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Old Mar 13, 2006, 10:22 PM   #1
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I just found out about the olympus 720 sw, and it looks pretty nice. I was just about to buy the z600 and wait for the waterproof case to come out (I surf and would like to have a good camera that would function well in the water as well). I was really wanting to get the z850, but I did not see anything about plans to come out with a waterproof case for it (the z750 doesn't have one, so I figure they may not even come out with one for the 850). I would really like to have the mpeg4 video format, the led light for the movie recording, and I really like that the two z's have the 3 pics/sec, but I have not found anywhere that these are 3 full res pics.

Since I just found out about the 720sw, I have not been able to find much information about it because it is relatively new. The downside to this camera is that i can only find it for ~$400. It can only take the HQ video (640x480) up to 15fps, it does not have the mpeg4 format, it does not have multiple pictures per second, and it is slightly larger(but not much to make a difference). I am indifferent for the non-protruding lens (its good that the mechanism would be less likely to break when bumped, but bad because it would be easier to scratch the glass covering the lens). I have not seen too much about the quality of the flash or the quality of the pictures, but it seems like it will be much better than the pentax wpi series(another waterproof cam that I was looking at, but have since ruled out). However, I do not particularly like that this 720sw will use xd memory cards being that I already have some SD cards. Also, this camera is waterproof up to 10 ft for one hour (it should work fine in the flat Atlantic of US, but not sure how it would hold up on vacations to Costa Rica and Hawaii(going both places this year). The casio waterproof housings are rated up to over 100 ft and should be able to survive pounding surf much better, but they cost an additonal $200, and would be another thing to haul around.

I was leaning toward the z600 instead of the s600(both will have waterproof casings) solely because of the 3 pictures per second. I also did not like the fact that the S600 has limited controls. Also, the z600 is much less(found it for $230). But, I like mpeg4 and I would really like to have the LED light that the 850 has.

Overall, I am looking for a small camera that takes pretty good pictures, has decent video capture, and has the ability to go underwater. Having a camera that is very small and always waterproof/shockproof would be great. However, I am torn between diving in headfirst without getting a good glimpse of the water, if you will, and possibly being unsatisfied buying the z600 & waterproof casing. If anyone has any further suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated. I know that choosing between the s600, z600, and z850 has already been very controversial, but adding in the waterproofing will hopefully make it a little easier to discuss.
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Old Mar 14, 2006, 1:19 AM   #2
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If you want mpeg 4, then the z600 is off your list as it doesnt have it, dont know much about waterproof cases, though the z750/850 are just a bit bigger and thicker than the s600 must be a universal case around, surely you would find one hong kong way on ebay. The only thing that would give you advantage using underwater is that the z850 you can use the manual controls to set a certain shot you want. Its a hard choice, the s600 is a sexy little camera with not bad shots and really good video, the z850 is looking not bad either but as its only just come out is top price at the moe. My only advice is get the best one you can afford, Will you need more manual features down the road if so get z750/z850 as its just as good in auto mode, as you will regret not getting it. I have both s600 and z750 and they stack up against other pretty well, however the z750 edges it with picture quality and menu system is slightly better also the two buttons on the side of screen are a dream changing pixel size and focus without going through the menu. z850 has the same. Its a tough choice, buy from somewhere you exchange or get a refund even after using the camera even though you might pay a bit more. Good luck with your choice.
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Old Apr 3, 2006, 2:25 PM   #3
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I bought a EX-S500 about 9 months ago. I love it. Great size, great pictures.

That's not to say there isn't a little compromise for its small size. But any of its imaging shortcomings it makes up for it with it's small size. Some picture is better than no picture. And with this tiny camera I always have it with me.

I wrote a review for it and put up some sample images. Take a look.



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Old Apr 26, 2006, 11:11 AM   #4
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I'm facing a very similiar decision in selection. I was wondering if you could update me on your decision and let me know your results. (I'm also intrested in The cameras for surf pics in the casing in additions to others)

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Old Apr 28, 2006, 2:42 PM   #5
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I sympathise with you on choice of camera - Casio have so many models without even considering other manufacturers!

I have the older Casio EX-P600 which has a whole raft of manual features. I experimented with them all but ended up using mainly auto mode with good results. I then bought an EX-S500 (for my wife!) after months of research, and we both get very good results.

Both cameras seem to give very accurate exposures without needing compensation, and the Best Shot modes are so comprehensive. Although the S600 doesn't have Aperture and Shutter priority, it is very easy to customise colour and sharpness, change ISO, increase or decrease exposure, etc. THe manual white balance is really good in artifical light without flash, and the video mode is great and only slightly inferior to our Sony camcorder.

My only other experience is with a second hand Panasonic FZ1. Whilst it has a great zoom and rapid burst mode, exposures are not as reliable as the two Casio cameras. The small size of the S600 is the killer factor and means that this is the camera used most often.

Good luck with whatever you choose.
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