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Point & Shoot Digital Camera Questions and/or recommendations

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My wife and I have an older Pentax Optio 3.2 MP P&S digital camera that we got when our daughter was first born. We weren't sure at the time how much use it would get so we tried to get a decent performer on a tight budget. My wife uses it all the time but it's getting a bit finicky nowadays so I've been thinking of trying to get her a new one for an anniversary/birthday present. Seeing as it seems like there are a few photography afficiandos on here I'd thought I'd see what people recommend.

Our biggest gripes with the Pentax is quite a bit of shutter lag, limited low light capabilities and overall image quality is just fair in my estimation. I'd like to get something that's a stepping stone towards DSLR but I'm on a fairly limited budget. I've been doing a bit of research myself and have narrowed the field down to the Canon Powershot A570 IS and the Fuji FinePix S700 with the Canon leading the way. The S700 is intriguing for it's more hefty SLR like body and longer zoom but from what I'm reading there seems to be some issues with sluggishness while the A570 is seemingly a fairly decent all-round performer with many more manual features and only a few issues mainly related to the higher ISO settings and longer than normal flash recharge times.

Any thoughts or further recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 19
Try the Fuji F31fd, it has great low high ISO performance for a point and shoot.
post #3 of 19
I just bought a Panasonic DMC-LZ7 for $199 at Office Depot. It has a Lumix lens with 6X optical zoom.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTRacer View Post
Try the Fuji F31fd, it has great low high ISO performance for a point and shoot.
Agreed, this is the camera you want. Exceptional high ISO performance for a P+S camera, fast (with an even faster continuous focus mode), very good lens, good manual controls for creativity (both aperture and shutter priority modes), and low cost. It's currently the recommended camera at Photo.net in the compact category. Actually, the predecessor (F30) is, but that camera is discontinued and the F31fd is a little more refined. The successor, the F40fd, is not the classic the F31fd is. The F40fd loses the aperture and shutter priority modes and sacrifices high ISO performance for more resolution.

You will want to order it from B+H in the US though, because FujiFilm Canada has silly pricing on that model (nearly double the US price, even though the Canadian dollar is almost at par).
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've poked around a bit, the F31fd does look promising with the exceptions that it doesn't seem to be available around here and it lacks more advanced manual features which is something I wanted to get for my wife so she can try her hand at more advanced shooting.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnero View Post
I've poked around a bit, the F31fd does look promising with the exceptions that it doesn't seem to be available around here and it lacks more advanced manual features which is something I wanted to get for my wife so she can try her hand at more advanced shooting.
What do you mean by advanced manual features? There are some cameras that will give you even more manual control (focusing, RAW), but they all come with serious compromises, usually poor low-light performance.

Best regards,

-Jason
post #7 of 19
I love my Canon SD700IS. Great all around performer.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjcha View Post
What do you mean by advanced manual features? There are some cameras that will give you even more manual control (focusing, RAW), but they all come with serious compromises, usually poor low-light performance.

Best regards,

-Jason
Well from my reading it seems like both the Canon and Fuji S700 have more options to control things like focusing, aperture, ISO, etc. which in my estimation would be a good stepping stone for someone looking to get a bit more serious and possibly eventually move into a DSLR. The F31fd seems to have far less of the kinds of controls, coming off as more as just a simple point and shoot.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnero View Post
Well from my reading it seems like both the Canon and Fuji S700 have more options to control things like focusing, aperture, ISO, etc. which in my estimation would be a good stepping stone for someone looking to get a bit more serious and possibly eventually move into a DSLR. The F31fd seems to have far less of the kinds of controls, coming off as more as just a simple point and shoot.
All of those things are adjustable on the F31fd. The only manual control it doesn't have is independent aperture and shutter adjustment simultaneously (you choose either aperture or shutter priority then set that parameter); both modes support exposure compensation too. It really is a good learning tool and a good stepping stone to an SLR. Low light/high ISO noise performance is actually better than some of the previous generation SLRs.
post #10 of 19
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS (image stablization, 28mm wide angle lens, will fit more into the picture, then most cams) http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonsd800is/
post #11 of 19
If you want PnS with great iso and IQ performance and the controls that 80% people would need, fuji f30/31fd is the one. But if you want a semi pro camera that has a bunch of bells and whistles, you'd want to look at the canon G7 or nikon P5000. As far as IQ and noise is concerned, I'd take the f31fd over the G7 and P5000 anytime
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kin0kin View Post
As far as IQ and noise is concerned, I'd take the f31fd over the G7 and P5000 anytime
Yep, I was looking into the g7 and really couldnt find any images that simply blew me away. With the F31fd I found tons of pictures all over that were taken with it and simply breathtaking. I just got mine in today and it's spectacular.
post #13 of 19
I just got a Canon SD1000 and have been using it daily for the last week. My wife and I are very happy with the results we are getting from it. The time from power on to first photo is very fast (less than 4 seconds I'd say). Imagine quality is very good. Not the best at low light situations, but very good macro performance.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanY View Post
Agreed, this is the camera you want. Exceptional high ISO performance for a P+S camera, fast (with an even faster continuous focus mode), very good lens, good manual controls for creativity (both aperture and shutter priority modes), and low cost. It's currently the recommended camera at Photo.net in the compact category. Actually, the predecessor (F30) is, but that camera is discontinued and the F31fd is a little more refined. The successor, the F40fd, is not the classic the F31fd is. The F40fd loses the aperture and shutter priority modes and sacrifices high ISO performance for more resolution.

You will want to order it from B+H in the US though, because FujiFilm Canada has silly pricing on that model (nearly double the US price, even though the Canadian dollar is almost at par).
I have the F30 and it trumps all other P&S cameras -regardless of price range- for low light shooting. Exceptional ISO performance.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by EsthetiX View Post
Yep, I was looking into the g7 and really couldnt find any images that simply blew me away. With the F31fd I found tons of pictures all over that were taken with it and simply breathtaking. I just got mine in today and it's spectacular.
gtracer.deviantart.com

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