Digital camera recommendations?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I'm looking for a really good digital camera, which has a lot of manual control, but also easy enough to use as a point and shoot when I need to just take a quick picture. Four megapixel or higher, and as small as possible, if possible.

Yeah, that's a lot to ask for in a camera. Are there any models that kind of meets this list?



  • Reply 1 of 19
    Check out the Canon PowerShot G5
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Sony DSC-717 is a great camra, though not small.
  • Reply 3 of 19
    Canon Powershot G5. I lost this to my wife in the divorce, and it is about the only thing I really miss.

    I went to school for photography - I was blown out of the water by the G5. Exposures are consistently excellent, images are sharp - the movable LCD viewer is a godsend. You can put it on full auto, or you can tweak away with all manual. Only thing is you can't change lenses, but for a $400 camera, this thing rocks (was around $800 when I bought it originally).

    It isn't tiny like some of them, but this thing rocks.

    Whoooah. Looks like I had the G3 - apparently the only difference is the resolution so I would think my post still applies...
  • Reply 4 of 19
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    I recommand the canon eos D 300. I just read a review about it : and it's a professional camera at a really competitive price.

    It's a reflex camera, with the CMOS captor of the eos 10 D for 1300 $. You have access to all the Canon optics.

    The Captor has 6 millions pixels, a huge sensibility (even it it's optimum at 100 iso) and it's fast.

    I really consider for my self this one. But as i made a huge investissement in computer this year, i will wait a little.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    If the G5 is too big, go for the S50...

    If you don't like Canon, there's also the Sony should be slightly smaller than the G5...
  • Reply 6 of 19
    The very excellent Canon 3mp A70 has just been replaced by the 4mp A80..
  • Reply 7 of 19
    All good sugestions so far .

    I'm a Canon fan myself, so the G5, 300D / Digital Rebel and A80 are all good choices.

    Some things to think about regarding these:

    A80: It may be worth checking out how much manual control you get with this - will be a good place to look. I've never used one myself, but I suspect that for most people the level of manual control will be more than enough.

    G5: I think this would have more manual control than the A80, and still have the point and shoot modes.

    300D / Digital Rebel: This would give the highest level of manual control, and once again you'll still have the manual modes available. You'll need to get lanses for it (although there's a kit that includes a lens), but bear in mind that some of the consumer level lenses may not be up to the task of imaging on to a 6.3 MP sensor . I found this out when I bought a 10D, and saw that my 28-80mm lens wasn't up to the task. You'll get an effective focal length multiplication of 1.6x, so the advantage is that for telephoto shots, you instantly get longer focal lengths. However, for wide shots, you can't get really wide, as something like a 15mm lens becoms the equivalent of a 24mm lens.

    One final thing to consider - if you can find one, the Canon G3 might be a good bet. It's the older brother of the G5, with a 4MP sensor. It should be quite reasonably priced, as it's been replaced, but it's still a very good camera.

    Hope this helps .

  • Reply 8 of 19
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    I've used an older canon with the manual mode for some research. We were happy with it. Also I used the remote capture with the powerbook and it did rather well. My wife has a 2MP Elf that we are happy with too.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    asenasen Posts: 93member

    Canon IXUS 400, or whatever you call it in your country.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    The budget & size definitely make a big difference. A full on pro camera (Digital Rebel) is going to give you everything a normal (real) camera will give you, but with the associated size.

    Dave, do you know if the 300D accepts normal Nikor lenses? I am inching back towards the digital camera market - that would be a huge win for me...

    I have to say though that the G3(now G5) is a great middle ground price & size wise. Part of the reason I don't take more "snapshots" is my Nikon 8008 is just too annoying to carry around - I don't want to switch lenses to take a snapshot yet like to crop in frame... Plus I am a digital snob - lazyass? - unless there is a good reason like infrared or something.

    I would definitely test out some cameras. Something no one else has mentioned, and which I haven't seen on any other brand or line, this the adjustable LCD on the G3/5. I used it CONSTANTLY - you want a lower angle on that shot? Shoot from your waste instead of getting your knees dirty () - you can still see the LCD. Want to get a pic of grandma, but want it to be natural? Shoot at 90 degrees so she doesn't know it is coming and still see what you are shooting. In a crowd, want the shot but need it from over the head? Don't just take a wild guess - you can raise that puppy up and still see the LCD.

