Small idiot proof camera recommendations?

Discussion in 'Digital Point & Shoot Camera' started by William Regan, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. My wife has a Canon ELPH APS camera that thankfully died recently.
    She wanted another APS but I have convinced her to go digital. She
    liked the APS camera because it was really small and she thought it
    was cool looking.

    What would be a good small digital camera that would be easy to use?
    She doesn't need lots of features and options, just idiot proof point
    and shoot with zoom.

    William Regan, Nov 24, 2004
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  2. William Regan

    Aruz Guest

    One from the Canon ixus range would be good. 30 (Jessops Exclusive), 40, 500
    would all be more than adequate, and the different model really comes down
    to what quality you want.

    There are others I am sure, but I am more familiar with Canon and can
    therefore recommend them.
    Aruz, Nov 24, 2004
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  3. William Regan

    C J Campbell Guest

    Gosh, there are so many of them. My wife loves her Nikon Coolpix 5200. It is
    even smaller than the 3100 she had before and you can get great pictures
    almost anywhere.

    I also got her the book "How to Photograph Your Life" by Nick Kelsh. All the
    pictures in it were taken with a small point and shoot digital camera. It is
    basically a picture book, comparing the standard "amateur" shot with one
    that has a little bit of thought in it. It goes by subject, such as how to
    photograph your vacation, how to photograph your dog, how to photograph a
    graduation, etc., without using any technical jargon at all or fiddling
    around with a lot of camera settings.
    C J Campbell, Nov 24, 2004
  4. If she's concerned with the looks, I recommend to take a look at any of
    (there is a 4MPixels version, too, called "Finecam SL 400R")

    And the newer Sony DSC T5

    I have the SL 400R, find it very stylish. Picture quality is good.
    Drawback: battery has not really big cacpacity and the flash is meek. On
    the pro side: the design, the size, the nice feature with the swing body
    which lets you take pictures in unusual positions and the speed (over 3
    pictures / sec).

    Kind regards

    Robert Klemme, Nov 24, 2004
  5. William Regan

    Les Goodwin Guest

    IMHO any of the Nikon Coolpix range is worth looking at.

    The older models may still be available if you're on a smaller budget.

    Les Goodwin, Nov 24, 2004
  6. William Regan

    tbob Guest

    Most of the reviews for Kodak cameras that I read when researching my
    purchase made a point of highlighting the Kodak's "ease of use". I didn't
    buy one because I was looking for something with more control, but it sounds
    like your wife might be looking for a Kodak.

    tbob, Nov 24, 2004
  7. Below $250, go for the Nikon Coolpix series mentioned above. For the
    ultimate "cool" look and great pictures, see the Canon SD110, SD300, S410.
    Don't forget to add the cost of a decent size memory card (although SD and
    CF cards are very cheap these days).
    Jeffrey Stetz, Nov 24, 2004
  8. William Regan

    Roy Smith Guest

    I've got the S400 (direct ancestor of the S410, not that I can even
    tell from the specs how they differ). I love it, although I'll admit
    I havn't figured out how all the modes work yet.

    It came with a 64 meg card, which I soon upgraded to a 256 meg card.
    I immediately discovered that I had plenty of memory capacity, but
    would run out of battery long before I filled the card :)

    So, my suggestion is if you add a bigger memory card, also budget for
    the cost of some extra batteries. Canon wants $40-something for them,
    but they're available from aftermarket sources for $10-12. I just
    bought two from $9 each plus shipping
    came to $25 for the pair. Sterling didn't claim any specific
    capacity, but the ones that showed up are marked 1440 mAH.
    Roy Smith, Nov 24, 2004
  9. I had a Kodak DC4800 and was very impressed with their tech support.
    Son has a Kodak. Daughter has a Nikon Coolpix. I have a Canon A80 to
    replace the Kodak because it was cooler and sexier and takes movies
    (fair quality only but satisfactory for my purposes). I love the A80
    for its swivel screen -- I can put the camera low without getting ME low
    (old bones, lousy joints, and all). All take very fine pictures
    point-and-shoot, as well as manual settings. I really like the Canon.
    Melba's Jammin', Nov 27, 2004
  10. William Regan

    Paul W. Ross Guest

    My son has a nice Pentax which can be run "Point and Shoot," or with
    other features. I have an Olympus C-5000 that when run in "auto" mode
    is quite simple. My wife, who has used film cameras, picked up on the
    basics of the digital Olympus in about 10 minutes. Easy to experiment,
    etc., thus learning is much easier. Only problem she had was "poking"
    the shutter button before the autofocus had time to lock on.
    Paul W. Ross, Nov 28, 2004
  11. William Regan

    Bill Guest

    Since she had a Canon before, the learning curve will likely be shorter
    with another Canon as many of the icons and settings are the same.
    For specific models, you need to post a budget, because they all take
    good photos. The price difference is usually megapixels, features, and
    body size. See this page for US versions:

    For a small camera that is easy to use and takes decent photos, the A400
    is a reasonable choice. I picked one up recently for myself when it was
    on sale. It's perfect for get-togethers, parties, and other social
    events where I don't want to carry around my big SLR and lenses.

