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point & shoot digicam for elderly, vision-impaired technophobe.

Elisabeth G , Jul 01, 2006; 08:50 p.m.

I'm looking for a point-and shoot for my 86yr-old mother to take 'snaps' of family, pets, plants etc. She has impaired vision so a large LCD screen is a necessity. Simplicity of use is vital too, as she wouldn't use complicated menus. The Samsung Digimax S500 has a whopping 2.4inch LCD which is very appealing, as is the apparent ease of use. I would welcome feedback from anyone who knows this camera or who can suggest something else more suitable. Thank you.


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Chuck C(CharlotteNC) , Jul 01, 2006; 09:03 p.m.


We just went through almost exactly the same sort of question in the last week or so.

Zachary Binks finally bought his mother a Canon A700 and many of us thought that it was the best choice for his mother. The next two links will supply you the history.



I'm fairly sure this will help you.


D. Munteanu , Jul 02, 2006; 01:17 a.m.


The Panasonic DMC-FX7 has a very large 2.5" Diagonal Polycrystalline TFT LCD, image stabilisation (if your mom has trouble with hand-shake, this would probably take care of those blurry images) & is extremely light and small (some say, too small). I have bought one for my dad and he's quite pleased with it.

JC Uknz , Jul 02, 2006; 03:05 p.m.

Bear in mind that if you get a camera with an electronic viewfinder this will have 'dioptre adjustment' which permits folk in impaired sight to see through they clearly. Unless vision is extremely impaired when just pointing the camera in the direction of the subject is probably the best idea.

All cameras have 'Programme' or 'Auto' modes which can be used to let the camera do everything except press the trigger for those who cannot be bothered with the technicalities. The important thing to explain about these automatic cameras is that they have a 'two pressure trigger'. For best results it is important to take 'half trigger' and wait until the camera gives the AOK signal, could be a little ball in the viewfinder or a light on the back of the camera, before completing full pressure for the picture.

Elisabeth G , Jul 02, 2006; 10:27 p.m.

Thanks, CHUCK C, D.ARE and JC for your responses to my question. I should have mentioned my price constraints but didn't as I hadn't done the price conversion from NZ$. I do need something under US$160 which unfortunately rules out the Canon A700. She doesn't have any hand-shake but finds the view-finder difficult on account of bulky, dark-tinted spectacles so the large LCD is the way to go. I would still like to hear from someone who is familiar with the Samsung Digimax S500 as I have one on my Trade Me watchlist closing tomorrow night. The price is right and the big screen appealing but I don't know anything about Samsung cameras. I myself have a Canon Powershot A610 which I like, but of course is not suitable for Mum.

Scott Lewis , Jul 03, 2006; 05:46 a.m.

look for something with an anti shake system built in. And a big screen.

Elisabeth G , Jul 03, 2006; 05:24 p.m.

Yes, the big screen is what I want. She doesn't have any hand-shake at all so that's not an issue. The problem is that I haven't found anything with the big LCD screen & ease of use in my price bracket. Nobody has replied with info about the Samsung which is a pity because it sounds quite good and the auction closes in 14 hrs. I might just have to take a chance on it but I would rather go with some good advice on a product somebody has had experience with.

Michael S. , Jul 03, 2006; 07:17 p.m.

<< ... She doesn't have any hand-shake at all so that's not an issue. ... >>

Actually, all of us have it -- young and old alike, and some folks more than others -- and it's a key reason why certain of our photos suffer from unwanted blur.

I agree with the recommendation to consider either "image stabilization" (or "anti-shake"), which helps to reduce the appearance of blur caused not by moving subjects, but by our own unsteady hands. Unfortunately, the feature may well take you to a higher price range, and that's a call you need to make.

Elisabeth G , Jul 03, 2006; 08:17 p.m.

Yes, I agree with you Michael, that it is an issue for us all, but her photos using a film P&S have always been without undue blur so we are not worrying about that aspect. It would be nice, of course, to have image stabilisation but my priorities are just to do with the price, the size of the LCD and the general ease of use. More specifically I had hoped to hear more about which cameras in particular might be suitable. There is a deafening silence re the Samsung -maybe it's not available over there. It is quite popular here in Australasia.

Elisabeth G , Jul 03, 2006; 08:35 p.m.

Samsung Digimax S500 Hello! -anyone recognise this digicam?

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