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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Digital Cameras - What's Good?

Digital Cameras - What's Good?
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derhoy
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Nov 4, 2003, 12:40 PM
 
I'm looking for a good digital camera ($275-$400). I did a little research thru Consumer Reports and came up with the following options: (but am open for suggestions):
Fuji FinePix 3800
Olympus Camedia C-740 Ultra Zoom
Kodak EasyShare DX6340/4330
Does anyone have any experience with any of these? This will be my first digital camera (I have a Pentax P3 SLR 35 mm as well). I have a G4 iMac running OS X.2.(not sure, I think 8). Appreciate all your help.
     
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Nov 4, 2003, 01:57 PM
 
I would throw the Canon PowerShot s400 and the Sony DSC-V1 in there as well.

I originally had the same price range as you and have never been a big fan of digital cameras, but i was totally blown away by the Sony. It is what i own now and am so glad i spent a bit extra to get something that will last longer. The sony is 5MP so you can take pretty pro pictures (im a designer and i use what i take profesionally). I'm not a big sony fan either, but i was won over by the features: lots of manual control, great long exposure settings, infrared, carl zeiss lens, 5megapix, hotshot mount, good macro pics, lens attachments available and laser focusing (so it can focus in any light). Those were the things that won out over the Canon.

I would seriously look at the Sony because i promise it will serve you longer and it will be something that you can grow into and won't be limited by.
     
jetta_gt
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Nov 4, 2003, 03:35 PM
 
It's ver a year old, but in my opinion, the Canon s230 is still king of the hill, (becuase the s400 can't do video at 640x480, which i use ALL the time)
     
-Q-
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Nov 4, 2003, 03:51 PM
 
I'd probably recommend the Canon over the Fuji. I have a Fuji 2800 and while it does take gorgeous photos outdoors, it has some serious focus issues inside. Overall, a good camera but in playing with my friends Canon Powershot, it seems to be the overall better camera.
     
maxintosh
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Nov 4, 2003, 04:39 PM
 
Check out the FujiFilm Finepix S5000. 10x optical zoom, 3.1 megapixels, electronic viewfinder, AF assist lamp projects a funky green pattern to help focus, SLR look & feel, incredibly flexible control over options (film type, ISO, aperture, white balance, flash brightness focus, shutter speed, etc.) and some incredibly useful functions like Final 5 which saves the last five pictures *BEFORE* the shutter is released (great for action).

I've been impressed with the overall feature set and batter life and the image quality is pretty good, too. The movies are full 30 fps, record until the card is full, and have clear sound. The zoom is really stunning, and I love the way the camera feels. The interface is also VERY fast, no delay between switching modes or filtering through pics... much faster than a Canon Powershot S400 I played with. It can shoot shot-to-shot so fast you can take 40 continous pictures at 1/5 second intervals. The zoom is also nice and smooth. iPhoto and Image Capture have no problem with it.

I got mine for $309 online + 128 MB xD card for $52.

Some sample shots (scaled down for the web) just from my first day with the camera:
http://homepage.mac.com/maxintosh/camera/camera.html

Not a pocket-sized camera, but very, very powerful feature set at a completely reasonable price.

I got rid of my Rebel 2000 for this, no regrets.
( Last edited by maxintosh; Nov 4, 2003 at 04:49 PM. )
     
drewman
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Nov 4, 2003, 10:40 PM
 
Also the Canon Powershot A70 does very well for me.

www.powershot.com

Its a 3MP camera

It runs on 4 AA batteries which is a big bonus in my book. (Use NiMH batteries for long life). It takes pictures with little delay and powers up in about a second (with the new 2.0 firmware).

The A80 is just out as well which is 4MP and has a flip out LCD screen.

Andrew
     
Hash
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Nov 5, 2003, 06:44 AM
 
Canon S45 - 4.5 million pixel, lots of auto and manual control, great features and photos.
     
