What current P&S do you recommend?

Joined
Sep 17, 2007
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Hey Everyone,

A friend of mine asked me (because I have a couple of DSLRs & a bag full of lenses) what P&S she should buy for general use (friends/family/vacation). Her husband has a Canon Rebel and she said he just doesn't want to keep lugging the "big" camera around so she wants a versatile P&S that she can keep in her purse/coat & use as the situation arises.

Price is not a concern she just wants a camera that is easy to use and will produce excellent quality images ... low light capabilities, moderate zoom, small to medium sized body. She knows the limitations of P&S cameras but she just wants something that will not have her gnashing her teeth because the images it produced were not good quality (she knows how to use a camera so she's not a noob). I don't have the foggiest clue as to what the "best" P&S is on the market & I'd rather not have some sales clerk just tell her to buy the flavour of the week ...

Any suggestions? She's taking her family on a ski vacation for the March Break so she'd like to be able to pick up the camera prior to Friday.

Thanks for the help.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
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4,380
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Toronto
Canon S95 is a superb little camera for the money - $380 or so.

None of them are great in low light btw.

I love it because it has a superb manual operation interface and it is small enough to effortlessly travel with me at all times.

With ample light it takes very nice images!

darren
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
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300
Location
Torrance, CA
I Use the Lumix LX5 pretty happy with it. Usable 1600ISo but I only set it up ISO. Video is a bonus enough for my needs and also autofocus on video. If price is not a concern, I will go with the Leica D-LUX5
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
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Laurel, MD USA
I just ordered the new Nikon P500. Has a fixed lens but the zoom is 36x. Goes out to over 800mm. Check it out on the Nikon site.
 
Joined
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I just ordered the new Nikon P500. Has a fixed lens but the zoom is 36x. Goes out to over 800mm. Check it out on the Nikon site.

An 800 zoom on these tiny cameras that will never be on a tripod is a complete waste. I rarely use anything other than 28mm on the S95 and would be fine with a fixed focal length of 24 to 28 mm.

The Leica X1 is sort of the ultimate in this segment and it has a 24 mm lens.
 
Joined
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Laurel, MD USA
An 800 zoom on these tiny cameras that will never be on a tripod is a complete waste. I rarely use anything other than 28mm on the S95 and would be fine with a fixed focal length of 24 to 28 mm.

The Leica X1 is sort of the ultimate in this segment and it has a 24 mm lens.

What may be a complete waste to some is a great blessing to others. I never said I wouldn't use a monopod or tripod, which I have both, when I need the 800+mm. But, what I shoot are animals, birds, and the metal birds (ww II type) and for that I need reach. It is a back up camera for those and a primary when I want to only carry one. A wide angle is useless for what I want to shoot. If I shot with the Leica X1 as you suggested, my subject would be so small as to be, in your terms, a waste. And, how much does the Leica cost????

Admittedly, it may not fit in a purse unless it is a big purse.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
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Rockville, MD
The "big sensor" compacts are what you want. The Panasonic LX-5, Canon S95 or G12, and there's a few others as well. I personally own the predecessor to the current S95, the S90 (90% the same camera), and it continues to be a great little camera. My only wish is that the lens was still fast at the long end. I think there an Olympus out right now that meets that description but can't remember the model name. ZX-1? You can actually get some subject isolation similar to an 18-55 kit lens with it which is super nice. :smile:
 
Joined
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Thanks everyone for the suggestions ... I've sent the appropriate product info & links to online reviews to my friend so she can make the final decision.

Take care,

Brent
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
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1,462
Location
Boston, MA
she wants a versatile P&S that she can keep in her purse/coat & use as the situation arises.

I just ordered the new Nikon P500. Has a fixed lens but the zoom is 36x. Goes out to over 800mm. Check it out on the Nikon site.

Are we reading the OP's question? :biggrin: I know this will fit in some purses:

INKCPP500BK.jpg
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But she probably wants something more like an S95.

41ZE9SmWdzL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
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Is she a novice or knows what she's doing? If the latter, the S95 is the no-brainer, but if the former, I'd look at one of the fast-CMOS cameras like the new Sony HX9, Panasonic ZS10, or Nikon P300. The image stacking modes will help a noob get nice low-light shots, without doing RAW processing and manual controls.

LX3/LX5, G12, these are all too big, imo. They don't fit in your pocket.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2007
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Hey Chris,

She's no noob but she just wants something that will be convenient to use when on the slopes, at the cottage, on the boat, on walks, family functions etc when they just don't want to lug around the full bodied DSLR. Image quality for her is the most important aspect ... she's been there/done that with the low end P&S cameras. Price is a bit of an issue - especially when looking at the Leica cameras mentioned here. She's thinking no more than $600-700 tops, which should be more than enough to get a quality camera that can be taken anywhere without being cumbersome.

She's asked me to go with her to the camera store tomorrow to look at the Canon & Lumix cameras.

Take care,

Brent
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
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3,853
Location
New Zealand
A friend of mine asked me (because I have a couple of DSLRs & a bag full of lenses) what P&S she should buy for general use (friends/family/vacation).

I presume it's the same for others here too, but I get this quite a bit, and I have no idea really what the compact camera scene is like! I just say get the best you can afford. There was a study last year (?) that showed the more you spend on a compact the less likely it is to break down.

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/panasonic-cameras-most-reliable-survey-finds/
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010...an-expensive-ones-and-panasonic-breaks-least/
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
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4,380
Location
Toronto
What may be a complete waste to some is a great blessing to others. I never said I wouldn't use a monopod or tripod, which I have both, when I need the 800+mm. But, what I shoot are animals, birds, and the metal birds (ww II type) and for that I need reach. It is a back up camera for those and a primary when I want to only carry one. A wide angle is useless for what I want to shoot. If I shot with the Leica X1 as you suggested, my subject would be so small as to be, in your terms, a waste. And, how much does the Leica cost????

Admittedly, it may not fit in a purse unless it is a big purse.

Alright...to each his own.

To me, if you're shooting birds and animals and planes you're shooting with a DSLR...period.

Slow lens - 800 mm - zero high ISO capability. I would think it would be quite the feat to get keepers with that sort of setup.

I always figured that the camera companies would just stick these zooms on so that people that have to have the longest lens(or most megapixels) would step up to the plate.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
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Annapolis
I like the Canon G series, got the G10 years ago for RAW in a P+S. Wife has an S95. The small sensors come with noise at higher ISOs as well as DOF limitations, but when I can't bring a DSLR they are adequate.
 

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