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Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

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Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

Postby oleander » Sat May 10, 2014 7:53 pm

My Canon Elph SD450 has died.

What point-and-shoot camera to replace it with?

Here are its MUST HAVES:
1) Must be available refurbished (or lightly used) on eBay FOR UNDER $200. (Yes, I'm happy to buy a model from, say, 2010, to take advantage of drastic price drops.)

2) Must have a WIDE-ANGLE LENS (28 or better). I don't know the technical aspects here. I just prefer images that include a wider swathe of landscape. Should I insist on 24 or better?

3) IMAGE QUALITY. I am probably going to make my final decision based on image quality, regardless of anything else I write on this page. Most of the images I take are landscape photos, from a distance. So I want the best landscape-image quality a P&S can get me. This includes low-light pictures. (My Elph was GREAT at that. Sierra sunsets and all.)

If there are two or more, <$200 wide-angle cameras with very similarly superb image quality, I'll probably further narrow my decision based on...
* long battery life (and/or ease of carrying & changing out spares)
* compactness/lightness (the smaller, the better)
* toughness ("shockproof")
* waterproof would give it an edge, but far from necessary

I don't really care about...
* Video
* Indoor photography
* GPS
* Wifi

Here are some models I'm aware of that might pass my test. I welcome your thoughts about which one will meet my criteria the best, especially on image quality...
* Panasonic Lumix LX5
* Canon Powershot S95 or S100 (is the S100 really worth the extra ~$50-$75 over the S95?)
* Canon Powershot Elph 510 HS
* Canon SX 260
* Nikon Coolpix AW100: Wary of this one, because of reportedly poor low-light performance
* Olympus Tough TG-1
* Olympus PEN E-PL1. (Apparently this is a much nicer, tho larger camera than the others. Mirrorless micro four-thirds - whatever that means. Some good used prices on eBay.)

Have I missed any? Alternately, which of these should I immediately cross off my list?

Are there websites that do in-depth reviews comparing (outdoor) image quality among P&S cameras?

Note: I've been asked how I like to use the ultimate images. The answer is that I mostly view them on screen, Facebook, etc. Occasionally I'll print an 8x10 if I really like it. But I don't blow up photos bigger than that, or significantly crop down the size of my photos. Hope that adds some context about required image/pixel quality.

Thank you, photography geeks!

- Elizabeth



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Re: Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

Postby Eiprahs » Sat May 10, 2014 10:35 pm

You might consider the Fujifilm XP70, which is 16 mp, has 5x optical zoom, and 28 mm.
It is dust, shock, and water proof, so seems designed for life in the wild. I've read good reviews of it and its predecessor. Sorry for not narrowing your list.

FYI, Costco has it on sale for 179.99 including 8 gb memory card and some other accessories and free shipping. http://www.costco.com/Fujifilm-FinePix- ... RRWidgetID

I played with it at Costco while waiting for new tires for my ride. I was blown away by all the point and shoot cameras on display, several of which you list--each just a few ounces and nearly the same capabilities as what I carry, the Canon t4i with 18-135 zoom (2.5 lbs--doh!! :eek: ).

Post what you choose. I need to change my ways.
Dave
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Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

Postby J ney » Sun May 11, 2014 5:28 pm

I had a similar decision and went with the Canon S95... Mostly because the quality of the glass, shooting in RAW, and compactness. I can't remember the exact rationale but I stayed away from the S100 intentionally (perhaps some manufacturing flaws or lens aberrations?). Can't go wrong with the canon s95 though it may not be as rugged as the canon g-series which is a great point and shoot (though big and bulky)
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Re: Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

Postby fishmonger » Mon May 12, 2014 7:02 am

oleander wrote:
2) Must have a WIDE-ANGLE LENS (28 or better). I don't know the technical aspects here. I just prefer images that include a wider swathe of landscape. Should I insist on 24 or better?


I assume you mean 28mm lens as a full frame equivalent, as most of these compact cameras use crop sensors and a 28mm lens is rather long on a compact. You should be looking for 16mm or better if it is a 1.5x crop sensor, even wider if the sensor is even smaller.

Otherwise, you may consider shooting overlapping frames and processing images after the trip to get some stitched panoramas. Worked really well when I had a 18mm on a DX body (27mm equivalent and absolutely not wide enough for what I wanted in some locations).

