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01 March 2012

Ask Mecha, Digital Camera Edition. Help me choose a new compact camera. Last week my Panasonic compact camera broke ...[More:]
... and it's the second time in just over a year, with the same fault - the zoom sticks, the lens won't retract, the motor makes a horrible grinding noise and the camera's inoperable.

When I replaced the first broken camera I took out the extended warranty, and it's 35 well spent because Panasonic has decided that the camera is not worth repairing and so I can now go to John Lewis (where I bought it) and choose a new camera.

I have 130 to put towards it and have decided not to go with another Panasonic, having had two break on me with the same fault. I'm happy to add some more money to it, but don't want to spent more than 200.

So, here's the link to the cameras available at John Lewis. If you were me, which would you choose and why? I don't want a bigger camera - I already have one of those - an old Panasonic FZ7, which I love. But I like something I can easily slip into a pocket.

(Once I knew they were going to give me a new camera, I tried to fix the old one with WD40, but to no avail. Oh well ...)
As you know, I have that same Panasonic, and I have been bumping up against its limits, some, and not satisfied with its pictures in all cases.

I'll be interested to hear what's next for you!
posted by danf 01 March | 12:54
I'm leaning towards the Canon range, having heard good things from everyone who's had a Canon.
posted by Senyar 01 March | 12:56
I love my Canon (a G9) and had good luck with a Nikon Coolpix way back when.
posted by BoringPostcards 01 March | 13:29
I bought a Canon A3300 IS as a christmas gift, but I don't like it. The battery life is very short and the poor quality of the pictures does not justify it's 16 megapixels.

I'd like an inexpensive P&S to carry around that takes good pictures, but I haven't found the right price yet.
posted by DarkForest 01 March | 14:13
I have a waterproof Canon that I bought to go snorkeling, but it takes wonderful pictures everywhere. It is called a Powershot D10 and I'd buy it again, or the updated version of it if there is one.
posted by bearwife 01 March | 15:04
I'm limited to choosing one from the John Lewis range (linked above). Any recommendations from those cameras?
posted by Senyar 01 March | 15:50
I have had great luck with Cannon. I would only buy a camera that uses AA batteries. I can recharge them and always carry spares. My wife has had a couple of cameras that had propitiatory batteries and in both cases the battery stopped working long before the camera.
posted by arse_hat 01 March | 16:19
I'm on my second Canon PowerShot A-series which I've liked. I brought my current one in 2007 I think and haven't had any issues with it. I think the A-series is the only one that takes lithium AAs (regular AAs don't seem to have enough power for it) which comes in handy as I'd be liable to forget to charge it otherwise. So I vote one of the Canon Powershots. I'd look at Amazon to pick the specific one.
posted by bluesapphires 01 March | 17:51
Yeah I should have said the A series.
posted by arse_hat 01 March | 18:05
I'm limited to these cameras from John Lewis - because of the warranty claim. So I can't get one from Amazon or somewhere else, only from this selection.

Can anyone make a recommendation from the cameras in the link?

posted by Senyar 01 March | 18:18
posted by arse_hat 01 March | 18:21
That's one I had my eye on. How long do the batteries last? I have no great objection to Li-on batteries, if the camera will take generics. My first Panasonic did, but the new one had changed the firmware so it would only use Panasonic batteries.
posted by Senyar 01 March | 18:32
My much older Cannon will take a few hundred pics with no flash and will shoot about 30 shots at full power flash (something far away) before recycling time gets slow. If I'm planing on a lot of flash shots I put 2 batteries in the camera and 4 more in my pocket.
posted by arse_hat 01 March | 18:58
The battery life is not quite as important if it will take AA batteries, which the one you are looking at does. I have a Sony camera which I am very pleased with (as I was with the previous Sony), but the proprietary batteries are a pain in the neck and the proprietary media storage is not far behind.

I like the look of the one arse_hat linked, especially the 12x optical zoom. Don't forget that it doesn't come with an SD card so you'll have to add that to the price unless you already have one.
posted by dg 01 March | 22:31
Senyar, I have the next step down from the one arse_hat linked (SX130 12.1 megapixels). I've taken a couple hundred photos, mix of flash and not, and have yet to replace/recharge the batteries and it's going strong. I really like the quality of the photos and the ease of use.
posted by deborah 02 March | 01:55
Thanks, everyone, for the recommendations. I looked at the one arse_hat linked to, but it was just too big for my tiny hands. I went for this one - yes, in purple. In the USA it's this model. I've also ordered 2 extra batteries and a universal charger on Amazon so I can charge it in the USA or via USB or car charger.
posted by Senyar 02 March | 23:00
posted by BoringPostcards 02 March | 23:48
Freaky: || TMTOTH award.