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Thread: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

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    Question Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Old camera is going a bit funny, so time to look at getting a new one (as if I need the excuse to buy new gadgets)

    I'm looking to get a small camera that can handle low light conditions and action shots well, as any dancing pictures I took with the old one looked like ultrafast blurs on the dancefloor (and no it wasn't pictures of Jamie spinning). I'm not so bothered by megapixelage, prefer good quality pics instead. In the 100 - 150 range.

    So far I've been looking at the Canon Ixus 80 IS, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 or DMC-FX33 , Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W120, Fuji F40FD or F50FD.

    So any recommendations, ones to avoid or have I missed a good one somewhere?

    Thanks Paul

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Have a look at THIS SITE, it has brilliant reviews and lets you compare any camera's of your choosing

    I've got a Sony T50, which I've been happy with so far. My parents got the T200 after me, which has a few more features but they've done away with the touch screen, which AFAIC is one of the best things about mine! Mine's incredibly user friendly!

    My brother's just got a new Canon ixus, (not sure which model but knowing him it'll be the highest spec), he chose it after some extensive research, I saw some pics he's taken with it and was impressed with the shots taken in 'low light' conditions.

    Hope this helps
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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmjd View Post
    Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W120,
    I think I've got this one. Very small, slim, silver and weighs practically nothing and enables me to takes photos like a pro. Really recommend it.

    Daisy

    (A Snappy Little Flower)

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    first thing to do when buying a camera of any sort is to go to a local photographic shop not jessops or comet etc as unfortunately they do not employ photographers any more. I dont know if you have a city camera exchange in your area they are normally very good (or call my favourite shop the camera world who will give good advice and wont sell anything you dont need)
    tell them what you want and how much you want to spend ask for advice as they will know the latest equipment (its like buying computer gear as soon as you buy it its out of date and the model you bought can be found a lot cheaper than you paid)

    Handle the camera they advise you to buy then once chosen go on the web and do a google search for it and buy from the cheapest source

    You are completely correct not to worry too much about megapixels as that is only a very small part of the story when buying a camera
    optical zoom is important digital zoom is not

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    I found this site very useful, though I was looking for something a bit bigger to replace my SLR

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twirly View Post
    I found this site very useful, though I was looking for something a bit bigger to replace my SLR
    Bigger than an SLR????

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Thanks Lory and Twirly for the sites, I've already been looking at them, especially impressed by the cameras.co.uk one as the guy buys them all himself to test that's dedication.

    I haven't looked at the Sony T20 or T200 but might just go and have a nosey, thought the T200 is a bit out of budget range. The Canon is kinda appealing because it has an old fashioned thing....a viewfinder rather than a screen that can be tricky to look at in direct sunlight.

    Still looking and comparing at the moment.....Thanks so far everyone

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmjd View Post
    The Canon is kinda appealing because it has an old fashioned thing....a viewfinder rather than a screen that can be tricky to look at in direct sunlight.
    i do admit i am a bit of a canon fan as of monday i am on my third canon SLR (bought myself the eos 40d) also i couldnt agree more i dislike using a screen to take photos unless i am holding it up above my head to take shots above a crowd etc when of course a screen is essential

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    Forum Bombshell - Our Queen! Lory's Avatar
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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by martingold View Post
    (its like buying computer gear as soon as you buy it its out of date
    Tis true You spend ages looking, then as soon as you've brought it, they bring out a new model! Argh!


    You are completely correct not to worry too much about megapixels as that is only a very small part of the story when buying a camera
    optical zoom is important digital zoom is not
    another important thing to look for when thinking about 'dance photo's', is the 'shutter lag' time. Shutter lag is the delay time between pressing the shutter button and a photo actually being taken. It can be most frustrating, when you see an amazing shot, press the button and then have to wait a second!


    Quote Originally Posted by Twirly View Post
    I found this site very useful, though I was looking for something a bit bigger to replace my SLR
    I've got a digital SLR and you can't beat it for quality but to be honest, it gets left at home all the time, as its too big to put in my bag and I also worry about leaving it, as its an expensive piece of kit!
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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by martingold View Post
    Bigger than an SLR????
    PMJD is looking for a compact, I was looking for something to replace my film SLR (but couldn't afford a digital SLR back then).

