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Old Jun 28, 2011, 7:15 PM   #1
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Default Good point and shoot for student budget

Hi everyone,

I'm going on an exchange trip to Israel in 3 weeks and I plan to bring my DSLR (Canon Rebel). However, I can't bring the DSLR everywhere I go (doesn't fit into a purse) and thus I am looking for a good point and shoot. I used to have an HP Photosmart M425, but it was so terrible I'm surprised I didn't throw it out a window.

My student budget limits me on the price. My nearby Costco (in Canada) sells the Canon A3200 (179$), SD 1400 (160$) and the A3100 (99$). I'd like to pick one of those - because I was told that Canon is best - but I would be open to other suggestions. 200$ would be my maximum.

What I am looking for:
- Fast to take pictures
- Good quality of image taken indoors without flash
- Clarity/Focus
- Good optical zoom (Hopefully beyond the 3x that I had with the HP)

What I care less about
- Brightness of colours (blue is blue, red is red)

Thanks very much for the help!!

Em

PS. Anyone can tell me tips how to carry my DSLR into my back-pack safely?
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Old Jun 28, 2011, 7:21 PM   #2
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Oh I would like to add that I've read many reviews about these three cameras and they were all pretty similar to me. So, I'm asking for help because I'm super confused.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 12:39 AM   #3
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If you go beyond those 3 cams, Canon SX130 and Panasonic ZS7 are worth a look.

Forget the "Good quality of image taken indoors without flash" unless you want to go for something like the Canon SD4000, which has a brighter lens than the others (not much zoom though). Better still would the Canon S95, Panasonic LX5, Olympus XZ-1 due to their larger sensors, but they are all double your budget.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 12:55 AM   #4
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Can't help with choice of camera - my recommendation would be a used Canon G10 which would be in your budget, but might be hard to find and is quite large. But on carrying your DSLR safely I put the camera assembled with a relatively normal-sized lens (and in my case a battery grip which I always leave on) into a "Built" closed-cell foam computer zip-up bag, and drop the whole into an anonymous lightweight backpack. The camera is well protected and the bag doesn't shout "expensive camera - please mug me". Any extra lenses I carry in their protective cases and drop them into the bottom of the backpack. I have a selection of these computer bags, and I find I can fit a 5D or 7D with grip and with a 100-400 lens into a computer bag designed for a 17" laptop. These bags are quite stiff and don't fit the camera at all well, which means there's a lot of bag at the bottom of the camera giving it extra protection in the event of the bag being dropped. They're also almost waterproof in the event of your being caught out in the rain. I would guess that a Rebel with (say) the kit lens would fit into a "Built" bag designed for a 15" laptop, and still zip up. Maybe even one smaller, but I'd err on the large side.
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Last edited by peterbj7; Jun 29, 2011 at 12:59 AM.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 5:40 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot FiveO and peterbj7 for the help.

I’ve looked at the prices in Canadian online stores and the Panasonic ZS7 is double what I was hoping to pay (or maybe it’s what I need to pay for a decent point and shoot camera). The Canon SX130 looks more affordable, but it's a little too big. Hopefully I’ll be able to find the ZS7 at a decent price.

Unfortunately I was unable to find the Canon G10. But I’ll keep looking in the next few days…

Great advice for protecting my camera! I have an extra foam case for my 17’ laptop that I won’t use. The case for my lens isn’t mind blowing, but I’ll just add a very tiny face towel to cover it and I hope it’ll be fine.

It’s mostly for the traveling part that I’m worried about it. I have to carry it on the plane with me (obviously). But I really want to protect it. Thanks for the tips!
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 8:41 PM   #6
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The ZS7 prices are unfortunately up because it is a discontinued model. The typical cycle is that the price drops when it is first discontinued and then goes back up when the demand remains but the supply dwindles. If you can do without the ASM modes (aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual), then check out the Nikon S8100 also. It is also a discontinued model but not in low supply/high demand like the ZS7 so the prices have remained lower.
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Old Jun 30, 2011, 10:03 PM   #7
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Default Nikon S8100

Hi! I just ordered a factory refurbished Nikon S8100 from Cameta Camera. They were recommended to me by several photographers. There is a 30 day return policy and one year warranty. You can double the warranty by using an American Express card. I bought mine in an ebay auction, but they have a lot of them on their website too. They are a authorized Nikon dealer and they appear to get a lot of factory demo cameras. They come from Nikon sealed.
It's worth considering.
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