaning towards the a1100.

I'd still like to know your opinion on the questions above though. Thanks for all you help. As Hards80 has already put it, I can't go wrong with either of the Canons, but I just want the best bang for the buck.

Thanks for your time. It's highly appreciated.

Last edited by kidrow; May 1, 2010 at 8:13 AM.
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Old May 1, 2010, 11:08 AM   #9
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kidrow-

Here in the USA both the A-1000 and the initial shipments of the A-1100 used Digic 3. The the switch was made to the Digic 4 processor. If the A-1100 you are looking at has the Digic 4 processor for sure, that would make it more desirable. That is a small, or incremental improvement, not a huge improvement. Yes, Canon had a huge amount of Digic 3 processors, that did went into both the A-3000 and the A-3100 models.

The basic difference between the A-1000 and the A-1100 was the shift from 10 mp to 12mp and in some areas of the world the use of the Digic 4 versus the Digic processor. CHDK is a valuable "add-on" if you can get it to work correctly.

If you can find an A-1100 with the Digic 4, get it instead of the A-1000. However, it uses 2 AA batteries (be sure to use NImH rechargables) so the shot to shot times when using flash can be slow, as much as 6 seconds.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 2, 2010, 4:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
kidrow-

The best choice among the Canon cameras, in my opinion, is the A-1000. My friend Dustin is suggesting the A-3100, a newer and more expensive camera. Yes, a slave flash can be used with the A-1000 or the A-3100. I have attached a photo of a slave flash attached to a Panasonic ZR1 camera.

Sarah Joyce
Hi Sarah,

After a long absence I logged in and saw your photo of your slave flash setup. I assume the slave flash is fired by the light from the camera flash. Is there any synchronization problem of the slave flash to the camera shutter?

Thanks,
Skylark
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