    It takes just 2 AA batteries and I use a set of 4 rechargeable batteries
    for it. If I run one set down, I just pop in the second set. And in the
    odd situation where I might run both down, I can always use Duracells or
    Energizers from the corner store. I wish more cameras, including my SLR,
    used AA batteries.
    Bill, Nov 28, 2004
  12. Thanks everybody for the suggestions. I've tentively decided on the
    Canon S410. It turns out that my choices are somewhat limited because
    I have the original verrsion of Windows 98. The Nikon Coolpix, Canon
    SD200/SD300 and others require at least Windows 98Second Edition.
    I'd like to give my wife another choice.
    Any other suggesstions for a Win98 compatible camera?

    William Regan, Dec 3, 2004
  13. William Regan

    Bill Guest

    You should have the requirements clarified by Canon and Nikon. If I
    remember correctly, the only difference between Win 98 and SE in regards
    to digicams, is USB v2 support. And since USB v2 is backwards compatible
    with v1, you can still use basic Win 98.

    The reason they list SE as the minimum requirement, is for the faster
    USB speeds.
    There are plenty of choices. Visit a big chain store like Best Buy or
    whatever, and peruse their selection to get some ideas, then come back
    here and ask for recommendations on those models you liked.
    Any USB camera should work just won't get the faster transfer
    rates of v2, that's all.
    Bill, Dec 3, 2004
  14. This might not be true. For some cameras you need drivers.
    But ... you can always get an W98 compatible flash card reader.

    Roland Karlsson, Dec 3, 2004
  15. William Regan

    Bill Guest

    We're not talking about drivers, just compatibility with Windows.

    Most if not all USB cameras will need drivers of some kind in Windows
    95B through to 2000. Win XP comes with PTP support built-in, so you
    don't need drivers, but you can install them if you wish.

    The issue is USB v2 compatibility...not if you need drivers or not.
    Yes...and that's generally the best method. The camera's interface is
    often slow compared to a high speed USB connection and a card reader.
    Bill, Dec 4, 2004
  16. William Regan

    Ed Light Guest

    My Fuji A205 was $110 and will install for Win 98. I'm using it in Win XP so
    can't tell you from experience how that goes.

    It has beautiful colors and sharpness. 3x optical zoom. Macro mode is
    phenomenal. Does tiny little movies at 10 frames per second.

    Here are some pics from it (but don't link to them please). They are
    software sharpened. However, if they weren't pretty sharp to begin with they
    would have become crinkly when sharpened.

    When you view the originals full-screen, it's just like being there.

    Looks like the A330 for $150 is what they're making now that's equivalent. I
    just checked the manual at and it still supports Win 98. I
    think it's 3 megapixels.

    You'll probably want a larger memory card unless you shoot at 640. I see a
    Fuji 128mb one for $40 postpaid at I got an Olympus card which
    is fine, a little less $.

    One thing, maybe it's not simple enough for you. You can download the manual
    or look at it online and see. It's a pdf.

    Ed Light

    Smiley :-/
    MS Smiley :-\

    Send spam to the FTC at

    Thanks, robots.
    Ed Light, Dec 4, 2004
  17. William Regan

    Ed Light Guest

    PS I don't recommend using the digital zoom (on any camera). I stop when I
    get to the end of the 3x optical and just crop it afterwards. If you're on
    hi-res you can still have lots of picture after cropping.

    Re the Fuji, it's pretty good at focusing through glass, but if there's rain
    on it then it will depend on how close to the glass you are.
    Ed Light

    Smiley :-/
    MS Smiley :-\

    Send spam to the FTC at

    Thanks, robots.
    Ed Light, Dec 4, 2004
  18. Oh yes we are talking drivers. Some cameras looks just lika a
    portable disk. Then it would be no problems. Just get generic
    drivers an plug it in. Some cameras have their own interface.
    Then you need specific drivers, that probably not are available
    for Win98.

    Roland Karlsson, Dec 4, 2004
  19. William Regan

    Bill Guest

    I seriously doubt a camera that works in SE would fail to work in 98.

    If you find a model, then you've found the a rare thing.
    Bill, Dec 4, 2004
  20. William Regan

    Bill Guest

    I believe all of Canon's models work in 98, including the A, S, SD,
    lines. I believe their SLR's do to.
    Bill, Dec 4, 2004
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