Need help picking point and shoot camera

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by cbryk0718, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. cbryk0718

    cbryk0718 TPF Noob!

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    Hi. Since having my daughter earlier this year I've realized the importance of knowing how to take nice photos. I currently use the Canon Powershot S30 which was loaned to me by my mom. For Christmas I am getting a new camera but I'm so overwhelmed by all the information on cameras!! I'm just looking for a point and shoot for up to $300. The best that this money can buy for taking pics of my baby and family, etc. I would eventually love to take some photography courses but don't have the funds/time for that right now. The Canon A630 has been recommended to me. Any suggestions would be helpful. TIA!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    To me, practically all the point & shoot cameras are the same...if you have seen one, you have seen them all.

    That's not really true, some are better than others and some are better at certain things than other cameras.

    If I were to buy one (or recommend one) I would stick with a good 'camera brand name' like Canon or Nikon etc.

    There are a few features that you might want to consider. Do you want a lot of zoom? You can get a camera with a lot of zoom...but that makes the camera bigger and harder to put in your pocket. If you can get one with IS (image stabilization) that is a nice benefit...especially on one with a lot of zoom.

    If eventually want to take a class or at least learn about photography...I would recommend a camera that has basic control modes rather than just auto. The 4 basic modes (on a Canon) are: P (auto), Av (aperture priority), Tv (shutter priority) and M (manual). These modes should allow you enough control to get a good idea of basic photography.

    You may eventually find that a $300 camera is limiting and you will want to upgrade. If you are OK with having to upgrade later, then go for it. If you would like to save money in the long run, then it might be better to increase your budget to say $600 and get a camera that is 10 times as good.
     
  3. The thing to test out is how quickly it shoots. The biggest reason parents upgrade from a P&S to a better camera is because a little camera needs to go through various caniptions before it fires... and does so slowly. It focuses, white-balances, adjusts contrast and saturation... and then shoots. At that point your toddler has left the frame and moved on to decorate your computer with oatmeal. There are good P&S cameras, I'm sure... jsut make sure you see how fast they shoot.

    The camera I have a crush on is the Canon G9, but it's at the highest end of the P&S market, and is really quite an advanced camera, just no exchangable lens.

    Here's a link to it at B&H
    . It's not small, btw, and a P&S ought to fit in a pocket somewhat easily - this doesn't.
     
  4. cbryk0718

    cbryk0718 TPF Noob!

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    Not fitting in my pocket is not a problem since I have a purse or diaper bag with me wherever I go! I've also been recommended the G6 so I think I'll check that one out too. Thaks so much, both of you!
     
  5. The G6 is a pre-cursor to the G9. Not sure if the G6 is still in circulation, there was no G8. There was a model in between called the G7 that wasn't quite as good, mainly because it didn't allow a file format informally known as RAW. In that case, you have the option to shoot in RAW (or RAW and JPG at the same time.) RAW is bigger and takes up more memory, so you'll need a bigger memory card if you ever opt to shoot in that format. RAW is nice because you're pretty much capturing the raw data that the camera's sensor captures. You have much more control over the final image in the future when you process it using your PC. A JPG file is simply the way that the camera processes the captured data for you, based on some presets. But it then discards the remaining data...
     
  6. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IMHO I would make sure that whatever camera you choose has optical image stabilization (IS or VR), and I would stick with a name brand as previously mentioned.

    I use a Canon A710IS (which has now been superseded by, I believe, the A720IS) and I love it. I also like the Canon S5 very much, and drool over a Canon G9. The reason I went with the A710IS over the previous models of the S5 and G9 lines were price and underwater housing availability (we use the A710IS for diving).
     

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