What to Buy, What to Buy?



A very intimidating subject to be sure. I’ve read many of the explanations, marketing tricks, etc. (most of which I don’t understand) but am still in the same place. What should my next camera be. In my younger days when the kids were growing up I always owned Nikon. In fact, I bought the F3 in Japan before it was even sold in the U.S. Most of what I learned then I’ve long since forgotten. I just want a camera (no matter who makes it) that will take good pics of the grandkids - be it in a school play, a family gathering or a vacation now and then.

Last year I bought the Nikon CoolPix L100 and have never been so disappointed in a camera in my life. Half the pictures or more are unusable. The autofocus feature seems to be so slow that many of them are out of focus so obviously my next camera has to be better in that area but I don’t even know what specification to look for to be assured the next one will be any better. I need good quality in low light for the kids plays at school and reasonably fast shutter speed for when their playing outside. The other thing I hate about this camera (and a must for my next one) is a view finder. This camera is worthless in sunlight. The zoom on this one is x15 which is a nice feature I’d like to stay with if possible or something close to it unless there’s a compelling reason not to.

And then, of course, there are always price considerations. I would like to stay under the $500 range if it all possible.

Will someone please - JUST TELL ME WHAT TO BUY!!


Easy…get a Canon G11

It´s a semi-compact, but you can still put it in a jacket pocket…carry it just about anywhere. Good optics, pretty good in low light. Good flash, all settings can be adjusted manually, rotatable screen, and an optical viewfinder (as you mentioned…and few modern compacts have these now)

I´ve got one…there´s nothing else on the market like this for the money


Thanks for the input. In reading some of the reviews on the web I see some complaints about focus and low light issues. What’s your experience?


All of these compacts use small chips…this means that low light will always be a bit of a problem.

But…you also have to compare them fairly.

Do you want to shoot in low light? the question is HOW LOW?
Do you expect to shoot high quality portraits of the conducter of the orchestra, hand held at 1/8th sec?
In this case you are better than 99% of the pros. Is low light such an issue? Do you need a tripod? Do you know how to manage the camera´s limits in terms of color noise, and how to reduce this? There are many issues to be very well aware of.

But if you just need an image…then turn on the flash.
If you really are into serious photography, you will understand your camera´s limits…[I]no matter what kind of camera it is[/I], and work with that. If this is not enough, then you will have to pay significantly more, spend $3000 and you can have it all…but remember, it won´t fit in your pocket!

You get what you pay for!

For this price there is no better compact, but there are better cameras!!!

1/15th f 4.5 150mm (equiv) ISO 400


Maybe “Compact” is the operative word here. “For this price there is no better compact, but there are better cameras!!!” See, whether it’s compact or not isn’t of particular concern to me. I just want the best possible all around camera on the market in the $500 range. Any other cameras that come to mind?


Following a Google search I found the following comments from a reviewer relative to the G9 and was wondering if his comments would apply to the G11 as well?

It’s Not All Roses
Like all traveling companions, the G9 grew to irritate me in a number of ways. All of my complaints relate to responsiveness, or lack thereof. The electronic zoom control is the first problem. While the G9 offers a very handy focal-range, zooming is accomplished by a rocker switch on the top of the camera. The micro-motor which drives the zoom has a perceptible response-lag and drives the lens forward in ‘chunks’, rather than a seamless progression of focal-length. This makes the G9 more of a step-zoom than a true fully-variable focal length camera. In fairness, the thirteen increments of focal length, which was the most I could achieve when zooming upwards through the range, are a respectable variety of focal lengths, and a damn-sight better than no zoom at all. But it is, nonetheless, an annoying control mechanism.

I would far, far prefer a manual, mechanically zoomed lens. Since I would never use the camera without the Lensmate, I would be perfectly happy if this compromise were achieved at the cost of a bigger lens which does not fully retract.

Frankly, the trope of all digicams having retracting lenses baffles me. Yes, it reduces size and protects the lens, but on a serious camera, which the G9 aspires to be, a little extra bulk is much less of a problem than having a retracted lens when a great photo presents itself. Moreover, the zooming mechanism is also the only part of the G9 which feels frail. I have no basis to say it is prone to failure, but it is buzzy and plasticky in a way that ill-befits an otherwise very solid machine. A more robust manual zoom would be ideal. Again, cost might preclude this more professional solution.

The answer is a more robust and consequently larger manual zoom. Please Canon. Pretty please with sugar on top. This is what the “G” needs to be a true ‘PRO-sumer’ camera.