/ Best compact camera in auto mode??

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Phil Payne - on 15 Dec 2012
I'm looking for a nice compact camera for my mum for Christmas, but it has to be easy to use and work well in automatic mode.

Her current camera is a Samsung PL201, which produces some of the worst images I've ever seen from a digital camera. I thought that maybe it was down to user error, but I have tried every setting on it and have come to the conclusion that the camera is simply useless.

Whatever I get, it has to be easy to use and work well indoors in full auto mode, as I can't imagine my mum playing with all the settings. I'm also not keen on touch screen she's not the best without her glasses.

I quite like the Lumix range from Panasonic and the FS35 that my missus has certainly seems to take good photos. I've been out today and played with loads of different cameras and the one that I kept coming back to is the Canon Ixus 500HS. I don't know if I'm just being fooled by the good quality screen on it, but it seemed to produce the best pictures taken indoors (PCWorld) with no flash.

Budget is about 200, but I noticed that there are some great deals on cameras at the moment, like the Nikon J1, Panasonic GF3 and even the Canon D1100 for well under 300! I'd love to get her one of these, but feel that it would just be wasted as they are too complex and too large for her to carry around in her handbag.

Phil Payne - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

anybody?
mbambi - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: Just got a canon sx 240 for my daughter, very pleased with it's performance, about 160 from E bay.
Bambi
Ross_Harben on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

Linux are brilliant little cameras. Took one round the world and got some
Amazing shots pus if you do get round to playing with the settings they are so versatile.
Enty - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

I got this 3 years ago:
http://www.jessops.com/online.store/categories/products/sony/cyber-shot-dsc-w320-digital-camera-in-b...

Check out the pics in my gallery.

Anyway, obviously it's now discontinued but there are some great alternatives on that page at the same price. I paid 99 quid.

E
Russell Lovett - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: used to use a olympus compact always got great results but now us a Luminux Panasonic, whick in my oppinion is even better (can,t remember the model). Another thumbs up for Luminux Panasonic. Which ever you get do a quick google for reviews first, most big brand camaras are pretty good these days but a review search is always a good idea.
ERU - on 16 Dec 2012
steveb2006 - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: I would also recommend the Panasonic Lumix - specifically the DMC-LX5. This has recently been superceded by the LX7 so can get some good deals on ebay. Have got some very nice photos from this and find myself using the intelligent auto more then on prev cameras (if you do get this may be worth getting the screw on lens cap - about 4 on ebay).
redscotti - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to steveburns: i'd go with the Ixus 500hs. Good camera in low light, good IQ and the Ixus range is very user friendly. You could go cheaper in the range though, especially as I assume your mum won't be printing big enlargements?
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Phil Payne - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

Thanks for all the replies. I just went out again and ended up buying a Canon Ixus 230 HS. Apparently the HS stands for High Sensitivity and it uses some sort of back-lit CMOS sensor for improved low light shooting.

Having had a play with it in the shop, it was definitely easy to use and the full auto mode seemed to work really well and the controls are nice and simple to operate. I would have gone for the Ixus 500 HS, but decided that the touch screen would probably be too tricky for my mum.

Someone mentioned the Lumix LX7 and that looks like a great little camera. I'm very tempted to get one of those for myself as a bit of a Christmas treat to myself.

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