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Old 09-21-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
grrrlennyl
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Point-and-shoot for a DSLR user?

Hi, folks!

I'm currently trying to figure out what sort of camera I should get for my trip WDW this coming December. I normally use a Nikon D40, but I ended up not using it at all (if I even brought it with!) during our trip last year. It's just too big (and too expensive!) to carry around.

Anyway, I'm hoping folks can recommend a decent camera for me. I don't want to spend a ton of money, since I already have a good camera. I want something light and...ideally...
- the flash can be shut off (I'm very anti-flash. Ha.)
- timer
- control (at least some) on shutter speed

I'm hoping you all have some suggestions. I only took pictures with my iPhone (3Gs - ugh) last year, and I regret not having more pictures and better ones.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:33 PM   #2
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Depends what you consider a reasonable price. I am/was a long time dSLR user, but got tired of lugging it around Disney. So I wanted something extremely compact, but with the ability to still retain a ton of manual control if wanted.... and to get as close as possible to dSLR quality. I found what I wanted in the RX100. Except for its zoom range, really no other point & shoot can touch it. (some slightly larger mirror-less cameras are competitive). The image quality is actually superior to my 6-year-old dSLR, and it probably similar to, or even better than, entry level dSLRs with kit lenses.
But you do pay a premium price -- $650.
So if you're looking for a camera that you're just going to shove in the back of a closet when you get home, you can explore some cheaper options. If you want something to really compliment your dSLR, then I highly recommend the Sony Rx100.

Flash -- You can turn it off, turn it on auto, or use it as a fill flash. Also, rare for a point & shoot -- You can tilt the flash, for indirect light.
Timer -- Yes, I used a 2 second timer for fireworks, there is also an option for a longer timer. I believe 10 seconds. There are a couple other timer-like settings (like automatically snap the pic when everyone smiles)
Shutter speed -- Full manual control of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and everything else. I believe the longest shutter speed is 30 seconds, and then bulb.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:39 PM   #3
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Ugh! That sounds amazing (and perfect), but I can't drop that sort of money on a sometimes-camera right now. Ha!

I wouldn't want to spend more than $200 and realize that I won't be able to do everything that I can do on my DSLR.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrlennyl View Post
Ugh! That sounds amazing (and perfect), but I can't drop that sort of money on a sometimes-camera right now. Ha!

I wouldn't want to spend more than $200 and realize that I won't be able to do everything that I can do on my DSLR.
Actually, you'd probably have the same problem I have. The D40 is an older dSLR. Much like my Alpha 100. I'm finding the RX100 to generally be superior to my dSLR, so the dSLR has become my backup camera.
You'd be able to do just about everything on the RX100 that you can do on the D40, except for change lenses and add flashes. And the RX100 will likely give you better low light performance than the D40.

... but I harbor a little guilt about neglecting my dSLR now. Kind of like how I felt about my dog after I had human children. "Sorry, still have affection for you... but you're not going to get the attention anymore."

For under $200... Truthfully, the point & shoots I've seen in that price range are no better than an iPhone 4s/5. They have better optical zoom, but no other real advantages. There are plenty of fair cameras in that price range, but nothing that will replace your dSLR.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:58 PM   #5
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Ha! Yeah, I know that I won't be able to get a camera anywhere near as nice and able to be manipulated as my DSLR, but I honestly just want something that will take good (not great) pictures.

Maybe $300 is more reasonable? I haven't bought a point-and-shoot in over 10 years! Hahaha!
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:01 PM   #6
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The Canon S100 was considered by many to be the best P&S until the Sony RX100. You can find it for under $350. I haven't used it, so I won't comment other than that. I believe it has the manual settings you're looking for.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:01 PM   #7
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The Canon S100 was considered by many to be the best P&S until the Sony RX100. You can find it for under $350. I haven't used it, so I won't comment other than that. I believe it has the manual settings you're looking for.
Awesome. I'll have to check it out. Thanks so much!
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:03 PM   #8
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Amazon has the Canon s100 for around $350. You get P/A/S/M settings and can shoot in RAW.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:04 PM   #9
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Amazon has the Canon s100 for around $350. You get P/A/S/M settings and can shoot in RAW.

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerSho...ords=canon+s95
Ha! I was JUST looking at that. I'm going to keep an eye on it. I don't need it until December, so I can wait until November to buy it. (I'd like a few weeks to mess around with it before our trip.)
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:12 PM   #10
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I'd agree on the under $200 comment. I never found anything in that range that seemed worthwhile.
Around $300 you could get a Canon s95 (which was the compact camera king before the RX100 was released. It also looks like the Oly ZX-1 is about $270 on Amazon, but I don't think it is as compact.