Peter
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Nov 5, 2003, 10:57 AM
 
Canon Ixus 400. 4Mp with 3x Optical Zoom - Awesome.
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neilw
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Nov 5, 2003, 11:30 AM
 
You need to decide on four main criteria:

1) How many pixels. 3 MP is enough for most, 4 MP is *really* enough for most, and more than that is really overkill unless you're doing professional work, or routinely making giant enlargements.

2) How much optical zoom. Your selections suggest you're looking for a big zoom; if so, you can throw out most of the suggestions in this thread. I wouldn't get less than 3x myself; would prefer higher but I didn't want to sacrifice the pocketability of the camera.

3) How much manual control

4) How large

There are lots of nice cameras (including the ones recommended here) that fall all across the spectrum, but you need to be more specific in what you're really looking for.

For a big zoom, I think you can't go far wrong with the Olympus. Otherwise, I tend to concentrate on cameras that have full manual control, and for those the Canon A70 and A80 are fabulous values. I own an S45 and am extremely happy with it.
     
SeSawaya
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Nov 5, 2003, 12:54 PM
 
I love my Nikon Coolpix 4300. 3x optical and 4 megapixel. Some incredible features on this baby. Only down side is the video mode, dose NOT record sound. WTF!

Other than that, its more camera than I need. It was between this one and the Cannon Powershot S400. I forget why I choose the nikon, but its sweet and VERY fast.

i also bought a 256 lexar memory card (12x!!) for $68 at Macmall. Cheapest I've seen!

Have fun
     
Zoom
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Nov 5, 2003, 01:35 PM
 
Do some searching, there are many threads on this. I'll make my stock recommendation: check DP Review for great, in-depth, professional reviews. It also has a buying guide.

Personally, I'm leaning towards the S400. Love the size and it's had rave reviews. My only worry: it's due for an update. Canon seems to be updating every 6 months or so, and it's been 9 already for the S400. If it hasn't been updated by Thanksgiving, I'll probably go ahead and buy one.

I also looked at the Sony DSC-V1, but I decided that I don't need 5MP and I want an ultra-compact camera that I can slip in my shirt pocket. I also don't need the manual controls. I want a kick-butt point-and-shoot that does the magic for me. The S400 seems to fit that bill. (Anyone know of any others?)
     
BZ
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Nov 5, 2003, 04:35 PM
 
Powershoot S400.

Small, great pictures and just works. I have been VERY happy with Canon since my G1.

BZ
     
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Nov 5, 2003, 07:47 PM
 
I have two digital cameras...

One is a Nikon CoolPix 4300. 4MP. Great image quality. Good features. The one single thing I don't like about it is that its recycle time between shots is very dependent on the speed of the CF card inside.

The other is a Nikon D100 digital SLR. Out of the price range you specified, but wow, what a great camera.
     
tooki
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Nov 5, 2003, 08:29 PM
 
I have a Nikon, and would recommend one to you (and I concur -- the speed of the CF card is critical, a trait shared by most or all cameras that use CF cards).

tooki
     
xylon
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Nov 5, 2003, 10:53 PM
 
Haven't heard anything about the models you posted. I'm going to throw in my two cents though and recommend the Minolta DiMage line. I have the first generation 2 MP 3x optical zoom and I love the thing. Slim so I can fit it in any pocket and rather durable (as I've found out as it's fallen out of my bag and gotten the crapped kicked out of it).

The newer models have newer features (better resolution, better zoom, etc.) and are within the price range you stated. I'd suggest checking them out as well.

Also, I'm surprised no one's mentioned dpreview.com yet (maybe I missed it?). Great in-depth reviews on all kinds of cameras and a knowledgable user group on its forums. Worth checking out if you've got the time. Beware though, the reports get quite technical and can spin your head like no thing.

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Graymalkin
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Nov 7, 2003, 02:48 AM
 
I've got a Kodak CX4200 I won at a trade show. It isn't by any means the best digital camera you can buy but I think you could do worse. The CX4230 is pretty much the same camera but with an optical zoom (3x). In good lighting conditions pictures come out very crisp and clear. I've printed them out on photo paper and they don't look too shabby if you don't get overly ambitious with print sizes.

