Cameras forum

General discussion

Helping me choose the right digital camera for my needs

I have been researching cameras for two months only to find myself more confused. My old camera is a Nikon Coolpix 4300. Ancient by today's standards, I'm sure! It has served me well for about 6 years. I'm now in the market for a new camera. Any recommendations based on highest ratings and reviews of specific camera brands and series? Person experience and input welcome! I know it may not be possible to meet all of my desires for the money, but comning close would ease some of the frustration & hopefully give me more confidence to purchase. I am at best an amateur, but do love taking pictures. I am in hopes of finding a camera that I won't "need" to buy all the extra lenses, etc. that the DSLR's require... We do a lot of "grandchildren" outings and trips. Lots of sporting events with long distance/action shots shots--as well as close-ups of those beautiful little faces. We also enjoy beautiful landscape pictures taken on trips... We also enjoy museums & theaters.

I've compiled a list of different features along with what I plan to use each for. Thank you so much for input Happy

>$580.00 max w/tax included
>Great both indoor and outdoor
>good in low light
>Prefer NO SLR (but if I have to, I "Might" be willing depending on
ease of use, and expense, etc.)
>USB cable to transfer pictures to computer
>NO compact cameras (I especially like the curved grip on my Nikon
Coolpix, as well as it's size & hate to give that up)> My husband
has very large hands and I have quite small ones.
>Must be able to take movement. We take a lot of "action" shots with
the grandchildren. One is a bymnast, another plays basketball and
baseball, etc.
>Rechargeable battery would be nice (AA's are "okay", but prefer the Lithium rechargeables)
>Close shots as well as long-shots We love taking those close-up
shots of the grandchildren's faces as well as ones of them on the
playing field...Scenery, etc. is also important to us.
>Durable-- I have had my Nikon Coolpix 4300 for about 6 years+/
>Face detection would be nice
>Red-eye reduction important
>Video "Not" a must
>Prefer 7-12 MP
>Museum setting important.... My Current camera takes "terribe" night
shots & museum shots! I'd like to have better quality there.

Thanks to anyone who helps me figure out what I would enjoy & afford in a new camera!

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Helping me choose the right digital camera for my needs
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Helping me choose the right digital camera for my needs
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Right Camera

In reply to: Helping me choose the right digital camera for my needs

They have not built the camera you describe.
I would like to have one of those too.

For sports and action shots in low light.
Here is what you need:

What you can get is something like the Canon SX20IS.

Its low light capability is just average, which is not suitable for your needs.

The replacement for the SX20IS (SX30IS maybe) is due about August of this year.
I expect they will make some improvements in low light performance.
I suggest you wait and see what they do.


Collapse -
canon vs sony hx1-- sony wins hands down!

In reply to: Right Camera

The Sony DSC HX1 takes the best pictures, is easy to hold, and fits into a smaller hand. It is nto a compact camera, and is bigger than many digitals, but not as big as the slrs at all.
it is just a great camera all around!
( i was disappointed in the performance of the Canon)

Collapse -
I know you said you didn't want an SLR, but...

In reply to: Helping me choose the right digital camera for my needs

What you're looking for simply does not exist in compact, or megazoom cameras. If you want a camera that is fast enough to keep up with kids, or shooting indoor/lowlight without flash that I would heartily suggest that you buy a DSLR. Many entry level models such as the Nikon D40/D60/D3000 or any Digital Canon rebel are small enough to be carried easily, yet offer everything you want. An SLR such as the D40 with its included kit lens can be all you ever need (without needing to buy extra accesories). I use a larger D300s myself, but I just bought a D40 for my girlfriend (a pretty petite girl) and her and I were both amazed at how weightless and small it really was, and it can be had under your price point

Hope this helps, my other last suggestion would be a Canon G11. This camera is smaller than an SLR, but chunkier than a compact and is somewhat better in low light than a compact camera. The G11 is for STILL subjects only however, like any non-slr it wont be quick enough for sports or running kids.

Collapse -
have to disagree

The kit lens or even a cheaper consumer lens would not come close for the needs that she is wanting it for. The DSLR would be great, but she'd also have to get a 70-200 F2.8 to do indoor sports, which that lens alone is much more than her whole budget.

Collapse -
Kids, travel, macro and museum photos

In reply to: Helping me choose the right digital camera for my needs

To do everything you want, you will need D-SLR and multiple lenses but you don't want D-SLR. Compacts will need flash for any indoor still or action shots, and will miss a lot of indoor action shots.

