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Old 02-02-2013, 12:18 AM   #1
cincyfab
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Recommend a camera please..

I have a Nikon D3100 which I like but it's also frustrating because I really do not know how to use it and haven't had time to learn. But, I don't want to carry it around at Disney. We are going next month and I want to buy a new camera that is smaller but takes nice pictures. What do you recommend? Thanks
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:02 AM   #2
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Almost every camera on the market is capable of "nice" pictures. In terms of total potential though, they won't necessarily measure up to your Nikon. Some can come very close, some will be significant downgrades.
So really depends on your budget, and the types of photos and features you prioritize.

When I wanted to go to Disney without the weight if a dSLR, I went with the Sony Rx100, as it is perhaps the best compact camera for coming close to dSLR function and results.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:25 AM   #3
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Sony NEX-7. Small, light, capable of taking great pictures - but you still have to know how to work it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:34 AM   #4
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With a D3100 we are looking at a dSLR that is about 2 years old, 14 MP, with maximum real ISO of 3200. About the only compact camera that has similar image quality is Sony's Nex-3, with a sensor similar to your Nikon. The current Nex-3 is about $500 and would provide images as good (or maybe better since it has a newer sensor) as the D3100 in a smaller package.

After that the choices get into smaller sensors and image quality will be reduced although in many cases probably not enough to notice. The original post did not mention a price or if the OP is considering a compact interchangeable lens camera or if they want a viewfinder. For ease of use a dSLR on "Auto" is probably as easy to use as any other camera so I would not expect any gains there no matter what they get.

Terms like "dSLR quality, etc." can be misleading since dSLRs cover a wide range from a Rebel T3 to a D800e and beyond, with prices from about $400 to more than $3000. Point & Shoot cameras cover an even wider range, less than $100 to about $3000. Because of this most comparisons to dSLR quality are meaningless unless the cameras in question have a similar sensor and lens. Image quality definition also depends greatly on the photographer, where one person may consider an iPhone to be as good as a D800 *for their purposes* while another would not even consider carrying anything less than full frame with top of the line lenses.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:10 AM   #5
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So far many seem to be approaching this from the angle of getting you the same quality images as you get from your Nikon. But the thing is, if you're using that Nikon on auto with the kit lens then you're probably not getting nearly the quality on average that you could out of it.

So let me ask this, what are you looking for in terms of image quality? Just saying nice images really doesn't cover it... is low noise a priority? Ability to shot in low light? And what other kind of features do you want? Video? Long zoom? Do you want to change lenses? What is your budget?
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:23 PM   #6
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It's not unusual to supplement a DSLr with a compact point and shoot. The Sony RX-100 its 1" sensor is very large for a PnS (but still smaller than a DSlr) and its Zeiss f/1.8 lens is generally sharper than most kit lenses. Sony Auto I generally really good, but like a DSLr, you need to learn how to use it to get the best results.

You may also want to consider a Nikon p7700 which is Nikon's top enthuiast PnS. It has a faster and longer zoom than the RX-100, but its sensor is nearly 3x smaller. But a Nikon may help you make a more natural transition.
I have a cousin wih a P7100 as her small camera when she can't take the big DSLr.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:48 PM   #7
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There really are a thousand options for "nice pictures" that are "smaller than a dSLR", including even a smart phone.
Depends on budget, priorities, what you hope to achieve.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
There really are a thousand options for "nice pictures" that are "smaller than a dSLR", including even a smart phone.
Depends on budget, priorities, what you hope to achieve.
Exactly. Don't discount those smartphones either. My new one has an aperture of f/2.0 and I was just using it today for some shots in a place that didn't allow DSLR's in less than ideal light. It performed very well. I did have to take it off auto and shift the exposure to get what I wanted though, like any tool you have to know how to use it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:54 PM   #9
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well let me first say, my idea of nice pictures is the Nikon 3100 on the automatic mode. Sadly, I just haven't got it figured out yet. Now I will say I have played around with it and have gotten some good portraits of my kids. But my go to picture is on Auto. My goal this year is to figure it out!

Anyways, I just want a decent point and shoot camera I can throw in my purse/diaper bag yet still takes good pictures of my kids. My price range is $200-$300 I think. DH won't spend much more than that on a camera I cant figure out
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:59 PM   #10
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Any reviews on these:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...d_i=B0090SLE30

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerSho...9870997&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Cyber-sho...871049&sr=1-13
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:35 AM   #11
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This might not solve your problem by next month, but you should read Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. It's an easy read and can help with some very important basic photographic principles.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:32 AM   #12
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All 3 are good value travel zooms. But beware, the telephoto zoom comes at the expense of image quality. In that price range, I prefer something like the Canon s100 personally.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2rtk View Post
This might not solve your problem by next month, but you should read Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. It's an easy read and can help with some very important basic photographic principles.
I wholeheartedly agree with this comment. If you do not understand the basics of photography or how to operate your camera, then photography will always be a challenging endeavor.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cincyfab
Any reviews on these:
All three are nice comparable cameras. You also may want to look at the Panasonic Lumix ZS20, which is what I ended up getting my brother for Christmas. Personally I would probably lean towards the canon, but its biggest weakness is indoor focusing speed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc315

All 3 are good value travel zooms. But beware, the telephoto zoom comes at the expense of image quality. In that price range, I prefer something like the Canon s100 personally.
Agree! If you think you will shoot indoors a lot you probably want to look at a camera with a lower aperture like the Canon s100 or the Nikon R310.

If you think you will shoot in the 10x zoom or more the ultra zooms are the way to go.




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Old 02-04-2013, 08:51 AM   #15
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I ordered the book from amazon, thanks!
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