Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?

Started Oct 12, 2012 | Questions
duquetten
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Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
Oct 12, 2012

Hi, I am looking for opinions on the following point and shoot cameras.  My needs are pretty basic and described below.  When I say high quality, I mean I don't need bigger then 8x10s  or better than computer/tv slide show quality.

Must have:

- high quality pictures of kids, family, pets, vacations (Aka scenery)

- high quality indoor/low light pictures

- relatively long optical zoom

Would like:

- Wifi

- somewhere close to pocketable (think small purse)

I had a canon powershot 850 IS digital elph which recently broke.  I could very rarely get a good picture at night or in low light. Also, optical zoom was not enough and digital zoom always made pictures grainy.  I don't know how this camera compares to new ones on the market but I think it was kind of slow at taking pictures or at least in between pictures

The two cameras I sort of have it narrowed down to are:

- Canon PowerShot sx260 (no wifi)

- Samsung WB850F (maybe not quite as good as sx260? but has wifi)

I have also considered but sort of ruled out:

- Nikon Coolpix S9300

- Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 (tz-30?)

If you could compare the first two (sx260 and WB850F) and give your thoughts that would be great.  I am also open to other suggestions and my price range is anywhere from $200-$350. However, I should mention that I don't like sony products so unless one really blows all the others away I won't be interested.  I am a beginner but I like to fiddle so I like cameras with manual options but as long as it has scene modes and ability to make a few adjustments that's all I require.

This would be a Christmas present so if something is going to be released in time for the holidays those suggestions are welcome as well.

Thanks in advance for help!

Cy Cheze
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to duquetten, Oct 12, 2012

duquetten wrote:

- high quality indoor/low light pictures

The two cameras I sort of have it narrowed down to are:

- Canon PowerShot sx260 (no wifi)

- Samsung WB850F (maybe not quite as good as sx260? but has wifi)

If you need high quality indoor / low light pictures, you'll need a model with a sensor that is 1/2.7" or larger.  That also means spending more than $400, and perhaps a whole lot more.  The high end compacts with larger sensors and fast lenses ($650 RX100, $500 LX7, Olympus XZ-1) won't have long zooms, though. Have you looked at a Canon S100?

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Bruce Miller
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to Cy Cheze, Oct 13, 2012

You should also look at the Panasonic FZ200 with it's f2.8 aperture at all focal lengths (24 - 600mm). But then it is over $500.

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Bruce

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jim4850
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to duquetten, Oct 13, 2012

I think you've got your finger on the pulse. Plus for the Canon is a colour other than black, plus for the Samsung is the Wi-Fi you desire, they're pretty close otherwise though the Samsung has more of those megapixel things that will aid cropping as well as improvement via pixel binning. If you check reviews then use your own eyes to examine test shots as reviewers always tend to carry a fair amount of bias.

If Wi-Fi wasn't important (and I don't really care about it) then an Olympus compact would be well worth consideration.

As to Sony, I have a RX100 which does a pretty good job, but I don't plan on ever buying Sony again due to frustration with the firmware that has left me ice cold about Sony.

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Joseph Broz
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to duquetten, Oct 13, 2012

My suggestion is Fuji FinePix F770EXR because it can do all you are asking except WiFi.

Must have:

- high quality pictures of kids, family, pets, vacations (Aka scenery)

This camera takes excelent night shots of landscapes without a flash.  This camera can take photos in very low light that are clear and capture details.

- high quality indoor/low light pictures

Low light photo only light in the room was her cell phone light!

- relatively long optical zoom

How does 500mm lens sound?

Would like:

- Wifi

NO WIFI but has GPS.  Buy a WiFi Card.

- somewhere close to pocketable (think small purse)

Fits in my shirt pocket.

Has shooting MODES: RAW, EXR, Advanced,  P,A,S,M and AUTO Plus 20 SCENE MODES. HD Movies.

I owned the Nikon S9300 but not having P,A,S,M was driving me nuts and you could not adjust the F stops.  This is not a DSLR but the photo quality is very good the camera memmics the Fuji camera films PROVIA, B & W, Sepia, Vidid and 

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Dutchpepper
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to duquetten, Oct 13, 2012

Its a shame you don't like Sony because the Sony Hx30v has all that you need

http://www.flickr.com/photos/loubella/

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John Koch
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Need sensor 1/1.7" or larger, and wide aperture, for good low light
In reply to Cy Cheze, Oct 13, 2012

Cy Cheze wrote:

If you need high quality indoor / low light pictures, you'll need a model with a sensor that is 1/2.7" or larger.