Can't really give recommendations on the class of camera you're looking for. I've been contemplating a Sony Nex 5n as a light weight alternative to my DSLR, but every time I think it through I decide that I'd leave it at home and take the big camera instead.
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Re: Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

Postby acorad » Mon May 12, 2014 9:20 am

I just picked up a used point n shoot for fishing/hiking, it's an Olympus Tough TG-2. No worries about getting wet (it's waterproof) and (supposedly) shockproof to 5' drop or so. Cost just over $200 and takes great pics. I would guess the TG-1 is just as good and could be found for less.

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Re: Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

Postby oleander » Mon May 12, 2014 3:26 pm

J ney wrote:I had a similar decision and went with the Canon S95... Mostly because the quality of the glass, shooting in RAW, and compactness. I can't remember the exact rationale but I stayed away from the S100 intentionally (perhaps some manufacturing flaws or lens aberrations?). Can't go wrong with the canon s95 though it may not be as rugged as the canon g-series which is a great point and shoot (though big and bulky)


Interesting. Out of all the cameras I've listed, I've lately been leaning towards the S100 (while carrying 3-4 extra batteries to make up for the not-ideal battery life). I like that the S100 has a 24mm lens (as opposed to the 28mm with the S95).

I did see some back-and-forth on camera forums, people who preferred their S95 to the S100, because the S95 took "sharper" jpeg pictures on the auto settings. But apparently you can sharpen the auto photos on the S100 to meet the standard of the S95 by altering the default settings (for contrast, etc.).

Also, any chance you are mixing up the S100 with the next generation, the S110? The S110 truly got some bad reviews for image quality.

I'm not terribly educated on cameras and camera settings, but have wanted very much to learn, hence the openness to getting a camera that does shoot in RAW format - which the S95 and the S100 both do.

- Elizabeth
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Re: Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

Postby maverick » Mon May 12, 2014 3:37 pm

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

Postby KathyW » Wed May 14, 2014 2:54 pm

I had a Sony S95 - I purchased it for when I wanted to try to move fast, take photos in jpg format, and leave it on automatic. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.

I replaced it with an used Olympus XZ-1, which I purchased for the same purpose as the Sony S95. I really like the Olympus XZ-1 and used it a lot, but I don't use it much lately because I have been having so much fun with the Olympus OM-D EM-5 I've been using mostly for about 1.5 years (1.5 years later and I'm still learning how to use it, but enjoying the process - it's especially nice learning how to develop photos shot in RAW format).
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Re: Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

Postby oleander » Sat May 17, 2014 8:55 am

KathyW wrote:I had a Sony S95 - I purchased it for when I wanted to try to move fast, take photos in jpg format, and leave it on automatic. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.

I replaced it with an used Olympus XZ-1, which I purchased for the same purpose as the Sony S95. I really like the Olympus XZ-1 and used it a lot, but I don't use it much lately because I have been having so much fun with the Olympus OM-D EM-5 I've been using mostly for about 1.5 years (1.5 years later and I'm still learning how to use it, but enjoying the process - it's especially nice learning how to develop photos shot in RAW format).


Do you mean a Canon S95? Or was it a Sony camera?

I don't think Sony has a model called S95.
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Re: Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

Postby KathyW » Thu May 29, 2014 5:48 am

Sorry, it was a Canon S95. I've had a couple of Sony point and shoots over the years too (I don't recall the models) and I remember I loved one of them and hated the other.

I started using the Canon S95 for work when I stopped using it for hiking, but it just stopped working one day and I threw it away.
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Re: Point-and-shoot recommendation needed

Postby lukasz » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:30 am

oleander wrote:I'm not terribly educated on cameras and camera settings, but have wanted very much to learn, hence the openness to getting a camera that does shoot in RAW format - which the S95 and the S100 both do.


Hello,
many (most?) of the Canon P&S cameras can be coaxed into shooting RAW but overriding the default firmware with CHDK (http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK; modification is comletely reversible). CHDK is worth the trouble even if RAW is not needed as it offers quite a few additional features (live histograms, over/under-exposure warnings, to name a few). For me it works fine in A570IS and A650IS. While rather old, the latter might be worth considering. It is rather big but, otherwise, image quality seems to be pretty decent; as a bonus, it takes AA batteries which seems to be more convenient outdoors than rechargable batteries of any sort.

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