Camera for Mom
May 11, 2004 9:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm helping my mother buy a digital camera for her extended trip to Thailand and have exhausted dpreview.com and the various other review sites. I need real-people recommendations: she wants something with decent resolution (at least 3 mp; I hope for 4 or better); under $300 hopefully; decent battery life (we tried a Nikon Coolpix but the batteries didn't last long enough - the Canon Powershot s50 batteries lasted for 200 shots and lots of flash, but the camera is just out of her price range); compact flash, since I have a number of cards for her, and ease of use. And it has to work with an older iMac with os9. Any ideas?
posted by luriete to Shopping (7 answers total)
 
Does it need to be new? I have a Canon Powershot s100 Digital Elph which would have been out of your price range new, but is now pretty close now if you buy any of the "like new" models from Amazon or the like. Mine is bulletproof. It takes compact flash. Battery life definitely beats out my bf's Coolpix. I've had it for about three years and it just works and works. I got one of those little USB card readers for it [they cost like $8-15] and it plugs right into my iMac [used to run OS9, now runs OSX, no trouble with either] and looks just like a second drive. For extended travelling I think I'd buy a second battery just to be on the safe side, but otherwise it's pretty simple to use, very very compact, fairly standard so lots of people have them and basically just works.
posted by jessamyn at 9:33 AM on May 11, 2004


I got my SO a Fujifilm FinePix F401 and my brother just recently picked up the 410 model - both are great - I've been really impressed with their pictures - and both are so incredibly small and easy to use. Both can be found for well under $300. Neither take compact flash, but memory is cheap these days...
posted by soplerfo at 9:36 AM on May 11, 2004


my mother recently purchased a kodak easyshare dx4530, creating intense amounts of jealousy in my person. although at about 3/4 the cost, I picked up a kodak cx6330 which I'm currently diggin'.

for reviews, I've found digital camera HQ to be the most useful. scroll down to the top 50, and start clickin' from the top until you find the one you're looking for.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:36 AM on May 11, 2004


I second the Canon Powershot sX Digital Elph series. I have the S230, which would likely be out of your price range, but Froogle is turning up the S200 model (the oldest in the seris, I believe) as just under $300 at best. It's not exactly a discount camera, but it's very dependable for the price and will do what you need it to do for a good long time.

Plus she can get an underwater case for it in case she goes snorkelling.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 9:39 AM on May 11, 2004


Whatever she gets, I recommend going small and slim. The Elphs are good for this, but they're not the only ones. My friend has one of those, and I have briefly considered murdering him for it. Being able to carry your camera around like a deck of playing cards is, I imagine, a lovely feeling, especially when trekking through Thailand.

And 3 megapixel is just fine for vacation shots, in my pompous and self-aggrandizing opinion. 99% of her photos are probably going to be reduced before they get sent out to family members, right? That's been the case in my family, where a cousin bought a 5 million pixel camera and then reduced them for e-mail. The result was very crisp 640 x 480 images that cost a thousand dollars.
posted by Hildago at 10:12 AM on May 11, 2004


I really like my Pentax Optio S4. 4 Megapixels, 3x optical zoom, astounding battery life (my 4th Digicam, and the longest) and it'll fit inside a cigarette packet. It's aluminium too, so pretty hardwearing (though the screen is a fragile point). I have a feeling you can't get them in the US though, but that Casio have something very alike...

Doesn't take normal batteries though, so you'll need to charge it periodically.
posted by cogat at 6:05 PM on May 11, 2004


Of course you can get the Pentax digicams in the US.
posted by kindall at 6:59 PM on May 11, 2004


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