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25 June 2016 @ 11:05 am
Dead Camera  
Many years ago (around 2003 or 2004 i think?) i bought a new camera just before Anime Expo so i could take decent pictures. After a minimal amount of review i decided to go with the Canon PowerShot A610.

I don't know if it was the best choice or not, but it served me well for many years. Then 3-4 years ago it started having trouble moving the lens in and out. Which might have been okay if it just meant no zooming, but it also meant that when you turned the camera on it had trouble moving the lens out from compact mode. Then the LCD screen got scrambled and would only work if i flipped it out, as opposed to flipped over and folded back. (Something was wrong with the rotation mechanism, when it got to the point where it would have had to flip the image upside down it just bugged out.)

It was still usable as long as i was willing to have the LCD flipped out or just use the viewfinder, but the problem with the lens movement gradually got worse. It never quite got to the point where i couldn't get it to work at all, because before that point the batteries inside exploded. In fact the leaking acid cause some kind of reaction strong enough to break the shutter button mechanism off of the main camera body (since it's located directly above one of the batteries.)

So some people these days say that all you really need is a camera phone, and after living a couple years on that philosophy it's not working out so well. I don't need a _great_ camera (as evidenced by my previous choice) but the phone on my camera really sucks. You can see noticeable differences in quality between my unlocked T-Mobile Moto X phone and Avalyn's Verizon Moto X phone. The zoom in particular is horrible and grainy. I'd be kind of surprised if there was _that_ much difference in the camera drivers between them, so i suspect there may be some kind of defect with mine.

So my phone is sorta okay if i need to snap a quick non-zoomed photo of something to post on twitter, but not so good for capturing good photos of events i'm at. Like Anime Expo. Which happens next week.

So here i am again, considering buying a camera at the semi-last minute, and i'm wondering if anyone has any advice.

I don't really want to spend more a couple hundred on it. I generally only use the zoom and brightness settings. The old camera had a couple automatic modes (indoors, outdoors, landscape, etc) but even with those i had a tough time telling which would actually be better in what situation. So moderately priced and simple is probably best. I think i _would_ like a little better zoom though. I think the old one was limited to 8x, which wasn't that great if i was sitting in the middle or rear of a concert. And of course as previously mentioned the zoom on my camera phone is practically useless.

Based on 5-10 minutes perusal of Consume Reports i'm leaning toward either the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS ($280-300, 30x optical zoom) and the Nikon Coolpix S7000 ($200-$280, 20x optical zoom.)

So do any of the people i know who do camera stuff have any opinions about either of those, or have something better to suggest?
Kirinkirinn on June 25th, 2016 07:00 pm (UTC)
I get by with my camera phone these days, but I recognize both the PowerShot and Coolpix as being some of the cheaper lines we used with our panoramic photo products at work a while back, and both seemed fine (though our purposes were mostly shooting arbitrary interiors or short-range exteriors) and pretty similar. So, uh, that probably doesn't help much at all, sorry! I think we may have ended up getting the Nikons more often, but I'm afraid I couldn't tell you why at this point.
squee is a universal language: steven starrynaye on June 25th, 2016 09:53 pm (UTC)
If you're used to the Canon layout, I'd go with the PowerShot. I've got a PowerShot GX5 which is the higher end of the range - it's probably a little more advanced than what you want (it's got physical manual controls for stuff!), but it's AMAZING in low light. Otherwise I don't really know much about cameras - I hit my brother up for advice when I needed a new one.

Digital Photography Review is one of the most trusted camera review sites, and they do great roundups and comparisons. I found the PowerShot model you mentioned in this long zoom compact roundup, so see if they point out any particular flaws to be aware of, or really recommend another model for the same price - a good camera is one that suits your needs, after all! So make sure it does what you want (if it's for a con, I think good low light quality might be pretty important), and if it does, go for it!

Canons are reliable, and not having to learn your way around a completely different menu system on short notice will make your actual photo experience at the con less stressful. Good luck!