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Going to Ghana! Need Camera Suggestions

  1. Sep 3, 2011 #1
    Hello folks :smile:

    My girlfriend and I are leaving on September 14 for a 6-week humanitarian effort in Ghana, Africa. We organized the trip through a group called http://villagevolunteers.org/" [Broken]. The DSLR is amazing and we will definitely be bringing it with us. What we are looking for, is something less bulky that can be taken out on day hikes and on side excursions where we might not want to drag the DSLR with us.

    But we am trying to avoid cheapo point and shoots that don't perform. Point and shoot cameras typically suffer from a 'lag time' from the time you press the shutter button and the time it actually captures the image (is this delay time quantified somehow in the specs of a camera?). I would also like the camera to be able to capture really high quality images comparable to that of a DSLR.

    We are prepared to spend ~ $500 (USD) on this and were hoping to get some suggestions from someone who owns something like this. Any thoughts are appreciated! :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2011 #2


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    Hi, Casey! I have a Panasonic DMC-ZS3 that I love! I'm sure that it's updated bretheren will do just what you want. It's a very compact pocket camera with super zoom/macro capabilities. These cameras use Leica aspheric lenses, and produce some really fantastic results compared to most pocket-cams. Andre has posted some very nice images here in years past taken with an earlier model.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  4. Sep 3, 2011 #3
    Yes, but time goes on and new models flood the market.

    This comparison review may be of help.
  5. Sep 3, 2011 #4
    Hello gentlemen! Thanks for the suggestions. The DMZ-ZS10 looks to be a nice choice. I am hoping to get into a store tomorrow and test one out. At $300 it's below our budget too! I am hoping the response time is comparable to my DSLR (or is that too much to ask?).
  6. Sep 3, 2011 #5


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    These cameras are really quick. You'll be happy,
  7. Sep 3, 2011 #6
    We are prepared to spend ~ $500 (USD) on this and were hoping to get some suggestions from someone who owns something like this. Any thoughts are appreciated! :smile:[/QUOTE]

    I own something that sounds exactly like what you're looking for. Try searching this page, and no further: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras

    I'd go with the S95. I own the immediately preceding model. Don't be fooled by the SX210's neophyte appeal of more pixels, as it's other features are severely lacking. The S95 will take all the resolution you need for wonderful pictures. It has rapid response time, between 2 and 4 fps if you take off the auto-focus.

    For widescreen scenes, just take multiple, overlapping shots and use Microsoft ICE to stitch them together. ICE is free and works great.

    The other thing about Canons, as you may well know, they're battery chargers don't care if it's 50 or 60 Hz, and handle 100V to 240V, truly world-wide. All you need is a cheap (couple of bucks) physical adapter for your location.

    I'd buy a spare battery, at least two chips of the largest size the camera will handle, and a Case Logic case for protection, storage, and carrying around the camera and spare chip and battery.

    The MSRP is $400, but you can get it for $370 at B&H Photo-Video: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/searc...k=Brand_Canon&ci=9811&N=4291645412+4291570227

    My brother has the G12, and it's indeed a nicer camera, but it's bigger, too, about halfway towards being a DSLR. It's operation is nowhere near as intuitive as the S95's, either.

    As for image quality, I've taken several photographs with it that have sold for more than $150 a pop in art galleries. The image quality is fine.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  8. Sep 3, 2011 #7
    A word on response times: They're usually slowed way down by the auto-focus feature. If you're shots are beyond 20 ft, focus on something distant then disable the auto-focus. You'll find most compact digital cameras will then have a response time of between 1/4 and 1/2 second, comparable to most DSLRs.
  9. Sep 4, 2011 #8


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    I don't know the reliability of the electricity in Ghana (or the city / village where you're going) but you may want something that takes AA batteries, which should be available nearly everywhere.
  10. Sep 4, 2011 #9
    I've a Nikon D3100. This is the lightest DSLR camera available in the market.
  11. Sep 4, 2011 #10
    Hi folks :smile: After going over Andre's link to the comparison, it's come down to the Sony Cybershot and the Lumix DMC-ZS10.

    I have a local retailer where I can test them both out. Both models are comparable, but it looks like the Sony outperforms the Panasonic in low light conditions. This might be advantageous to us since it will be rain season.
  12. Sep 4, 2011 #11
    I also have the dmc-zs7 and love it.
  13. Sep 5, 2011 #12
    With all due respect to Andre, the review at the link he provided stacked the deck against Canon, using their Powershot SX230 HS, cousin to the one I suggested you avoid, and lease capable of the bunch at the link I provided.

    Please include the S95 in your review. You will not be disappointed. It sports a better ISO than the DMC-ZS10. While Sony's 16x optical zoom is impressive, and I can't say for a fact there will be less aberrations with Canon's lens, I will say Canon is known for their lenses while Sony is not.

    On the other hand, if you want great optical zoom, go with the Sony, but be sure to use a platform (tripod or monopod).
  14. Mar 1, 2012 #13
    I think it's about time we saw those Ghana photos! :)
  15. Mar 1, 2012 #14


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    Give it up SS! You must have some pix. Let us know which camera you decided to go with, too.
  16. Mar 1, 2012 #15
    Ooh wow. That must have been really nice! Add me to the very-nosy list too!
  17. Mar 1, 2012 #16


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    But please, no pics of your adventure at Starbucks. :wink:
  18. Mar 2, 2012 #17
    Ok folks! Very soon I will start a thread in the Photo area of PF. I will respond back to this thread when I do!

    Oooo... I hope no one actually took pictures (with a phone or anything). That would be awful.
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