Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

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Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby definistrated29 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:13 pm

I'm going to buy my girlfriend a camera for her birthday. She wants a smaller one and these four are the ones that I have narrowed it down too after a bunch of research.
Canon Powershot SD1200 IS
Panasonic Lumix FS15
Sony W290
Canon Powershot SD780 IS

I want to stay under $200 dollars. Has anybody had any experience with any of these models, or a good one in the price range?
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Re: Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:25 am

I own a Canon A720 IS and a Panasonic Lumix ZF28. If I were looking at the newer Canon's like you're considering, the tradeoff would be the HD video on the 780 vs smaller size and camera body color choices on the 1200 which she may like better. If she would more likely upload any video to YouTube, the 1200 would be easier. No need for HD quality where you sort of need to mess around with editing and burning a DVD to take advantage of the quality to watch on an HDTV even though you could directly connect the camera with an HDMI cable to watch raw footage.

For this level of camera, I think the Canon's would be better choices than the Panasonic. I'm happy with the one I have but it is much bulkier since it has an 18X zoom. I may have gone with a Canon instead of Panasonic but they didn't have a model with the Panasonic specs and price when I got it. Not familiar with the Sony.
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Re: Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby BLURR » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:46 am

You should take a look at the Samsung TL220. It is a little bit more than you are looking for...but it is a very good camera.

I have had great luck with Sony point and shoot cameras. I have had Panasonic and Canon point and shoots as well. If I were to rank them, I would go Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and Canon.
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Re: Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby NoLifeLeft » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:36 pm

The Canon SD series cameras have never failed me. The A series from Canon always seemed a little more plasticy in feel and more bulky so I have avoided them.
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Re: Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby Frank Delicious » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:39 pm

All the cameras I've gotten my wife have been the Cannon Powershots. I don't know which model she has now but they have always been real solid and are super easy to use.
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Re: Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby Jesse B 707 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:58 pm

yeah in general when it comes to cameras Cannon is tough to beat
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Re: Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby definistrated29 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:37 pm

So I bought the canon sd780 is for a couple of reasons. I decided to choose between the sd780 and sd1200 because those two felt the best in my hand compared to the panasonic and sony. I took a bunch of pictures inside the store and both the sd 1200 and sd780 took really good pictures. The main factor in choosing the sd780 was that the sd1200 made a louder whirring noise as the camera autofocused. This bothered me, so I went with the sd780. The sd780 also takes hd video and can hook up directly to your tv via HDMI.
Thanks for all of the input.
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Re: Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby JHern » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:56 am

Pardon me for piggy-backing onto this thread...BTW, good choice.

We left my Powershot A630 in a rental car in Houston...never to be seen again. That was a great camera, but a bit more pricey (around $400).

So I'm going to Japan in a month. We're going to buy a new camera when we get there, those stores are simply awesome! I'm debating with my wife now, but I think we might go with something as pricey as $1000 this time around (and not lose it!), but it depends a lot on the kinds of deals we can get.

I'm thinking of going with a Digital SLR this time, and while I've been happy with Canon I'm thinking of shopping around a bit more...e.g., Sony has gotten in on the action and has some killer DSLRs.

Anyone have any advice along these lines? What's the best rig I can get for under $1000?
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Re: Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby mark12b » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:53 pm

i'm not a super camera nut so take this fwiw, but for that budget i'd take a hard look at the panasonic DMC-GF1. a full-frame sensor on a compact body is pretty exciting stuff... i'm not shopping for a camera right now so i don't know too much about them, but this one in particular caught my eye. i have an LX3 that i love, so something like that with a way-better sensor would be awesome.

dslr, it's all about the lenses. if you're excited by the idea of building up a sweet lens collection, then do it (and go nikon; you can get beautiful old nikkor lenses that work in modern cameras)... but if you're not going to be into lenses then i think a high-quality compact would be the way to go.
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Re: Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby BLURR » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:13 pm

I currently own a Sony DSLR A550. I had purchased the Canon Xsi and returned it for the Sony. The only thing that the Canon has a one up on over the Sony is that it is a half-second quicker on multi-shot. I will say this though, if you can afford it, the Nikon D90 is a really good mid-level DSLR. I would rank the top 3 mid-level DSLR's as:

1. Nikon D90($1,200)
2. Sony Alpha A550($950)
3. Canon XSi($700)
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Re: Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby 7doubleP » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:00 pm

JHern wrote:Pardon me for piggy-backing onto this thread...BTW, good choice.

We left my Powershot A630 in a rental car in Houston...never to be seen again. That was a great camera, but a bit more pricey (around $400).

So I'm going to Japan in a month. We're going to buy a new camera when we get there, those stores are simply awesome! I'm debating with my wife now, but I think we might go with something as pricey as $1000 this time around (and not lose it!), but it depends a lot on the kinds of deals we can get.

I'm thinking of going with a Digital SLR this time, and while I've been happy with Canon I'm thinking of shopping around a bit more...e.g., Sony has gotten in on the action and has some killer DSLRs.

Anyone have any advice along these lines? What's the best rig I can get for under $1000?


When I was in Japan (2 years ago) the deals were the same as here in the US. I would buy here, get comfortable with the camera, and use it while touring Japan. To tell you the truth, all the cameras these days are awesome. It really boils down to the lens one uses. Usually the "stock" lens sold with the cameras are only useful in brighter light, but often the best times to shoot are when the light is low. This is why to really have a great camera, one should have a "fast" lens or in other words a lens which offers a wider F-Stop or Aperture. These types of lenses cost a lot, and are big and heavy compared to the more affordable ones. If you buy a Canon or Nikon (either one is my advice) then you can shop for used lenses or even Tamron, Tokina, and Sigma ones made to fit a Canon or Nikon. That way the high end "fast" lens will be more affordable. Look for a lens that offers at least a 2.8 aperture opening. Be careful though because most zoom lenses will only offer the wide aperture when at wide angle but when you zoom into telephoto the aperture will change from 2.8 and not remain constant. Look for a constant "fast" aperture. In canon those are the famous "L" line of lenses. An "L" lens usually goes for $1000 or more. It is all about the lens. Of course if all you take are snap shots in the middle of the day any camera with any lens works awesome. This all pertains to low light or action photography where your subject or yourself are moving. Good luck.
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Re: Buying a new camera and looking for feedback

Postby JHern » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:07 pm

Great advice guys...I'll definitely look into all these possibilities. I'd love to get into something like a D90, but it will depend on the price (and it I can convince my wife :lol: ).

The Canon EOS 500D seems to have all-around decent performance and great video. I don't think it comes with a fast lens, but with the lower price on the body I might be able to afford f2.8.

Cool pics in Japan! I've been to that street in Kyoto, and also visited Nara and probably have been on that same street in Tokyo as well.
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