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Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne

need advice and info on small digital cameras

Title says it all, although this might not be the correct forum in which to ask the questions. If not, mods please move this to where it should go, if anywhere.

What we are after is a small, pocket sized digital camera that takes crisp, clear, sharp photos, with an optical viewfinder [lcd screen is optional], with good fast auto-focus, that is good in bright sunlight as well as in lower light settings such as indoors, and which has a good Image Stabilitzation.

The camera doesn't need sound or the ability to take videos or wireless features.

Just a good small basic camera that takes good clear pics.

We need the viewfinder and a good image stabilization system because my hands aren't steady enough to take clear pics with the camera held away from the user's body in order to view the little LCD screens on the back of most new cameras.

So what do you recommend for under $150 new or less than that amount for a used one if we can find one?

==================================================

Cameras used in the past that took decent pictures include film SLRs from the 1970s and a small mid-priced digital Kodak Easy Share camera with a viewfinder (but no IS) from the mid 2000s. It died recently. The deceased Kodak that had a viewfinder is what we are trying to replace now. But we'd definitely like good Image Stabilization and Auto-focus on the new camera.

We recently tried a Nikon S3600 digital camera that seemed to have everything we need and more except for a viewfinder. That one was too small for me to hold steady away from my body. It took fuzzy pics even with the built in IS and auto-focus features. Given it was a Nikon we'd expected a much better outcome.



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY

I don't have any specific recommendations for you however I do know that it's harder and harder to find a camera with a viewfinder. Most of them, especially the lower-priced ones just have the LCD to compose your pictures which I don't like either. Good luck on your search. This site may be of use to you: »www.dpreview.com/
--
Written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking



rcroning
D700 Rocks
Premium
join:2005-05-21
Winnipeg, MB

2 recommendations

reply to Gem

I agree. For the amount you are willing to spend, you probably will not get a compact P&S with an optical VF.

If you are willing to spend about $500 give or take $50, consider the Nikon P7000/P7100 or the Canon G series - G10, G11 or G12. They are all excellent performers for what you require but may not be as compact as you'd like. However, they are quite smaller than some of the mirrorless systems out there.

I have a Nikon P7000 and it is an excellent camera. Those dropped down in price quite drastically when the newer model was released and can be had new for as little as $280 which is what I paid for mine brand new.


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4

Thank you for the reply and for the useful information. I'll take a look at the Nikon you mention even though it is more than we had in mind to spend. Sounds interesting.



rcroning
D700 Rocks
Premium
join:2005-05-21
Winnipeg, MB
reply to Gem

You are welcome. At around $100 or so more, you'll be getting a camera that will satisfy most, if not all, of your photographic needs in a nice small package. Keep us informed on your shopping spree.

Amazon.ca lists it at $299 Canadian which is around $265US.
»www.amazon.ca/Nikon-Coolpix-Digi···0427ZLRO

This good condition model on ebay lists for $179.95 and the seller is in the USA.
»www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-Coolpix-P···33bc5f51


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne

I looked and the Nikon and almost purchased it. Still might do so later. The only drawback was the need to purchase a large add-on flash attachment for an additional cost and more bulkiness. The flash may come with new ones, but was not included on the used ones I've seen. That's if I'm looking at the correct pics of the P7000 on the Internet.

We got a simple Canon A1400 with a viewfinder for the spouse. It's a very basic point and shoot model, but it does have the viewfinder that we both need to use it.



rcroning
D700 Rocks
Premium
join:2005-05-21
Winnipeg, MB
reply to Gem

The Nikon P7000 does have a built-in pop-up flash. The hot shoe is there as an option to use an external flash unit.

P.S. You may also want to look at the Canon G series. Just as good, if not better in some respects and a smaller overall package.


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4

Thanks.

We'll keep both the G12 and p7000 in mind if we decide to add to the Canon A1400.



rcroning
D700 Rocks
Premium
join:2005-05-21
Winnipeg, MB
reply to Gem

The A1400 seems to be a nice little camera, though reviews have shown it to have noisy images even at low ISO settings. But if you are not going to make very large prints then that shouldn't be an issue.

The lack of image stabilization may be an issue in low light situations, and based on your original post was one of the required features for your purchase. Keep us posted and maybe post a few from the A1400 at low ISO, just so we can see if the reviewers were just being pixel-peeping nitpickers or not


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4
Reviews:
·CableOne

1 edit

Edited to reflect more recent experience with the A1400:

Photos with the A1400 are fair in high light outdoor situations, but are indeed noisy where the light is lower. They definitely aren't as clear as our old, plain vanilla, bottom-of-the-line Kodak that we purchased back in 2004 that came without image stabilization.



Sweet Witch
Be the flame, not the moth.
Premium,MVM
join:2003-07-15
Gallifrey
reply to Gem

Have you thought about adding a Hoodman? »www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5···een.html

Then you can strap it to any LCD camera. I might even have a spare one here once you choose the camera.
--
"While you can teach an old dog new tricks, you simply can't teach him to be a cat."

"Are you my Mummy?"


Gem
Premium
join:2005-09-10
kudos:4

Thank you for the offer Sweet One. We're trying to keep it simple so we haven't gone the hooded route, but you are kind to suggest that.