Forgotten in its old age

by Aditya

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I am looking to purchase a secondary camera that meets the following criteria: 1) Compact enough to be inconspicuous for street photography. 2) Simple enough that I can hand it to a friend/family member (of a variety of ages) and they can participate on a shoot with little explanation from me and/or frustration from them. 3) Inexpensive without sacrificing image quality.

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While this is certainly an important question for a lot of people, there are two things that make it difficult to answer well. 1) Subjectivity --there are many cameras that meet most if not all of your criteria; answers will likely be anecdotal in nature and not objective. 2) Up-to-dateness --Camera technology is a fast-changing arena. A camera review site like dpreview.com or neocamera.com would probably provide more objective and current information. –  Sean Sep 12 '11 at 1:04
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You probably lost everyone at the 'inexpensive without sacrificing image quality' part. Ignoring that part the rest is very subjective (inconspicuous? / simple? are quite relative). –  Itai Sep 12 '11 at 1:41

1 Answer 1

1) For inconspicuousness in street photography, waist level shooting seems to be an effective technique; so you'll need an articulating screen to be able to compose before shooting from hip.

2) The whole idea of "point and shoot" is that you can point it at something and click button to shoot an image, so I don't think simplicity will be a problem unless you insist on your assistants to change some settings or shoot with manual exposure/focus - in this case, complexity comes from you, not the camera.

3) Cheap, good, fast - you have to pick two in this world. Since you have picked cheap and good, looks like you have to give in in terms of time. Either look for a used upper level model from past, or wait until current top-level models become available second-hand. For maximum image quality, you want a point-and-shoot that performs well in low light, because that's where the differences are most discernible. Cameras with big sensors (measured by physical dimensions, not in megapixels) have a clear advantage, but AFAIK those are all quite recent models.

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Fast/cheap/good is a very powerful concept. I think "fast" in this context might be literally time required to make a good image. With more expensive equipment, better sensor technology and optics — and actual, literal speed, like burst rate — can make it take less effort. A cheaper option can still produce good results, but it make take more time to set up the scene and lighting or to wait for the right light, and more failed tries before success. –  mattdm Sep 12 '11 at 13:32

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