The camera I've got my eye on now is either a Sony DSC-U30 or U40. The draw these cameras have to me is their small size. I really want a digital camera I can keep in my coat pocket and snap quick pictures with my friends. Cheapo mini-cameras with no Mac support and VGA images don't interest me in the slightest. My friend has a U30 and it is a really sweet little camera.
     
cvanston
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Nov 7, 2003, 11:55 PM
 
One of the most important factors for my choice of digital camera was size. Any camera too large to carry in my pocket at all times was a camera I wouldn't use enough to justify the purchase.

I looked at the tiny Sony "U" cameras, but while their size is great I didn't like their image quality, and the movie mode they have is not really useful (tiny movies, no sound, low frame rate). For "ultra tiny" cameras, though, they looked like a good point and shoot option. I might have given up on movies and gone with them if I hadn't found out about the Pentax Optio S.

The Optio S was the first camera I found that met all my criteria: *very* tiny; 3x optical zoom; good size movies with sound; audio notes for pictures; audio recording mode to turn it into a message taker; very good picture quality; standard tripod mount; video and audio out to TV for slide shows and presentations; good LCD monitor that you can see in direct sunlight; long battery life; rechargeable battery and charger both included with the camera; lots of manual controls but also a full automatic mode; very easy operation; USB and seamless support for Mac OS X without needing extra drivers or other software that might not get supported in future versions of OS X.

Plus, it exactly fits inside a tin of Altoid mints, so you can pick up a handy protective metal case for the price of a pack of mints. That's one of my favorite features, plus inside its metal case I can toss it into a pocket full of keys without worrying about scratches.

I *love* my camera. It's one of the best gadget purchases I've ever made, and I carry it with me always. That means I've gotten scores of shots I would have missed with a larger, less convenient camera.

There's a new Optio S4 out, which I assume is an upgrade of the camera I've got. I don't know what they would have improved, because my camera is perfect to me.
     
Zim
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Nov 8, 2003, 10:07 AM
 
leaning towards the S400. Love the size and it's had rave reviews. My only worry: it's due for an update. Canon seems to be updating every 6 months or so, and it's been 9 already for the S400. If it hasn't been updated by Thanksgiving, I'll probably go ahead and buy one.
What update might they offer that concerns you? If it has the features you want NOW, buy it.

I've owned the

- Elph APS (film)
- S100 (gen 1 Elph)
- S230

I had my S100 for 2 years and was able to re-coup a rather disgusting amt (ie. most) of the original purchase price when I sold it to buy my S230 (those ebay buyers are not too bright). I expect to own it at least 2 years. Then again, it has 3MP (which is more than enough for me), take movies which are adequate for me... could be a tad faster on the draw, could have more optical zoom.. but considering the small size, ease of use, etc, I am VERY VERY happy with it, and will not be upgrading until more than "incremental" advances are made (ie. my S100 did not take movies)

Dell.com often has good deals on periphs (keep an eye on dealmac.com)

Cheers,
Mike
     
powerbook867
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Nov 8, 2003, 02:35 PM
 
when I'm looking to upgrade I go to these to sites...

http://www.dcresource.com

http://www.steves-digicams.com

Hope this helps...

Joe
     
maxintosh
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Nov 8, 2003, 09:23 PM
 
Originally posted by cvanston:
One of the most important factors for my choice of digital camera was size. Any camera too large to carry in my pocket at all times was a camera I wouldn't use enough to justify the purchase.
The Optio S is cute, but like all small cameras, it's a point-and-shoot. Period. Amateur photographers and semi-pros just might want something with more control; a bigger camera is better for getting a stable shot.
     
Stogieman
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Nov 8, 2003, 11:02 PM
 
I was looking to get a Sony DSC-P10. Does anyone here have have any experience with this camera? The reviews I've read seem to be pretty good.

