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Old Dec 21, 2004, 10:06 PM   #1
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I have been looknig at the Canon powershots, the Sony Cybershots and the Nikon coolpix. Which out of thoes is the best one for all around use? i want to try and spend under $300 if i can, the cheaper the better. I would like to be able to print out up to 8.5x11 photo quality prints, but mainly 5x7, not sure if 3.2MP will be enough or will i have to go to 4MP? mostely used fo taking pics of friends and family on trips and special events, so faces have to come out good in almost any condition including inside and outside use, both day time and night time use also. and must not be to big, i want to be able to hike and travel with it without it taking up a lot of room or a lot of weight. At least 3x optical zoom.
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 11:28 PM   #2
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Wooaa buddy, that's quite an order to fill for $300. Please excuse the redneck speak, but you're really asking for alot. Never the less, let's get started: are you planning to spend $300 total, or on the camera alone? If on camera alone, the Canon SD200 should definetly be high on your list.I've only heard good things about it.While on the topic of Canon's,you shouldconsider theolder Canon A-series (A85, 75. 70) for tried and true simple photography,assuming you can findthem at the right price. Also, the Nikon Coolpix 3200 and 4100are alsostrong contenders.

I've never known anybody with one of the cheaper Sony models, so I really can't recommend or really tell you much about them at all

Regardless of what I say, it would be to your advantage to check out the reviews and buyers guide on this sight.

Best of luck with your search! -Jack

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/sd200.html

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/a85.html

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/a75.html

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_...nikon4100.html

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_...nikon3200.html


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Old Dec 22, 2004, 12:07 AM   #3
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It sounds like im asking a lot for under $300, are there cameras that are a little more expensive that might be better for me? just wondering, i may be able to get a little more money if its worth it. This is not including any accessories, just the price of the camera is what im talking about.
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 3:17 AM   #4
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This kind of nikon (nikon 4500) probably doesn't do too well in low light condition, unless the subject is relatively close to the flash (that's if this camera is anything like my old nikon 950)....

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_...nikon4500.html

However, I must say that the nikon's take quite nice and sharp pictures..excellent colour. Unfortunately, the nikon 4500 has a smaller LCD screen than my old nikon 950. Maybe it was a no-brainer on nikon's part. Anyhow, the price of one of these is in your price range these days. For normal lighting conditions, and sufficient indoor lighting conditions, this camera will definitely work and produce very good results. But this review was done in like 2002... so maybe the camera could be hard to find ... maybe possible if you search around. The only reason why I'm suggesting one of those is because at least it's got a swivel LCD screen. I wouldn't buy a camera without a swivel LCD screen, whether it's an unorthodox one like the nikon 4500, or nikon 9XX series, or the folding LCD screen ones. The moveable screens come in handy. The cameras that have fixed screen are ok...but you might not like it when you really feel a need to use it.

Since you also want good indoor/low light capability, you might want something like canon S40 upwards. The S40 is old now..but it's successors do a good job..but unfortunately, the price range is above the 300 dollars you mentioned. I think that it's hard to get all the features you want for maybe 300 dollars, so it really becomes a matter of either paying more for what you would like, or to make a compromise and purchase a new camera as listed by the person in the post above mine, or purchase a used camera. However, buying a used camera can be risky.
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 11:23 AM   #5
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I don't have a whole lot of technical knowledge about specific camera's to meet your needs. However, I do have some advice. I was in a similar situation a few weeks ago (new what I wanted in a camera, had it narrowed down to 4 or 5 models). The deciding factor for me was going to local stores and handling the cameras. Some were too light or too small for my hands, some were just awkward feeling.

I'd suggest looking at the list Jack B. mentioned and getting some hands on time with them.

Ona side note, my wife has an A85 and really likes it. She's usually taking pictures of family, friends, and general scrapbooking stuff. She's done some good looking 8x10's (not sure if they were cropped or not).
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 11:29 AM   #6
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APowers wrote:
Quote:
I would like to be able to print out up to 8.5x11 photo quality prints, but mainly 5x7, not sure if 3.2MP will be enough or will i have to go to 4MP?
Assuming you don't crop, 3MP should be good enough for average (not great but not poor either) 8x10 and excellent 5x7. If you want to crop (i.e. cut out a portion and concentrate on it) then you need more megapixels.

Quote:
...so faces have to come out good in almost any condition including inside and outside use, both day time and night time use also.
Most cameras are ok in daytime (with sun). If you get a camera with a decent flash (check the range of the flash of the camera and if there are any red-eye problems), then nighttime pics within the flash range should be fine. However, if you want to take outdoor pics without a sun (rain, overcast, etc) or indoors without a flash, then it will be tough to get a camera that takes good pics.

Quote:
and must not be to big, i want to be able to hike and travel with it without it taking up a lot of room or a lot of weight.
This pretty much means ultra-compact (eg. Sony T1, Sony W1, Canon SD300, etc) and compacts (eg. Canon A95, etc).

Quote:
At least 3x optical zoom.
Nearly all cameras have 3x zoom as minimum. If you want high-zoom then the camera is going to be big, but if you stay close to 3x or 4x zoom then you can get compacts and ultra-compacts...

My favourite ultra-compacts and compacts are:

Sony T1 (expensive and red-eye issues but is sleek and small)
Sony W1 (best small camera for the money IMO)
Canon SD300 (one of the top ultra-compacts)
Panasonic FX7 (one of the top ultra-comapcts)
Canon A95 (compact for all-around photography)
Canon S70 (probably the most manual features you'll find in a small camera)

I think the only one that is around $300 is the Sony W1. If you really want a good small camera, consider spending a bit more and check out the Canon SD300 or Panasonic FX7.
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