Help Requested: Choosing a Camera

Aquila

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The Dilemma:

The lovely Miss Aquila-Clark made the strange decision to give our camera away to a relative - cool beans dude, but we don't have another. She said that we can use our phones. We both have Moto X's and with two toddlers, that's just not going to work as the only set of lenses. Long story short, shopping for cameras and I feel that you guys have more expertise in this than I do.

The Mission:

With the help of the Nerd King and some ambassadors last night I was able to make a short list that the executive team narrowed to two for me today, so I'm asking for two things:

1. Of the two, which is the better value.
2. What else in a similar price range should we be considering? (For range, lets say $200-$350ish range)

The Criteria:

A: We have two kids, they don't stop moving. Need to be able to shoot quickly, accurately and have decent quality. There is no time to set up most shots.
B: Low light is a major plus. Most photos are going to be indoors.
C: Not complicated. I'm fine with learning how settings work, but I don't really want to have to take it apart and do stuff, cleaning, etc and I am probably not going to be buying much in the way of accessories. I'm relatively tech savvy, so we're really talking about maintenance and random manual work to get everything ready to go.
D: The more portable the better, but if I have to choose between durability and portability, durability wins.
E: Pricing is being limited by executive, and while lower is generally better, I'm more interested in value provided by additional dollars than the actual volume. That being said, the executive team is probably going to veto anything we come up with over 110% of the range quoted without even considering it's merits. I live with a tyrant :p

Being available from Amazon is a huge plus. Amazon is tax free, has free shipping and purchases I make through Amazon support another business/mission that I really enjoy supporting.

The Side note:

I'm very interested in the high level with medium technical awareness context of what the important factors I should be considering. I plan on making two trips to brick and mortar stores, one to Best Buy and one to an actual Photography store and I'd like to have a clue what we're talking about.

The Links:

Nikon: Amazon.com: Nikon COOLPIX L830 16 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 34x Zoom NIKKOR Lens and Full 1080p HD Video (Black): NIKON: Camera & Photo
Sony: Amazon.com: Sony NEX-3NL/B Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera Kit (Black): SONY: Camera & Photo

So... tell me what I don't yet know!

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dpham00

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I wanted a compact camera with good low light and fast lens and got the lx7 about a year ago. Takes great lower light situations without flash which was big one for me.

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Aquila

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I wanted a compact camera with good low light and fast lens and got the lx7 about a year ago. Takes great lower light situations without flash which was big one for me.

dpham00, Android Central Moderator
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Good call, I had that on the original short list but when we cut down to 2 brands that fell off. I'm still very willing to consider that camera.

These were the three from that line that I looked at, all looked pretty decent but not overly impressed with the 3rd.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MB6ZX0...ag=hawk-future-20&ascsubtag=UUacUvbUpU3510415
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MB719C...ag=hawk-future-20&ascsubtag=UUacUvbUpU3510415
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00728ZBA2...ag=hawk-future-20&ascsubtag=UUacUvbUpU3510415
 

dpham00

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Good call, I had that on the original short list but when we cut down to 2 brands that fell off. I'm still very willing to consider that camera.

It was a hard choice for me too. I also considered the nex that you are looking at as well as the rx 100. Rx 100 and nex being a little more than what I wanted to spend as I wanted to keep it under $300. Nex has dropped in price a bit though since I bought my camera, and it would be a tougher choice now

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dpham00

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uploadfromtaptalk1394802728765.jpg

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B. Diddy

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I already told you this elsewhere, but for the purposes of this thread, I'll recap--I have the Nikon L820 (which I got for $200 at Target last year--great deal!), which is presumably fairly similar to the L830. It's an excellent camera. Nice big sensor, so low light photos are good. Color reproduction is nice and vivid. Shutter speed is fast--I can capture my 4 year old girl in action easily. The main downside is that flash photos in low light situations tend to be overexposed.

I like how the Nikon uses 4 AA batteries, so it's easy to replace in case your current ones run out of juice. The Sony has the typical proprietary battery pack. And the Nikon is surprisingly durable. I actually dropped mine on my driveway a little while ago, and thought it was toast--but it only had a few scuffs on the edge.
 

STARGATE

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Well, all have weak and strong points against each other.
Just because my experience with Sony I would go for the Sony.

