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Old Nov 7, 2010, 1:06 PM   #11
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You might still find a deal on the S90 - which is last year's S95. I've seen it for $340 or so. Just leave it on 'auto" and forgo the advanced options if you wish.

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Old Nov 7, 2010, 4:56 PM   #12
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My son was thinking why pay extra for manual features that he won't ever use. He is trying to keep the cost lower than the S95.

What would be the next cameras that would have a sensor the closest to the S95? Would the Nikon S8100 be a great alternative to the S95? How does it stack up in matching the closest to my son's needs?
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 6:30 PM   #13
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You've reached the part of your search where compromise is necessary. You wont find a camera that has a large-but-sub-dslr sensor without manual controls, as these cameras are geared for the enthusiast.

As a side note, you should be aware that the S90, 95 etc., while it has a substantially bigger sensor than most point-and-shoot cameras and the corresponding increase in low light sensitivity, it will not turn night into day.
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 7:05 PM   #14
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I understand about the compromises. That's why I am asking what cameras are next in line that come the closest to the S95 (recognizing that there aren't any with the exact sensor size, etc.). What is next?

Also, what are the opinions on the Nikon S8100 (from people that own the 8100 and have used them)? Is this the next in line to the manual, big sensor's like the S95?
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 7:11 PM   #15
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Nikon has not had a good reputation with their small compacts like that, so I would not expect very good things from the 8100, plus the zoom lens starts at 30mm which is not very wide.

The next tier would have the smaller sensor, so they won't do as well in low light. But something like Canons SD4000 has a really bright 2.0 lens and a lower megapixel 10mp sensor, which will not be as noisy as the higher megapixel cams. Also Sony has the TX-7 with the backlit 10mp sensor that would be in this next tier as well.
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 8:28 PM   #16
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Any idea on why CR would rate the Nikon S8000 so highly? Also, you mentioned the SD4000. What would be comparable but with more of an optical zoom?
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 8:30 PM   #17
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As hards80 said, there is no next after that and nothing that comes close. You jump right down to all the 1/2.33" and smaller sensors. I already suggested the Canon SD4000 and Hards80 seconded it but you didn't seem to like that suggestion. I can't think of another cam at these lower price levels that has an f2.0 lens
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 5:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fightingillini View Post
Any idea on why CR would rate the Nikon S8000 so highly? Also, you mentioned the SD4000. What would be comparable but with more of an optical zoom?
Any thoughts on these two questions?
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 8:59 AM   #19
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We already answered the 2nd question - there is nothing else with a lens as bright so there is nothing comparable. Even the SD4000 isn't going to do great of course as it still has that tiny sensor. If you give up the brighter lens, then everything below that is very similar in terms of low light with the CMOS sensor cameras coming out a step ahead of the CCD cameras, at the cost of softer images. A longer zoom (i.e. 10x) and a larger sensor don't fit in these size cams so it wouldn't matter if you had $1000 to spend.

Back to question #1, who is CR? Consumer Reports? If so, that should answer your question. Consumer Reports is a consumer mag, not a photography mag. They are far less critical than any reputable photography reviewer would be and surely have much different criteria for their ratings. The S8000 rated very poorly overall on the photography sites as Nikon P&S cams have generally done for the past few years at least.

Now again, the S8100 looks very good on paper and the image samples look decent. Supposedly the S8100 improves on all the areas where the S8000 failed. While I have yet to be overly impressed with these CMOS cameras' IQ, the S8100 looks pretty good. I was merely cautioning you that there was little info on it right now and Nikon's recent P&S history is not favorable so that info is just worth keeping in mind.
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