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Hello everyone,

Hope all is well. I am looking for a digital camera to replace my Canon PowerShot SX120 IS. I have repaired it myself and brought it back from the dead twice over and now I need to move on. So to my requirements.

  • 10MP at the least
  • LCD Screen
  • Big enough to fit my hands
  • Autofocus
  • Image Stabilisation
  • Brand should be Canon (any others that might be any good?)
  • Flash
  • I don't care about video that much
  • Has to take great pictures

I am looking at spending at least £100/$161 but no more than £155/$251. So far I've found two possible candidates and they are the Canon PowerShot SX150 IS and the SX160 IS. Does anyone have any thoughts on those two and any others that might fit the bill?

Please reply soon,

Adiman423 in London, UK

asked Dec 16 '12 at 13:48

Adiman423's gravatar image

Adiman423
66313335

the sx150 and 160have many complaints about the battery life and the flash cycle time and video quality and performance. Those issues are largely fixed in the 200 series along with a better lens with less fringing and better edge sharpness.

They also move to CMOS sensors which means better low light performance and better long exposure performance. With a CCD camera, parts of the sensor that handle the higher amount of power needed, will glow and that light is picked up by the sensor when you do long exposures, this causes bright/ washed out spots and reduced overall contrast that can never be fully corrected for. (though with the move CMOS, you get a video issue called rolling shutter where things may get slightly skewed if you pan the camera very quickly (while it is only present while panning and newer cameras do a good job in reducing it significantly, it is still present if you look closely

(almost all new cameras use CMOS sensors)

(Dec 16 '12 at 14:02) Razor512 Razor512's gravatar image

the SX260HS is pretty good

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-Digital-Stabilized-Wide-Angle/dp/B0075SUKBO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355683800&sr=8-2&keywords=sx260

review http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-powershot-sx260-hs

I have the SX230 HS that I recently purchased and the picture quality is great, especially when you install CHDK on the camera

http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Downloads

When you enable camera raw, you get significantly more color and luminance info in the image, allowing for significantly more shadow and highlight detail

answered Dec 16 '12 at 13:56

Razor512's gravatar image

Razor512
16.5k3683259

Brand loyalty may be the item of the day, but I look more for unbiased reviews and recommendations and what I, as a lifelong Nikon user have now discovered is that the Panasonic Lumix may be what you are looking for. I have three now and they all perform to my expectations. Batteries are expensive but there are $6 replacements for the $35 model and perform just as well. You can find 10x optical for under US$100 in the US at 14.1mp. I currently carry a Lumix DMC-SZ7 everywhere I go and snapshooting is quick and no need to worry about battery life. Unflashed night shots look like daylight shots, the 10x optical is about as far as you can go without a tripod or something to brace the camera on. For US$200 you can get GPS capability (what for, I ask) and "Scene Selection" where you can set up the camera for the shots you expect to make.... Scene 1 could be daylight auto ISO, no flash with face focus. Scene 2 could be dusk/dawn shots where you may need a steadier hand but can be set to look like daylight shots. Scene 3 can be night shots without flash and with a steady hand can appear as daylight! Scene 4 you can set for some other unusual lighting and/or action which you like to shoot. So just set the Scene number and you are free of fumbling with Menus and ready to shoot as soon as the camera is ready... a few seconds! So don't hurry, read reviews and recommendations from trusted sources and you will end up with all the features you desire at your budget. Good luck and let us know what you decided upon.

answered Dec 16 '12 at 20:52

olamoree's gravatar image

olamoree
913

only issue is a camera like that may be a step down if the OP likes manual controls (with cameras, once you go manual, you never go back, the quality improvement by simply moving from auto to manual is amazing even on low cost cameras.

(Dec 16 '12 at 22:31) Razor512 Razor512's gravatar image

while not 100% related, I wanted to post why you may want to consider enabling camera raw in your current camera, or making sure that your next camera will allow you to unlock camera raw in your price range, that will have to be done using firmware hacks such as CHDK which are simple to do and will significantly improve your images

RAW images have a lot more detail and color information and thus allow you to correct for underexposed areas and also for some blown highlights/ overexposed areas. it also allows you to to do more extensive edits without having any clipping.

I recorded a video demonstrating what you can do on a point and shoot with RAW. The SX230HS takes 10 bit raw images while a DSLR can take 14-16 bit RAW images. (the jpeg are compressed 8bit images)

Video link: http://youtu.be/VGL7UP2FD-I

With how cheap storage is, you will be hard pressed to find any real reason to not use RAW, sure they take more space, but the quality they offer is more than worth it.

answered Dec 16 '12 at 23:55

Razor512's gravatar image

Razor512
16.5k3683259

Thanks everyone so much for your help. Just thought I would post a follow-up before I finally declare this quest successfully completed. After a lot of research and some help from my brother I finally settled on the Canon Powershot SX150 IS for £93/$150. Just to get a disclosure out the way my Brother then kindly decided to make it my Christmas gift so I thank him a lot for that.

Thanks once again for all your help,

Adi

answered Dec 29 '12 at 12:28

Adiman423's gravatar image

Adiman423
66313335

edited Dec 29 '12 at 13:27

cool. if you are ever enable camera raw for better quality photos and need help, just let us know here, and if needed, you can post a sample raw image of the camera pointed at some graph paper or a grid displayed on your monitor and I can create a full lens profile for your camera (if you need to use it with photoshop)

(Dec 29 '12 at 13:47) Razor512 Razor512's gravatar image
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Asked: Dec 16 '12 at 13:48

Seen: 644 times

Last updated: Dec 29 '12 at 13:47