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Old Jul 8, 2010, 8:11 PM   #1
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Default Replacing Canon A620

My Canon A620 died recently.
The things we liked were:
  1. The picture quality
  2. Reasonable shot-to-shot speed
  3. I (a novice) could get excellent photos on "Auto" or "Pets & Kids".
  4. We use the manual focus / macro setting quite a bit.
I tried a Canon SX120 IS but returned it. For a $200 camera I thought it was very slow to re-shoot (I could have etched a stone tablet between some shots), the flash washed colors out, and it seemed very difficult to pick the correct "scene" and get a consistently good photo. I didn't like that even with the face detect off, it would try to focus on faces. This is an unwanted feature when you are trying to take a photo focusing on a cat that is being held by a person.

We're pretty consistent in our photo types:
Indoors - the cats and our fish tanks.
We go to aquariums and take photos of the displays (flash off/low light)
We take your typical outdoor photos - flowers, vacation shots.
Being able to take a video would be fun, but it's not a priority.

We're willing to spend ~ $350. Over $400 is beyond our budget (and ability).

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I'm not set on a particular brand, but being able to reuse our SD cards would be nice.
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 8:34 PM   #2
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PetMom-

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

Several choices that would work for you are: The Canon SD-4000, which is especially designed for lower light level shots in full automatic. Or the Kodak Z015, much lower priced but that does low light very well, has little shutter lag, and performs well in the Automatic Mode.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 9:21 PM   #3
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I'm guessing the SD-4000 is the same as the SD-4000 IS.

Would the Lumix DMC-ZR3 be a model to consider?

I like the reviews on the Canon PowerShot G11, but it's a little more than we want to spend.

The A620 lasted almost 4 years - is that typical for this class of camera?

Last edited by PetMom; Jul 8, 2010 at 10:18 PM.
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 10:16 PM   #4
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PetMom-

Yes, the Canon SD-4000 and the SD-4000IS is indeed the same camera. Personally the ZR3 would not be on my list due to high ISO noise at anything above ISO 400. The Kodak Z-915 and the SD-4000 have much better high ISO performance and image quality.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 10:25 PM   #5
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PetMom-

I finally got the Casio FH-100 setup properly and that is another camera that has very little shutter lag, does well with high ISO settings, and provides good image quality.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 10:49 PM   #6
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The SD4000 looks like good option.
Is there something obvious we overlooked when looking at the features of the SX120 IS? Many reviews said it took great photos. They were crisp, but not true color and the need for flash was unpredictable.
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 11:03 PM   #7
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sarah let me ask u one thing as u have used so many comapct camera so far . Tell me ur most favorite 3 digital camera in terms of pic quality ....
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 12:12 AM   #8
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I read this article on ISO and noise and I think I understand it.

Since take a lot of indoor photos of my cats, I've found that having a lot of indirect, non-flash light is best because bright sunlight or flash tends to reflect off their fur or wash them out. Red-eye (actually yellow-eye) is a problem with cats and flash. The photo on the left shows the full sun reflecting off white fur. The black kitty shows the glowing pupils we have with the flash.

So if i'm understanding things correctly, a camera that does better in low light on some "Auto" setting may work best in my situation. Obviously the cats won't sit still for me to figure out manual camera settings (even if I knew what to set the camera at), so it has to be in Auto mode.

The only negative thing I've read so far about the canon SD4000 is that it is a little slow to auto-focus, which isn't good for pet photos.
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 8:58 AM   #9
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PetMom-

The speed of focus of the SD-4000 is equal to the Sx-120. I find is average to slightly fast.The Kodak Z-915 is the fastest to focus in the group. Like your A-620, the Kodak Z-915, and Sx-120 are AA battery powered. Therefore, the flash recycle time when tasking flash photos will be a few seconds longer.

The Sx-120 only does standard video and does not have a wide angle position on the lens. With an F 2.8 lens it need considerably more light than the SD-4000, with it's F 2.0 lens. Therefore for low light and using the Automatic Mode, the SD-4000 is your top choice, with the Sx-120 and Z-915 about even with each other.

Not using flash avoids harsh shadows, but you have to have a fast lens, such as you find on the SD-4000, to get good indoor photos with just light through windows, and the like.

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Old Jul 9, 2010, 6:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PetMom View Post
...
The A620 lasted almost 4 years - is that typical for this class of camera?
Well, it depends on how you treat your camera. I have many cameras that are older than 4 years and they are still going. So far, not a single camera has died on me (and I took thousands of pictures with each one of them). I see people walking around with their P&S hanging from their wrists, banging on things, shaking up, etc.. Cameras are delicate instruments and it does not take much to mess things up inside. I'm not saying that you mistreated your A620. As with all electronics, they have a certain lifetime and your A620 must have reached its life cycle. However, I don't believe 4 years is the norm for cameras to die .
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