Forgotten in its old age

by Aditya

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My partner and I are looking for a small and light camera for her to carry everywhere.

She needs it to take pictures of high enough quality for publication. (She is also getting a larger camera, maybe a DSLR like the Sony NEX-5N, as her main camera.) Most pictures are of nature and animals, but she'd also like to work with people.

She's been taking photos for a long time, but is just now getting serious about learning photography and getting pictures good enough for publication. She's not technically oriented, but has joined a local camera club and is learning. (I'm a techie, but with computers, not photography.)

This Canon (Powershot EPLH 310 HS) looks very nice. We just need some recommendations on choosing the right camera.

Aside from the actual capabilities of the camera, she needs one that is straight forward to set - with clear menus and knobs, etc..

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Whoever voted this question down should at least comment on why they did it. I know I don't know a lot about cameras and photography yet. I come here to learn. If you tell me what you think I did wrong, I can learn from it. Otherwise, it's just a rejection that I can't do anything about and it makes me less likely to post a question (or answer) in this forum again. –  Joe Dec 9 '11 at 13:17
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I didn't downvote, but "I'm new, what camera should I buy" questions are hard to handle on this site. If you look at the top of the FAQ, the intended focus is on photography, photo processing, using photo equipment, and on technique — not on being a consumer gadget site (and there's lots of those already). The what camera questions are particularly hard, because every new user has the same kind of question, but variable details, and there's no correct answer for everyone — otherwise there wouldn't be hundreds of models on the market. –  mattdm Dec 9 '11 at 13:42
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(con't) Someone else could post the exact question as yours, and for you the right answer might be that Canon, and for someone else it might be a completely different camera. And in a month, both of those models might be obsolete. So, we're not adding much value to the site — the question is "too localized". It's better to ask questions about features and what to look for, as What features really matter in a point and shoot camera?, and make your own final choice. –  mattdm Dec 9 '11 at 13:49
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Asking for questions about details which help you decide (rather than asking for someone to tell you what to buy) is more work, but I don't think it's too much to ask. I think you're on the right track with asking for "recommendations on choosing the right camera" but the details of that are vague. Focusing on the "on choosing" rather than on specific models will help. The title question, asking for cameras comparable to a specific model, is best answered by a search at dpreview or neocamera. –  mattdm Dec 9 '11 at 13:52
    
I was the infamous downvoter. I also provided an answer to help explain why I downvoted. I think @mattdm explained it well above. The question is vague, and not a great fit for this site. If you ask a pointed, direct question you will find we are very helpful and provide a great community to fellow photographers. We don't mean to sound like jerks! –  dpollitt Dec 9 '11 at 15:51

2 Answers 2

You should probably be looking for something better, particularly if you want good quality. Good thing you will also have a bigger and better camera too, which you will have to use in low-light and action situations.

So, for the small camera, currently the Canon Powershot S95 performs well for its class and even has efficient manual controls so you will not feel crippled while using it. The S100 is the replacement which just came out and should perform similarly but I have not seen it yet. There are only a handful of other small cameras with relatively but you can check the Olympus XZ-1 too.

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We will also be getting a better camera - as mentioned in the original post. She needs this one to be small enough to carry everywhere. She's generally very equipment weight/size conscious. The elph 310 also has more optical zoom than either of those you suggest - important with animals at a distance. We have looked at those other cameras. They are good. –  Joe Dec 1 '11 at 10:42
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@Joe - The 8x optical zoom on the Elph 310 is essentially pointless in my opinion. It is going to give you f/5.9 at 224mm equiv. If you are talking about capturing moving animals, this is almost a joke if you are going to publish the photos. –  dpollitt Dec 1 '11 at 14:03

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 310 HS is a very basic point and shoot. Nearly anything of a similar price is going to be comparable. It sounds like you are asking for a general listing of comparable cameras. I am not sure how to provide that, as really any new digital camera will have generally the same feature set as this camera. If you have a specific type of photography you are trying to do, we could direct you towards a camera that might fit that purpose better. This Canon will do general purpose photography well, and in a small package that does not cost much.

You noted that publication is a goal of photography for the user of this camera. I am not sure what you mean by publication, but this is not a camera for professional use. I would recommend at least stepping up to a DSLR if you want to be published in magazines or similar.

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My partner writes articles for magazine publication. Most of her pictures so far are of animals, usually at very close range, but sometimes in the distance. She also has plans for books and wants to provide her own pictures for them. The elph can also take pictures very rapidly which can be important when animals are in motion. –  Joe Dec 1 '11 at 10:49
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@Joe - Good but that is why you should have the big camera for. No small sensor camera will cut in under those conditions. It you want magazine quality photos you better use magazine quality cameras. –  Itai Dec 1 '11 at 14:10

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