Good but SIMPLE point & shoot zoom camera

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Sudipto Ghosh, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. Hi,
    I am looking to buy a point & shoot camera with a reasonable amount of
    zoom. Here is what I am looking for :-
    -- Around $150
    -- One of Pentax, Minolta, Nikon or Canon
    -- Some amount of zoom (ideally upto 90mm)

    The BIGGEST featute I am looking for is that the camera should be
    SIMPLE to operate. We would be presenting this camera to somebody
    around 70 years of age & not very camera savvy. So simpilicity and
    ease of use is a must.

    What would you all recommend ?
    Sudipto Ghosh, Jan 15, 2004
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  2. Sudipto Ghosh

    Nick C Guest

    I bought my wife the Canon Panorama Z115 and she will not let go of it. Thinking she would like
    to have a digicam, I later bought her an Olympus 5050. Within a short time, she gave me the
    Olympus 5050 and took her Canon Z115 back. I have a hunch she really prefers using the Canon
    Z115. :)

    If your considering a camera that doesn't require equipment expertise to operate, The Canon
    Panorama Z115 fits the bill.

    Nick C, Jan 15, 2004
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  3. How about the Minolta Freedom Zoom Explorer EX (28-75) ? Someone had
    posted a consumer report survey where it was rated # 1. Anybody out
    there who actually used it ?
    Sudipto Ghosh, Jan 15, 2004
  4. How about Minolta Freedom Zoom Explorer Ex {28-75}. One of the
    consumer reports rated it #1. Has anybody actually used this camera ?
    Sudipto Ghosh, Jan 15, 2004
  5. Sudipto Ghosh

    jriegle Guest

    I had it, the 28-70 version, before they added the extra 5mm to the
    telephoto end. It is very good. I gave it to my mom when she lost her
    camera. It is very simple to learn the modes on it or just turn it on, point
    it and shoot it.
    jriegle, Jan 15, 2004
  6. Sudipto Ghosh

    Nick C Guest

    Minolta is favored by many but not me. I had a bad experience with Minolta equipment years ago
    and although I should get over it, it seems every time someone talks about Minolta I think back
    to the bad experience.

    I won't dissuade someone from buying a Minolta product but I won't praise Minolta products.

    Nick C, Jan 15, 2004
  7. I was showing my wife the pictures of various models she did not like
    the looks of the Minolta. Of the ones she liked I have the following

    Yashica T4 Zoom
    Canon SureShot Z115
    Canon SureShot 130u

    I am a bit biased towards T4 Zoom because of its 28mm zoom but not
    sure about its EASE of use compared to the Canon models or how they
    rate overall against each other ? What would you say ?
    Sudipto Ghosh, Jan 16, 2004
  8. Sudipto Ghosh

    m II Guest

    Nick C at :
    That's amazing. My sister did the same thing to ME! I was fourteen years
    old and she returned to me the Christmas present I'd bought her. How
    was *I* supposed to know she didn't like model airplane kits (complete
    with full armaments, an ejection seat that WORKED, choice of decals and
    a poster sized information sheet suitable for framing)? Come to think
    of, My Mom didn't use that crystal radio set I bought her, either. No
    sense letting it go to waste, I


    __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
    / /\ / /\ / /\ / /\ / /\ / /\ / /\ / /
    / /\ \/ /\ \/ /\ \/ /
    /_/ \/_/ \/_/ \/_/ \/_/ \/_/ \/_/ \/_/

    ..let the cat out to reply..
    m II, Jan 16, 2004
  9. Sudipto Ghosh

    Nick C Guest

    Pictures are fine but handling each camera is better.

    I think either the Yashica T4 or the Canon Z115 would do nicely. I'll pass on the Canon 130.
    Handle the cameras and compare features along with ease in handling. However, as concerns
    performance, I think the edge is held by the Yashica T4.

    Nick C, Jan 16, 2004
  10. I have been reading the reviews of both of the above camera's on the
    web. Both the cameras have some negative comments regarding handling

    T4 Zoom : Very small view finder, big shutter lag & the diopter keeps
    moving (???)

    Canon Z115 : Again small view finder, red eye reduction not good &
    takes a long time for focus lock.

    Since you have had the Z115 for sometime can you say if this is the
    case or not ?
    Sudipto Ghosh, Jan 16, 2004
  11. Also why do you say I would pass on Canon 130u ? Also how about Pentax
    120mi ?

    I saw couple of threads comparing the above two, but there did not
    seem to be any definite conclusion. I am sorry if I seem to be
    vacillating a lot between different brands & model, but the reason
    being I am really looking for something which is very EASY to use. I
    know all of the different models we have talked about in this thread
    would have more or less comparable optics, but since this is for a 70
    year old (with glasses) who is not camera savvy things like small view
    finder etc come into play. For example both the Canon & the Pentax
    120mi have red eye feature, but where as it seems it is automatic for
    Canon 130u, for the Pentax we need to choose that mode. So that is one
    brownie point in favour of Canon. However durability wise I am not
    sure how good is a Canon 130u ?
    Sudipto Ghosh, Jan 16, 2004
  12. Sudipto Ghosh

    Nick C Guest

    Had to consult my wife and ask her about the negative aspects of the Canon Z115. What she said was:

    1- "The view finder is fine." She hasn't experienced any user problems with the viewfinder.

    2- "Little to no problems with red eye." She is alert to telling people not to look directly at
    her or the camera. I process her pictures and apparently she has exhibited some control over the
    condition, if there is a problem to be concerned about. However, generally speaking, red eye is
    ofttimes a common problem with P&S cameras and the user should take precautions accordingly.

