There should be a boat load of cameras to choose from at that price. The best thing to do is go to a camera shop and try each one you are interested in with your hands and eye (zoom, macro, layout of buttons, shutter lag, movie mode, other cool features) and review them on line and/or magazines for specs you are interested in. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, and others all make fine cameras but only you can make the final decision.
You make assumptions, implications and assertions that would be very difficult to prove. Olympus is one of the oldest companies in the camera business and it makes a fine product. The same is true of Nikon. Canon is not "the best." It is a reliable brand and the images its cameras produce are very good. Sony is a relative newcomer, but the color reproduction of prints from some of its models would be difficult to beat. Panasonic is also "new" to digital cameras (but aren't they ALL?) That means they are not married to models that will accept their older lenses, as some older companies are. Comparing apples to apples is almost impossible in choosing a digcam.
I see this suggestion all the time about going to a local camera store and "trying them out." A large percentage of us don't have that luxury. I guess if you live in NYC or LA maybe you could. Oh, you might be able to physically handle the camera, but take photos and have them printed? Get real. I can imagine the reaction of salespeople in my town of 110,000.
Evidently Powder Springs, GA is awash with large full-service camera stores which allow customers to take any number of cameras (which are powered up with batteries and have memory cards or sticks) to try out and print out images taken at night, at the beach, in bright sunlight, in very low light with and without flash- these are just a few of the things someone "trying out a camera" would need to do.
If Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. or Miss dole is referring to me, I always get up on the right side of my bed. Happy Thursday to you, too.
imzadi, I would guess that you're talking about the Nikon Coolpix P90 which has a 24X zoom. Yes it has a longer zoom than its competitors in the superzoom bridge camera market ( the Olympus SP-590UZ has a longer zoom at 26X) but from what I've read the IQ on the long end of the zoom is not that good due to color fringing so that longer zoom comes at a price.
I love Nikon DSLRs and Nikkor lenses but in the field of P&S Nikon hasn't convince me as of now. That said I'll also say that your statement of "Canon is the best" is simply not true and most likely was generated due to "fanboy-ism" of others that can be found on the net everywhere (luckily not so often at DG) ;)
I would say take a look at the following in addition to the Nikon P90:
Olympus SP265 UZ
Canon SX10 IS
ok it is my opinion olympus is not the best as have had 3 so far and each have been in the shop several times. it is also my opinion canon i remember from child hood and know its been around a long time. i also remember canon and kodak were household names for cameras. i dont remember a olympus camera as a 35 mm camera. I grew up on canon
was asking on the camera and if anyone knew about it.
anyway have a great day and thanks
ps canon may not be the best to some but so far everyone i talked to at camera stores say its the best and stable cameras. i dont know i just remeber them always being around. to me as stated olympus is not good . too many times in the shop and is in shop agian and only one year old. whole thing quit. screen fuzzy everything.
dp72, I also personally feel that it is important to actually make hands on tests of cameras before you buy. The test is not for IQ and to make comparison prints, there are plenty of reviews for that to be found on the net. The hands on test is to see if how the camera feels in your hands, are zoom, shutter release,... buttons placed better on one than the other for you, are the menu items structured intuitive for you,...etc.
There are lots of stores that carry P&S cameras and low end DSLRs nowadays - it doesn't have to be a camera store only (we have Wolf's at a few locations around Atlanta but I find Wolf's lacking at times and usually costing more than competitors so I bought my most recent DSLR last year at Circuit City). I bought a compact at Target and my wife bought her Sony at Target too. I've bought cameras for our daughters at Office Max and Best Buy. I've bought cameras on eBay and mail order places too. My most recent buys have been from Amazon (lens, flash, umbrellas, stands, tripod, monopod, Pocket Wizard, and many more items). I had a friend pick up a camera for me in Europe many years ago. Regardless there are plenty of places to buy cameras.
I can pick up cameras at the store, turn them on, zoom, focus, check all their modes and options, get a feel for the menus, buttons, etc.; get an idea on zoom speed (seeing how P&S are motor driven zooms), focus speed (some are very slow or fail to focus), shutter lag, take a few pictures (macro, wide angle, zoomed completely out) and review the pictures in the camera which is a lot more than I could do on-line or in a magazine. I know I can't take it out of the store but I get a feel for what are my top 2 or 3 to choose from. I don't even have to buy it there - I can go buy it online if I want to wait a few days.
At least this way I have seen and handled several different brands and compared them side by side to my own satisfaction.
Reading reviews on line and in magazines can help in your decision making and even getting opinions from complete strangers are other avenues to explore but in the end the buying decision is up to the consumer.
There are many cameras in the $300-$400 price range that should be good. One of my photography teachers says that people usually buy the brand they've been happy with before. The controls tend to be the same and the feeling. As Hcmcdole has pointed out there are many places to get information. Good photos come from good photographers. Hcmcdole, I would tend to pay attention to because his/her pictures are interesting and show some expertise. That is just an opinion, of course. Have fun, Imzadi!
Oh boy! Youíre buying a new camera! The camera market seems to get more complicated everyday, there are so many options and so many good cameras! Basically I decide what it is I want most and then find out what I can do without when I look at the specs! Check out the camera at a store if you can, the big department stores which donít specialize in cameras usually have some on display so you can handle them without a pesky salesman hovering over you, see if it looks big, clumsy or tiny, etc. Itís got to be comfortable to work with or else youíll hate to use it!
All the brands mentioned above have excellent cameras, it will take awhile for you to decide which one is right for you. Take you time and keep you options flexible, make sure your new one has a lot of stuff your old one didnít! That way you can grow with the camera and you wonít outgrow it too soon! Iíd also check B&H and Amazon.com and look for SALES - both have large choices and give user reviews.
-Donít fall into the trap of buying the name, buy the camera, buy what works for you!
Good hunting! ☺