u know what they say.happy wife = a happy life
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MJA your approach was all wrong. You start by showing off the $4,000 rigs. Then weeks later you go "ya honey your are right, I can just make due with one of these $600 cameras".
If you want a mirrorless DSLR, hold out. I have a feeling Nikon is about to spring one on the market. Samsung just announced one as well.
You might consider a Canon G12 http://www.amazon.com/Canon-G12-Digital-Stabilized-Vari-Angle/dp/B0041RSPRS/ref=sr_1_1...5412424&sr=8-1
I have a G7, and it's a fantastic little camera. And you can buy a wide angle and telephoto converter lens for cheap.
Canon Elph 500HS left a bad taste in my mouth .I like to give a another camera maker a try
"Spent $100 on a POS for the wife to cram in her purse (and shut her up)."
Yes, that works perfectly. I did that also and am a happy husband now.
Since there's no benefit in this, it's obviously a cheat to get by with a cheaper sensor and still being able to list 60fps in the printed material and on the box.
At the time I bought it, true 60fps was readily available in lesser cameras like the Kodak Playsport and Flip, yet Panasonic chose profit margin instead of customer satisfaction.
Canon does not do that. Canon is THE standard, and they would never compromise their reputation.
Sony exaggerates the specs too. Remember the 300X camcorders? What a joke. They just wanted to have the biggest zoom number standing out on the display case. And anything shot in 300X digital zoom is going to be garbage.
So keep this in mind, and make sure that whatever great deal you find is really a great deal.
"Well, OK, but I got burned on a Lumix FZ35 that's all the rage on Amazon, but it turns out the the 720p AVCHD "high quality" 60 fps mode is only 30 fps and each frame is simply repeated."
What a load of crap! That would have pissed me off too.
I've had 3 Canon point and shoots, all good cameras. I still have and use my 8 year old Canon Elph. Canon is my first choice in pocket cameras and camcorders. I think the problem is that they crank out too many models and it becomes very confusing to the customer, the model numbers don't always make sense. Read reviews first, then buy. I wouldn't blow Canon off because of one bad camera. Every good manufactuer cranks out a dud every now and then.
Also, with Canon, you get what you pay for and sometimes you get more than you pay for. With Sony you pay for more than you get almost always. I think Sony takes too long in their design phase and when they roll out a product the hardware is outdated. But since they paid X for the parts they need to charge X for teh product. Plus they have a huge brand name tax, like Apple.
Sony is one of the primary sensor manufacturers. When Sony moves, pay attention. Nikon uses Sony sensors. Nikon's own sensors are all Sony derivatives. For low-end cameras, Canon and Sony are king. Panasonic has some nice cams, too, because of their heavier interest in video. For SLR, it's all Canon vs Nikon vs everybody else (including Sony, who is really nothing more than watered-down has-been Minolta for SLRs + good Sony sensors like Nikon).
I don't think anybody is fooled by Sony brand name on cameras.
LS, The "Sony tax" may be less true for cameras but it's still there. Line up a dozen P&S in the same price ranges from Sony and Canon. Canon has the best value. I'm not saying Sony makes a bad pocket cam but I am saying you'll likely get a better Canon in the same price range.
The "Sony tax" is very true in the PC market. You can get a new Sony laptop or PC with hardware that's a generation old for twice the price of an HP or Dell with new to market hardware. I used to work on a lot of laptops. The Sony machines were always underpowered, not anough RAM and a slow processor (always nice displays though). People are paying for style on Sony computers just ike Apple.
It really depends on what you mean by "better" on the pocket cams. Sony crushes Canon on low-light performance, for example. That's the reason I have a Sony pocket cam instead of Canon. And trust me, I really, really, really liked the Canon Elph more. But I needed what I needed.
Yeah, "Sony tax" on computers is true.
They make up their own buzzwords too, like "Ultra Sensor Technology" and a bunch of crap like that. And again, the real specs are buried.
Sony is definately innovative. They just announced a new 4k video camera for $65k. They also just came out with a 4K projector for $800. Now I just have to wait for Canon or Panasonic to come out with a better 4K camera for $1000. Sony sets trends, for sure. I'll wait for Canon's 4K camera (and 8 years when I can get one for $1000) .
I see this type of thread and type of question all the time and I understand where the OP is coming from....it is VERY confusing with all of the models and brands out there to decide which route to take. Here's my 2 cents (if you are lucky):
1) Don't waste too much time trying to decide which is the "best" camera, b/c there is no such thing (unless you are referring to a specific task). Each camera has it's pluses and minuses.
2) If you want great pictures, learn lighting. A pro with an iPhone can take better pictures than most people with a $5k pro camera. There are many lessons and tutorials for free on Youtube.
3) If budget is a concern, consider buying a used DSLR. I used my Canon 10D for nearly 6 years and while other people were consumed with "megapixels", I continued capturing great pictures. The 10D was a 6MP DSLR.
4) As LordSmurf mentioned before, consider getting a f/1.8 lens (50mm f/1.8's are less than $100 new from most mfg's). Using this lens may be the easiest way for a newbie to understand how to get the best out of a camera. You get the benefit of low-light capability and HUGE control over the aperture (for depth of field).
That's my 0.02, I have more, but this should be a good start!
This is why it pays to screen women thoroughly and marry as late in life as possible.
If she is being hopelessly obstinate, then forget you ever started this thread, tell her you know nothing about cameras, and she should go buy whatever camera she thinks is acceptably sized for her with the proviso SHE has to live with the resulting guaranteed-crap pictures and CANNOT blame you.
Little tiny cigarette-pack-sized cameras like the ELPH are invariably stinko at taking kid pics: they're OK for travel scenics and other static shots but forget action. This applies to $39 Wal-Mart cams as well as the $300 Lumix and $400 Canon S90: they stink for anything but travel grab shots and amateur wedding reception photos.
The Nikon D3100 weighs NOTHING: you barely feel the heft in your hands or hanging from your neck. It was specifically designed to be small and light to appeal to female photographers, as well as those who need a nice travel DSLR. Its vastly easier to use than any pocket-cam, especially for action and kid pics, because its ready to go the second you turn it on, has a nice eye-level viewfinder, requires no settings and the battery lasts ages on a charge. But, the wife thinks its "too big and scary".
Fine. International marital law says you have the right to smash her over the head (once) with a paint can ten years from now (the second she opens her mouth to whine you have no good pictures of the kids when they were young and cute, instead of the leeching obnoxious college students they became).