Slick shoes?! Are you crazy?!
     
Zoom
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Nov 9, 2003, 08:49 AM
 
There actually are tons of good cameras out there to choose from. I've been looking hard for about a month and I've changed my mind about 4 times. I'm still looking at the S400, but I'm thinking that I might want some more manual controls. So, I'm also considering the Canon A80.

One decision I've definitely come to: 4MP is plenty. I was dead set on 5MP originally, but after reading many reviews and comments from other "prosumer" types, I've decided that 5MP is overkill. I've got a 3.2MP right now, and frankly, it's handled everything I've needed. But 4MP would be nice.

The other reason I'm looking at the A80: regular AA batteries. With a proprietary battery, you almost have to buy a second one for backup, and often you also have to buy a charger. That would easily add another $50 to the cost, maybe more. And then you have to carry around the spare battery and charger, too.

With AA's, you can also buy NiMH batteries (separately) and a charger, but they're cheaper (due to competition and pure volume, I assume) and in a pinch you can buy alkalines just about anywhere in the world.

The downside is that AA's are bigger and heavier. If you must have a shirt pocket camera, then you pretty much have to use a proprietary battery.

One more reason for getting the A80: CompactFlash. It's cheap, it's ubiquitous, and it's sturdy. I would steer clear of xD (Olympus and Fuji only, I believe) and MemoryStick (Sony only). SD and SmartMedia are tiny, expensive and limited on size (SM only goes to 128, I believe).

So I guess what I'm saying is that there are some other very basic considerations to make when purchasing a digital camera.
     
derhoy  (op)
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Nov 11, 2003, 12:32 PM
 
I want to thank all of you for your experiences, opinions, and links to helpful websites. I think I've got it whittled down now to:
-Olympus C750 Ultra-Zoom
-Canon Powershot G3
-Canon A80
I went to Circuit City and got to hold many of these in my hand. I nixxed the Sony DSC-V1 because I didn't like the feel of it and the location of the pop-up flash (right under my left index finger).
Size is not that big a factor for me. After carrying around an old 35mm SLR, separate flash, rolls of film, etc, etc - any digital would be fine by me size-wise.
I *do* want something that I can just point and shoot but it's also important to me to have the ability to make manual adjustments. Still have not yet purchased and your advice and opinions are still welcome. Thanks again one and all.
     
NYCFarmboy
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Nov 12, 2003, 07:51 AM
 
Originally posted by jetta_gt:
It's ver a year old, but in my opinion, the Canon s230 is still king of the hill, (becuase the s400 can't do video at 640x480, which i use ALL the time)

Agrees... the Canon s230 is fantastic and doing general photography at 3 megapixels...

Has OUTSTANDING low light images..

and... most importantly: Excellent audio with its 30 second video clips at 640x480. The clips are only 15 frames per second, but are VERY sharp. Unfortunately Canon has chose not to continue high resolution video in its more advanced models, so this model is the one you want if you like doing movie clips on the go.

I think Canon may be discontinuing this model soon though... I actually just purchased a 2nd S230 as a backup for my current one...I really do think its an awesome little camera.
     
Maflynn
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Nov 12, 2003, 08:39 AM
 
Originally posted by Stogieman:
I Does anyone here have have any experience with this camera?
I bought the sony P72 which is the 3.2mp version. I haven't had too much time to play with it yet but the P72 seems decent enough. I was convinced from the A70, the bestbuy manager whom I was talking to said the sony was better (faster, better quality more people buy it etc. I will hopefully have time to use it these next few days and determine if this is for me or try out the A70.

Mike
     
Macpilot
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Jun 1, 2004, 12:46 AM
 
Hello guys. I have been in the market for a new digicam. My old Canon Powershot S110 has served me well, but taken a little too much abuse.

I have narrowed my search to the Optio S4 and S4i. Just out of curiosity, one of you said you had it and loved it (the S model). How did you know it was going to work with OS X before you purchased the camera? The iPhoto compatibility site says nothing about the Pentax cameras at all, or the Casio Exilim, which I think is the same machine as the Optio, with a different case design.

