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Bus Driver

Just what we need - another camera thread.

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My 14 year-old son is taking a trip to Europe this Summer (People-To-People) and we want to send him with a decent smallish digital camera. I've always been partial to Nikon, so that will be the direction we likely will go.

 

The local dealer has a sale going on and we have a few models we are considering. Wonder if anyone has personal experience, and/or an unsubstantiated opinion, with any of these models -

 

L 28,

S 3500 Kit,

S 6500 Kit,

L 610 Kit,

L 820 Kit.

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Since I'm a Canon guy, and everyone knows Canon cameras are better, can't make any recs.

 

But, you may find some good reviews on the Steve's Digicam and DPReview sites. They both do good write ups on those types of cameras.

 

Look at higher ISO performance to see what the photos look like in lower light situations.

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I'm Canon as well when it comes to DSLRs and can't really comment on any of the Nikon's you've listed.

 

But for quality pictures and a small, easy to carry body then consider taking a look at a micro four thirds or one of the APS-C sensor mirrorless systems. I've got a month long trip to Europe coming up and whilst I will pack a DSLR body and gear for some landscape work I recently bought a Panasonic Lumix GX1 micro 4/3 system for day to day travel photos and would recommend it to anyone.

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I have a small Canon PowerShot digital camera. Takes great pictures and videos. Easy to carry. Bought it from Amazon. Not very expensive (under $200), so if your son gets pickpocketed, as my niece did just last week while in Europe, you're not out a bunch of money.

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+1 on that canon power shot, were on no2 because the first one was such a great little camera. no1 (5 years on) one still lives but the shutter failed one day, so I forced it open. now its well broken and stays open so the lens tends to get dirty and I decided it was time for an upgrade. boating is a good hobby for a spare anyway.

under $200, cant go wrong.

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Yep +whatever on the small Canon Powershots. What I'd suggest to a friend's kid travelling to Europe:

 

- wide angle lens. Try to get 24mm equivalent. Lots of Europe streets are tight and having a wide angle lens is better. 28mm equivalent is OK but

- don't obsess about 4x or greater zooms. I'll bet 90% of my best shots were taken at 70mm or shorter. So a zoom that goes from 24 - 120 would be fine. One that goes from 28 - 300 would be silly on a compact because as the zoom range gets bigger, the lens quality suffers more

- FEWER megapixels (10-12?) if at all possible. Fewer megapixels means each pixel captures more light, which is important for better night shots. AVOID 16+ MP. 20 MP is even crazier.

 

- if at all possible (but unlikely in the pocket camera range now) an optical viewfinder for sunny days when the sun washes out the screen and you're shooting blind

 

- a bigger than average sensor size. 1/1.7" if possible. Just remember sensor sizes are like fractions. 2/3 is bigger than 1/2.9

 

(see this diagram of sensor sizes)

http://www.gizmag.com/camera-sensor-size-guide/26684/pictures#1

 

Hmm, my wish list just described a Canon Powershot S110 - but it's $400.

 

Best Canon in your price range:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/842886-REG/Canon_6024B001_PowerShot_ELPH_320_HS.html

 

Good Nikon - bit more money but brighter lens means better night shots

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/918834-REG/nikon_coolpix_s5200_digital_camera.html

 

Is your kid rough with gear, going to play on the water? A ruggedized Olympus or Panasonic might be a better bet but the optical quality is not as good as a plain compact P&S

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/842326-REG/Nikon_P310B_Coolpix_P300_Digital_Camera.html

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Get waterproof.... Kids that age are going to be attracted to ANY water, and electronic devices invariably end up submerged.

 

+1

 

for traveling small light & waterproof will mean you're more likely to have it with you when you see "That" photo opp

 

don't have to leave it in the room, on the shore, in some protective case/backpack

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Get waterproof.... Kids that age are going to be attracted to ANY water, and electronic devices invariably end up submerged.

 

+1

 

for traveling small light & waterproof will mean you're more likely to have it with you when you see "That" photo opp

 

don't have to leave it in the room, on the shore, in some protective case/backpack

 

 

Good advice. Do either of you have a rec on a waterproof model?

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This is what I carry for myself:

http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-COOLPIX-Waterproof-Digital-Camera/dp/B005IGVY92

 

It does everything I need, including underwater video with audio. It's survived paddling trips, riding in the "glovebox" of my shaky old Harley, being stepped on, dropped, baked in the car and frozen.

 

CAVEAT: The only thing I know about cameras is how to break 'em, and that ya gotta push the little button on top to get a picture.

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I have one of these. Works well and provides good pics. Gets thrown around a lot traveling and on the boat.

 

>SNIP< pic

 

I had one of those, too - it got stolen w/my daughter's purse when she was in Rome. I liked it, the Nikon is a bit quicker to turn on and obtain an initial focus that the Canon D10 is, but, they're both decent P&S cameras that stood up to my abuse.

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