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Old 01-05-2013, 07:26 PM   #1
ThePinGuy
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Need help deciding on which digital camera

Hi

I am looking to buy a new digital camera for my upcoming trip. Please let me know what models you think are good. I am looking to spend in the $200-$250 range.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:36 PM   #2
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First it's a question of what you're looking for, your priorities. Is super portability a priority?
Is a big zoom a priority, or is image quality more important? That price range is about compromises.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:40 PM   #3
ThePinGuy
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Image quality and a good zoom are top priorities. The camera that I was considering is the Nikon CoolPix S9300. Any opinions on this?
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:13 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, that's the trade off. You can get very good image quality with limited zoom -- you may find the Canon S100 in your price range.
Or you can get very good zoom, with so so image quality. (To get big zoom in a small package, they shrink down the sensor and put on a slower lens, lowering the image quality most of the time). I don't really know the Nikon, but the Canon sx260 and Sony hx20 are good examples that might be found in your price range.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:22 PM   #5
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Image quality is somewhat relative to the user and a bit subjective in that respect. What one may find low image quality another may be ecstatic with. And you get out what you put in... meaning someone who knows how to push a camera can pull great shots out of just about any camera.

I'd start looking at places like dpreview.com. They have some good buying guides and their reviews are pretty straightforward and fairly unbiased. There's a lot of models out there and it's hard to narrow it down and make a truly good rec. based on just a few things.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:25 PM   #6
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http://m.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-coolpix-s9300

At least according to this review, the image quality on the Nikon s9300 is not very good. Gets noisy at low ISO. Very slow in low light.

And if you're planning on using it for travel, it has a very poor battery.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:17 AM   #7
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It is 100 over but:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

THis is a very nice deal on an interchangable lens camera. I have seen the same thing for 300.

A panasonic LX-5 or LX-7 would b egood and sometimes dip into the $250 price.

Canon S95/S100 should be available in that price range. Otherwise I like to stay with Canon, Panasonic and Fuji in the lower price cameras and then check reviews or post back here with a few choices to pick from.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:56 AM   #8
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I agree with havoc315 on the Canon sx260, which I just saw at BestBuy for $199 and probably would be my pick of I were in the market for a mega zoom. I just bought my brother the Panasonic Lumix ZS20, which has a 20x zoom, GPS, touch screen, etc., and he has been happy with it so far. You also may want to look at a variety of cameras in the 10 a 12x range.

You do need to keep in mind the more you zoom, the more likely your shots will appear "blurry" or out of focus. Outdoor you would probably be fine, but if you fully zoom you may need a tripod, monopod, or try to keep it propped for better stability. Indoors I would keep away from zooming in more than 8x.

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Old 01-06-2013, 03:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikegood2 View Post
I agree with havoc315 on the Canon sx260, which I just saw at BestBuy for $199 and probably would be my pick of I were in the market for a mega zoom. I just bought my brother the Panasonic Lumix ZS20, which has a 20x zoom, GPS, touch screen, etc., and he has been happy with it so far. You also may want to look at a variety of cameras in the 10 a 12x range.

You do need to keep in mind the more you zoom, the more likely your shots will appear "blurry" or out of focus. Outdoor you would probably be fine, but if you fully zoom you may need a tripod, monopod, or try to keep it propped for better stability. Indoors I would keep away from zooming in more than 8x.

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Saying that zooming out makes images blurry is like saying that pushing the gas pedal on a car makes you speed. There's more to it. A basic understanding of how camera shake and shutter speed relate to each other can help someone overcome this problem fairly easily.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_chick

Saying that zooming out makes images blurry is like saying that pushing the gas pedal on a car makes you speed. There's more to it. A basic understanding of how camera shake and shutter speed relate to each other can help someone overcome this problem fairly easily.
Of course it does, but many casual shooters, and this is not aimed at the OP, do not understand that. I could have gone into more detail about how the aperture # tends to go up the more the zoom, or how the shutter speed needs to go up also, I just didn't want to go into that much detail. Maybe I "dumbed" it down too much, I just wanted to bring it to the attention of the OP or anyone else looking into a mega zoom p&s. In the case of the Nikon that he listed, if you read the reviews on it, or some other mega zooms, "blurry" photos are a common complaint.

I just bought my brother a Panasonic Lumix ZS20, to replace his two year old Nikon 9100, the biggest problem he had with that camera was blurry photos and speed. I've discussed shake and shutter speed and it has never really stuck. He, like many other photographers, will never take a camera out of auto and just want zoom in and shoot. That's why I would have preferred getting him a 8-12x camera, but he wanted 16 - 20x.

