Buying First Camera - Need Advice Please

Started Aug 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
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XavierVagabond New Member • Posts: 4
Buying First Camera - Need Advice Please
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Ok, so I'm going to take the plunge and buy my first "decent" camera, but I'm honestly having some trouble figuring out what will be best for me. There's loads of options and I am still trying to learn what all the specs and features are, so I was hoping others might be able to fast-track me towards something that might work well for my needs.

Since I have very little photography experience, I probably won't be able to make much use of the various features - at least initially. However, my goal is to get a camera that I can "grow into" a bit, and that will continue to perform reasonably well as my experience increases. For this reason I am willing to buy something that might be a step up from what I really need at the moment if it will be worth it in the long-run.

For now, the number one consideration for me is size. I will mostly be taking city and temple shots during the day (with a few night shots) and want something I can easily carry around in my cargo shorts, shirt front pocket, or even in a jeans pocket. Obviously that limits the options a lot. I would love something with 10X optical zoom rather than the 5X I've seen, but I guess that probably puts me into a bigger size?

My budget is around $500 USD. I am flexible on that if the camera is worth it, but it seems hard to justify more than that for something that I probably can't full utilize due to limited experience.

Right now, the options I've mostly seen suggested that might fit are:

Canon S100

Canon S110

Sony RX100

Edit: One thing I've read about with the Canon S100 is the dreaded "lens error".  I am travelling around for months and really don't want to deal with malfunctions/repairs.  Is this still an issue with the S110?

I am currently in Thailand and went looking at cameras today and saw the Canon S110 for about $400, so the RX100 (if I can even find it) is likely a fair bit more.

So based on my limited experience but the desire to find something of high quality that I can improve my skills with, what would you recommend? Are there other brands/models I should be considering as well?

The help is much appreciated. There's just too many makes/models for me to properly wrap my newbie mind around right now.

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