Q: What camera would you recommend as a good point-and-shoot camera for my mother? She is older and does not want to have to learn how to use a complicated camera. She does like the speed of my SLR, so that is one thing that is important. Her older camera took a long time from pushing the button to actually taking the picture. The price range probably would be under $250.

A: With cellphones largely having replaced compact cameras, good small cameras are hard to come by these days. If you go to www.getolympus.com you can get a refurbished Olympus XZ-2 for $239. That’s around half of what it sold for when it was new. It’s a really great camera with incredible picture quality and fast response. It’s a camera that is meant for advanced users and it has lots of manual settings, but you can use it in fully automatic mode, too.

Going wireless

Q: I have a Fisher rack system that I have had since the mid ’80s. Is there a way that I can adapt my system to use small wireless speakers? It’s the Fisher Studio-Standard with MT-6420 turntable, FM-660 synthesizer tuner, CR-125 stereo cassette deck, CA-880 integrated stereo amplifier and RA-545 component cabinet with speaker system.

A: You can add a Bluetooth adapter to your amplifier’s tape loop output, or you could get a wireless speaker kit. I would recommend the wireless speaker kit because it will work with your amplifier’s speaker outputs. Best Buy has a Rocketfish-branded kit for $99. You can use it with most small speakers. The $39 Dayton Audio B652 or $59 B652-AIR would match well and sound good.

Better picture

Q: My parents have a TV with a satellite box, and I have Comcast cable. Will the Darblet DVP-5000 improve the picture on either set?

A: It would improve the picture on both of them. For readers who missed the previous column, the DarbeeVision Darblet DVP-5000 ($199) is a video processor that brings out missing depth and detail with most any television. It also can be found in models of Oppo Blu-ray players. I recommend using the High-Def mode at 35 percent.

You also can try to improve your TV’s picture by working with the built-in picture settings. Start with the color temperature. It usually is set to “cool,” which provides a very blue picture. Setting it to “warm” will make everything look more natural, especially skin tones. At first the picture will look a bit muted, but if you watch it on warm for five minutes then switch back to cool, you won’t be able to watch it on cool ever again.

Also check the contrast and picture settings. If they are maxed out, try turning them down a bit. This should produce a better picture, as well.


Send questions to Don Lindich at donlindich@gmail.com. Get recommendations and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.