Or you could get into travel zooms like the Sony HX20 (I have the HX30), Panasonic TZ30 or Canon SX260. These are highly versitile with apps 25-500mm equilivent reach, HD video, and manual controls. But wile the zoom is very impressive, at Disney is has limited use (Safari and some outdoor shows) so the s95 may be a better Disney choice.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:21 PM   #11
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I'd agree on the under $200 comment. I never found anything in that range that seemed worthwhile.
Around $300 you could get a Canon s95 (which was the compact camera king before the RX100 was released. It also looks like the Oly ZX-1 is about $270 on Amazon, but I don't think it is as compact.

Or you could get into travel zooms like the Sony HX20 (I have the HX30), Panasonic TZ30 or Canon SX260. These are highly versitile with apps 25-500mm equilivent reach, HD video, and manual controls. But wile the zoom is very impressive, at Disney is has limited use (Safari and some outdoor shows) so the s95 may be a better Disney choice.
Yes, if zoom is a priority, I've been impressed with the HX20/30 pics I've seen. My DW uses an older version of the Canon -- The SX210, and I've been fairly impressed with the overall quality.

I do feel a real need for a big zoom is generally limited, but there are certainly times it is nice to have. If anything, that's what I'm keeping my dSLR around for. (Although, with its 200 mm lens, it still has less zoom than today's best superzoom P&S cameras)
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:32 PM   #12
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How is the shutter delay on the Sony? The one reason I love my D40 is that it takes the picture right away, which is important with kids and cats and rides, and it resets quickly. Alas, I keep whacking my lens on things and have gone through two so far, so I'm thinking perhaps something else would suit me better, especially if that's already better technology than an older D40.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:40 PM   #13
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How is the shutter delay on the Sony? The one reason I love my D40 is that it takes the picture right away, which is important with kids and cats and rides, and it resets quickly. Alas, I keep whacking my lens on things and have gone through two so far, so I'm thinking perhaps something else would suit me better, especially if that's already better technology than an older D40.
I want to be careful with the term "better technology." The technology is inherently different. The sensor (which is the perhaps the biggest factor when it comes to image quality) is still larger on the D40, which provides some inherent advantages.
The RX100's sensor is a bit more "advanced" and is relatively large for a point & shoot. This allows it to actually have greater ISO latitude than the D40.

And with more advanced processor and software, the Rx100 can do some pretty impressive processing right in the camera.

Now, in terms of speed-- The RX100 is fairly fast. It can shoot up to 10 frames per second, although this is really only when shooting jpeg in a continuous shutter mode. But it's still fairly quick in all scenarios. The only thing, sometimes I shut off the LCD review of the picture... so I can keep shooting a bit more quickly. It also comes down to the speed of your SD card -- you want a fast card, to write the data quickly.

Auto focus is quite fast. Not as fast as a top of the line dSLR, but comparable to many dSLRs.

Here is a website going through all the speeds of the RX100:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD...ny-rx100A6.HTM
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:55 PM   #14
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The Panasonic and Sony travel zooms seem to have the fastest autofocus response ( which leads to the fast response when you press the shutter)

But it does seem like the RX100 is even faster. Very, very close to sone DSLr AF in bright conditions. I think the Nikon J1 mirrorless is the smallest camera with phase detect focus.

But there is a difference between a DSLr phase detect AF and a point and shoot with only contrast detect focus. I do get great daylight outdoor focus performance in sports with my HX30 but it sped slow down as lighting decreases.
(It also has slower flash recycle times, but you don't want to use it.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:05 PM   #15
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The Panasonic and Sony travel zooms seem to have the fastest autofocus response ( which leads to the fast response when you press the shutter)

But it does seem like the RX100 is even faster. Very, very close to sone DSLr AF in bright conditions. I think the Nikon J1 mirrorless is the smallest camera with phase detect focus.

But there is a difference between a DSLr phase detect AF and a point and shoot with only contrast detect focus. I do get great daylight outdoor focus performance in sports with my HX30 but it sped slow down as lighting decreases.
(It also has slower flash recycle times, but you don't want to use it.
Yes, I've played around with the Nikon J1 in the store. The focus speed is AMAZING. Unfortunately, it has a lot of weaknesses. But the autofocus speed is a winner.

My one problem with the speed of the RX100 --- On intelligent/superior auto modes, it seems to prefer slower shutter speeds. So it very "intelligently" captures low light scenery pictures, etc. But it doesn't intelligently adjust for candids. So when taking pictures of the kids, I really need to remember to switch to sports or pets mode, or switch to shutter priority and pick a fast shutter speed.
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