I emailed Apple regarding this and they did not respond.

Thanks!
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Chewn
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Jun 1, 2004, 01:56 AM
 
Well, I'm about to purchase a camera too and I have narrowed it down to the Canon S45 and the A80, both, to me seem to be very similar, my question for you is how come you are switching to a pentax camera? Cnet gave both these cameras great review, and so did www.megapixel.net and a couple other sites.

You should look into these
later
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paully dub
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Jun 1, 2004, 06:56 AM
 
I bought my gf a pentax optio s, which is one of the smallest camera's out there. 3 mp, and the picture quality is very good - sharp. 3mp is plenty for her needs, indeed I'd be hard pressed to justify more since we only have an a4 photo printer. It works seemlessly with iphoto, I didn't have to install any drivers or anything.

One plus it has over the casio is an AV out, which allows you to view the pictures or movies on a TV.

With digital cameras, for me, portabilty is a big issue, unless you're getting an slr.

I have a coolpix 4500, which is excellent featurewise, but it is a good deal bulkier, and less responsive. The swivel lens, however is something I'd like to see on more models.

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Betox
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Jun 1, 2004, 08:53 AM
 
Go for the PowerShot A75. It's about $250 and the picture quality and features are incredible.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/a75.html
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Thilo Ettelt
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Jun 1, 2004, 09:12 AM
 
I suggest as a MINIMUM:

- 5 megapixels resolution
- a good picture quality (which you have to find out)
- AV out
- LithIon battery
- a robust case
- lens protection
- and pay attention for the flash! <- underestiminated (look for an external flash connector!)
- macro focus (sharp picture with 10 cm distance)
- good handling, so your pictures won't blur
- keep an eye on the shut times, so your pictures won't blur
- 3x optical zoom
- the possibility to use a wideangle/tele lens

That's it

- Thilo
     
Zoom
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Jun 1, 2004, 09:40 AM
 
Originally posted by Thilo Ettelt:
I suggest as a MINIMUM:

- 5 megapixels resolution
Personally, for general home photography, 4MP is plenty. In fact, for a lot of people, 3MP is good. Depends on what you want to do with it. If you're just going to email pics to family and print snapshots (like 5x7 or smaller), then 4MP is plenty.
     
Zoom
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Jun 1, 2004, 09:42 AM
 
Oh, I would also highly recommend visiting dpreview.com. They have great reviews there.

I've got a Canon S400 and love it. The only problem with it is the weak flash. In dark rooms, it doesn't do well.
     
eddiecatflap
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Jun 1, 2004, 10:09 AM
 
..ive always used Canon

Gone from Eos-650,600 & Eos-1 slr's to Ixus & S50

..reliable , well made and advanced features

..and exc handling
     
Macpilot
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Jun 1, 2004, 10:47 AM
 
Originally posted by Zoom:
Personally, for general home photography, 4MP is plenty. In fact, for a lot of people, 3MP is good. Depends on what you want to do with it. If you're just going to email pics to family and print snapshots (like 5x7 or smaller), then 4MP is plenty.
Actually, 2 megapixels is plenty for 5x7 and smaller. I have printed many 5x7 photos taken with my 2 megapixel Canon and they look flawless.
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Macpilot
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Jun 1, 2004, 10:50 AM
 
Originally posted by Chewn:
Well, I'm about to purchase a camera too and I have narrowed it down to the Canon S45 and the A80, both, to me seem to be very similar, my question for you is how come you are switching to a pentax camera? Cnet gave both these cameras great review, and so did www.megapixel.net and a couple other sites.

You should look into these
later
Well, I am looking for something super-small, and the Optio and the Casio version are the only cameras that I consider super-small. I like that Canon SD10, but the Optio too has received excellent reviews and is noticeably smaller.
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tarkap
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Jun 1, 2004, 01:41 PM
 
I have a Casio Exilim Z4U and I think its an average camera.

