Need a new digicam <= $200. Suggestions?
Feb 8, 2006 at 7:46 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

donovansmith

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I currenly have a Fujifilm A205 that I bought back in mid-2004 that seemed like a great buy at the time, but over time it turned out to be useless for nearly anything except Ebay pics and bright outdoor pictures. Pictures are very grainy and often underexposed, and low-light shots without a flash are hopeless. My older Olympus D-100 took far better pictures, although it was 1.2MP versus the Fuji's 2MP, and had no optical zoom. I think one difference is that the old Olympus had a CCD image sensor and the Fuji has a CMOS sensor.

Soon I'll be going on vacation and would like to have a good digital camera that costs around $200 that can take good pics. It needs to be at least as good as my old Olympus (examples here). Also, it must take SD memory cards and no more than 2 AA batteries as well as having optical zoom. I have a good set of rechargeables already and don't care to carry around too many extra batteries, and I have a small collection of SD and SD-compatible (miniSD and microSD) cards built up that I'd like to use. I've read a lot about the Canon A520 and its in my price range, and is quite readily available, but its slow speed seems to be a common complaint. The Casio Exilim EX-Z110 is also in my range but it is hard to find real reviews on it, and it's not so readily available. Anybody here use either of those two models or have any other suggestions?
 
Feb 8, 2006 at 9:35 PM Post #2 of 9

Illah

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Canon Elph is a great cam - I take all our club pics with it so it's great in low light, and I've even done some landscapes when I don't have the 'good' cam around.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...lance&n=502394

Yes, that's the 2MP version. Just FYI - 2MP is more than enough for a 4x6 print (and should easily be under $200). Unless you want 8x10's there's no need for high MP count - don't buy into the hype! A great lens on a lower MP cam will make for way better shots than a cheap 8MP cam.

--Illah
 
Feb 9, 2006 at 1:05 AM Post #3 of 9

Sh0eBoX

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i've used the canon a510 (3.2 megapixel version of the a520) and i found it to be quite the nice little cam for the price. i currently have the last gen of the powershot series (the canon powershot A95 5 megapixel) and i love it. the fact that canon has full manual controls is a plus, because once you learn, it's really really nice to be able to control everything. i do admit that the cams can be a little bit sluggish at times, but that shouldn't serve to be too much of a problem unless you're really in a hurry to get the shots. it's usually slower when you use higher exposure times because it fills up the buffer a little quicker. but for the price, the cams just can't be beaten in terms of features!


sh0ebox
 
Feb 9, 2006 at 1:23 AM Post #4 of 9

episiarch

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I really love my Kodak V530, $200 after rebate at Costco. On a recent trip I left behind my digital SLR and took just the Kodak, and was really pleased with the quality of my pictures. While it's no DSLR, I found it a surprisingly viable alternative when I was trying to travel light.

It has lots of features I'm used to seeing only on SLRs, like exposure compensation and choice of metering area. It has lots of special modes (and on-screen descriptions of each) in addition to the standard and very good full-auto mode. It's compact, and pretty good-looking.

It takes good movies too, and the built-in mic did a good job of picking up voices without picking up too much ambient room noise.

Disclaimer: it has some built-in memory but not a lot, so on top of the camera's price you'll probably want to add a memory card (it takes SD media). I bought a 1GB card for $50 and had room to spare after about 300+ photos and about 20 minutes of movies.

So after adding shipping costs and the cost of an SD card this probably exceeds your budget somewhat. But it's a really good camera.

Edit: I just noticed you already have SD cards. Well, so much the better.
 
Feb 9, 2006 at 1:29 AM Post #5 of 9

kenchi1983

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If you take a look at the current issue of Consumer Reports, it gave the Canon 510, what Shoebox said, a recommended buy, highest scored with the bunch. I think thats the best 200 bucks can buy. We have the a95, 5mp is really nice, however focal length isnt as wide as I wanted it to be.
 
Feb 9, 2006 at 3:08 AM Post #7 of 9

Sh0eBoX

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i agree with kenchi about it not having the widest focal length. after using a 35mm full manual camera and being able to have my way with just about everything... i almost feel like my a95 is lacking some things such as that. it makes me crave a DSLR
evil_smiley.gif



sh0ebox
 
Feb 10, 2006 at 4:46 PM Post #8 of 9

donovansmith

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Thanks for the suggestions. It looks like the Canon A520 will be my safest bet. I have gotten to play with one briefly at work and I do like that it offers full-manual controls. I know very little about photography, but my use of a Canon AE-1 5 years ago for a trip (after a thorough read of the manual) made me realize that having that extra control can be very handy. The sample images I have seen at dpreview.com look really good, too. Most of the time I will just be using it as a simple point-and-shoot camera but at times it will be nice to be able to have more control. As long as it exceeds the quality of my old Olympus I'll be happy.
 

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