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Easy-to-use digital camera for my dad

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by didole, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. didole

    didole New to Mu-43

    9
    Jun 27, 2012
    All,

    Yes, we are all geeks who love to have cameras with maximum manual control, interchangeable lenses, EVFs, and so on...

    BUT there are also people like my dad - he is 80 years old, and wants to replace his 7 years old digicam from Panasonic with something that delivers a better image quality, but is still as foolproof as possible. He is mainly taking pictures at family events, his grandchildren, you name it...

    So, what I am looking for is a small digital camera with:

    - A not-too-slow zoom lens that ideally starts at a wide angle (like 24 mm)

    - decent image quality

    - a mode that is fully automatic, and ideally no buttons that can be accidentally pressed in this mode and lead to bad images (like exposure compensation, ...)

    Any proposals?

    Thanks a lot in advance

    Christof
     
  2. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    269
    Jun 29, 2012
    What is your budget, because there are a LOT of cameras that would do the job and that would narrow it down the quickest.
     
  3. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    517
    Aug 6, 2012
    Sounds like a job for Sony RX-100!
     
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Pick something from Costco, good deals and good return policy.
     
  5. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Oregon
    At 80 I'd guess a viewfinder is an important "must have".

    Panasonic DMC-FZ200 - constant 2.8. May not be small enough though.

    If VF in not an issue, as above it was recommended, the sony rx100 is the one to beat.
     
  6. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    269
    Jun 29, 2012
    Fuji X10. The Auto settings work brilliantly, jpegs have those great Fuji colors, the lens is phenomenally sharp and very fast, f/2 to f/2.8, and the image quality is extremely good. Also has nice retro styling. My wife likes her cameras simple and she loves how easy this camera is to use. You can get it used/refurb for about half the price of the RX100. Also it is not excessively small like the RX100, so that may actually make it easier to use.

    Both are great cameras though, I know because I have them both.
     
  7. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
  8. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    619
    Feb 15, 2011
    Toronto
    Really, any camera will do just fine - obviously the more money you spend the better the quality. Most older people don't do video and the video quality isn't paramount for that group. You'll need a built in Zoom by the sounds of if so prehaps disregard any Interchangable lens cameras.

    Canon S110
    Olympus ZX-1

    If it were me, I'd get the S110..

    Sony RX100 also would be awesome if your budget allows for it.

    As for fool proofing settings, there is no such camera. Sorry.

    I was at a dinner the other night and the table next to me was having trouble with their digi P&S camera, 5 intelligent adults 30-60s in a so so dark restaurant were having trouble (over 5mins) figuring out how to turn on the flash on the camera. Seriously, was hard to see on the chrome dial on the back of the camera the lighting bolt. However, even then, not sure any of them would have figured it out. I walked over and offered to take a group shot and turned on their flash in 2secs...
     
  9. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    517
    Aug 6, 2012
    That's a great idea. Look for cameras with independent switch for a pop-up flash. I forgot what brand/model, but I believe I used one (took someone else's pic) with such configuration on a trip recently. Canon S1xx series? Olympus XZ-1?
     
  10. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    The XZ-1 flash has its own switch, but so do many other cameras.
     
  11. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    941
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    As a former owner of the XZ-1, that's what I would go for.
     
  12. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    the XZ-1 has a switch for the flash, but many other cameras do as well.
     
  13. didole

    didole New to Mu-43

    9
    Jun 27, 2012
    Hi all,

    Thank you SO much for all the tips so far!

    My budget is really 200$ max, but there are SO many P&S out there...

    Please continue to share your thoughts.

    Regards

    Christof
     
  14. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    If you go over to the Serious Compact forums, there are many XZ-1 threads and images:

    XZ-1 image thread
     
  15. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
  16. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Lots of recommendations here that miss your request for 24mm on the wide end.

    My wife is 100% point-and-shoot. She has liked the little flat Sony cameras where the lens cover slides up and down to turn the camera on and off. 28mm equivalent on the wide end IIRC. A couple of years ago, though, she came to me and said she needed a wider angle, which I too think is essential for shooting interiors to give any sense of the space.

    We saw and bought a Panny ZS-10 at Costco, giving her the 24mm she wanted. $300 back then. It has a GPS that we have never even tried to use -- there is/was a ZS-8 that was the same but with no GPS, but not at Costco that day. A surprise with the camera was the 384mm equivalent telephoto and the fact that the image stabilization is good enough that it is actually useful.

    The camera is a bit chunky and you would not forget it was in a shirt pocket, but it is in her opinion the right compromise of size/weight for quality.

    Here is a 100% crop of a backlit Zebra in Africa, so maybe suffering from a little flare. From looking at the whiskers I think either he or the camera moved slightly too, but even with the weaknesses I would not be afraid to print this at 13" x 17 1/2." IMHO for her interests, and probably for your father's, this is very acceptable quality.

    Zebra_Crop. Zebra_lores.

    So ... I'd suggest that you take a look at the ZS-series and see what you think. (Edit: Amazon has the ZS-8 at $169 shipped. Not bad.)
     
  17. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    269
    Jun 29, 2012
    For $200 or less Olympus XZ-1 is the easy winner in my book.
    Fast high quality lens. Solid sensor. Good features. Easy enough to use. Gold award from dpreview...

    Olympus XZ-1 Review: Digital Photography Review

    If I had to buy a camera today as my only camera with a $200 budget that is easily the one I would get.