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Old Jun 24, 2010, 11:54 AM   #1
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Default Which compact to chose ?

Hello there, I am new here and looking for advice about which camera I should buy.

I dont really want to spend any more than 250 for everything (card, batteries etc), but can at a push got a little bit higher for the perfect camera.

I would like a camera for the following purposes with hopefully the features listed aswell.

  • All types of holiday abroad, city, beach and rural/countryside locations.
  • Indoor family and pets pictures
  • The odd nightime pictures would be nice (eg a lovely sunset, bbq)
  • Able to do video
  • Prefer rechargeable smaller batteries purely to keep the size down
  • Coat pocket/handbag size (an must have)

A friend of mine has the Canon A650 and I think the photos she has (all automatically taken) are lovely, they are just the sort of thing I would be very happy with.

However she did say that the full size batteries were a bit of a downfall. Its a downfall she is now happy to have because of the quality of picture but said it would be perfect if it has the smaller rechargeable batteries.

Another friend had the Panasonic TZ10, outdoors are lovely but the indoor images are not good really.

I would appreciate any advice you can give and look forward to hearing from you

Thanks
Jo
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Old Jun 24, 2010, 1:27 PM   #2
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Jo-

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

The compact zoom camera category is quite wide. You did not mention the need for a wide angle lens, or a large amount of zoom. That widens the field considerably. If you wanted the emphasis on indoor photos, something as simple as the Kodak Z915 or Z-950 do produce very good indoor flash photos and have 10X optical zoom. The Z-915 sells here in the USA for around $(US)125.00, while the Z-950 sells for around $(US)175.00. At the other end of the spectrum you have the Canon G-11 which has very good indoor photo quality, but it only has 5X optical zoom, and a high price tag of around $(US)430.00.

As you add more zoom and a wide angle the prices begin to escalate. So give some thought to really how much zoom you really need, and if a wide angle is a priority for you. Keep in mind that in the compact zoom category the built in flash units do seem to be uniformly rather weak, which very much does affect indoor image quality. So the number of cameras with really good indoor image quality, as you might expect are fewer in number.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 24, 2010, 1:31 PM   #3
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Hi Sarah Joyce, thanks for the warm welcome and taking the trouble to reply.

Yes I think I would like a good zoom, especially for our holiday snaps - countryside scenery, skylines etc

I am not entirely sure what a wide angle lens is/would do for me, so I assume I dont need one (?) lol

Last edited by Crazy Jo; Jun 24, 2010 at 1:32 PM. Reason: major typo
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Old Jun 24, 2010, 3:25 PM   #4
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Jo-

A wide angle position on the zoom range allows you to include more width in your photo. Imagine you are taking a photo of a large group, normally you would have to keep backing up to get everyone into the photo. With a wide angle you have to back up much less.

We still have not solved the zoom puzzle, nor your video requirements, Jo. The two Kodak cameras that we mentioned have 10X optical zoom, the Z915 uses two AA cells. The Z950 uses a small lithium ion battery.

The Canon S-90 and SD-4000 cameras have very good high ISO capability and good built-in flash units, but only 3.8X optical zoom. They are selling in the USA at around $(US)350.00/ roughly 234 pounds sterling.

The leaders in the compact zoom class of cameras are the Panasonic TZ-series. The TZ-65 is uniquely available in Europe and it is a very good 12X optical zoom camera.
The TZ-series unfortunately have built-in flash units that are somewhat weak.

Casio has an FH100 model that is also widely sold in Europe. It has a 24mm wide angle with 10X optical zoom. However, you cannot zoom while filming. It too has a weak flash.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 24, 2010, 4:25 PM   #5
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Thanks Sarah Joyce.

So it would seem that I cant get it all from a compact lol

I am not so bothered about a wide angle lens now I know about it, I dont think it is absolutely necessary, a nice to have but not a need to have.

The video zoom too I could live without if push came to a shove.

What is ISO capability please ?
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Old Jun 24, 2010, 5:06 PM   #6
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Jo-

The ISO capability is the capability of the camera to take good photos in a photo environment where there is a lot less light.

Thanks for letting us know that Video Zoom and Wide Angles are non issues. Here is another camera that you might want to take a look at: The Canon SX-120, which sells here in the USA for around $(US)180.00 or roughly 120 pounds sterling.

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Old Jun 24, 2010, 6:16 PM   #7
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Thanks again Sarah Joyce, I do appreciate your time. That is a very good price, I will have a look into that.

So am I right in thinking if it has a high ISO number it would be good at indoor and night pictures?

Also, am I right in thinking that if I wanted quite a high zoom I would probably compromise the indoor/flash capability?
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Old Jun 24, 2010, 6:38 PM   #8
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Jo -

You have to be concerned with how much noise (grain) appears in your photo as you increase the ISO setting. I have attached a photo taken with the SX120 at ISO 400 and the image quality is still good. By the way, that's my photo, so now you can see who you are chatting with on this Forum.

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Old Jun 24, 2010, 6:58 PM   #9
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What a lovely picture thank you, its nice to put a face to the name :-)

Thats not without a flash tho is it?

I suppose I should remember that I am after the best quality on an automatic/idiot mode and try not to get hung up on numbers etc :-)

I have always wanted to know more about photography but find it all a bit daunting. And because there seems to be so much info out there it is so hard to know where to start, I get scared off and leave it at that :-)

I am quite keen to get it as right as I can because it is, in the main, for a family trip of a lifetime to Thailand. We are going to major cities, tropical islands and deep into the country way off the beaten track. If I knew what I was doing I would go for one of the more professional cameras, a DSLR I think they are called. But the size puts me off a little for travelling.

I spent a lot of money on the Panasonic TZ something or other that had just come out 2 1/2 years ago to go to Egypt but was very disappointed indeed with the quality of the indoor pictures.

I loved the zoom tho, but that was about it :-)

I would quite happily increase my budget to incorporate more features if it were necessary :-)

Talking about the trip and getting a new camera is making me all excited about it now :-)
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Old Jun 24, 2010, 7:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Jo View Post
Also, am I right in thinking that if I wanted quite a high zoom I would probably compromise the indoor/flash capability?
In pocketable body, the answer is generally yes.
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Disclaimer: I take photos of life rather than live to take photos and my opinions of cameras are reflected accordingly.
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