    3- She said she has noticed at times, there is a slight lag in focus lock but she doesn't
    consider it to be a problem.

    I hope you realize the negative aspects that you've listed of the cameras have little to do with
    the camera being user friendly or camera performance output. In 'someones opinion' the
    viewfinder is a tad small. In "someones opinion," shutter lag is too long. I like Nikon
    equipment, others like Canon equipment .... shrug. There are opinions upon opinions, but it's
    the user who has to make the finale determination as to what is or is not acceptable.

    Don't discount the Yashica T4. Pictures taken with a Yashica T4 are generally speaking,
    technically very good.

    I have the D100 Nikon digital camera. There are those who complain about the "plastic feel" of
    the camera, which doesn't bother me. There are people who complain about the cameras shortfall
    in auto compensating for light conditions. This to me is an 'iffy' and at times, to catch the
    'flavor' of a room with existing light, the cameras auto exposure and coloration gives me what I
    want. However, If I were dependent upon others opinions, sans handling and seeing results, I
    would be mentally at sea with almost all my equipment.

    I recently bought the new Nikon 24-120mm AFD-VR lens (still keeping the older 24-120mm lens). If
    you care to avail yourself of test reports and opinions, you would no doubt tend to feel it's
    not the lens that you would buy. Yet, I think it ranks among the best of lenses that one could
    use as a 'street' lens. I just shrug when I read someone say at 24mm there is slight barrel
    distortion or there is light falloff, or at 120mm its contrast is slightly off. Frankly, I
    haven't found any of these issues to be of a magnitude that directly affects the type of
    pictures I take when using this lens. Nine times out of ten, I doubt if a viewer's thoughts are
    to first review the technical aspects of a lens when looking at pictures. Besides, it's
    difficult to impossible to tell if intended edge burn-in is light falloff and seen distortion is
    almost always depended upon the scene or scene composition. Shrug... at times, it even can be a
    pictorial asset.

    I hope you understand what I'm trying to convey to you; it's not my intent to just ramble on.
    Opinions on this or that are fine and are worth seeking, but in the end, what pleases you is
    what counts. You have narrowed your selection of cameras to either the Canon Z115 or the Yashica
    T4. Either one of these cameras will produce a quality picture. Handle them, then decide. You
    will decide correctly.

    Nick C, Jan 16, 2004
  13. Sudipto Ghosh

    Nick C Guest

    Conclusion to whose analysis? Do you make a habit of buying a product based
    upon what others tell you to buy? Haven't you heard the saying "one mans
    trash is another mans treasure?"
    Being 70 years old does not compute to being stupid. If the man can dress
    himself, shave himself, drive a car, order a meal in a restaurant, and eat
    by his own hand, he can use any number of simple P&S cameras. Heck, buy him
    a gross of any make 'disposable' cameras. They come with film already loaded
    and you have to be almost brain dead not to be able to use one of those
    cameras. However, if the 70 year old is feeble minded, that's something else
    to consider.

    Both my wife and I wear glasses and are not handicapped by the size of the
    view finder.

    As to the Red Eye reduction function, it may well be a PIA to those who
    don't like the preflash brightness face blasting and instead of Red Eye, you
    get closed eyes, even when the subject is warned about the preflash. As an
    opinion, I sure as hell would not want Red Eye to be an automatic function.
    In fact, when I use one of my Elf APS cameras, the Red Eye function is
    always on "off".
    Perhaps it would be best to let the 70 year old pick what he can use and
    wants. If the camera is to be a gift, do you know for sure that he even
    wants a camera?


    pass on > the Canon 130.
    Nick C, Jan 17, 2004
  14. Thanks for pointing out the fact that I was getting carried too much
    by others viewpoints. You have given me some very valuable insights.
    Over the next few days, I would visit some of the stores & try to
    handle some of these models to come to a conclusion. For sure the
    canon z115 would be one the models. Thanks again.

    Sudipto Ghosh, Jan 18, 2004
  15. Sudipto Ghosh

    Jim Waggener Guest

    Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom. The sharpest lens around for a P&S.
    Jim Waggener, Jan 19, 2004
  16. Sudipto Ghosh

    Roger Guest


    I don't think you can do much better than the Olympus Stylus Epic (in
    USA) or muj (??) in rest of world. It has a 35mm f2.8 non-zoom lens
    and is one of the sharpest lenses around.

    I know you asked for a zoom lens, but I'm offering up my experience
    with several casual picture takers in the same generation (and older)
    as your recipient of this camera . A zoom lens does not do very well
    in unsteady hands, the delay between shutter release and shutter
    actuation, as well as inexperience, exacerbates this blurring due to
    unsteady hands and telephoto lenses.

    I often loan my Stylus Epic to my 86 year old mother in law and she is
    able to acquire the pictures she desires to show her friends. She is a
    couple of generations beyond your user, but she worries more about the
    camera than herself and that additional distraction can be a problem.

    I'm definitely not saying that 70 year old can't handle a zoom lens, I
    have a few years to go but I'll be one some day and I'll have years of
    practice. I am saying, given your "not camera savvy" introduction for
    the recipient, that I think a non-zoom camera, with a quality lens and
    easy functions will provide enjoyable results without the "fuss" of a
    zoom lens.

    The basic design of a zoom lens on a P&S also limits the amount of
    light hitting the film. This reduces the usefulness of the zoom
    functions indoors. In my experience, this is one place someone in the
    young-old group uses their camera frequently and I think the zoom
    function then reduces the overall usefulness of the camera.

    Good luck in your decision.

    Roger, Jan 20, 2004
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