Camera for student going to China
April 18, 2012 2:12 PM   Subscribe

My little pumpkin will be studying abroad in China this Summer. What is a good small camera that we can get for her without spending more than $200?
posted by sandra194 to Education (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hi! I studied abroad in China and bought myself a Panasonic Lumix (new in 2008) for the occasion after hours and hours of research. I was extremely happy with it. I don't remember the exact model number but it was the DMC series. Excellent combination of adjustment and point and shoot and default landscape, portrait, etc features that came in handy. I just re-sold it recently for around $80.
My big criteria in my camera search were: Response/turn-on time (for those OMGIJUSTSAWSOMETHINGINSANE moments), small camera size, use of standard SD card (so I could buy a HUGE one to bring with me), and lots of zoom. The Lumix is perfect for all this.
posted by ghostbikes at 2:24 PM on April 18, 2012

My mother uses a Lumix and loves it. We have a midrange Canon PowerShot and it's been great. Both are in the $150 range and I'd gladly recommend either one.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:26 PM on April 18, 2012

Suggest a used Casio Exilim s10 off Ebay. Camera in good condition can be had for less than $40. 10MP (overkill) and 3X optical zoom and takes excellent pictures and it's really small. You can set the camera so that it doesn't take the picture unless you are in focus. Really good for shaky hands like mine. Battery lasts forever. Comes in cool colors.
posted by Ferrari328 at 2:27 PM on April 18, 2012

Another vote for Panasonic Lumix--I've had a DMC-ZS1, which goes for a little over $200 at Amazon (other DMC models are a little cheaper but I can't necessarily vouch for them). My father has the same model and has also enjoyed it. It was originally recommended to him by a professional sports photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who used it as his leisure camera.
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:32 PM on April 18, 2012

Any small camera from Canon, Nikon, or Panasonic will be fine.
posted by twblalock at 2:36 PM on April 18, 2012

thirding the Lumix! it's a great little camera.
posted by changeling at 2:42 PM on April 18, 2012

I have a Canon PowerShot 230HS and I absolutely love it. I got mine for around $215, which included a spare battery, but it's selling for $270 right now, which I recognize is out of your price range - but I love it so much I think it's worth waiting for a sale.

Once neat thing you can do is go to Flicker and search for photos by camera model. It's a good way to see what the cameras you are considering are capable of.
posted by insectosaurus at 2:48 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

(Note on the Lumix, or at least for the model I have--I would really recommend that your student buy an additional battery. It doesn't take standard over-the-counter batteries and requires recharging, and it can power down quickly within a few days of constant use, as I suspect this trip would be. Make sure she brings the charger and that she has an adapter, if it's necessary for Chinese electrical systems--I wouldn't know about that.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:49 PM on April 18, 2012

I love my Sony Cybershot - mine is not the newest, slimmest model, but I've had it for a few years and the battery life is still great (lasts all day even taking 100+ pictures), holds about 500 pictures, has an easy point-and-shoot setting that has given me nice shots, as well as settings for landscapes and stuff.

Before it I had a digital camera that I really, really hated because it sucked battery power like mad and you had to turn it OFF before you could go into gallery mode and look at the picture you just took. I had a list of complaints about my previous camera; I don't have any about the Sony.
posted by nakedmolerats at 4:08 PM on April 18, 2012

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