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Old 01-06-2013, 12:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikegood2 View Post
Of course it does, but many casual shooters, and this is not aimed at the OP, do not understand that. I could have gone into more detail about how the aperture # tends to go up the more the zoom, or how the shutter speed needs to go up also, I just didn't want to go into that much detail. Maybe I "dumbed" it down too much, I just wanted to bring it to the attention of the OP or anyone else looking into a mega zoom p&s. In the case of the Nikon that he listed, if you read the reviews on it, or some other mega zooms, "blurry" photos are a common complaint.

I just bought my brother a Panasonic Lumix ZS20, to replace his two year old Nikon 9100, the biggest problem he had with that camera was blurry photos and speed. I've discussed shake and shutter speed and it has never really stuck. He, like many other photographers, will never take a camera out of auto and just want zoom in and shoot. That's why I would have preferred getting him a 8-12x camera, but he wanted 16 - 20x.

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Burry photos are a common complaint with many cameras. It's about a lot more than the zoom. I don't think it's a reason to stay away from a super zoom point and shoot. Just because you know one person who has a certain type of camera that might not be the best choice for doesn't mean that type of camera wouldn't be perfect for someone else.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_chick

Burry photos are a common complaint with many cameras. It's about a lot more than the zoom. I don't think it's a reason to stay away from a super zoom point and shoot. Just because you know one person who has a certain type of camera that might not be the best choice for doesn't mean that type of camera wouldn't be perfect for someone else.
Hey photo_chick, I've only been back on the DIS boards for a week now but have enjoyed reading your posts and useful advice during that time, but I thing you misread my original post. It was in no way meant to try and talk him out of a mega zoom, I thing they are great p&s's! I just wanted to point out that the super zooms greatest strength can, in some occasions, be a weakness. Of course blurry photos are a common complaint for many cameras, I just thing it is more common for super zooms (when zoomed in more). There's a reason why you see a monopod attached to the lens of sports photographers.

As far as my brothers camera goes, he does get great shoots from his camera, and loves the super zoom. It's just so easy to zoom in all the way, that people can forget some of the tradoffs. It just gets him in trouble sometimes

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Last edited by mikegood2; 01-06-2013 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikegood2 View Post
Hey photo_chick, I've only been back on the DIS boards for a week now but have enjoyed reading your posts and useful advice during that time, but I thing you misread my original post. It was in no way meant to try and talk him out of a mega zoom, I thing they are great p&s's! I just wanted to point out that the super zooms greatest strength can, in some occasions, be a weakness. Of course blurry photos are a common complaint for many cameras, I just thing it is more common for super zooms (when zoomed in more). There's a reason why you see a monopod attached to the lens of sports photographers.

As far as my brothers camera goes, he does get great shoots from his camera, and loves the super zoom. It's just so easy to zoom in all the way, that people can forget some of the tradoffs. It just gets him in trouble sometimes

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It is hard to tell sometimes what people mean in text. when we have no intonation or body language things don't always come across.

Yeah, what I got from your post was a message that said "don't buy super zooms because they will have camera shake problems that cause blurry photos."

That zoom can make things a little more challenging, especially if you don't know why you're having problems. And not just with super zooms, but with a telephoto zoom on a DSLR as well.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:57 PM   #14
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I'm so glad I stumbled on this thread! I hope it's been as helpful to ThePinGuy as it has been for me. I have actually been trying to decide between the Canon sx260 and the Panasonic Lumix ZS20. I like them both, but I wonder which one has better results in low light. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions?
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:54 PM   #15
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I'm so glad I stumbled on this thread! I hope it's been as helpful to ThePinGuy as it has been for me. I have actually been trying to decide between the Canon sx260 and the Panasonic Lumix ZS20. I like them both, but I wonder which one has better results in low light. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions?

You can compare the specs to see which one should be more capable in low light situations, but that's only part of the story and the specs of a lot of cameras are really close.

Look at the aperture... that f/ number that they list on the lens. The lower that number is the wider the aperture opens, and the more light the lens lets in. And look at the ISO range. The higher ISO a camera will go to, the more light it will be able to gather. Of course there is the issue of noise at higher ISO's, and that's where things get more subjective. You have to just look at samples and see if you can live with the amount of noise a camera has at higher ISO's.

A good way to get a real world idea of the ISO performance of a camera is to search Flickr. Look for images shot with those and look at the EXIF data to see the ISO used. It's not a scientific approach, but it can give you an idea of how they will perform in real situations.
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