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My wife wants her own compact camera but appreciates the viewfinder in my Casio for night time portraits. Does anyone know how I would go about determining what compact cameras have a viewfinder, either new or used?
 

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The dedicated camera review sites probably have a search engine based on features. Other than just surfing the manufacturers web pages that is probably your best bet.
 

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The only recent ones that come to mind are two Canon models:

The SD780 IS and SD1200 IS

The 1200 is an old model, but can still be found in some stores & online, though limited stock.

You don't mention a budget, but those are both under $200. Perhaps more expensive models include a viewfinder - I'm not sure.
 

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I think most of the Canon Powershot series cameras have optical view finders. If you go to a site like futureshop and check the specs, it should tell you under viewfinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did follow the 1200IS (from RedFlagDeals for $99) but could not find any in local stores. So I was trying to broaden my search.

The google search suggested really highlights the problem because this thread comes up as number four hit with many others being rants about the lack of Optical Viewfinders.

Thanks for the help anyway.
 

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The google search suggested really highlights the problem because this thread comes up as number four hit with many others being rants about the lack of Optical Viewfinders.
Perhaps dpreview's Features Search will prove more useful. I just ran a search for compact cameras (not discontinued) w/ optical viewfinder and got five pages of results.
 

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Ah, very good point!

It's frustrating these days to buy one with an optical viewfinder. I don't personally feel the need for one (though if the LCD screen breaks, it sure would be nice to still use the camera), but a lot of older folks prefer a traditional viewfinder + the features of a digital camera.

Another plus to a viewfinder is taking photos in sunlight; it can be difficult to see the LCD.
 

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SD780 is a great little camera.
I had the original Canon digital Elph SD230 and it did not get much use the last few years but when I needed it a few weeks ago it was a dead.

I was about to reluctantly toss it away when I googled and found out there is a recall program for this model with a known CCD problem and Canon fixes out of warranty. So I shipped it out to Canon and a week later I received a new SD780.

No doubt the SD780 is a much improved camera with a DIGiC 4 processor but it does not compare in build quality to the original Japanese-made digital elph. Yes, I would have preferred the original one I sent out to be returned repaired.
 

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I had the original Canon digital Elph SD230 and it did not get much use the last few years but when I needed it a few weeks ago it was a dead.

I was about to reluctantly toss it away when I googled and found out there is a recall program for this model with a known CCD problem and Canon fixes out of warranty. So I shipped it out to Canon and a week later I received a new SD780.

No doubt the SD780 is a much improved camera with a DIGiC 4 processor but it does not compare in build quality to the original Japanese-made digital elph. Yes, I would have preferred the original one I sent out to be returned repaired.
Don't you mean the S230 - 3.2MP? I sent one of those back and got sent a SD980IS - essentially the same as the 780 but a little wider and a little more zoom. Still 3.2MP upgrade to 12MP is a good deal for the price.

That was my camera at work after I bought a S200 for home which I still have, still works, and still love though I don't use it anymore. 2.0MP is just barely enough for a 4x6" at 240dpi with almost no room for cropping and though the build quality of the original ELPHs was phenomenal the shutter lag was horrendous. Once I first pressed the shutter release of an XTi I never shot the S200 again.

Though as my youngest daughter is jealous of the A570IS her older sister has so I'm going to bring out the S200 for her. Perfect camera for a clumsy 7-year old. I just hope it doesn't break her toe the first time she drops it :eek:
 

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Yes, I meant the S230 sorry for the typo. The lag time of the S230 was the first thing I noticed back when I got it and it had the same effect on me as the cheap build quality of the 780 that I received as a replacement. Perhaps, they replace them and it is doubtful if they are being repaired as Canon seems to indicate.

These newer compact cameras are getting to be quite inexpensive and "cheap", likely none are made in Japan as the original Digital Elph.
 

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Yes, I meant the S230 sorry for the typo. The lag time of the S230 was the first thing I noticed back when I got it and it had the same effect on me as the cheap build quality of the 780 that I received as a replacement. Perhaps, they replace them and it is doubtful if they are being repaired as Canon seems to indicate.

These newer compact cameras are getting to be quite inexpensive and "cheap", likely none are made in Japan as the original Digital Elph.
Canon IV-Sb with 35mm f/2.8 & viewfinder. The ELPHs were nice but the older film rangefinders from the 50's are my favourites. On another site I participate on these shots are called Camera Porn
 
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