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£300 compact digital - any suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by fionap, May 25, 2006.

  1. fionap

    fionap New Member

    Hi. Apologies for making yet another "which camera" thread.

    I'm looking for suggestions for a ~£300 compact digital camera. I'm currently using an old Casio EX Z30, which I love, but I'm beginning to find it restrictive.

    What I mostly take photos of:
    - Music gigs, in very low light without flash (I think some kind of anti-shake feature is going to be essential!)
    - Urban scenes/buildings, and detail on models (architecture student)
    - Landscapes (unavoidable, living in Cornwall)

    I need a compact camera so I can fit it in my pocket; I do realise this restricts me but it's essential. I'm beginning to get into photoshop and image manipulation, but I like to be able to use the pictures without any post-shot adaptations where possible.

    So, requirements;
    - anti-shake feature
    - decent video & sound recording
    - some manual controls, perhaps

    I'm tempted to get another Casio because I've had such a great experience with my current camera, and I'm intrigued by the new EX Z1000, but having done some research I'm now completely undecided. Canon, Panasonic and Fuji also appear to make some contenders.

    Thanks for any help and advice you can give me.
  2. Lounge Lizard

    Lounge Lizard Well-Known Member

    I think Casio make some excellent value cameras - consider also the Z850. I'm not sure what/if affordable Canon compacts have anti-shake technology these days. I'd also be wary of the Panasonics - great cameras with great lenses but noisy images especially if pushed under low light gig conditions.
  3. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    If you can stretch to £325 I would without hesitation recommend the Canon Powershot S3 IS . It goes up to 800 +/- 2EV (you will get grain, but you will with anything, especially at this price), you have the IS (anti-shake) and a fantastic zoom range, I find it very sharp considering its range (36 – 432mm f/2.7-f.3.5) which would cover your landscapes and gigs! Its also got all your manual controls - aperture priority, shutter priority, bracketing, program, manual, manual focus (as well as AF), exposure compensation as well as all the usual auto-everything.

    Regarding pockets - if you're used to the Casio, it may be over "pocket size" for you - although it fits in my coat pocket just fine, but it is not slim and credit card size! It would not go in jeans pockets! If it is too large maybe try talking to fen or Dave about the Z series eg EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z1000BK which I havent tried so cant tell you much about.
  4. fionap

    fionap New Member

    Thanks, both of you, for your help. I guess I need to decide whether I can put up with the larger size and weight of the S3. ermintrude, sounds like you have one - what's the battery life like? I'm a bit wary of AA's compared to a cell-type pack.
  5. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    I get just over 300 images out of one set of AA's.

    I dont understand why people are "wary" of AA's...just buy a rechargeable set and you have exactly the same as you would with a standard battery kit except a) they will never stop production leaving you with no replacement and b) you can always nip to the corner shop should it happen to go flat whilst you're out...

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