Camera stolen - new question this time around

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jonathan
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Camera stolen - new question this time around

Post by jonathan »

Unfortunately, my camera got stolen in the Delhi metro system, which means I'm already in the market for a new camera.* But I'm looking for something different this time around.

My needs in the field have changed slightly, and I've decided that I value ultrazoom less now, and good macro/low-light shots more. Due to my reseach interests it's become more important for me to get high-quality shots of herps in close range than to shoot herps 30 meters away. And I'm often shooting in the jungle under trees, in dusk, dawn, or darknes.

Really, to put it simply I'm looking for the absolute best photo quality I can get, especially in macro and low-light situations, for a camera in the $200 range, irrespective of all other details.

Since availability is unpredictable here, multiple suggestions would be appreciated.

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jonathan
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Re: Camera stolen - new question this time around

Post by jonathan »

* In my 10 years of ultrazoom point-and-shoot cameras, my track record is really bad! 3 cameras stolen, 2 cameras with broken lens motors, one camera ruined with salt water and 1 camera limping along with multiple problems.

Since I've only ever owned ultrazoom cameras, I'm really unfamiliar with everything else.

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Martti Niskanen
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Re: Camera stolen - new question this time around

Post by Martti Niskanen »

Unfortunately I haven't got any real suggestions for you as I have pretty much zero experience of point-and-shoots, but what a bummer that your camera got nicked.

Have you considered a DSLR? I was just looking at the prices for entry level gear in the post-holiday sales (in Finland, but prices are pretty much universal) and they're getting pretty affordable. You might just find some used entry level gear close to your budget. DSLRs tend to have much better low light performance than point-and-shoots, but you'd probably have to compromise with the lense(s). If wanting macro shots in low light, I'd personally look around for a DSLR with a roughly 100mm macro lens, or with this budget, one of those zooms with a macro function.
Anyway, you're asking for a lot of a camera for 200 bucks.

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jonathan
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Re: Camera stolen - new question this time around

Post by jonathan »

I spent some time a few years ago thinking about a DSLR, but I think I've ruled them out for good. One main reason is that for the non-wildlife photography I take it really helps to have a discreet camera that doesn't stick out. I also want to be able to pack as simply as possible (no extra lenses) and to be able to take photos as quickly as possible. The fact that I don't have to learn how to use one and I save money are bonuses.


Right now, the brands that look like they might fit my needs the best are the Sony WX80, Canon ELPH500, Canon ELPH340, or Fujifilm XF1. Pros and cons as far as I can see are:

Fujifilm XF1 might have the best photo quality of the bunch, and a decent battery life too. Reviews for low light are great. But there seems to be some sort of inherent lens problem that causes a lot of the cameras to simply conk out after a few months. It's also a bit odd to turn on and I'm not sure how durable it is.

Sony WX80 gets good reviews for low light photo quality and has an 8x zoom. However, its macro specs are only 5cm minimum, and I'm afraid its small size might make it a little tough to use, and some reviewers say it's not very durable.

Canon ELPH500 has strong photo quality, but it might not be quite as nice as the previous two, espeically in low light. Battery life may be a bit of an issue.

Canon ELPH 340 has a 12x zoom and otherwise might be similar to ELPH500, but some of the reviewers complain about photo quality. 1cm minimum macro distance is nice though.

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