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HELP choosing a point and shoot camera for Christmas!

by schalt / December 9, 2008 10:16 AM PST

I want to buy a point and shoot camera for my daughter who is in her first year of college. I'd rather pay a mid-range price, but I can go higher if it would be wise to do regarding what you get at different price levels for a point and shoot.
I don't have much knowledge so I went on to CNET, Consumer Reports, and the PCWorld websites. I came up with these choices:
1.Canon Powershot SD1100 IS. Problem with it I've read is it is bad for wide angle shots. It's also only 3X zoom.
2. Canon Powershot SD880 IS. Problem is it has no viewfinder.
3. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T100-Cnet's review loved this camera, but I think it's older and may be harder to find.
4.Consumer Reports also rated two Sony's high:
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W130 and DSC-T77.
I'm also concerned about the problem with low light shots I've heard about, shot speed with flash, red-eye reduction, taking decent videos, and of course very good image quality
I thought choosing a point and shoot would be easier than it has been for me, and Christmas is fast approaching! Any HELP would be greatly appreciated. MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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it's different for her

I don't know any college student that uses a viewfinder. I definitely didn't and don't with my point and shoot cameras. The SD880 is a great point and shoot for being compact and produce high image quality. I like the Sonys, but will always have a problem with their resistance to adopt SD memory and charge twice as much for their Memory Sticks. Even without the difference in price for the memory, I would still go with the SD880.

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Viewfinder
by HTHMAN / December 10, 2008 9:36 AM PST

I think it is largely what you get used to. I used 35mm SLRs and rangefinders for years. When I got my first digital P&S, the first thing I did was to turn off the live view and use the viewfinder. When I bought my DSLR, I did not even consider a model with live view. I bought my wife a sub-compact P&S with no viewfinder and she loves it and has no problem taking good pictures with it.

I think that standing with your arms extended trying to steady a shot that seems to move the wrong way is (and looks) stupid. In bright light, the screens wash out and you can not even see what you are shooting. For myself, my P&S would have to have an optical viewfinder.

If you are used to a viewfinder, get a model with one. If you, like so many others have never used anything but live view, then your choices open up a lot.

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