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02-14-2009, 01:58 PM   #1
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Help me choose a camera for my wife

Warning! This will not be easy.

She presently has a Canon digital compact and is ready for something better. She is mostly a point-and-shooter, wanting to capture family, events, and other obvious "middle-sized dry goods".

Stated preferences:

1) a decently sized zoom that goes reasonably wide-angle

2) an optical viewfinder (or a damn good EVF)

3) not too large a camera body

4) image stabilization

5) onboard flash

6) reliably good photos (but does not have to be SLR quality)

7) low-light capability

8) preferably below $300

9) I would prefer that it use SD cards, so we have compatible formats

Any and all suggestions welcome. Translation: HELP!!!!

02-14-2009, 05:00 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
Warning! This will not be easy.

She presently has a Canon digital compact and is ready for something better. She is mostly a point-and-shooter, wanting to capture family, events, and other obvious "middle-sized dry goods".

Stated preferences:

1) a decently sized zoom that goes reasonably wide-angle

2) an optical viewfinder (or a damn good EVF)

3) not too large a camera body

4) image stabilization

5) onboard flash

6) reliably good photos (but does not have to be SLR quality)

7) low-light capability

8) preferably below $300

9) I would prefer that it use SD cards, so we have compatible formats

Any and all suggestions welcome. Translation: HELP!!!!


Hello sholtzma, since you posted your question in the dSLR area, i am going to provide a dSLR-ish answer: the Pentax K-m.

If you ignore the K1**D series, this is the only current Pentax offering that almost qualifies in terms of size, weight and price. Couple that with this nice compact prime lens, and you got yourself a nice package:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=pentax+40+2.8&oe=utf-8&cid=13287984...tle#ps-sellers


If that doesn't work for you, you could give this nice (and tough) compact camera a go: http://focus94.ro/shop_detail.php?id=558
02-14-2009, 09:06 PM   #3
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If she doesn't want an XSi, the Canon Powershot SX10 IS fits the bill perfectly and shoots video to boot. You also have the Canon Powershot G10, Fuji Finepix S8100fd, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 and the Lumix DMC-G1 as well.

Last edited by lostkj233; 02-15-2009 at 08:03 AM.
02-14-2009, 09:19 PM   #4
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Well, up until the $300 part, you were talking about the KM kit. You could even get the white 2-lens kit, or you could get the kit with the flash. Both would be great and you could share lenses.

02-15-2009, 08:03 AM   #5
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You can find Canon S3's, S5's and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18's on ebay for under $300. Again, I think that your wife would be very happy with the new Canon SX10 IS.

You can watch a review of the Lumix FX-18 by Cameralabs.com.
YouTube - Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ18 review

Lumix FX-28
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iJo0yAYcNA

Review of the Canon SX10 IS with a great video capture demonstration.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj7CiuBQLZA

Last edited by lostkj233; 02-15-2009 at 08:19 AM.
02-15-2009, 08:12 AM   #6
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What about a W60 ???

For about 2 years now we have a W20, very reliable simple and effective.

Also with our 3 little monsters is :
Snowproof
Bath-proof
Coke-rain-proof
etc....

And picture quality is decent and there's many modes and configs you can set.

Last but not least, you have a special mode of picture : Gastronomy ...

That may help her to find back her way home (Or at least where she's supposed to be, in the kitchen !!! )

Of course i'm kidding (dreaming ?)

Best regards,

Thomas
02-15-2009, 08:52 AM   #7
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Naturally, I keep hoping I can talk her into a smallish DSLR. Smack an 18-200mm lens on it that she doesn't have to take off, and she'd have a nice set-up. Make it a Pentax, and we have the compatibility factor. I thought about trying to find a used K110D and a used lens. What do you think? My main worry there is the total weight. (The sad thing is that she used to shoot film SLR, so she shouldn't be spoiled by tiny cameras.)
02-15-2009, 12:23 PM   #8
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most p&s cams in low light don't have a clean image at high ISO's so they rely on flash to get you the shot. this is good since you don't have to fuss around too much with white balance, but bad since you will get a lot of photos that have flash filled faces with very little depth and dark backgrounds. personally, one of the advantages I like about DSLR's is the ability to capture low light photos without having to rely on flash.

