I need to retire my old point and shoot Sony T1 (bought in April 2004!) and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a replacement? I already have a DSLR but it's too bulky to bring everywhere!
I'm a backpacker, so an SLR is way too big and heavy. I like the Canon A series because AA batteries are often available "in the field". If the batts die, I can sponge off the 4 AAs in my headlamp; this has saved my photography on 3-4 trips, including this weekend, when I brought 6 dead rechargebles but met an angel on the Pacific Crest Trail who gave me 2 batteries! I also need the viewfinder, which many Canons provide, because I'm too old to read the LCD screen without reading glasses, and even the new big screens are hard to see in bright outdoor light.
My Canon A75 died from desert dust last fall. I replaced it with a Canon A70 (Craigslist, $20, cheap enough to take in abusive environments). These were both adequate for my purposes. Also, they can mount a lens adaptor which I use to hold a polarizing filter -- a major pain to use (you have to watch the screen while you turn the filter to gauge the effect).
I just got a Canon A590 ($100, Craigslist), and it is a major improvement. 2 batteries instead of 4, much lighter [it remains to be seen if they batts last half as long, and I still have to carry the same number). 2.5" screen, and I can actually READ IT in outdoor lighting. 4x optical zoom instead of 3x. Viewfinder. Image Stabilization. 8 MP instead of 3.2. The software and ergonomics are vastly improved over the 'old' A75. The A590 mounts an adaptor for tele/wide angle lenses, and presumably the polarizer I want, but my old A70/75 adaptor won't fit, so looks like I'll spend more on accessories than I did on the camera. This is not the smallest camera, though. Not pocket-sized. Forego the lens adaptor and you can find something smaller.
Canon e18 problem
Canons are prone to a fatal flaw, the dreaded e18 error (now the message is "lens error; restart camera").
It has something to do with mechanical jamming of the lens.
Now I realize that this is what killed my A75; the problem started occurring BEFORE the dirty desert trip.
I do love the A590 but I am now alarmed by this systemic unreliability.
Another caveat about the Canon A590: it is a real battery hog, even if you do everything to save energy (no flash, no editing or review, 7 sec turnoff on screen, IS on "shoot only". My older 1800 and 2000 mAh NiMH rechargeables are useless in it; I can freshly charge them, and it will either not work at all or say "Change the Batteries" after only a couple of shots, although these very same batts will then power my A70 for countless flash photos or my incandescent headlamp for hours. Brand-new alkalis work -- one pair per day if I'm shooting a lot. I've just spent almost as much on a new smart charger and new 2700mAh batteries plus some Eneloops as I spent on the used A590.
Still, I think I can make it work and it takes great photos for a point-and-shoot, and the polarizing lens is worth some of the trouble.
The new 2600mAh batteries seemed to work fine on their first charge with the LaCrosse Technologies smart charger, so I now think this will be a reliable camera as long as the batteries are high-quality and freshly charged. It just won't run on weak batteries.
I think the "smart" charger is a great investment if you use NiMH batteries.
I have a kodak easyshare z610 (they discontinued it). It takes very good pictures for what it is. My only problem is that I can never get the right settings with a flash to not get the devil dog look when taking pictures at night.
When you have a really good shot with redeye, you can photoshop it out. Paste a black dot over the glowing pupil. Then paste a tiny white dot on each fake pupil to simulate a reflection.
Remember that sometimes you don't want to use flash with pets or kids -- right in their eyes, up close.
Since I got an iphone, I thought I could use that instead of a point and shoot, but urgh, the pics are awful and my hands too shaky!! Here's the BEST shot I took with the iphone at the last hike *sigh* No comparing with John's photos! :)
If you like the functionality of your DSLR - choosing your own f/stop and shutter speed the Canon G11 is nice. It's not as small as some point and shoots but the quality is great - you can even shoot raw mode and it has a hot shoe. It's gotten wonderful reviews my many pros too. It does have a proprietary type battery but the battery life is very good. My only complaint is that I wish it used CF cards for memory like my 5Dii but it uses SD cards.