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Old Oct 13, 2003, 10:16 PM   #1
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Default Which one to buy S5000 or Coolpix 4300

Hi everyone,

Im in a limbo on deciding what to buy. I have decided on either Fuji Finepix s5000 or Nikon Coolpix 4300. First I will explain my requirements and then tell a bit on what I think about these cool digital cams. Any feedback and opinions is appreciated as it would help me a lot in zeroing in on one I would buy.

Before you ppl dive into the long and boring message I would like to tell u that im no pro in photography and dont intend to become one.!!

Requirements: I would be using the camera for mostly scenic and architectural shots (70%), portraits (25%), macros(5%). I wont be printing most of the things and the images would be mostly on my comp, enroute cables as smtp packets or on webserver where i will host my site (I dont know when that day will come). Now comming to the other factor - around 80% of the shots will be outdoors and around 20% indoors. around 75% being during day time and around 25% at night.

Now my usual likes and dislikes - I prefer manual settings unless it is very urgent. Most of the time (at least 60-65%) of the time i plan to use manual mode. I am not a great fan of flash photography and like to do it without flash during night (ehhh!! I feel like cursing the guys who designed s5000). But!! I will also have a Nikon N65 or an FM2 (pro's dont laugh!!) using which I think I can take care of the night shots (though it would be uncomfortable if i get s5000).

Now the pros and cons of these 2 models.
I would love to have s5000 for its looks but sadly the least important thing!!. The 370mm range is definitely a plus and I also have a tripod for the lack of IS. Couple of key advantages would be the lens and AA type batteries as I wont be in places where I can get any thing other than the common ones. The ISO range of 200-800 seems good. Since it comes the the lens hood I can use filters with it or maybe get a wide angle adapter later. Now the negatives of s5000 - ofcourse the 2second max shutter speed would be the biggest bang in the back, im not really happy with the 3.1MP but i think it will serve my purpose, the reviews have been telling a lot about the noise and I dont know how true it is (You people can help a lot here) and the last bug would be xd type of memory which would be again expensive as i plan to get a 256mb one.

Now for coolpix 4300, The key factor for considering this one is I will be getting a 4MP cam with good manual controls for less than s5000's price. It uses CF type memory so I dont have to spend ~$60 more for the xD type memory. The cons are that I would be losing the 370mm lens and might have problems with the batteries/charging in other countries.

I have thought about this a lot but too confused as to which one to buy. Each of these has couple of key things which are important for me. So People please give me some suggestions/opinions on which I can base my decision on.

Thanks a lot
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 6:32 AM   #2
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Default Suggestion

I have the Nikon 4500 that I purchased refurbished plus a 3 year warranty for $450. I understand that You can get them directly from Nikon now for about $350. I added the Nikon sun shield and I already had a lot of lens and filter attachments that fit this camera many of which will also fit in a pocket and can be found at good prices on ebay. I use the W/A lens often as it is outstanding. I recently purchased a scope and am trying my hand at digitscoping. So if you want a full featured camera that is small enough to fit both your pocket book and pocket give it your once over.
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 10:16 AM   #3
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For normal shooting the pixels are about the same. The viewfinder on the Nikon shows 80% of the final picture where the Fuji EVF shows 100%. So with 3.87 million effective pixels you see 3.1Mp in the Nikon viewfinder compared to 3.1 effective pixels for the Fuji. Use the LCD to frame and you get the full 3.87Mp. Most people normally frame with the viewfinder though. Fuji is pretty sleazy about their advertised pixels so I wouldnít bet the farm on that. They advertise 3Mp cameras as 6Mp and magically have the effective pixels exactly the same as the sensor pixels. But the engineering end of the company makes good cameras.

You need a wide angle a lot more than long tele for scenic and architectural photography. I hold the camera vertically and shoot two panorama shots if I have my little camera without the wide angle with me and I need a wide shot. Works very well with slightly over 28mm and a good increase in Mp. Not good for grab shots though. You seem to have fixed your price point and I donít know of a decent zoom camera with 28mm in that range.

xD cards are not only considerably more expensive they are also a pain. If you get a printer with a card reader it will likely read everything but xD and Fuji and Oly get too much for their SM/xD readers. A couple of multi card readers have recently come out with xD capability, but the cards arenít going to be good for much as nobody seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. Large cameras and devices are better served by CF and everyone but Oly and Fuji are using SD for small devices.

You have to add the price of a battery charger to the Fuji. You donít want to run with alkalines. They donít take many pictures and get pricey. After you pay for the charger a spare set of batteries is cheap. You could get a Maha charger and two sets of NiMH batteries for the price of a spare battery for the Nikon. Two sets of NiMH batteries would probably exceed what you want to spend for xD cards. One set would certainly fill a 256Mb card and possibly a 512Mb. If you arenít planning on going over 256Mb on the card the Nikon will support it fine without any extra purchase. The Nikon battery charger will work fine overseas with a $1 plug adapter.

Something that would concern me about the Fuji is that it takes only one quality of JPG and Steve says they have compression artifacts. Since you can upsample to 6Mp in the camera before the compression artifacts are applied it isnít quite as bad as it could be. At least they arenít calling it a 6Mp camera like they did the 602.
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