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Help Recommend a Digital Compact
Old 01-25-2013   #1
JoeV
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Help Recommend a Digital Compact

Hi folks;

A friend of mine is going on holiday in a few months, and wants to take some photos. He doesn't have a camera at all, hasn't had one in years. He asked me to recommend a compact digital camera for around $400 range.

Here are his particulars:
  • He doesn't have a cell phone or smart phone, that's out.
  • He doesn't have a computer. Wants a camera that can produce good photos in-camera, that has a good JPEG mode, that can be outputted to a mini-lab for printing with good results.
  • His requirements are general photography, doesn't need a mega telephoto lens.
I told him that there is no one perfect camera, that he'd have to compromise on something.

I'm thinking an Olympus camera just because of their quality JPEG images.

What do you suggest?

~Joe
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Old 01-25-2013   #2
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agreed, Pen-something with a kit zoom. Probably will have to wait for discount, but there are so many of Pen models...also depends where he lives. Americans get toys for less.
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Old 01-25-2013   #3
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Fuji X10 because I think Fuji-JPEGs always get it right when it comes to natural color, skintones...

Plus, the 28-112mm equivalent f/2-2.8 is simply a really good performer with a useful range and large aperture, even on the long end.

Edit: since the X20 is coming, I guess X10s can be had quite cheap?
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Old 01-25-2013   #4
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Canon S100 is a great little camera. I am very impressed with the in-camera jpegs outta this model.
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Old 01-25-2013   #5
OlliL
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Only have experiences with the E-P1, but I would also recommend the X10.
The WB didn't struggle once, when I had it.
Natural, or artificial light were never a problem.
Not so with the PEN, which struggled under certain circumstances.
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Old 01-25-2013   #6
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From my compact-camera shopping to end up at the RX100, either a refurb LX5 or an LX7 on sale are the best choices. The Canon S100 is probably spot-on.
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Old 01-25-2013   #7
Bill Clark
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Why is an iPhone out? You can get one just like you could get a P/S camera.

You can get them pretty reasonably.

Consider an iPhone.

You can make pretty good photographs, do video as well and send them via the WWW to quite a few spots. My wife and I just got 3G iPhones w/o Seri for free. You can upload the photos to various web sites and order print pics if that's what the person wants to do.

An iPhone is a computer by itself.
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Old 01-25-2013   #8
JoeV
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Thanks for the recommendations, I'll forward them on to my friend.

@Bill: As for why not an iPhone? If it were I, that would be a great suggestion, I'm totally with iphoneography. But my friend purposely does not have a computer or cell phone in his life for personal reasons.

He wants to be able to record pictures, then get them easily to a photo lab without the intermediary of a computer, and have prints made, to put into a photo album. I know, this is 2012, but there are some people out there who still like physical prints.

I know he could buy a used iPhone 4 or similar, not activate the phone and just use it for photography. With the camera connection kit he could get the pictures out of the phone, but only to a computer with iTunes. Inputing JPEGs to an iOS device is no problem, iTunes is not needed, but outputing requires iTunes. Unless he used WiFi from a coffee shop (remember, he doesn't have internet at home), from which he could upload or email his photos from the phone to the lab. Hmm, might work.

Thanks for your inputs, I'll stay tuned in for more.

~Joe
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Old 01-25-2013   #9
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Don't forget the Olympus XZ-1. Cheap now as the XZ-2 is out. Very good fast lens, with a much wider aperture than most of the competition at the long end.

Quality is excellent if you keep the ISO under 400. You can get a decent amount of subject isolation with shallow-ish depth of field.

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Old 01-26-2013   #10
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Isn't the RX100 the hottest little camera out there? But an older Panny LX3/5/7 might be good enough for him.

If he doesn't need a zoom, a Sony Nex with a Sigma 30/2.8 is great, small and very good. If a little bigger is okay, any entry-level DSLR with a 35/1.8 is great.
What about the Canon G1x? Also great...

So, too many options!
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Old 01-26-2013   #11
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Handled the rx100, quite slippery and seemed a little fragile to me. Not something rugged for travelling. On the other hand my S90 even feel onto the pavement whilst I was cycling and taking a picture and still works excellently in its scratched/dinged state. S100 is the way to go. My 2 cents
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Old 01-26-2013   #12
rhe
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We have the Panasonic Lumix LX5 for general photography/travel and are very happy with it: http://www.trustedreviews.com/Panaso...-Camera_review

The LX7 is available now as well.
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Old 01-26-2013   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter S View Post
Handled the rx100, quite slippery and seemed a little fragile to me.
The Sony RX100 has excellent solid build quality and controls and is not slippery at all in use. The body is solid aluminium. It kills the Panasonic LX and Canon S. Chuck it in your pocket and away you go!
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Old 01-26-2013   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter S View Post
Handled the rx100, quite slippery and seemed a little fragile to me. Not something rugged for travelling. On the other hand my S90 even feel onto the pavement whilst I was cycling and taking a picture and still works excellently in its scratched/dinged state. S100 is the way to go. My 2 cents
Took the RX100 to Brazil for 10 days of salty sea air, high humidity, sand, mud and never did I fear for its wellbeing. Seemed quite sturdy to me.
However, it's not a good choice for the OP's friend. Too many megapixels, to many superfluous functions that get in the way of the essential ones and the color of OOC Jpgs is subpar in my eyes.
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Old 01-26-2013   #15
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I use an LX-3 for my pocket camera. Superb quality pics, robust construction and a wide angle lens. Any of the lx3/5/7 series.
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Old 01-26-2013   #16
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Consider a Pentax Q
The price drop to ~ $250 had me pulling the trigger on it
A few threads that helped convince me:
http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...ml#post2052306

http://www.seriouscompacts.com/f90/p...-review-11773/

I bought mine through ShopNBC with the 28-82 equiv zoom: http://www.shopnbc.com/Pentax_Q_12_4...ext=pentax%20q

If he doesn't like zooms they have a 47mm prime along with a couple of "toy" lenses (a wide and a tele).
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Old 01-26-2013   #17
kdemas
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They also have a new telephoto zoom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PentHassyKon View Post
Consider a Pentax Q
The price drop to ~ $250 had me pulling the trigger on it
A few threads that helped convince me:
http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...ml#post2052306

http://www.seriouscompacts.com/f90/p...-review-11773/

I bought mine through ShopNBC with the 28-82 equiv zoom: http://www.shopnbc.com/Pentax_Q_12_4...ext=pentax%20q

If he doesn't like zooms they have a 47mm prime along with a couple of "toy" lenses (a wide and a tele).
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Old 01-30-2013   #18
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i would suggest a 2nd hand panasonic LX3... more than enough for the purposes i've read on top, jpeg quality straight from cam is also good. save the extra money, or use it on the trip instead of getting an expensive cam with extra features that won't be used anyways...
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