Help me find the best concert festival camera for a man of slender means?
March 11, 2010 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Help me find the best concert festival camera for a man of slender means?

I am going to a few concert festivals this year and I need a camera that lives within a narrow vector of needs-to-resources.

It's time to put to bed my cheap workhorse cam that I've been using since 2006. Which has gotten me thru 2 Lollapaloozas, 4 Coachellas, 3 Treasure Islands, and countless other shows and fests.

So here is what I need:

• $200 maximum

• Uses standard SD cards

• Should take disposable batteries, tho I would be willing to use a rechargable if the battery life is there.

• At least a 5x optical zoom, but since I will be in festival crowd/setting more optical zoom is always helpful.

• Shoots great (and easily - thats important cuz Im a putz) at night/low light

• Preferrably smaller than an 80s cell phone

Thanks for any help you can offer. Ive been all over the net scouring reviews and Amazon etc and I feel like Im just spinning in circles, so any practical help would meant a lot to me.
posted by Senor Cardgage to Shopping (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That's a pretty tall order for that price range, but I looked around a bit on Amazon and found this: Canon PowerShot SX120IS, which seems to meet most (if not all of your criteria) and is right in your price range. Users at seem pretty happy with it.

If you would consider buying used to get a bit more out of your budget, I would strongly suggest checking your local craigslist for a Canon G9, G10 or G11. These cameras are all absolutely rock solid (though they use proprietary rechargeable batteries) and will last you a good long time while still being small enough to sneak through concert security.
posted by crosbyh at 11:37 AM on March 11, 2010

My research adds the not-so-current suggestions of the Nikon Coolpix L1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10
posted by rhizome at 11:48 AM on March 11, 2010

I have a Canon SD850, which is great but only has 4x zoom. The more current model is the SD780 IS, which somehow only has 3x. I was going to recommend them to an acquaintance who was looking for a specific Sony, but it turned out that her choice was probably better.

So... no experience with this one, but check out the Sony CyberShot DSC-W290 or similar. 5x zoom, image stabilization, 12 MP.
posted by Madamina at 12:08 PM on March 11, 2010

I have the Canon PowerShot SC110IS which must be very similar to the model rhizome mentions and I've been quite happy with it so far (9 months), although I had some power issues at the get-go and had to get a replacement (two, actually, but 3s been the charm). It has a 10x optical zoom which is really nice for festival use. Also, quite a few low light settings. Spend some time with the manual and I think you'd be satisfied with it. I bought mine primarily for music festivals, too, and have managed to get some good night stage shots, despite my "condition" by the time the last show goes on.
posted by ourroute at 3:49 PM on March 11, 2010

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