Picking a new compact camera
November 18, 2008 6:51 AM   Subscribe

I have a Canon PowerShot A720 IS and I'm looking to replace it with a new compact camera. Any suggestions?

The compact digital camera I have right now, a Canon PowerShot A720 IS, is the second camera I ever had. The previous one was also a Canon PowerShot.

I always liked Canon's cameras, but there are a few things that always bothered me a bit. It always takes time before the flash to recharge, and the PowerShot camera I have right now is bigger than the one I had previously. Canon also removed the automatic fast- and slow-shutter features which I liked from the new PowerShot cameras.

My camera is also having a few problems. There's a hot pixel dead in the centre. Also, fully-recharged batteries inserted in my camera will still prompt it to display "Change batteries." I would like to take it back, but it is out of warranty.

There are features that I liked however:
- Compact size (although it could have been more compact).
- 6x optical zoom.
- Manual focus, aperture, shutter speed, ISO.
- Macro mode.
- 640x480 30fps movie recording, without any time or filesize limit.
- Powered by AA batteries.
- Can store images on SD and SDHC cards.
- NTSC video output.

I was looking at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10. I thought it was the next one I was going to buy. It even takes widescreen movies at 848x480 pixels and 30fps. Despite the 2GB filesize limit, it's still pretty good. But what killed me was the lack of manual focus.

It doesn't matter which brand the camera is, as long as it is a good camera with great picture quality and a nice set of features. However, I avoid Sony cameras since they use Memory Sticks and proprietary batteries. I also avoid Kodak cameras.

Can anyone help me decide which new camera I will buy? Price is not an issue, if it is reasonable. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
posted by remi to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I must add the wide-lens of the Lumix camera I mentioned was also really appealing.
posted by remi at 6:52 AM on November 18, 2008

Best answer: The best compact camera on the market right now is the Canon G10. Specs here, review here, and a favorable comparison with very very expensive medium format camera here.

It's got 28mm wide angle too. And great high ISO performance for a small sensor. Everything you liked about your other Canon and then a lot more. Possibly more camera than you need, but you totally wouldn't regret it.
posted by EnjoyBed at 7:32 AM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

The Panasonic LZ10 looks like it suffers from the same obtrusive noise reduction as the LX2, which I have. I just bought a Powershot SD790 to replace the LX2 - with the aim of installing CHDK once the port is complete.
posted by scruss at 8:42 AM on November 18, 2008

I have to second the g10 suggestion, there just is no comparison with the rest
posted by matteo at 9:44 AM on November 18, 2008

It always takes time before the flash to recharge

FWIW, flashes always take time to recharge - even the big fancy expensive professional ones. The only difference is the amount of time they take to recharge.
posted by geeky at 11:07 AM on November 18, 2008

Response by poster: @geeky

That's what I was talking about. I feel Canon takes more time to recharge the flash than cameras of other brands.
posted by remi at 11:46 AM on November 18, 2008

AA batteries to power a digital camera with flash is not enough. Alkalines are poor in that regard. My Panasonic Lumix LX1 uses a tiny Li-ion battery with 3.7V which takes up much less space than 2-AA and gives more power. If you are a power flash user then use an off camera flash. On camera flash is good only for fill and close lighting.

I like the G10 design but it isn't pocketable like my Lumix. My first digital was the Canon G1 and it is an awesome line but the easier it is for me to take a camera someplace, the more I'll use it.
posted by JJ86 at 12:42 PM on November 18, 2008

Dpreview.com: Feature Search.
DC Resource page: Buyers Guide.
posted by Craig at 12:43 PM on November 18, 2008

Response by poster: I tried the G10 after work this evening, and I must say I was impressed. I'm thinking about buying one now.
posted by remi at 4:35 PM on November 18, 2008

Response by poster: I bought an G10 and so far I must say I love it. Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
posted by remi at 8:26 AM on November 21, 2008

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