I’m looking for suggestions for a point and shoot digital camera. I’m specifically looking for a camera that will take good indoor photos and action shots. I’d also prefer one that uses AA batteries since you can find AA’s anywhere in a pinch. Resolution isn’t a priority, something in the 5-6 megapixel range is plenty.
Any suggestions, or perhaps someone could point me to a good camera review site?
I’ve been using a Canon Powershot A610 for about 15 months now. I’ve taken over 3,300 pictures with it, and I’m very happy with the results. The page I’ver linked to is part of Flickr where they compare various makes of camera, including reviews.
In my opinion stay away from Sony and Olypmus/Fuji, as those two use their own proprietary memory card formats. Both of these are almost higher per megabyte than an SD or CF card (though CF isn’t even around much anymore except in the larger, SLR cameras since a CF has the capacity to have more storage.) Sony is especially confusing, considering they have about umpteen billion different formats of their memory sticks.
There’s the memory stick, memory stick duo, memory stick pro, memory stick pro duo, memory stick micro, and memory stick Pro-HG. The only real issue with an SD camera is whether it uses standard SD, mini-SD, or micro-SD (almost all use the standard, a few use mini, and I’ve never seen one that uses micro. But the mini and the micro almost always come with adapters letting them be used in a standard SD slot.)
I had 2 Sony DSC model cameras. A DSC -p51 and a DSC-P93A. Both of them developed an annoying habit of viewscreen/ccd failure, w hich would cause the camera to take black pictures until you juiggled it just right or put new batteries in it (even if the old batteries were still nearly full).
After that, I got a Canon SD450, and it’s been great, no problems with it.
I have been tickled pink with my Canon A620 in the six months I’ve had it. I’ve made 12x18 enlargements, and they’re enough to cut you.
Having said that, I’ve always held to the belief that a person’s ability as a photographer has more to do with picture quality than the type of camera used. With that in mind, I looked at the combination of features, price, and user reviews to help me there.
One thing I don’t like about most compact cameras is the automatic lens cover. I’d much prefer a cover that I could replace on my own. I’ve seen cameras (OK, I’ve seen a camera) basically put out of commission because something went wrong with automatic lens cover.
Another thing I’d like for this camera is a remote shutter release for tripod-mounted photos. The closest thing mine comes with is a two second delay. I’m guessing most DSLRs have either threads or a radio release, but I doubt that will likely happen with compacts (same as with the 35mm). But that was something I can live with as it would have cost several hundred more dollars to upgrade to a DSLR.
No, you cannot get Raw out of the A-series as far as I know. If you updated the firmware to do so you would certainly void your warranty. I haven’t seen any firmware upgrades for that.
I think the Canon A710 is a fine choice. Good zoom, IS, AA batteries (you’ll be getting NiMH rechargeables, right?), good feature set and excellent image quality. I’m not a huge fan of the Sonys, but if you expect to shoot in low light without a flash you want to look at the Fuji F-30. It’s the king of low light shooting, bar none. It does use xD memory cards which are more expensive then SD, but the extra price for memory isn’t a big deal.
Not AA-battery-powerd…but the Fujifilm F30 is relatively affordable, and has a good reputation. Be sure to use the pulldown menu on the dpreview page and go to “Conclusions” and read what they say, which includes things like this:
The Fuji F-30 and it’s replacement F-31 are still the best compact low-light camera on the market. They aren’t as full featured as the Canon A-series, especially the A710 with Image Stabilization, but if you’re going to be taking a majority of your shots in low light without a flash there is no other choice that makes sense.
If you are going the the Canon, I recommend the A630 or the A710 over the A5xx. With 4 AA batteries they last longer, have a stronger flash, and have a bigger CCD which leads to better image quality. Although the just announced A570 IS looks pretty good on paper.
Thanks for the suggestions. Here’s some more information:
I’m looking for a camera to make up for the deficiencies of the one I already have. My current camera (Sony DSC-W7) is good when the lighting is bright and everything’s still, but it takes really lousy pictures indoors or when there’s movement. I’ve been finding that the majority of my photos are under those conditions, so I’m looking for a camera that can deal with that better.
A buddy of mine (who is a pretty avid photographer) is trying to steer me towards digital SLR cameras, he tells me they have larger CCDs and faster processors which work better for what I’m looking for. But they’re out of my price range and frankly I’m no photographer, I wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of one.
Yes, I use NiMH batteries. I want a camera that takes AA’s because I already have a whole mess of rechargeable NiMH AA’s and AAA’s (I use them in all my small electronics). Also, twice I’ve been out somewhere only to find that I’ve forgotten to recharge the batteries. I was able to pick up some AA’s and keep shooting, but I would have been SOL if the camera needed something more exotic.
I didn’t know that was a common failure mode. I replaced my old camera (Sony DSC-P51) a year ago because it started doing just that. I often carry it in the tankbag of my motorcycle, I figured vibration killed it. I still use it from time to time (it’s specifically relegated to motorcycle duty now), I just have to knock it on the side sometimes to get it to work.