Digital camera for arthritic hands
November 15, 2008 7:07 PM   Subscribe

Help me pick a digital camera for my 70-something parents with arthritic hands.

I'm looking for something with a large viewfinder and larger buttons. We have about $600 to spend. I'd also like recommendations on small photo printers.

Thank you for your help.
posted by Jandasmo to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I just bought a Nikon CoolPix L18 for $130. Almost the entire back of the camera is one big LCD. The buttons seem plenty large to me, and there aren't all that many. Using it is extremely easy; everything is automated. It auto-focuses, it decides on the exposure, it even uses the flash if need be. Turning it on is one button press. Taking a picture is one button press. Turning it off is one button press.

And unloading the pictures into the computer for processing (they're about 2M each, because they're 3600*2400 pixels) is also really easy, using the USB cable which is included.

I'm really happy with it. I did spend another $13 on a 2G SD card for it, which can hold about a thousand high-definition pictures. Getting that installed and formatted takes about ten key strokes.
posted by Class Goat at 7:45 PM on November 15, 2008 is the go-to source for digital photography info; trolling through their forums might yield good info on your specific question.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:46 PM on November 15, 2008

Here's Nikon's website for the L18.
posted by Class Goat at 8:46 PM on November 15, 2008

You might see whether one of the Canon A-series cameras would work. Their controls tend to be larger than those on the Elph cameras. If arthritic also means shaky, then a camera with image stabilizing (IS) would be nice.

What do they want the camera for? If they don't mind a larger camera, you could buy an entry-level digital SLR for $600, which might be easier for them to use than a smaller camera. And the DSLR has significant advantages, such as longer battery life and a larger sensor. If they have used a film SLR, the DSLR might be similar enough to make the transition easier. And the larger, heavier camera means the effects of shake will be reduced.
posted by brianogilvie at 8:47 PM on November 15, 2008

Another vote for the A5xx series canons.

My grandmother didn't seem to have any trouble switching from her previous Canon film camera to the entry level digital Canon. Something to look out for is that my grandmother likes to have a camera, but almost always farms out picture taking duty to one of her children or grand children. If this is the case for your parents, you might want to think about what the actual photographers would want to use.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:08 PM on November 15, 2008

Another supporter of the Canon's A5 series. The lcd screen is pretty average of a point an shoot (2.5 inches) and the grip makes it more comfortable that a flat front camera.

Additionally, Canon's Powershot S5is is a great camera and produces some good quality. I would probably recommend the S5is over the A5s, to be honest.

Can you take your parents to some place to have them hold a few bodies to get an idea as to what kind of shape they prefer?

As for printers, I've used a Canon mp460 for photos. Its a great all in one, but you need to make an effort to get the colors right on the pics. It can take a few prints to get the color correct. I've also used an HP photosmart and an Epson Stylus inkjet. Of all three I would recommend the Epson over the other two for print quality.
posted by kirstk at 1:05 PM on November 16, 2008

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