They had one on display at the Apple store here in Boston (well, Cambridge), and it was so tiny compared to the others. I didn't know it was a Pentax knock-off until after I bought it and Pentax started their lame 'the official camera of the internet' ad campaign. Here's some thing I have to say about it:

1) It doesn't do video - check the specs though, The Casio Z4 (outside USA) does, Z4U (USA only) doesn't. I'm not sure about the Pentax ones.

2) It only takes 1.8MB JPG files at the highest quality - no TIFF/RAW image support.

3) No on-camera USB or charging ports. You have to connect it to a dock that then has a USB cable and power charger on it. Extra non-Casio/Pentax batteries on ebay are pretty cheap. Haven't found any genuine batteries or tested the off-brand ones yet. It takes SD cards, so I bought a USB Cruzer drive which uses SD cards as the memory and it acts like a USB flash drive, so it works flawlessly in Windows XP and OSX 10.2/3.

3a) The battery lasts a while if you let it go into power saving mode and don't keep forcing it on a lot. I was able to take about 256mb of pics without a problem when I was taking them sporadicly. When I kept forcing the camera to stay on during graduation, the battery died pretty fast, because I kept waking it up, it kept zooming in and out and I kept showing off the pics on the LCD. The batteries are about the size of a CF card though (maybe a little thinner) so they're not a big deal to carry if you're going to be carrying SD cards too.

4) The audio is saved as WAV files and is pretty pathetic.

5) Since its so light, it takes a while to get used to taking pictures without getting them blurry. I was always fine taking pictures with standard sized Olympus cameras, but this Casio is so light its hard keeping it steady while pressing the buttons.

6) LCD screen is huge (a full 2", not 1.8" like pretty much everyone else), but you see a lot of lines and artifacts when using it instead of the viewfinder. Displaying pics and the onscreen menu look normal though.

7) Its smaller than the 2nd gen iPods. I have a 2nd gen 10GB iPod and its the same thickness, but a bit shorter. So it fits in my pockets without a problem.

I've taken a bunch of pics with it though, and generally its pretty good, but it could be better.
     
Thilo Ettelt
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Jun 1, 2004, 03:04 PM
 
Originally posted by Macpilot:
Actually, 2 megapixels is plenty for 5x7 and smaller. I have printed many 5x7 photos taken with my 2 megapixel Canon and they look flawless.
I don't think this should be recommened to be minimum. The minimum should be a DIN A4 page (20x30 cm) in 300 DPI, which can be done with 5 MP. That is really the minimum to be able to catch up with traditional photography. I'm not a fan of "webcam quality" photos or task specific choice (when you don't compare it with regular photography but only think like: oh it's just for the web anyway; the larger the photo the better you can crop it for the web as well). And come on, a 5 MP Sony DSC-P10 is just a lil less than 250 here. Better you invest some money for something you will actually be happy with a little longer than some low quality stuff you will end up hating (keyword: noise in the picture).


- Thilo
     
Randman
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Jun 1, 2004, 03:27 PM
 
Canon (Powershot in US, iXus outside). Looks good, good photos, small, durable, good battery life.

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Cincinnatus
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Jun 1, 2004, 05:00 PM
 
I just returned from a vacation in Ireland with a friend's Camedia C-750. I took about 220 photos (using a 256 MB xd card) @ 2200 x 1700, and would have to say that the camera worked pretty well. The focus is a little tricky to master - but at least you can see where the weighting is taking place in the viewfinder - the reticle moves around to indicate which object it is focusing/metering on. My only real criticism is the write speed to the storage card - a little on the slow side.

The camera came with 4 rechargable AA size batteries, and a charger - but not always having access to compatible outlets, I could (and did) use regular AAs when the rechargables died - a very handy feature if you'll be travelling with this camera.

