View Full Version : help please with which smallish camera

06-15-2007, 08:46 AM
I have access to a Canon powershot S315 but my partner keeps taking it abroad. Also it is too big and heavy and complex for me plus I don't like the fact that it doesn't have a normal viewfinder - at least not one I can find and in some lights it is difficult to see what you are aiming at and I don't like the wide angle -or it doesn't go wide in the way that my old canon plus wide angle lenses did.

WISH LIST small and light, good resolution -take a lot of close ups of the kids,
good wide angle (lots of outdoor scenics) real viewfinder - quick off the mark -good zoom - rechargable batteries or charger -good video/movie facility but don't need lots of gimmicks.


* What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible. c.£200 give or take.


* What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
small, light, unobtrusive one I can slip into coat pocket canon pwershot s31s too big.


How many megapixels will suffice for you? 5-6 or more

* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify) bigger the better

* How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
Do you care for manual controls?
if possible - I used to do everything manually - but not the most important
General Usage

* What will you generally use the camera for? outside -kids, close ups, friends, scenics

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? -not important

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? yes at parties, but not the most important

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
yes of kids doing their sports -football, tennis, riding, surfing etc


Are there particular brands you like or hate? didn't like our first digital sony ?finiepix because it was so slow -action often finished while camera was still preparing, but probably because of its age!

Are there particular models you already have in mind? I thought I might like the Panasonic TZ (with the Leica wide) as it has a good zoom and a wide angle - but not clear about its movie mode - or other problems it might have
and I've never had a pnasonic camera - (we also have a fujifinepix I think -the one with the big screen which is fantastic for my daughter who parties every weekend)

(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
yes wide angle please

any help appreciated - many thanks

06-15-2007, 10:38 AM

Thanks for posting. The Panasonic TZ-3 is the current TZ model. It is fairly small, compact, has IS, and does will out of doors and indoors with flash. It does not do very well in a low light environment without flash. The TZ-3 is selling for around $(US) 280.00 here in the USA

I understand that you express some negative feelings about Fuji, but things have decidedly changed in Fuji territory. You might want to take a look at their brand new S-5700/S-700 camera, that uses SD cards, and has virtually no shutter lag. It it priced even less than the TZ-3. This camera is known as the S-700 here in the USA where it sells for around $(US) 200.00, and as the S-5700 overseas. You can find lots of sample photos from the Fuji S-5700 right on this website in the Fuji Folder.

So there are two good choices for you to consider.

Sarah Joyce

06-18-2007, 06:22 AM
thanks Sarah. I'll look at the Fuji. I'm very rural here but hope to get to a camera shop tomorrow.
Is it good for wide angle as well as zoom?
And does it have a proper viewfinder?
many thanks

06-18-2007, 06:56 AM
thanks Sarah. I'll look at the Fuji. I'm very rural here but hope to get to a camera shop tomorrow.
Is it good for wide angle as well as zoom?
And does it have a proper viewfinder?
many thanks
JOIf you want large zoom in a compact, you won't find one with a "proper viewfinder." Those little optical viewfinders that Canon, for example, uses with low-zoom cameras work alright for their short zoom ranges, but once you get out to ~5-6X and above, there's too much parallax (i.e., difference between what the viewfinder "sees" and what the camera's lens is "seeing") to make them practical. So to implement viewfinders in ultra-zoom cameras, they ALL use an "Electronic Viewfinder" (EVF) for the purpose. And cameras with EVFs are necessarily larger than those without. If you want a viewfinder in the Panasonic ultra-zoom line, you could go with the DMC-FZ8; but for a high-zoom compact from Panasonic, as Sarah Joyce said, a DMC-TZ3 is something you can easily carry around with you. Even though the TZ3 lacks a viewfinder, it makes up for that lack with a big, bright, 3" LCD screen that can be adjusted for extra brightness if you need it, and also has a "high angle" mode if you like to take shots holding the camera way over your head to shoot over crowds.

06-18-2007, 07:51 AM
Good Morning Puckerel-

The Fuji S-700 does indeed have a very nice EVF (electronic Viewfinder) a minature LCD screen that you view through an optlcal lens, that is shaded and quite visible, in addition to the normal LD screen. So yes, in it does have a very workable viewfinder. You do NOT have to frame your photos using the primary LCD screen on the back of the camera. An advantage of an EVF is that it shows everything that is displayed on the regular LCD screen.

Unfortunately, the Panasonic TZ-3 does not have an EVF or a regular peep hole viewfinder. The primary LCD screen on the back of the camera must be used as your primary method of framing and sighting the photo that you desire to take.

Sarah Joyce

06-18-2007, 02:17 PM
thank you both for your comments re my search for a "proper viewfinder" - I knew it wasn't the right term - but you knew what I meant - I'll check all 3 out tomorrow - brilliant help -thanks so much!

06-18-2007, 04:00 PM
Also check out the Canon A710... also called the S3's little brother. OVF, 6x zoom, AAs, IS....