    Quote Originally Posted by pmjd View Post
    Thanks Lory and Twirly for the sites, I've already been looking at them, especially impressed by the cameras.co.uk one as the guy buys them all himself to test that's dedication.

    I haven't looked at the Sony T20 or T200 but might just go and have a nosey, thought the T200 is a bit out of budget range. The Canon is kinda appealing because it has an old fashioned thing....a viewfinder rather than a screen that can be tricky to look at in direct sunlight.

    Still looking and comparing at the moment.....Thanks so far everyone
    I've got a Canon Poweshot (though it's 2.5 years old, so not listed on the websites) which I love.

    Have to admit that I very rarely use my the screen, almost always use the viewfinder, in all weathers and lights. I used to do a lot of photography when using 35mm film (even developing and printing) and iso t's more familiar. I find it easier to frame the shot correctly with a viewfinder, the screen feels odd and clunky. Just had to get used to the fact that you can't see if the focus is clear - though you can tell if the focus is totally off, and correct it before you take the shot.

    Mine also does very good videos, not that it's been used very much for that, but they are clear and good quality. Might be useful to think about if you want to video yourself or others dancing.

    Also read the advice centre on the cameras.co.uk It was really helpful understanding the jargon, particularly the difference between optical and digital zoom (basically, if you want good pics, get a camera with good optical zoom as it gives you more to play with - I try and avoid using the digital zoom on my camera if poss). I read that, then decided which things were important and looked for the cameras with them.

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    another important thing to look for when thinking about 'dance photo's', is the 'shutter lag' time. Shutter lag is the delay time between pressing the shutter button and a photo actually being taken. It can be most frustrating, when you see an amazing shot, press the button and then have to wait a second!
    which is why i love my new canon 40d 6.5 frames a second and a 70 frame burst when shooting jpegs ( about 12 when shooting raw)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    I've got a digital SLR and you can't beat it for quality but to be honest, it gets left at home all the time, as its too big to put in my bag and I also worry about leaving it, as its an expensive piece of kit!
    the weight and size is a problem but mine is properly insured so taking it out and about is ok

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by martingold View Post
    i do admit i am a bit of a canon fan as of monday i am on my third canon SLR (bought myself the eos 40d) also i couldnt agree more i dislike using a screen to take photos unless i am holding it up above my head to take shots above a crowd etc when of course a screen is essential
    I'm trying to get the best of both worlds

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    another important thing to look for when thinking about 'dance photo's', is the 'shutter lag' time. Shutter lag is the delay time between pressing the shutter button and a photo actually being taken. It can be most frustrating, when you see an amazing shot, press the button and then have to wait a second!
    That was something that frustrated me with the old camera (Sony DSC-P10), I want a camera that doesn't have to be measured in ice ages from button press to photo capture.

    There is a handy table on the cameras.co.uk website with shutter lag times but think it applies to daylight and plus flash only. A digital SLR would be amazing but just too big and bulky to consider, aside from the sheer price.

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    Tis true You spend ages looking, then as soon as you've brought it, they bring out a new model! Argh!

    another important thing to look for when thinking about 'dance photo's', is the 'shutter lag' time. Shutter lag is the delay time between pressing the shutter button and a photo actually being taken. It can be most frustrating, when you see an amazing shot, press the button and then have to wait a second!


    I've got a digital SLR and you can't beat it for quality but to be honest, it gets left at home all the time, as its too big to put in my bag and I also worry about leaving it, as its an expensive piece of kit!


    Size was another reason I went for a compact, but the higher end of the market at the time (sort of one level below an SLR). Canon had one of the lowest shutter lag times when I bought it.

    Mine does lots of things that I never use though... I sent through them all on holiday once, then promptly forgot how to use them

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by martingold View Post
    which is why i love my new canon 40d 6.5 frames a second and a 70 frame burst when shooting jpegs ( about 12 when shooting raw)
    And in low light conditions?
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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmjd View Post
    I'm looking to get a small camera that can handle low light conditions and action shots well, ...