The D-SLR equipment needed for kids indoor actions (running in random directions) and sports will need some fast lenses that will cost quite a bit. I spent 10 times your budget on the first D-SLR setup for my kid's photos, and now more than 20 times after a few years. And you will still miss some precious candid shots because you won't be carrying all these expensive bulky equipment everywhere you go.

The most important factor is determining your budget, and learn when and how to get the best candid/action shots with what you can afford. Canon G11 is a very good compact (S90 if you want something more compact).

Collapse -
The Sony DSC HX1 is the best camera.. I researched it for

In reply to: Helping me choose the right digital camera for my needs

I am SO happy with my new Sony DSC HX1 that I recommend it to everyone I talk to about cameras! its a wonderful camera, user friendly, the screen is easy to use, and it has a megazoom of 20x optical. Yes, that is just the optical! (You dont want to use the digital zoom on any camera because it makes the pictures mostly blurry).
the quality of the pictures is fantastic.
I also did my research for a few months, and OMG it did get hard to choose.
I orig chose the Canon SX20 IS and i was disappointed. My 5 mp Kodak took better (or at tleast the same quality) pictures! After almost 10 days, I decided it was not me but the camera, and returned it.
I then got the Sony and I am SO VERY HAPPY with it! And trust me, I have done extensive research and tried them out for myself as well.
I hope this helps! Have a great day:)

Collapse -

In reply to: The Sony DSC HX1 is the best camera.. I researched it for

PS.. it is FAST! you can snap away and still come out with good pics.. the zoom is fantastic! the colors are TRUE TRUE TRUE! and it fits nice into my hand.
Happy anyhow, have fun

Collapse -
PS: from the info on the Sony DSC HX1

In reply to: PS

Thanks! That sounds good, but what about low light and up-close pictures? Oh, also night shots .... Does it have a "museum" setting?

Collapse -
From all the reviews online

The HX1 fails in low light, because of lots of noise and serious noise reduction which takes away a lot of detail. The HX1 is pretty much the same thing as the Canon SX1, with the same problems and benefits. The 10 frames per second actually works, but only works for one second and then you have to wait 17 seconds for the pictures to be written onto the card.

Here's the conclusion page from the most popular camera review site on the internet.

Collapse -
question about the Sony DSC HX1

In reply to: The Sony DSC HX1 is the best camera.. I researched it for

I looked at the reviews on CNET & they said the picture quality wasn't there. Hmmm... It's nice to hear from someone who actually owns the camera & likes it! How long have you had your new camera? Have you taken pictures in low-light, outdoor scenery up close & from a distance, and moving subjects? If so, can you give me some feedback on how the pictures are turning out?

Thank you so much--- This is certainly one I will take a look at again Happy

Collapse -
sony hx1

In reply to: question about the Sony DSC HX1

I'm very happy with my camera. I wanted a dslr but i didnt want the hassle of changing lenses. the pictures so far are great for me, closups and low light and night pictures.. I decided that i was going to get a mega zoom digital instead of a dslr because of the convenience, etc, and im still happy with my choice. I have zoom and it takes great pictures, day and night, low light and bright light, etc.
I know what the review says about the noise, etc, and that is why i first bought the canon sx20, but when i took it home, i was disappointed in the quality. I then took home the sony, and Im telling you, that takes better pics than the canon. In fact, I'm so happy with muy choice that i want to buy one for a family member as a gift, also.
The thing is this: until you buy a camera, try it out, hold it in your hand, play with the controls, you dont know if its a good "fit" for you.. you need to find that out becaue each camera will have something that isnt perfect.. so you have to decide what YOU like in a camera..
For instance.. sure slrs are great, but I dont want to lug around all that. I take pictures every day, and take my camera with me all the time, so it has to be convenient enough for me.
Also the lenses.. they are expensive for the slrs.
Now, if you want to spend less than 600, I still highly recommend the sony hx1. i think its better than the canon. but again, we each have to try it on for the "feel". what you might love, i might not, and vice versa. But it really does great work!
If i can figure out how to download pics onto this website, I will do that so you can see. (LOL Im new to this site, so I have to see how to do that:)