The camera has numerous program modes, macro capabilities, as well as A/S/M (aperature priority, shutter speed priority and full manual) modes. I didn't use the built-in flash, so I can't comment on it. A/S/M is very useful when taking natural light photos indoors - but buy a tripod - the lens on the camera is slow (only f2.8). I'm not sure how this compares to other non-SLR digital cameras.

Where are you considering purchasing your new camera? What is the store's return policy (i.e. if you don't like the camera after some field testing, can you return it should it fail to meet your expectations)?

/Cincinnatus

P.S.
Here is a sample indoor shot from my trip to give you an idea of the range of the camera. The photo is of a stained glass window inside of St. Patrick's cathedral in Dublin. Here is an outdoor shot in macro mode. Please note that these photos are not at full resolution.
( Last edited by Cincinnatus; Jun 1, 2004 at 05:19 PM. )
     
yoyoman
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Jun 2, 2004, 03:32 PM
 
sanyo is top notch. 8mp after introplated. its a 4mega pixle and has 30fps video as well. http://sanyo-dsc.com/dsc/j4/index2.html
     
ReggieX
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Jun 2, 2004, 11:01 PM
 
I just picked up a Canon A75, and it's a great unit for 3.2 MP.
     
chrisford
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Jun 3, 2004, 07:58 AM
 
I'd happily recommend the Minolta Dimage Z1. I bought one a few months ago and have been very happy. It is on the large side, however, so may not meet your needs.

On the plus side, the battery life is excellent, the image quality very good (altho' I'm new to this digital camera lark, so please feel free to argue!) and the build quality of the camera itself is great.
     
rjc3
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Jun 3, 2004, 07:41 PM
 
Wouldn't that make the SD100 or SD110 King? Both are capable of 640x480, and they are both a bit smaller than the S230 due to their use of SD memory cards.


Originally posted by jetta_gt:
It's ver a year old, but in my opinion, the Canon s230 is still king of the hill, (becuase the s400 can't do video at 640x480, which i use ALL the time)
     
rjc3
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Jun 3, 2004, 07:51 PM
 
I disagree. The Mars Rover pics were all taken with less than 1 megapixel cams, and they turned out pretty nice! For most users, I think 3.2 is more than adequate. 3.2 cams produce high resoultion 8x10" photos. Most (95%?) photos are printed at 4X6 or 5X7. Unless you will regularly be printing photos larger than 8X10, going over 3.2 is, in my opinion, a waste of $. You will not appreciate any difference in quality between a 5X7 photo taken with a 3.2 cam and a 5x7 taken with a 5MP cam.

Also, I want to shamelessly plug the Canon SD100 and 110. I have the SD100 and LOVE it! It is very small, but full featured and takes GREAT pics & has 640x480 movie function. Amazon just lowered their price on this to $209 including shipping.

Just my $.02. Good luck in your shopping!


Originally posted by Thilo Ettelt:
I suggest as a MINIMUM:

- 5 megapixels resolution
     
danbrew
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Jun 4, 2004, 12:31 AM
 
Originally posted by rjc3:
I disagree. The Mars Rover pics were all taken with less than 1 megapixel cams, and they turned out pretty nice! For most users, I think 3.2 is more than adequate. 3.2 cams produce high resoultion 8x10" photos. Most (95%?) photos are printed at 4X6 or 5X7. Unless you will regularly be printing photos larger than 8X10, going over 3.2 is, in my opinion, a waste of $. You will not appreciate any difference in quality between a 5X7 photo taken with a 3.2 cam and a 5x7 taken with a 5MP cam.
Asking for opinions on cameras is like asking for opinions on cars, motorcycles, guns, religion, etc., etc., etc! Everybody has a different idea on what works for them.

It doesn't surprise me that the Mars rover pics were snapped with a 1 megapixel camera, but keep in mind that camera cost about a million bucks. And it has $100 million or so in computers helping with the post-processing. I would bet a lot that the raw image out of that camera is completely unrecognizable. Further, I'd bet that there are some very unique filters and algorithms are built into that camera!