    There is a sony line that does this - but it is the camera body itself which swivels, and only on one axis (if memory serves). I was just talking to a friend of mine who also has (and loves) the G3. He was saying how the LCD is the thing he likes the best about the camera - and that is even more than the nearly perfect exposures the thing takes!
  • Reply 11 of 19

    Originally posted by Eugene

    If the G5 is too big, go for the S50...

    I second this one. I picked up an S40(the 4 megapixel version of the same camera) for my father-in-law last christmas. It takes beautiful pictures and is fairly inexpensive. Only complaint I've heard is that the battery life is pretty crappy, which the Powershot G3 we have at work is guilty of.

    I've always been into Nikon cameras, but their consumer-level digital cameras are not so impressive (IMHO.)
  • Reply 12 of 19

    Originally posted by The Pie Man

    Dave, do you know if the 300D accepts normal Nikor lenses? I am inching back towards the digital camera market - that would be a huge win for me...

    I don't know anything about Nikor lenses, but I assume they are for the Nikon cameras...? If so, I don't think that Nikor lenses will work on a Canon. The 300D has the Canon EF-S mount, which is a variation of the existing Canon EF mount. The EF-S lenses are slightly longer than the EF lenses, and protude a bit further in to the camera body. Therefore, you can't use the new EF-S lenses on a body that uses the EF mount. However, you can use EF mount lenses on an EF-S mount camera (of which the 300D is currently the only one).

    More information on the 300D can be found here.

    Canon EF and EF-S lenses here.

    Hope this helps .

  • Reply 13 of 19
    ragexragex Posts: 126member
    I have to agree with nearly everyone here, can't go wrong with a Canon digicam. They probably have the most well rounded lineup currently.
  • Reply 14 of 19

    Originally posted by RageX

    I have to agree with nearly everyone here, can't go wrong with a Canon digicam. They probably have the most well rounded lineup currently.

  • Reply 15 of 19

    Originally posted by Dave Abrey

    Hope this helps .


    Thanks Dave - that was actually a bit of a brain-fart anyway. Nikor has never fit on Canon cameras - shouldn't post before my coffee...
  • Reply 16 of 19
    Here is my two cents (I do a lot of digital work):

    If you want something small (a digital SLR is out of the question).

    If you want more manual controls and at least 4 MP of resolution here are my recommendations:

    1) Canon G3 (rated HIGHER than the G5 (see for around $475; this is your best bang-for-the-buck and it will allow you to use external flashes, etc. The Canon S-series (S50 and S45) are good but they don't have as many manual capabilities as the G-series and their flash capabilities are just too weak.

    2) Nikon Coolpix 5000 series (5400, 5700, 5000). The best bang-for-the-buck is actually the Nikon Coolpix 5000 (you can get them cheap (around $400).

    Check out for reviews on many top digicams; it's the definitive source for digicams.

    BTW, I use a Nikon D100 and D2h with many nikon lenses.


  • Reply 17 of 19
    Thanks for all of your advice. I think I've narrowed it down to the Canon S50, the Canon G5, and the Nikon Coolpix 5400.

    Now, to get the money...
  • Reply 18 of 19
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member

    Originally posted by shatteringglass

    Now, to get the money...

    Ah, the money...

    I agree that Canon has the best line of consumer and prosumer digicams. They might not always be quite as compact as other models, but they have the best image quality. An added plus is Canon's very complete software package.

    Personally, I've been using a 2MP Canon PowerShot A20. It takes great pictures, but I am longing for more pixels, more manual control, and a longer/wider zoom. I am currently torn between an A80, G3/5, and the Digital Rebel (aka D300). I like the A80 because it is the least expensive and will let me keep my collection of AA NiMH batteries. I like the Digital Rebel because it will let me go back to SLR and interchangeable lenses. Only time will decide.

  • Reply 19 of 19
    I have an A70 digi and a EOS50N film slr, so I am dying to get my mits on a 300d and use my slr lenses ... must get money !
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