What’s the Best Point & Shoot Camera?

Recently a Shutterbug magazine reader asked me what was the best “affordable” yet high-quality point-and-shoot camera.  The kicker here is two loaded words: first there’s “affordable.” Affordable to who? Even my choice is close to 500 bucks and many people won’t think that’s all that inexpensive. One night while watching Top Gear (USA) one of the hosts was talking about the Cadillac CTS-V and said “it’s only $60,000.”  (Actual MSRP is $62,360.) As the driver of a MINI Cooper that’s a lot of money to me. So maybe $500 is a lot to you as well. “High-quality” is another nebulous term. If you’re only going to post pix on Facebook, anything—including your phone—will do a good enough job but if you want to make 8×10 or bigger prints you’ll need a larger sensor.   I asked my my Twitter followers to tell me there favorites and here they along with my original recommendation:

The Olympus XZ-1 is a 10 megapixel camera that’s hooked up to an f/1.8 lens that has a focal length range of 18-112mm (equivalent.) It has a 3-inch OLED screen and ISO settings from 100-6400. Its ergonomics are superb and the build quality is awesome.

One of my respondents said he “loved my Casio Exilim EX-FH20. I shoot with it more than I do my Canon DSLR. Small, easy to carry, and takes great images.” It’s a 9-megpixel camera that cost $600 but appears to have been discontinued. You might want to check Casio’s website for something similar.

Another likes ‘”the Ricoh GXR with the 28mm – 300mm zoom. Or if you want a fixed focal length, then the Ricoh GRD3.” The 10 Megapixel Ricoh GXR Interchangeable Unit Body with Ricoh Lens (P10 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VC) Camera Unit costs $479.

And then there were two Canon recommendations: The 10 Megapixel Canon PowerShot S95 with 3.8x Optical Zoom, 4x Digital Zoom, 3-inch Color Display costs $349 bringing it within “affordable” territory. Then there is the Canon G11 which one Facebook friend really liked. That model has been replaced (something that’s epidemic in this category) with the 10-megapixel Canon PowerShot G12 that sells for $469.

Check’em out while you’re checking our your gold card’s limit.

Author: Joe Farace

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