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Need help buying a Camera for GF this Christmas

by Jeagle88 / November 21, 2010 11:13 AM PST

So black friday is coming up and my girlfriend really wants to get a new digital camera for Christmas this year. I've been trying to research cameras but i just feel like im over my head in understanding all of the different features. I've come to the conclusion that the max i can go for spending on a camera is about $200 and from looking at black friday adds i was looking at some of the following cameras..

Nikon Coolpix L110
Nikon L110 (is their a difference from CoolPix?)
Cannon SX 130is
Cannon SX 120is
Nikon Coolpix S70

Im not sure if these are the best for the price range or not?

But My girlfriend is just starting to get into photography and wants to get a new camera to take pictures of friends, family, landscapes, and some stuff for some trips we have coming up. So that being said she's not too advanced with all the modes or anything either but she told me she is really just looking for an easy to use camera that can take some high quality pics. If anyone can help me on the options I listed or point in another direction it be appreciated. Thanks.

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by PistonCupChampion / November 21, 2010 11:52 AM PST

I'd go with the Canon, the SX130 IS specifically. It can shoot good quality snapshots in auto mode, but if she decides to take up the hobby, the camera has manual controls available.

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few questions with cannon
by Jeagle88 / November 21, 2010 12:55 PM PST
In reply to: Canon

I looked at some comparisons of the 120 and 130 cannon's are the upgraded features worth the extra cost or do you get the same benefits of the 130 with the 120? Also it seems both these cameras have a problem with battery life and storage? where can you buy nickel batteries? and do you recommend buying a new memory card or just use the standard memory card? Thanks for the response.

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120 vs. 130
by PistonCupChampion / November 21, 2010 2:16 PM PST

The main benefits of the 130 over the 120 are a wider angle lens (28mm vs. 36mm) and HD video. The wider 28mm lens is useful for landscapes and getting a group of people in a shot indoors. The HD video is self-explanatory. Of course the 120 is a really good deal, so maybe those two things aren't worth $50.

As for battery life, just use rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries. They'll last much longer than alkalines. The included SD card is okay, but it will fill up pretty fast.

FWIW, I'd also take a good look at the Panasonic DMC-ZS5. If I had a $200 budget, it would be very high on my list.

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Nickel Batteries
by Jeagle88 / November 22, 2010 9:05 AM PST
In reply to: 120 vs. 130

Can these nickel batteries be picked up at best buy or do i have to go to a camera specialty store to pick some up. Thanks the help everyone.

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Nickel batteries
by joshua.goldman CNET staff / November 22, 2010 10:07 AM PST
In reply to: Nickel Batteries

Jeagle88, PistonCupChampion put you in the right direction on the camera choice. The batteries are just rechargeable AAs. You can pick them up at most supermarkets/drug stores as well as Best Buy and Radio Shack. The SX130 will eat through regular alkaline AAs, but the rechargeables will more than double your shot count. A 4GB or 8GB SDHC card should be plenty of storage. You'll want one rated Class 4 or higher for recording HD video.
The camera is bulky, though, so you might want to make sure she doesn't want a tiny camera for her purse.

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