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Camera Reviews How-to's

FAQ - What Camera to Buy?

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on May 21, 2002


Keywords: nikon, camera, bodies, product, articles

The Compact or Point and Shoot cameras have the advantage of using the 35mm film negative in full. They are convenient to carry, light and the next best possible alternative to the disappointing APS.

Nikon has a long compact or Point & Shoot camera tradition. As early as 1983, Nikon introduced the L35 Auto Focus. After several models, always upgrading, the first zoom compact came to be in the Nikon TWZoom in 1988. They looked 'toyish' when compared even to small SLRs of the time, but they produced very good pictures, suitable for big enlargements. And so, names like "Fun Touch", "Lite Touch", "Nice Touch" and "One Touch" became synonymous of quality pictures, with little effort and at very reasonable prices for the casual weekender or occasional shooter.
 

Sorry, no decent enlargement possible
 Nikon L35 AF compact point & shoot camera introduced in 1983.
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See it at B&H Photo and Video
 
Nikon Lite Touch 110
 
Nikon Fun Touch 6
The Nikon Lite Touch Zoom 110 is a high-tech compact camera that both offers point-and-shoot simplicity and  lets you apply creative techniques to your photography. It has a sophisticated 38-110mm f/4-10.8 power zoom. Advanced features include Auto Load, Auto Advance, Auto Rewind, Focus Lock, Auto Flash, Anytime Flash, Flash Cancel, Red Eye Reduction and a 10 seconds self-timer. The even newer Lite Touch Zoom 110s also has Slow Sync Flash to brighten both the subject and the background in night scenes. Not bad at all for family occasions.  Another model in this range is the Nikon Lite Touch Zoom 70W.
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The Fun Touch 6 offers simplified operations together with auto focus, easy film loading/rewinding, and a built-in flash. Enjoy the freedom to take the shots you want, when you want them. For those not wishing the zoom capability, the Fun Touch 6 offers an all around 28mm f/5.6 lens, good for landscapes and group photography with many features like Auto Flash, Fill Flash, Flash Off and Red-Eye Reduction. And all for less than US$50, brand new!
Another worthy model is the One Touch Zoom 90s QD, with a 38-90mm zoom lens.
Pricing at B&H
 
Check prices at B&H
Nikon Lite Touch 120ED/QD AF
 
Olympus LT Zoom 105 DLX
This is a very nice compact camera with an important distinction: it has an ED (Extra Low Light Dispersion) glass lens for superior images, with an extended zoom range from 38mm to 120mm and Macro/close-up down to 2.4 ft. Plus all of the 110s advanced features. Newer models are now available for closer reach: the Lite Touch Zoom 130 ED/QD with a 38-130mm lens, the Lite Touch Zoom 140 ED/QD with a 38-140mm and the Lite Touch 150 ED/QD with a 38-150mm lens.
 

I would fail not mentioning the superb Olympus LT Zoom 105 DLX camera with it's variable power flash, leather-like antique look case and metal lens cover. A 38-105mm f4.5-8.9 auto focus zoom lens and built-in spot metering.

The Olympus Epic line is also very convenient and sturdy, however, if not the LT 105 DLX, go for a Nikon, its flash technology is tops.

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Arrow
35mm Point and Shoot Recommendation:
  • I don't mind repeating myself: Stay clear of APS, it is not 35mm!. 
  • If you are casual photographer, get a compact 35mm Point & Shoot like the ones shown above or similar. A zoom one will adapt to more situations. Just remember to load it with ISO 200 or ISO 400 film to compensate for the aperture of the lenses on these cameras.
  • If you want to get serious about it, buy a 35mm Single Lens Reflex, the flexibility it gives you and the wide array of lens choices are tough to beat.
  • If you have the budget and savor exquisite pieces of machinery and optics, and don't need long zoom lenses, get a 35mm rangefinder camera, although you will encounter a limited set of (superb and expensive) lens choices and no zoom lenses as of yet (with the notable exceptions of the Vario Sonnar for the Contax G2 and the Tri Elmar M for the Leica). Least WYSIWYG, but you may even learn to shoot from the hip. In terms of status, yes there are models that will enhance it.  
  • Now, if you want superior negative's quality at all times, or are considering becoming a pro and/or have no serious budget constraints, go for the ...... Medium Format 
(2 Votes)
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J. Ramon Palacios J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

San Pedro Garza García, Mexico
Admin, 35059 posts

2 comments

Larry Jones (Larry443) on May 4, 2014

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

Outstanding! Thanks so much for the overview and the recommendations. I enjoyed reading about each class or group you presented. I especially liked your closing comment as that's what it's all about for me. Thanks again! Larry

Zita Margit Kemeny (zkemeny) on March 5, 2013

Very good points which we may check when we want to buy a new camera. Thanks.

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