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Old Feb 9, 2012, 7:23 AM   #1
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Default P & S that does well for sports

We need a new camera. We currently have a Canon Powershot A560 but are having some problems out of it. I would like to purchase a new Point and Shoot as the wife doesn't want to spend the $ on dslr.

I would say the budget is around 2 to 250.

Requirements:

Does well at indoor sports (low or indifferent lighting) such as basketball, gymnastics. I know it isn't going to deliver what a dslr with a great lens can.

Does well with outdoor action shots such as baseball and playing in the pool. Taking pictures outside the pool though.

Indoor low light conditions such as birthday parties, holidays, etc..

EDIT: I think I would like something that has the burst and video. 1080 would be great but action shots more important.

I am learning more about photography and the equipment so I would like to have something that has some manual operations so I can investigate a bit of what I am reading. Hopefully at some point I can add a DSLR once I can justify the need (prove I know how) to use one.

If possible when listing your suggestions can provide a brief what it does well and what it doesn't do well. This will help me in my decision.

And last but not least, thanks, this is one of the best photography forums I have found and really enjoy reading and hopefully some day helping rather than asking for help!

Last edited by martman100; Feb 9, 2012 at 7:29 AM.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 8:42 AM   #2
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no digicam will do even sort of well for indoor sports. in fact, not many cameras will at all because of the needs for fast focusing in low light, a screen or viewfinder that won't freeze during pics so you can follow the action, and just low light in general. even a dslr won't do a great job capturing indoor action without the right lens, and we're talking expensive and heavy.

outdoor daytime sports is easier.

for birthday parties, etc, are you willing to use a flash?
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 9:33 AM   #3
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Yes - there is no camera for $250 that will shoot indoor sports well. Doesn't exist. Doesn't mean some people don't get passable snapshots. For outdoor sports, you want a superzoom but I don't know of an option remotely in that price range.

For indoor parties you need to use flash. No digicam without flash is going to do well.

The $250 camera that takes great pictures in any environment on auto mode does not exist. for that matter, the $10,000 camera that takes great photos in any environment on auto mode does not exist. Your wife wants something that doesn't exist.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 10:00 AM   #4
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I second what John G said. Example: I was using a Fuji HS10 and then HS20 to try and shoot sports for a local newspaper (85% news and 15% sports) and was not getting good results, sure I got a passable snap shot but not the depth and brightness etc needed to make wow shots. I moved up to the Pentax K-5 and the results are MUCH better.

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Old Feb 9, 2012, 11:28 AM   #5
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Okay so in the 250 price range what P & S would you suggest for a family that uses their camera for taking pictures of their active kids.

I have some knowledge of the different aspects I need to look for in the camera. However, when there are thousands of different ones with such a huge price range it is difficult to determine the better buy.

Many times specs highlight the distinct capabilities but then amateurs like myself don't have the knowledge to know if or how the shutter speed could or will have an effect on the picture because the aperture is terrible.

Again I appreciate the help and trust me I know there is no P & S going to be a great camera or even good in some instances but that is all I am in the market for right now.

Granted I hope to work a dslr into the picture at some point and increase my knowledge but right now our current camera is showing its wear and tear in regards to performance.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 2:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Okay so in the 250 price range what P & S would you suggest for a family that uses their camera for taking pictures of their active kids.
Here is my best advice: I don't know of such a camera. That doesn't mean one doesn't exist - there are tons out there. I'm just skeptical. So, the best advice I can give you is: if someone tells you a model can achieve what you want make sure that person shows you photos taken with that model of active kids doing the activities you want to photograph. Otherwise, be prepared for disappointment. Wish I had an better answer for you, but that at least is honest advice.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 5:07 PM   #7
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$250 for what you're asking- as already suggested- is nigh on impossible.
With regards energetic subjects- most cheaper cameras utilize electronic zooms,making accurate framing almost impossible. Then there's the issue of autofocus speeds(and accuracy)- or lack of in cheaper cameras!! Also,most cameras in your price range have slow lenses(small aperture) at the longer end of the zoom- which means high iso settings for any acceptable shutter speed- and the resultant downgrade in image quality..!
However- indoor sports usually have reasonable lighting- and if you don't try an isolate your subjects too much(with zoom) you should get some acceptable results with something like a pocketable Canon SX230HS or the Panasonic TZ30- both having useful point and shoot modes- and full manual modes when you want to indulge. Both have useful HD video modes,reasonable focus speed and a number of other tricks up their sleeves. Maybe look at a used G11/12 also- bringing you into your price range....
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Old Feb 10, 2012, 10:41 AM   #8
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to get the best low light results, you'll need to learn to use your camera. auto mode doesn't do a good job compared to learning to work with your shutter speed, aperture and ISO. if lower light is a concern, i got my husband a canon sd4000 as a spare. it doesn't have tons of zoom, and won't be the best for very active situations, but it has something very few digicams have - an f/2.0 lens! and that sucker works pretty well. in normal room light, or even sort of dim room light at night, the pics ain't bad at all. the black version is currently within your budget http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerSho.../dp/B003L77Y62

i have a canon sx230 hs as my carry around camera. it does all right when you know how to use it, except in very dark conditions, and then there's a handheld night shot mode that can save the day. it also has a nice zoom range - 14x - and if you keep the GPS off, the battery life isn't bad.
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerSho...8891897&sr=1-2
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Old Feb 12, 2012, 9:12 AM   #9
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In line with the Canon SX230 HS, the Nikon S9100 is a similar option without GPS, but a longer zoom range and a faster zoom response. Under $200 now because it will be updated soon.

http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-COOLPIX-...9059390&sr=8-1

Given your price limit, there aren't a lot of options for us to recommend. But it's possible to find more expensive cameras that are discounted into your range because they are near replacement by a newer model. That's exactly where the Canon SX230 and Nikon S9100 are right now.

Last edited by Biro; Feb 12, 2012 at 9:16 AM.
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Old Feb 12, 2012, 2:16 PM   #10
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Yesterday, I went to a college track and field meet indoors. There were many lights overhead, but it wasn't ideal for photography. I had a Sony A55 and a prime 50mm lens set at F/1.8 or F/2 for most of the meet. In order to get reasonably sharp pictures, I had to raise the ISO setting to 3200. I also had a Fuji Finepix F70EXR, which is a pretty good low light point and shoot compact camera. I had to hike the ISO to 6400 to get less sharp pictures (at a much reduced resolution).
If you set your sights on outdoor photography in good light, there are lots of point and shoots that can give you decent results. There are also many that do well indoors with a flash. But, indoor sports? That's a tall order and not one that any point and shoot I know of can fill.

Last edited by robbo; Feb 12, 2012 at 3:35 PM.
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