A typo?  The best compacts for low light have sensors larger than the 1/2.3" standard for most P&S, including the zoom models.   The RX100 sensor is about 1/1".  The XZ-1 and LX7 use 1/1.8".

Don't dream of good low light results with smaller sensors, unless you use flash or a tripod.  Some models allow high ISO, or merge six shots digitally, to allow for faster shutter speed, which is better than nothing, but look good only on small prints or screens.

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yooperguy
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to Dutchpepper, Oct 13, 2012

Dutchpepper wrote:


Its a shame you don't like Sony because the Sony Hx30v has all that you need

http://www.flickr.com/photos/loubella/

Here's a review of the HX30v, which includes links to review on the Samsung and Canon cameras too.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2406285,00.asp

Dennis

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MisterBG
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to yooperguy, Oct 13, 2012

The best point and shoot camera for low light conditions on the market at present bar none is the Sony RX100.

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howardfuhrman
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to duquetten, Oct 13, 2012

Your criteria seems to be near DSLR quality and performance that is pocketable with a budget not to exceed $350.  My suggestion is get a few more friends and family  to chip in for your Christmas gift to say $625-650 and get a Sony (I know you hate Sony) RX100.  I think this camera  hits all your wants except budget.  If you are willing to go bigger get the Canon G1X. From what I have read the Canon G1X will give you great quality even in low light, but it is not pocketable (unless you have enormous pockets) and it costs about $650.  In any case go to a camera store and see how the cameras you think best fits your needs (rather than your wants)  feel and take test shots before deciding.

Unfortunately, in the camera world you get what you pay for.  The more you pay, the better the quality and usually the larger the package. If you are willing to compromise and give up some of your must haves (great low light performance long lens), you can find some decent cameras within your budget.

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duquetten
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to Dutchpepper, Oct 14, 2012

I took your advice and looked at the Sony hx30v (hx20v actually but i think they are the same except WiFi).  After comparing it to the Canon 260, i gotta admit the Sony took more in focus pictures and i wouldn't have to sacrifice WiFi.  I'm still looking but unless I find something else that has everything I want, I'll probably go with this one.  Thanks for the suggestion!

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duquetten
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to Dutchpepper, Oct 18, 2012

After going to a local camera shop and testing the Sony HX30V  and Canon sx260, it was obvious that the Sony was the better camera.  I was only using the different auto modes and scene selections without making any other adjustments.  The Sony was much truer to color than the Canon which is an issue I have with my old Canon powershot as well.  The store let me take both cameras outside to the parking lot to test low light (it was night time).  All the pictures I took with the Sony were clear and showed a lot of detail (using the night mode with the stabilization scene).  Even though I used the handheld night mode scene with the Canon, I could not get a clear shot.  Everyone was blury. Between the color accuracy and night mode, that made my decision.

I still wish Sony treated their customers better but in this case it seems to be the superior product.

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cocofx
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to duquetten, Feb 9, 2013

hi since you have the SCS HX30V or for anyone else. can you please guide me on this. i tested this camera out at the store and it seems that the picture quility is good, but ive noticed that the color doesnt seem to be true.

for the most part reds, oranges and yellows. seem to be way brighter then the actual object is. red seems very bright, oranges seem to look red and yellows are way brighter then the object in real life.

is there a particular reasoning for this, and is there a way to change this? thank you

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Dutchpepper
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to cocofx, Feb 9, 2013

cocofx wrote:

hi since you have the SCS HX30V or for anyone else. can you please guide me on this. i tested this camera out at the store and it seems that the picture quility is good, but ive noticed that the color doesnt seem to be true.

for the most part reds, oranges and yellows. seem to be way brighter then the actual object is. red seems very bright, oranges seem to look red and yellows are way brighter then the object in real life.

is there a particular reasoning for this, and is there a way to change this? thank you

Make sure the camera isn't set on vivid, but really you can't really tell by looking on the back screen. on the Computer they will look fine. Sony do tend to put a bit more "punch" in there colours  have a look on flickr for photos from the Hx20v it will give you an idea of what they look like.

Craig
http://www.flickr.com/photos/loubella/

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cocofx
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Re: Which point and shoot compact digital camera is best for my needs?
In reply to Dutchpepper, Feb 9, 2013

Oh wow. If thosepics were taken with the HX30V.. that is amazing. Thx again for the info..

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