Received the following from Rachelle-
I am looking for a camera. Not quite the price of a DSLR but the same type of look. I want a viewfinder as well as a LCD screen and manual focus as well as auto, and I like the forced flash too. Not too fussy huh? I bought the Fujifilm Finepix S2950 the other day but am not 100% happy with it. It has most of what I want/need but like I said, not 100% happy…..but I don’t want to spend a fortune, you know?? 🙂 If there is something you can recommend that is not too heavy on price, but that can fill my wants, that would be great! Thank you for your time!
So my charge is to find something DSLR-like with viewfinder, LCD, pop-up flash – further discussion revealed that the Rachelle is not happy with the sometimes grainyness of the Fuji and a disappointing Macro mode. The Fuji is a budget minded DSLR look alike with a serious 18x zoom. A budget camera with that zoom and something has to give, in this case it is image quality and in low light with higher ISOs you are going to get grainy photos, you are also more likely to get grainy(noisy) photos at the far end of the zoom when the aperture gets smaller and the camera compensates by increasing the ISO. SO lets look at some options
– Recent price drop = $379
Not cheap, you lose a bit of zoom(a good bit actually) but it is going to give you fantastic results for a P&S, especially at the higher ISOs and it has an optical viewfinder plus the flippity-swively LCD screen. Loads of manual controls and physical dials make controlling this camera a breeze. Bonus feature – shoots RAW file format for greatest detail,also includes hotshoe for attaching an external flash. Macro mode is excellent
– Hard to find, sitting around $399
You get a load of zoom, pop up flash controlled via button, HS sensor that will give you very good low light image quality – similar to G12. Has LCD and viewfinder – viewfinder is electronic. Macro mode is OK.
Zoom, popup flash(but no button to make it popup) but it does have an array of manual modes including manual focus. This viewfinder is also electronic. In general an impressive array of features at this price point but again sacrifices are made the cheaper we go and these photos are going to be noisier at the higher ISOs. Macro mode is very good.
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