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Old Dec 16, 2010, 2:41 PM   #1
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Default Are my expectations too high?

I'm really hoping to get a bit of a digital camera education from you experts out there. A little bit about me - I'm a mom who knows little about camera features who just wants to take quality pictures of her son. My first camera is a Canon s3 which I purchased 4 years ago. I absolutely LOVE the quality output this camera produces! The pictures are sharp and the colors are spot on. But I've gotten to a point where I loathe the camera's bulkiness and short battery life. I really want something pocketable that still takes amazing shots.

So here is where I'm hoping to be enlightened. Are my expectations too high trying to find something that will produce similar output in a small package? The main reason I ask is I purchase the Canon sx210 IS and I'm really disappointed in the output. Many of the pictures are grainy or off-color, especially indoors, and I find myself taking more retakes than ever to get a good shot - and half the time I miss my opportunity because of these bad shots. I thought having a good zoom would be important, but if this is possibly costing me image quality, I'm definitely willing to give up the zoom.

At this point, I'm thinking maybe I need to compromise and should just get something in the under $200 range that is ultra-pocketable. At a lower price range, maybe my expectations will be met? Then I'd take the s3 along when I know I'll need to use the zoom...

Would love to hear everyone's opinion! Are there any particular models I should consider (Sony w350, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20, Kodak EasyShare Z915, Nikon Coolpix S6000, Canon PowerShot SD1400IS???)? Or is there something more expensive that may actually meet my original standards?

Thanks so much in advance for input!!!

Last edited by staceyk; Dec 16, 2010 at 2:44 PM.
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Old Dec 16, 2010, 3:49 PM   #2
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stacey-

The closest camera to the Canon S-3, but still a bit bulky is the canon SX130 which, unlike the SX-210, has received excellent reviews. The SX130 is currently selling for $179. My next recommendation is the amazing Kodak Z915 selling for around $100.

The Nikon S6000, Panasonic FH20, and Sony W350 do not produce the image quality that you will find in either the SX130 or the Z915.

Here is a SX130 photo sample:no flash, just room lighting

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...7_WwqDn-XL.jpg

Here is a Z915 photo sample: an informal portrait using flash. Yep, that's me!

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ko...4_uNQ9N-XL.jpg

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 16, 2010, 4:45 PM   #3
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Although it's a bit out of your price range, check out the Canon SD4000. It will give you better low light performance than the SX210 or any of the other cameras mentioned. It was $209 at Amazon a few days ago (maybe a week? I lose track) so it will hit that price again soon.
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Old Dec 16, 2010, 6:13 PM   #4
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Five0-

The Canon SD4000 is not a bad idea. I like the SD4000 a lot but it only has 3.8X optical zoom. If Stacey can deal with the 3.8X zoom, the SD4000 is certainly the size she wans, then the real deal is this:

Canon USA is conducting a 1 day sale, today, 12/16 of their refurbishished cameras, and the SD4000 is included at $167.99.

http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs...10051_-1_12163

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Dec 16, 2010 at 6:16 PM.
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Old Jan 4, 2011, 1:49 PM   #5
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I must agree on the Sony W350. I purchased this camera because it was on sale at Best Buy and got pretty good reviews, but I ignored some of the advice I had gotten here. In Twilight or darker the pictures all look very washed out to me. They get grainy in the low light conditions as well. Adding the flash seems to just create light bleed around any bright spots.

If all of your picture taking is in daylight, this is a great camera and I am very impressed with the quality in outdoor settings.

Indoor or night time pictures will leave you wanting.
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