    I was hoping you'd start this thread Paul saved me from having to do it...

    I currently have three cameras each with their own flaws. I'd rather have one perfect one.
    • I have an old-ish Pentax Optio-S. It's great, very controllable, not bad zoom, but it's lacking in megapixels, and doesn't do low-light well. I love the way I can stick it in my pocket though.
    • I have a 2-year old Sanyo Xacti C5. It's a video camera, which records MP4 files onto a SD card. It also take 5 megapixel still images. As a camera it doesn't have the flexibility of the Pentax, but it's not bad. As a video recorder, it's useless without *lots* of light. It has a great 10x zoom lens. Because it looks like a video camera, it means I can't use it even to take still photos where video recording is banned.
    • I have a rather good 5MP camera in my phone. It's great, though it's not very fast, and has no proper zoom. The best thing about it though, is I always have it handy.


    Have the problems of low-light photography been fixed in non-SLR cameras?

    Does anyone know of any good conventional-looking camera that can also do good MP4 movie capture?

    I don't want a Sony camera that requires proprietary memory cards it needs to take SD(HC).
    Let your mind go and your body will follow. Steve Martin, LA Story

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducasi View Post

    Have the problems of low-light photography been fixed in non-SLR cameras?

    Does anyone know of any good conventional-looking camera that can also do good MP4 movie capture?

    I don't want a Sony camera that requires proprietary memory cards it needs to take SD(HC).
    Not sure about low light as haven't tried it in very low light, but mine looks like a camera, and does good video (as I said above, the exact model won't be available now, but the other Canon ones now available are likely to be even better). Have a SanDisk card (is that what you mean by SD? where's my geek when you need him?!)

    Also ordinary batteries (didn't want to have to keep recharging a battery unit). It does sometimes drain the batteries though, so try and carry spares as have been caught out - wish it could indicate battery levels.

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twirly View Post
    PMJD is looking for a compact, I was looking for something to replace my film SLR (but couldn't afford a digital SLR back then).
    sorry i thought you said bigger than an SLR


    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    And in low light conditions?
    I dont know yet as i only got the camera on monday and the spec doesnt state for low light i guess that would also depend on the lens aperture anyway
    i have the EF-S 17-85mm 4.5/5.6 IS so that doesn't open up as much as a prime 50mm lens would its a good lens though and for still subjects the image stabilising is great

    still shouldnt hijack PMJ's thread with us going off subject lol i am just excited by my new purchase lol

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twirly View Post
    Not sure about low light as haven't tried it in very low light, but mine looks like a camera, and does good video (as I said above, the exact model won't be available now, but the other Canon ones now available are likely to be even better). Have a SanDisk card (is that what you mean by SD? where's my geek when you need him?!)

    Also ordinary batteries (didn't want to have to keep recharging a battery unit). It does sometimes drain the batteries though, so try and carry spares as have been caught out - wish it could indicate battery levels.
    SD = Secure Digital. Almost everyone, apart from Sony, use this format these days.

    I should have said, I don't like "ordinary" batteries – I won't buy a camera that uses them.

    Oh, and the Canon's I've looked at don't do MPEG-4 movies.

    Liking the look of this one. Any thoughts, anyone?
    Let your mind go and your body will follow. Steve Martin, LA Story

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducasi View Post
    SD = Secure Digital. Almost everyone, apart from Sony, use this format these days.

    I should have said, I don't like "ordinary" batteries I won't buy a camera that uses them.

    Oh, and the Canon's I've looked at don't do MPEG-4 movies.

    Liking the look of this one. Any thoughts, anyone?
    Looks interesting my only real concern would be the amount of optical zoom on a camera that small
    you would need a pretty high shutter speed to avoid camera shake at the upper end of the focal length of that lens

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    Re: Which Compact Camera To Buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducasi View Post
    I should have said, I don't like "ordinary" batteries I won't buy a camera that uses them..
    Mind if I ask why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducasi View Post
    Oh, and the Canon's I've looked at don't do MPEG-4 movies.
    Sorry - not so good with names formats of things.

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