Collapse -
sony hx1

In reply to: sony hx1

Thank you so much for all of your advice. You're right. You do have to take a camera home and try it to see if it's a good fit... As silly as it may sound to others, I loved my old Nikon Coolpix 4300! I keep thinking that if I loved it so much, I should be able to find a "little step up" now that I'm in the market for a new camera! I was a Realtor & used mine not only for work, but for all the grandchildren's activities, etc... It never blurred or gave me any problems ... I thought I took some pretty spectacular pictures. LOL! Now I'm reading all this stuff, I feel so frustrated! You have been very kind and helpful. I'd love to see some of your pictures if you can download them! Thank you for all of your help. I am now considering this camera, since I like you, don't want to "lug" everything with me... I was hoping the Coolpix P100 that just came out would have good reviews, but CNET didn't give them the best... Ahhh.... So I will look into the sony hx1 a little more ... Thanks again! Happy

Collapse -
regarding needing help in choosing a camera

In reply to: sony hx1

I wonder if anyone out there has tried the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ35? If so, I'd love some feedback on it... I've read the reviews & am considering it as well as the Sony Cyber-Shot HX1

Thanks Everyone!

Collapse -
Nikon coolpix

In reply to: sony hx1

that doesnt' sound silly at all! If I've learned anything at all in the past few months, I've learned this: no matter which camera we get, it won't be perfect. The thing is, which imperfections are ok with you and which ones can't you tolerate? Like the canon, the colors were not true at all.. and that is very important to me. And the speed on the canon is incredibly slow between pictures.. and that was the worst thing! The processor in that camera (and most digitals, even the megas) is a ccd processor which is just not able to go as fast as the slr's.. HOWEVER.. and this is WHY I picked the SONY in the first place:
SONY HAS the SAME PROCESSOR AS THE SLRS! IT HAS A CMOS SENSOR, which means that it will be a bit faster, and better quality. That was why I chose it, I kind of forgot about that! LOLOL Im so used to it already that I totally forgot about that key feature! So it shares that with the SLR's, and believe me it makes the camera faster.

Collapse -

In reply to: Nikon coolpix

You keep comparing the HX1 to the SX20, but the Canon counterpart is the SX1, which has a CMOS sensor, shoots slightly faster shot to shot in regular mode, in continuous mode it shoots at 4 FPS until the card fills up, and has pretty much all the positives and negatives that the HX1 has. The processor in in almost all of the Canon point and shoot cameras have the same processor as their DSLR counterparts, but that doesn't make it as good. The CMOS sensor in the HX1 or the SX1 is not even close to the quality of the much larger sensors in their respective DSLRs.

If I had to buy only one super zoom camera(which I wouldn't buy a superzoom), it wouldn't be the HX1 or the SX1. I'd probably look at the Sony HX5. It doesn't have the speed of some others(including the HX1 or SX1), but it does have the Sony Exmor-R sensor that makes it much better in high ISOs than any other super zoom.

Collapse -
oh, thats because its what ive actually tried/real life tria

In reply to: actually

oh, the reason I keep comparing the two of those is because those are the two that i have had actual experience with, in owning and using, so those are really the only ones i can honestly comment on.
it has a cmos processor and the exmorr sensor as well, (the sony hx1). the hx5 also has a smaller zoom.. it has 10 zoom. and I wanted a bigger one! thus, the 20 zoom in the hx1.

Again, it's all in what one likes, but i just am giving my slant and the reality of how it works in the field. The reviews are ok, but you really need to hear how the consumers experience them as well.

Collapse -
Not the same sensor

The older Exmor sensor is not near as good as the new Exmor-R back-lit sensor. This new sensor can shoot very good ISO 800 and 1600 shots, where the old Exmor(like in the HX1) have very grainy photos in ISO 400 and above. That makes it a much better indoor and lower light camera.

Collapse -
reviews off the best buy website for sony

In reply to: Nikon coolpix

Collapse -
RE: Nikon Coolpix

In reply to: Nikon coolpix

`That's encouraging about the Sony--- Wow, thank-you Happy

Collapse -
more reviews

In reply to: RE: Nikon Coolpix

here's another review site, at cnet.. now, i hope im not driving you crazy with my attention to your cause, but i read and searched and tried for a few months (at least) and i just love my new camera and am so impressed iwth it that i cant help but share it!
they say in this review that the picture quality is very good for the hx1.. i hope you dont feel nagged LOL if so, let me knwo and ill stop lol

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.