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Old Dec 10, 2011, 9:49 AM   #1
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Default Help me find an exceptional compact digital camera!

I recently purchased a Canon PowerShot SD1300 since it was under $200 and seemed like a good camera based on reviews. But I found that every time I took a picture the red icon would pop-up basically telling me to hold still, and I'd try, but the picture would blur nearly every time. And I didn't like how the battery/sd card compartment had a plastic door. It would get stuck every time I tried to open/close it and seemed like it would break easily. And the part that irritated me the most is that nearly every picture of a person resulted in red eye! So I returned it, and I'm back to square one looking for another compact digital camera. After reading dozens of forums and reviews, I'm still not able to make up my mind. Please help!!

Here's what I'd like:

1) good flash to eliminate red-eye;
2) not cheaply made body;
3) not AA batteries; i'm already spoiled with the Lithium-ion battery;
4) good zoom; 12x would be great; but maybe too expensive!
5) would like to not spend over $300 if that's possible;
6) already have a digital SLR, so I don't need that;
7) not so much interested in video capability;
8) decent flash distance; some seem to only work when you're 2-3 feet from the object;

Thanks in advance for your recommendations!!




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Old Dec 10, 2011, 5:23 PM   #2
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Ricoh's CX6 is due out anytime now... and looks interesting...
Usual other suspects include Canon's SX220/230,Nikon P9100,Panasonic TZ18/20....
All of the above give decent zoom range,are put together pretty well are capable of decent results in most situations...
As for "exceptional"... well that's a stretch,not just in your price range- but pretty much any priced compact is inevitably compromised by its bijou dimensions..!
Also bear in mind that the more zoom you cram into a compact- again compromises are made with regards IQ.
There are many other comparable camera's in your price range worth investigating- just don't compare any of them to your SLR's performance or image quality...
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Old Dec 10, 2011, 5:52 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the advice!! I spent the better half of today reading many of the past forum postings today, and I think I have it narrowed down between the Canon PowerShot SX230 and the Canon PowerShot S95. The S95 doesn't have the zoom found on the SX230, and it's 10MP instead of 12.1MP, but the reviews on S95 make it hard to pass up. Your thoughts? I have a Nikon d5000 now, but I need something small to carry in my purse for parties, family get-togethers, tailgating, etc... mostly people pictures... which is why the red-eye is big deal for me.
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Old Dec 10, 2011, 6:37 PM   #4
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If you're looking at the SX230- maybe the GPS-less 220 would be a cheaper option?
I would also suggest that for the applications you mention- zoom is not that important- which means you can have a compact with a faster/wider aperture- giving you better low light/indoor capability- which is where the S95 fits.
Another in the S95 mould is Nikon's fine little P300.
Here's a review which looks at the two...
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/pa...kon-p300-15928
Canon has also just released the upgrade to the S95- the S100.
If you can do without the inevitable upgrades(which there are many- if you go down a few spots in this "which camera should I buy" you'll see a comparison list I gave to someone)- then the price of the S95 should drop soon...
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Old Dec 10, 2011, 7:38 PM   #5
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wow! the panasonic lumix dmc-lx5 looks awesome too! so now I have to narrow down between these 3: s95, p300, and lx5. which feature should i pay the most attention to if i want to eliminate red eye? is it the one that handles low light best? looks like the lx5 had the best results w/ red eye in their comparison, but i don't know enough to understand why.
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Old Dec 10, 2011, 8:13 PM   #6
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wow! the panasonic lumix dmc-lx5 looks awesome too! so now I have to narrow down between these 3: s95, p300, and lx5. which feature should i pay the most attention to if i want to eliminate red eye? is it the one that handles low light best? looks like the lx5 had the best results w/ red eye in their comparison, but i don't know enough to understand why.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 6:34 AM   #7
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Red eye is caused by the flash reflecting back into the camera's lens via the subjects retinas- a bigger problem for compact cameras as the flash is so close to the lens- reflecting in a straight line as it were. Most compacts counteract this by using a smaller pre-flash prior to main flash to contract the subjects retinas- thus reducing the reflective effect. Most compacts have a bespoke "portrait" mode- which can reduce red eye by in camera processing and the double flash mentioned- however some are better than others..!!
For example- the P300 reduces the red eye in portrait mode,but also softens the overall image- an effect I'm personally not too keen on- though could be seen as flattering..!
On most cameras you can also set just the flash only for red eye reduction- leaving all other settings as you wish- my preferred method.
Also bear in mind that any red eye problems you might occur with any camera can be easily "fixed" via a basic editing program- many of which are free for download on the web.
Coming back to these three- they all seem to have their pro's and con's-
The Nikon is a competent all rounder- and is the least expensive.
The Panasonic is well equipped- though maybe the least impressive at higher iso's- though would you ever use those higher iso setings..?
The Canon arguably produces the best image quality overall(in my opinion) looking quite natural- and has good high iso noise control- though the video mode is poor and possibly is the least well handling of the three...!
I guess it comes down to what YOU value most in your camera and what is going to be the most frequent type of application...
If possible- go to a decent camera retailer who will let you get "touchy feely" with a few models. What feels good to one may not feel right for someone else.

Just an interesting point- not all camera testers are wholly competent,or are familiar with a new cameras ideal setting for a given subject.
See here for some P300 red eye tests- which show up far better...!
http://www.photographyblog.com/revie...image_quality/
And the Panny'-
http://www.photographyblog.com/revie...image_quality/
And the Canon-
http://www.photographyblog.com/revie...image_quality/

Last edited by SIMON40; Dec 11, 2011 at 6:45 AM.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 8:51 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your valuable input!! I'm going to go w/ the Canon PowerShot S95. I would go with the S100, but the price is more than I want to spend. Thanks again!!
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