Need a camera for Alaska trip

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by gammongirl, Jul 5, 2008.

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  1. gammongirl

    gammongirl Member

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    Budget


    under $350 would be preferable, but $400 would probably be upper limit


    Size


    Compact to mid-size. I want something small enough to easily slip into my bag to carry around with me while on my vacation. So, I'm guessing something in the compact to mid-size range would feel easily portable. Even though smaller is always better, I'm more concerned about weight than bulk. I want something light enough that I don't mind carrying it in my purse during my vacation. But, I don't require something that is super-super-tiny enough to fit into a pocket since the purse I use is more of a tote bag size.


    Features


    *How many megapixels will suffice for you?
    6MP will suffice

    * What optical zoom will you need?
    I'm not sure. I'll be using the camera for a trip to Alaska, so will be excited if I can get decent wildlife shots from a cruise ship or park bus. Considering the fact that I've been using a 4MP camera with 2.8x optical zoom, I'm sure I won't be disappointed in most zoom options!

    * How important is “image quality” to you? Very important; 9 out of 10

    Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)?
    Manual settings are appreciated, but definitely not required.
    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for? The catalyst for getting the camera is an upcoming trip to Alaska. So, I'll be taking pix of wildlife and landscape scenery. Depending on how much I end up spending on the camera, I'd like to be able to use the camera when I get back home to take good shots of the toddlers running around without very long shutter lag or processing time.

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
    Yes, at least 8x10 but would like the option of making larger prints, especially of the landscape shots.

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
    I don't think so.

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
    "action shots" of a 2 year old once I'm back from vacation


    Miscellaneous

    If all other things are equal, I'd like to have a view finder, but not a requirement.


    Are there particular brands you like or hate?
    I'd prefer not to get a sony so that I dont' have to get special memory cards that only work in sonys. Currently I use SD cards that fit into my other cameras and other electronics.


    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)

    Image stabilization would be great. Wide angle (if possible in a compact) would be great for trying to capture scenery in Alaska.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2015
  2. gammongirl

    gammongirl Member

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    I forgot to mention two things in m previous post:
    1. I need a camera that takes video
    2. I looked at a friend's Canon 850IS but don't have a strong opinion about it since I didn't have anything else to compare it to.

    thanks!
     
  3. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    For a lightweight camera with a viewfinder you have several choices, mainly from Canon and Sony (with one from Nikon). However, when you add the requirement of a wide angle, you're limited to the W170 (28mm wide angle) and the W150 (30mm wide angle). If you eliminate the wide angle requirement, I'd recommend the Canon A720IS (35mm), the Canon SD850IS (35mm), the Canon SD950IS (36mm), the Sony W300 (35mm) and the Sony W150 (30mm).
     
  4. gammongirl

    gammongirl Member

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    Thanks for such specific advice! I realize I also don't necessarily know what I'm talking about when I say that I may want wide angle. I assumed wide angle is necessary for getting scenic shots - is that accurate?

    Also, I just found this link about compact cameras with fast shutter lag and shot-to-shot time. (http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/4321-6501_7-6544164.html?tag=prmo1)

    They recommend: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T200, Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W90, Kodak EasyShare V1253, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T70, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W130

    Any thoughts about these?
     
  5. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    A wide angle lens would be beneficial in getting good scenery shots. As far as the cameras recommended by Cnet, the Sony T200 and T70 are very stylish cameras with a touch screen interface which people either love or hate (as shown by the user ratings - much lower than the reviewer's rating). The Canon SD1000 is a good camera but the Canon SD850IS and SD950IS are better. The Sony W90 is no longer being made. The Sony W130 is good but the W150 is the higher-end version and a better camera. The Kodak has received mixed reviews as some people complain about the LCD screen and some about focusing issues.
     
  6. rp2s

    rp2s Active Member

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  7. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    As a follow-up to rp2s, even though the Panasonic TZ5 doesn't have a viewfinder, it has an extremely high resolution LCD which should be visible in all lighting conditions.
     
  8. gammongirl

    gammongirl Member

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    Again, thanks so much for the info.

    How does the TZ5 compare to the Canon SD850IS and SD950IS in terms of image quality, landscape/wide angle shots and shuttle lag time?
     
  9. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The TZ5 is has a wider angle lens (28mm) compared to 36mm for the SD950 and 35mm for the SD850. Shutter lag is roughly the same. As far as picture quality is concerned, that's a subjective thing. Here are some landscape shots to compare.
    SD850
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=landscape&m=tags&z=t&ss=2&cm=canon/powershot_sd850_is&page=3
    SD950
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=landscape&m=tags&z=t&ss=2&cm=canon/powershot_sd950_is&page=4
    TZ5
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=landscape&m=tags&z=t&ss=2&cm=panasonic/dmc-tz5&page=2
     
  10. gammongirl

    gammongirl Member

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    I don't see a significant difference in the landscape shots. Although, it's hard for my untrained eye to discern differences when the shots are of all different subjects. I've pretty much narrowed it down to the Panasonic TZ5, the SD850 (some reviews said the SD 950 had slow shot-to-shot times). I'm leaning toward the TZ5 bc of the wide angle for my trip. But I don't tend to replace cameras often, and if the Canon is a superior camera that I'll get better use out of after my trip I feel I should consider that too.

    I'm guessing the advice will be that this is a subjective choice; but I feel a bit ill equiped to make the decision - so any advice would be appreciated!
     
  11. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The TZ5 is a great choice and it's probably the one I'd pick for a trip like yours.
     
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