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Need a camera for tooling around Europe

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm about to spend the next year in Europe and want to take lots of pictures. I have no idea how to choose a camera or what to look for. I just want something capable of taking gorgeous pictures but is small enough to carry around all day. I'd like to find something for around $200-300. The Canon G9 seems to fit the bill perfectly but is unfortunately out of my price range. Not knowing where to turn I thought I'd ask you all for suggestions.
post #2 of 10

KODAK EASYSHARE Z1012 IS Digital Camera

10MGP, 12x opt. zoom, Image stab, $300
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatcat28037 View Post

KODAK EASYSHARE Z1012 IS Digital Camera

10MGP, 12x opt. zoom, Image stab, $300
Wow! There's your answer! This is a new release, so assuming that it doesn't have any reliability or user interface issues, it would seem to be a no brainer at that price.

My first thought was the Panasonic Lumix FZ50, which essentially has identical key specs as this new Kodak, but it's still selling for $460 at Amazon.com and I can't find anything cheaper from a reliable source. This camera has been around since mid-2006 and was the successor for the FZ30 which in turn replaced the FZ20 which I have. Not much has changed other than the specs because the layout and ergonomics have been excellent since day one.

But for the cost savings, if I were you I would read up on the Kodak and be leaning that way for your budget unless you see something really flakey being pointed out in the reviews. These types of cameras are easy to use and take excellent pictures for a novice. They are also light weight and don't take up too much weight or call undue attention to themselves. Definitely the way to go for someone who will be on the road for a year and isn't on a photo safari as such (i.e., not your main mission).
post #4 of 10
That Kodak looks like it might be the answer for you. I agree that I would do my homework as well.

Digital Camera Reviews and News: Digital Photography Review: Forums, Glossary, FAQ

I guess things I'd suggest is that don't worry too much about megapixels. 6 megapixels is more than enough for highly-detailed, clean prints. Having more often means a sacrifice at higher ISO. Also don't focus too much on zoom ranges. I guess it seems everyone's got their superzooms nowadays, but I just don't see much purpose for zooming more than 100mm 35mm focal length equivalence. In plain English, I don't think you really need more than 3x zoom, but that's just me and how I like taking photographs. I do like being able to start off a little wide (28mm equivalence) though. I do think image stablization is very useful, especially if you want to try taking shots indoors or at night without a flash.

Honestly most of the cameras out there nowadays are pretty impressive. Pick any of the well reviewed/recommended ones and you should be fine.

Best of luck.

-Jason
post #5 of 10
Canon SD870. $270-$280 on Amazon. Small camera, but not so small that it's easy to lose. It's solid and sturdy, the colors are beautiful, and it has great macro Video quality is great, too.
Also, last I heard, Canon was having QC problems with the G9's screen (light leak, I think).
post #6 of 10
How about Nikon CoolPix P5100 ?
post #7 of 10

Kodak Z712 IS

I use the Kodak Z712 IS and Z812 IS and find them to be easy to use and capable of great results. The 1012 is a successor, and probably has a similar look and feel. Go for it. I like that it uses two AA lithium batteries which are reasonably priced and last quite a long time. The flash, like most in this category, is weak, so get close when you use it.
post #8 of 10
Get a Fuji F50fd. It has the least crappy low-light performance of any currently available compact digicam.

The newly announced F100fd should be even less crappy, though:
SeriousCompacts: Fuji F100fd - It's Compact, but is it Serious? Part 1 of 3 (Introduction)

The best option would be to get your hand on a used Fuji F30 or F31fd, but they sell for twice as much used on eBay as they did when they were still being sold.

Otherwise, the Canon SD1100:
Canon SD1100 IS Digital ELPH Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
or the Panasonic Lumix FS5:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS5 and FS20 announced: Digital Photography Review

The Canon G9 isn't worth it. If you really want a serious compact, the only game in town is the newly intoduced Sigma DP-1.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Lots of stuff for me to look into/think about. That Kodak looks fantastic, but maybe a little bulky to carry around everywhere. The Nikon Coolpix suggested above looks just about perfect except for its ability to take pictures in dark indoor places, at least according to the fantastic digital camera site linked above.
post #10 of 10
Amazon.com: Fujifilm Finepix S1000fd 10MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Zoom: Camera & Photo

Cant go wrong.
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