3 megapixels is "fine" for most people. I do disagree with your statement that you won't be able to tell the difference between a 3.2 and a 5 megapixel photo - I could show you dozens of examples. Further, if you ever decide you want to crop an image, you've got a lot more to work with in the 5 mp image.

I shoot professionally with digital slrs, but just bought the Canon S500 - it's awesome. 5mp.

     
WizOSX
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Jun 4, 2004, 02:27 AM
 
Agreed. I have a Canon S50 (which no one has mentioned so far) and it is an incredible camera. For me, my very favorite pictures I'll want to blow up to 11x14 or even 16x20. I may do that with only two pictures per year but not to always have the option to blow up any picture to 16x20, and frame it, would reduce my picture taking pleasure--and you sure can tell the difference between 3.2 and 5mp at that size. So I don't think you need to regularly print at large sizes in order to find at least 5mp invaluable.
     
Splintered_Mind
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Jun 4, 2004, 02:52 AM
 
Nokia phone cam

Seriously, I have a Canon Digital Ixus 400, great camera! can't reccommend it enough
"I don't know whether I'm alive and dreaming or dead and remembering."

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swissmann
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Jun 4, 2004, 03:38 PM
 
I have had the Canon Powershot S110 for years now (predecessor to the S400). It is only a 2 MP camera and we took it to Europe and dropped it 3 times on Cobblestone roads. It still works great! I recommend Canon or Nikon and lean towards Canon. I am a video professional so know a bit about cameras too. I think in general Kodak is cheaply made, all plastic and rickety. The Fuji are also a bit rickety and don't have great optics. My final recommendation is to go with the Canon Powershot S400, S410, or S500. You are getting a very small, very durable, very dependable camera with great optics and great pictures. You might want to check out dealcam.com, streetprices.com, cnet.com for some prices. Hope this helps.
     
mbryda
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Jun 4, 2004, 04:27 PM
 
Originally posted by danbrew:
It doesn't surprise me that the Mars rover pics were snapped with a 1 megapixel camera, but keep in mind that camera cost about a million bucks. And it has $100 million or so in computers helping with the post-processing. I would bet a lot that the raw image out of that camera is completely unrecognizable. Further, I'd bet that there are some very unique filters and algorithms are built into that camera!


And it depends on how those 1MP are. If you look at images from older DSLRs with large sensors, there is no noise and the images, while at 1-3Mpix look better and enlarge better than those from a prosumer 8MP camera.

3 megapixels is "fine" for most people. I do disagree with your statement that you won't be able to tell the difference between a 3.2 and a 5 megapixel photo - I could show you dozens of examples. Further, if you ever decide you want to crop an image, you've got a lot more to work with in the 5 mp image.
[/b]

Yup. I have a 10D and love it - I can crop half + of the image and still be left with a 3Mpix image of awesome quality. Even with my Minolta Dimage 7 I could easily tell the difference betweeen a 3mp print (friend's cameara) and it at 4x6. More pixels make the details pop even at lower print sizes.

I shoot professionally with digital slrs, but just bought the Canon S500 - it's awesome. 5mp.
I'm an amateur, but photography has been my hobby forever and I just picked up an SD110 to complement the 10d for those times when we go out and I don't want to lug the whole SLR. It is an awesome camera, and at 3.2MP @ $275 it has been a great complement.

I would wholehartedly reccomend it!
     
Glenstorm
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Jun 4, 2004, 05:04 PM
 
I just purchased a Canon PowerShot S1 IS. I paid $450 but I recently saw it for $400. So while it is at the top of your price range it is an awesome camera. It is a fairly new release so there may not be that much experience or awareness of it.

Anyhow, I love this camera! It has DV quality video that is only limited by the size of your media. You can use the zoom with the video. It has 10x optical zoom. It also uses Canon's Image Stabilization mechanisms famous in their video cameras. This provides protection from shaky pictures. . . It also has manual focus and manual settings. I guess it may be considered a "prosumer", but it is a great camera. Read about this camera before you buy anything else.
     
 
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