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Old Mar 8, 2005, 10:37 AM   #1
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Hi Guys:



Looking to order a camera for my Boss! He has no patience with features, buts wants the best available camera for taking vacation pictures! Also can be used for sports action photography. Key feature is "Easy Point and Shoot' Dummy Proof!!

Thanks all Mosh!
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 11:24 AM   #2
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The camera with the fewest features is always the easiest to use. For example, there are few cameras as simple as those disposable film cameras they sell in corner shops...You don't have to zoom; you don't have to focus; you don't have to worry about aperture or shutter speed because they don't have any options. Those kind of cameras are fine for situations where you have no special requirements...a shot of Aunt Bessie in front of the Louvre...but as soon as you want to do more, you are going to get into a camera that has more options and is not 'dummy proof'.

Everything was fine until you said "...Also can be used for sports action photography...". That blew it!

As you will see reading these forums, people who thought that they wanted a few shots of the hockey, baseball, footballor basketball game or (even more common) thier children playing these games with a simple point and shoot camera find that they end up with blurry, dim, shaky images that are not what they imagined they were going to get.

For sports action you are going to need a zoom because it is unlikely that you are going to be allowed on the playing field with the team. If you have a zoomthat is long enough to deliver a good shot you will ALSO need image stabilization to reduce camera shake which gets more noticible as you zoom. ALSO, because when you zoom, you reduce the amount of light entering the camera (because you are framing a smaller area of the scene) you will need either a fast lens (to let in more light) or a camera that automatically increases its light sensitivitiy (another feature) AND you will want a camera that can maintain a fast enough shutter speed to stop the action.

The camera that can do all of that will no longer be a small, pocketable, 'dummy-proof' vacation camera.

This is not to discourage you but rather to give you reasonable expectations. Any of the name brands that you see here have point and shoot models that will make fine full-auto vacation cameras but don't expect any camera to do all the jobs equally well. As he gets more experience, then he might want to graduate to a more demanding model but, until then..maintain reasonable expectations for what a simple camera can do (which is to take simple shots) this will reduce the diappointment that many people feel when they try to push the camera to perform beyond its abilities. Sports action is beyond what simple cameras are designed to do.
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 12:51 PM   #3
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Something along the lines of a Nikon 3200 or Sony P73 would do just fine. These cost around $200, use AA's, and are simple to use. Canon also makes the new A510, also in the same general class, and relatively easy to find.

Once your boss learns what a simple point&shoot can and can't do, he can come back here and learn more about cameras that would be better suited to any particular need, such as sports/action photography.

PhilR.
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 1:36 PM   #4
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Meryl: Can i marry you!!



I agree with what you have said and appreciate the detail of the response!

Maybe I should have preface this by saying he thinks More/Latest is best! He does not know much but he seems able to quote me those famouswords...8 gigabites! He will overspend to get the best! Don't you hate that! He is a salesmans dream!

However....

I still am left with the decision. I am far from expert, but I like to read the manual and play with all the features.

How about those Kodak's I hear that they are bulletproof!

Please give me some names. simple optical zooms, good beginner features like the stabilization that you had mentioned!

Maybe this forum is too advance for this type of question! That is not meant as an insult, however!

Mosh


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Old Mar 8, 2005, 1:49 PM   #5
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You might want to look at the Nikon 3700 simply because there is a $100 rebate going until the end of March. It isn't the world's greatest camera, but it comes with a lithium battery and charger. It has a 3X zoom and a sports mode to give the fastest shutter speed for the available light. Most cameras have a sports mode. Unfortunately you can't manually adjust the ISO to increase the shutter speed unless the sports mode does that. http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_...nikon3700.html

I got one for my daughter and she likes it. It is small and foolproof. I ended up paying around $130 including shipping after the rebate.

The only thing pocketable with stabilization is the Panasonic FX7. It is tiny with a giant LCD, but there is no optical viewfinder. Not my favorite setup but your boss might like it. If it doesn't have to fit in his pocket look at the Panasonic FZ3.

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Old Mar 8, 2005, 3:16 PM   #6
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Thanks slipe!

Maybe I should also say that it does not have to be inexpensive or small! If it was a car I would say the Honda Accord! Toyota Camry!

What's the equivalnt in the digital arena?

Mosh


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Old Mar 8, 2005, 6:54 PM   #7
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Since you have changed your requirements from simple point&shoot to zoom w/image stabilization, you can consider the Panasonic FZ15 and FZ20, which are moderately-priced do-it-all's, much like an Accord. These are however fairly large cameras, so if you want something more compact, then consider the Canon S1 IS, the Panasonic FZ3 (my favorite), and the Minolta Z3. Of all of these, I believe that the Panasonic FZ3 provides the most bang for the buck.

Kodaks aren't bulletproof, and in fact very few digicams are, especially the mega-zooms. Kodak does not make an IS p&s.

PhilR.
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