Camera recommendation for an edlerly woman

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by John Doe, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. John Doe

    John Doe Guest

    My brother and I would like to get our mother a digital camera for her 75th
    birthday. Can anyone recommend something suitable for an older woman? It
    should, we think, be pocket or purse sized, but not too small, with large
    buttons and a large display. It needn't have a great range of manual
    controls or options -- nothing fancy, she'd never use it -- but a 3x zoom
    and 4 or 5 MP would be nice.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Much thanks,

    John Doe, Apr 23, 2004
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  2. Canon A80.
    Stanley Krute, Apr 23, 2004
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  3. John Doe

    stan Guest

    Buying a digital camera for someone is much like buying a pair of shoes
    for that person. The best camera for your mother really depends on how
    the camera fits in her hands, how the controls work, and so on. There is
    a wonderful web site at that will give you info
    on many of the popular digital point and shoot cameras, but your brother
    should take your mom out to a good photography store and have her handle
    several different digital cameras and try them out in the store to see
    which camera she finds easiest to hold and to use.
    stan, Apr 23, 2004
  4. John Doe

    George Guest

    And make sure she understands it and is comfortable with knowing enough
    about how to work it that she will use it. (A 75 year old woman could be
    technophobic OR have been the head engineer on the original Dycam design
    team.) After all, you want her to use and enjoy it.
    George, Apr 23, 2004
  5. You seem to be on the right track about features for her. I might
    suggest that she likely will not need 4MP but I don't know the current
    market, you might not save by going lower.
    Joseph Meehan, Apr 23, 2004
  6. John Doe

    JC Dill Guest

    Here are some other features you may want to consider:

    Flip out viewer
    Image Stabilization
    High value Optical Zoom

    The first two are useful for an elderly person who may have
    sdifficulty moving to the best position to take the photo, or shaky
    hands that make it hard to get a sharp photo. For instance, it's much
    easier for an elderly person to hold a camera at waist level and use
    the flip out screen to view the shot than to squat down to shoot at a
    child, and you want to shoot from a lower position rather than hold
    the camera at adult eye level and shoot down. IS is more important
    than extra megapixels, it's much better to have a sharp 3 MP image
    than a 5 MP that is blurry due to hand shake.

    A high value optical zoom is very useful for zooming in on the
    interest, so that the elderly eyes get a nice sharp photo of the thing
    they want to see, e.g. zooming in on the grad getting a diploma on
    stage rather than getting the whole stage with dozens of people and
    the grad is just a small blip in the center of the image.

    You may find the cameras reviewed here to be of interest:


    In particular, the Canon S1 has a flip out screen, IS, 10x optical
    zoom, and is a good size that should be easy to hold in elderly
    (arthritic?) hands without being too big to fit in a handbag.
    However, I don't know how easily an elderly person could use the
    various buttons, or how good the UI is to enable the elderly person to
    know/remember when to use one of those buttons to get good results.

    A friend has a digicam that has special modes for certain settings
    such as a "sunset" mode. This would be more useful to an elderly
    person than learning how to use various the buttons. However, these
    modes were activated by the LCD screen menu, and it may be that the
    menu font is too small and difficult to read for aged eyes. Check to
    see if the screen font is adjustable (it's adjustable on my cell
    phone, I would think that at least some digicams have an adjustable
    font LCD screen).

    If you can go look at cameras during a busy time at a large store, see
    if there is a elderly person (perhaps another shopper) who can give
    you their input on if a model you are considering is easy to use.
    Many elderly people are delighted to help with something like this,
    especially if you tell them that you want to get it as a 75th birthday
    gift for your mother.

    Also check the digicam reviews on the AARP site or similar:




    JC Dill, Apr 25, 2004
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