Cameras forum

General discussion

Best digital camera under $400

by roadgamer / February 10, 2010 12:23 PM PST

I'm looking for a good camera that won't break the bank. I'd like something with great still-image quality as well as good video capabilities. Having zoom in video mode would be nice, but I suppose it's not necessary. Compact quality is what I'm looking for. If you know of a great cam for a lot less moola, even better!
Thanks everyone!

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Canon SX20IS
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / February 12, 2010 3:52 AM PST
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Question about Canon SX20IS
by GrammySunshine / March 2, 2010 11:40 PM PST
In reply to: Canon SX20IS

Can you please comment on it's quality of pictures in "low-light" and action shots?
thank You Happy

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That's tough for any camera
by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / March 3, 2010 12:25 AM PST

The SX20 won't be very good in low light without the flash and with action, no point and shoot tracks subjects with the autofocus fast enough. The area you are talking about is a DSLR with some nice(pricey) lens.

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Digital camera under $400.00
by GrammySunshine / March 24, 2010 10:36 PM PDT
In reply to: Canon SX20IS

I was looking for something that was $500 or under & agonized over what to purchase for months....Everything I kept reading gave a bad review about noise, etc. ... What I realized after going to a Camera shop where I got One-on-one help is this: Most of the reviews on camera sites are done by people who ARE Professionals, so the would like a camera to give "perfect" pictures.... To the untrained eye, what we get now days with SOME digitals is extremely good. I had a Coolpix 4300. One of the first digitals that came out & loved it until this past year when the pictures started coming out blurry, etc.

The man at the camera shop IS a PROFESSIONAL & he uses the BIG Huge cameras of course, but when the Canon SX20IS came out, he used it for a few months testing it. He told me that as long as he remembered it wouldn't do what a "PROFESSIONAL" SLR would do, it took AMAZING pictures.... I asked him what it would do compared to my Nikon Coolpix 4300. His comment was; "Smoke It"..... So I took the plunge & so far have been VERY HAPPY Happy It cost about $400.00.... It has the 20x zoom .. No attachments for zoom, but you CAN get the lighting attachments if you so choose. I bought the small one to start which ran around $160.00. So far I haven't even used it! LOL... So, I hope this is helpful for you in your search... I'm very happy now & relieved to have this hunt over with... Other stores I went to tried to sell me the DSLR's and all the attachments which would have run me around $700-$800 not including all the zoom lenses & lighting attachments.... That could have run me up near to $1500.00 in the end & then I would have had to lug around all that heavy stuff... UGH! I was so thankful I finally went to see our local Small camera shop! I'm Very Happy Happy

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Good to know
by roadgamer / March 29, 2010 2:21 PM PDT

Thanks for the info. I'm sure I'll be relieved too, once my search is over. Hopefully I'll make up my mind sometime before the end of the decade Happy

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Maybe something cheaper---if possible
by roadgamer / March 1, 2010 11:50 AM PST

Could a $250 cam stand up to, say, the SX20IS? I'm looking mainly at the Samsung SL820; will it be adequate? And is there anything better in that price range?

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Puzzled
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / March 1, 2010 12:37 PM PST
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Something almost like Canon, not as pricey?
by roadgamer / March 7, 2010 11:58 AM PST
In reply to: Puzzled

Sorry it took me this long to reply; work keeps me busy!
Thanks for the link. $400 still stands, but with things as tight as they are, less is better. I'd seen good reviews of the Samsung; I guess I was just hoping against hope. Can you recommend a good cam somewhere between those two?

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Samsung SL820
by alexrw3 / March 8, 2010 8:04 AM PST
In reply to: Puzzled

The SL820 has both optical and digital IS.

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but there's a problem
by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / March 8, 2010 9:55 AM PST
In reply to: Samsung SL820

The digital image stabilization is nothing more than the camera kicking up the ISO on the camera. It's not really a stabilizer, but a way to increase the shutter speed by increasing the ISO. The problem is that only a few point and shoot cameras can do well in higher ISOs and Samsung isn't in that group. So when the camera chooses a higher ISO sensitivity you end up with a grainy photo.

Fuji touted their cameras a few years ago of having image stabilization in this manner, with no optical stabilization. It's kind of like saying that digital zoom is a worthwhile feature, yet it only degrades image quality....just like digital image stabilization.

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So what's the answer?
by roadgamer / March 24, 2010 1:36 PM PDT
In reply to: but there's a problem

How big of a deal is Image Stabilization? If I hold the cam steady, I should be okay, right? I know the old film cameras never had such a feature Happy
All in all, would I be wasting my money by getting a lower-priced cam like the SL820, or would it suffice?

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An answer
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / March 25, 2010 1:00 AM PDT
In reply to: So what's the answer?

Holding a camera steady.
The problem is:
A small light weight camera is very difficult to hold steady.
Just hold one in your hand(s) as if you were going to take a picture and watch the camera (not the LCD).
You will see the camera wandering around.
Press the shutter button down and watch the camera dip down under the pressure of pressing down the shutter button.

Now put down the camera and pick up a brick.
Hold it like a digital camera and watch the brick.
It doesn't wander around.
Press down an imaginary shutter button and the brick stays steady.
Big, heavy and easy to grasp is good.

"the old film cameras never had such a feature" (as image stabilization).
Right .. It was heavier, bigger and it had a viewfinder not a LCD.
You pressed the viewfinder to your head.
Your head is steadier than two outstretched arms (as if holding a digital camera to view the LCD).

I suggest you look at the Canon SD series of cameras.
They all have image stabilization and run in price from $200 to $400.
Just a few also have viewfinders.
All of the Panasonic cameras have image stabilization.
Only the big zoom models have viewfinders.

..

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Resigned
by roadgamer / March 29, 2010 2:15 PM PDT
In reply to: An answer

Yeah, all that's true; I've shot a few film SLRs in my day. Well, you get what you pay for, so I suppose I'll have to lighten the ol' wallet. Thanks for all the help.

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To: cafmike1 from the Forum Moderator
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / April 6, 2010 7:45 AM PDT

your post was deleted for advertising.
Advertising is not permitted on CNET Forums.
Please read the Forum Policies.
There is a link to Forum Policies on the left side of this page.

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