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10-22-2010, 08:55 PM   #1
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Need to find a P & S camera for a gift!

This is the first time I post here on Compact Digital & Film Cameras .

Here is the deal:

I need to find a P & S camera for my wife's B.D. !

"Me", having had SLR's and DSLR's ever since I can remember, is now looking for a good quality compact which fits the following criteria:

- Small, pocketable.
- Sturdy, likely weather proof.
- Good optics.
- Decent OPTICAL zoom (5 to 8X).
- Easy of use (VERY important!).
- Good end results (images).
- Price between $300-400, (give or take a few $$) - it's a present, so I don't want to go cheap! I could go higher if it's worth the expense.
- Most importantly ... (()) to be used by me at times!! She'll kill me if she reads this!

Any suggestions?

Cheers.

JP

10-22-2010, 09:45 PM   #2
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AFAIK, none of the WR DCs have good optics or image quality even by DC standard. Personally, I have the Fujifilm F200EXR & SONY DSC-W350 and both produce good image quality but the SONY having the edge on AWB and ease of use. Face detection on both just work and a joy to use compared to DSLRs. If your wife isn't keen on photography, get her something small which can be carried around easily instead of super-zoom. Afterall, there is no point having something awesome but staying home, and only the wide end is really useful to most people.
10-22-2010, 10:21 PM   #3
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go with the Panasonic P&S, best out there...
Panasonic - Lumix 14.1-Megapixel Digital Camera - Red - DMC-ZR3R
there is a black version as well...

Good Luck
10-22-2010, 11:50 PM   #4
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The Panasonic LX5 seemed quite nice when I tried it in the store recently. It gives good results and feels well made. It is slightly more than you said ($440) and only around 4x zoom, but unlike its predecessor it's now close to your specifications. A big plus (to me) is it allows one to shoot RAW files. Remember, this is similar to the $800 Leica D-Lux 5 variant.

Last year I got the Nikon S570 ($150) as a gift for two different people. The results were about as good as anything up to $250 or $300.

Also, the Pentax W90 (can sometimes be found for < $250) is made to be rugged and VERY weatherproof (can be used as an underwater camera). It has a really cool unique feature that I tried in the store: the lens is surrounded by a ring of white LEDs that act like a macro ring flash. This allows one to shoot very close-up macro-type shots without the shadow of the camera getting in the way.

Other than this, in general Panasonics are Nikons are especially worth looking at, I think. Also worth considering is the Canon "compact superzoom" and the Canon S95 (< $400) - see this quick comparison with the LX5 here: http://thephoblographer.com/2010/09/01/which-one-should-i-get-canon-s95-vs-panasonic-lx-5k/


Last edited by DSims; 10-23-2010 at 12:32 AM.
10-23-2010, 01:45 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
AFAIK, none of the WR DCs have good optics or image quality even by DC standard. Personally, I have the Fujifilm F200EXR & SONY DSC-W350 and both produce good image quality but the SONY having the edge on AWB and ease of use. Face detection on both just work and a joy to use compared to DSLRs. If your wife isn't keen on photography, get her something small which can be carried around easily instead of super-zoom. Afterall, there is no point having something awesome but staying home, and only the wide end is really useful to most people.
Thanks.

Going to check this out on the Net first.

My wife does like photography and she has an eye for it.
She just doesn't like to fiddle with the intricacies of a DSLR, otherwise I would have given her a Kx!

Cheers.
10-23-2010, 01:47 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by luke0622 Quote
go with the Panasonic P&S, best out there...
Panasonic - Lumix 14.1-Megapixel Digital Camera - Red - DMC-ZR3R
there is a black version as well...

Good Luck
Thanks for the reply.

There is a store in town here carrying Panasonic stuff.
I'll go and check this out on Sunday.

JP
10-23-2010, 01:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
The Panasonic LX5 seemed quite nice when I tried it in the store recently. It gives good results and feels well made. It is slightly more than you said ($440) and only around 4x zoom, but unlike its predecessor it's now close to your specifications. A big plus (to me) is it allows one to shoot RAW files. Remember, this is similar to the $800 Leica D-Lux 5 variant.

Last year I got the Nikon S570 ($150) as a gift for two different people. The results were about as good as anything up to $250 or $300.

Also, the Pentax W90 (can sometimes be found for < $250) is made to be rugged and VERY weatherproof (can be used as an underwater camera). It has a really cool unique feature that I tried in the store: the lens is surrounded by a ring of white LEDs that act like a macro ring flash. This allows one to shoot very close-up macro-type shots without the shadow of the camera getting in the way.

Other than this, in general Panasonics are Nikons are especially worth looking at, I think. Also worth considering is the Canon "compact superzoom" and the Canon S95 (< $400) - see this quick comparison with the LX5 here: Which One Should I Get?: Canon S95 vs Panasonic LX-5K The Phoblographer
Thanks for the reply and also for the well summarized reviews.

There is so much out there when you want to choose a compact! Much more difficult than with any DSLR actually.

I think I might have to let go of the "weatherproof" because not too many have that feature AND have good optics.

Cheers.

JP
10-24-2010, 09:52 AM   #8
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You might want to look at the Canon SX120IS; SX200IS or SX210IS models or the other highly rated compact supper zooms. Should still be pocketable, and with 10x (or better) optical IS optics. I bought the SX120IS as a compact P&S for the family, and very happy with results.

For someone who likes photography, but not ready for the DSLR and lens changing, the super zooms are brilliant. Canon SX20IS; Panasonic/Lumix FZ35; Nikon P100 and Fuji HS10 seem excellent.

Check out DPreview.com for some options and comparisons of super zooms and compact super zooms at:
'Super Zoom' Camera Group Test (Q2 2010) Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
'Compact Super Zoom' Camera Group Test (Q2 2009) Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

10-25-2010, 06:52 PM   #9
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Thanks Kevin.

I was amazed to see this very small Canon compact "power zoom" which boasts 14 mp and a 14x optical zoo, plus a nice little 28mm lens.

It is much smaller than all of the others.

Looks like a good deal.

I'll try to locate a seller nearby and try it out.

Cheers.

JP
10-27-2010, 11:05 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Thanks.

Going to check this out on the Net first.

My wife does like photography and she has an eye for it.
She just doesn't like to fiddle with the intricacies of a DSLR, otherwise I would have given her a Kx!

Cheers.
Admit it. The truth is, if she gets a Kx, she'll want to use all of your lenses too!
10-27-2010, 01:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by r0ckstarr Quote
Admit it. The truth is, if she gets a Kx, she'll want to use all of your lenses too!
I was afraid of that!

Yeah, she could easily just ask me to switch lenses, put the Kx in Green Mode and fire away!

Good thing is that she wants to "pocket" the camera ... good for me!

JP
11-11-2010, 06:38 PM   #12
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I am tempted to pick up the W90 here for $188 shipped. It would likely go well with my canoe.
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