View Full Version : Recommendations for small, and quick point and shoot digital
I've decided that I need a tiny p&s digital for the purpose of easily recording things. I'm not looking to get any enjoyment out of such a camera - it will just be a tool for recording information - that's all (I'm not joining the dark-side).
I teach in a high-school for students with special needs (with learning disabilities and/or behavioural problems) along with adult students. My car and 4 others (2 belonging to co-workers and 2 belonging to adult students) have been repeatedly vandalized. Two months ago, students caused $800 worth of damage to the roof of my car by pounding their fists into it and yesterday I found my car damaged again... this time they pounded there fists on the hood. The nature of the school is such that students are in and out and often I do not know many of the students by name. I would like to have a tiny p&s to carry around with me at all times to help record suspicious activity that I see in the school (and usually lead up to incidents like vandalism) and to document things like the damage to my car.
I would like one that is tiny enough to carry in my pocket, stealthy and quick to turn on and use.... relatively inexpensive (no more than $300). Wouldn't mind using it also to take photos of items to sell on ebay and things like that.
I spent some time last night doing some research and I've been somewhat dumbfounded by all the choices and how fast new models arrive to replace existing ones. I haven't followed the digital p&s market at all so any suggestions would be welcomed.
Not sure about specific models, but dont get talked into thinking you need the one with the most megapixels, 5 or six is plenty.
Whatever Canon's digital elph is called these days should suit your needs. Or pick up a used one. They are small and work well. Really almost anything you could buy would work.
Agree, any small canon or even Nikon would be just fine.
I use a Fuji F10, which has been replaced by the F11 -F30 series. These should be in your price range and should do what you want.
Also, have a look at the Fuji F30, which is a really incredible camera, and you can have it for less than $200. Forget about the newer (and more expensive) F31 fd because it has "face detection" which is the biggest joke of the century - in photography terms.
Thanks. Yes, I guess really anything would do. I just came back from a pawn shop to see what they had. They had lots of stuff but unfortunately way overpriced. After dinner, I'm going to pay the local Staples, Walmart, and Futureshop a visit to see what they have on sale.
Another vote for Canon IXUS/ELPH , the newer Digic II/III processor models are fast, and most of the range have an optical viewfinder, some even have 28mm equivelent lens at the wide end. Panasonic Lumix are great, but have no optical v/finder. Sony "W" series are good too.
I have a Canon A60 which is an awesome pocket digital. The flip out screen allows for some very creative shooting perspectives. Of course it can also handle all the pedestrian stuff as well.
Well, I went to the stores and sampled many cameras. I really didn't like any of them. I considered the Kodak V803 as it was pretty cheap given the specs but it felt very flimsy... most of them felt flimsy actually. These things must cost only pennies to produce in China. Over all I liked the Panasonic DMC-FX07 the best but there was no viewfinder. Next to that liked the Canon ELPH's but I found them a bit too thick after sampling the finderless cameras. Both the Panasonic and Canon were a bit too pricey for me... I got to sleep on this.
I wish now that I could just use the camera on my cell phone but they are banned at my workplace so I leave the phone in the glove compartment of my car. If the kids are not allowed to have them, then the teachers shouldn't have them either. I saw some PDA's with cameras that might do the trick. I've been thinking of upgrading my tired Palm T2 to a newer model Palm or perhaps a PocketPC. Still the quality of the cameras in these devices may not be suitable for my needs.
If you can live with the Panasonic high iso
how about the FX30?
28mm Leica lens, very thin ... easily pocketable.... excellent LCD panel
The FX30 looks somewhat like the Panasonic FX07 that I sampled. I didn't see the FX30 in the stores. I see that the FX30 is supposed to be a replacement for the FX07 and that it was released back in February. Hmmm... I'm wonder why none of the stores I visited had that model. Seems like the best thing to do is order a camera off the web.
I also needed a p&s recently. I finally decided on a Canon s60 or S70 and was fortunate to find one for sale on Craigslist. It's a couple of yrs old and in fine condition. High quality files were not an actual need but it's nice to have an option.
The S70 was Canon's last modestly priced P & S to offer RAW. They evidently decided that RAW was not a big deal for that market niche and price point and (my guess) didn't want to draw from higher - priced cameras.
So either the s60 or s70, IMO, would be a good choice if one happens to come your way. I paid $140.
Kodak C530 (http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=7496&pq-locale=en_US)
A used Pentax Optio S4? Completely average compact zoom lens, photographically speaking, but it fits in an altoids tin, has a viewfinder, and has decent audio only and video modes. 4 megapixels. My wife had one for awhile and its size and stealthiness are its best attributes. Startup time about average - a second or so.
Some time ago I also looked for a small digital P&S and settled on a Canon Digital Ixus 60. Not the newest model but reasonably priced and really fits my pockets. And it does use normal SD cards. This was what took me away from the Fuji F30 which uses te more expensive XD cards even if it takes better pictures at ISO 400.
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