Best Point-and-shoot Cameras? (cheaper)

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Kristie, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Kristie

    Kristie TPF Noob!

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    I've ordered the new Nikon D80 and should receive it next month, but I'm also thinking of getting a cheaper Point and Shoot Digital camera as well to bring with me when I wont be able to bring my bigger D80.

    Can anyone recommend a cheaper camera, but one that takes excellent photos.
    My friend has a Nikon Coolpix, and the pictures turn out pretty nice, but I'd like to know what else would be a good camera.

    THANKS.
     
  2. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    While I love Nikon to death, the Canon Powershot series are pretty much the best P&S cameras out there right now.
     
  3. Kristie

    Kristie TPF Noob!

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    It seems there are many different Powershot models. Which are the better models?
     
  4. Kristie

    Kristie TPF Noob!

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  5. celery

    celery TPF Noob!

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    Canon Powershot S70


    It's an older model which means you can pick one up for a decent price. And the best thing about the S70 model . . . is that it can shoot in RAW!

    I left my DSLR at home this summer when I went to Greece for vacation because I wanted to travel light and not have to worry about an extra camera bag.

    I did a ton of research before buying this camera, and for a point and shoot, there is no better for the price. I got mine for $150 (although they seem to have gone up recently for some reason --- maybe it's because the S80 doesn't shoot RAW and photog's missed that).

    I'll tell you up front that it's not the sleekest and sexiest camera out there. But it takes compact flash like most DSLR's do and it's ability to shoot in RAW as well as Super Fine Jpeg makes it tough to overlook.
     
  6. Kristie

    Kristie TPF Noob!

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    This may be a stupid question, or I'm drawing a blank on this but what is RAW?
     
  7. celery

    celery TPF Noob!

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    RAW is an uncompressed digital file format. It's like the "negative" of the digital world. It's the best for editing and processing because it hasn't lost quality through compression. They're usually around 20mb or bigger.
     
  8. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    Not in my experience. The RAW files from my D50 are usually 3-5MB apiece. Bigger than a JPEG, yes, but certainly not 20MB. RAW from a P&S would presumably be even smaller.
     
  9. celery

    celery TPF Noob!

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    That can't be right. That's how big my jpegs are from the S70. Do you have it set to max resolution? (like 3000x2000). I dunno, that just seems weird to me. I don't think I have any RAW files that are less than 15mb. Maybe nikon does it differently, I'm confused atm. When I get home I'll check the settings on my cameras.
     
  10. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    RAW doesn't work in any resolution but max. Perhaps Canon doesn't compress its RAW images, which would be rather silly but possible. Here's an example RAW file from a shoot I did a couple of days ago. Just over 5MB, 3008x2000.

    http://www.msu.edu/~beckbria/tmp/DSC_4624.NEF

    (Note: By posting the RAW file here online, I release it into the public domain. Feel free to mess with it, do whatever you want to it, so long as you don't claim it as your own)
     
  11. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Canon Powershots are definitely good, the only thing about the S70 that may put you off is that it uses USB1.1 instead of USB2, which means you could be waiting around quite a while for those RAW files to transfer to your computer.

    One thing to consider when comparing compact p&s cameras is the range of ISO levels and the image quality (especially noise level) at each setting. If even ISO 400 produces horribly noisy images, forget it and look at something else. Canon's digital cameras are known for producing clean images at high ISO levels, while the wide range of ISO levels has been a selling point of Fuji's for a while. Sony are unfortunately not known either for the range of ISO levels offered in their cameras or the cleanness of their higher ISO levels. This is something to bear in mind; after all the point of the p&s is that you can take it places you can't take an SLR, and that may well include indoors in low light.
     
  12. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    after you see the results you get from your D80 you will not want to shoot with a Point and shoot. It would be a shame to take just your P.A.S. somewhere take some photos of a great landscape, scene, etc. only to find the quality just doesn't compare to that of your DSLR. Unless your just using to take pics of you and your friends/family I would always use a DSLR. I have some shots I wish I had taken with a DSLR that I took with my old point and shoot. I haven't seen my old camera since I got my DSLR.
     

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