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Need a camera recommendation

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by jloden, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. jloden

    jloden SC Veteran

    266
    Jun 30, 2012
    Jay
    Hey all,


    I just spoke with a friend of mine, and his brother is looking for a new camera, probably a point and shoot. The purpose is to get better pics of his kids (2yr old and newborn IIRC). Unfortunately my camera knowledge is all centered around mirrorless system cameras and DSLRs so I thought I'd post here for some help coming up with suitable suggestions.

    He's looking to spend about $500, and just wants something that will work well on auto mode (he's not a photographer, just looking for better quality pics). Ideally the camera would be well suited for capturing moving kids so fast reliable AF is a must, and probably not an ILC system since he's unlikely to want to swap lenses etc.

    My immediate thoughts were the Sony X100, Fuji X10, or Panasonic LX5/LX7 and maybe Canon S100 models since those are point and shoots I'm aware of that also provide good IQ. However, I don't have any knowledge of the AF and speed of the cameras with respect to photographing kids on the move. Anyone have any feedback on these cameras or any other suitable suggestions within budget?

    Thanks in advance! :smile:
     
  2. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    The Nikon 1 V1 is dirt cheap at $299 at B&H. It comes with the image stabilized kit zoom, 10-30, which is like 30-85 equivalent. The AF is supposed good and the tracking AF for kids in motion/playing sports is reported to be excellent. The available lenses are also supposedly pretty good and cheap at $180-300. There's even a used one for $250. The sensor is large for a compact and the IQ test images at DPreview are pretty good as well. If I was buying a "kid camera" I'd give this serious thought. For around $400, he could even get a kit with the longer 30-110 (100-300 equivalent) lens.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/searc...s+digital+camera&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ta
     
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  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    I wouldn't recommend the X10. Don't get me wrong I really like my X10 but I am finding that it requires commitment to get the most out of it and based on the way you described your friend I am guessing they'd want a little more point and shoot simplicity. To that end the Panasonic LX5/LX7 would be a great choice. Even though they don't want to change lenses a Panasonic G3 (currently $299 with a kit lens at B&H or $249 for the body at Amazon) would be a good choice. Paired up with a decent prime like the Sigma 19/2.8 would be a great cheap kit.
     
  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I would second the Nikon V1 suggestion. Blazing fast auto-focus. And I'd point out that it originally had a retail price of $899......that's a LOT of camera for $299.
     
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  5. jloden

    jloden SC Veteran

    266
    Jun 30, 2012
    Jay
    Interesting the V1 has come up a few times already, I will do some more reading on it as an option. The three things I was concerned about with the Nikon system was

    1) not wanting to deal with multiple lenses etc
    2) loses easy pocketability with the larger lenses
    3) I'd heard the AF was fantastic in good light but struggled indoors or lower light - can anyone who has one comment on that?
     
  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    You might send John Flores a private message or maybe check his blog. I have no first hand experience. One only needs to deal with multiple lenses if one gets addicted. The kit lens has a decent focal range and would be similar to most other point and shoots. I would expect it still a coat pocketable camera and not very many would be pants pocketable.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    I had the Nikon V1, and the quality is great and the auto focus "blazing fast", as has been said. I have a system camera (E_m5 and E-P2) and the Nikon was a little big for what I wanted in a point and shoot. Even with the smaller 18mm lens, it's not really pocketable, though it will fit in a large coat pocket. A great choice, but only if "small" is not a major concern. As for changing lenses; no one says you have to.

    The RX100 is probably great for what he wants, but will probably cost more than $500. It's still a hot seller, has a better sensor than the Nikon they say, but no eye level finder. You have to use the LCD, the reason I was not interested in it.

    I agree with Kevin that the X10 in not a good choice for a "set it and forget it" camera. You can do that, but those settings produce 6MP jpegs (wonderful jpegs that rival the full 12 MP ones however), and the camera really shines with a bit more effort. I love it; but I love photographic challenges. If you don't, stay away from it.

    My two cents for what its worth -- probably about a penny.
     
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  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    I think the Panasonic LX5/LX7 is still a good option. They're pretty cheap at the moment (around half the price of the RX100), they have fast zooms, they can be shot like a set and forget point and shoot and yet there is a lot of room to grow and experiment if you want to.
     
  10. sonomichele

    sonomichele SC Regular

    43
    Jul 6, 2010
    Texas
    If the V1 is too large (your friend probably only needs the kit zoom) then consider some of the non-serious compacts. Most folks who only want a set and forget will do great with any of the Canons or Sonys or Nikons out there that don't have the manual controls. In fact they are probably happier without having the confusing options. For example most the Canon Elphs are quite capable. It mostly comes down to how much zoom your friend wants.
     
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  11. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    An interchangeable lens camera like the Nikon V1 need be no more complicated than the number of lenses you buy for it (but try and stop at just one, right?). I tried out a Nikon V1 once and the AF was indeed extremely fast to lock but it did seem to slow down a lot in lower light, particularly with the 30-110 zoom (but then we're only buying one lens, yes? :smile:).
     
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  12. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    The 10-30 zoom is about what most compacts come with, although admittedly a slower version. The big advantage of that $399 kit is that most fixed lens cameras max out at moderate telephoto. The 30-110 lens would be great for sports which we know his kids will eventually do and he'll want pictures.
     
  13. norman shearer

    norman shearer SC Veteran

    I'd say the V1 with 10-30mm zoom and the SB-N5 flash for indoor use should be a great starting kit. The 30-110mm zoom and perhaps a fast prime later will be needed as the kids grow. Might be worth considering a 2nd hand purchase on ebay so you can get a more complete kit for your money.
     
  14. Dan Vang

    Dan Vang SC Rookie

    11
    Sep 11, 2013
    Little Falls, MN
    With the newer cameras out now any updated recommendations for shooting kids?