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Old Oct 29, 2010, 4:28 PM   #1
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Default Need: Compact Camera w Large sensor and Great Low Light/Indoor Pictures

My son would like to purchase a Compact camera:

Needs: Large sensor for great pictures (low light and indoor), IS, wide angle lens, fast lens

Don't Need: Manual Controls, Video Shooting

Was looking at Powershot S95, Lumix LX5, and Samsung TL500 but it appears to be overkill (for him) with features. His main criteria is taking great pictures indoors and outdoors, but easy to carry and use. Budget would be less than $400.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 6:09 PM   #2
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Your choices could b,
Canon G12,S95,
Nikon P7000,
Samsung TL500,
Panasonic LX5.

These r amongst ths best in compact cameras/p&s with larger sensors(1/1.7"approx).
I would however strongly suggest the S95 being the handiest amongst them with a large sensor and overall great picture quality/low light capability and <$400. However other choices if the sensor restriction b removed could b the Panasonic fz35(nt v compact,but a great camera) , the Canon sx130is,Nikon S8100,Kodak Z915 or Z950 amongst others. I would suggest the Z915 for your son since it is a highly recommended camera on this forum as well as cnet.If Hd recording is desired then the 950.Both cameras r availible for <$150.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 3:26 PM   #3
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To save money, I would suggest going with a new Panasonic LX3. The LX5 has a couple more features and more zoom, however the LX3 is probably being cleared out of inventory and should be able to be acquired for $400 and under.
To save even more you can look into a used one (see the pricing at Amzaon).

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Old Oct 30, 2010, 4:31 PM   #4
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The LX5 has dropped to $400 so you're not really saving anything by getting a new LX3 right now.

S95 and LX5 would be first two choices. LX5 has a better lens and the S95 is more portable and offers better JPEGs (imho) if you don't want to shoot RAW.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 4:31 PM   #5
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you're not going to get great low light pics from any compact camera unless you use a flash unless you use a slow enough shutter speed to require the use of a tripod. even then, if the light is low expect noise. otherwise you'd want a camera with a larger sensor and a very fast lens, and i only know of a couple expensive cameras that offer this that aren't interchangeable lens cameras.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 8:29 PM   #6
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Well that's true - you won't get "great" photos from any compact in low light w/o flash. The S95/LX5 do quite well though for compacts. Here's a snapshot from the S95 shot at ISO 500 w/ the focus on her snout. As you can see, still plenty of detail there.

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Old Oct 30, 2010, 8:33 PM   #7
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for something truly portable. the best choices will be the s95 and the lx5.

the s95 can truly fit in the pocket, which is a real advantage, but lacks the flash shoe and accessory port.
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Old Nov 6, 2010, 4:58 PM   #8
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Since my son does not want manual controls (as mentioned in the first post), he has eliminated the Powershot S95, Lumix LX5, and Samsung TL500. What would be the next choices that come the closest in meeting the needs he mentioned (Large sensor for great pictures (low light and indoor), IS, wide angle lens, fast lens)?
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Old Nov 6, 2010, 10:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fightingillini View Post
Since my son does not want manual controls (as mentioned in the first post), he has eliminated the Powershot S95, Lumix LX5, and Samsung TL500. What would be the next choices that come the closest in meeting the needs he mentioned (Large sensor for great pictures (low light and indoor), IS, wide angle lens, fast lens)?
There aren't any.

Just because a camera has manual controls doesn't mean he needs to use them. Both full Auto mode and Program Auto are available on all of them I believe (S95 and LX5 for sure, not handled a TL500).

If he wants a camera that is very simplistic, look into the Canon SD4000. It doesn't have the larger sensor but it does have an f2.0 lens. Personally I find the images to be too soft but that comes with the CMOS sensor.
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 11:10 AM   #10
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Maybe another choices could be:
Samsung TL350=WB2000
or
Panasonic Lumix FX700
On the paper, bright lens, Manual control but complete Auto mode, Full HD video

What your opinions about this couple of cameras vs S95 for low light videos and photos?
Have anybody tested or owned them?
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