So, the unfortunate has happened and my trusty digicam has bit the bucket. Technically, I can still take pictures with it, but none of the buttons actually do anything anymore, so I am forced to just be happy with the default settings. Clearly, this will not do.

So I need recommendations on what I should purchase as its replacement. I'm going to buy something this month, so no advice to wait for the new year... The list of things that are important to me is relatively short, but here they are anyways in rank order:

1. SIZE: I am primarily a spontaneous photographer, and the last thing I want is something that requires effort/planning to carry along.

2. PRICE: I'd like to keep this under the $300 mark if possible.

3. PICTURE QUALITY: I've heard a little about the Image Stabilization stuff some cameras have... Sounds pretty useful, but I don't know how well it works, anyone that has tried it - please chime in!

4. MEMORY TYPE: It would be really nice if it used compact flash so that I could just use my current memory card, but that's not a huge requirement.

Other than that, I don't think I have many specifications. I'm not looking for something ultra-professional, I hardly used all the features on the one I had - the Canon Powershot S410. Speaking of which, if anyone has any advice on how to just fix my current camera, that would be very useful as well.

Okay, I know most of you have lots of experience and opinions with cameras, please help! :)


JC said...

I am actually searching for a new camera as well with similar requirements. As you could probably tell from my blog pictures, the camera I have is pretty crappy. I actually do live in a pretty well lit home! :) Anyway, Ami suggested this camera to me so it's sitting on my amazon wish list hoping that my in-laws will purchase it for us for Christmas.


I've noticed that the Best Buys near us now are putting batteries in the cameras so you can take pictures and actually see the photo quality. I have been reading so much about the Sony with image stabilization but after taking a pic with it, I wasn't as impressed. But the ads for them are super pretty!

If Santa brings me the new camera, I'll let you know what I think :)

Amber said...

I love my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01. 6 megapixels, small, compact, fast, and I paid about $250 for it. I don't even know how to work all its awesome features yet... I need to RTFM. But you've seen plenty of the photos it takes on Flickr!

sangeet said...

thanks JC and Amber! I find it interesting that both of you have suggested Panasonic's Lumix models... I wouldn't have even thoughg of them before this! Keep those recommendations coming, folks.

Nevkil said...

Uh oh I don't mean to be the troublemaker I swear. I've got a few suggestions. But you might want to read about and compare digi-cams at a site like http://www.dpreview.com.
If you read the final words about the Lumix model here they note a couple of factors that would prevent me from buying it. Too much noise (yeck!) and shutter lag. It's still "recommended" but not "highly recommended".

For simplicity, great images and compactness, oh and image stabilization...try this Canon SD700 IS (it's part of the same line as your now resting S410) Be wary though, it's streamlined in features, but I can promise you that the extra modes and settings on most small digicams are about as useful as a truckload of 3 dollar bills.

For the record, I've convinced more than 4 people to purchase this camera already, and they're quite happy. Even when it was near $500. but now you can get it from places for about $300. It was going for $280 last week. So I bought one for my 'rents for Christmas. Stocks are running out so find one... Just don't go to Wolf or Showcase. They'll take you to places you don't wanna go monetarily. Bhphoto, Adorama, Buy.com (out of stock), Amazon etc.

Also, try the Flickr Camera Finder page to see images taken by the internet community with a specific camera model. There's even weird stuff like trend graphs of popular cameras.

Jeez. This isn't a reply post anymore is it? It's a damn shooters advice column!

ami said...

I suggested the Lumix to JC and my dad (who has it and loves it) - because it offers the 3 things they were both looking for - good zoom (10x), image stabilization, and a decently small size.

However, for you, I actually do recommend the model that Nevkil suggests. It's Canon (which is still my favorite) and has IS. The zoom isn't the best, but it's probably better than in your previous model. Plus, it's definitely small enough for you to stick in any purse.

I strongly suggest getting a camera with Image Stabilization. I have an IS lens, and it's great - it really helps in low light situations.

Definitely follow Nevkil's advice - dpreview and Flickr reviews. They are great!

Good luck with what you choose and show us some pictures as soon as it arrives.

sangeet said...

Thanks Nevkil and Ami! :) It's funny you mention the Cannon SD700 IS because that's what I've been considering. I just felt a little silly though because it felt like I was just going with what I knew, since I've been so satisfied with my curent Canon. Maybe there's something much better out there? Hence the solicitation for advice. I've been reading up on dpreview as well as steve's digicams, but as you all know, sometimes that much information can be overwhelming! Thanks for the Flickr Camera Finder mention, as much of a flickr fan I am, I never knew about it!

Something I hadn't really considered, was the zoom issue that you brought up, Ami. Is that something I should be giving more weight to?

jadam said...

Another shout out for the 700IS. Great camera, you already know all the controls, image stabilization is great, etc. Plus there was a deal somewhere yesterday where you could get it from Dell for $250ish. It's a no-brainer to me. Of course I just went the other route and got a dSLR. I'm loving it so far, but it is a bit much to lug around all the time. :)

sangeet said...

I saw that deal too, and got all excited for a moment, before I realized it was already dead. :(

inajamaica said...

If I was gonna snag a digicam, it would be one of the Canon PowerShots.