Digital Camera advice
January 13, 2009 2:34 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend is looking to buy a new digital camera and is looking for some suggestions. Specific wants inside.

Wants: AC adapter so she can charge from a wall outlet, lithium-ion battery, room to add additional memory sd card, great sound quality and continuous (at least 10 minutes at a time) recording/movie mode, at least 7 megapixels, at least 3x zoom, pocket-sized (very thin cameras preferred).

She'll be upgrading from a Kodak z750, which she likes, but it's just too bulky.
posted by Astro Zombie to Technology (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I upgraded from a Kodak for the same reason. Check into Canon's cameras - I have the SD800 IS, and love it. My sister has a smaller, similar model that she also loves.
posted by niles at 2:55 PM on January 13, 2009

Based on recommendations here I picked up the Canon SD1100IS. 8MP, 3X optical zoom, SD card slot, removable lithium battery with charger (seems to last me a long time), very compact. The image stabilization is pretty slick, too, minimizing blurriness due to shaking. I did enough research to figure out that for the compact point and shoot this line of cameras were the ones to get for me.
posted by 6550 at 3:00 PM on January 13, 2009

My gf has a Sony DSC-T77. I have a problem with Sony in general but this little camera is truly pocket-sized, takes excellent pictures, and is incredibly thin. I am not sure about the duration of the movie mode.
posted by jet_silver at 3:00 PM on January 13, 2009

Any of the Canon PowerShots 800+ should do.
posted by k8t at 3:11 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding (thirding) the Canon. Those Ixus-style cameras are a joy to use and physically are just the right size for carrying everywhere; the good solid metal body with its lack of protruberances means I don't really feel the need for a case for mine, as long as there's no loose change in my pocket to scratch the screen.

Really though, as I said in a camera thread a while back, there's no substitute for going to a store with a shortlist and actually handing them.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:11 PM on January 13, 2009

How about a Canon Digital IXUS 80IS?

Does everything she wants, doesn't use non-standard (expensive) memory, slim, light and wont break the bank.

Comes in silver, pink or baby blue.
posted by mr_silver at 3:20 PM on January 13, 2009

I have a Canon SD1100 (known as the Ixus 80 in Europe) and I'm very happy with it, for all the reasons mentioned above. You can put SDHC cards in it; they have a higher capacity than regular SD cards.

I run CHDK on mine. Your girlfriend might have no interest in this sort of thing, which is fair enough, but I've got some good results with it. The timelapse and motion detection scripts are great, and the hacked firmware adds loads of features which aren't included on cheap point-and-shoot cameras.
posted by mattn at 3:27 PM on January 13, 2009

I can second the Canon SD800 IS (or similar) series.
I purchased one for an overseas trip that worked flawlessly. Video captures, macro capability, that series has a number of great features. Battery is LiIon, removable, charges in a wall wart, get an extra.
Uses SD cards.
posted by Drasher at 3:52 PM on January 13, 2009 did a pre-Christmas round-up of compact cameras. If you roll over Reviews/Previews on the left, there'll be a link to all four of them. Their reviews are very good - I highly recommend leafing through them.
posted by Magnakai at 4:55 PM on January 13, 2009

Yet one more vote for the Canon SD1100. I have upgraded through the various Ixus iterations, and was waiting for the small bodied image stabilisation model.

I love the thing. Lots and lots. You can get very surprisingly low light pictures without flash, the battery lasts for bloody days (and second ones are cheap) and the video is of decent quality too. The charger, incidentally, is the most tiny piece of kit you can imagine as it is just a little box with a fold away plug. It's great. You can even get a wireless SD card, too, to avoid having to carry that annoying cable...
posted by Brockles at 4:56 PM on January 13, 2009

I've been happy with the Canon PowerShot SD870IS, which I'd say meets all your criteria. And Brockles is right about the charger--I love smart design.
posted by roombythelake at 5:38 PM on January 13, 2009

Vote number eleven billion and one for the Canon SD1100IS. It's an awesome little camera, and seems to be pretty durable...and incredibly easy to use. Here's the Flickr site showing examples of photos taken with this camera.
posted by Evil Chicken of Doom at 6:14 PM on January 13, 2009

I'll second recommending's reviews. I basically only buy cameras that they rate at the "Highly Recommended" level. Currently I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 which comes with a fantastic Leica lens and shoots 720P HD video.
posted by gen at 11:43 PM on January 13, 2009

Another SD1100IS/Ixus 80 user. I picked it from going through previous threads here. Run CHDK on it because I'm a geek. Took apart one of those booklight things and made a remote shutter control. First camera, have 2 extra batteries that cost like $2 (shipping was more). Did some surgery on a USB cable and have a little 6 incher and 4GB SD card. Best buy *ever*.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:43 PM on January 13, 2009

Oh, and the Canon made Consumer Reports 'Best' ranking.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:47 PM on January 13, 2009

Panasonic Lx3 if you want to spend a nice chunk, Panasonic tz5 for a camera that's an absolute Hoot to use but half the price.

10X optical zoom, stabilized, 720p video, great camera and a lot of fun.
posted by Lord_Pall at 2:02 AM on January 14, 2009

Questioner: Wants: AC adapter so she can charge from a wall outlet...
odinsdream: You would need to get an AC adapter separately, but it does exist.

The Canon SD cameras come with a lithium ion battery and a mains charger.

Odinsdream's statement is correct: an AC adapter for powering the camera without a battery has to be purchased separately.

[Sorry to state the obvious, but it seemed like ambiguity was creeping.]
posted by mattn at 11:55 AM on January 14, 2009

Don't worry, you weren't the source of the confusion. The words 'AC adapter' have several different meanings, and it was only in the specific context of this question that the heterogeneity of these meanings became important.
posted by mattn at 4:38 PM on January 16, 2009

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