Best camera $200 or under?

Started May 2, 2013 | Discussions
GatorDeb1
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Best camera $200 or under?
May 2, 2013

In order of importance:
* 1080p HD recording a MUST
* Image quality
* Low light quality
* Battery life

$200 firm. Just want to get the most bang for the buck.

Thanks!

AlbertInFrance
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to GatorDeb1, May 2, 2013

What are you going to point it at?

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Albert
Every photograph is an abstraction from reality.

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Draek
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to GatorDeb1, May 2, 2013

Dunno; none, probably. All the decent sub-$200 cameras I know, like the Powershot A1400 or Sony H90, are limited to 720p by virtue of their CCD sensors.

Perhaps you'd share some models you've been researching thus far?

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lenshoarder
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to GatorDeb1, May 2, 2013

If IQ is of import, get a mirrorless.  You can find Pentax Qs, and older M43 cameras in that range.  If you are OK with use, GF2 + 14-42mm kits can be had for $100+.

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GatorDeb1
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to GatorDeb1, May 3, 2013

It's to take pictures of a trip.

So far I like:

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS
Panasonic Lumix SZ7 
Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P310

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Cosmo Not
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to GatorDeb1, May 3, 2013

Spend a little more, get much more. $288 for a k-01 on amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0076396OA/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1367591856&sr=8-1&pi=SL75 . There are many inexpensive lenses available, and the k-01 IQ is on par with $1000 DSLRs. It also has focus peaking. Best bang for the buck there is right now.

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Cosmo Not
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to Cosmo Not, May 3, 2013

Correction: there is a yellow one for $249.

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GatorDeb1
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to Cosmo Not, May 3, 2013

That's for the body only, i.e. almost $100 more and unusable.

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Bouldergramp
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to GatorDeb1, May 3, 2013
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Cailean Gallimore
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to GatorDeb1, May 3, 2013

On a very tight budget like yours, I would consider second-hand or refurbished.

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Cy Cheze
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Best camera $200 camera = discounted $350 camera from prior year
In reply to GatorDeb1, May 3, 2013

Look for 2012 models that are being discounted to make room for 2013 replacements.  Some prices may indeed fall by close to 50%.  Some will offer decent features, including the video resolution you want, but just about all will have 1/2.3" sensors that struggle in low light.  Look for one with a wide-end aperture faster than F/3.5.  If you find a model with an aperture wider than F/2.8 it should shoot better in low light than others, though nothing spectacular.

These days, many people would simply use $200 to upgrade their phone.

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GeraldW
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Re: reply to GatorDeb
In reply to GatorDeb1, May 3, 2013

Out of that group, I can personally recommend the SX260HS.  Remarkably good image quality, even at ISO 1600.

The rear LCD is usable in full sun if you take your sunglasses off.

I set mine to Program, turned iContrast to Auto, set ISO to Auto, and in the My Colors menu, went to Custom and set sharpening to +1.  Excellent results.

I have the older S90 as well, and compared the two on indoor shots at 100 mm (equivalent) where both have an f/4.9 aperture, and ISO 1600.  The SX260HS was noticeably cleaner looking with less noise and without the S90's yellow blotches.  The S90 is a little older now; but has a larger sensor with fewer pixels which should give it an edge over the smaller sensor in the SX230HS.  Apparently, the advances in sensors and processing have more than made up for that advantage.

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Dr Hal
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to AlbertInFrance, May 3, 2013

In order to purchase the BEST camera $200.00 or under, one would have to buy a refurbished or used camera.  The best thing to do is keep checking on ebay and also the used forum here.  What is one person's BEST cameras is not another's.  It is all relative, however you will be able to purchase a GOOD camera if you shop carefully.

Hal

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brianj
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Re: reply to GatorDeb
In reply to GeraldW, May 3, 2013

GeraldW wrote:

Out of that group, I can personally recommend the SX260HS.  Remarkably good image quality, even at ISO 1600.

The rear LCD is usable in full sun if you take your sunglasses off.

I set mine to Program, turned iContrast to Auto, set ISO to Auto, and in the My Colors menu, went to Custom and set sharpening to +1.  Excellent results.

I agree with this, I bought a SX260 for $AU200 and have been pleasantly surprised by its ability.

To GeraldW:  I agree with the settings you recommend, but mine are IContrast=ON and also set My Colors contrast to +1 and use Centre Average Metering and EV=-.3 as defaults.  There is a wonderful sweet spot achieved then with vibrant colors and very little highlight clipping which I have not been able to better.

My SX260 album: http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/5128303546/albums/sx260hs

Brian

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003tvd
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Re: Best camera $200 camera = discounted $350 camera from prior year
In reply to Cy Cheze, May 3, 2013

I'm seeing new Nikon P310's for $199 CDN. It's well built, and has an f1.8 lens. Not as much zoom as some others. Has been replaced, so maybe there's good deals to be had.

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OpticsEngineer
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Re: reply to GatorDeb
In reply to GeraldW, May 4, 2013

I agree SX260.  Available as factory refurbished on the Canon web site for $209.

to get there, I usually google "Canon camera factory refurbished"

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GatorDeb1
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to GatorDeb1, May 10, 2013

I ended up going with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS15 for $170.

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DaveOl
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Re: Best camera $200 or under?
In reply to GatorDeb1, May 10, 2013

Even though it's too late since you just bought a camera, Cameta sells refurb Nikon One J 1's for

$ 209.  I'm not sure about what the video is.  That includes the 10-30mm kit lens.

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