Yes having AA batteries is kinda convenient but I normally have enough with one battery pack. In any case, I always carry a second battery and the portable charger. Until now, only once I needed to change batteries the same day.

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STARGATE

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Btw, I still have my Sony DSC-W290 that I got back in 2010.

I gave my Canon, from 2009, to my Mom last year since she was familiar with it because she had one just like mine but broke it in M?xico.

Both were simple point and shoot cameras. When I got them, they weren't top dog, but they weren't the cheapest either. And they always performed great!
1394861185340.jpg1394861200850.jpg1394861215756.jpg

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Jerry Hildenbrand

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Amazon.com: Pentax MX-1 12 MP Black Digital Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD Screen: PENTAX: Camera & Photo

Pentax MX-1: Digital Photography Review

I actually have the Sony you linked. I also had a Nikon L820, which as mentioned is very close to the Nikon you're considering.

This Pentax is a far better camera IMO than both. Look on the blog, and if you see a picture from me, chances are it was taken with the little Pentax. I got it as a throwaway until I could try a few micro 4/3 cameras, and ended up liking it better than the ones I tried and the one I ultimately bought. I choose it over my DSLR most of the time, and rarely regret it.

Edited to add:
Of the two you've listed, go for the NEX. It's deliciously small, which means you won't balk at having it with you. If you spring for a pancake lens (there's a great 16mm f2.8 for it) it fits comfortably in a pocket.
 

Aquila

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DOUBLE POST ALERT :p

It's a damn fine camera, hampered by mediocre software on the Android side.

I have a Moto X, which was what you used in the review video and I didn't see anything in the hand's on that made me shudder, but I'm concerned about having to use my device's LED manually in place of a flash that's used automatically, etc. I think I like the nerd appeal much more than it's ability to hold it's weight against similarly priced cameras. It's still on my short list, but I have a hard time seeing it as the winner.
 

dpham00

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Amazon.com: Pentax MX-1 12 MP Black Digital Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD Screen: PENTAX: Camera & Photo

Pentax MX-1: Digital Photography Review

I actually have the Sony you linked. I also had a Nikon L820, which as mentioned is very close to the Nikon you're considering.

This Pentax is a far better camera IMO than both. Look on the blog, and if you see a picture from me, chances are it was taken with the little Pentax. I got it as a throwaway until I could try a few micro 4/3 cameras, and ended up liking it better than the ones I tried and the one I ultimately bought. I choose it over my DSLR most of the time, and rarely regret it.

Edited to add:
Of the two you've listed, go for the NEX. It's deliciously small, which means you won't balk at having it with you. If you spring for a pancake lens (there's a great 16mm f2.8 for it) it fits comfortably in a pocket.

Just out of curiosity why is the mx-1 better than the lx7 especially for moving targets and low-light ? They are somewhat similar but the lx7 has f1.4 and mx-1 has f1.8

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Jerry Hildenbrand

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Just out of curiosity why is the mx-1 better than the lx7 especially for moving targets and low-light ? They are somewhat similar but the lx7 has f1.4 and mx-1 has f1.8

dpham00, Android Central Moderator
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Lumix LX7?

It costs $100 more, and doesn't offer better image quality. It has better controls that may be worth the extra 100 to most people, but I like a point and shoot because of the lack of controls :p I shoot in AP or SP with no flash, at ISO 200. The Pentax has a thumbwheel that will change aperture or shutter speed right in the live view, and I don;t want or need any more there.

I also like the size, I have some big meathooks.

Having said that, the Lumix/Pana LX7 is a really nice camera, too.
 

dpham00

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Lumix LX7?

It costs $100 more, and doesn't offer better image quality. It has better controls that may be worth the extra 100 to most people, but I like a point and shoot because of the lack of controls :p I shoot in AP or SP with no flash, at ISO 200. The Pentax has a thumbwheel that will change aperture or shutter speed right in the live view, and I don;t want or need any more there.

I also like the size, I have some big meathooks.

Having said that, the Lumix/Pana LX7 is a really nice camera, too.

Yes the lumix lx7. According to amazon, mx-1 is $258,and lx7 is $299.

But for me, most important was low light no flash scenario. My knowledge of cameras is extremely limited, but it was my understanding that a f1.4 in the lx7 should be better in low light no flash situations over the mx-1's f1.8.

dpham00, Android Central Moderator
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