the complication then becomes getting enough light into a camera (and lens) to get decent photo's. first thing you'd want is a camera that can handle high ISO's without a lot of camera noise. in the pentax lineup, you would probably want to look at a k100 or k20d, but given your price constraints, a lightly used k100 (or k100 super) would be more in line. the k100d has image stabilization (where the k110d does not) which will allow the user to shoot w/ lower shutter speeds with an increased chance of getting a sharp picture. but then you'd want a lens that allows more light in (with a low f/#), probably an f2.8 or lower. this presents a problem... you want a "broad" zoom range, but most "fast" lenses don't have a broad zoom range. I use a 24-60 f2.8, 28-75 f2.8, or 35mm f2.0 (no zoom) lens a lot for my indoor shots and find these focal lengths fine for rooms that keep people relatively close. and a fast lens presents another problem... price. a used k100d would probably cost 250-350. a fast lens as mentioned above would likely cost 180-300 used. so... you've got some choices to make.

I could go on, but this post is too long as it is...hope it helps.

02-15-2009, 03:04 PM   #9
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I've seen some new Samsung GX-1L's with kit lens going for under $300. Like this one:
Samsung DIGIMAXGX1L 6.3 Mega Pixel Digital SLR Camera GX-1L | Cameras
But I know nothing about that seller.
You can get K100's with lens in the marketplace here for under $300 also.
You can get a refurbished K100 Super with one year warranty without lens for $299 here:
Pentax K100D Super (Body Only) - Factory Renewed Digital SLR - In Stock at OneCall.com
I bought my K200 from them.
Mike
02-16-2009, 12:05 AM   #10
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Hi ! If I would to choose again some p&s, for sure Panasonic FZ28 will be the winner - again; I had one of this before by "move" to DSLR. The IS was incredible. On the other hand the K-m I think it's a better ideea for further development. Best regards.
02-16-2009, 12:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by picatalin Quote
Hi ! If I would to choose again some p&s, for sure Panasonic FZ28 will be the winner - again; I had one of this before by "move" to DSLR. The IS was incredible. On the other hand the K-m I think it's a better ideea for further development. Best regards.
I second this. The Panasonic FZ28 is an absolutely brilliant cross-over camera (is that what they call it?).

Because the Panasonic wasn't available at the time, I ended up purchasing the Canon PowerShot S5 IS for my mother's birthday... which is also a very nice camera (though the FZ28 is better in most ways).
02-16-2009, 08:47 AM   #12
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Another vote for the Panasonic FZ28. I have had one for two weeks now and love it! The only requirement of hers that it does not fill is perhaps size although compared to an dslr it is tiny. I carry a moderate size handbag and just throw it in. It is a great little camera. The auto modes are very reliable but it does has full manual controls if wanted and shoots raw, jpeg and raw+jpeg.
02-16-2009, 10:46 AM   #13
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While I love Panasonic cameras (I have an LX3 and just bought a FX37 for my future wifey), I just found a deal for a *istD + 18-55 for $263 at Wolf Camera. Might be worth a look?

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/51283-hot-deal-ope...olfcamera.html
02-16-2009, 02:15 PM   #14
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i think you should buy any camera, then find a new wife that'll like it...
02-16-2009, 03:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by edl Quote
While I love Panasonic cameras (I have an LX3 and just bought a FX37 for my future wifey), I just found a deal for a *istD + 18-55 for $263 at Wolf Camera. Might be worth a look?

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/51283-hot-deal-ope...olfcamera.html
That's actually for the *ist DL.

Except for the lack of shake reduction, it completely fits the OP's description. The 6mp CCD is great for low light shots. I bought this kit for my sister, as she used to use an SLR way back when, and has been frustrated by her lack of control with a general P&S. If you buy the "free" printer, you can sell that as well and then the final out of pocket price drops well below $250, probably closer to $220. That's an absolute steal.
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