What Point and Shoot Camera Should I Buy?

A friend asked me this question today and I went through the trouble of putting together the (affiliate) links so I thought this would make a decent blog post for the holiday season. This is not a discussion, but rather I was asked what I would buy for a point and shoot and this is it:

Canon PowerShot SX210IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 14x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD

This camera is a little bigger than the average point and shoot but it takes incredible pictures. It has a great lens with huge zoom, and can shoot HD video. It’s Ronin approved.

Don’t make the mistake of buying just the camera, if you are giving a gift you want to include the whole set:

A case so it doesn’t get destroyed, an extra battery so you can always have one charged and ready, and a SanDisk 8GB fast memory card – not a cheap knock off stolen out of the SanDisk defect pile.

So that’s a great package for about $350 all in. From there you could go in three directions:

  1. Smaller if carrying it around is the primary concern
  2. DSLR for fantastic pictures but you’ll have to carry around a bag of junk
  3. Up or down if you have a price number to hit

For smaller I’d check out the digital Elph line from Canon, the PowerShot SD4000 IS is around $280 and a great camera.

You can check out and compare the whole Canon Line here.

For DSLR the Rebel T2i is the latest entry level and around $700, plus you’d have to kick in another $300 for a good lens. Expensive and a lot to carry, but great shots.

You can go more expensive on point and shoot but I don’t think it’s worth going over $350. You can get cheaper if you got a model that you can still get new but has been out for a while, like the Canon PowerShot SD940IS for $165.

Amazon is good especially if you have free shipping with Prime, but also and check prices at B&H Photo and go there if you ever have the chance when you are in New York City, it’s right near Madison Square Garden.

4 replies on “What Point and Shoot Camera Should I Buy?”

I *just* got the Canon PowerShot S95 and I love the hell out of it. It’s got a great blend of “just shoot it, stupid” and “if you want to twitch with these controls, that’s okay, too.” I bought it because I wanted a better zoom than my existing favorite, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3.

Hope this helps.

I got the Canon Powershot SD980 IS about a year ago and it’s fantastic. It’s slim and portable and shoots great pics and stunning HD video. My favorite feature…actually two favorite features are the wide angle lens and the widescreen shooting mode. The lens is wider than normal (with no distortion) so you can literally hold the camera up and photo yourself with like 5 people and it looks like someone else took it. Also it can shoot stills in widescreen 16×9 aspect ratio, which gives anything you shoot an extra Sundance Festival feel. 16×9 aspect ratio in my opinion (gazing into crystal ball) is the future size of stills and I think like TV and web video, this will be next. So it’s cool to have a camera that shoots in this aspect ratio.

Cool, I’ll have to check it out. I’ve been shooting widescreen with the Sony NEX-5, but of course it comes out in some weird Sony proprietary format (big surprise)!

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