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Need help picking a camera
I am looking for a camera that has a good zoom (min 6X - but prefer 10X or more) and takes good quality shots. I don't live in the US, but the price range in US terms would be around the $240 range (or less if possible)..

It will be used mainly by the family, although I will be using it for more serious work from time to time (Macro, catalog shots, etc)..

From the reviews I have read I am considering either a Canon A720 IS or a SX100 IS. What disturbs me about the SX100 is that it has no viewfinder. I'm not sure how important that fact is, being I never had to use a camera with just a LCD monitor.I would very much welcome any input and suggestions.Thank you..

Comments (8)

These are both good choices and probably the only ones with your criteria that you'll find within that budget. To keep the camera small and the cost low some features had to be compromised, so either a viewfinder and 6X or no viewfinder and 10X. Check the comparison and read the review...................

Http://www.dpreview.com/...;cameras=canon_a720is%2Ccanon_sx100is&show=all.

The downside to either of these models is the slow recovery time between shots due to 2 AAs.Regards,Hank..

Comment #1

Viewfinder is helpful in live-tracking of subjects while shooting action (e.g. kids/pets running around). It is also good to have it during bright sunny days, when image on LCD may appear washed out. (However the accuracy of framing with it will typically be 80%).If not shooting much action, then SX100IS is bang for the bucks..

Megavolt wrote:.

Or a SX100 IS. What disturbs me about the SX100 is that it has noviewfinder. I'm not sure how important that fact is, being I neverhad to use a camera with just a LCD monitor..

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #2

Err, for Macro and catalog shots I would think you would really want a DSLR?.

Kelly Cook(Canon S3 IS)..

Comment #3

If I had the money for a DSLR I would get a DSLR, but I don't  - oh well.. I was looking now at both the S3 and S5. It seems that the S3 has better reviews than the S5, but is only 6MP. I think I can live with that if I know the camera functions well. Although important, pixels aren't everything. Can anyone please comment on the image quality of the S5 and S3?Thank you..

Comment #4

Megavolt wrote:.

If I had the money for a DSLR I would get a DSLR, but I don't  -oh well.. I was looking now at both the S3 and S5. It seems that theS3 has better reviews than the S5, but is only 6MP. I think I canlive with that if I know the camera functions well. Althoughimportant, pixels aren't everything. Can anyone please comment on theimage quality of the S5 and S3?Thank you.

Actually fewer pixels are better unless you want to enlarge huge prints since the same sensor is used. Many user comparisons indicate they are are happier with IQ on the S3..

Regards,Hank..

Comment #5

A DSLR was over my budget too. In fact, so was the S5, which is how I ended up with the S3. I do a fair amount of shooting in low light, in that that case I think Hank's comment on the sensors is right, the S3 does not give up IQ in low light. If your catalog is online, the 6Mp S3 is plenty good enough for that. I have not tried any large prints, the S5 may have an advantage at that point. Even at the "superfine" compression setting there is a lot of compression.

A software "fix" for the SD card can be downloaded from a 3rd party for the RAW format. But I haven't been brave enough to try that yet..

If I were forced to do macro/catalog shooting with a point-and-shoot, a superzoom would not be the obvious choice to me. What I would look for is a large LCD, very good auxiliary flash sync, and very good manual focusing. The S3 does have the manual focusing covered well, but is not special on the other features. In point of fact, the manual focusing on the S3 was the main reason I selected it..

Kelly..

Comment #6

KCook wrote:.

A DSLR was over my budget too. In fact, so was the S5, which is howI ended up with the S3. I do a fair amount of shooting in low light,in that that case I think Hank's comment on the sensors is right, theS3 does not give up IQ in low light. If your catalog is online, the6Mp S3 is plenty good enough for that. I have not tried any largeprints, the S5 may have an advantage at that point..

I may not do a lot of enlargements, but I do a lot of cropping, which ends up being the same thing. That is one plus the SX100 has..

Even at the"superfine" compression setting there is a lot of compression. A 6Mpshot is only 3.55Mb file size. A software "fix" for the SD card canbe downloaded from a 3rd party for the RAW format. But I haven'tbeen brave enough to try that yet..

What fix is this? For SDHC? I heard that they work in the S3 as it is, even though they don't advertise it. Maybe the info I got is wrong..

If I were forced to do macro/catalog shooting with a point-and-shoot,a superzoom would not be the obvious choice to me. What I would lookfor is a large LCD, very good auxiliary flash sync, and very goodmanual focusing. The S3 does have the manual focusing covered well,but is not special on the other features. In point of fact, themanual focusing on the S3 was the main reason I selected it..

Kelly.

The camera will be used mainly for the family, but I would like to use it for some better quality shots online and off line. The macro will be used mainly for online shots. My wife will never attempt to use the manual focus, but I would when needed...

Comment #7

I agree on heavy cropping. The bigger the format size the better. My S3 goes up to 2816x2112. Canon claims this will work for 11x16" prints. Though it's not clear to me why I would ever need to crop a lot with a zoom lens..

As for RAW for the S3, what I found on the Canon Talk forum is that you have to download a special file(s) to the SD card. Since this is 3rd party stuff, I'm not much interested in it, and have not looked into it in any detail. Call me chicken..

The manual focus on the S3 is very nice, so long as you don't mind the fact that it is push button. I agree with the DSLR crowd that a lens barrel ring is better, but that is extremely rare on P&S cameras. If manual focus is a big thing for you, that will pretty well force you into a superzoom model. I wish the regular compact designs took manual focus more seriously, this S3 is definitely not a pocket camera, not as convenient to carry all day..

Kelly..

Comment #8

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