Looking for advice on camera purchase

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by garybeck, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. garybeck

    garybeck TPF Noob!

    Jul 30, 2009
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    I'm tearing my hair out trying to replace my camera that was damaged in heavy rain. I've had an Olympus C-700UZ since 2001 and been very happy with it, even tho it was only 2.1 MP, it was adequate for my purposes (very little printing).

    I've decided that I'm mainly looking for these criteria:

    1) minimum 10x optical zoom
    2) must have viewfinder
    3) prefer standard (AA) batteries over proprietary
    4) I am on a low budget

    And obviously I want a camera that takes good photos. I think my olympus took very good photos.

    I mainly use the auto setting, sometimes put it on the "Action" setting for quicker shutter speed, sometimes put the flash on manual or or off, but very little playing with other more esoteric settings. I'm not a pro, or anything close, but I do have a good eye for taking pictures. So I'm sort of looking for a point-shoot, but given that I need the >10x and viewfinder, I find that steers me towards the midrange "DSLR type" (not true SLR).

    I have spent hours reading reviews on different websites that contradict each other, and I'm starting to go NUTS....

    I purchased the FUJI S1500, which was a great deal at less than $200, and had all the features, but ended up returning it because the photo quality on auto setting was not great. my old 8-year old olympus did a better job on focusing, the colors didn't seem as vivid, and there seemed to be too much white (washout) in many of the photos, just using the default auto setting. It also stopped working completely, wouldn't even turn on. I sent it back for a refund rather than repair.

    So I have it narrowed down to a few choices at this point:

    1) Kodak Z1015 IS ($250)
    2) Canon SX10 ($350)
    3) Olympus SP-590 UZ ($350)

    I've also been looking at the Nikon L100 and Sony H20, and the Lumix but these don't have the viewfinder and I really need that. It seems I have to jump out of my price range (~$350) for the Sony or Nikon or Panasonic to get the viewfinder and >10x zoom.

    Overall it seems the Canon gets the best reviews. I would save $100 and get the SX100 but it doesn't have the viewfinder. The Kodak doesn't have nearly as many reviews or recommendations, but the ones it get seem to be fairly good. I just discovered the Kodak last night and I'm wondering if it's worth trying. I could use the extra $100 compared to the others, but I don't want to end up sending another one back just because I was trying to save a buck. The olympus doesn't seem to get as good reviews as the Canon, but I was happy with the with the old olympus I had, so I think it should at least be considered.

    Does anyone have any advice for me?
    Are there cameras I'm not considering, which I should?

    thanks very much
    gary in vermont
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  2. Canosonic

    Canosonic TPF Noob!

    Jan 2, 2009
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    Germany, Bonn
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    Don't see much posts here, so i hope mine will be good enough.
    I don't own any of these cameras, so don't expect much.
    So, it's right, that canon is a good choice, but check out the panasonic t27. I own the predecessor of that camera and the quality is fantastic. I guess the successor is even better, especially based on the reviews and its ten pounds short the canon (sorry, I'm in england, probably means it even more cheaper in US)!
    Also the fujifilm F200 EXR is on every magazine cover and is wrapped in 5-star reviews. Also in the same price-category.
    Hope i helped.
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Nov 15, 2003
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    North New Jersey, United States of America
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    Of the three listed I would go with the Canon SX10... Others I would consider... Panasonic ZS3/TZ7. I have the TZ5 and it is good for a P&S. From what I hear, the ZS3/TZ7 is an improvement. A bit more compact than the ones listed too...

    Most P&S now a days are forgoing the viewfinder for compactness... really unfortunate.

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